Ruh-roh, 'Raggy: late yesterday, Nvidia announced that it has battened down the hatches and shut down both its general and Developer forums after a series of hack attacks against the sites. So far, Nvidia's investigation confirms that "unauthorized third parties" gained access to the forum-goers' usernames, email addresses, passwords and public profile information.
Blizzard's decision to add a real-money auction house to Diablo III prompted the developer to force users to have an active Internet connection in order to play, to cut back on possible fraud. This has caused much consternation amongst gamers. Another fraud-protection scheme has generated a new wave of anger as digital Diablo downloaders have found their games nerfed until Blizzard verifies the payment, which takes anywhere from one to three days. To make matters worse, a bug in a recent update dumps downloaders into the "Starter Edition" of the game until verification occurs.
Kingston's just sent a note our way with some news we thought was worth sharing. As it turns out, the company's SSDNow V+200 and KC100 SSD drives don't actually encrypt at 256-bit AES claimed; instead, they use 128-bit AES encryption. That's a bummer, but not necessarily catastrophic -- but the problem isn't limited to Kingston SSDs alone. In fact, Kingston and LSI say that the encryption confusion extends to each and every SSD using the SF-2000 series SandForce controller. Intel's confirmed that the SF-2281 found in the Intel SSD 520 (and the OCZ Vertex 3, and the Kingston HyperX, and…) is similarly affected.
Microsoft's been promising to launch the Windows 8 Release Preview during the first week of June for a while now, but an accidentally published (and quickly retracted) Microsoft blog post says that the latest build of the company's new operating should actually hit the Internet today. Hey, tomorrow's June 1st -- that makes this the first week of the month, right?
You can try and keep your Facebook page safe from prying would-be employers, but you can't protect yourself against your own stupidity. One Australian family learned that the late last week. A 17 year old girl was helping her grandmother count a large sum of cash and posted a picture of the riches on her Facebook profile under the appropriately-named title "Large sum of cash." Seven and a half hours later, two masked men broke into the girl's mother's house looking for the loot, sporting a knife and a wooden club.
Here's the problem with breathlessly reporting on every purported Anonymous hack the second it happens: most of the time, the breaches don't turn out to be a big deal. Take yesterday for example; after a hacker posted a 1.7GB torrent containing server files from the "Bureau of Justice" on the Pirate Bay, early headlines blared variations of "OMG! ANON HAX DEPT. OF JUSTICE!" Unfortunately (fortunately?), that's only kinda true.
Bad definitions pop up every now and again in the antivirus world, as evidenced by that boondoggle a few months back when Microsoft's AV started banning Google's Chrome browser as a malicious app. A new set of bad definitions may be the worst whoops! we've ever seen, though; a ProActiv definition update pushed to premium Avira subscribers brought Windows PCs around the world to a halt after incorrectly labeling a bevy of critical processes as malware. Ruh-roh Raggie!
The Flashback botnet scare may have thrust Macs' supposed invulnerability to antiviruses claim under a microscope, but Sophos decided it wanted some numbers to go along with the heaping of hype. So the company studied feedback from 100,000 Apple computers with Sophos antivirus installed and surprisingly discovered that the Macs were fairly teeming with malware. Before you start laughing, consider this: the vast majority of the malware found didn't affect OS X at all. It targeted Windows PCs.
Microsoft unveiled the "Smoked By Windows Phone" campaign at CES; basically, if your non-Windows Phone could perform a certain task faster than a Windows Phone, Microsoft would give you $100. The company upped the ante recently, offering users at Microsoft stores a $1,000 laptop if they managed to smoke a Windows Phone. Well, one blogger managed to smoke a Windows Phone with a Galaxy Nexus, only to be disqualified after the fact by rules employees created on the spot.
If you've dropped the dough on a spiffy new enthusiast-level Sandy Bridge-E processor, you may decide to drop a corresponding level of dough on a spiffy new enthusiast-level Nvidia HTX 680 graphics card. (If so, we salute your Maximum-ness.) There's just one little caveat you should be aware of, however; Nvidia's initial WHQL drivers for the GTX 680 nerfs data transfer levels to slower PCI-E 2.0 speeds, rather than the blazing fast enthusiast-level PCI-E 3.0 x16 speeds the X79 chipset is capable of.