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Top Stories for the Week of November 18, 2014

  • Episode 374
  • November 18, 2014
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Here are the stories we're following for the week of Tuesday November 18, 2014


NVIDIA has released the beta version of a huge update to their Linux drivers.

A new NVIDIA Beta Linux driver has been released, and this is one of the biggest updates in a long time.

A new NVIDIA Beta Linux driver has been released, and this is one of the biggest updates in a long time.

There are so many improvements in the driver that it's hard to pick out the most important ones. For example, the VP8 video streams (usually found in Internet browsers) are now played through the NVIDIA GPU, nvidia-settings is now able to take advantage of GTK+ 3, the performance has been increased measurably, and the limit on the maximum number of OpenGL Framebuffer Objects has been removed.

While only in Beta, if you aren't afraid to break your system, you've got to give NVIDIA's 346.16 Beta drivers a try.


The US government is reportedly collecting cellphone data using devices aboard their aircraft

A report from the Wall Street Journal claims US government planes are collecting phone data

According to the Wall Street Journal, devices that gather data from millions of mobile phones are being flown over the US by the government.

The "dirtbox" devices mimic mobile phone tower transmissions, and handsets transmit back their location and unique identity data, the report claims.

While they are used to track specific suspects, all mobile devices in the area will respond to the signal.

The Wall Street Journal said it had spoken to "sources familiar with the programme" who said Cessna aircraft fitted with dirtboxes were flying from at least five US airports.

The US Justice Department refused to confirm or deny the report.


Russia's presidential library wants to create a replacement for Wikipedia

Russia's presidential library wants to create a replacement for Wikipedia, offering "more accurate" information about Russia

Russia is planning an alternative version of Wikipedia, the country's presidential library has said.

A statement said the initiative is aiming to provide better information about Russia than is currently available on Wikipedia.

Analysis had shown that Wikipedia "does not have enough detailed and reliable information about Russian regions and the life of the country", it said.

Some 50,000 books and documents had been collected, it said, to portray Russia "objectively and accurately".


A five-year-old boy is now a Microsoft Certified Professional

A five-year-old has passed the Microsoft exam making him the youngest Microsoft Certified Professional on Earth

A boy from England has become the youngest computer specialist in the world.

Ayan Qureshi is now a Microsoft Certified Professional after passing the tech giant's exam when he was just five years old.

The test is usually taken by people who want to become IT technicians.

Ayan, now six, whose father is an IT consultant, has set up his own computer network at home.

He told the BBC he found the exam difficult but enjoyable, and hopes to set up a UK-based tech hub one day.

Ayan, who lives in Coventry with his parents, says he hopes to launch a UK-based IT hub similar to America's Silicon Valley one day, which he intends to call E-Valley.


Thursday's World of Warcraft expansion has been laden by server bugs

World of Warcraft subscribers are suffering crashes and long waits to start playing after its new expansion pack became the latest video game to suffer computer server faults.

World of Warcraft subscribers are suffering crashes and long waits to start playing after its new expansion pack became the latest video game to suffer computer server faults.

Developer Blizzard has published a series of blogs since Thursday detailing efforts to fix the problems.

These included making servers in Europe unavailable for nearly five hours on Saturday to upgrade the hardware.

One company watcher said it was surprising given Blizzard's experience.

Warlords of Draenor - which went on sale on Thursday - is the fifth expansion to WoW's 10-year-old fantasy role-playing game. It provides access to a new orc-controlled planet, called Draenor.

A spokesman for Blizzard said, "While the majority of our players are able to play, we're very sorry that many are stuck in queues before they're able to get in, due to a combination of demand and the mitigating measures we've taken,".


Facebook's new Messenger service reaches 500 million users

Social networking giant Facebook said its new messaging service now has more than 500 million users worldwide.

Social networking giant Facebook said its new messaging service now has more than 500 million users worldwide.

Users of the separate Messenger app have more than doubled from 200 million in April, the company said.

Facebook had faced a backlash after it announced it would be forcing users to download the app to send private messages to friends over the main Facebook service.

Users started being pushed to download the app - launched in 2011 - in July.


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