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Today's Tech: Gauss reach spreading, Apple lawyers "smoking crack", & Instagram introduces new changes

The Middle East is rife with hacking at the moment. Though Gauss has followed in the footsteps of Flame with some savage state-sponsored malware, attacks are also being launched from lower levels too. The 'Arab Youth Group' has claimed responsibility for an audacious attack on the network of Saudi Aramco – the world's largest oil company. Aramco says their systems remain intact and it should soon be business as usual, but the plotters have promised "more severe action if the rulers of Saudi Arabia [who own the company] continue to betray the nation."

Heading to a government residing closer to home soil - Whitehall will be pleased with the uptake on its e-petitions that were launched a year ago. An impressive 6.4 million online signatures have been scribbled, with 36,000 different petitions vying for the attention of Parliament – which debates the issues put forward by the public if they attract the support of 10,000 people. Some believe the government could go further though, so follow the link to see what critics have been saying.

The Apple versus Samsung patent trial shenanigans have gotten too much for burgeoning celebrity judge Lucy Koh to stomach. At a meeting with lawyers from the two rival tech giants, Koh asked Apple attorney Bill Lee whether he was "smoking crack" after he filed a 75-page document listing dozens of witnesses Apple could potentially question. Koh said the briefing was a waste of the jury's time, a charge that, along with the crack accusation, Lee denied.

Instagram introduced a slew of changes to its interface through a new update this week. Version 3.0 of the photo-sharing app comes with an interactive photo map that lets users plot their geo-tagged photos onto a map if they so fancy. It also includes speed improvements to make the app faster and more responsive, and lets users report individual comments as abuse or spam.