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Twitter may be within its rights to block ISIS beheading content, but is it right?

Twitter may be within its rights to block ISIS beheading content, but is it right?

The subject of US journalist James Foley's recent beheading is obviously a sensitive one, but Twitter's decision to suspend the account of users sharing the video made it about censorship as well as politics. As you are no doubt aware by now, Foley was kidnapped in Syria a couple of years ago, held captive, and on Tuesday a video was released by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). It shows Foley kneeling on the ground, reading from a script before a masked captor draws a knife, and executes him. It is grisly, horrific, depressing, heart-wrenching, and real. It spread like wildfire across YouTube, Twitter, and countless websites, but it wasn't long before censorship was seen.

YouTube quickly removed the video, but this did not stem the flow. Copies of the video were hosted elsewhere and then posted to Twitter, as were stills from the footage. This is when Twitter stepped in. Posts containing the images or video were removed, and accounts suspended. Dick Costolo, Twitter's CEO, tweeted:

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MultiHasher is an excellent file hash calculator

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MultiHasher is a very well-designed file hash calculator which comes packed with essential features and functionality.

The good news starts with the download. It’s free, a compact 2.75MB and entirely portable, just unzip and run.

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Madden 15 for Xbox One now up for pre-order

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Football season has arrived, at least in the form of training camps and practice games. As people's minds turn towards the sport, gamers also get excited about the latest Madden release. To that end, Madden 15 is heading for Xbox One. Beginning now the game can be pre-ordered, and there are some bonuses if you jump through the necessary hoops.

Xbox Live chief Larry Hryb, better known as Major Nelson, did the honors of announcing the release. The game can be downloaded, but will not be playable until the official launch date, which is slated for 12:01am PDT on August 26th, so not far off at all.

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In India it is illegal to like blasphemous online content

In India it is illegal to like blasphemous online content

In the latest blow for free speech, the government of the southern Indian state of Karnataka has passed legislation that makes it illegal to upload, share, or like content "with a view to hurt religious sentiments knowingly or unknowingly". Let's put aside the odd paradox of being able to have a "view" to do something, but to do it "unknowingly", and look at the history of this. Back in June, Karnataka police warned citizens about the type of things that were covered by the Information Technology Act.

Warning notices appeared in newspapers (of all places):

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The story-driven Superhero Workout app makes getting fit super-fun

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There are hundreds of fitness apps available for iOS and Android and, I suspect, like fitness equipment, many people buy them with the best of intentions, but then never use them. I’m a prime example. Although I use running apps like Zombies, Run! and Runtastic on a regular basis, most of the workout apps I own see far less action (the one exception being Runtastic PushUps which I use daily).

However, Six to Start -- the creator of story-driven apps like Zombies, Run! and The Walk -- has come up with a workout app that people will actually want to use. Superhero Workout uses camera-based motion tracking to record the reps as you exercise, and marries it with a thrilling sci-fi story. Punches become plasma blasts, abdominal crunches charge your AEGIS One battlesuit’s reactor, and you can brace yourself from incoming debris with a wall sit...

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Samsung Galaxy S5 takes the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, but is it good or bad?

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The Ice Bucket Challenge has taken off on social media in the past week or so. The campaign is designed to fuel awareness of ALS, or Lou Gehrig's disease -- a problem that has famously, and sadly, afflicted Stephen Hawking, though many others are just as unfortunate. It's certainly a worthwhile cause, and something everyone should be aware of and fund, if they can spare a few dollars.

But what if a major company attempted to hijack the pledge drive for the benefit of its product? It's really hard to say if that is what Samsung has done, but it certainly seems to be that way.

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Making sense of the cloud: SaaS, PaaS and IaaS explained

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Cloud computing is one of the most important technologies in the world right now, but it can be extremely confusing at times.

What, for example, are SaaS, PaaS and IaaS? Read on as we take the jargon out of the cloud and explain things in a much more brain-friendly way.

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G.SKILL unveils Ripjaws 4 Series DDR4 Memory Kits

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When it comes to building a computer, there are many routes to take. Of course, if you are wealthy, you can throw money at your build and achieve something wonderful. However, for many of us average folks, money can sometimes be tight. If you are on a budget, you can aim for either cheap or inexpensive; there is a difference. You see, cheap components are of low quality, but inexpensive can mean high quality at a value.

For my last few major desktop builds, I have trusted G.SKILL exclusively. My brand loyalty is due to past performance; the manufacturer's memory has proven to be reliable and reasonably priced. Today, the company sets my heart aflutter, as it announces the Ripjaws 4 Series DDR4 Memory Kits.

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Rebel NSA and GCHQ agents are actually helping make Tor more secure

Rebel NSA and GCHQ agents are actually helping make Tor more secure

For anyone looking to stay anonymous online, Tor seems like an obvious option. At the same time, it could lull users into a false sense of security -- after all, this is a network that was, at least in the past, funded by the military and US government -- and conspiracy theories abound that Tor is nothing more than a honey trap to catch the kind of people who have a need for anonymity because of their nefarious activities. The network has evolved over the years and now agencies such as the NSA in the US and GCHQ in the UK are actively seeking out vulnerabilities so they can crack the network. But the relationships are actually far more complex than that.

According to Andrew Lewman, chief of operations at Tor, the same agencies that are trying to break Tor are also posting tips anonymously about the vulnerabilities that have been found -- giving a chance for them to be patched. Talking to the BBC Lewman said:

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PortableApps.com Platform 12 adds app menu, instant search, automatic app closing

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John Haller’s PortableApps.com has announced the release of PortableApps.com Platform 12, a major update for the all-in-one app manager.

Right-clicking the Platform system tray icon now displays a cascading menu containing all your apps, links to system folders, Backup/ Restore/ Eject functions and more.

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SSL vulnerabilities leave Android apps open to attack

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If you're an Android user you may already have been tempted to don your tin hat and descend to your bunker following today's earlier story about app hacking. Prepare to settle in for a long seige then as new research reveals that many of the most popular Android apps have SSL vulnerabilities that leave them open to man in the middle (MITM) attacks aimed at stealing personal information.

According to threat protection specialist FireEye a significant proportion of apps allow an attacker to intercept data exchanged between the Android device and a remote server.

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Best Windows 8 apps this week

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Ninety-fifth in a series. Welcome to this week's episode of the best new apps and games for Microsoft's Windows 8.x operating system.

This week has been rather uneventful. Microsoft did release an update for its OneNote application that adds options to print notebooks and pages to the app among other things.

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Sophos looking for beta testers for new Android security software, prizes offered

photo by Slavoljub Pantelic, Shutterstock

While the claims of Android malware may be a bit overblown, it does exist and has to be a consideration for customers. That fact has brought about an abundance of software designed to combat the perceived problem.

Now Sophos is jumping into the market with an updated version of its offering, but for the moment this latest version is in a testing phase. The company is calling on Android users to begin beta testing the new offering, and the security firm is adding an incentive in the form of prizes for people willing to step up.

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5 tips to make your browsing safe and secure

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The internet has become as ubiquitous as air. You’re connected at home via Wi-Fi, then you go out and stop by a cafe to grab a quick morning coffee and check your Facebook, then you come to the office, get all serious and send business mail to your colleagues. The internet gives us great freedom. But with that freedom comes great dangers and great responsibility -- you are responsible for protecting yourself on the web.

Every time you indulge into any sort of online activity, your data can be easily monitored and checked. The websites you visit receive your IP address, location, browser and operating system, screen resolution, ISP and more. You can check on what information you give away at stayinvisible.com. I have nothing against sharing this data when I do simple browsing. I am like Dutch windows without curtains -- doing nothing wrong, peep in whenever you want, I have nothing to hide.

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Information security spending to grow 8 percent in 2014

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Worldwide spending on information security is set to top $71.1 billion this year, up almost 8 percent over 2013, according to forecasts by Gartner. It's also forecast to grow by a similar percentage next year to reach $76.9 billion.

Gartner says increased use of mobile, cloud and social services will drive new security technology through 2016. There's been a democratization of security threats too, driven by the easy availability of malware and infrastructure, via the underground economy, that can be used to launch targeted attacks.

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