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Sunday Night (4 Comments) (link)
 Sunday, 13-January-2013  23:50:41 (GMT +10) - by Agg

Internet activist and pioneer Aaron Swartz has died, apparently by suicide. Born in 1986, Swartz co-authored the first specification of RSS when he was 14. He also started Infogami, a service funded by Y Combinator that was later merged with social networking site Reddit. Swartz also co-founded Demand Progress, an advocacy group that rallies people "to take action on the news that affects them — by contacting Congress and other leaders, funding pressure tactics, and spreading the word in their own communities." More info here and here.

One of the founders of the popular YouTube channel FPSRussia has also been found dead, of a gunshot wound. Ratliff's body was discovered in the office where he stored many of the handguns and high-powered rifles that helped his videos starring friend Kyle Myers climb the YouTube charts. The clips on FPSRussia, which feature Myers enthusiastically discussing a gun before showcasing its firepower in dramatic fashion (often involving explosions), have been viewed millions of times.

Australia has its first R18+ rated video game, "Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor's Edge". “It's great to finally see Australian adults have access to video games designed specifically for mature audiences, after more than ten years working with government, families, businesses and the broader community to introduce an R18+ category,” said Ron Curry, chief executive officer of Interactive Games & Entertainment Association in a statement. Discussion continues here.

People are reeling from Qualcomm's bizarre CES 2013 keynote. 2013 was the first time in many years that Microsoft didn't host the opening keynote for the Consumer Electronics Show here in Las Vegas. Instead, the show went to Qualcomm and its CEO, Dr. Paul Jacobs. We weren't quite sure what to expect beyond a new series of processors, but what we got was weirder than anything we've seen in all of our collective years attending CES. Discussion here.

The company that handles Australia's "Do Not Call" Register has been fined for, you guessed it, calling people on the list with commercial offers. Service Stream Solutions was fined $110,000 for illegally contacting 6300 households and offering to install low-energy light bulbs, standby power controllers and low-flow showerheads. The calls were made by the firm's telemarketing division, which is separate to the arm that manages the Do Not Call Register.

MSN Messenger is being shut down in favour of Skype. The sword was already hanging over the head of Microsoft Messenger - or MSN Messenger as we all knew it - but I today received the email telling me 15 March was the date for transferring your contacts and moving on to the new(ish) pastures of Skype.

There's a Ruby on Rails flaw threatening more than 200,000 websites - and another Critical Java exploit, the latter leading the US Government to recommend disabling Java entirely. A previously unknown and currently unpatched security hole in the latest version of the Java software framework is under attack online, according to security researchers and bloggers. Attack code that exploits vulnerability in Java's browser plugin has been added to the Blackhole, Cool, Nuclear Pack, and Redkit exploit kits, according to the Malware Don't Need Coffee blog, prompting its author to say that the bug is being "massively exploited in the wild."

Speaking of which, a few people sent in this light-hearted response from the US Government to people demanding they build a Death Star. The Administration shares your desire for job creation and a strong national defense, but a Death Star isn't on the horizon. Here are a few reasons.

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All original content copyright James Rolfe. All rights reserved. No reproduction allowed without written permission.