Star Apps: 'Rosewater'

Jon Stewart bought the movie rights to imprisoned Iranian journalist Maziar Bahari's best-selling memoir, "Then They Came for Me: A Family's Story of Love, Captivity, and Survival." "The Daily Show" host didn't initially intended to direct "Rosewater" himself, but his investment in Bahari's story became so great that he saw no other way. I chatted with Jon Stewart and Maziar Bahari about "Rosewater" and the power of social media for political change.

Jon, with this film being your directorial debut, where did you draw inspiration from? Jon Stewart: … Read more

Iran's cyberwarfare czar is allegedly assassinated

Iran's chief of the Cyber War Headquarters, Mojtaba Ahmadi, is the latest person said to be killed in a string of murders targeting the country's nuclear scientists and security bosses.

Ahmadi was said to be found dead with two bullet wounds near his heart in the outskirts of a town near the capital Tehran, according to the Telegraph.

While the details are still forthcoming, the Telegraph reports that the Iranian government claims outside forces committed the alleged assassination. The government alleges it was most likely done by Israel's external intelligence agency, the Mossad.

It's no secret … Read more

Twitter's Jack Dorsey tweets it up with Iran's President Rouhani

Twitter was witness to a simple back-and-forth between the social network's co-founder Jack Dorsey and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Tuesday. And, despite being a small exchange, it could be a signal of a change to come for Iran's citizens.

Dorsey first tweeted, "Good evening, President. Are citizens of Iran able to read your tweets?" And, in response, Rouhani said, "Evening, @Jack. As I told @camanpour, my efforts geared 2 ensure my ppl'll comfortably b able 2 access all info globally as is their #right."

Newly elected Rouhani has been making waves in … Read more

Crave Ep. 138: 3D-mapping the great indoors with laser scanners

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The Zebedee LIDAR laser scanner reminds us of that scene in "Prometheus" where David laser-scans the inside of those creepy caverns. Well, Australian scientists are doing that in the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Iran wants to launch a poor Persian cat into space, while Volvo is training hamsters to drive trucks with the automaker's new power-steering technology. This is the world we live in. All that and more on this week's episode of Crave. … Read more

Facebook, Twitter once again on the outs in Iran

Facebook and Twitter are back to being persona non grata in Iran.

The tap was turned on for both social networks on Monday, raising hopes that the government had decided to loosen its blockade on the popular sites. But Iranian officials claimed that a technical problem temporarily freed up both sites, The New York Times has reported.

As of Tuesday, the blockade is back on.

Was it really just a glitch? Insiders say the problem may have been the result of a battle between different groups inside Iran, the Times noted. One group seeks to free up access to the … Read more

Goodbye, Kitty: Iran to send Persian cat into space?

I am not sure that animals really want to be sent into space.

They seem all too comfortable down here.

Yet ever since the days that the Russians wanted to show that theirs was bigger than anyone else's, there's been a twisted fascination with the idea of animals in the outer darkness.… Read more

Say what? Iranian government ministers join Facebook

As tension simmers in the Middle East with the US deciding whether to use military force against Syria, a friendly initiative is starting up in the neighboring country of Iran.

Newly elected President Hasan Rouhani is encouraging his government staff and ministers to join Facebook in an endeavor called government-as-Facebook Friends, according to the Associated Press.

Since taking office last month, Rouhani has tried to distance himself from his hardline predecessor Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Besides having his own Facebook page and urging his staff to follow suit, Rouhani also has been more open about Iran's presence on the Internet.

The … Read more

Apple Macs and iOS devices en route to Iran

Apple announced it will begin selling Macs and iOS devices to customers headed to Iran.

Typically, it is forbidden for US companies to sell products destined for Iran because of long-lasting sanctions against the Middle Eastern country. But, in the name of human rights, the Obama administration recently eased those sanctions for tech gadgets.

"We have been told by the US government that most Apple products are covered by regulatory changes announced by the Treasury Department on May 30," an Apple spokesperson told CNET. "As a result, Apple is no longer banned from selling Macs and iOS … Read more

Feds target former high-ranking general in Stuxnet leak probe

Federal investigators reportedly suspect a former high-ranking Pentagon figure of leaking classified information about Stuxnet, a computer virus that the U.S. is widely believed to have used to cripple a nuclear enrichment facility in Iran in 2010.

Retired U.S. Marine Gen. James "Hoss" Cartwright, the former vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has been informed that he is under investigation as the source of leaks to the media regarding the sophisticated virus, according to an NBC News report that cited "legal sources." Reportedly created by the U.S. and Israel, the highly … Read more

'Neda' four years later and other viral moments

Four years after a hotly contested presidential election, Iranians head back to the polls Friday. A lot has been said and written about the circumstances surrounding the 2009 vote as well as its aftermath. But one of the more lasting images came when a video captured the final moments of a young woman who bled to death after being shot during a Tehran demonstration.

Almost immediately, pictures of Neda Agha-Soltan went viral, and the 26-year-old music student turned into a symbol for the opposition challenging President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's disputed re-election. Of course, Neda's was not the first image … Read more