Sunday, 15 May 2011

Sony PlayStation relaunch begins

Sony has announced that it will begin restoring its online PlayStation video game network on Sunday.
The phased restoration of services will begin in the US, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and the Middle East.
The move comes more than three weeks after Sony discovered a huge security breach that led to the theft of personal data from millions of users.
The firm said its expects to have the network, including Qriocity services, fully restored by the end of May.
The restoration of Japanese and Asian services would begin soon, it added.'Aggressive actio
The news of PlayStation Network's restart will be welcomed by gamers, many of whom were beginning to give up hope of it ever reappearing.
However porous the company's internet security was previously, you can bet it has now seriously beefed-up safeguards.
But that in itself creates a new problem.
There is nothing hackers love more than a challenge, and cracking the PlayStation Network for a second time will almost certainly become one of the holy grails for these electronic invaders.
Sony will be under no illusions that there is such a thing as perfect security, but the mere suggestion that its system has been "fixed" makes it a hostage to fortune.
Another breach would be disastrous for the beleaguered company.
In gaming parlance, Sony has used up all its lives, and the enemy is still at the gates.
Sony said it had implemented "new and additional security measures" that would provide users with better protection.
These were designed in conjunction with a number of external security firms, the company said, and include increased encryption levels and additional firewalls.
"I'd like to send my sincere apologies for the inconvenience this incident has caused you, and want to thank you for all the kind patience you've shown as we worked through the restoration process," said Kazuo Hirai, Sony's executive deputy president.
He added the company was taking "aggressive action" to resolve the security issues and was making "consumer protection a full-time, company-wide commitment".
The company said it would be offering a "welcome back" package to users that included some "premium content".
Sony first discovered the security breach, which led to the theft of personal data from 100m online accounts, on 20 April.
Many users were upset about the company taking two days to contact the police and almost a week to inform those people affected.
Sony hired outside specialist cyber-security firms to investigate the breach, and earlier this month blamed the online vigilante group Anonymous for indirectly allowing it.
The group has denied being involved in the theft.

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HP unveils first Wi-Fi mouse

Hewlett Packard has announced a ground-breaking new mouse.
The HP Wi-Fi Mobile Mouse is the first to connect to your computer using Wi-fi technology according to the company, eliminating the need for an additional dongle.
The mouse features five customisable buttons and a four way told scroll wheel. It also has a battery life of up to 9 months, say HP.
The HP WiFi Mouse can connect up to 30 feet away, and it will go on sale in the US in June and will retail for $49.99,  (£30 GBP).
Th HP press release for the mouse can be found at;

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Thursday, 12 May 2011

Google Chrome notebooks available next month

Google has announced that the first Google Chrome OS notebooks will be available next month.
Acer and Samsung are both set to launch Chrome OS devices as early as June 15th.
Samsung’s device will sport a 12.1-inch screen with an 8-hour battery life, while Acer’s device will be a 11.6-inch display and a 6.5-hour battery life. Samsung’s device will retail for $429 (£263) for the Wi-Fi version and $499 (£305) for the 3G version. Acer’s more portable notebook will start at $349 (£214) and up.

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Security warning for Chrome and Firefox users

Security firm Context has warned users of Chrome and Firefox browsers to turn off their WebGL tool following 'significant' security problems.
Part of the HTML5 Canvas functionality, WebGL is a rendering engine that allows 3D images and animations without plugins. It is used in the latest versions of Chrome and Firefox, as well as the newest builds of Safari.
“The risks stem from the fact that most graphics cards and drivers have not been written with security in mind so that the interface (API) they expose assumes that the applications are trusted,” says Michael Jordon, research and development Manager at Context.

“While this may be true for local applications, the use of WebGL-enabled browser-based applications with certain graphics cards now poses serious threats from breaking the cross-domain security principle to denial-of-service attacks, potentially leading to full exploitation of a user’s machine.”
Techdows have published details of how to disable WebGL on
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Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Microsoft release Games for Windows

Microsoft has released Games for Windows 3.5.0050.0.
The new games package promises quality branded titles that have undergone extensive testing to deliver reliabilty and performance.
The download is available free and is compatible with Windows XP / Vista / Windows 7 / XP64 / Vista 64 / Windows 7 64
Download from or
Filename; gfwlivesetup.exe

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Microsoft to buy Skype for $8.5 billion

Microsoft has agreed to buy Internet phone service provider Skype for $8.5 billion in cash, the companies announced Tuesday.
Skype -- currently owned by a group led by private equity firm Silver Lake -- will become a new business unit within Microsoft, which will be run by Tony Bates, the company's current chief executiv
Microsoft said it plans to incorporate Skype's real-time video and voice communications into its existing product lines, including Office, Windows Phone and the Xbox gaming system.
As the largest acquisition in its history, the deal marks a significant change in strategy for Microsoft, which has not bought another company since 2006.
"Today is a big day for Microsoft and Skype, as well as businesses and consumers around the world," said Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer. The goal, he said, is to "empower people around the world with technology that will bring them together."
Skype has become one of the most recognizable brands in the Internet communication business. It draws 600,000 new registrations every day, and has had annual revenue growth of 40%, according to Microsoft.
The company, based in Luxembourg, filed for a $100 million IPO last year. But the actual offering was delayed, and rumors surfaced last week that the company was in talks with Microsoft and Facebook.
"We're in a very special place in the industry," said Bates, adding that Skype has 100 million users that log 100 minutes each month.

story source;

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Japanese lab invents Internet kissing machine

We admit to being sort of creeped out by this: A Japanese lab has created a device that may let let you "French kiss" someone over the Internet.
And by "kiss," we mean waggle your tongue on a plastic straw, thereby making another plastic straw waggle remotely on someone else's tongue.
Hot, huh?
Well, the folks at Tokyo's Kajimoto Laboratory say it's just the beginning of what could become a full-on person-to-person experience over the Internet.
The lab, part of The University of Electro-Communications, posted a video in which a researcher demonstrates the "Kiss Transmission Device." It's a motorized box that looks a little like a police Breathalyzer.
Watch the video of the "Kiss Transmission Device"
In the video, Nobuhiro Takahashi, a graduate student and researcher at the university, manipulates the plastic tube on one device with his tongue. A program stores the movements on a computer and then transmits them to another device, causing its tube to move -- presumably in someone else's mouth.
The idea is to help lovers -- in long-distance relationships, say -- by transmitting the tactile sensation of kissing from one person to another. The lab is running both devices on the same computer, but says a system could be set up to connect them via the Web.
"Kiss information" can be recorded and replayed, presumably meaning someone could save and share a "kiss" over and over.
"For example, if you have a popular entertainer use this device and record it, that could be hugely popular if you offer it to fans," Takahashi says. (Can you say, "Justin Bieber"?)
The researchers seem to realize that most people might not exactly find licking a plastic tube a suitable replacement for sucking face. But there are refinements on the way, they say.
"The elements of a kiss include the sense of taste, the manner of breathing and the moistness of the tongue," Takahashi said. "If we can re-create all of those, I think it will be a really powerful device."

Facebook paying users 10 cents to watch certain ads

 Facebook on Thursday introduced a program that, in effect, offers consumers a financial incentive to watch ads on the site.
Facebook will now reward users who watch certain ads on the site with Facebook Credits, which can be redeemed to purchase goods on Facebook Deals, the company's new Groupon-like daily deals service.
The incentive, however, is not huge. Initially at least, the average ad will yield one credit, which is the equivalent of 10 cents.
The ads will mostly be in games. CrowdStar, Digital Chocolate and Zynga are among the participating game publishers. Facebook is working with Sharethrough, SocialVibe, Epic Media and SupersonicAds to serve ads on the program as well as TrialPay, which will provide analytics.
Dan Greenberg, CEO of Sharethrough, says that Facebook's move represents "a step away from interruptive advertising." Greenberg, whose clients include Microsoft and Nestle, says his network won't deliver traditional advertising, but rather branded entertainment, which consumers will want to not only watch, but share with their friends.
Incentivizing consumers to watch ads is one solution for Facebook's low banner click-through rates. The move comes after Facebook expanded its Credits program last week to let consumers use the Credits to buy real-world goods advertised in Deals.
Previously, the credits, which were awarded for consumers who signed up for various programs (like magazine subscriptions) or bought outright could only buy virtual goods.


Thursday, 5 May 2011

Facebook to buy Skype?

Tech website Mashable has reported rumours that Facebook are contemplating a Skype buyout.
According to Reuters' sources, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, is talking to Skype about either buying the company outright or forming a joint venture,.
Reports suggest the buyout would cost $3 -$4 billion.
Another report said that Google are also interested in Skype.
Skype has reportedly stated; “As a practical matter, we avoid commenting on rumor and speculation.”

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Sunday, 1 May 2011

Sony to resume some PlayStation gaming services

Sony has said it will resume some services on its PlayStation Network, which was shut after the theft of personal details of about 77m users.
Sony officials said they had boosted the security of their computer systems after user names, email addresses and log-in details were stolen.
Executives, including Kazuo Hirai, the head of Sony's PlayStation unit, apologised for the security breach.
The theft has prompted legal action and investigations in the US and Europe.
"The organisation has worked around the clock to bring these services back on line and are doing so only after we had verified increased levels of security across our networks," said Mr Hirai in a statement.
He is seen as the frontrunner to take over as head of Sony Corp.

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