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LeapFrog Jumps Into Kid-Sized Tablets with the LeapPad Explorer

posted Sunday Jul 3, 2011 by Nicholas DiMeo

LeapFrog Jumps Into Kid-Sized Tablets with the LeapPad Explorer

In an age where young kids are growing up in a world of technology, they are hanging up your calls to your brother, ordering pay-per-view movies on your TV, disconnecting your phone from its Touchstone charger and running rampant on your tablet PC. (Side note: With a 16-month old running around my own house, I have never experienced any of these things personally...)

The good news is that developers are picking up on these trends and are creating apps to go on your devices. The bad news with apps on grown-up products is that the kids can still get into stuff they shouldn't and can sometime cause severe problems for your laptop, or a $99 charge on your TV bill.

LeapFrog wants to change all of that. With more and more kid-based Apple apps, LeapFrog is taking it in a whole new direction with the LeapPad Explorer. Sure we've seen baby computers and things like that before, and LeapFrog has some of those products already on the market, but this is a full-on tablet for kids ages 4-9.

We have details on the product after the break.

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Electronic Arts Also Falls Victim to Data Breach

posted Sunday Jul 3, 2011 by Nicholas DiMeo

Electronic Arts Also Falls Victim to Data Breach

All companies who have any information stored on the Internet should absolutely respect Internet security and make it their number one priority at all times. Lately, it seems like companies such as Sony (and their related brands) and Sega have taken this matter lightly. Well, add Electronic Arts to the list of companies who have had a breach in security, as this week their BioWare brand fell victim to the hacker groups who are going after videogame developers and manufacturers. I guess the good news here is that the attack was on Neverwinter Nights servers. Does anyone still play that game?

In the onslaught of attacks, user information like phone numbers, email and mailing addresses, CD keys and birth dates were taken, which is pretty much the lower level, usual data that we see snatched up in breaches like this, at least to begin with. No credit card information or social security numbers have been reported to be stolen. To date, we have not heard who is responsible for this attack, although it is rumored that Anonymous members went to work outside of the group's defined operations.

EA has posted a Q&A about the attacks, and we have excerpts from it and our thoughts after the break.

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Microsoft Takes Office 2010 to the Cloud!

posted Sunday Jul 3, 2011 by Jon Wurm

Microsoft Takes Office 2010 to the Cloud!

You might be asking yourself right now, "Doesn't Office 2010 already have web apps?" Well, yes, they do. In fact the Office 365 program suite is available right now in 40 markets according to the Steve Ballmer. The things Microsoft realized with the current Office 2010 web apps is that they are a relatively weak solution and with the growing demand for cloud applications, Google Apps could pose a problem in the near future. That alone was probably enough reason for Microsoft to take Office to the next level.

Of course Microsoft is talking about full service Office web apps that would deliver the entire Office experience online over a network and not on a hard drive. This would provide another way for Office users to access and interact with Office products so long as Internet access is available. It will also be very beneficial for wallets according to Microsoft Office Division President Kurt DelBene,

Customers can save money with the product, which eliminates the need to maintain server computers and software. Microsoft estimates the average 1,000-person company will save about $350,000 a year over a four-year period.

Along with the potential cost savings for businesses, Microsoft is looking to grab more of the corporate spending in the technology sector by making the subscription to Office 2010 web apps a month-to-month, per user, kind of licensing. They think that this model will allow them to sell more to small and medium sized businesses.

At $6 per month a user will be able to enjoy Office Web Apps and exchange e-mail services, if they want to, for an additional $12 per month, $18 total, they can have a full version of Office as well. Microsoft says that Office 2010 is being adopted five times faster than Office '07 and it will be interesting to see what effect these changes will have in the near future.

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Supreme Court Tells California The 1st Amendment Is Still Constitutional

posted Saturday Jul 2, 2011 by Jon Wurm

Supreme Court Tells California The 1st Amendment Is Still Constitutional

In November of last year, a California bill was signed into law that banned the sale of "violent" video games to minors, AB 1179. Opposition to the bill has not made its way to the highest court in the land where Denny Crane argued that violence is American and the ban would make our children "namby panbies."

On June 27th of this year, the Supreme Court of the United States finally rendered a verdict that ultimately upholds the First Amendment, under which video games are protected by freedom of speech. Justices Elena Kagan, Anthony Kennedy, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor echoed sentiments from Justice Antonin Scalia, who wrote in his opinion,

The Act does not comport with the First Amendment. Video games qualify for First Amendment protection. Like protected books, plays, and movies, they communicate ideas through familiar literary devices and features distinctive to the medium. And 'the basic principles of freedom of speech... do not vary' with a new and different communication medium.

How have other organizations responded and how might this still affect you? Hit the break to get the facts.

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Geohot Now One of the Cool Guys Working for Facebook

posted Sunday Jun 26, 2011 by Nicholas DiMeo

Geohot Now One of the Cool Guys Working for Facebook

This is somewhat weird news that I both like and dislike at the same time. Our beloved hacker legend Geohot, also known to me as The Hotz, is now a legitimate working man. That's right, after all of the publicity, the media attention, the Sony lawsuits, the Kevin Butler flubs and countless hard drives seized by the feds, The Hotz is now working... for Facebook.

So while it's cool and all that George received some sort of recognition for his skill-set out of all of this, why is he working for Facebook of all people? Well, it makes sense if you think about it. Hotz has been known for releasing exploits for not only the PS3 but for Apple products as well, specifically, the iPhone. He is known for jailbraking the handset to work outside of AT&T's network.

According to Facebook, they've been eyeing to make an iPad app as of last week. You heard right, Facebook has yet to release an app for the iPad for their own site. Baffling. Regardless, with Geohot's experience with Apple products, he is now under the employ of the incompetently run giant to hopefully make their one good product for the year.

Word got out of this after Chronic-Dev Team member Josh Hill noticed that his challenge to Hotz on hacking the iPad 2 was dismissed because of George's new work. After doing some research we learned that his new work was indeed at Facebook.

Hotz' Facebook status read, "Facebook is really an amazing place to work...first hackathon over."

We wish him luck and hope that he doesn't become tainted by the Zucks.

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Hulu for Sale

posted Sunday Jun 26, 2011 by Nicholas DiMeo

Hulu for Sale

Hulu for sale? It seems so. After back and forth talks about their CEO leaving and resigning deals recently with the major networks, the company now has a For Sale sign out on the lawn. Hulu has picked up investment banks Morgan Stanley and Guggenheim Partners to help them setup a sale. Interested parties have already been notified that the sale process would be starting in as soon as two weeks.

Of course, we learned of this news after following a story earlier in the week where Yahoo! came forward with interest in an acquisition but did not make a formal bid. At that point, nobody had an idea if Hulu was willing to sell and they hadn't taken any steps towards preparing for a sale. Now with the addition of the banks, there is a clear line drawn on where Hulu wants to go with this. Not only are they on the minds of potential buyers, but the owning companies, News Corp., Disney, NBC Universal/Comcast and Providence Equity are looking to leave the media streaming service just three years after its inception.

Could this really be? Click the break for more.

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