Sam writes "A former Ubisoft exec believes that Sony will not be able to combat piracy on the PlayStation 3, which was recently hacked. Martin Walfisz, former CEO of Ubisoft subsidiary Ubisoft Massive, was a key player in developing Ubisoft's new DRM technologies. Since playing pirated games doesn't require a modchip, his argument is that Sony won't be able to easily detect hacked consoles. Sony's only possible solution is to revise the PS3 hardware itself, which would be a very costly process. Changing the hardware could possibly work for new console sales, though there would be the problem of backwards compatibility with the already-released games. Furthermore, current users would still be able to run pirated copies on current hardware." An anonymous reader adds commentary from PS3 hacker Mathieu Hervais about Sony's legal posturing.
tekgoblin writes "There have been numerous reasons why the White iPhone 4 may be delayed with one reason being the color mismatch between the home button and the body. Well this time there is another reason. A source has told CultofMac that the reason for the delay is a light leakage issue caused by the case being clear. Light from the case leaks into pictures taken by the back and front camera on the white iPhone 4, causing distorted pictures. This problem is non-existent on the black iPhone 4, because of its already black case, so Apple has been looking for a solution to this problem, thus the delay of the White iPhone 4 till spring of next year."
Dave Moorhouse was elated when he was informed that a microchip provider had information on the whereabouts of his stolen dog. This joy soon faded when the company informed him that it could not divulge the Jack Russell terrier's location because it would breach the Data Protection Act. Last week a court agreed with the chip company and refused Mr Moorhouse's request for a court order compelling them to reveal the name and address of the new owners. Steven Wildridge, managing director of the chip company said: “This is not a choice, it’s an obligation under the Data Protection Act. If the individuals involved do not want us to pass on their details to the original owner then we cannot do so unless compelled to following a criminal or civil proceeding."
suraj.sun writes "It's the same old story: young woman quits, uses dry erase board and series of pictures to let entire office know the boss is a sexist pig, exposes his love of playing FarmVille during work hours." Story seem too good to be true? It probably is, at least according to writer Peter Kafka. Even so, Jay Leno and Good Morning America have already reached out to "Jenny."
pickens writes in with word that Kmart put an Android tablet on sale for $149 — and quickly sold out. "A Kmart circular came out last week with an uber-geeky product that perked up a few ears in the gadget community. Augen's 7-inch Gen-78 Android tablet which runs Android 2.1 is on sale for $150 (normally $170). The tablet is as bare bones as it gets, but it does work and has some features which may interest those who can't reconcile the $500+ price of Apple's iPad. Features include Android 2.1 (no skinning), 7" 800x480 Display, WiFi 802.11G, 2GB of storage +SD card slot (up to 32GB), 256MB of RAM (same as iPad), HDMI out for 720P viewing on an external display, an eBook reader, YouTube app, and Maps. ... 'I'll be honest,' writes Seth Weintraub. 'I don't trust my toddler with an iPad but this thing will be great for watching Gumby (don't ask) at home and Sesame Street in the car.'" It seems that Kmart offered rainchecks to those who found the item sold out at their local store — up until July 31. It is not clear whether after the retailer restocks the pipeline, they will stop at fulfilling the rainchecks, or will offer the Augen tablet again to new buyers. An update to the article notes that Augen does not have a license for Android from Google, and therefore the Android Store is not supported on it.
metasonix writes "While the rest of the industry has been babbling on about the iPad and imitations thereof, Qi Hardware is actually shipping a product that is completely open source and copyleft. Linux News reviews the Ben NanoNote (product page), a handheld computer apparently containing no proprietary technology. It uses a 366 MHz MIPS processor, 32MB RAM, 2 GB flash, a 320x240-pixel color display, and a Qwerty keyboard. No network is built in, though it is said to accept SD-card Wi-Fi or USB Ethernet adapters. Included is a very simple Linux OS based on the OpenWrt distro installed in Linksys routers, with Busybox GUI. It's apparently intended primarily for hardware and software hackers, not as a general-audience handheld. The price is right, though: $99."
Humunculus writes "Of more worldly issues, NASA's latest multimillion-dollar stratosphere-bound balloon launch has gone horribly wrong and crashed into a car, turning it over and narrowly missing two elderly people who were observing the launch. The payload fared worse, reportedly being smashed into a 'thousand pieces.'"
Lord Byron Eee PC writes "Newsweek is carrying a navel-gazing piece on how wrong they were when in 1995 they published a story about how the Internet would fail. The original article states, 'Nicholas Negroponte, director of the MIT Media Lab, predicts that we'll soon buy books and newspapers straight over the Intenet. Uh, sure.' The article continues to say that online shopping will never happen, that airline tickets won't be purchased over the web, and that newspapers have nothing to fear. It's an interesting look back at a time when the Internet was still a novelty and not yet a necessity."
BanjoTed writes "In a move to counter sales of pre-owned games, EA recently revealed DLC perks for those who buy new copies of Mass Effect 2 and Battlefield: Bad Company 2. Now, PlayStation platform holder Sony has jumped on the bandwagon with similar plans for the PSP's SOCOM: Fireteam Bravo 3. '[Players] will need to register their game online before they are able to access the multiplayer component of the title. UMD copies will use a redeemable code while the digital version will authenticate automatically in the background. Furthermore ... anyone buying a pre-owned copy of the game will be forced to cough up $20 to obtain a code to play online."
CWmike writes "Mozilla has shipped a release candidate build of Firefox 3.6 that, barring problems, will become the final, finished version of the upgrade. Firefox 3.6 RC1, which followed a run of betas that started in early November, features nearly 100 bug fixes from the fifth beta that Mozilla issued Dec. 17. The fixes resolved numerous crash bugs, including one that brought down the browser when it was steered to Yahoo's front page. Another fix removed a small amount of code owned by Microsoft from Firefox. The code was pointed out by a Mozilla contributor, and after digging, another developer found the original Microsoft license agreement. 'Amusingly enough, it's actually really permissive. Really the only part that's problematic is the agreement to "include the copyright notice ... on your product label and as a part of the sign-on message for your software product,"' wrote Kyle Huey on Mozilla's Bugzilla. Even so, others working on the bug said the code needed to be replaced with Mozilla's own."
Arvisp writes "In 1912 Australian explorer Douglas Mawson planned to fly over the southern pole. His lost plane has now been found. The plane – the first off the Vickers production line in Britain – was built in 1911, only eight years after the Wright brothers executed the first powered flight. For the past three years, a team of Australian explorers has been engaged in a fruitless search for the aircraft, last seen in 1975. Then on Friday, a carpenter with the team, Mark Farrell, struck gold: wandering along the icy shore near the team's camp, he noticed large fragments of metal sitting among the rocks, just a few inches beneath the water."