5 Bite-Sized Tech Stories of the week! Dec 2014

So here we go again the tech world has always got something juicy to offer and here is my take on the last week or so. I have narrowed it all down to 5 simple paragraphs as always so techs and non-geeks alike can understand it.

Sony Pictures Hacked

By far the biggest story of the week was the Sony Pictures Hack! And How! It all began with a film called ‘The Interview’ where two journalists manage to get an interview with the leader of North Korea. But are told at the last minute to assassinate him by secret agents. This obviously did not go down well with the leader of this state, primarily because he is still alive, and is not known for his sense of humour – just ask his uncle who he allegedly threw to the starving dogs!

Then the next thing we discover is Sony Pictures has been hacked, and not your usual script-kiddie hacking attempt but a MAJOR breach where terrabytes of documents have been stolen, including movie scripts, contracts, wages details, emails (one of which was between the Head of Sony Pictures and Angelina Jolie where she made some nasty remarks about her). On top of that they released as yet unreleased movies to the net, on torrents like Pirate Bay (more on them later) which immediately were downloaded and shared 2million times!!! OUCH! And the double ouch is that the hackers hacked back into the servers to use them to distribute the torrents files so Sony were effectively donating their own movies to the pirates! I mean this is genius and you gotta hand it to those hackers! They are slowly releasing or should that be leaking(?) all the data, and it is really damaging the Sony Brand! But a lot of fun for eeryone else to hear what actors demand and get paid. Sony don’t make that much it seems out of the picture game and rely on selling insurance (I kid you not) to make real profits. However, the question remains who did the hack? Some say that the expertise is maybe from disgruntled people from the past where Sony took advantage of users, here is an example when Sony embedded Rootkits onto users machines and have paid the price ever since. Their Sony gaming network was hacked a couple of years ago maybe by the same people? Who knows? Some have accused Iran, well the net is so tightly controlled that it would be impossible for the state not to know! So Then the main target seems to be Chinese mercenary hackers hired by N. Korea to avenge their leader. Whatever the case this is not the last you have heard of this. Heads may role at Sony, and they will likely lose a lot of money – but if that was what the hackers wanted – they got it!

Pirate Bay disrupted and temporarily taken down by law enforcement teams in Sweden

The next story relates to the first one above in that this week Pirate Bay, the world’s largest torrent library, was broken into and taken off air by Swedish Police. They took it down from the net for a few hours. The creator of PB is actually in Jail atm, so this was a long time coming. however, law enforcement are pretty dopey when it comes to this, and Pirate Bay was up again within an hour via their many many world-wide mirrors. Trust me, they have hundreds! Plus other sites like ISOhunt have cloned their databases and are also hosting them. The law are acting under instruction from the motion picture industry as they have been hurt the most by piracy, and the Sony scandal above only made things worse! Watch this space for more info and take a look at the BBC link click here or search Google news for “Pirate Bay Closed”.

YouTube release their Rewind of 2014 – 50million+ hits and counting!

How many stars can you name in this? Yup this epic and very expensive video demonstrates that the most famous and popular broadcasters on the planet are not on the BBC or ITV. When a person has 50 million+ followers watching their stuff and are millionaires thanks to advertising it makes a regular TV show almost seem pointless! Watch it now and be in awe! It might have cost Google big time but it is their little reward to their stars annually. See who you can name, they list them at the end then go checkout their channels. Some of the stars were asked if they were flown anywhere  exotic to film this, a few said, “I was sweating in winter sportswear in a car park with a green screen in California! 🙂 Oh the glamour! ENJOY!

Google release their new Android Studio for those of you who want to create apps!

Android Studio
(Image Source Google).

Android Developer Studio replaces ‘eclipse’ that until now has been the benchmark for Android app developers. This will now be the go to program for showing how you app will look on multiple devices inc watches and wearables. If you fancy developing an app for the Google Playstore you will start here, try it! There are tutorials out there but obviously if you have some coding experience and some graphic design skills this could make you a fortune 🙂 I’ll happily take 25% for telling you about it. To download the program click here.

 Amazon release the game changing tablet for kids that every parent will want!
Amazone Fire Tablet for Kids
It’s a Kindle Fire HD with software for kids’ accounts, surrounded by protective bumper. That means parents can easily share the device with their children. The game-changer is that the device comes with a 2 year no questions asked damage replacement scheme. Obviously this is a bit of a loss leader as Amazon get rich on what you put on it, or play on it, but if you take the kid’s bumper off, and remove the parental controls, it is a useable adult tablet too 🙂 Just sayin’ ;). It has already been hailed by parents as the best tablet in its class for children (and for them to share when they are in bed ;)), so if you got a kid and want to stop them using you Ipad or Nexus 9 then look no further as to what to buy this is t! It is available in the USA on their .com but I suspect will soon be available elsewhere.