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Submission + - Burned officials: Use a carrier? Encrypt your data (

Lucas123 writes: "After loosing thousands of names, birth dates and social security numbers to the theft of an unencrypted tape being stored by Iron Mountain, the Louisiana Office of Student Financial Assistance offered a terse comment: "If you trust your data to a courier, then obviously something like this can happen." LOFSFA administers several state scholarship programs as well as the state's 529 College Savings Plan. Boston-based Iron Mountain blamed the theft on "a driver [who] did not follow established company procedures when loading the container onto his vehicle.""

Submission + - Microsoft Unveils Second Generation Zune

An anonymous reader writes: With an immediate and more realistic goal of becoming the number two selling digital media portable Microsoft took the tarp off of two new Zune players. Both players are smaller than the original Zune, though retain much of the first gen player's looks. The Zune 80GB is the updated hard drive unit with a 3.2" display. The Zune 4GB and Zune 8GB are the new flash units that otherwise offer almost the same feature set as the Zune 80GB. This includes the ability to sync to your PC wirelessly, a feature unavailable on the iPod touch. Wireless file sharing, though loosened, is still crippled. Users can still only listen to a file they trade among themselves three times, but the three day file expiration is removed. The flash Zune units looks like decent portable against the iPod nano and classic, but the whole line seems so 'last year' against the iPod touch. The new Zune line ships in November. The Zune 80GB retails for $249 and the Zune $4GB and 8GB sell for $149 and $199 respectively. A list of new peripherals for the Zune are already listed on the Zune site.

Submission + - Analysts: Halo 3 Momentum Boosts Industry (

njkid1 writes: "Halo 3 is driving more foot traffic and bigger sales for retailers (particularly GameStop) and because the game has led to more interest in Xbox 360, analysts believe that top publishers will also benefit from increased sales of their 360 titles."
XBox (Games)

Submission + - Halo 3 helps the industry

An anonymous reader writes: While it's obvious to see the mainstream success that Bungie's Halo 3 is bringing to the industry, other developers (and their fans) might see Halo 3 as a competitor and threat. However, an industry analyst sees it as a benefit for other large developers, such as EA, as gamers who bought the XBox 360 platform for Halo continue to buy other titles. The largest benefactor is Gamestop, who gained enormous foot traffic during the Halo launch (which will likely continue into the upcoming holiday season).

I speculate even further that the entire industry will eventually benefit: as more casual or new gamers (freshmeat) see what the hype is about, more just might stick around and buy other platforms and games. I'm fairly cynical about over-hyped advertising and platform exclusives, but I'm currently biting my tongue over Microsoft's well crafted campaign.

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