Blizzard Entertainment, the company behind the insanely popular World of Warcraft franchise and, more recently, Diablo III, confirmed that it's Battle.net game service suffered a security breach that compromised certain user data. The full extent of the hack attack is still unknown, but at this stage, Blizzard doesn't believe that any financial data was lifted, including credit card info, billing addresses, or real names.
There are several practices that distinguish true power users from common folk.System building is one. Component benchmarking certainly applies. As does religious parts swapping. And then, of course, there’s hardware hacking. Hacking, more than anything else, exemplifies our ongoing quest for more—more performance, more functionality, more power—because we’re wringing this extra goodness from gear we already own, using crafty methods and occasionally pushing the bounds of practicality in the process; sometimes just for the heck (or should we say hack?) of it.
We know that GPUs and CPUs often have features disabled or dialed back in order to fit a price point. We’ll show you some nifty ways to access their hidden capabilities, as well as some fixes for inherent flaws. We also know that our gear can be made to do more than it was intended to with the help of third-party software, as you’ll discover in our webcam and Roku projects. And if you want to make your smartphone smarter, increase your Wi-Fi router’s range, or RAID your SSDs, we’ll turn you on to those tricks, too.
We'd say “this is getting ridiculous,” but it passed ridiculous and rounded the corner into DownrightLoonyVille (copyright Zynga, all rights reserved) a long time ago. After Sony so kindly lowered its gates to kick off the trend, hackers stormed their way into SOE, Deus Ex, Nintendo of America, and Codemasters – to name a few. And now they've struck Skyrim and Fallout developer Bethesda, too – primarly, well, because they can.
There are few services on the internet today more ubiquitous than Google Maps. Originally designed to be downloaded by users as a desktop application, it quickly became a web-based service once the company that gave birth to it was acquired by Google in 2004. By 2005, the user-friendly mapping solution was a household name. Six years later, developers are still discovering new ways to leverage the venerable mapping service to produce more information and expand its functionality, making an already awesome free service even better. To show you what we’re talking about, we’ve put together a list of our ten favorite tips and uses for Google Maps. Some come from Google, others from third-party developers. All of them are awesome.
You’re on Facebook. So is the guy sitting next to you on the bus. Your brothers, best mates, old classmates, demented neighbors, former coworkers, your grandma – they’re all on Facebook. The social networking behemoth now boasts over 500 million (active) members (that’s 1 in every 13 people on earth) and everything from your Mountain Dew Code Red to your sneakers has a fan page (and some of you have sneakers that are themselves modeled after your social networking site of choice). But, far beyond being just a marketing tool, or a meme-factory, or a way for fourteen year olds to engage in endless flame wars over CoD scores, Facebook is becoming an integral (and at times, claustrophobic) part of how we access the Internet.
It’s becoming increasingly difficult to avoid the fact of FACEBOOK – the social networking mega-site now holds 71.2% of the U.S. internet audience as users. But in an age where 57% of people talk more online than they do in real, actual life is that a real surprise? After all, nothing is official anymore until it’s Facebook official.
So, how to best handle this beast? Let us guide you through the ins-and outs of security and privacy settings, photo uploading and sharing, scripts, apps and add-ons so that you can manage your Facebook experience in a way that works for you. Or at least as close to it as Zuckerberg will let you.
Kinect hacks seem to be showing up all over the place, but lets face it, using it to control Super Mario pretty much tops the list of what everyone was waiting for right? The proof of concept video which can be found after the jump is an impressive demonstration, even though it looks nearly impossible to accurately control.
The short clip makes for an interesting conversation piece, but after watching it you really have to wonder if Kinect is the gaming controller panacea Microsoft makes it out to be. The launch titles seem to cover off all the most basic mechanics that come to mind, dancing, sports, driving, etc, but is it really useful for anything else? After all, sometimes it really seems like the games are just playing themselves anyway.
I think most Maximum PC readers would agree that it has serious potential as a UI input method, but would anyone really rather play Mario this way? Let us know what you think after the jump.
The newest jailbreak for Apple's iOS platform has exposed a serious exploit that could allow a remote attacker to compromise the device. The exploit is present in all iPhones, iPads, and iPod Touches running version 3.1.2 and higher. The exploit doesn't even require any particular user intervention, just opening a malicious PDF document.
The user is just required to visit a web address in mobile Safari that will load a PDF document. The PDF contains malicious code hidden in a font. The font will cause a stack overflow, allowing the code to be run on the device. A hacker could conceivably do anything at that point. Anything from deleting files, to installing spyware in the background.
This is similar to an exploit early in the iPhone's existence that used TIFF images. But this time around there are many more iPhones in the world, so we expect Apple to take this pretty seriously. Users are cautioned to avoid any PDFs for the time being.
After our USB 3.0 coverage last week, we figured it would be a good time to turn our attention back to USB 2.0 (aka High Speed), and one of the classic nerd hobbies: USB hacking. Because of its highly-accessible wiring, USB can be easily modified for all sorts of purposes, even by neophyte hardware hackers. In the past, we've shown you how to perform some simple hacks, but now we want to highlight some of our favorite hacks created by members of the DIY community.
Some are of questionable utility, some of them are downright dangerous, but all of them are good, old-fashioned fun. Read on for our picks for the 10 most amazing USB hacks!
Twitter looks to be taking a new approach to Internet censorship. Rather than thump its chest and make big talk, like Google has done recently with China, Twitter is looking into technologies that will allow it to circumvent the censoring of Tweets. If they build a fence, Twitter seems to be saying, we won’t make them take it down, but rather will find a way around it.
Twitter co-founder Evan Williams didn’t mince words: “The most productive way to fight that is not by trying to engage China and other governments whose very being is against what we are about.” Williams is optimistic that “there are technological ways around these barriers.”
Twitter’s being closed-lipped about the actual details, for obvious reasons. Williams only suggested that Twitter’s general efforts were “interesting hacks.” No mention was made as to when and how Twitter would start its censorship counterattack.
Remember when webmail used to be synonymous with AOL? Boy has the Internet grown up since then, and lucky for us, a little company called Google came along and changed not just how we surf the web, but also how we communicate with each other. We're of course referring to Gmail, Google's nearly six-year-old webmail service that only recently shed its beta tag.
For most of you, we're probably preaching to the choir and you already own at least one Gmail account, if not several. And with good reason, too. Google's now-infamous email service offers oodles of storage space (over 7GB and counting), excellent spam detection, built-in chat, awesome search capabilities, a ton of customization options, and a whole lot more. But even with all that it offers out of the box, are you making the most out your Gmail account?
That's where we come in. We show you everything you need to know to wield Gmail like a pro. Need to access Gmail offline? How about automating canned responses for quick-fire emails? Want to set up Gmail on your own domain? We'll walk you through all of these, plus a whole lot more essential tweaks and tips that most people are just too lazy to use.