News and Editorials (1736)
A Certain Jens R., a 33 years old German citizen, who owns the site torrent.to, normally located on servers in Russia, received three years and 10 months in prison at the court in the German city of Aachen. As owners of The Pirate Bay, in his case, he is charged for illegal distribution of copyrighted content. In addition, Jens is still under investigation for false report of bankruptcy and embezzlement.
Futuremark announced that they have just released a patch v1.1.0 for the new 3DMark, which as the most important news emphasize the possibility to operate on the computers with three or four graphics processors. In such situations the tests until now gave less than expected. At first it was thought to be a minor problem in the video drivers, but after months of browsing through 3Dmark Engine they found out that the problem was still in its code.
Electronic Arts has announced that they have signed a new multi-year exclusive contract that gives them the right to create and publish new games based on the characters and the story of Star Wars. How is this announcement important for Electronic Arts is best illustrated by the signature of Frank Gibeaua, EA Labels boss who does not hide his enthusiasm with the acquired license. „The magic of Star Wars is interwoven into the worlds, characters, planets and amazing battles. It is a universe that lends itself perfectly to gaming. Our agreement unlocks a whole new future of Star Wars games that will span consoles, PCs, tablets, mobile and more“ he said.
With all of the articles talking about life after the PC we were surprised to hear that Foxconn is looking at life after Apple. Apple is an interesting company with a rocky history their two founder Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak were both very talented at what they did and that combination managed to help the fledgling consumer PC market take off. However it was not that long before both of the founders were no longer with the company and it was being run by a business man instead of anyone with vision or personality. That business man tried to embark on a legal campaign to kill off rival Microsoft with not only failed, but also came close to bankrupting Apple.
Microsoft has announced that they are going to make “key” changes to their Windows 8 operating system. I think deep down we all knew this day was coming as the consumer response was not what Microsoft and many of their partners had hoped for. There are many contributing factors to this, but one of the biggest ones was Microsoft’s drastic shift from the PC being about what the user wants to users taking what Microsoft put in front of them.
With already introduced BlackBerry Z10 and Q10 that cost equally to current top smartphones on the market, Canadian company is reportedly preparing a cheaper version of their model with a combination of QWERTY keyboard and touch screen. Like his big brother Q10, R10 comes in the same BlackBerry format, but according to the latest rumors mutilated far less than what would was expected.
Texas company Defense Distributed recently produced the Liberator - a gun that is almost entirely made with a 3D printer, and as such, owners of the 3D printer can produce it at their home. Only two components of the Liberator were are obtained from 3D printing: metal nail which serves as a hammer and a piece of steel that is here to activatethe metal detectors so the gun as such would be in accordance with U.S. laws.
Whenever I read a headline that shows a company using very outdated software or hardware has been hacked; I find myself wondering if the people responsible for their IT and Finance departments are looking for new jobs. When it is a government agency it makes things even worse. Friday May 3rd I think things hit a peak as it has been revealed that nuclear researchers at the US Department of Energy had their computers compromised.
Over the last few years we have followed the sorry state of cyber security in both corporate and governmental systems and have always been surprised at the solutions that they have presented. For some reason these groups want to remove responsibility from themselves for making sure their data (which in some cases is your data) is secure. This lack of corporate responsibility has led to misguided bills, acts and other nonsense that will still not do anything to stem the tide of security breaches. One of the most famous examples of this is QinetiQ.
BlackBerry recorded excellent sales results for the device Q10, which recently became available in the markets of Canada and Great Britain. According to data from Jefferies analyst Peter Misek, Q10 in these countries was mostly sold out or hard to find, despite the slightly higher initial price compared to other high-end smartphones and the relatively limited target audience, the business people.
Amazon could present this year a larger release of their tablet Kindle Fire. Although in recent years tablets with the smaller screen diagonal received increased popularity, with Kindle Fire things are going in the opposite way.
According to data collected by ComScore, Apple increased its advantage over Samsung in the U.S. during the first quarter and took part of the market from mobile devices based on Android. Overall, in the first three months of this year, Apple with its iPhone in the U.S. took 39% of the entire market of "smart" mobile phones, increasing their lead over Samsung, which took 21.7% of the market.
U.S. startup CoinLab filed a lawsuit against the Japanese Mt. Gox, the largest Internet Exchange of Bitcoin in the world, for allegedly violating mutual agreement. Seeking damages of 75 million real, not virtual dollars for the suffered damage.
Blackberry and Samsung have made it through the first round of testing for use in DoD (Department of Defense) networks. For Blackberry this is something of a return, but it establishes that their new Blackberry 10 OS is up to scratch for the DoD. For Samsung this is a first for them although the OS is a version of Android called Knox. Knox is a hardened version of Android that Samsung created to specifically address the security needs of enterprise users.
Kim Swift and his team at Airtight Games have presented their new game which was developed exclusively for OUYA console, called Soul Fjord. The game is currently in its final stages, and Airtight Games has released several trailers to interested gamers, from which we can see what to expect from this game once it appears on the market.
Every once in a while we run into a very addictive game, and the best thing about them is that they are not created by some huge studios and not too expensive, but rather focus on fun and innovation. One of those games is, without a doubt, Fez.
A warning has been sent out to financial institutions and government agencies as the collective known as Anonymous has announced their OpUSA. The Operation as put forth by the hackvist group is supposed to target banks and government websites and is supposed to kick off on May 7th. Some security experts are advising the targeted organizations to prepare for Distributed Denial of Service Attacks and harden their sites against them.
Back in October of 2011 just before the launch of Windows 8 and RT, Steve Ballmer was working very hard to convince other people that his vision for Windows 8 was an accurate one. Ballmer was convinced that Windows 8 and RT would be in millions of homes and be the most successful OS that Microsoft had released. For many people this was just business as usual simply because a company would never say anything otherwise. Can you imagine a company coming out and saying “yeah, we know this is a crappy bit of software, but we want you to buy it anyway”? Still even with that in mind Microsoft was working on building up some good hype behind Windows 8.
How would you feel if one day you noticed that your GPU was going crazy even when your computer was sitting idle? We imagine that you would start scanning your system for viruses after an initial reboot. Now on top of that imagine how you would feel if your anti-malware scans started pointing fingers at the client software of an online service you typically trust. This is exactly what members of competitive e-sports group ESEA E-Sports Entertainment Association found after a recent update to their client software.
Microsoft earlier this year introduced the possibility of leaving a short video message via Skype. Interestingly, this functionality was only available on competing platforms - Mac, iOS and Android.
Samsung is starting a mass production of new 20-nanometer LPDDR3 memory chips in 4 GB capacity. According to the manufacturer, it is the first memory chips for mobile phones that will be a performance comparable with the memory modules used in personal computers.
Bad video games are nothing new there are about as many of them as there are bad TV shows and movies. However, even when a producer knows that a TV show or movie is bad they still are going to do everything they can to get people to go and see it. There are many techniques that are used to do this, but one of my least favorites is when they dig through the move and show you all the “good parts” in a trailer in order to entice you into spending your money. Now although this is bad it is not really illegal, just very misleading and dishonest. So what would you do is the scenes shown in an ad were not actually in the movie, or looked nothing like the final picture? Would it be false advertising? Would it make things worse if the CEO of the movie studio claimed that the scenes were part of the movie? I am sure that it would oddly enough this exact thing has happened, but with a game instead of a movie.
The FBI and a few other groups would like to put a law in place which would allow them to fine companies that refuse to hand over information regardless of the reasons for not choosing to do so. This plan is part of an increasing effort to force companies to share user information with the government. On the surface the idea looks pretty straight forward. Law Enforcement and other Government Agencies want to be able to track down people that might be using the internet and internet communication services to commit crimes. Sounds legit right?
Malware, spyware, viruses these are all things that are part of the modern computing experience. When you are online you always have to be aware of the dangers of these items. Over the years the developers of malware have become more and more clever at disguising their wares from users and anti-malware programs. This is something that you would expect of this group as in many cases they are looking to gather money, information or pull your system into their botnets (which can also equal money). However what you would not expect is for a legitimate company to use the same tactics to build their own spyware to assist governments and law enforcement.