US government websites suspended in federal shutdown
US government websites and Twitter feeds have been suspended during the partial US government shutdown.
The NASA website was unavailable as well as its Asteroid Watch Twitter feed. Other non-essential services were suspended and the White House web page not updated/
"Due to the lapse in government funding, information on this website will not be routinely updated, the transactions submitted via the website may not be processed, and the department may not be able to respond to inquiries until funding has been restored," read a notice on the Department of Justice site.
Additionally, the US Department of Homeland Security will not be responding to public emails.
An estimated 800,000 federal workers have been barred from accessing work emails as part of US government policy. The Antidefiency Act also prohibited work via mobile devices or remote computer connections for employees who had been sent home.
Microsoft investors lobby for Gates to step down
Three of the top 20 investors in Microsoft are reportedly lobbying the board to press for Bill Gates to step down as Chairman of the tech giant.
The investors, who remain unnamed, collectively hold more than 5% of the company's stock but there is no indication that Microsoft's board would heed to their wishes.
Outgoing Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer had reportedly been under pressure to improve the company's performance. But in the wake of his departure, shareholders are now criticizing Gates for Microsoft's shortcomings.
Gates owns about 4.5% of the $277bn company and is its largest individual shareholder.
BitTorrent to launch secure chat progamme
BitTorrent, the popular peer-to-peer downloading protocol, is foraying into secure communications with a new chat programme.
The alpha version of BitTorrent Private Chat will allow users to use a distributed network to chat securely. It works in the same manner as the BitTorrent system that allows the download of large files via the Sync process. This allows users to share files by breaking them down, encrypting and sending them to multiple pre-selected devices where they can be re-downloaded by other computers.
BitTorrent is controversial due to the high number of illegal downloads that occur over its sever, usually films a their pre-release date.