Tech News

The U.S. Hacked North Korea First, Google Gets Lost In SpaceX [Tech News Digest]

Dave Parrack 20-01-2015

The U.S. is accused of hacking North Korea, Google is investing in SpaceX, Amazon is making movies, Lizard Squad gets hacked, TextBlade shrinks keyboards, and beating Mario at his own game.


U.S. Accused Of Hacking North Korea

The United States has been accused of hacking North Korea as early as 2010, well before North Korea allegedly hacked into Sony Pictures’ corporate network Sony Movies Leak Online, Traditional Taxis Are Dying, & More... [Tech News Digest] Also, Sony's e-paper watch, piracy in the UK, droning on about Chernobyl, and George Lucas ruins the new Star Wars VII teaser trailer. Read More as a response to The Interview Sony Pulls The Interview After Terror Threat From Hackers, & More... [Tech News Digest] Also, the BlackBerry Classic brings sexy back, Netflix is never going offline, Yo gets festive, Wikipedia edits 2014, and the best Star Wars Christmas lights ever. Read More . If true, this would explain how the FBI is so confident North Korean operatives were behind the Sony hack despite the lack of evidence and continued denials from the North Korean government.

The New York Times made the assertions based on leaked documents from the National Security Agency (NSA). This raises questions over why the NSA didn’t warn Sony of an impending attack, but then doing so may have alerted the North Korean authorities to the methods being used by American spooks. In all honesty, we’ll probably never know the truth.

Google Investing $1 Billion In SpaceX

Google is rumored to be planning on investing $1 billion in SpaceX. According to The Information, the Internet giant is closing in on a deal to fund Elon Musk’s space-faring operation, with the company being valued at around $10 billion in total. Other investors are thought to include Richard Branson and Mark Zuckerberg.

Google is primarily interested in supporting the development of SpaceX satellites Elon Musk is Building A Fleet of Satellites to Bring Broadband to the Masses Between revolutionizing the car industry and pushing human space exploration with SpaceX, Elon Musk seems to be everywhere. Now, Mr. Musk has a new project: bringing cheap, uncensored Internet access to the world at large. Read More which could be used to bring low-cost Internet to developing countries. If the deal goes ahead it could signal the end of Project Loon, which sees Google using high-altitude balloons to bring wireless Internet to rural areas.

Amazon Takes On Hollywood

Amazon is taking on Hollywood by announcing plans to produce movies which are then released in theaters before being made available exclusively to Amazon Prime subscribers Is Amazon Prime Worth Your Money? We Help You Decide! Amazon Prime is a big deal. But is it worth the money you pay for it? We answer your questions and concerns. Read More . The initiative, called Amazon Original Movies, comes hot on the heels of the online retailer’s original series Transparent winning a pair of Golden Globes.


Amazon plans to release up to 12 movies each year, releasing them to Prime subscribers 4-8 weeks after they premiere in theaters. The company claims Amazon Original Movies will “focus on unique stories, voices, and characters from top and up-and-coming creators.” Which strongly suggests most of the films will be what were once called indie flicks.

Lizard Squad Hackers Get Hacked

Hacking group Lizard Squad, who claimed responsibility for taking down Xbox Live and the PlayStation Network Twitter Taken Down By New Year, Bitcoin Performed Poorly In 2014 [Tech News Digest] Also, PSN and Xbox Live are back online, Pinterest rolls out Promoted Pins, how to stream The Interview, and preferring a chocolate iPhone to the real thing. Read More over the holidays, have, according to security researcher Brian Krebs, themselves been the victim of a hack.

Details of the customer database of LizardStresser have been leaked online after the hack; LizardStresser being the DDoS attack service Running Linux In A Chromebook Window, Xbox Hackers Offer DDoS Attacks [Tech News Digest] Also, the Xbox One SDK leaks online, the most pirated movies of 2014, Nuclear Throne freebies, and a look back at 2014 in GIFs. Read More Lizard Squad launched in the new year. Ironically, the usernames and passwords for all 14,000+ users of LizardStresser were stored in plain text.

TextBlade Is A Really Small Keyboard

While typing on a touchscreen is fine in short doses, it gets annoying after a certain length of time. Which is why so many of us invest in portable keyboards The 10 Best Wireless All-in-One Keyboards for Mac and PC Wireless all-in-one keyboards can transform any computer into a home theater system. But which one should you buy? Read More for those times when we need to pen anything longer than a short, succinct message.


A company called WayTools has created what may just be the smallest portable keyboard in the world. Called TextBlade, this portable keyboard breaks down into three pieces which fold down to around half the size of a standard smartphone.

The video above shows how TextBlade can be used to achieve an impressive typing speed, although as with every design that deviates away from the norm, only practice makes perfect. TextBlade is compatible with both iOS and Android and is priced at $99.

Making Mario Think For Himself

And finally, a team of researchers at the University of Tübingen in Germany are trying to teach Mario to beat his own game. The project, dubbed Mario Lives! exists to create a “Living and Conversing Mario Agent.

The researchers have turned Mario into a character able to think for himself to a certain extent. Rather than the player controlling his every move, Mario can now respond to voice commands and complete tasks without prompting.


This may seem rather silly but it could potentially be the makings of a totally new Mario game in which the Nintendo mascot and the player form a symbiotic relationship to reach the end. Which sounds creepy but could actually be a lot of fun.

Your Views On Today’s Tech News

Do you think Google is sensible investing so much money in SpaceX? Does Amazon stand a chance of competing against the might of the movie studios? Have you ever seen a portable keyboard smaller than TextBlade?

Let us know your thoughts on the Tech News of the day by posting to the comments section below. Because a healthy discussion is always welcome.

Image Credit: Roman Harak via Flickr


Related topics: Google, Online Security.

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  1. Sanjeev
    January 23, 2015 at 7:15 am

    Good job by google, by investing in SpaceX Project .

    • Dave Parrack
      January 27, 2015 at 7:15 pm

      They sure don't do anything by halves. And nor does Elon Musk.

  2. Jim
    January 22, 2015 at 3:55 pm

    Just another damned gadget of no particular purpose.

    • Dave Parrack
      January 27, 2015 at 7:16 pm

      Which one?

  3. Jaack Mcmahon
    January 22, 2015 at 7:28 am

    Can this really stand up to front pocket abuse etc.

  4. Jaack Mcmahon
    January 22, 2015 at 7:27 am

    How does TextBlade connect to things? Bluetooth, wifi, IR or magic?
    I am skeptical at 100 WPM transfer speed too. Seems too good to be true.

  5. Jaack Mcmahon
    January 22, 2015 at 7:24 am

    Tried to use link to TEXTBLADE web link to Video doesnt rm and links do nothing seems all work went into this video on makeuseof and not their own web site.

  6. Jaack Mcmahon
    January 22, 2015 at 7:17 am

    does Text Blade connect with BLUE TOOTH, wi-fi, IR ,or what? Device Seems flimsy to stick into a FRONT pocket, lots of stress breaking it into pieces!

    • Dave Parrack
      January 27, 2015 at 7:19 pm

      I haven't a clue. I am merely reporting that this is a thing you can now buy, but until we either read reviews from others or get a review unit for ourselves we have no way of knowing whether or not it's actually any good.

  7. YellowApple
    January 22, 2015 at 2:26 am

    I really like the concept of the TextBlade, if I could figure out exactly what it is.

    Unfortunately, the website seems to consist entirely of videos that I really don't feel like watching right now (or ever). Is it that goddamn hard for them to type out some tech specs?

    Ain't buying it if I don't know whether or not I can use it.

    • Dave Parrack
      January 27, 2015 at 7:18 pm

      Yeah, the website could be better. It's a classic case of a nice product not backed up by the proper credentials or user information.

  8. Christian Cawley
    January 20, 2015 at 12:19 pm

    I really like the look of the TextBlade. Hopefully a Windows driver comes along...

    • Dave Parrack
      January 27, 2015 at 7:17 pm

      We can only hope. If there is they're not making such plans public.