security
Symantec Concludes Just Eight Google Play ‘Minecraft’ Apps May Have Added Millions to Botnets

In a blog post on Wednesday, Symantec security researchers wrote they had discovered at least eight Google Play Store apps that functioned as fronts for a “new and highly prevalent type of Android malware” called Android.Sockbot. The apps in question presented themselves as skins for player characters in popular app Minecraft: Pocket Edition and boasted “an install base ranging from 600,000 to 2.6 million devices.” Read More >>

censorship
China Blocks WeChat Features Ahead of 19th National Congress

In the lead up to the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China this month—a major changing of the guard which will see widespread retirements among senior leaders—the country’s censors have been cracking down on everything from an unnerving sex doll-sharing company to even milquetoast criticism of the government in the media. Now, popular Chinese social media app WeChat has begun restricting how its users can use the platform in an effort to offset its potential use in protests. Read More >>

drones
Hey, Maybe Don’t Fly Drones Where Firefighters Are Trying to Save Lives

It’s understandable that UAV enthusiasts might be tempted to grab amazing footage of ongoing disasters like the northern California wildfires—providing a unique perspective of a climate change-fuelled catastrophe which has now killed at least 41 people, burned down thousands of buildings and laid waste to hundreds of thousands of acres of land. Read More >>

hacking
Equifax’s Website Redirected People to Malware Thanks to a Compromised, Years-Old Plugin

Credit-reporting agency Equifax, which has been embroiled in a richly-deserved sea of anger after losing the sensitive personal and financial info of at least 145 million people  to hackers, found itself in yet another hole  this week after its website began redirecting users to malware . On Friday, the Wall Street Journal reported the problems with the site began because Equifax was still using a defunct web analytics plugin called Fireclick which had since been taken over by scammers. Read More >>

police
Police in Dubai Are Getting Real, Very Dangerous Looking Hoverbikes

Police in Dubai may soon have access to functional hoverbikes, according to AutoBlog, which reported the Dubai Police unveiled the new technology in conjunction with Russian company Hoversurf at the Gulf Information Technology Exposition last week. Read More >>

space
China’s Tiangong-1 Space Station Will Crash to Earth in the Next Few Months

China’s 8.5-tonne Tiangong-1 space station, originally launched in 2011, has seen its orbit rapidly decay and is now expected to hit the Earth in the next few months, the Guardian reported. Read More >>

twitter
Twitter Says it Will Finally do Something About Those Hordes of Nazis

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey admitted on Friday that the company’s minimalist approach to moderation was not working, saying the site is committed to taking a “more aggressive stance in our rules and how to enforce them” in the wake of numerous high-profile public relations nightmares. Read More >>

amazon
Amazon: What If Teens Could Spend All Your Money

Retail giant Amazon plans to give children aged 13-17 the ability to log into their own accounts under parental supervision, CNN Money reported on Tuesday. Read More >>

watch this
We Do Not Recommend Making a Sword With Thermite, But Hey

Thermite, a mixture of powdered iron oxides and aluminium, can be burned to produce temperatures it would be hard to argue are truly safe outside of a meticulously controlled environment (over 4,000 degrees Fahrenheit / 2,200 degrees Celsius). It’s used for a variety of purposes, from metal cutting and welding to military incendiaries. Read More >>

politics
Mensa, an Association of Ostensible Geniuses, Takes Donald Trump’s Bait

The ongoing feud between President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson reached absolutely bizarre, reality-bending levels this week, with Trump responding to reports Tillerson had called him a “moron” by suggesting that they could “compare IQ tests ... I can tell you who is going to win.” Read More >>

google
A Touch Panel Bug Turned a Google Home Mini Into a Creepy Surveillance Device

The Google Home Mini fits most of the features of the tech giant’s popular Home smart speakers into a £50, four-inch-wide package, except for the larger, £120 version’s better acoustics. But it is still very, very good at listening. Read More >>

microsoft
Microsoft Confirms Investigation Into Whether Russians Bought Pre-Election Ads Through Bing

The sprawling inquiry into the extent of Russian attempts to purchase ads on the US internet before the 2016 federal elections has expanded to yet another digital giant, with Microsoft confirming that it has launched an internal investigation into whether it sold such advertisements via its Bing search engine. Read More >>

facebook
Mark Zuckerberg Took a Tour of Hurricane-Ravaged Puerto Rico in ‘Magical’ VR 

On Monday, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg promoted the social media giant’s new Facebook Spaces app, which allows users to remotely cast cartoon avatars of themselves walking around locations in the real world, by taking a “magical” tour of Puerto Rico. Read More >>

hurricanes
Hurricane Nate Sets Record for Most Consecutive Atlantic Hurricanes Since at Least 1893

Tropical Depression Nate, the former hurricane which pummelled the Gulf Coast near Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama at Category 1 status early Sunday, has made the 2017 hurricane season one of the worst on record since 1893 and possibly earlier. Read More >>

facebook
Facebook Security Chief Alex Stamos Hits Back at Media Coverage of Its Algorithms

Alex Stamos, Facebook’s chief security officer, defended his employer against “coverage of our recent issues driven by stereotypes of our employees and attacks against fantasy, strawman tech cos.” in a lengthy tweetstorm on Saturday. Read More >>