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Posts from January, 2011

Nintendo 3DS Launching On March 27 For $250

Jan 20

Sam writes “Nintendo executive Reggie Fil-Amie today revealed US availability and pricing for the Nintendo 3DS at an event in the Nintendo World store in New York City. The 3DS will launch on March 27, 2011 with a retail price of $250 and will be available in two flavors: Aqua Blue and Cosmo Black. There will be roughly 30 games released between the launch day and E3 2011 (June 7 to June 9). These include Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition, Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D, Madden NFL Football, The Sims 3, Pro Evolution Soccer 2011 3D, and LEGO Star Wars III: The Clone Wars. The device will have the same form-factor as the DSi and will be backwards compatible with both DS and DSi games. Users will also be able to download games via an online store, called the eShop. In Europe, the 3DS will launch on March 25, 2011. While Europeans will get the device two days early, pricing is not good news. Nintendo held a second event in Amsterdam today and said that pricing would be left up to retailers. Retailers in the UK are reportedly planning a £229.99 ($367.64) price tag, while other European retailers are going with €249 ($336.00).”

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Hackers Respond To Help Wanted Ads With Malware

Jan 20

itwbennett writes “The FBI issued a warning Wednesday about a new twist on a long-running computer fraud technique, known as Automated Clearing House fraud. With ACH fraud, criminals install malware on a small business’ computer and use it to log into the company’s online bank account. In this latest twist on the scam, the criminals are apparently looking for companies that are hiring online and then sending malicious software programs that are doctored to look like job applications. One unnamed company recently lost $150,000 in this way, according to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center. ‘The malware was embedded in an e-mail response to a job posting the business placed on an employment website,’ the FBI said in a press release. The malware, a variant of the Bredolab Trojan, ‘allowed the attacker to obtain the online banking credentials of the person who was authorized to conduct financial transactions within the company.'”

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The Companies Who Support Censoring the Internet

Jan 20

RichiH writes “From Techdirt: ‘A group of companies sent a letter to to Attorney General Eric Holder and ICE boss John Morton (with cc’s to VP Joe Biden, Homeland Security boss Janet Napolitano, IP Czar Victoria Espinel, Rep. Lamar Smith, Rep. John Conyers, Senator Patrick Leahy and Senator Charles Grassley), supporting the continued seizure of domain names they don’t like, as well as the new COICA censorship bill, despite the serious Constitutional questions raised about how such seizures violate due process and free speech principles.’ A full list of companies who you might want to avoid buying from is included, as well.”

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Motorola Sticks To Guns On Locking Down Android

Jan 20

jeffmeden writes “‘These aren’t the droids you’re looking for’ proclaims Motorola, maker of the popular Android smartphones such as the Droid 2 and Droid X. At least, not if you have any intention of loading a customized operating system. According to Motorola’s own YouTube channel, ‘If you want to do custom roms, then buy elsewhere, we’ll continue with our strategy that is working thanks.’ The strategy they are referring to is a feature Motorola pioneered called ‘e-fuse’, the ability for the phone’s CPU to stop working if it detects unauthorized software running.”

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California Spam Law Upheld By Appeals Court

Jan 20

www.sorehands.com writes “In the first California appeals court ruling (pdf), in Hypertouch v. Valueclick, it is ruled that the I-CAN-SPAM Act does not preempt California Business & Professions Code Section 17529.5. California Business & Professions Code Section 17529.5 prohibits the use of falsified headers and subject lines that are likely to mislead recipients. Spammers have been claiming, and some courts have been ruling, that to survive preemption, a Plaintiff has to show all the elements of fraud (false representation, knowledge, reliance, and damage from the reliance.) The reliance and damage from the reliance is difficult as it would essentially require the recipient to buy the penis enlargement pills and show that they don’t work, or to send the money to the Nigerian prince. An ISP could never show reliance and harm, as they are not the recipient and would not be responding to e-mails traversing their systems. The ruling also made it clear that the advertiser is responsible for the acts of their agents, even if their agents promise not to spam.”

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DSL Installation Fail

Jan 20

An anonymous reader writes “Here’s an example of fine Qwest workmanship. In our business park, they just installed a DSL connection for our neighbors, for which we share an exterior utility space. They left: a DSL modem stuffed in a cardboard box, wrapped in a Wal-Mart bag, sitting outside in what will be below-zero (F) temps, on top of a bank of ten natural gas meters in some of the driest air of the year. They also left it plugged into an exposed exterior power outlet above a snowbank, with network cables running around the building, through snowbanks, coupled and protected by zip-lock baggies, and into our neighbors office. Not to mention the hack-job of patching the phone cable directly into the demarcation box. And if you’re wondering — I was told upon calling them that this is not their problem, and I need to contact my primary phone service provider.”

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Canadian Firm Plans 78-Satellite Net Service

Jan 20

matty619 writes “A CNET article is reporting on another try at low earth orbit satellites for internet access, reminiscent of Teledesic, an ill fated $9 billion Bill Gates/Paul Allen et al venture originally consisting of 840 low earth orbit satellites (LEO-SAT). From the article: ‘MSCI, which stands for Microsat Systems Canada Inc., is trying to be a bit of a maverick with its project, called CommStellation. The company said today that its approach of using small, inexpensive satellites in low orbit — about 620 miles above the Earth — means better coverage of the world’s population, quicker launch, and better network capacity.’ Each MSCI satellite has a data-transfer capacity of 12 gigabits per second. The expected lifespan of each is 10 years, and they can be sent back into the atmosphere at the end of their lives to avoid more orbital clutter.”

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Amazon, Rackspace Add New Cloud Capabilities

Jan 20

miller60 writes “Amazon Web Services has rolled out Elastic Beanstalk, a free feature which automatically handles the deployment details of capacity provisioning, load balancing, auto-scaling, and application health monitoring. AWS execs tell GigaOm that Beanstalk represents a move up to Platform-as-a-Service and is designed ‘to address the idea of vendor lock-in and inflexibility that commonly afflicts other platforms for application development.’ Meanwhile, Amazon rival Rackspace Hosting has extended its cloud platform to its European data centers, opening the service to customers bound by data protection regulations, and says it now has more than 100,000 cloud customers.”

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US Supreme Court Says NASA Background Checks OK

Jan 20

coondoggie writes “In a long-running dispute about privacy and security, the US Supreme Court today sided with NASA saying its background checks were not invasive and that the information required for not only NASA but most government positions was a reasonable security precaution and that sufficient privacy safeguards existed to prevent any improper disclosures. You may recall that in this case, 28 scientists and engineers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory filed suit against the US government and the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in 2007 saying that NASA’s invasive background investigations as required by government regulations [inappropriately violate workers’ privacy].”

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World of StarCraft Mod Gets C&D From Blizzard

Jan 20

eldavojohn writes “If you’ve been following the team who created World of StarCraft (an amazing mod of StarCraft II to be more like World of Warcraft), their YouTube video of what they’ve done so far has already resulted in a cease and desist from Activision/Blizzard. Evidently when you are given tools to make custom mods to games you should be careful about making something too good. The author of the mod is hopeful that it’s just a trademark problem with the name of his mod, but few reasons for the C&D were given.” In other StarCraft news, reader glwtta recommends an article about how a Berkeley team won the world’s first StarCraft AI competition with code that can beat even pro-level human players.

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