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Submission + - NVIDIA Kills Online Store In Response to Hacker Claims (

wiredmikey writes: Following a shutdown of its “NVIDIA Developer Zone,” earlier this week after the online community for developers had been hacked, graphics chip maker NVIDIA on Friday also shut down its online store located at

The group of hackers behind the attack, going by the handle of “The Appollo Project”, made mention of the claimed compromise in its original post exhibiting its successful attack against the NVIDIA Developer Zone site.

While the company has shut down the online store, it has not acknowledged that a successful attack has taken place. “NVIDIA has suspended operation of the NVIDIA Gear Store ( as a precaution, following confirmed attacks on several of our other sites,” a statement on the site posted on Jun 13 read.

Commenting on the developer forum hack, the claimed attackers noted, “We aren't acting extremely maliciously, we've used this database to target disgusting corporations who deserve to be brought to justice.. and we are getting there, slowly but surely.”


Submission + - Microsoft at the heart of TV viewing (

Pigskin-Referee writes: Microsoft will push out an update to Xbox consoles Tuesday, designed to get consumers to turn on the device every time they flip on their televisions, not just when they want to play games.

Though most gamers will notice a dramatically different interface, and some will take advantage of more advanced voice-recognition controls, the real significance of the update is how boldly the software giant is putting itself at the core of the TV entertainment experience. Microsoft is partnering with 40 content providers from around the globe to significantly increase the amount of live and on-demand content available on Xbox.

Over the next month, Microsoft will add content in the United States to the Xbox from Verizon's FiOS TV, ESPN, and the Syfy channel among others. Next year, HBO Go and Comcast's Xfinity on Demand will come to U.S. customers. Many of the apps from partners are only available to customers who purchase an Xbox Live Gold Membership.

Microsoft is also adding new programming to the Xbox experience abroad. Canadian customers will get content from Rogers Media, Maple Leaf Sports, and TMZ, among others. And new programming will roll out in Europe, Australia and Asia.


Submission + - Windows 8 to RTM in April 2012 (

Pigskin-Referee writes: Microsoft’s game plan is to deliver a beta build– not a pre-beta or preview — of Windows 8 around the time of the Build conference in mid-September. This allegedly will be the one and only Windows 8 beta, my contact said. In January 2012 or thereabouts, Microsoft will deliver a final Release Candidate (RC) test build of Windows 8.

Submission + - Microsoft Buys Video & Messaging Company, Skyp (

Pigskin-Referee writes: Microsoft to Acquire Skype

Seemingly out of nowhere, Microsoft has acquired Skype for $8.5 Billion, according to the Wall Street Journal. There were rumors last night of the deal, and that was the first I’d heard of this possible deal. Now, half a day later, it’s official. The move is seen as an attempt by Microsoft to remain competitive with rivals Apple and Google, both of whom have major communications pieces integrated into their services–Facetime for Apple, and Google Voice for Google.


Submission + - WebGL - A New Dimension for Browser Exploitation (

Pigskin-Referee writes: WebGL is a new web standard for browsers which aims to bring 3D graphics to any page on the internet. It has recently been enabled by default in Firefox 4 and Google Chrome, and can be turned on in the latest builds of Safari. Context has an ongoing interest in researching new areas affecting the security landscape, especially when it could have a significant impact on our clients. We found that:

        A number of serious security issues have been identified with the specification and implementations of WebGL.
        These issues can allow an attacker to provide malicious code via a web browser which allows attacks on the GPU and graphics drivers. These attacks on the GPU via WebGL can render the entire machine unusable.
        Additionally, there are other dangers with WebGL that put users’ data, privacy and security at risk.
        These issues are inherent to the WebGL specification and would require significant architectural changes in order to remediate in the platform design. Fundamentally, WebGL now allows full (Turing Complete) programs from the internet to reach the graphics driver and graphics hardware which operate in what is supposed to be the most protected part of the computer (Kernel Mode).
        Browsers that enable WebGL by default put their users at risk to these issues.

The Internet

Submission + - Comcast, Level 3 Still Negotiating (

Pigskin-Referee writes: Comcast, Level 3 Still Negotiating, and still having a very public fight

Earlier this month Level3 proclaimed that Comcast was violating net neutrality by demanding they pay a new connection fee to deliver Internet video services to Comcast customers. Comcast responded by claiming the dispute was just another peering dispute. Level 3 has continued to argue that Comcast is misleading people, this wasn't a normal peering dispute, and Comcast was simply trying to cash in on Level's handling of Netflix traffic. Whatever it is (and it has been amusing to see "peering experts" disagree completely on an agreement nobody has actually seen), Comcast says they're still working with Level3 on business arrangements and "revisions" to Comcast's initial proposal:

While we continue to believe the peering dispute that Level 3 initiated with Comcast is best resolved through discussions between engineers and business people, we think it is important to give a status update to the Internet community. Level 3 and Comcast engineering teams held several in-person discussions over the past 48 hours to discuss potential significant revisions to parts of our peering and direct connect architecture. Together, we constructively developed a potential new and different architectural approach that we proposed to trial with Level 3 as soon as next month. We proposed a mutual and relatively modest investment that would allow us both to better understand the traffic, routing, and economic considerations.

Comcast says Level3 walked away from negotiations and claims the company "effectively demanded unlimited capacity at our cost." Level3 hasn't fired back yet, as they've apparently been busy demanding NBC/Comcast merger conditions. However, Level3's argument has consistently been that Comcast is using their massive customer base as leverage to impose additional last mile tolls, and that Level3 isn't "demanding unlimited capacity" for free. Paying Comcast customers are simply accessing the content of their choice, argues Level3, and the idea this last mile exchange must be "balanced" is a red herring.


Submission + - Alleged Russian spam-lord hauled into US court (

Pigskin-Referee writes: A Russian who allegedly at one time ran a network of compromised machines responsible for a third of global spam appeared in federal court in Wisconsin on Friday to deny the charges.

Oleg Y Nikolaenko, 23, a resident of Moscow, faces charges that he forged email spam messages in violation of the US CAN-SPAM Act, following his arrest in Las Vegas' Bellagio Hotel last month.

Prosecutors allege that the Russian was responsible for pumping out a staggering 10 billion spam messages per day, touting penis pills and counterfeit goods using the infamous Mega-D botnet network.

Nikolaenko entered a not guilty plea. He was denied bail after prosecutors successfully arguing he presented a flight risk if released.


Submission + - Schools secure Microsoft contract (

Pigskin-Referee writes: RALEIGH — Education officials announced an agreement Monday morning that makes North Carolina the first state to provide Microsoft IT Academy online courses and instruction management tools to every public high school.

"As a former school business teacher, I am especially pleased that we will be able to level the playing field from school to school and from district to district," June Atkinson, the state superintendent of public instruction, said Monday at a news conference at Raleigh's Leesville Road High School.

"In today's economy, providing the Microsoft IT Academy to high schools just makes sense and takes our students one step closer to being career- and college-ready," Atkinson later stated.

The academy's online courses range from the basic, covering how to use different features in its widely used Office software suite, to the advanced, explaining how to program a variety of applications for different Microsoft platforms.

Bill Harrison, the chairman of the state Board of Education, was excited about what providing Microsoft courses means to North Carolina's students. "They have opportunities that students in other states don't have," he said. "They truly will have a better chance of leaving us career- and college-ready. And that's what we're about."

Lutz Ziob, the general manager of Microsoft Learning, said that career and technical education "engages and motivates students and leads to lower dropout rate, higher learning motivation and improved graduation success. The IT Academy program helps to connect academic learning to the students' lives. It makes education relevant in the world that they live in."

The state's adoption of the Microsoft academy is the largest to take place anywhere. The company said it currently has around 9,000 member schools in 100 nations.

The agreement will give North Carolina schools access to the most current versions of Microsoft programs.

Read more: The Herald-Sun — Schools secure Microsoft contract

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