Posts Tagged ‘online’

LaCie customers hit by data breach

LaCie customers hit by data breach

Storage specialist LaCie has warned customers of a data breach which has resulted in ne’er-do-wells making off with usernames, passwords and credit card details.

Storage specialist LaCie has warned customers of a major data breach that may have compromised their personal data used for purchases between March 2013 and 2014.

The hole in the company’s servers is not, it has been quick to reassure customers, indicative of the security of its storage products in general; no customer data stored on the company’s cloud services or network-connected storage devices is thought to be involved in the breach. Rather, the attack targeted the company’s ecommerce system, making off with transaction information for purchases made in the last year.

On March 19, 2014, the FBI informed LaCie that it found indications that an unauthorised person used malware to gain access to information from customer transactions that were made through LaCie’s website,‘ the company explained to customers in a statement made nearly a month after it was alerted to the breach. ‘We believe that transactions made between March 27, 2013 and March 10, 2014 were affected. The information that may have been accessed by the unauthorised person may include customers’ names, addresses, email addresses, and payment card numbers and card expiration dates. Customers’ LaCie website user names and passwords could also have been accessed, which is why we required a reset of all passwords.

LaCie has not confirmed how the data was stored; while credit card information should be encrypted, password are better stored as salted one-way hashes which become much harder for an attacker to crack. Either way, those with LaCie accounts are advised to change their passwords, both on the LaCie service itself and anywhere else where the same or similar password was used, and to keep a close eye on their credit card statements for unauthorised activity.

As a precaution, we have temporarily disabled the ecommerce portion of the LaCie website while we transition to a provider that specialises in secure payment processing services,‘ the company added. ‘We will resume accepting online orders once we have completed the transition.

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Eich steps down from Mozilla over equal rights furore

Eich steps down from Mozilla over equal rights furore

Brendan Eich has officially resigned from his post as chief executive officer of Mozilla, relinquishing his board seat over a firestorm surrounding his donation to an anti-equality campaign.

Controversial chief executive of the Mozilla Corporation Brendan Eich has stepped down, both as CEO and as a member of the Mozilla board, following public outcry over a political donation in opposition to gay marriage.

Eich, the inventor of JavaScript and co-founder of Mozilla, was upgrade from chief technical officer to chief executive officer late last month in a private vote by the board, which immediately led to calls for a boycott against the non-profit company. Those calling for his dismissal pointed to a personal donation of $1,000 Eich made to lobbying efforts in favour of Proposition 8, a US law which would have made gay marriage illegal. Those who support equality, not to mention people in gay marriages, were naturally opposed to the proposition.

While Eich’s tenure as CTO appeared to slip under the radar, his appointment to the post of CEO did not. Many, including numerous Mozilla employees and project contributors, questioned how a man who has made a public donation in efforts to curtail others’ rights could possibly lead an organisation that prides itself on inclusiveness. A statement by Eich failed to address the donation at all, merely pledging to continue to support – and to improve – inclusiveness at the company.

Now, with the public still baying for blood, Eich is out. ‘Brendan Eich has chosen to step down from his role as CEO,‘ executive chair Mitchell Baker announced late yesterday. ‘He’s made this decision for Mozilla and our community.

‘Mozilla prides itself on being held to a different standard and, this past week, we didn’t live up to it. We know why people are hurt and angry, and they are right: it’s because we haven’t stayed true to ourselves,’ admitted Baker. ‘We didn’t act like you’d expect Mozilla to act. We didn’t move fast enough to engage with people once the controversy started. We’re sorry. We must do better.

I’ve resigned as CEO and I’m leaving Mozilla to take a rest, take some trips with my family, look at problems from other angles, and see if the “network problem” has a solution that doesn’t require scaling up to hundreds of millions of users and winning their trust while somehow covering costs,‘ Eich announced in a personal blog post. ‘That’s a rare, hard thing, which I’m proud to have done with Firefox at Mozilla. I encourage all Mozillians to keep going. Firefox OS is even more daunting, and more important. Thanks indeed to all who have supported me, and to all my colleagues over the years, at Mozilla, in standards bodies, and at conferences around the world. I will be less visible online, but still around.

No successor to the role of CEO has yet been named.

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Mod of the Month March 2014

Mod of the Month March 2014

We’re finally getting some decent weather here in the UK after a pretty appalling winter so those of us that have been flooded, frozen in or just plain don’t like tinkering out in the shed when it’s a bit nippy, are gearing up for a spring and summer full of modding. There’s already been plenty of action in our modding forum this month too. Several projects have been completed, as you can see in our monthly Modding Update, and there are some fantastic in-progress projects in the works too.

We’ve picked six of our favourites this month, which we’ve highlighted over the next few pages and you can vote for the ones that catch your eye too. Head over to our modding section and modding and project log forums to see more – there are plenty of amazing projects to see and guides to follow. We’ve also got our Case Mod Index and Scratchbuild Index too – you can see what other people have done modding-wise with particular cases or build materials and we give a prize to one lucky entrant each month.

Mod of the month is proudly sponsored by Mnpctech. The Mnpctech guys are regulars on our forums and, in addition to being avid modders themselves with some awesome projects to their names, the Mnpctech online store is also well worth a visit from every modder.

Mod of the Month March 2014
The winner of Mod of the Month will get one of these awesome prizes from the Mnpctech store itself. There will be some new and exciting products from Mnpctech on the horizon too, but for now feast your eyes on these pieces of true PC bling.

Mod of the Month March 2014

Prize 1 – Pair of 120mm RED Sharkoon Shark Blade Silent Cooling Fans

Sharkoon SHARK Blade fans are equipped with a fluid bearing for long life and ultra-smooth operation. The special 3D curved design with striped air guides steers the airflow straight through the fan blades, thus preventing air turbulence – the main cause of wind noise. Fan speed: 1000 rpm, Start voltage: 7 V (DC), Max. airflow: ~56m³/h (33 CFM), Max air pressure: 2.63 mm-H2O, Noise level: 19 dB (A)

Mod of the Month March 2014

Prize 2 – Mnpctech Screw’d M3 PC Radiator Screws

“M3 Radiator Screw’d” fasteners have anodized rings to dress up radiator grills or match your custom PC accessories or liquid cooling components. They work with the following PC Radiator Manufacturers with M3 threads.
*Winner has choice of 3 sets of same color and size (12 total)

Mod of the Month March 2014

Prize 3 – Pair of Modder’s Work Gloves

These work gloves are made from combination of syntrex leather and spandex for dexterity. Recommended for use with power or hand tools or bending Acrylic or PETG tubing with heat gun.

Thanks to Mnpctech for stumping up such fantastic prizes again this month. We’ve got six very promising projects for you again, so it’s time to vote for your favourites. Don’t forget that you can vote for more than one project if you’re finding it tough to choose one over the others. MOTM is a competition for in-progress projects. You should consider potential, originality, execution and show of skill when voting.

This Month’s Contenders

  • Minecraft Creeper MbKr by kier
  • Minions Mod by Ronnie Hara
  • Project KUBUS by XTSX
  • R.O.G Reactor by Zsolt Guriga
  • The G5-yufi by thegyufi
  • ZdMods – Project 720 by Meelobee

Mod of the Month March 2014 Mod of the Month March 2014
Mod of the Month March 2014 Mod of the Month March 2014 Mod of the Month March 2014 Mod of the Month March 2014

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2048 is the new Flappy Bird in so many ways

Every good game deserves a Doge-themed variant, right?

Screenshot by Eric Mack / CNET)

Have you been feeling just a little bit too productive since Flappy Bird got pulled from the Google Play and Apple App stores?

Never fear, there’s a new simple but addictive gaming sensation to fill that massive time-wasting vacuum until Flappy Bird’s anticipated return.

2048, the creation of a 19-year-old Italian programmer named Gabriele Cirulli, showed up free and fully open-sourced on Github earlier this month. The game is Web-based, although a mobile site is also available, and plenty of unofficial ports for
Android and other platforms have begun to pop up.

2048 could be loosely described as similar to Threes, or like Candy Crush for math geeks, and while it’s tough to understand what’s happening at first glance, it only takes a minute to pick up the game and then you’re off on the road to procrastination-enabling addiction.

Cirulli debuted the game on March 9. Three days later he tweeted that thousands of people were playing the game at one moment:

By March 16, Cirulli estimated that collectively over 520 years had been spent playing the game in its first week online. Still, he said he has no plans to monetize his game and warns against downloading imitation apps, claiming that some developers have been impersonating him on the Google Play store to boost downloads.

Of course, the 2048 story doesn’t end there. The parade of variants is in full swing, from Doge2048 as seen above to this ego-boosting version, a multi-player take, a headache-inducing 3D 2048, an even-more addicting Tetris mashup, and potentially the greatest time assassin of them all, a Flappy Bird-themed 2048 game.

I don’t recommend clicking on anything in the above paragraph. It could be your last click of the day until you pass out at your keyboard. You’ve been warned.

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Scuba diving trumps surfing on Saturn’s Titan moon

These would be considered rough waters on Titan.

NASA/Steven Hobbs)

There was a lot of hubbub this week among space geeks about the first spotting of waves on the freaky methane lakes that cover much of Titan, perhaps the most Earth-like spot outside of the real deal in our solar system. But it’s still waaay premature to pack up your space wetsuit and start nagging NASA or Elon Musk to hitch a ride beyond the asteroid belt.

Saturn’s spooky moon has a planet-like atmosphere and liquid covering much of its surface, making it one of the most likely nearby places to harbor (probably very weird) alien life. But while Titan shares a number of Earth-like characteristics such as its craggy peaks, running rivers, and even thunderstorms, it doesn’t appear to have strong enough winds to whip up methane waves on its large lakes.

At least, we haven’t been able to see them during the time we’ve been looking closer with the Cassini spacecraft, which has been cruising around above Saturn and Titan for years now. But as we learned last year, things could be shifting on Titan as the longer seasonal cycle on the moon is finally bringing summer to its lake-filled northern half for the first time since we’ve been watching closely.

Some astronomers think winds and surf season could be in full effect by 2017, so there was plenty of excitement earlier this week at the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference outside of Dallas where researchers discussed measurements of Titan’s surface that seem to hint at the presence of waves, according to Nature.

At least that’s the way the headlines put it this week.

Read further on, however, and the story is that the images taken by Cassini between 2012 and 2013 showed something abnormal on the surface of Punga Mare that could be waves or more accurately, ripples, given that the disturbances were calculated to be no more than a few centimeters high.

“Titan may be beginning to stir,” Ralph Lorenz, a planetary scientist at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, told the conference. “Oceanography is no longer just an Earth science.”

If the stirrings continue to increase, we could get to witness some very interesting activity on Titan, hopefully before Cassini is scheduled to hurl itself into Saturn’s atmosphere in 2017.

In the meantime, however, Titan still has the smoothest sailing in the solar system. The latest radar measurements, published earlier this month online in Geophysical Research Letters, find that Titan’s second-largest lake, Ligeia Mare, “possesses a mirror-like smoothness.”

“If you could look out on this sea, it would be really still. It would just be a totally glassy surface,” Howard Zebker, professor of geophysics and electrical engineering at Stanford, said in a release.

Zebker also suggests that the lack of motion in Titan’s ocean could be due to something else, like a more viscous topping on the lake surface.

“For example, on Earth, if you put oil on top of a sea, you suppress a lot of small waves,” he said.

His team’s research also determined the depth of Ligeia Mare, which it found to be nearly 500 feet deep in at least one spot.

So maybe it makes more sense to plan a scuba diving vacation on Titan than a surfing excursion. Either way, you can get a feel for the exotic locale in this modeled fly-over:

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Paleontologists discover ‘chicken from hell’ dinosaur

Anzu wyliei
Bob Walters)

A 66-million-year-old dinosaur has been discovered — a birdlike creature that provides palaeontologists with a first in-depth look at an oviraptorosaurian species called Caenagnathidae (SEE-nuh-NAY-thih-DAY) — one that has long been difficult to study, since most remains have only been skeletal fragments.

Named Anzu wyliei (Anzu after a bird-demon from Mesopotamian myth and wyliei after Wylie, the grandson of a Carnegie museum trustee), the new species was put together from three separate skeletons found in North and South Dakota, forming almost one entire skeleton. The resultant dinosaur measures 3.5 metres from nose to tail-tip, weighing in at 225 kilograms (496 pounds), with sharp claws and a feathered body — resembling, according to the researchers, led by Matthew Lamanna of Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh, a “chicken from hell.”

“It was a giant raptor, but with a chickenlike head and presumably feathers. The animal stood about 10 feet (3 metres) tall, so it would be scary as well as absurd to encounter,” said University of Utah biology postdoctoral fellow and study co-author Emma Schachner.

“We jokingly call this thing the ‘chicken from hell,’ and I think that’s pretty appropriate,” added Lamanna.

Anzu wyliei
Carnegie Museum of Natural History)

The three partial skeletons were excavated from the Hell Creek rock formation in North and South Dakota, a region famed for its abundance of dino skeletons, including Tyrannosaurus rex and Triceratops. The new dinosaur would, the researchers said, have resembled a giant flightless bird — much more so than more “typical” theropod species, such as Tyrannosaurus rex. A bony crest, similar to that found on the Australian cassowary, rises on its head, and its legs were long, slender, and strong, also like the cassowary. It had no teeth, but a strong beak, and it was found alongside fossilized feathers, heavily indicating that the dinosaur was feathered.

However, it wasn’t entirely birdlike — its forelimbs were tipped with sharp claws, and it had a long, strong tail.

The discovery is the first clear skeleton found belonging to the Caenagnathidae since the species was first discovered and described by paleontologist Charles Whitney Gilmore 100 years ago. It has allowed researchers for the first time to explore in greater detail Caenagnathid anatomy, and reconstruct the species’ evolution. Its anatomy and environment have also delivered new information about Caenagnathid diet and habitat preferences; the dinosaurs, the team believes, were omnivores that preferred humid floodplain environments.

Anzu in particular seems to have lived a pretty dangerous life; two of the three skeletons show evidence of breaks and fractures. However, the fact that these injuries had healed indicated that the hell-chickens were hardy, able to survive quite a bit of trauma.

A fully articulated cast of the dinosaur is on display at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, and the full research paper can be seen online in the journal PLOS One.

(Source: Crave Australia)

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Not tonight, darling, I’m online shopping

“Not tonight, darling, I just don’t want to listen to you.”

Amazon/YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET)

I know that Nancy Reagan always encouraged us to “just say no.”

But it’s not easy, is it? Some people can be terribly insistent, nagging even. Some can sulk or get aggressive.

Thankfully, it seems that Americans have found a new way to tell their significant others that they don’t have a significant mood for sex: they say they’re busy online shopping.

You might think I’m making it up. And I might think that people who create these surveys are making it up too.

All I can tell you is that the cashback rewards site EBates commissioned TNS to perform a study among 1,000 American adults that emitted fascinating conclusions.

Some 10 percent of women say they use their mobile devices — and the excuse of shopping on them — to deter their lovers from getting amorous.

But here’s the nugget that might astound even more: 13 percent of men admitted to doing the same thing.

I confess that I hadn’t considered online shopping as a means of expressing emotions toward another person. I certainly couldn’t imagine telling a lover that I wasn’t feeling carnal because I was trying to decide which pair of camel boots to buy.

And you’ll forgive me, I hope, if I mention that survey respondents often seem to have enjoyed a touch too much Bacardi.

But for some people mobile shopping has become the equivalent of the invented headache. It brings with it the luxury of not being forced to take a couple of Advil, in the hope that this will somehow lift your libido.

This splendidly twisted survey, performed between March 14 and 17, further offered that passive-aggressive shopping is also directed at annoying co-workers, annoying people on public transit and, of course, annoying in-laws.

The original purpose of this survey was merely to examine mobile shopping habits. It seems that 45 percent of Americans use their mobile devices to shop — and 10 percent claim they do it daily.

Perhaps these are the 10 percent who stand in front of me at Starbucks desperately waving their phones at the scanner, only to get more reaction out of the whipped cream on their frappuccino.

Tellingly, 49 percent of the respondents in this survey confessed that shopping on their mobile device cures boredom while they’re waiting in line. And 24 percent somehow couple mobile shopping with watching reality TV.

Perhaps Americans are just frightfully confused. (No “perhaps” about it)

In essence, though, what is the difference between sex and online shopping?

In the latter, it’s much harder to haggle.

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How to issue your own emotional Bitcoin

Now who might deserve that? And why?


Traditional forms of currency just aren’t current any more.

They’re made of stupid, old-fashioned things like paper and metal.

Everyone knows that real value can only be online, virtual and, at best, semi-sincere.

So along comes the iOS app called GoodFor, which allows you to create your own personalized, meaningful and even entirely insincere IOUs, good for as long as you decide they’re good.

This emotional Bitcoin is the brainchild of Satoshi Nakamoto, who, I understand, worked on some very secret and emotional projects at many institutions such as the US Postal Service and Starbucks.

I’m sorry, I don’t have that quite right. The GoodFor app was created by coupon company SnipSnap, which, for all I know, invented Bitcoin.

The SnipSnappers happened upon this idea when they realized that with their ordinary coupon app, people were trying to create their own versions.

So now you can use your creative skills to promise your lover four minutes of nuzzling every second Tuesday, or your dad the
car keys for two hours every Thursday.

You can spend minutes choosing your backgrounds and borders before offering your religious guru the password to your Playboy video subscription for precisely 12 hours every month.

You can even send your ex an IOU for all the years you wasted her time with your Meccano set.

Yes, it’s totally and utterly silly. But so are emoticons. And so is life.

The GoodFor app at least allows you to spice up your promises and hopefully encourages you to keep them, instead of what you usually do — flush them down the drainpipe of your self-involvement.

Moreover, it gives the recipients a chance to have an artistic record of just what a good-for-nothing you turned out to be.

I can imagine that in future divorce settlement negotiations, lawyers will project GoodFor IOUs on large screens, in order to help prove that something was, indeed, promised and not delivered.

Exhibit 73: A depiction of hearts and flowers and the caption: Good For One Expression Of Affection Every 48 Hours. Was fulfilled only twice. In 16 years.

Here, then, is your challenge: show that you can create a work of art and keep the promise within it.

It’s easier sent than done.

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Man, mad at Internet seller, texts him Shakespeare (all of it)

He wrote a lot.

Bio/YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET)

Getting mad occasionally results in getting even, but often only in getting madder.

Ultimately, the whole point of revenge isn’t even to get even at all. It’s to feel that you have.

Edd Joseph needed to feel better about an internet transaction. As the Bristol Post declaims it, he bought a
PS3 online for 80 British pounds (around $132) on the Gumtree site and the transaction went perfectly.

Except for the tiny detail that he didn’t receive his PS3.

This he deemed an arrow of outrageous fortune. So he mulled and cogitated and pondered and thought therefore of revenge and ceased to weep. (Oh, it’s “Henry VI,” if you must know).

The 24-year-old Joseph fell upon the realization that you can copy and paste things from the Web and send them as texts.

He told the Post: “It got me thinking, ‘what can I send to him,’ which turned to ‘what is a really long book,’ which ended with me sending him ‘Macbeth.’”

Joseph was mad because he knew he couldn’t get his money back. He’d paid by bank transfer (which is against Gumtree’s terms and conditions.)

On the other hand, he had an iPhone. He realized that with just one pressing of “send” he could text a whole play to his alleged scoundrel.

So he cried havoc and let slip the dogs of war. One text for him was 792 texts for the receiving party.

This was quite some dagger he saw before him. For he had an unlimited text plan, to complement his need to inflict pain. Why not send all Shakespeare’s works?

Not all Shakespeare plays are the same length. “Hamlet” is the longest. Yes, that one would have amounted to 1,143 texts at the receiver’s end. In total, Joseph hopes to complete his task of sending all Shakespeare’s plays, which ought to result in 29,305 texts.(He says he’s already sent 22 plays.)

You might wonder whether the alleged bad guy responded.

Joseph said: “I got the first reply after an hour, and then a few more abusive messages after that. His phone must have been going off pretty constantly for hours.”

This is not deterring Joseph.

“I’m going to keep doing it. If nothing else I’m sharing a little bit of culture with someone who probably doesn’t have much experience of it,” he explained.

There’s one small part I don’t quite grasp. If this story is as Joseph describes, why doesn’t the seller just block his number?

Perhaps he’s afraid that parting will be sweet sorrow.

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Sony Project Morpheus revealed as virtual reality headset

Sony Project Morpheus revealed as virtual reality headset

The in-development headset will function alongside the Playstation camera and PS Move controllers.

Sony has announced its own entry into the virtual reality arena with Project Morpheus.

The virtual reality headset is destined for use with the Playstation 4 and is currently only in a prototype stage with Sony working on further development for a commercial release.

The head-mounted display will work with the Playstation camera and the PS Move motion controller to replicate head movements and physical actions made with the players hands in compatible games.

Project Morpheus will also use 3D audio technology to allow sounds to appear as if they are coming from different directions including above and below.

The prototype was shown off at GDC running Eve Online spin-off Valkyrie, the new Thief and a couple of tech demos developed by Sony. A developers kit is also being developed but is not yet ready for distribution.

‘Project Morpheus is the latest example of innovation from SCE and we’re looking forward to its continued development and the games that will be created as development kits get into the hands of content creators,’ said SCE Worldwide Studios president Shuhei Yoshida.

Sources talking to the Wall Street Journal also report that Microsoft is working on a virtual reality device of its own and has filed a patent for the project.

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