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Weekend Roundup: Google Glass divides opinion, Internet rocks from biggest ever cyber attack, best Android apps of 2013 selected

Glass: Google Class or Google Farce?

You’d never know we were the best part of a year away from the official launch of Google Glass. Rarely has a product caused so much intrigue before entering the hands of the everyday user, but when you consider the impact Glass could have on our lives, the furore is understandable.

For every person thrilled by the prospect of wearable technology and the ability to use Internet applications, a camera and more without even having to push a button, there is someone terrified by its implications. Those in the former camp had their excitement levels raised a notch on Thursday as Google selected the first batch of individuals who will take part in the Glass Explorer programme (opens in new tab), which offers a special few applicants a period to trial Glass.

But weighing up the concerns of those in the latter camp is James Plafke, who asks whether Google Glass will make privacy a thing of the past (opens in new tab). His thoughts come after the Stop The Cyborgs (opens in new tab) campaign - founded in response to the emergence of Google Glass and similar tech - attracted much attention this week. “The aim of the movement is to stop a future in which privacy is impossible and central control total,” reads a statement on the group’s page; a sentiment shared by blogger Edward Champion who has provided one of the most comprehensive roundups of the issues raised in opposition to the product, with his “Thirty –Five Arguments Against Google Glass” (opens in new tab).

ITProPortal is perhaps veering towards the sceptical camp with regard to Glass, but it may well be too early to pass serious judgement. Let’s see how the trials unfold in Glass Explorer.

Internet shakes from cyber attack

This week served up a bit of a blockbuster episode in the world of online security, with a huge distributed denial of service (DDoS) barrage producing what has been described in some quarters as the biggest cyber attack the Internet has ever seen (opens in new tab).

With computers slowing all over the world, it emerged that web hosting service Cyberbunker had launched a devastating attack on spam filtration company Spamhaus – or so the latter alleged. The incident came after Spamhaus blocked servers belonging to Cyberbunker which provoked a backlash from the Dutch group who are believed to have used Eastern European “criminal gangs” to target Spamhaus.

The fact the attacks caused such damage to the very structure of the wider Internet has had alarm bells ringing (opens in new tab). Traffic-flooding DDoS attacks are nothing new in cybersecurity, but the escalating scale of their deployment could have grave implications for companies who have net connectivity at the very heart of their business – see Netflix, one of the biggest names affected by the Cybunker-Spamhaus episode.

As such, governments are being more decisive than ever in formulating strategies to protect their economies from online threats. We have heard a lot of noise form the Obama administration this year about shoring up its cyber defences and being ready to launch a digital offensive if necessary, and the UK made its own move this week by setting up a new project that will bring collaboration between the public and private sectors and active involvement from MI5 to tackle the biggest cyber threats as they unfold. Check out our analysis of whether the programme will really make a difference (opens in new tab).

The very best of Android

In case you hadn’t noticed, we’re in the middle of an Android app bonanza here on ITProPortal. Over the past couple of weeks we’ve been bringing you the very best from Google Play, helping you wade through the somewhat overwhelming array of Android offerings to find the truly worthwhile downloads for your device.

Following our list of the best Android utility apps (opens in new tab) and news apps of 2013 (opens in new tab) last week, Monday saw us round up the top reference applications (opens in new tab) available. More than ever, our smartphones are our personal assistant, so it’s important to have the most reliable services on hand. There are more than just maps and dictionaries here too, as we also sound out the best health diagnosis app which could save you an unnecessary visit to your GP.

With the next run down following a similar theme and covering the best productivity and organisation apps on Android (opens in new tab), you may well think we’re a load of boring squares - but showing we can very much kick it with the kids are our best social apps list (opens in new tab) and best Android games of 2013 (opens in new tab). So follow the relevant links and nail down your smartphone experience.

Will began working life as a technology journalist at ITProPortal as Senior Staff Writer. He's worked as a Copywriter, then Creative Lead across video, social, email, web and print. He is currently a Senior Content Strategist at Zone.