The UpStream

Newer
Older

Data Breach at Blizzard Comprises Emails and Security Questions but not Passwords

posted Saturday Aug 11, 2012 by Nicholas DiMeo

Data Breach at Blizzard Comprises Emails and Security Questions but not Passwords

This week we have news of another breach in the gaming world, however it is not in any way, shape or form related to Sony and their handicapping outage last year. Instead, the victim is Blizzard Entertainment and their Battle.net online gaming network. Blizzard, makers of StarCraft, World of Warcraft and Diablo, has had their internal network security compromised and the company has issued emails to customers today. Blizzard has said the email went out to all customers who have used Battle.net, however at the time of this writing, my inbox has not received any such notification. Perhaps I wasn't affected?

The good news is that Blizzard is also saying no financial information has been breached to their knowledge, so you're safe in that regard. Also, while email addresses to lots of non-Chinese users of Battle.net were snatched along with passwords, those passwords were scrambled, which cannot be said for Yahoo! and other companies' breaches as of late. Scrambling or "hashing" passwords, is a common practice in development and has become the accepted, secure way to handle all customer login activity.

Who is responsible for this and what steps is Blizzard taking to ensure this won't happen again? The path to the answers resides safely and securely after the break.

read more...

Google Censors Search Results Again, Now Worldwide

posted Saturday Aug 11, 2012 by Scott Ertz

Google Censors Search Results Again, Now Worldwide

Google has, once again, changed their search algorithm, but it's not for the normal reasons. Normally when these changes happen it is to enhance their search result relevancy; this time it is to reduce their search result relevancy. In response to pressure from the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), Google will now suppress relevant search results from websites which have had copyright claims against them.

Amit Singhal, Google Engineering SVP, wrote,

This ranking change should help users find legitimate, quality sources of content more easily - whether it's a song previewed on NPR's music website, a TV show on Hulu or new music streamed from Spotify.

While this may be good for Hulu and Spotify, what does this mean for legitimate websites who have received false claims? Hit the break for those answers and responses from affected parties, both for and against.

read more...

US District Judge Overturns $147 Million Settlement Against Research in Motion

posted Saturday Aug 11, 2012 by Nicholas DiMeo

US District Judge Overturns $147 Million Settlement Against Research in Motion

Good things come to those who wait long enough. For Research in Motion, the maker of the infamous BlackBerry devices which have come and gone with their popularity as fast as Kevin Federline's rap career, the wait seems to have been very, very long. Inappropriate jobs, faulty PlayBooks and marketing blunders have plagued the company until recently, where RIM has decided to set a new course for their future. Now, it would appear good things are happening in the customary set of three.

RIM's second piece of good news in five months comes from none other than a US judge, overturning a ruling of infringement between Research in Motion and Mformation Technologies. The judge said that RIM did not infringe on the plaintiff's patent involving a remote management system on a wireless device.

How much money will RIM get back and what's next for the company. We dive into the good stuff, head-first, after the break.

read more...

Zynga Bribes Employees to Keep Them From Quitting

posted Saturday Aug 11, 2012 by Scott Ertz

It has been a rough couple of weeks for Zynga. Though the largest producer of Facebook games, their earnings report sucked this quarter, their future products have not impressed and their $200 million OMGPOP acquisition has not exactly gone as planned. The company has begun to resort to licensing tactics, including a Draw Something-branded TV show to try and keep the lights on. Combine that with an insider trading investigation and a lawsuit from EA over the similarities between their new game The Ville and EA's The Sims Social.

None of this inspires confidence from the market, but even less confidence is inside the office. Because of this, the company is expecting many employees to leave out of fear. In an attempt to prevent this, the company handed out stock to all full-time employees to encourage them to stick around. While stock options are a common occurrence within Zynga for performance within a quarter, a full-company handout is not. As of right now, Zynga has 77.4 million outstanding options worth about 76 cents apiece.

Is this a sign of the end or common practice? Hit the break to find out.

read more...

Another Kidney for Apple Products

posted Saturday Aug 11, 2012 by Scott Ertz

Another Kidney for Apple Products

I cannot believe I am writing about this again, but here we are. Another Chinese teenager, a 17-year-old boy, sold his kidney on the black market for about $3,500 US, which he then used to purchase an iPad and an iPhone. Yes, this kid underwent surgery in order to purchase a couple of meh consumer electronic devices. As I mentioned, this is not the first time I have written about this. There was the first kidney harvest and the virginity auction, both for Apple products in China last year.

So, what is going on here? Why are people willing to give up their virginity or organs in return for Apple products in China? There are a couple of problems. First, with 1.5 million organ transplants needed in China and only about 10,000 donations, that leaves a HUGE black market open. In fact, this kid's kidney fetched about $35,000 US, most of which was split between the surgeon, hospital official and the Internet troll who found the boy in a chatroom. The fact that even the hospitals are in on the racket is a sign that something is going wrong in the culture or in the government (no kidding, right?).

The other major factor is the social impact of Apple products in the Chinese culture. Since Apple products are so unbelievably expensive, it is a status symbol for a Chinese citizen to own one. Because of the status and the fact that a round of golf is beyond most Chinese budgets, people are willing to do all kinds of crazy things to prove they are important with an iPhone. For example, the boy in question here is currently suffering renal failure and is so weak he is unable to attend the trial in which he is trying to get $350,000 US in damages from the perpetrators of this crime.

Despite the common nature of the harvesting, the practice is obviously illegal, and the people involved are currently facing 10 years in prison, which is not something anyone wants in China. The fact that it is as common as it is, suggests that generally China doesn't prosecute the crime, though they have begun to as of late with 137 recent arrests.

So, now that we have talked about this a couple of times, I need to know: is there anything you would be willing to sell a part of yourself for? Let us know in the comments.

read more...

Acer Thinks Surface Tablet is Bad for Business, Threatens Microsoft to Reconsider

posted Wednesday Aug 8, 2012 by Nicholas DiMeo

Acer Thinks Surface Tablet is Bad for Business, Threatens Microsoft to Reconsider

I didn't think anybody but Apple fans would be upset when the Microsoft Surface was announced along with the stunning new accessories. Microsoft beat the first wave of apprehension when they said they welcomed other manufacturers to step their games up against the Surface, and Samsung was quick to announce they'd be launching a Windows 8 RT tablet. All is not well in the Microsoft manufacturer world, though. The last company in my mind that would seem to have an issue, however, would be Acer, but that's exactly who is causing a stir in the tech industry this week as they have told Microsoft to "think twice" about the upcoming flagship Surface tablet.

What's happening here and why is Acer upset? Are they just being childish in the whole matter? Is Microsoft going to put them out of business? We have the answers to all of these questions after the break.

read more...
Newer
Older
We're live now - Join us!
PLuGHiTZ Keyz

Email

Password

Forgot password? Recover here.
Not a member? Register now.
Blog Meets Brand Stats