16th > September > 2011 Archive
After getting the pants sued off it for security breaches that exposed personal information connected to more than 100 million online accounts, Sony is requiring subscribers to waive their right to wage class-action lawsuits for almost any reason. Sony dropped the bombshell in an updated terms of service and user agreement (PDF) on one of its websites. It requires people with accounts on Sony's PlayStation Network or other online services to seek binding arbitration with an arbitrator of the company's choosing instead of exercising their right to have a judge or jury hear their case. Legal claims can only be filed if the dispute isn't resolved through arbitration in a timely manner. The terms go on to state:
Research in Motion’s shares have fallen sharply after the Blackberry maker reported that profits were down 47 per cent for its second quarter of the fiscal year.
When the master encryption key locking down millions of Blu-ray players and set-top boxes was mysteriously leaked last year, Hollywood moguls worried their precious high-definition movies would face a new flurry of piracy. Instead, it spawned the Chumby NeTV, a tiny, Wi-Fi-connected box that sits between a television and a set-top box or DVD player so email alerts, Tweets and other internet content are scrolled across the bottom of the screen – all without interrupting the flow of the video. Making the NeTV break into the encrypted video stream passing through an HDMI cable required the elite hacking skills of Bunnie Huang, an engineer and co-founder of Chumby, the maker of net-connected alarm clocks that display weather forecasts, news headlines, and other internet content. Using the leaked master key at the heart of the HDCP, or high-bandwidth digital content protection, encryption scheme to modify the content was clever enough. Doing it without violating draconian copyright laws was nothing short of brilliant.
Open...and ShutOpen...and Shut If ever there were a company made to beat Apple in mobile, it's Google.
Half a million previews of Windows 8 have been downloaded by developers since the software became available on Tuesday, Microsoft has announced.
It’s not quite enough evidence to constitute a discovery, but scientists working on the CRESST experiment think they may have spotted Weakly Interacting Massive Particles (WIMPs).
ReviewReview When the 15z was announced there was no small amount of fanfare, not least due to Dell’s interesting claim that this was the thinnest 15in laptop in existence. In no time at all, it had been pointed out that the accompanying asterisk needed to be the size of an actual star, since the machine the 15z was aping, the Apple MacBook Pro, was actually thinner by a disastrous 0.02in.
The Information Commissioner has called for the commencement of the custodial element of the section 55 offences and expressly criticised data protection compliance by local authorities as being “very bad”.
Pirate site Newzbin2 has cooked up a software client that it says will help UK users defeat a block on the site that is due to be enforced in October.
The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has gathered its guidance on electronic privacy laws in one place.
HID Global, makers of electronic locks for everything from server keyboards to student halls, has created an app that allows NFC-equipped BlackBerrys to be used instead of ID cards.
CommentComment PayPal reckons its mobile payment system will take us into a new way of managing our money, and PayPal into the real world of real things, but disrupting world banking ain't that easy.
Microsoft has demonstrated how the forthcoming Windows 8 will communicate with the Xbox platform, in its first showing of how the company aims to bring "everything you know and love on Xbox 360 and Xbox Live to Windows."
Episode 13Episode 13
Accessory of the WeekAccessory of the Week There is no shortage of small speakers for phones and music players, but few deliver much in the way of welly, or even sound quality.
The Special Project Bureau's elite Hypobaric Evaluation And Design (HEAD) team has spent the last couple of days contemplating your suggestions as to how we might get LOHAN to suck more more effectively.
Google and American authors and publishers have been given an extra nine months to come up with a solution to the ongoing legal dispute over the web giant's proposed digital library.
Windows 8 doesn't just put Microsoft's operating system on finger-friendly tablets, it also gives the notorious Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) a touchy makeover.
Teenagers could be taught to write their own software programs at GCSE as part of a major overhaul of the UK schools' IT curriculum.
Nokia has terminated its distribution contract with specialist comms disties 20:20 and Data Select in a revamp of its UK channel.
Expert ClinicExpert Clinic Ethernet needs to become a lean, mean networking machine, and the way to do that, we're told, is to flatten the fabric, avoid layer the processing and keep as much as possible down in Layer 2. Is this real? What does it mean for performance, network management and open Ethernet standards?
Coders can now get their hands on a single Google+ API (application programming interface).
Canon has unveiled two additions to its Powershot cameras range, both powered by the latest Digic 5 image processor which enhances colour, reduces noise and increases white balance accuracy.
Former long-serving HP reseller and distie boss Dave Poskett is heading up the UK enterprise channel for Chinese network infrastructure vendor Huawei.
SK Telecom has announced that it will launch an NFC-capable SIM card next month, achieving something hitherto considered impossible while skipping over the need for technical explanation.
ReviewReview It's hard to know whether to blame its own over-bearing derivation or the over-saturation of FPS games in general: either way, Resistance 3 is an anticlimatic end to a series that has struggled to rise above mediocrity.
The Nigerian public has been reassured by authorities that answering a phone call cannot cause death, after widespread rumours raised concern.
Spanish national police have reactivated their website following attacks by hacking supergroup Anonymous.
A New York gadget shop called Apple Story has agreed to change its name, hand over any counterfeit stock bearing Apple logos or slogans, and name its dodgy suppliers as part of a court settlement with the fruity tech giant.
Former Acer CEO Gianfranco Lanci is joining Lenovo as a consultant to help steer the firm's consumer biz worldwide, particularly the integration of recently-acquired German PC maker Medion.
Thousands of companies, far more than expected, are handing over hundreds of dollars each to block their brands in the new .xxx internet domain.
All anniversaries are special, and so is this one. It's particularly special because a billion or more people have been and are being affected by it every day. They switch on their PCs and take advantage of Intel processors and Microsoft's Windows, or Mac OS, thinking nothing of it. But before these, and providing a foundation for them, came spinning disks, rotating hard disk drives, the electro-mechanical phenomenon that the world of computing has depended on for decades: 55 years to be precise.
VMware's SpringSource unit has released Java tooling making it faster and easier to build big clouds using its parent's Cloud Foundry project.
Supposed psychological profiles of senior members of hacking horde Anonymous are almost certainly a work of fiction.
Valve is making the original Portal available for free this weekend on Steam.
Research In Motion's share price crashed quite spectacularly in the first hour and a half that the market was open in New York, dropping 20 per cent off its price.
The phone lines at ITopia Group, which faces a winding up order sought by distributor Computer 2000 amid allegations of unpaid debts, have rung unanswered for the fourth consecutive day.
A longtime Mozilla Corporation VP has quit the open source outfit he co-founded in 1998.
Unionised Fujitsu workers have called off their strike set for Monday after bosses at the firm "doubled" the pot of money available for pay rises with an additional £500,000 brought to the negotiating table.
HP is facing legal action brought about by a disgruntled shareholder who claims the tech titan hid plans to review ownership of the PC biz and flush the TouchPad down the toilet [causing it to suddenly catch fire - ed].
Search engines from Microsoft and Yahoo! Have once again been caught displaying ads that direct users to malicious content, some that infects them with malware that's hard to detect and get rid of, researchers said. Queries such as “FireFox Download,” “Download Skype,” and “Download Adobe Player” typed into the sites returned links promising to deliver the software requested but instead attempted to hijack people's computers, GFI Labs researcher Christopher Boyd said in a blog post published Friday. Clicking on the links takes users to pages that look like the software maker's official site, except for the URL.
Brazilian cops have released an impressive scan of the abdomen of an Irish chap who attempted to board a plane in São Paulo earlier this week packing 830g of cocaine.
Facebook has plugged its developer site into Heroku, giving coders direct access to a "platform cloud" where they can deploy, host, and readily scale their Facebook applications.
Oracle has released three new commercial extensions for MySQL, provoking fears that the company might be trying to take the project too far from its open source roots.
Oracle has scheduled a systems announcement ahead of its early October OpenWorld conference, and has just released a patch for its Solaris 10 operating system ahead of the expected launch of the long-awaited Solaris 11.
IDF 2011IDF 2011 Intel labs has created a prototype processor that achieves a high level of energy efficiency by running at voltages barely above those those required to light up its transistors.
Google has officially launched Native Client – a means of securely running C and C++ code inside a browser – as part of a new stable version of its Chrome browser that activates this rather controversial sandboxing technology.
Scientists from the University of Michigan have devised a power management system that can greatly improve the lifespan of radio devices such as smartphones and laptops.