What’s the latest and greatest and awesomest in the wild, wonderful, wacky world of high tech? Well, enjoy this Friday morning fest…
* Pirate Bay co-founder Gottfrid Svartholm Warg, who is in prison for involvement with the file-sharing site, has been found guilty of fraud, hacking into Sweden’s tax authority and a bank, and the attempted illegal transfer of money between accounts in Europe. The sentence: two years.
* Microsoft (MSFT) seems to be making about-faces a regular part of its business strategy. The latest is to remove digital rights management, or DRM, from the upcoming Xbox One gaming console. For Xbox gamers, that’s great news. Originally, Microsoft had announced restrictions on selling, trading or lending games already purchased and a requirement that people check in at least once every 24 hours on the Internet to play any games offline.
* John McAfee wants people to know that he has nothing to do with the software company that bears his name. And he’s doing it with a bizarre video full of profanity, drugs, guns and scantily-clad women. (Somewhere Hunter S. Thompson is smiling.)
* Instagram announced Thursday that its photo-sharing app will now be able to record, edit and share videos. The new feature puts Facebook-owned Instagram in direct competition with Twitter-owned Vine. The video-sharing app launched in January and gained popularity quickly.
* Here’s a nifty list of nine reasons why your sysadmin hates you. Be nicer, kids.
* Two U.S. lawmakers have introduced “Aaron’s Law,” a bill that would prevent the Department of Justice from prosecuting people for violating terms of service for Web-based products, website notices or employment agreements under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. The bill is named after Internet activist Aaron Swartz, who committed suicide in January while facing federal prosecution for allegedly hacking into a Massachusetts Institute of Technology network and downloading millions of scholarly articles from the JSTOR subscription service.
* The postmortem brain of a 65-year-old woman has been transformed into a new 3D map revealing the intricate architecture of the human noggin on a scale finer than a human hair. The map, known as “BigBrain,” is freely available online, and has a resolution of 20 microns in each dimension, researchers report in a new study.
* France is giving Google three months to be more upfront about the data it collects from users — or be fined. Other European countries aren’t far behind. Now it’s up to Google to decide whether the relatively small fines are enough of an incentive to rethink its privacy rules — the Internet giant risks a 300,000 euro ($402,180) penalty in France.