Category: Technology - Silent Rogue
 
Ever wonder what google looked like the first day it went up? How about yahoo? facebook? myspace (the place for business connections)?

Well, wonder no longer. The Internet Archive Wayback Machine (for those of you who have yet to encounter its magnificence) allows users to input any domain they can think of, and chances are, there will be a litany of dates to choose from. Of course, the obscure website you visit every Saturday night alone in your room will probably not be found, but taking a look at the changes that have taken place on the more popular sites is definitely interesting.

The aesthetics and functionality of websites have definitely been increased over the years, but the most interesting things I noticed while using this program is that some of the major websites used today started off with very different purposes. Check it out for youself!
 
Be careful what you post on your social media networks - it could cause you your job or land you in jail.

Earlier this month, a 20 year old juror (Hadley Jons) from Detroit posted "gonna be fun to tell the defendant they're guilty" as her facebook status when the defense lawyer's son discovered it. The next day, the juror was confronted by the judge (Diane Druzinski) and immediately replaced by a different juror.

While she was not fined or incarcerated, the defending lawyer (Saleema Sheikh) did provide the following statement: "I would like to see her get some jail time, nothing major, a few hours or overnight. This is the jury system. People need to know how important it is." The court still ruled in favor of the prosecutor in the end, but it just goes to show you, anything you put up on the web is visible by anyone.

On a slightly related note, sports writer Mike Wise was suspended from his position with the Washington Post for the duration of one month. The reason? He tweeted a story that Pittsburgh Steelers star Ben Roethlisberger (who has been accused of sexually assaulting a Georgia college student) would get a five-game suspension. Other news outlets immediately picked up the story and ran with it. Just one problem... The story was made up by Wise to prove a point: No one checks the facts for themselves these days when reporting.

While he made his point (and was quite correct in his reasoning), the Post only saw his violation of social media policy and suspended him. He issued an apology later but maintained that he "was right about nobody checking facts or sourcing."

Social media members, post with care.
 
If you don't know about The Pirate Bay yet, you will learn. Swedish filmmaker Simon Klose has spent the last few years gathering over 200 hours of footage on the founders of the world's most iconic torrent tracker/site - thepiratebay.org.

As the film's site states, "TPB AFK is not a fan movie about the Pirate Bay, neither is it a journalistic piece on copyright conflict. It’s an observational, character driven film about three guys whose hobby homepage became the embryo of a global political movement." Following the history between the three founders - Tiamo, Anakata, and Brokep - this film promises to be one filled with revealings of the unknown details of how The Pirate Bay came to be and how it came to be so controversial.

A little recent history for those of you who do not know: The Pirate Bay has become a defendant in a case involving copyright issues against the Swedish government after the US RIAA threatened to take action. The case is still ongoing, and it will not be too surprising if the schedule is moved up to ensure that the jury is not swayed by the film's release a full year from now.

In any case, this film will be one of deep interest for anyone who follows politics, torrenting, underground activities, or documentaries.

Here is a trailer I got off the official TPB AFK site (http://www.tpbafk.tv/):
 
Bad at singing and want to make yourself sound better with ease? Well, there's an app for that! It's called LaDiDa...

The husband and wife duo behind the innovative Khush Intelligent Media Solutions has come up with a $3 app for the iPhone, iTouch, and iPad. This impressive application employs the use of "reverse karaoke." Basically what that means is that you sing into the iPhone's microphone, and the app records your voice. Then, it employs some interesting algorithms and adds some harmonic and rhythmic qualities to the a Capella to create a backing track that aligns perfectly with the vocals. Of course, it also corrects the pitch for those of us who are not so musically talented, so even the most heinous singing can turn into something bearable.

While this app may not make the employment of music producers a thing of the past, it is definitely worth checking out for the average citizen. As the CTO of Khush - Parag Chordia - mentions, this application can be very useful to record a nice Happy Birthday cover for a friend.

Here's a video showing the capabilities of the novelty:
 
I've been using firefox for years, pretty much since I was a kid and learned what the internet was. I was happy. Hell, just yesterday, I idled away hours on end watching videos, playing games, reading blogs, living life. I have a firefox sticker on the back window of my car; I have a firefox pin attached to the strap of my bag. I even regularly convince others to give up on other browsers like safari and chrome to go for firefox. (Sorry, I just can't stand chrome... Tried it, and it wasn't for me... Safari is just too slow for my tastes - at least in my experience of it.)

So, why did I just divulge into my life story of internet browsing? Well, it's quite simple really: Today, I switched from Firefox to Opera. FML... (Not really, I just couldn't resist saying FML).

Actually, I switched to Opera 10.60 for the first time in my life, and I couldn't be happier. I have always loved Mozilla, but with the recent focus on aesthetic themes instead of performance, I just couldn't take it anymore. Firefox started getting on my nerves, so I had to escape...

I started Opera, and my life evolved into a wonderful thing. The features that come with Opera work much faster than add-ons of similar functionality in firefox. In fact, I am much more at ease using these functions than firefox add-ons because I know I can trust the source. It's not that I expect there to be malicious code in firefox add-ons. It's really the fact that the developer may not be completely familiar with firefox's code to be able to make a top-notch product. (Yes, I know it's open-source, but that doesn't mean every developer completely familiarizes himself with the ins and outs of everything firefox).

All I can say is that I am happy with the change to Opera based upon today's usage. Will it last? I don't know, but life's a mystery, and I'm along for the ride.

I recommend anyone getting a little annoyed with (or even bored with) their internet browsing experience to try Opera 10.60.

(and, NO, I will NEVER switch to Chrome...)
 
Owners of smart phones, hear this: It is no longer illegal to jail-break your device to either run on other networks or to install unsupported applications.

Yesterday, the Library of Congress announced that it had made jail-breaking legal. Apple tried to fight against the legalization, but the FCC stated that the act only worked to enhance the interoperability of the phone and was therefore in line with fair use policy.

While jail-breaking will no longer result in fines or jail time, the biggest deterrent still stands - warranty. It is VERY unlikely that companies like Apple will uphold product warranty after a device has been broken into.

So did this ruling really change anything? With a quick glance, you could easily say no. No one was being prosecuted for jail-breaking, so it looks like nothing has really changed. However, this isn't the whole picture. With legality issues out of the way, the arena opens up for more legitimate companies to come in and offer premium jail-breaking options and services (perhaps for a small fee and maybe even backed by their own warranty). This ruling may change everything we know about the market of smart phones, or it may change nothing at all. Only time will tell.

On a side note, enjoy the entertaining goal celebration by an Icelandic team below:
 
In 2008, India's Tata Motors created the world's most cost-effective vehicle - the Nano. Priced at a ridiculously low $2,500, the vehicle reached the poverty stricken country's large population with explosive support.

In 2009, it was Tata again that created a cost effective solution to a widespread problem for the country. Tata created the Swach water purifier in the hopes that clean drinking water would no longer be a luxury of the few in the extremely populous country. The two models were priced at a mere $16 and $21, respectively.

In 2010, the Indian government took the example of Tata and created a prototype tablet computer aimed at students of higher education. While boasting features like a web browser, multimedia player, a pdf reader, built-in wi-fi, and video conferencing capabilities, the iPad look-alike is set to be sold at a mere $35.

Look out PC strongholds, with India's new cost-effective technology on its way, consumers might just trade their aesthetically pleasing (ill-performing) machines for cheaper alternatives - especially in this economy. (Vizio began the trend, but this just pushes the limits...)
 
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The United States Cyber Command (started May 21, 2010) is a new government agency designed to aid the US in waging war over the internet. "USCYBERCOM plans, coordinates, integrates, synchronizes and conducts activities to: direct the operations and defense of specified Department of Defense information networks and; prepare to, and when directed, conduct full spectrum military cyberspace operations in order to enable actions in all domains, ensure US/Allied freedom of action in cyberspace and deny the same to our adversaries" (U.S. Department of Defense, Cyber Command Fact Sheet, May 21, 2010 http://www.stratcom.mil/factsheets/cc/).

While this new organization may be a step into the new age for governmental control and regulations, there has been little production so far. Currently the only interesting occurrence with the USCC is it's encrypted logo. In the inner gold band, a series of alphanumerical characters can be seen reading: 9ec4c12949a4f31474f299058ce2b22a. This code is presumably an MD5 hash of their mission statement (or at least a portion of it), which reads exactly as the previously quoted statement.

Whether the code is, in fact, a representation of the mission statement is yet to be proven. However, the cyber geek community is definitely abuzz.
 
Who Needs Friends Like Facebook?
Not me. Why Mark Zuckerberg and his social network should stop invading our privacy.

(I did not write this article. I was surfing the internet and ran across it. I thought I would share since it is something I feel everyone should understand).

Mark Zuckerberg won’t say he’s sorry, but the 26-year-old CEO and founder of Facebook does promise to change his ways—a little. His nonapology came after weeks of outrage over Facebook’s recent changes to its privacy (actually, antiprivacy) policy, and was delivered in the form of an op-ed in The Washington Post. In his essay, Zuckerberg put on his best innocent-little-boy voice and claimed Facebook only changed its policies in order to help people share more information, because “a world that’s more open and connected is a better world.” In addition to that bit of risible rubbish, Zuckerberg also said Facebook intends to amend its privacy policy to address complaints. I doubt these changes will be substantive, but even if they are, as far as I’m concerned, it’s too little too late.

Read the full article on Newsweek's site here.

Also, check out something I'm VERY excited about: It's called Diaspora, and it promises to offer exactly what every facebook user really needs - significant and adaptable privacy controls.

Check out diaspora here!

Finally, check out the new teaser trailer just released for the upcoming film about facebook and it's founder. It's called "The Social Network," and it's set to come out in October, so keep your eyes peeled.
 
Looks like it's officially confirmed. The iPhone reveal that Gizmodo did a while back has just been proven as authentic with Apple's official unveiling of the iPhone 4.

The design is exactly the same as the one lost by the employee earlier this year, and it boasts some impressive capabilities. HD video editing, extremely high screen resolution, multitasking features, and a new white color are just some of the things that iPhone users will have to look forward to. A personal iPhone fan, I may be a bit biased in saying this, but this new phone will be every tech geeks dream come true come the release date on June 24th (pre-order June 15th).

Check out the official page here.