Time Person of the Year runner-up Snowden wants unbreakable encryption for all citizens – Edward Snowden was passed over in favor of Pope Francis for Time’s Person of the Year. Nevertheless, the magazine does manage to acknowledge that Snowden’s unprecedented leak of thousands of classified NSA documents has changed the face of domestic and international politics, privacy, journalism, and computing in general. For him, there is a clear need for reform, but ordinary citizens can and should make use of unbreakable encryption to keep their data safe.
Snowden stepped forward in June as the whistleblower behind the Guardian and Washington Post’s blistering reports detailing the NSA’s PRISM and Boundless Informant programs. Since then, he has taken temporary asylum in Moscow as new documents continue to reveal the depth of the intelligence community’s surveillance tactics — all at a near daily clip.
YouTube rounds up the biggest videos of 2013 – 2013 is almost over, which means it’s time for self-reflection — and Jean-Claude Van Damme, of course. His “epic splits” video (pictured above, and part of an advertisement for Volvo) is just one of many YouTube’s compiled as the top trending videos on the service during the year.
That’s different from the most-viewed list, and perhaps even more interesting because it tracks views, shares, and searches from users, which has led to some seemingly unlikely videos making the list.
South Korean court rules against Samsung, won’t ban iPhone and iPad – The latest development in Apple and Samsung’s patent battle is a new court ruling in the latter’s home country, and it’s going against Samsung. The Washington Post and Reuters report that in a case covering three Samsung patents, and Apple products including the iPhone 4s, iPhone 5 and iPad 2 Judge Shim Woo-yong ruled against a sales ban and threw out Samsung’s request for damages. The Post reports the patents cover things like multitasking, message notifications and how a device can display multiple messages from the same sender.
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas available on iOS right now, Android and Windows Phone next week – If you’ve been jonesing to spend some HD quality-time with Carl Johnson on your iDevice, the wait is over.
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas is available from iTunes right this moment for $7, and is compatible with most recent iOS gizmos. If you want to roll with Officer Tenpenny on a different mobile platform, Rockstar Games tells us that the promised Android and Windows Phone versions hit next week.
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas available on iOS right now, Android and Windows Phone next week
Motorola gets snowed in, delays Moto G shipments due to winter storm – Winter storm Dion has been wreaking icy havoc across the US for a few days, but now it’s hitting technophiles where it hurts: phone shipments. Customers who pre-ordered the Moto G have been receiving emails from Motorola, explaining that bad weather has stalled operations at the company’s Fort Worth facility. Long story short, Moto G deliveries are going to be to be delayed, and there’s no firm date on when the devices will ship out.
Twitter looks back at 2013, 140 characters at a time (video) – 500 million tweets a day and 230 million users: Twitter’s job of neatly summarizing the year is probably getting tougher each time. For 2013, the social network’s displayed what happened and when in month-by-month summaries of both the major events and hashtags of the moment.
It also has specialized synopses for sports, news, entertainment and showcase. The latter is curated highlights from Twitter’s selected publishing partners, so it’s pretty classy fare.
Google brings flight, hotel and restaurant reservations to Maps for iOS – If you fancy yourself a jetsetter, fine-diner, or, er, traveling salesman and happen to use an iDevice, Google has some good news for you. The latest update to Maps on iOS brings some of Google Now’s functionality into the company’s navigation app. Search for your restaurant, departing airport or hotel, and the application will auto-populate with your plans — so long as the confirmations were sent to your linked Gmail account. Sure, it’s similar to what the outfit added to Maps’ desktop version earlier this year (pictured above), but since when was feature parity a bad thing?
‘Fast & Furious 7′ is being rewritten to give Paul Walker an ‘honorable’ send-off – The death of actor Paul Walker has cast doubt upon the future of the Fast & Furious franchise, but according to the Hollywood Reporter, work on rewriting the next installation is already underway.
Sources familiar with the matter tell THR that screenwriter Chris Morgan has begun revising the script for Fast & Furious 7 to allow for Walker’s character to exit the series using footage that has already been shot. The hope is that with a reworked script, cast and crew will be able to resume filming by late January, though that’s far from guaranteed.
Mandela memorial interpreter blames schizophrenia for sign language farce – The sign language interpreter accused of faking his way through Nelson Mandela’s memorial service has defended his record, blaming the incident on a schizophrenic episode he suffered during Tuesday’s event. The interpreter, Thamsanqa Jantjie, told Johannesburg’s Star newspaper today that he started hallucinating and hearing voices on stage, causing him to mime in ways that deaf viewers and sign language experts described as incomprehensible.
“There was nothing I could do. I was alone in a very dangerous situation,” Jantjie said. “I tried to control myself and not show the world what was going on. I am very sorry. It’s the situation I found myself in.”
Yahoo apologizes for lengthy Mail outage affecting ‘some’ users – A number of Yahoo Mail users abruptly lost access to their email on Monday night. Two days later, the outage is still ongoing, and customers are growing extremely frustrated with the extended downtime. The company has acknowledged the issue on Twitter, and now SVP of communications products Jeff Bonforte has issued an apology at Yahoo’s official blog.
The outage stems from a problem in one of Yahoo’s mail data centers, Bonforte says, though he doesn’t offer any other details on what went wrong. “The issue has been harder to fix than we originally expected,” he concedes. “We have dozens of people working around the clock to bring it to a resolution.” Yahoo now estimates that it will restore inbox access for all affected users by 3PM PT (6PM ET) today.
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