Daily News Brief: Netflix Survivors Given Partial Refund


Netflix Gives 5 Percent Refund

The world as we know it came to a screeching halt on Monday, as Netflix customers were forced to cope with an unexpected downtime from 7am to 6pm. Shipments of DVDs were delayed, and streaming movies suddenly stopped streaming, forcing victims to find alternative means of entertainment for nearly an entire day. Recognizing the severity of the situation, Netflix is issuing a 5 percent refund to survivors, which comes out to 25 cents for those on the $4.99/month plan.

Update - It appears as though some subscribers are receiving 10 percent discounts for their troubles, most likely those on the higher tiered subscription plans.

Researchers Discover Earliest Voice Recording

Move over Thomas Edison , and make room for Édouard-Léon Scott. A Parisian typesetter and tinkerer, Scott invented the phonautograph, a device capable of recording sounds visually, but not playing them back. For the latter task, it took a team of scientists at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory to convert the squiggles on paper to sound, which they did to a phonautogram recorded on April 9, 1860, or nearly two decades before Edison's phonograph. The 148-year-old phonautogram contains a 10-second recording of a singer sing Au Clair de la Lune . Listen here , then compare to a 1931 recording of the same song here .

PlayStation Network Hacked

Sony issued a notice yesterday alerting PlayStation owners that a small percentage of accounts may have been compromised when hackers managed to gain " unauthorized access to personal information on the PLAYSTATION®Store through PCs ." The breach gave intruders access to passwords and users' online 'wallets' at the store, but not much else, as accounts do not display entire credit card numbers. It's unclear how the breach occurred, though Sony did say they " have taken immediate measures to rectify the issue and system security is restored ." Game on.

Pwn to Own Contest

It took two minutes for a team of security researchers to seize control of a MacBook Air and walk away with $10,000 in prize money for doing so. The annual Pwn to Own contest pitted the MacBook Air against Windows Vista and Ubuntu machines, and all three made it through the first day when hacks were limited to over-the-network techniques. But on day two, Charlie Miller, Jake Honoroff, and Mark Daniel quickly gained control of the MacBook using a newly discovered zero-day vulnerability in Safari. Read more here .

WoW Bot Maker Sued

World of War crack craft developer Blizzard has filed suit against Michael Donnelly, the creator of MMO Glider . Donnelly's tool gives players the ability to automate many of the tasks performed in WoW, making it possible to leave the game unattended and still gain experience and loot. According to the website where Glider can be downloaded, " it grinds, it loots, it skins, it heals, it even farms sould shards...without you. " Blizzard says it also infringes on WoW's EULA , and for that, Vivendi Universal sent a private investigator and lawyer to Donnelly's home. Donnelly plans to fight the lawsuit.

OpenOffice Update

A new version of the free open-source productivity suite is now available. In addition to the obligatory bug fixes and performance improvements, OpenOffice 2.4 brings a handful of new features to the table, which you can read about in the release notes .

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