After several months of near-constant chatter about Chinese hackers, the U.S. government has finally come right out and said it: the Chinese military is probably, right this very minute, trying to hack into America’s computers to steal our
precious bodily fluids state secrets.
That’s from the Pentagon’s annual report to Congress which, as the New York Times reports, was unusually direct in accusing China of hax0ring America’s shit. For example:
Nintendo is releasing a Wii Mini on December 7th, just in time for the holidays. [The Verge]
Startup incubator Y Combinator has announced a VC program, allowing YC students access to guidance and an $80,000 investment from firms like Andreessen Horowitz and General Catalyst. The program will replace the Start Fund. [Y Combinator]
First we worried that tech sites were turning into press release regurgitation factories; now it turns out some of those press releases aren’t even true. Here’s how PRWeb helps distribute fake and sketchy press releases. [Search Engine Land]
Tumblr has broken into the top 10 sites in the U.S. with a worldwide audience of 170 million people. [Tumblr]
Don’t worry: the Pentagon says a human will always decide if a robot kills you. Feel better now? [Wired]
Kickstarter is being sued for patent infringement over a $3 million 3D printing project. [The Daily Dot]
The federal government spends money to fix the country’s infrastructure, help senior citizens get affordable access to health care and beef up national security, but did you know that it also pays for stuff like workshops on Star Trek musings?
The cost of Google’s purchase of Frommer’s is said to be $23 million. At that price, how could they not buy it? [New York Times]
At last, a service that flags troublesome clauses lurking deep within those terms of service agreements you don’t read. No longer need you fear becoming part of a human CentiPad. [TechCrunch]
The latest addition to Facebook’s timeline: “Expecting a Baby.” The Unbaby.me folks are going to love this. [Facebook]
The Pentagon is testing “hypersonic” flight technology that makes the Concorde (R.I.P.) look lame. Try New York to London in an hour. You can’t even get to Bay Ridge that fast. [CNN]
In the future, we will all telecommute via iPads on wheels with giraffe-like necks. [The Verge]
We told you the Pentagon was getting serious about its war strategy for the internet, but we didn’t realize that meant getting social. The New York Times‘ Bits blog reports that the Pentagon’s R&D arm is offering $42 million in funding to people that can help it use sites like Twitter and Facebook as both an early detection system and a weapon. In a document circulating among potential researchers, the military says that post-Arab Spring it’s interested in being able to find and track the spread of ideas.
In fact, they’re soliciting proposals to build what Bits calls, “at its most basic level, an Internet meme tracker” that would use tools like “linguistic cues, patterns of information flow, topic trend analysis, sentiment detection and opinion mining.”
Chilling words from a Pentagon report released yesterday: “The department and the nation have vulnerabilities in cyberspace. Our reliance on cyberspace stands in stark contrast to the inadequacy of our cybersecurity.”
In other words: We’ve created a monster.