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Buzz Out Loud 1542: The spin on the HP spin-off (Podcast)

The cast of Buzz Out Loud has a message for HP that we hope they'll hear: guys. Seriously. Please stop talking. Don't tell the press you may or may not spin off your PC unit if you can figure out what that would mean for the company, and don't let the EVP of the PC business say HP might get back into tablets. I mean, how hard is that, really? Plus, Wikileaks springs a major leak, and Beyonce's baby pwns Twitter.

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This Day in Tech: Google and Visa compete for digital wallets; 'Apple is not going to change'

Too busy to keep up with the tech news? Here are some of the more interesting stories from CNET News for Thursday, August 25.

• You've probably heard by now that Steve Jobs resigned as CEO of Apple. This leaves us with many questions. What will Jobs do as chairman? What will Apple look like three years from now? Now for some answers. Apple's new CEO, Tim Cook, e-mailed employees this morning to say that "Apple is not going to change."

• You might be swiping your mobile phone to pay for things. In May, Google and Visa … Read more

Anonymous urges PayPal boycott, condemns FBI

Anonymous is lashing out today at the FBI and especially at PayPal, urging users of the electronic payments site to dump their accounts.

In its latest "official communique" on behalf of itself and Lulz Security, the hactivist group condemned the FBI for its recent arrests of those charged in connection with hacking attacks by Anonymous in December against PayPal and a host of other companies.

Complaining that the Anonymous "suspects" may face a fine of $500,000 and a possible 15 years of jail time, the group criticized the FBI for equating "adding one's … Read more

Julian Assange's extradition hearing begins

WikiLeaks editor Julian Assange has appeared at the Royal Courts of Justice on the first day of a High Court bid to avoid extradition.

On Tuesday, the court began hearing an appeal by Assange against a decision by Belmarsh Magistrates' Court in February to send him to Sweden for questioning about allegations of rape and sexual coercion.

His defense barrister, Ben Emerson, kicked proceedings off on Tuesday by arguing that the actions behind the allegations of sexual misconduct against Assange would not be judged offenses under British law.

Read more of "Julian Assange's extradition appeal kicks off" … Read more

Anonymous group creates whistleblower sites

A subgroup of the Anonymous hacker group has launched two WikiLeaks-type Web sites where insiders and other hackers can expose sensitive information from governments and corporations.

The LocalLeaks.tk site is for information related to corruption and wrongdoing at a local level, while the HackerLeaks.tk site is for any other stolen data.

The HackerLeaks site, which launched on June 25, got its first submission on Tuesday--a list of personal details of Orlando, Fla., officials--though the data was posted to the LocalLeaks site, according to Forbes, which reported on the sites on Thursday. The Anonymous hacker group has shut down … Read more

WikiLeaks makes a priceless MasterCard commercial

Just like any organization with charity at its core, WikiLeaks needs money to operate.

And, as exclusively revealed by CNET, MasterCard was at the forefront of making donations a little more cumbersome by withdrawing its own very useful service to that cause.

So what could WikiLeaks do but make an ad that encourages the charitable to find other ways to donate? Oh, and as a touching tweak to the nose of the official financial industry, WikiLeaks decided to use MasterCard's famous "Priceless" campaign as its inspiration.

What Does it Cost to Change the World? from WikiLeaks on … Read more

Anonymous warns NATO not to challenge it

Responding to a recent report from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization condemning Anonymous, the online "hacktivist" group has issued a public response warning the global organization not to challenge it.

Claiming that the NATO report singled it out as a threat to "government and the people," Anonymous defended some of its recent actions in the name of freedom and dissent. In its message (Google cached version), it also asserted that NATO fears the group not because it's a "threat to society," but because it's a "threat to the established hierarchy."… Read more

Assange: Facebook is an 'appalling spy machine'

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange says Facebook, Google, and Yahoo are actually tools for the U.S. intelligence community.

Speaking to Russian news site RT in an interview published yesterday, Assange was especially critical of the world's top social network. He reportedly said that the information Facebook houses is a potential boon for the U.S. government if it tries to build up a dossier on users.

"Facebook in particular is the most appalling spying machine that has ever been invented," Assange said in the interview, which was videotaped and published on the site. "Here we have … Read more

U.S. nuclear regulator a policeman or salesman?

Reuters

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission exists to police, not promote, the domestic nuclear industry--but diplomatic cables show that it is sometimes used as a sales tool to help push American technology to foreign governments.

The cables, obtained by WikiLeaks and provided to Reuters by a third party, shed light on the way in which U.S. embassies have pulled in the NRC when lobbying for the purchase of equipment made by Westinghouse and other domestic manufacturers.

While the use of diplomats to further American commercial interests is nothing new, it is far less common for regulators to be acting in even … Read more

DOJ defends WikiLeaks probe of Twitter accounts

The U.S. Justice Department today dismissed as "absurd" any privacy and free speech concerns about its request for access to the Twitter accounts of WikiLeaks volunteers.

In a 32-page brief filed in federal court in Virginia, prosecutors characterized their request for a court order as a "routine compelled disclosure" that raises no constitutional issues.

These types of records "are widely subpoenaed by grand juries without raising 'chilling effects,' or occasioning constitutional litigation and delays," prosecutors wrote. Any claim that Twitter's logs "are subject to heightened protections under the First Amendment is … Read more