The week in gadgets


13 Dec 2010

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A look at gadget, game and geek happenings in the week ahead.

Anonymous not so anonymous – research

WikiLeaks is still the talk of the internet, thanks to the loose group called Anonymous using DDoS attacks to take down websites of companies who deny their services to the whistle-blowing website.

However, new research shows that those carrying out the attacks may not be so anonymous after all.

The study from the University of Twente has shown that Anonymous is easily identifiable, thanks to the use of the Low Orbit Ion Cannon (LOIC) software to carry out the protest.

“If hacktivists use this tool directly from their own machines, instead of via anonymisation networks such as Tor, the internet address of the attacker is included in every internet message being transmitted,” said the researchers.

“In the tools, no sophisticated techniques are used, such as IP spoofing, in which the source address of others is used, or reflected attacks, in which attacks go via third-party systems.

“The current attack technique can therefore be compared to overwhelming someone with letters, but putting your address at the back of the envelope,” they said.

They also noted that international data retention laws require that commercial internet providers store data of internet use for at least six months, increasing the ease of tracing the hacktivists.

WordPress introduces HTML5 complaint theme

WordPress has introduced a new theme called Toolbox to implement HTML5 functionality for users’ sites.

Toolbox offers the markup needed to build a theme just using CSS and HTML5 elements, such as <article>, <header> and <nav> to label content better.

It’s said to be similar to the Sandbox theme and the functionality can be used to do “anything you want with it.”

The Toolbox theme is available via the WordPress Themes Directory.

Spike TV VGA 2010 winners revealed

The Spike TV Video Game Awards 2010 were on over the weekend hosted by How I Met Your Mother star Neil Patrick Harris.

The show itself got somewhat negative reviews from gamers, with some feeling it “trivialised” the industry and others believing that the show itself just didn’t hit the mark.

Award winners included Red Dead Redemption as game of the year and BioWare as studio of the year.

The best Xbox game was Mass Effect 2, the best PS3 game was God of War III and the best Wii game was Super Mario Galaxy 2.

The best downloadable game was Costume Quest and the best independent game was Limbo.