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Sunday, May 1, 2011


Many of us have already heard that the PlayStation Network is down but as I talk to more people it seems like no-body has the full story. I'm here to bring it to you. Simply put, thžThe PlayStation Network  has confirmed that the network was compromised because of an “illegal and unauthorized intrusion.” The intrusion happened from April 17th to April 19th and the network has been down since. What has been stolen?

žSony Released a list of stolen information.
•Your name,
•Address (city, state, zip)
•Email address
•PlayStation Network/Qriocity password and login -and handle/PSN online ID

Sony has not denied the possibility that credit card numbers were stolen. It is suggested that if you have signed up and you believe that your information was stolen, that you should change your password as soon as possible and be on the look out for suspicious activity. Patrick Seybold, Sony's director of corporate communications and social media in the United States says "We have a clear path to have PlayStation Network and Qriocity systems back online, and expect to restore some services within a week." 

Regarding the credit card information, Sony says:“All of the data was protected, and access was restricted both physically and through the perimeter and security of the network." They add that "The entire Credit card table was encrypted and we have no evidence that credit card data was taken..." They went on the say that the personal data table was not encrypted but was behind a very sophisticated security system. You may now find yourself wondering what Sony is currently doing? Well, right now they are in the process of transferring over their network infrastructure to a more secure location. They are also sending out new software updates that require a password change for anyone whos information was compromised. 

Sony security officials have noticed online forum posts regarding large amounts of stolen credit card numbers ready for sale. Hackers reportedly have 2.2 million credit cards with CVVs. Sony fights back saying that CCVs are not required or requested upon registration and therefore wouldn't be stored in the system. It was later found out that Sony DOES  indeed ask for CCV codes. 
They later went to say "While we do ask for CCV codes, we do not store them in our database. It is transmitted to our payment processors of verification purposes only." Sony has announced that the Network will finally be back up this week and that some services will be up and running. Sony says to apologize for the downtime and problems, they will give users at the very least, the following:
  • Restoration of Online game-play across the PlayStation®3 (PS3) and PSP® (PlayStation®Portable) systems (This includes titles requiring online verification and downloaded games)
  • Access to Music Unlimited powered by Qriocity for PS3/PSP for existing subscribers
  • Access to account management and password reset
  • Access to download un-expired Movie Rentals on PS3, PSP and MediaGo
  • PlayStation®Home
  • Friends List
  • Chat Functionality
 My advice? Change all information once the PSN is back up. Keep on the look out for suspicious activity and definitely be careful with who you trust your information with. 

Regarding my posts: I'm sorry about not posting in a while, I've been away. I'm back now and should be posting regularly.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Internet Sales Tax?

A democratic senator from Illinois plans to introduce legislation that will end the Internet's tax free advantage. This proposal is said to be made public shortly after Tax Day and will write rules for internet sales sites. and are just a few examples that would have to require buyers to pay sales tax. Dick Durbin is the senator that proposes this and he plans to introduce the bill to Senate after their Easter recess. He claims online websites have an unfair advantage over physical stores. Durbin's bill will be called the Main Street Fairness Act. The Direct Marketing Association sued Colorado last year to block a similar state tax law from taking effect, and is now preparing to rally opposition to Durbin's legislation. I think I don't have to express my point, I'm obviously opposed to such a bill. I think that our government is wasting enough money as it is and to give them this extra would be foolish. Its putting money in the hands of an 8 year old to me. But what do you think? Do you think it is fair to apply sales tax to internet stores?

Friday, April 8, 2011

The Breach

If you haven't already heard, Epsilon was breached over the past week and hundreds of thousands of emails were obtained by outside sources. Whats Epsilon? Epsilon is a company that offers outsourced services to help companies gain customers. It offers e-mail marketing services and management of customer email databases for clients. It also monitors social networking and other similar sites to see what people have to say about companies. It uses this information to give advice on markets to target, and to help maintain customer loyalty. It also offers Abacus, "the world's largest cooperative database with over 8.6 billion consumer transactions and 4.8 billion business transactions."

A picture of the epsilon email network web page.


How can you tell if you were affected? Well right now the best way to find out is through the companies that use Epsilon. There is a list going around of companies that have been identified as using Epsilon, possibly with your emails. They are following stores: 
Target, Kroger, TiVo, US Bank, JPMorgan Chase, Capital One, Citi, Home Shopping Network, Ameriprise Financial, LL Bean Visa Card, McKinsey & Company, Ritz-Carlton Rewards, Marriott Rewards, New York & Company, Brookstone, Walgreens, The College Board, Disney Destinations, and Best Buy.

If you were affected and it is a possibility that your email was obtained by outside sources, you will have received an email from one of these companies. Now you are probably wondering what will happen if it was obtained? Well not to worry, they didn't steal your password, just your email address. Chances are people will be subjected to much more spam and phishing emails now. What these types of attacks do is to prompt a user for a username and password to sites you think you are a member of, but then maintain the data for themselves. At that point they will have your password. The best solution to these emails is to not open them in general. Only open emails from people you know. As always, stay safe.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

N64. Portable. Yeah- I know.

Now, I know what your thinking, its been done before. Someone has just made another portable N64. Well thats true. What makes this different? Well I'll tell you. Its capable of playing GoldenEye. Split screen. Thats right, this portable N64 is capable of playing one of the best N64 games, split screen. It also has an extra controller port. Now I don't know if you guys are N64 fans, but this just makes me happy. I wish I could get my hands on one. While the screen may be a little bit small to play a split screen game on, we do have to keep in mind, this is a portable console not a television.
There it is. That is the portable console with the extra controller port next to it. The design isn't anything fancy, and not so much creative but I believe it is still worthy of sales. I know if I had the choice I would buy it. It would be really cool if game stores across the nation would re-release old consoles in modified forms like this. I'd get it. What about you? 

Sunday, April 3, 2011


I just reached 50 followers! It isn't much in the eyes of the big bloggers but it means a lot to me. It's a milestone and I'm certainly happy about it. I didn't think my blog would grow this fast! So instead of making this just a congratulations post, I want to know, what do you guys want to see? Tech reviews, App reviews, Tech news? You name it and I'll try to do it.

Thanks again to my 50 followers! Have some cake!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

FOLLOW UP: You dun' been Keylogged

A new news article came out just recently regarding the issue I blogged about earlier; the key-loggers on Samsung Laptops. As it turns out, there weren't actually key loggers on the laptops and Samsung was cleared of the allegations. After further research, they found out that what the researcher was finding was actually a program called VIPRE, which is falsely  identified as malware. It turns out that Windows live uses that directory to install language files, and Samsung pre-loads Windows Live. While the problem was fixed in the latest update for the software, it was too late to re-call the information already leaked. The false word of key-loggers on Samsung laptops spread all over the web. Now, Network World is under fire for not investigating the researchers allegations before publishing the news. Key-loggers: debunked. 
Rest assured, your Samsung laptops are safe, but for me this raises one question. Is your online information safe? The spread of information is growing faster and faster with improvements to the web. This story was spread all over the place in a matter of hours. Can information on the internet be trusted? Can you trust the internet with your information? What do you think?

Android Apps with Growing Potential

I just read a very interesting news piece on a unique Android application. What they have done is applied technology to football, and came out with something very impressive. Its called the "Replay Football system." It uses a Bluetooth enabled Nerf Football and an internal processing module with inertial sensing to analyze your throw. It allows real-time use and possibly soon, tips to improve your throw. Right now it includes the following performance measurements: Velocity, time in flight (in seconds), accelerometer, gyroscope, magnetometer, wobble, and spiral rotation speed.

Now, I have to admit, I'm not a huge football fan if you hadn't already guessed from my Technology Blog. But I do see this app growing a lot in the near future. I think this technology could grow to be used in all sorts of other things. Not just all other sports but every day activities. Imagine lifting weights and having an app to help you lift more effectively, or shoes to tell you your walking stats for the day. I'm not saying we are at that point yet but we could get there. What do you guys think?

Thursday, March 31, 2011

3DS or 3Disease?

    Nintendo had a big release on Sunday, the 3DS. What made this portable gaming console special is that it was 3D, but there was more... NO GLASSES! Thats right, no pesky 3D glasses to get in the way. This device is revolutionary in the sense of brining 3D gaming to portable consoles and to do so without glasses. It is simply incredible. Surprisingly, the crowd that gathered at the release site in New York was big, but not as large as previous console releases. Why was this? Some people guess the games. Through time, Nintendo fans stick with the classics. For lack of a better example the Wii, it was released with The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. We all now how big the Wii was when it came out. Nintendo didn't go down that path this time. Nintendo released the 3DS with games like "Super Monkey Ball 3D," "Asphalt 3D," "Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition", and "Lego Star Wars III." Now don't get me wrong, those aren't bad games, but are those the games people want to see on the release date? 

    Others argue it isn't about the games but about the Headaches the 3D can bring. Nintendo specifically recommends holding the 3DS in a 10-14 inch range from your face to create the best possible 3D representation. The positioning is do-able, but is the 3D? The 3D has reportedly given headaches and nausea. Its also been said to be straining on the eyes (more-so than other systems) and can possibly make you feel cross-eyed. I don't know about you, but I think I'll stick with my 2DS for now.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

You dun' been key logged.

A link to the official story can be found at the bottom of the post.

I didn't originally plan on posting today, but there was some news I thought I should share. There has been a whole lot of news going around about key loggers on Samsung laptops. The story sprung from a security researcher who discovered key logging software installed on two brand-new Samsung laptops. Obviously you can see why this would be problematic. There have been other reports of key logging software on new models from multiple other sources. The most famous being Mohamed Hassan. At first, Samsung denied having put key logging software on the computers and refereed customers to Microsoft who quotes: "All Samsung did was manufacture the hardware". After reviewing the story from multiple sources I can honestly say I'm disappointed in Samsung and Microsoft. I think to monitor customers without their consent is an infringement on rights and should not go unnoticed. What do you think?


Here I am

A few friends told me to try out this whole blogging thing so here it is! This is my first blog post here on "The Teck" and I plan to make more. Expect more soon.