Today's Tech: Director of the NSA to step down, Facebook to allow public posts for teens, and the launch of Windows 8.1

General Keith Alexander, The Director of the NSA, will step down by Spring 2014, leaked reports have disclosed. General Alexander has been the director for eight years, and also heads up the United States Cyber Command. The disclosure of his resignation comes on the heels of the PRISM scandal that followed tens of thousands of top secret files being released by whistleblower Edward Snowden. The NSA denies that the General's stepping down has anything to do with the disclosures, although General Alexander has been a staunch supporter of the PRISM programme since its existence became public earlier this year.

Facebook is allowing teenage users to make their posts fully public. Beginning today, users aged 13-17 will be able to post publically. However, to prevent them from accidentally making private information available for the world to see, the default setting for new accounts of those aged 13 to 17 will be "friends." Previously, new accounts for all members started out on a "friends of friends" setting. The move comes amid privacy concerns from pressure groups, and a general public anxiety surrounding the protection Facebook offers to its users' privacy. Teens who choose to post things publicly will receive a warning (see below) that the post can in fact be seen by anyone, including potential employers.

Avast has launched its free antivirus, Avast 2014. ITProPortal was in Prague this week to see Avast Software launch its 2014 antivirus solution, featuring what the company claims is the only boot-time scan in the antivirus industry. It's a system that seems to work, with over 60 per cent of Avast users installing the software from personal recommendation.

Windows 8.1 had its international launch today. While many upgrades have dispensed with some of the more irritating aspects of Windows 8, some problems still persist. Reviewers have praised its smoother operating, and its there are extensive updates to configurability and usability.