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1. Iceland is cheaper to buy than WhatsApp
Earlier this month, Facebook bought WhatsApp for $16 billion in cash and stock, with another $3 billion to be vested by its employees over the next few years. It turns out that the total $19 billion figure for the mobile instant messenger is one of the biggest acquisitions of the year — and one of the biggest Silicon Valley has ever paid out.
So what's cheaper to buy for $19 billion? Iceland is cheaper to buy than WhatsApp, with a gross domestic product (GDP) of $13.7 billion for 2012. It's not surprising considering less than one-third of a million people live there, but still an impressive financial feat nonetheless. You could even throw in a Large Hadron Collider with it.
Image: Brad Weber/Wikimedia Commons
2. Up to 11 percent of NSA webcam images are "explicit"
Britain's GCHQ, with the help from the U.S. National Security Agency, have hacked into millions of webcams connected to Yahoo Messenger and downloaded snapshots every five minutes.
According to the documents leaked by whistleblower Edward Snowden to The Guardian, between 3 and 11 percent of the images were considered "explicit." Those images are, in layman's terms, photos of people's birthday suits — if you catch the drift. Perhaps more interestingly is that the American and British intelligence agencies found that figure to be "surprising."
3. Even the best Apple engineers can accidentally screw up SSL
In a day and age where everyone is paranoid about U.S. and U.K. government surveillance, Apple began to feel the heat when it slipped through an iPhone and iPad update to fix a flaw that allowed man-in-the-middle attacks, even through SSL encrypted pages. Apple was also slow to fix the flaw on the Mac, which was left vulnerable for four more days.
The culprit? A duplication of a "goto fail;" line, that negated other code. Some suggested it was implanted in there. Those who weren't wearing tinfoil hats on their heads realized it was more likely human error from code merging.