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PC Games (Games)

Submission + - Amazon Freezes and Resets Spore Reviews, Ratings (

ya really writes: Since a few days ago, Amazon has put a freeze on all new reviews and ratings of Spore. At first, many were optimistic, believing it was just a glitch in Amazon's site. However, as time wore on, more doubts were cast. Today, the truth came out as Amazon customers found that reviews and overall rating had been wiped out and totally deleted. Ironically, under Amazon's review guidelines is this:

General Review Creation Guidelines

Amazon wants your opinions to be heard

I guess Amazon cares more about making a few extra dollars than allowing their customers to know the truth about the products they stock.

Hardware Hacking

Submission + - Intel wants cosmic ray detectors on every chip

holy_calamity writes: "Intel has been awarded a patent for building cosmic ray detectors into chips, to guard against soft errors where a high energy particle from space changes a value in a circuit. It's a problem that largely only affects RAM. As component sizes shrink futher, "this problem is projected to become a major limiter of computer reliability in the next decade", says the patent. Intel's solution is to build in a detector that responds to cosmic errors by repeating the latest operation, reloading previous instructions, or rolling back to a previous state. Full patent."

Submission + - Protecting info on partially encrypted pages?

no_pets writes: As do most people, I like to shop and order things online. Unlike many, I also verify page encryption before sending sensitive info. Lately I've come across websites for smaller or medium sized businesses (as well as occasional larger companies) that I would like to do business with online but their order page is only partially encrypted. From their point of view there is no need to encrypt images, etc. but from my end it makes verifying that sensitive fields (i.e. credit card #, or social security #) are encrypted much harder or impossible. Any suggestions on verifying encryption of certain fields? Or do I just take my business elsewhere?

Submission + - Simple hack disables Google SSL protection. ( writes: "The Register is reporting on a simple hack that disables SSL session protection for users logged into their Google accounts. This behavior could be easily exploited by malicious persons to take control of user sessions at wireless hotspots. From the article:

Google was the only free service known to encrypt the session-ID if the user went through the trouble of putting an HTTPS in the address for Gmail and other Google services that support SSL. Visit this Google Calendar address instead of this one and no one would be able to make heads or tails of the session-ID, the thinking went.

But Graham says Google SSL will automatically revert to plain-vanilla HTML if the site believes there are connection problems. This means an attacker at a hotspot can cause Google to lower its shield simply by sending a reset packet to either the Google server or to the victim's PC.


Submission + - Shutting off the problem of fraud

CaptainStumpy writes: "To serve and protect. That is all I ask of my police and government. But after getting 3 phone calls, exactly 1 hour apart, from an obvious text to speech program (which by the was not even close to correctly prounouncing my city of Leominster) telling me that my accound has been suspended and asking me to call and re-enable my bank account. After filing reports to my local PD and the Internet Crime Complaint Center, I ask slashdot why there can't be some monkey trained to simply shut off these fraudlent numbers, as soon as they are reported and verified fraudulent. The solution seems so simple, but nobody is doing it. I ask why.

Meanwhile, the scammer's line remains active and is phishing unknown number of people and getting just what it is asking. Have some fun and call 704-935-4534 and enter some random numbers. I was surprised it didn't even check for validity."

Submission + - Student Expelled for Facebook Photo Description ( 4

flutterecho writes: "A sophomore at Valdosta State University was expelled after criticizing his university's plan to build two new parking garages with student fees. In a letter apparently slipped under his dorm room door, Ronald Zaccari, the university's president, wrote that he "present[ed] a clear and present danger to this campus" and referred to an image on the student's Facebook page which contained a threatening description.
"As additional evidence of the threat posed by Barnes, the document referred to a link he posted to his Facebook profile whose accompanying graphic read: "Shoot it. Upload it. Get famous. Project Spotlight is searching for the next big thing. Are you it?" It doesn't mention that Project Spotlight was an online digital video contest and that "shoot" in that context meant "record." The appeal also mentions that Barnes's profile stated, at one point, that he was "cleaning out and rearranging his room and thus, his mind, or so he hopes." That was likely a status update, commonly used by Facebook members to update their friends on what they're doing at a particular moment — whether literally or metaphorically."
In a post-Virginia Tech world, has university surveillance of online identities gone too far?"

Quark! Quark! Beware the quantum duck!