The latest chapter in whistleblower Edward Snowden's security saga has been released, revealing that British spy agency GCHQ used popular websites LinkedIn and Slashdot to plant surveillance malware in multiple international telecommunications agencies, including the partly state-owned Internet provider Belgacom. The revelation was uncovered by Der Spiegel, a German newspaper who reported that GCHQ used a method called “quantum insert” to doctor the sites, meaning that users were redirected to fake sites that installed surveillance software on their computers.
On the other side of the pond, the things are not looking up for the NSA either as Senator John McCain called for the agency's chief, Keith Alexander, to "resign or be fired" from his post ahead of his early retirement next year. McCain told Der Spiegel that Alexander is to blame for the documents made public by Snowden, and waiting for his imminent 2014 departure is too-long a wait for justice. According to the Senator, the Snowden leaks should never have happened because Snowden, as a contractor, should not have had access to the documents in question.
Concerning for other reasons, Google subsidiary Motorola has applied for a patent for an electronic skin tattoo that acts as a mobile communication device. A person inked with the special design, according to the Parent and Trademark Office application, will be imprinted with an embedded microphone, a near-field communication (NFC) transceiver and a power supply. The tattoo streams audio to an accompanying smartphone or tablet, giving a new meaning to the term “hands free”. It reportedly also has a lie-detecting feature and is available for animals, so next time your dog calls you from a nightclub past curfew, claiming it wasn’t him who ate all the sausages, you will know the truth…
This month is a big month for gaming enthusiasts, with the imminent release of the Xbox One and PS4 consoles. Some lucky users, however, were treated to their next-generation games consoles two weeks early after a shipping error saw a number of Xbox One units delivered before the official release. The users who received the consoles early have been banned from the Xbox Live network until closer to the official launch date of 22 November, but that hasn't stopped over-the-moon gamers from reporting that it takes between 15-20 seconds to load the console, and that, for the game 'Ghosts', "the crispness of the game and its graphics are much cleaner and improved."