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Games

Why Microsoft Got Into the Console Business 257

An anonymous reader writes "Joachim Kempin, former vice president of Windows Sales, has explained how the original Xbox came to be. It turns out it was Sony's fault, simply because the Japanese company wasn't very friendly towards Microsoft, and Microsoft eventually decided they had to 'stop Sony.' Apparently, long before the Xbox was even an idea, Microsoft was trying to collaborate with Sony in a number of areas they thought there was overlap. That collaboration was sought before even Sony had a games console coming to market, and would have focused on products for the entertainment sector."

Comment Re:A more detailed proposal ... (Score 1) 336

Sure, I know and like DNSBLs including Spamhaus's, but this is a distinct application from XBL. Specifically, removal needs to be rapid in order for it to be useful for rejecting customer Web traffic. That's an engineering requirement that email anti-spam systems don't have, since SMTP is designed to retry for days if necessary to get a message through. Moreover, hosts that send any legitimate email are very few compared to hosts that send Web requests; and even though email admins are frequently dense, unresponsive, or victim-blaming, they're still a level above typical users in knowing what the fuck is going on with their computer.

One approach would be to have each DDoS victim continually (e.g. every hour) assert which addresses were attacking it, and only list those addresses which are currently attacking. This way, as soon as a host stops attacking, it will drop off the list. This has weaknesses — for instance, an attacker can use your host all night while you're not using it, without you noticing — but it's still an improvement over what we have today. And it still depends on each subscribing site having a good enough backchannel to the listing service to stay open during the DDoS. Back in the day we'd do it with a dedicated modem line — the bandwidth requirements are really quite minimal — but nobody knows what that is any more.

Comment A more detailed proposal ... (Score 5, Interesting) 336

Sites under DoS attack should publish (through a channel not congested by the attack) a list of the IP addresses attacking them, through some trustworthy third party. Then, other sites should subscribe to that list and refuse service to those addresses until they clean up and stop attacking.

For instance, consider your uncle who uses AOL. His computer is infected with botnet garbage and is participating in a DoS attack against (say) Slashdot. Slashdot sends a list of attacking IPs, including your uncle's, to Team Cymru (the third party). Cymru aggregates these and publishes a list, updated every three hours. AOL subscribes to that list. When your uncle goes to check his AOL email, he gets an error: "We regret to inform you, your computer has been hacked, and is being used by criminals to break the Internet. You can't get to your AOL email until you kick the criminals off by installing an antivirus program and running a full scan. Click here to install Kaspersky Antivirus for free. Thank you for helping keep criminals from breaking everyone's Internet. Sincerely, Tim Armstrong, CEO, AOL."

Then your uncle gets mad and calls up AOL and complains. They try walking him through using the antivirus program, but he just curses them out and says he'll go to Hotmail instead. He tries ... but Hotmail also subscribes to the same list and tells him the same thing: "Your computer is infected with malware and is being used to attack other sites on the Internet. You cannot obtain a Hotmail account until your computer is clean. Click here to install Microsoft Antivirus." He gives up and calls AOL back, and they help him get his computer cleaned up. Within half an hour, it's off the botnet; and within three hours, it's off the list of attacking hosts, and your uncle can get his AOL email again.

Piracy

App Auto-Tweets False Piracy Accusations 231

An anonymous reader writes "Certain iPhone and iPad applications from a Japanese company have broken software piracy detection mechanisms that are sending out tweets on the user's own Twitter account, saying, 'How about we all stop using pirated iOS apps? I promise to stop. I really will. #softwarepirateconfession.' The trouble is, it's sending these out on accounts of users who actually paid up to $50 or more for the software and who are legally using it. The app is asking for access to users' Twitter accounts, but does not give the reason why it is asking, so the author of the article concluded (rightly) that things were being done deliberately. Would you want your legally purchased software to send out messages to all of your contacts on Twitter or on other social networks saying that you were a software pirate? Would you excuse the writers of the software if it was just an error in their piracy detection measures?"
The Internet

The Pirate Bay Launches Free VPN 359

bs0d3 writes "The Pirate Bay team is going to be making the RIAA angry, with the launch of a new ad-supported VPN service. PrivitizeVPN is available for free from The Pirate Bay. Instead of earning revenue through subscription as ipredator does, PrivitizeVPN comes packaged to install the Babylon search bar (adware). PrivitizeVPN appears to be available for Windows users only at the moment. The Pirate Bay staff has a long history of promoting services that have no logs; e.g. , you can't get in trouble if your anonymized IP is subpoenaed by government officials. Although PrivitizeVPN is being released silently, with no press coverage, no official statement, and no comments from The Pirate Bay of any kind, people are assuming that PrivitizeVPN will have the same familiar data protection policies. A backup download location has been setup here for people who have limited access to the Pirate Bay domain."
Math

A New Glider Found For Conway's Game of Life 50

An anonymous reader writes "Conway's Game of Life is now forty two years old, but it continues to inspire as well as being the basis of an actively researched field, with computer scientists now announcing they have found a new form of the famous 'glider' pattern (once suggested by Eric S Raymond as the insignia of computer hackers) that runs over a so-called Penrose universe."
Security

New .secure Internet Domain On Tap 129

CowboyRobot writes "A new top-level domain (TLD) in the works for the Internet will bake security in from the outset: The .secure domain will require fully encrypted HTTPS sessions and a comprehensive vetting process for websites and their operators. If the new domain takes off, it could shift the way Web domains are secured. ICANN is expected to sign off on .secure, and for the new TLD to be up and running June or July 2013."
Censorship

British Prime Minister To Announce Porn Blocking Plans 286

Overly Critical Guy writes "British Prime Minister David Cameron will announce network-filtering plans targeted at porn websites, possibly requiring users to 'opt-in' with their ISP to access such content. The idea has support from MP Claire Perry, who said, 'There is a "hands off our internet" movement that sees any change in how access is delivered as censorship.'"
Piracy

Feds Seized Website For a Year Without Piracy Proof 172

bonch writes "U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement seized a hip-hop website based on RIAA claims of copyright infringement for prerelease music tracks. They held it for a year before giving it back due to lack of evidence. Unsealed court records (PDF) show that the government was repeatedly given time extensions to build a case against Dajaz1.com, but the RIAA's evidence never came. The RIAA has declined to comment."
Government

Twitter Leaked Obama's Visit To Afghanistan 177

hypnosec writes "When you're the President of the United States, sometimes certain activities you're involved in can be hard to keep secret — and yesterday was no exception, after Twitter let it slip that Obama was secretly in Kabul. On Tuesday, the White House released a fabricated itinerary — consisting of all-day meetings in the Oval Office to cover up the fact that Obama was secretly flying to Afghanistan. Whilst only a few US journalists were aware of this event, by mid-morning, a lot more people were suddenly in on the revelation courtesy of Twitter. The first tweet to let the virtual cat out of the bag was Afghanistan news site TOLOnews which reported: 'United States President Barack Obama has arrived in Kabul to meet Afghan President Hamid Karzai.'"
Shark

Congress Wants To Resurrect Laser-Wielding 747 302

Harperdog writes "Noah Schactman has a great piece on the Airborne Laser, the ray gun-equipped 747 that became a symbol of wasteful Pentagon weaponeering. Despite sixteen years and billions of dollars in development, the jet could never reliably blast a missile in trials. Now the House Armed Services Committee's Strategic Forces wants the Airborne Laser to be used to defend us against the threat of North Korea's failed missiles."
Television

Hulu To Require Viewers To Have Cable Subscriptions 648

The NY Post reports that Hulu, the video streaming service with over 30 million users, has plans to force those users to prove they have a subscription to cable or satellite TV if they want to keep watching. Quoting: "The move toward authentication is fueled by cable companies and networks looking to protect and profit from their content. The effort comes as entertainment companies continue to face drastic shifts in home viewing habits. Overall spending on home entertainment edged up 2.5 percent to $4.45 billion in the first quarter as a surge in digital streaming — which rose more than fivefold to $549 million — offset a continuing collapse in video rentals, according to Digital Entertainment Group. ... Hulu racked up some $420 million in ad revenue last year and is expected to do well in this year’s ad negotiations. But the move toward authentication, which could take years to complete, will make cable companies happy because it could slow cord-cutting by making cable subscribing more attractive."
Image

Magician Suing For Copyright Over Magic Trick Screenshot-sm 296

Fluffeh writes "Teller, the silent half of the well-known magic duo Penn and Teller, has sued a rival magician for copying one of his most famous illusions. The case promises to test the boundaries of copyright law as it applies to magic tricks. A Dutch magician with the stage name Gerard Bakardy (real name: Gerard Dogge) saw Teller perform the trick in Las Vegas and developed his own version — then started selling a kit — including a fake rose, instructions, and a DVD — for about $3,000. Teller had Bakardy's video removed with a DMCA takedown notice, then called Bakardy to demand that the magician stop using his routine. Teller offered to buy Bakardy out, but they were unable to agree on a price. So Teller sued Bakardy last week in a Nevada federal court."

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