iFive: Air Force Censors News, Assange’s Trial Tweeted, Movies on Windows Phones, Twitter’s Ads, FBI Backdoors in Code

Welcome to the middle of the week. In honor of the event, here’s today’s early tech news in easily managed bits:

1. The Air Force has blocked access via its computers to media sites republishing extracts from WikiLeaks’ Cablegate, including the New York Times. The USAF is arguing that it’s to prevent classified material from corrupting the security status of unclassified computers–a moot point since the data is now freely available and hence no longer secret. Allegations of state-level censorship are swirling.


2. Meanwhile WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange is making news of a different type: His bail hearing this week in the U.K. made legal history because the judge allowed journalists to live tweet the proceedings using Twitter. His argument was that it’s no different than disseminating the info using other text means like writing or emails. But he did stipulate the journalists had to be “quiet” and not disturb the court by tweeting.

3. Paramount is trying something new and going small by releasing 10 movies as apps for Windows Phone 7 phones. They’ll be bundled with extras that surpass the DVD extras some folks love–by allowing you to create custom clips, take part in pop-over quizzes, and provide the ability to seek info on objects, places, and people in the films. Sounds cool, but will it actively sell movies on the tiny screen devices?

4. Twitter‘s continuing its push into money-making territory, and just revamped its business service offerings by launching an online form for companies to “express interest” in Promoted Tweets, Accounts or Trends. It’ll cost between $10,000 and over $100,000, and the promoted acts are not available immediately–but it’s a big step for Twitter.

5. The FBI is alleged to have inserted security “backdoors” into key infrastructure code in the OpenBSD operating system, used in proprietary computing systems and even security services inside Windows. The agency apparently paid coders to insert the secret entrances 10 years ago.

To read more news on this, and similar stuff, keep up with my updates by following me, Kit Eaton, on Twitter.


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