The FBI has entered the hunt for the hacker who stole dozens of private celebrity photos. The nude images may have been stored in the "cloud."
It's safe to say that many don't really understand cloud computing. The new Cameron Diaz film "Sex Tape" is based around the idea that nobody gets how it works.
But it's actually fairly simple.
The cloud is really just another word for servers on the Internet. Using the cloud means you're outsourcing tasks to those servers that might otherwise be performed by your local device. The most common one is to use the cloud for storage; so, instead of storing data on your computer, data is stored on remote servers that you access via the Internet.
Think of it like putting your money in a bank. You're putting your property in a dedicated storage space. Using a bank means you don't have to keep all your money in a piggy bank at home, while using the cloud means you don't have to have every photo you've ever taken taking up valuable space on your iPad. And when you do want to see your photos, storing them on the cloud allows you to access it on any device - similar to how banks allow you to withdraw money from any ATM.
And it's a safe bet that you're already using cloud services. If you've ever used Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo! Mail or any web mail service, then you've been storing your email in the cloud.
There’s something a little strange that one of today’s hottest trends in technology is… virtual reality.
It’s an idea that seems past its time; sitting alongside household atomic generators and personal jetpacks as visions for the future that seem laughable today. But VR isn’t a joke anymore.
I had the chance to try on the headset that has almost single-handedly revived interest in virtual reality: the Oculus Rift.
For now, the Rift is only in the prototype stage and has some way to go before it’s ready for consumers. Still, even at this early stage the potential of the Rift is incredible.
It looks big and bulky, but once it was strapped to my head I couldn’t feel the weight of the Rift. The whole setup is slightly cumbersome; you have the headset, then you have to put on headphones and find your controller — without being able to see either, because your eyes are covered by the Rift.
My first impressions of the Rift? It’s a little unsettling. I was surprised by the low resolution of the screen, individual pixels reminding me that my eyes were millimeters away from them; I was acutely aware of the edges of the display; and basically, I could feel like I had a big plastic visor strapped to my face.
But then you move your head… and your view of the world shifts almost perfectly with your movement. Move your head to the left, and you’re looking left.
I played a 3D platforming game called Lucky’s Tale (from the creator of Words With Friends). To be brutally honest, it felt a little like a simple Mario clone: You make a cute little fox run and jump along a basic path running from left to right. Then the path turns back to the left… and you find yourself scoping out the way ahead simply by turning your head to look at it.
Video games have allowed you to move your view of the world for years through a controller. It’s not a new idea. But with the Rift, looking around a game’s world is as natural as looking around our own.
That’s when the Oculus Rift experience starts to click, and it all starts to work.
"If history tells us anything it's that whistle-blowers are usually treated kindly, and claims of national security much less so."
Here's my interview with Edward Snowden's legal adviser, Ben Wizner, one year after Snowden revealed himself as the NSA leaker.
The U.S. Federal Communications Commission has voted to move forward with a proposal that could create Internet "fast lanes." Now the FCC will collect public comments on the new rules for net neutrality.
There have long been concerns that the rules would undermine an open Internet where all content is treated equally, and instead allow companies to pay for priority access.
A Twitter chat earlier this week reveals that the FCC is concerned about protecting an open Internet and is considering all options.
FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler tweeted, "Title II is a viable option we’re considering. We are listening and welcome continued discussion. #FCCNetNeutrality"
That's a reference to Title II of the Communications Act. Currently, broadband Internet is not bound by those common-carrier regulations.
Our regular tech contributor Nick Thompson, editor of the NewYorker.com, points out that there are two ways to for the FCC to safeguard net neutrality: pass new rules that could get bogged down in court, or reclassify Internet providers as public utilities under Title II.
Click on to hear Nick break down the issues at stake and the options for the FCC.
Alibaba has filed its IPO in New York to raise $1 billion, but former Alibaba CEO David Wei is confident it will raise even more than Facebook's $16 billion bonanza.
Though many anticipate a blockbuster IPO, industry watchers also expect significant challenges ahead for the Chinese e-commerce giant.
How will Alibaba address concerns about the amount of counterfeit goods sold by its users - concerns that prompted Wei to resign after a fraud inquiry in 2011?
And how will Alibaba manage the shift to mobile, especially given the threat from Tencent's WeChat - the Chinese mobile app already on its way to becoming a global brand?
Click on for my conversation with China tech investor and former Alibaba CEO, David Wei.
(His catchphrase to describe founder Jack Ma may raise an eyebrow!)
Sometimes it feels like everyone is wearing a fitness band on their wrist, whether it's the Fitbit Flex, Jawbone Up or Nike FuelBand.
But now there are reports that Nike might kill the FuelBand.
Why would Nike kill an apparently popular gadget?
The New Yorker's Nicholas Thompson suggests that Nike might be trying to pull out of dedicated fitness bands before they're replaced by other wearables - such as the much-hyped Apple smart watch.
"Think about the Flip video camera, which was a huge sensation, everyone thought they'd be huge. And then suddenly the iPhone can take videos that are just as good, and Flip went away."
It started as a project by a British computer scientist to make it easier for universities to share and navigate large amounts of information.
Twenty-five years on, the World Wide Web stands as perhaps our greatest ever creation: A way to access the collective knowledge of humanity.
You can watch our tribute to Sir Tim Berners-Lee's creation above and check out a recreation of the first ever webpage right here.
So Facebook purchases the mobile messaging service WhatsApp for $19 billion in cash and stock.
And the world raises a collective eyebrow.
Yes, the app has over 450 million monthly active users. But is it truly worth it?
According to Silicon Valley insider Om Malik, the answer is yes... if you're Mark Zuckerberg.
Malik tells me, "What seems like an insane amount of money is not insane when you feel a little worried about the long-term prospects of the company."
Click on to hear more about why Facebook forked up so much money for WhatsApp, and to see how the app's key metrics compare to its rivals.
Nintendo is in trouble.
It's hard to disagree with that after it slashed its forecast for Wii U sales from 9 million to just 2.8 million. Less dramatic but perhaps just as troubling: It also cut its forecast for its market-leading 3DS handheld. Nintendo now expects to sell 13.5 million of them, down from the 18 million they originally expected.
But what's up for debate is how Nintendo can climb out of this hole. By far the most common solution suggested: Nintendo should put games like Mario and Zelda on smartphones and tablets.