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Sean Kalinich

You knew it was going to happen, but I am honestly surprised that it has happened this soon after the special 301 report recommendations came out. Italy has decided to issue a nation-wide block of sites that are suspected of piracy. One of the sites thrown into the mix is Kim Dotcom’s new cloud hosting service Mega. The measure was ordered by Court of Rome Judge Constantino De Robbio and includes 24 sites in its scope.

Network and application security are big deals and big business these days. It seems that a day does not pass that you hear about a new breach, exploit, hack or something. This sad state has prompted a few companies to actually look outside their organizations for help and offer bug bounties to individual researchers that find holes in applications and hardware. These bounties can be quite the incentive to get people to tear into your application looking for exploits, but even more important than rewards is having a clear method to report problems and a team that actually responds to them when they are found.

The next version of Doom will be picking up some new talent to work on it in the form of Crytek Lead R&D Graphics Engineer, Tiago Sousa. In a tweet made over the weekend Sousa says that he will be moving to id Software to work on the new Doom’s game engine idTech 6.

If there is one constant in gaming it is the sequel. All a game has to do is sell a little bit and developers will find a way to make a part two. Now, if the game is a big hit, like say Dishonored, then the chances of a sequel are pretty much 100%. This is why the leaks about the next installment of Dishonored did not surprise us.

The P0wn2Own competition is getting s sibling. Now we are not talking about the competition sponsored by Google or even Microsoft. We are talking about a knockdown drag out competition to hammer the (lack of) security in residential and SOHO routers. The competition will be called SOHOpelessly Broken and will kick off at DEF CON 22 this year. Interestingly enough it is sponsored by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and Independent Security Evaluators (ISE).

Microsoft has announced that they will be closing the doors on their Xbox Entertainment Studio. This move is part of the recent job cuts that new CEO Satya Nadella announced. Nadella is slimming things down as part of a mobile first, cloud first initiative, but also with the intention of re-focusing Microsoft on things that area important to the product in question. If you remember gamers were not that happy with the “more than a gaming console” spin that Microsoft put on the Xbox One.

It seems that Microsoft is not getting the love from former Halo developer Bungie. Bungie is working on a new game that is aimed at next generation consoles, but instead of partnering up with their old buddies Microsoft they decided to focus on Sony instead. Bungie even went so far as to start a beta program for PS3 owners early (today 7-17-2014).

We have talked about how the MPAA, RIAA and others use fantasy math to come up with the figures about how much Piracy hurts them. Usually they use these fantasy number when asking lawmakers for harsher punishments and also to show how malignant file sharers are. These numbers allege that every single download is a lost sale which leads to more revenue lost in concessions and many other non-related areas.

This morning some news flitted across my desk that made me thing of an old TV commercial. In this ad an older man in a suit ask the question: “How do we measure success?” His response is: “One client at a time.” All of this is done in black and white for an even better impression. Now that I have gone off on a tangent I should probably explain what I am talking about. The news in question was a bit of information stating that Xbox One sales had nearly doubled. The reason, Microsoft removed the Kinect from the bundle and cut the price.

They say that competition is good for the soul, and they are right. In just about any area you can think of having a little competition makes you better at what you do. In the computer world this is especially noticeable when it comes to motherboards, even more so now that companies like Intel and AMD control the chipsets and their features. The push now comes down to performance tuning (at a very fine level) overclocking an additional features to entice the consumer into picking up a new motherboard. We have had a couple of Z97 based boards in the lab recently, but all have been from the same company. Now we have one in from Gigabyte in the form of the Z97MX Gaming 5. Let’s take a look and see if competition has driven Gigabyte to a higher standard.

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