Tag Archives: sony

How LastPass is Handling a Security Breach the Right Way

I’m just as tired as you are of reading about security breaches, data being stolen and hackers sitting smugly behind their screens. Unfortunately, we’re not going to see a dip in the number of these crimes any time soon. The state of security within many companies is frankly deplorable. Corporations we have trusted for years are suddenly finding themselves in the number one spot on everyone’s “list.” Often, though, it’s not the actual breach of information that disturbs us – it’s the way a company handles the problem which gets our knickers in a knot. Just take a look at Sony…

Sony knew there was an issue several days before telling anyone, an oversight which is now causing them much more grief than the actual dilemma of stolen data. Let’s face it: we all know that hackers are out there stealing everything they can get their hands on. We hate them, right? We rant, curse and scream on a daily basis about the prevalence of online theft. But what we loathe even more than the bad guys are the companies who aren’t honest with us – and who aren’t very speedy at telling us they have a problem.

Earlier today, password manager LastPass openly admitted that they had possibly suffered a breach of data – nearly as fast as they discovered it. In order to maintain the safety of their customers, the business quickly disabled master passwords, forcing users to log in via offline mode. Everyone was then prompted to change their master password in order to resume normal operations. This was done as a precaution, folks. Yes, it likely inconvenienced you for a moment or two. However, isn’t taking that step just in case better than finding out later that some idiot now has control of your bank and credit card accounts?

This company absolutely handled the matter the right way. They aren’t even sure at this point that anything was taken at all. They simply found a possible problem, reported it to you immediately and took preventative steps to help you stay secure. What more could you ask for? Please don’t answer that by asking for impenetrable security. That’s never going to happen, y’all.

Nothing is perfect, not even security. The response from the LastPass team is daggone close, though.

Sony Knew Software Was Outdated Months Ago

During testimony at a Congressional hearing earlier today, Dr. Gene Spafford of Purdue University stated that Sony knew months ago that its software was outdated. Approximately three months before more than 100 million users had their information stolen by hackers, the company was informed by security experts that its version of Apache Web Server was seriously out of date. This version was unpatched and had no firewall protection of any kind.

Dr. Spafford spoke during a hearing with the House Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade. Sony was also invited to attend but declined. In a letter to the committee, the company stated that it has now added “automated software monitoring and enhanced data security and encryption to its systems in the wake of the recent security breaches.”

Excuse me for pointing out the obvious, but Sony made these moves just a smidgen too late, don’t you think? Had it been actively monitoring its software all along, these colossal data breaches may never have occurred, and more than 100 million people wouldn’t have their information at risk. Any company – especially one that deals with credit card numbers and identifying personal information – has a duty to its customers to protect them by making sure that its Web site and service is as secure as could possibly be.

I cannot help but be outraged by this. I was not (thank the Lord) a PlayStation Network member. However, it doesn’t take much to set me off when a company is so obviously negligent. Heck yes, it has taken steps to correct the problem. Too bad that it’s not nearly enough to make up for the lack of security to begin with.

It’s bad enough that Sony never knew its software was outdated – or chose to ignore the fact. It’s far worse that it was told in a public place on more than one occasion by educated consumers and continued to do nothing. Was the company hoping to save money by not purchasing new software? If so, I think it’s safe to say that particular choice just bit it in the butt in a very large way.

Sony Playstation Breach Shows How Vulnerable You Are

Sony finally owned up to what was already clear several days ago: Playstation Network incurred a massive breach of user data. Over seventy-seven million user accounts are impacted in what is quite possibly the largest data breach ever. The FBI is on notice and one United States Congressman is accusing Sony of “taking too long to report the breach.” Whoever hacked the Sony Playstation Network likely has access to your username and password, your date of birth, your name, your address and your credit card information. They even have the answers to your security questions.

This data breach should put us all on notice – it’s becoming harder to know who to trust with your data. The problem is bigger than Sony. It proves just how vulnerable you really are. Canceling your credit card right away and adding a “high risk” alert to your credit file might help mitigate the short term damage. You can cancel your mother’s maiden name, or your first pet’s name, or the model of your first car.

Even if your username and password are unique at every site, you likely use the same security questions and answers. After all, how many different security questions do you see? We are asked our mother’s maiden name, our first girlfriend’s first name, our first job, and even what type of car we drive. Thinking back on the last five websites I signed up with, the security questions were almost identical at each one. Now those criminals know the answers to those supposed security boosts – along with all of your other personally identifying information. They can freely access nearly anything you’ve registered for online and they also have the power to assume your identity with brand new accounts.

Let’s dig a little deeper into what this means from a security standpoint. Imagine if you will a C-level executive with GE or Ford who happens to be enjoy gaming on the Playstation Network. Can you even imagine the potential for havoc once data theives access thier various online accounts? We’re talking possible repercussions of a massive scale, y’all. Down on main street, where business owners are struggling to survive and thrive, those who had their information stolen could end up seeing a bankruptcy judge in the near future. An unlucky teen’s parents may end up with a mountain of credit card debt they cannot escape from.

If our trust is violated by a huge corporation like Sony – or any of the other 2,447 companies who had a data compromise since 2005 – who can we trust?

New PlayStation Device Rumors Strengthen

This is a guest post written by community member Craighton Miller.

Since its release 2004 the PlayStation Portable hasn’t really changed much. With only a couple of tweaks by changing the size of the unit and internal components it has largely stayed the same. Though, that may all change in a couple months, in a recent interview with The New York Times, a high level executive revealed some hints of the companies new device that will hit the market in April.

Sony’s gaming chief, Kazuo Hirai, hinted in the interview towards the rumored Android-powered PlayStation device. Kazuo Hirai, acknowledged in the interview that they are facing major competition from iOS and Android. Although the mobile gaming boom is on an up rise Kazuo Hirai added, “The games being played on Android and Apple platforms are fundamentally different from the world of immersive games that Sony Computer Entertainment, and PlayStation aims for.”

Kazuo Hirai is right for the most part, smartphone gaming is very different from what the PlayStation portable platform has to offer. Needless to say the mobile gaming landscape is changing quickly at an increasing rate.

Gaming developer, Epic Games released its Unreal Development Kit for iOS last September and one of the premiere games made from the development kit, Infinity Blade has made a deep impact on the way games can be created on the iPhone.

One of the big questions on anyone’s mind is the utilization of touchscreens. Kazuo Hirai told The New York Times that touchscreens are only efficient for some games, but he argues that having physical controls lets you immerse yourself deeper in the games that are being played.

Based off of statements from Sony over the last couple of months, one can clearly guess that the new device will be Andorid based, and would have its own device-specific games and even its own network store.

Although, we can assume the device is Android powered it is still unclear if it will be a phone or just gaming device. Though those rumors are unclear Kazuo Hirai, stressed that Sony wants to keep PlayStation’s strengths intact.

Google TV Vs. Apple TV


Add to iTunes | Add to YouTube | Add to Google | RSS Feed

This is Google TV. I am more than grateful to the team at Google for sending this unit to me, and for showing me how I can help all of YOU win one for yourself. I have to tell you – this piece of hardware is simply stunning. The quality is far beyond what I had expected. Besides, what could be cooler than watching YouTube videos on a big screen television?

Google TV is a new platform for television that combines your normal TV programming with a full web browser, Android apps and a simple way to search through all of it. It’s even easy to switch between TV and the web without having to change inputs on your television set.

With Google Chrome and Adobe Flash Player 10.1, Google TV lets you access everything on the web. Watch your favorite web videos, view photos, play games, check fantasy scores, chat with friends, and do everything else you’re accustomed to doing online.

If you’re a video producer like I am, you’re going to love this. Google TV gives web video stars the change to be a TV star. Google TV users can even bookmark your YouTube channel onto their TV home screen. This makes your content appear one click away from whatever they are already watching.

Google TV will come pre-loaded with apps like Netflix, Twitter, CNBC, Pandora, Napster, NBA Game Time, Amazon Video On Demand and Gallery. Starting early next year, apps from Android Market will work on Google TV as well. As I already said in the video above, the quality and clarity of this Sony television is just – fantastic. I cannot imagine anything better to surf the web with, including my beloved Mac Pro and dual 30″ monitors. This TV set puts those to shame. Seriously.

I’m sure you are ready to know how you can win one of these for yourself, aren’t you? Google is graciously giving YOU the chance to win. The contest ends on December 22nd, so you’ll have to hurry. 100 people will win a 46″ Sony Google Internet TV on January 20th.

To enter, simply create a video describing why you’re excited about watching the Internet on TV. You can upload your entry as soon as you’re ready – and please make sure you’ve read the official contest rules. Your video cannot be longer than one minute, so be creative with your time – and good luck to everyone!

Thanks again to Google. This Sony in my office is now my new best friend. Why are YOU excited about Google TV?

Want to Buy a Sony PSP?


Add to iTunes | Add to YouTube | Add to Google | RSS Feed

I’m selling my PSP and not going to be getting a new one. Along with the PSP, I’m going to sell all of my games. The carrying cases and various accessories could also be yours if you are the lucky person to convince me to sell.

The games included in this package are:

I’ve hardly used the game system, and don’t even remember booting it up since I unboxed it. It’s the latest generation of PSP and is silver. I have some cases and the original packaging. It’s in near-pefect condition. I simply don’t want it, I don’t play it and I don’t need it sitting around.

Make me a competitive offer and this could be yours.

Want to embed this video on your own site, blog, or forum? Use this code or download the video:

How to Come Out of the Geek Closet

Geeks are everywhere. We tend to hold some of the coolest jobs on the planet. Our group has some of the most amazing (and personable!) people as core members. The gang is widely accepted socially these days – right? Sadly, this isn’t always the case. Why is it that even in the days of phenomenal technological advances we still sometimes have to hide who we are? Why are geeks ostracized in any capacity?

One teen on Lockergnome reports that his mom told him to not tell people he is a geek. Say what?! He explains further by saying: “When I call myself a geek in front of people, they don’t seem to understand what I mean. Some people misinterpret it for being the Hollywood stereotyped ‘I love school, reading books, doing homework and physically weak nerd.'”

I cannot believe that people feel as though being a geek is a bad thing. Hell, a geek isn’t necessarily even someone who is a computer lover. A geek is anyone who is passionate about something, whether that be technology, water polo or art class.

What are your thoughts? Do you feel there are still negative connotations in conjunction with the word geek?

Our software center always has the hottest apps and software at the best prices you can find.

Sony Recalling Half a Million Vaio Notebooks

If you are a Sony Vaio owner, you need to check the recall list to find out whether or not your machine is in danger. The company issued a voluntary global recall of 535,000 Vaio notebook computers after reports of defects in the temperature control software was discovered. The flaw can cause the notebook to overheat, sometimes to an extreme degree.

The recalled products are from the VPCF11 Series and VPCCW2 Series notebook computers. About half of these are found right here in the United States. According to Stacey Palosky, spokesperson for the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, Sony has issued a firmware update to correct this issue. Sony received several reports of machines overheating enough that the keyboards and casing became deformed, she noted.

An owner can either download the fix for themselves, or arrange to have the machine picked up and serviced at no charge. The defective units were sold at Costco, Best Buy and Amazon between January and April of this year.

Seeking Home Theater Advice


Add to iTunes | Add to YouTube | Add to Google | RSS Feed

Kevin called in the other night and wanted advice on setting up a home theater. The friend of his who is trying to set things up is wondering if an Xbox 360 is sufficient as a starting point. He also already owns a 1080p television. Have you ever set up a home theater? What was your experience like?

As far as Blu-Ray players out on the marketplace, for my money it was the PS3. It has fantastic quality. Of all the players out there, I realized I wanted it to be able to do more than one thing. That’s why the PS3 made a fantastic option for me. I don’t own many games for it, but at least I have the ability to use it in that capacity at any point in time.

You could get a regular old component and perhaps spend less money. I think that overall, though, you would be happier using something like the PS3.

One place where people tend to skimp when setting up a home theater is with audio. Amazing video doesn’t do you much good if you have crap sound coming out of cheap speakers. Do your research and save money – but you also will need to spend money to have something good. You want to have crisp, clear sound.

Find the balance within your budget for good audio and good video. Together, these will make for a good experience.

I know that everyone out there has one thing they feel you need to have in that environment. Everyone has their own tips and ideas. Hopefully, the community will chip in and give their best advice.

Want to embed this video on your own site, blog, or forum? Use this code or download the video:

Xbox 360 USB Drive Now Available

Microsoft has decided to allow USB flash storage to be used with the Xbox 360. You can use a USB stick to save games, profiles, and demos. The only limit is a storage cap of 16GB, which is much less than the hard drives themselves offer. The official partner for supplying Xbox 360 branded USB drives is SanDisk, and the company has now finally released an 8GB and 16GB model of the drive.

According to the official press release, “the new drive makes it easier than ever for gamers to take their gamertags, saved game progress, map packs, Arcade game downloads and bonus content with them for fast and convenient access on another Xbox 360 console.” The 8GB drive will cost $34.99, while the 16GB model sells for $69.99. However, gamers should take note that they do not have to purchase the drives from SanDisk in order to take advantage of the USB storage. Most USB flash drives can be used with your Xbox 360. Using a cheaper model will save you cash, but will cost you that Xbox 360 branding supplied on the official SanDisk model.

You can download any number of programs to put on your favorite USB stick, computer or device from our software center. You don’t even need to use a certain brand to store what you buy.