A federal prosecutor is pushing back against a claim by the grieving family of Internet activist Aaron Swartz that "prosecutorial overreach" was a factor in his suicide, saying her office acted "fairly and responsibly."
News of the death of Swartz, 26, last Friday sent shock waves through the hacker community and the larger online world. His family and partner issued a statement saying that federal charges filed over allegations that he stole millions of online documents – mostly scholarly papers – from MIT through the university's computer network contributed to Swartz's decision to take his own life.
But the U.S. attorney for Massachusetts, Carmen M. Ortiz, disputed their account of events in a statement released Thursday, while expressing her sympathy "as a parent and a sister" for their loss.FULL STORY
John McAfee, the Internet security pioneer wanted for questioning in the killing of a neighbor in Belize, is now in Guatemala City, said Telesforo Guerra, the former attorney general of Guatemala.
McAfee has hired Guerra as his attorney, Guerra told CNN en Espanol on Tuesday.
Belize authorities want to talk to McAfee about the November 11 shooting death of American businessman Gregory Faull, 52, who was found dead in his home near San Pedro, on the Caribbean island of Ambergris Caye.
On his website, McAfee commented about his relocation: "I apologize for all of the misdirections over the past few days. It was not easy to exit Belize and required many supporters in many countries.FULL STORY
Despite claims to the contrary, the Syrian government is almost certainly responsible for a blackout Thursday that shut down virtually all Internet service in the country, according to a leading Web security firm.
"The Syrian Minister of Information is being reported as saying that the government did not disable the Internet, but instead the outage was caused by a cable being cut," writes Matthew Prince, CEO of CloudFlare. "From our investigation, that appears unlikely to be the case."
Fighting again between rebels and forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad disrupted much of Damascus on Friday, and there was no Internet service throughout much of Syria for a second straight day. The airport was closed to flights, and fighting killed another 31 people across the country on Friday, according to an opposition group that counts casualties.
The Social Security numbers of millions of South Carolinians, as well as credit and debit card information for hundreds of thousands, have been hacked in what the state's governor described Friday as an international cyberattack.
"This is not a good day for South Carolina," Gov. Nikki Haley told reporters.
There was a whole lot of talk about a Facebook face plant when the company's stock first went public.
And then there were massive concerns about how the company was raising money and moving into the future. We just got a little bit of information that may show whether critics were right or not. The company's third quarter sales were reported to be $1.2 billion, a number that is in line with analyst expectations, according to CNNMoney.com.
Their stock began rising, showing perhaps, that better things are on the horizon for the social media giant.
Editor's note: Apple on Tuesday unveiled the "iPad Mini" – a smaller version of its iPad – at a press conference in San Jose, California. Follow our live tweets from the @CNNtech team, and read the full story here. Here's information from the press conference as it came in:
[Updated at 1:53 p.m. ET] From our CNN tech reporters Doug Gross and Heather Kelly: The device is 7.2mm thick, or the thickness of a pencil. Its screen dimensions are the same as the larger iPad, so all apps will work the same on the new, smaller tablet.
The rocket that will help power a 1,000-mph car passed its first test Wednesday, British engineers say.
The project is dubbed Bloodhound SSC. Its organizers plan for the pencil-shaped car to be zooming along the South African desert next year and break the world land speed record of 763 mph.
"The initial indications are that it went very well indeed," the rocket's designer, self-taught engineer Daniel Jubb, 28, told the Western Morning News in Cornwall, England, where the rocket was tested inside a hangar at a Royal Air Force base.
Engineers were looking over reams of data from the test to determine their next steps.
Editor's note: We're listening to you. Every day, we spot thought-provoking comments from readers. We're featuring a few of our favorites here. Be sure to participate in the mobile photo challenge on Saturday, September 22, part of Our Mobile Society.
If you're Apple, there's good news, and there's bad news.
First, the good news: You sold a bunch of iPhone 5s, and people lined up or ordered online. We received more than 20 iReports from excited customers showing us overnight campouts and people who queued for several days. Veenu Aishwarya of Philadelphia went to an Apple store just to experience the scene.
Veenu: "It was my first such event to witness an iPhone launch at an Apple store. Although, I was not in line for the iPhone, I was equally excited just to see all the smiling faces and the level of energy and enthusiasm among Apple fans."
Some CNN.com readers said they are happy with their Apple products.
Xeres: "My iPhone 5 is waiting for me at home. No waiting in a line needed."
icharliem2: "I'd used Apple products for 30 years. Never had a major problem. A lot of times what you get is more than what you can see. Never heard many people who switched to Apple products say they're bad. Only those who've never owned one. Are they the best in all things ? I don't think so, but their integration of hardware and software is better than anyone else and keeps getting better."
And now, the bad news. We saw quite a bit of backlash among our commenters.
Eddie Francis: "I hope the people in the photo are happier human beings now, seeing they just bought a phone. What an achievement."
What would animals, or aliens, say about us as a species?
AnywhereElse: " 'Humans can be so silly.' –Pigeons worldwide observing the Apple lines"
maxemoose36: " 'Silly ... for me to poop on!' –Triumph (the insult comic dog)"
agent13: "My name is Zoltar from the planet Ux. Upon visiting your lovely planet all the locals told me I should try this Apple, that it was awesome. You were right. It's very delicious, except for the outer case. It tends to get stuck in my teeth."
A debate took place about other companies' products. FULL POST
Editor's note: We're listening to you. Every day, we spot thought-provoking comments from readers. Below, you'll see highlighted posts that we noticed.
Heading into the weekend, readers are thinking about the lines between public and private life, and between work and play. There are different stories that give different takes.
The publication of photos showing Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge, topless has got readers wondering how much is too much intrusion into a person's life. The following reader drew a line between this incident and the recent images of Prince Harry in his birthday suit.
Scott Bennett: "The publication of the photos of Katherine while on her holiday with William was not only despicable, but also shows the idiocy of the editorial staff of the 'publication' Closer. When Mlle Pieau described the reaction to the pictures' publication as "disproportionate" and slammed the British press as "complete hypocrites," since photos of Harry naked were published by The Sun, she shows her lack of basic human understanding. The two incidents are not even remotely comparable. 1) Harry was cavorting about in his hotel suite, having invited loads of strangers, thus opening the doors for such potential exposure; William and Katherine were vacationing alone in a private residence (or so they thought); 2) Harry is a single, 20-something man; Katherine is a married woman in her early 30s who will at some point be someone's mother. THEY NEED TO GET A GRIP ON HUMAN DIGNITY and get over their self-centered approach to life and their 'job' already! Disgusting, just disgusting!"
But then, is being naked worth the risk when you're a well-known figure?
Other99Pct: "Um, don't go outside with your shirt off if you don't want people to see you?"
Many people were disturbed by the idea that people are interested in such images. FULL POST
Apple announced Tuesday that it has scheduled an event for Sept. 12, at which it is widely expected to introduce a new iPhone.
The highly anticipated event will likely feature the long-awaited unveiling of the iPhone 5. The invitation sent to the press features a prominent "5" as the shadow cast by the "12," signifying the event's date.
The new iPhone is expected to have an elongated screen, 4G network speeds, a faster processor and some other structural and internal changes. Still, it's worth noting that even the most widely circulated iPhone-related rumors often turn out to becompletely unfounded. Apple notoriously holds its secrets very close to its chest.
Last year at this time, rumors circulated that Apple was working on an "iPhone 5" with a larger screen, 4G capabilities and no home button. Instead, it delivered the iPhone 4S, an incrementally updated smartphone cut from the same mold as its predecessor, the iPhone 4. The biggest change was the addition of the voice-activated assistant Siri.READ FULL CNNMONEY.COM STORY
Editor's note: We're listening to you. Every day, we spot thought-provoking comments from readers. Here's some comments we noticed today.
Apple and Samsung have been involved in a long battle over the design of Samsung devices that Apple says were "ripped off" from iPads and iPhones. Samsung also countersued Apple for infringing on some of its patents. After a federal jury in California recommended Friday that Apple be awarded more than $1 billion in damages, readers are talking about patents and the ways people define product designs.
Many readers were outraged, saying Apple's suit appeared malicious.
Jerad Howell: "What a ridiculous verdict. There are only so many ways you can design a touchscreen device. Apparently, this jury believes that Apple should be allowed to have a monopoly on touchscreen tablets and phones."
ogive17: "Apple's new motto 'litigate, not innovate.' Yes, I wanted Apple to lose."
Stnley Kubrick: "This sucks. Sanity once again defeated."
But some said there were some obvious design similarities.
TheH0LYT0AST: "For the life of me I don't understand how anyone can look at the picture at the top of this article and say, 'What? I don't see anything wrong with that.' "
Clint4CNN: "GOOD! Samsung is a thief, and they got caught!"
Nicholas Bloom: "Like Apple needs the money. They charge an arm and a leg for their products. Fair is fair, though."
Some made jabs at the U.S. patenting system. FULL POST
An Internet blackout that will happen Monday has the webisphere scrambling.
Hundreds of thousands will be without Internet when the FBI shuts down selected servers supporting computers infected with the notorious virus, DNSChanger.
But are Internet hysterics warranted - or just hype?
The FBI is set to shut down servers that it initially created to support infected computers after the authors of the pesky malware were caught in November. Some reports put the number of U.S. Internet users who will go dark at less than 70,000 - a relatively small number of U.S. users.
Not sure if you're among the unlucky? The agency has offered a step-by-step plan on how to check to see if your computer has the virus.
The virus affected more than 4 million computers internationally. When infected users typed a domain name into their browser, DNSChanger rerouted them to fake ad sites, ultimately garnering millions of dollars for the six Estonian malware authors. The FBI opted to set up servers that would allow infected users to stay on the Web without the fake ads.
Even though the number of those who will be without the Internet might not be worthy of all the hype, the World Wide Web is a staple for getting through everyday life. And, whether reports are overblown will probably mean little to those who are going without on Monday. We want to know what the Internet means to you, so log in and tell uswhile you still can.
Scientists said Wednesday that they had discovered a new particle whose characteristics match those of the Higgs boson, the most sought-after particle in physics, which could help unlock some of the universe's deepest secrets.
"We have reached a milestone in our understanding of nature," said Rolf Heuer, the director general of the European Organization for Nuclear Research, which has been carrying out experiments in search of the Higgs boson at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the world's largest particle accelerator.
"The discovery of a particle consistent with the Higgs boson opens the way to more detailed studies, requiring larger statistics, which will pin down the new particle's properties, and is likely to shed light on other mysteries of our universe," said Heuer.
Announcements by scientists about their analysis of data generated by trillions of particle collisions in the LHC drew avid applause at an eagerly awaited seminar in Geneva, Switzerland, on Wednesday.
The Swiss presentation comes after researchers in Illinois said earlier this week scientists that they had crept closer to proving that the particle exists but had been unable to reach a definitive conclusion.
Finding the Higgs boson would help explain the origin of mass, one of the open questions in physicists' current understanding of the way the universe works.
The particle has been so difficult to pin down that the physicist Leon Lederman reportedly wanted to call his book "The Goddamn Particle." But he truncated that epithet to "The God Particle," which may have helped elevate the particle's allure in popular culture.
Experts say finding the elusive particle would rank as one of the top scientific achievements of the past 50 years.
Editor's note: This post is part of the Overheard on CNN.com series, a regular feature that examines interesting comments and thought-provoking conversations posted by the community.
"Today Blackberry changed its name to Blackbury"
As readers discussed three popular and whimsically named mobile platforms, their commentary turned mouth-watering. Readers were reacting to a story about decline of the BlackBerry mobile device in a world of iPhones, Androids and Windows 8 phones.
"A blackberry was squished by an apple," said RKW29.
"Apples suck. Jelly Beans Rule," said Another_Fine_Mess, referring to the latest dessert-themed Android update.
One reader noted that the BlackBerry is popular in business settings.
jimbo0117: "People need to keep these kinds of headlines in perspective. The VAST majority of BB's users have always been business users. And for the most part, they still use the BB. BB tried, but never really got a large consumer base. Mainly because their products weren't tailored to the average teen/early 20's user – and they were/are expensive. So it isn't like BB has lost as much, but more like it never gained – just basically stagnated. And for most business watchers, they equate that with decline."
On the other hand, plenty of readers say businesses are warming up to other devices and adding support for people to "BYOD," as in "bring your own device." FULL POST
Following a period of freak-out on the Internet on Monday, Facebook appears to have pulled a controversial feature that let the social network's users get a digital list of other Facebookers nearby.
The "Find Friends Nearby" feature was not accessible in a CNN test on Tuesday morning, and other media outlets, including CNET, reported that Facebook had pulled the service.
In a statement e-mailed to CNN, a Facebook spokeswoman declined to elaborate.
"This wasn't a formal release - this was something that a few engineers were testing," the spokeswoman wrote. "With all tests, some get released as full products, others don't. Nothing more to say on this for now - we'll communicate to everyone when there is something to say."FULL STORY