We're big fans of portable freeware. These tiny tools perform a huge range of tasks, and often they're the only option to do the job. But many times you'll find lots of tools available for the asking; keeping track of them all gets to be a problem. That's where LiberKey can help. This free application serves as a central access point for a whole bunch of free tools. It downloads them for you, arranges and groups them so you can find what you need when you need it, and launches them. It tracks your favorites and … Read more
LOS ANGELES--At the company's E3 2012 press conference, Sony let a collection of exclusive software and features do all the talking. Spread across the PlayStation 3 and Vita platforms, there was certainly an impressive display of thrilling -- and most importantly exclusive games that are only available on Sony's machines.
Getting things started was David Cage, the head of developer Quantic Dream, the house behind the PS3 story-driven success, Heavy Rain. Cage announced Beyond: Two Souls, the next title in the genre-redefining resume of games his studio has produced. Adding some star power to Beyond is actress Ellen Page, who plays the lead character in the new title. … Read more
The Chinese government has released an official app for people (both domestic and oversees) to keep tabs on what the People's Liberation Army (PLA) is up to. There's just one catch: you'll have to jailbreak your iPhone to use it.
One of the few apps to come from a major group to not go through Apple's App Store (the U.S. Army has its own app available in the App Store), the PLA app requires its users to jailbreak their iPhones before they can download the app.
Google is accelerating efforts to make its new social network look like a more open and attractive alternative to Facebook.
The latest: Google will allow users to export a list of Web sites that they've recommended through the "+1" button.
While only a modest change, it highlights how Google is trying to use openness--the ability to extract your data from its servers with the click of a button--to differentiate itself from its far larger and more established rival.
"When your users can leave you you're going to work as hard as you can to keep … Read more
A subgroup of the Anonymous hacker group has launched two WikiLeaks-type Web sites where insiders and other hackers can expose sensitive information from governments and corporations.
The LocalLeaks.tk site is for information related to corruption and wrongdoing at a local level, while the HackerLeaks.tk site is for any other stolen data.
The HackerLeaks site, which launched on June 25, got its first submission on Tuesday--a list of personal details of Orlando, Fla., officials--though the data was posted to the LocalLeaks site, according to Forbes, which reported on the sites on Thursday. The Anonymous hacker group has shut down … Read more
Google is putting its data liberation philosophy to work in a direct slap at Facebook.
Techcrunch noticed last night that Google made a subtle change to a paragraph in the guidelines that govern how external services can let their users import contacts data from Google. Now those services will have to allow their users to export that data in a manner similar to how Google handles data export, which means Facebook will have to change its policy if it wants to allow users to morph Gmail contacts with Facebook friends.
Just in time for the midterm elections, app developer Handmark has launched two new political news apps, one aimed at liberals and the other at conservatives. PolitiCaster Left and Politicaster Right popped up in the Android Marketplace today and can be downloaded for free as both are ad-supported.
Each app compiles national and local political news from hundreds of sources in a single, tabbed interface, offering content customized for the opposing viewpoints. As the names suggest, PolitiCaster Left pulls a feed from liberal sites and blogs, such as Huffington Post, Daily Kos, and Think Progress. Similarly, PolitiCaster Right features commentary … Read more
Are conservatives gaming Digg? Probably, but there are two sides to any story.
A report by liberal news organization AlterNet claimed on Thursday that conservatives are "burying" stories on the news aggregator. "A group of influential conservative members of the behemoth social media site Digg.com have just been caught red-handed in a widespread campaign of censorship, having multiple accounts, upvote padding, and deliberately trying to ban progressives."
Conservatives--in this case, "Digg Patriots"--"cheat" by voting down Digg submissions with a liberal bent, AlterNet claims. "This model also made it very susceptible to external gaming whereby users from certain groups attempt to push their viewpoint or articles to the front page to give them traction."
I'm not going to argue with the basics of the report because this sort of thing goes on with both conservative and liberal groups. (AlterNet could have easily expanded the scope of "certain groups" to include liberals but chose not to.) I am going to take issue, however, with its tenor and balance, as it was implied by some blogs that the AlterNet findings were coming from a neutral source.
Specifically, when AlterNet inserts a paragraph listing all of the things Digg Patriots allegedly hate, then claims generally in the last sentence that Digg Patriots "just love to hate," Alternet forfeits any claim to balance--and possibly veracity.
I visit Digg's front door often, and what I usually find is hardly proof that conservative groups are succeeding in any way. Here's a very unscientific sampling of what I've found as some of the most-dugg (top 10) submissions as I randomly visited the Digg front door during the last few days. "Fox News is shockingly old" and "Conservapedia:E=mc2 Is A Liberal Conspiracy and "Liberals Start F*** Tea Party Campaign." (I've omitted the last ink because the original headline uses three letters of a four-letter expletive.)
In the future, a fully digitized civilization will look back at our paperback books in much the same way as we see stone tablets now, archaic and wholly unnecessary. While e-books are slowly overtaking paper copies in popularity, there remains a problem: why should I pay for a digital version if I already have the book?
Of course, one can scan in every single volume in the personal library, but the BookLiberator DIY kit hopes to make the process much simpler. By fixing dual point-and-shoot cameras to a glass frame, you can store two pages at a time as images … Read more
In war and possibly in peace, China will wage cyberwar to control the information flow and dominate the battle space, according to a new report compiled for a congressional commission.
Chinese military strategists see information dominance as the key to overall success in future conflicts and will continue to expand the country's computer network exploitation capabilities, according to the report, titled "Capability of the People's Republic of China to Conduct Cyber Warfare and Computer Network Exploitation." The report was prepared for the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission under contract by Northrop Grumman's … Read more