News you need to know
Instagram hits 300 million users, is now bigger than Twitter
It feels like Instagram has existed basically forever; the company announced it hit 300 million users this week, after doubling in size over just the last twelve months. It's an impressive feat; one that makes it bigger than Twitter's 284 million users.
The co-founder of Twitter said that he "doesn't give a shit" that Instagram is bigger because they're not the same thing.
Swedish police raid The Pirate Bay, take it offline
Following a raid on a Stockholm server room, The Pirate Bay has been offline for much of the week. It's not clear if it'll come back anytime soon, but it's recovered from similar situations before.
This time is different, though, with all the original founders either in jail or moved on. Peter Sunde, co-founder of The Pirate Bay thinks it should stay offline.
Google News to shut down in Spain following new law
A bizarre new law in Spain requires companies even showing snippets of the news to pay the company that wrote it. The law was dubbed the "Google Tax" because Spanish authorities are trying to use it to get money for its already desperate newspapers out of Google.
Instead of cooperating, Google is shutting down Google News in Spain. Now, the same group who lobbied for the law are desperately trying to get Google to keep it running, since it provides a significant amount of traffic.
Sony's attack continues
This week alone Sony has had some significant blows. Malware has begun to be distributed using Sony's security certificate to trick computers, leaking celebrity pseudonyms and phone numbers as well as specifically targeting Sony executives.
Sony and the FBI deny that the attacks are linked to North Korea and have reportedly traced them to a hotel in Bangkok. It looks likely that we'll be hearing a lot more about this for a while yet.
The Dark Side of Apple's Two-Factor Authentication
Someone recently tried to hack my Apple ID and I ended up getting locked out due to two-factor authentication. To get in, I required a recovery key that only gets shown when you're setting it up but I'd lost it. Apple told me without that key, I'd never get my account back. Here's the full story of what I went through trying to recover my account.
The huge, unseen operation behind the accuracy of Google Maps
The magic of Google Maps is taken for granted; it's incredibly accurate and uses a staggering amount of algorithms, data and manual labor to get to that point. This great piece on Wired looks at how the company goes about making Google Maps so great.
How to get away with Uber
Uber has been under fire continually lately; it's almost become cool to hate it. Why is the company seemingly always in trouble? Why do we love to hate it?
On the visual web, a photo is worth more than a 1000 words
The web is shifting to being highly visual; more images than ever are being shared than ever. 60 million new photos are uploaded to Instagram every day. Where's the next great photo service?
BitTorrent is working on a peer-to-peer browser
A new browser from BitTorrent in testing called "Project Maelstrom" hopes to change the way the web works, taking the power to control it away from one individual or entity. It uses the same peer-to-peer technology used in Torrents and will be released "soon."
Workflow for iOS automates everything on your phone
This nifty little app automates all those annoying repetitive tasks on your iPhone. Set up icons on your home screen to send a text with your location or tweet the latest picture. Workflow is incredibly handy for wiring up a bunch of different services together.