Smartphone apps to make you (Americans) smarter

Hey, America, have you got a second? We need to talk. It turns out we're not doing so well in literacy and math compared with most of the developed countries in the world. We also may not be as knowledgeable about our world as we think we are.

According to this article in the New York Times, a recent study out of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) puts the USA well behind most developed countries in the world in basic math skills, literacy, and working with technology.

Whether the problem is standardized testing, increasing poverty rates, … Read more

Assange's brilliant mullet-wearing, classic-miming video

If I were holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, I would be creating naked, wall-crawling videos, learning to grill marinated mongoose, and constructing a temple to the Bay City Rollers.

Julian Assange seems to be heading that way.

For he has just participated in what may be the most touchingly demented piece of video since Antoine Dodson told us to hide our kids and hide our wives.

Please let me tell you slowly how he appears in this video that is occasionally peppered with naughty words.

Well, the WikiLeaks founder dons a mullet wig. He also wears a … Read more

Bradley Manning sentenced to 35 years in prison

Bradley Manning has been sentenced to serve 35 years in prison for turning over hundreds of thousands of classified government documents to WikiLeaks.

Handed down by Colonel Denise Lind on Wednesday, the sentence follows the court's verdict on July 30 that found Manning guilty of nearly all charges against him, though not guilty of the most serious charge, aiding the enemy. Judge Lind had presided over an eight-week court martial in Fort Meade, Md.

Manning's rank will also be reduced from private first class to private, the U.S. Army Military District of Washington said in a press … Read more

Trailer for WikiLeaks movie 'The Fifth Estate' debuts online

Does the actor who played the villain in "Star Trek Into Darkness" make a convincing Julian Assange? Judge for yourself courtesy of the new trailer for "The Fifth Estate," an upcoming film about WikiLeaks and its controversial founder.

Popping up on YouTube on Tuesday, the lengthy trailer serves up a variety of scenes from the movie.

We see the anger from U.S. government officials over WikiLeaks' posting of classified documents. We watch the budding rapport between Assange and former WikiLeaks spokesman Daniel Domscheit-Berg, a relationship that eventually turned sour. And we catch a silhouette of … Read more

Kremlin finds way to avoid leaks: Typewriters

Dust off your Olivetti.

It might be the future. The future of national security, at least.

This quaint thought comes to mind as the result of news emerging from the inner bowels of the Kremlin. It seems the prospect of porousness created by WikiLeaks and current Russian resident Edward Snowden has become all too much for delicate Russian dispositions to bear.… Read more

WikiLeaks: Where's Snowden? We're not saying

WikiLeaks editor Julian Assange said Monday that Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor sought by the U.S. government, is "healthy and safe."

But Assange, in a conference call with reporters this morning, would not divulge Snowden's specific whereabouts, or even which country he might be in by now.

Last Friday, the U.S. government unsealed an indictment against Snowden, who has made international headlines over the last few weeks thanks to disclosures about classified NSA surveillance programs that he made through the Guardian and Washington Post newspapers.

"Edward Snowden is not a traitor,&… Read more

Whistle-blower update: Snowden lands in Moscow; WikiLeaker's Gmail searched

Several stories involving whistle-blower/espionage suspect Edward Snowden cropped up over the weekend, including word of a U.S. demand for his extradition and that he flew to Moscow Sunday, and is likely heading for another destination. And news of a Justice Department search of a former WikiLeaks volunteer's Gmail account has also surfaced. Here's a quick summary:

Snowden was allowed to leave Hong Kong because a U.S. extradition request did not fully comply with Hong Kong law. He landed in Moscow early Sunday morning, but his final destination is unclear. According to a report in the New York Times, … Read more

New Intel chips to boost battery life

CNET Update is fully charged:

In this episode of Update:

- Wait to buy your next laptop to get the latest batch of Intel processors, which are said to help extend battery life.

- Secure your folders with a fingerprint in the upcoming Windows 8.1.

- Brace for battle with a new Halo game for Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8.

- Find Dora and other Viacom shows on Amazon Prime Instant Video.

- Give the WikiPad game tablet another chance when it launches next week at a lower price.

CNET Update delivers the tech news you need in … Read more

Retooled WikiPad primed for launch

After an aborted launch last Halloween, the WikiPad Android gaming tablet looks ready to finally hit the market. So says WikiPad Inc., anyway, who this morning declared that its unique gaming device will finally hit shelves this coming Tuesday, June 11 (aka the first official day of E3).

This new WikiPad, you may recall, is a shrunken edition of the 10-inch behemoth (itself an update of the original 8-inch version) the company was showing off last year.

This new model, which came to light this past February, has the same core features as the 10-inch model -- removable standalone Android … Read more

'Star Trek' Wikia fan portal warps into cyberspace

A new enterprise was born today. The Trek Initiative brings together wiki host company Wikia and Roddenberry Entertainment, the creators of "Star Trek," in a brave new Web site dedicated to offering fans a home planet on the Internet. It offers communities for fan interaction, fan fiction, fan films, and rare images from the Roddenberry Entertainment archives.

Hard-core Trekkies will particularly enjoy a 55-minute audio clip of Gene Roddenberry discussing his motivations for "Star Trek" and his views on the future of humanity. The "Star Trek" franchise is currently under the ownership of CBS, publisher of CNET.… Read more