Web

FBI suspected Kim Dotcom of possessing a ‘Doomsday Device’ to wipe evidence

Kim Dotcom

If you watched the footage released days ago of elite tactical squads and bomb-sniffing dogs raiding Kim Dotcom’s New Zealand mansion, you may have wondered, as many did, whether the show of force was over the top. Why the firepower for a man accused of running a piracy website? According to the NZ Herald, the FBI suspected Kim Dotcom of possessing a “doomsday device” capable of wiping out all evidence of Internet piracy throughout the world. No such device was uncovered.

Grant Wormald, the supervisor responsible for overseeing the raid, told New Zealand’s High Court at Auckland that the FBI had tipped off New Zealand authorities to the alleged device. The Bureau reportedly said Dotcom “carried a device with him to delete servers around the world,” which could have been “triggered in seconds” from any mobile device by any one of the 20 individuals that were said to have access to it. But if the device would have existed, as Kim Dotcom’s lawyer pointed out, Kim Dotcom could have remotely deleted the servers anyway. After the raid, he was left unattended for an hour with his iPhone in his possession.

While Dotcom could have used a script to wipe files, in reality, the only failsafe way of wiping evidence on the servers without destroying them would be to run the hard drives through a powerful magnetic degausser. Unless his servers were already situated within a giant degausser, instantly wiping his servers in that manner would be impossible. Destroying them with an alternative means, like igniting thermite above server stack, would have been an even more remote possibility. Either way, a universal doomsday button for wiping out all pirated data throughout the world remains a far-fetched claim, and in Dotcom’s case, one that simply wasn’t true.

Emerging Tech

With cameras that know dogs from Dodges, Honda is making intersections safer

Honda and the city of Marysville, Ohio are working on creating a smart intersection. The goal would not only help better direct the flow of traffic, it could also help save the lives of pedestrians and cyclists.
Mobile

Specs leak suggests OnePlus 6T will come in 6GB, 8GB RAM configurations

According to a recent report, the launch of the OnePlus 6T could be different from any other OnePlus launch in history. How? It could have the backing of a major U.S. carrier. Here's everything we know about the OnePlus 6T.
Home Theater

MicroLED vs. OLED: Two hot TV technologies battle for your dollars

Samsung claims its new MicroLED TV tech offers all the benefits of OLED without the drawbacks. Join Digital Trends to take a close look to see if MicroLED TV lives up to the hype, and where it could go in the future.
Emerging Tech

Get your head in the clouds with the best vaporizers for flower and concentrates

Why combust dead plant matter when you could vaporize the good stuff and leave the leaves behind? Here's a rundown of the best vaporizers money can buy, no matter what your style is.
Social Media

Sick of Facebook privacy scandals? Here's how to protect your personal data

With a number of security scandals in 2018, it has us questioning if we should get rid of Facebook. Here's how to protect your personal data without deleting your account, as well as how to just nuke the thing altogether.
Computing

Google Slides now auto-transcribes verbal presentations for real-time captions

A new feature for the Google Slides presentation software uses a computer's built-in microphone to transcribe the words of a speaker in real time, displaying them for everyone to see.
Mobile

PayPal will soon let you withdraw cash at Walmart, but there’s a catch

PayPal has teamed up with Walmart to allow its account holders to withdraw and deposit cash at the store. The service launches at all Walmart stores across the U.S. in early November, but there's a catch.
Mobile

Pixel 3, Home Hub, and Pixel Slate — our first look at all Google’s new devices

Google has taken the wraps off of a slew of new devices, including the Pixel 3 smartphones, Google Home Hub smart display, Google Pixel Slate tablet, and more. We were at the event, and took a ton of photos of all of Google's new products.
Music

Spotify vs. Pandora: Which music streaming service is better for you?

Which music streaming platform is best for you? We pit Spotify versus Pandora, two mighty streaming services with on-demand music and massive catalogs, comparing every facet of the two services to help you decide which is best.
Computing

Here's how to download a YouTube video to watch offline later

Learning how to download YouTube videos is easier than you might think. There are plenty of great tools you can use, both online and offline. These are our favorites and a step by step guide on how to use them.
Cars

Carbuying can be exhausting: Here are the best used car websites to make it easier

Shopping for a used car isn't easy, especially when the salesman is looking to make a quick sale. Thankfully, there are plenty of sites aimed at the prospective buyer, whether you're looking for a sedan or a newfangled hybrid.
Computing

How to recover Google contacts

If you accidentally deleted an important person from your Google Contacts, they might not be lost forever. Recovering them is a fairly easy process -- as long as you do it quickly. Here's how.
Computing

Afraid that Bitcoin could be a bubble? Here's how to sell what you've got

If you're investing in cryptocurrencies, it's important to have your exit strategy in place if prices start to crash. If you've decided it's time to get out or just want to learn how to sell Bitcoins, here's how to get started.
Computing

Don't take your ISP's word for it: Here's how to test your internet speed

If you're worried that you aren't getting the most from your internet package, speed tests are a great way to find out what your real connection is capable of. Here are the best internet speed tests available today.