Navid Khonsari was 10 years old when the Iranian Revolution began.
“My grandfather actually took me out to walk in the early parts of the revolution,” he says, as tanks rolled through streets and protesters filled the air with chants. Khonsari eventually fled with his family to Canada. But the revolution continues to influence his life: The 44-year-old is putting his memories into a new video game called 1979 Revolution, which transports players directly inside the Iranian conflict.
Khonsari has a deep pedigree in the gaming world, having directed multiple games in the Grand Theft Auto franchise as well as the first two Max Payne games, but he says creating this game is different—it’s personal.
Daily Fast Feed Roundup
It’s Friday! Here’s a quick rundown of what you need to know today:
- From our NSA secret surveillance tracker: The U.S. Army has banned access to The Guardian's NSA Prism scandal coverage.
- The Justice Department is investigating former Pentagon general James ‘Hoss’ Cartwright for allegedly leaking info about a massive cyber attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities.
- Facebook is testing out a new chat room feature that would compete directly with Google Hangouts.
- The day after Instagram’s video feature launched, mentions of Vine on Twitter dropped by half a million.
- The New York Times just profiled Wikipedia’s ‘benevolent dictator,’ Jimmy Wales, ‘the world-famous Internet entrepreneur who didn’t become a billionaire.’
- The U.K. government is the first to support three-person IVF, a practice in which babies are ‘made’ using three sets of DNA.
- Lance Armstrong says he wouldn’t have won the Tour De France with out doping.”I didn’t invent doping, and it didn’t stop when I stopped. I simply participated in a system…”
- The San Francisco-based accelerator Angelpad is going bi-coastal with a second head-quarters in NYC.
- Samsung now sells $13,000 organic light emitting diode (OLED) TVs. Its rounded design supposedly allows users to view the screen from all angles without the viewing experience being affected.
- The yet-to-be-seen Netflix show ‘Orange is the New Black’ has already been given the green light for a second season. Nobody’s even seen the first season yet.
- Watch out Apple, Google is entering the gaming arena with a gaming console, a smart watch, and a new version of its Nexus Q streaming console.
“That general license will allow both software and hardware to move forward to Iran and to the Iranian people so that they can have freedom to communicate with each other in ways that they don’t always have.”
Iran has been airing its views on Argo's win at the Oscars last night. The movie tells the story of how the CIA used Hollywood to get six U.S. embassy workers out of the country during the hostage crisis of 1979.
"Argo is a movie against Iran," said the Asriran website. Asiran also claimed that the regime’s Culture Minister had been directly responsible for Iranian movie A Separation winning Best Foreign Film in 2012. The minister, Javad Shamghadri, claimed that his department had lobbied hard for the Iranian drama to win.
As well as the content of the movie, there was criticism of Michelle Obama’s role in announcing the winner. “In a rare occasion in Oscar history, the First Lady announced the winner for Best Picture for the anti-Iran film Argo, which is produced by the Zionist company Warner Bros,” said Fars News.
Ben Affleck’s acceptance speech did not escape censure, either. “After distorting history, Ben Affleck continues to show a bleak picture of Iran,” said Mehr News. “Iranians live in terrible circumstances.”
In 100 years, historians will probably look back at Stuxnet’s emergence as the Trinity Test for a new age of warfare — a harbinger of danger in an uncertain era. Read more.
A fascinating look into how Stuxnet—a nasty computer virus—shutdown Iran’s uranium enrichment capabilities.
Stuxnet: Anatomy of a Computer Virus
Stuxnet has been called the world’s first weapon made entirely out of code. It is responsible for damaging Iran’s uranium enrichment infrastructure and effectively halting the country’s nuclear program.
Run Time - 3:21.
Government Oppression of the Day:
Yesterday, we reported that the Iranian government is planning to wall-off much of the country’s online access with a major censorship effort they are dubbing, “Halal Internet.”
"Oh, hey guys remember that thing called the Internet? Yeah… well never mind about that. You just keep going about your day. It’s still out there of course, but you probably shouldn’t pay that much attention to it." With Love, Your Gov.
The Iranian government, wary from the internet-driven 2009 demonstrations and the recent Arab revolutions, is planning to wall-off much of the country’s online access. A high-ranking Iranian official has their new solution: A “Halal Internet” that will run as a nationwide intranet and be subject to extensive censorship.
According to Iranian Deputy Minister for Economic Affairs Ali Agha Mohammadi, the ”Halal Internet” project is expected to be completed in 18 months (Persian language link). Mohammadi explicitly cited China’s extensive internet controls as an inspiration for the project, which will be completed with the help of what the Minister calls “foreign consultants.”