Sony may have limited their PS3 lineup to a single model in Japan, but at least one new variant is coming to the US. Uncovered in a filing with the FCC, North American gamers can apparently expect a 'Ceramic White' 40GB PS3. Judging by the model number (CECHH01), the new offering will differ from the Asian-market white PS3. No release date has been given, though rumors circulating the web point to a January 28th announcement, with a possible price cut in store for the current black 40GB model. Stay tuned...
No YouTube for You!
Once again, a Turkish court saw fit to ban YouTube over clips allegedly insulting the country's founding father. This marks the second the time Turkey has blocked access to YouTube over videos deemed disrespectful to Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, which breaks Turkish law. The first ban, which was imposed last March, was ultimately lifted after YouTube removed the offending videos. No time limit has been placed on the current ban.
Utility Hackers Demand Cash
It was lights out for multiple cities last week as hackers broke into electrical utilities and demanded extortion payments. Senior CIA analyst Tom Donahue said all the break-ins occurred outside the US. It's believed that some of the hackers had inside knowledge to cause the outages, though Donahue did not specify what countries were affected, when the outages occured, or how long the lights stayed off.
Vishing Attacks on the Rise
The FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) warned that 'vishing' complaints are increasing by "an alarming rate." Like phishing, vishing relies on email to lure its victims. But rather than prompt users to input personal information into fraudulent websites, vishing attempts ask their victims to settle the matter over the phone. End-users call the provided number, which may connect to a real person or an answering machine set up to harvest personal data. Ready for the kicker? If a real person answers the phone, they could be part of a large scale operation and not even be aware they're part of an illegal operation! Protect yourself by always calling your financial institution by the number provided on your credit card or official banking statement, etc.
Couch Potato Tax
The Sierra Club is proposing a tax on both video games and televisions with the proceeds going towards programs that would encourage families to get kids off the couch and into the mountains. Mike Casaus of the Sierra Club would like to see more families hiking together in the fight against childhood diabetes and obesity, and estimates the 1 percent tax would bring in about $4 million for such programs.
EBay Chief Mulls Stepping Down
According to the Wall Street Journal, eBay's Chief Executive Meg Whitman is preparing to retire after almost a decade on the job. The reports states Meg has been doling out daily responsibilities to her lieutenants and is completing her succession planning. If she leaves, 47-year-old John Donahue, whom Meg recruited in 2006 to become president of eBay's auction business unit, would likely secceed her. Forbes estimates Whitman's net worth in the vicinity of $1.4 billion.