If you're one of the unlucky few who tried to log into Facebook yesterday only to find that your account had mysteriously been disabled, you can relax, everything should be back to normal, CNet reports.
"Earlier today, we discovered a bug in a system designed to detect and disable likely fake accounts," Facebook wrote in an email on Tuesday. "The bug, which was live for a short period of time, caused a very small percentage of Facebook accounts to be mistakenly disabled."
The bug appears to have only affected female accounts, at least according to the complaints on Facebook Twitter, all of which either came from female users, or male users posting on behalf of a female.
According to Facebook, the bug affected a system designed to obtain owner verification from flagged accounts.
Science (and real life) may have provided ample evidence to the contrary, but that seemingly hasn't been enough to persuade the majority of American adults that videogames aren't diabolical tools of desensitization and bloodshed – the very weapons wielded by Satan's army. According to a survey uncovered by The Escapist that polled 1000 adults, 54 percent of American adults believe videogames to be a cause of increased real-world violence.
More troublingly, 69 percent expressed concern about the amount of violence in modern games, while 65 percent figured the government should have the right to pen a new chapter for its big ol' book of rules and regulations. Here's hoping -- for obvious reasons -- that the Supreme Court didn't contribute to this survey.
On the upside, only five percent thought the government should be the main decision-maker when it comes to “the amount of sex and violence children are exposed to in videogames,” with a whopping 71 percent putting that responsibility squarely on the shoulders of parents. Also of note: older adults were generally more up-in-arms about videogame violence than younger adults.
So basically, it's a pretty bleak picture, but there are a few dabs of hope mixed in there too. And so long as the older, gray-bearded folks don't succeed at pulling a Gandalf-style “you shall not pass” on gamers and our rights, it'll only be a matter of time until games stop taking so much flack. And what a wonderful day that'll be.
The said vulnerability, which can be used by an attacker to take control of the affected system, also affects Flash Player 10.1.85.3 (and earlier), but the hole in Flash has already been plugged with the release of version 10.1.102.64 earlier this month. Besides CVE-2010-3654, the updates also addressees a “potential issue” (CVE-2010-4091) in certain versions of Reader.
“Note that these updates represent an out-of-cycle release. The next quarterly security updates for Adobe Reader and Acrobat are scheduled for February 8, 2011,” said Adobe in the advisory.
Facebook, the world's largest social networking site, isn't a dating site, but that doesn't mean some of its 500+ million members don't sometimes treat it as one. OnePoll.com conducted a survey of 2,000 adults and, among other things, discovered that 11 percent of British Facebookers 'poked' (or got poked by) someone they met through Facebook, according to AllFacebook.
That's not all. Nearly half -- 46 percent -- said they sent illicit texts to someone other than their partner, while 35 percent included naked photos of themselves in said texts.
This should hardly be surprising, that is unless you were expecting the figure to be higher. A recent survey in Men's Health revealed some related stats, such as 27 percent of Facebookers failing to list their relationship status with only half of them being single. And 24 percent of those surveyed said they flirt with someone on Facebook other than their current partners.
Google's Chrome browser is finally in first place, though not in any category the sultan of search wants to be in. The speedy browser topped Bit9's annual "Dirty Dozen" list of apps with the 76 found vulnerabilities, NetworkWorld reports.
The Dirty Dozen list is compiled based on information available from the National Institute of Standards and Technology's public National Vulnerability Database, so if Google has a beef with its ranking, Bit9 isn't to blame here, they're merely the messenger.
Taking up the No. 2 spot is Apple's Safari browser with 60 reported vulnerabilities, while Mozilla Firefox came in fifth with 51 flaws and Microsoft's Internet Explorer eighth with 32 flaws. In other words, all four major browsers made the list.
Outside of browsers, Microsoft Office was the worst offender, checking in at No. 3 with 57 flaws, followed by Adobe Acrobat (No. 4) with 54 vulnerabilities.
After boldly proclaiming its intention to “lead the way” in PC gaming, Microsoft's cast its latest shiny thing into our waters in yet another attempt to lure us back. Unfortunately, the bait – a redesigned Games For Windows Marketplace – only serves to disguise a jagged hook that's just as painful as it's always been.
The store's certainly functional; don't get us wrong. But it's still lightyears behind Steam and similar competitors, which is just about as far from “off to a good start” as you can get. Foremost, the selection of games and add-on content is only a small sliver of what Steam and co. are peddling, and system requirements, game descriptions, etc are practically incomplete – mere skeletons compared to the meaty wealth of info provided by other services. On the upside, the service is very upfront when it comes to warning you about DRM and things of the like, but it still omits too many other useful details.
Steam's excellently pervasive community integration is also completely absent (signing in with your Gamertag lets you buy things -- and that's it), as are reccomendations, indie titles, and demos. Yes, demos! Currently there's an option to search for them, but it only serves to slam you face-first into the brick wall that is a “no results” screen.
The frontpage, meanwhile, is as about as barebones as they come, displaying a few select games, a daily deal, and a weekly deal. It's not awful by any means, but – as with the rest of the service – there's really not much to it right now. And there's definitely not anything that makes it stand out from the rest of the crowd.
You're also forced to deal with a bunch of malarky about signing in at Xbox.com to read and agree to the new Terms of Service – an extra intial step that seems totally unnecessary and sloppily implemented. If Microsoft's trying to convince us that the PC's no longer playing second fiddle to the Xbox, this is a pretty crummy way to do it.
Overall, there's simply no reason to choose the new GFW Marketplace over Steam, Direct 2 Drive, Impulse, and other such established storefronts. Anything GFW does, they still do better. Microsoft's service is still trailing behind like it always has, and if this is Microsoft's idea of whipping it into shape, then that incredibly depressing status quo won't be changing any time soon.
Bungie may be best-known as the brains behind the world-shatteringly popular Halo series, but with Halo: Reach done and dusted, Bungie's moving on to greener (except not, because Master Chief was about as green as they come) pastures. As for what's next, we haven't the foggiest, but whatever it is, Activision's publishing it over the course of ten years. Yeah, it's going to be big. Better still, no more upturned noses or cold shoulders for us PC gamers.
According to a slide from Activision's presentation at the BMO Capital Markets 18th Annual Digital Entertainment Conference (as discovered by Big Download), Bungie's new title is in development for “Con/PC/Online,” or consoles, PC, and, er, online. If true, this will mark Bungie's first return to internal PC development since Oni way back in 2001.
Better late than never, though, right? Plus, Microsoft owns Halo – not Bungie. It's not like they really had a choice in the matter. This time, however, Bungie's ensured that it'll retain full ownership of its new brand, so no worries there. Color us cautiously optimistic – just so long as Halo's teabag-happy community doesn't follow Bungie wherever it's going next.
Biostar over the weekend let us know about a new app -- Bio-Remote2 Utility -- designed to make your smartphone even smarter, provided you're entrenched with Android.
Offered up as a free download in the Android Market and through Biostar's website, the Bio-Remote2 software turns your smartphone into a remote control connected to you PC via Wi-Fi. With it you can overclock your Biostar system, launch a variety of applications, update your BIOS, and even use it as a trackpad with text-sending functionality.
So far only Android smartphone owners have access to the app, but Biostar promises to "fully support" the iPhone in the coming months.
Following the launch of the new AOL.com is an ambitious new email system currently code named "Project Phoenix." This represents AOL's attempt at reinventing AOL Mail which, among other things, will bring a unified inbox into its new bag of tricks.
"Email remains one of the most vital communication tools despite all of the new sites and apps available to consumers today," said Brad Garlinghouse, President of AOL's Consumer Applications Group. "There is still so much innovation to be done in the space and Project Phoenix is just the tip of the iceberg. We see a huge opportunity to disrupt email in a big way. AOL is the company that brought everyone online, and now we're making it simpler and more enjoyable to be there."
AOL claims its email business drives 45 percent of the company's page views, so as you can imagine they're taking Project Phoenix very seriously. Completely redesigned and built from the ground-up, the new mail system includes a bunch of feature additions, including a Quick Bar (send emails, IMs, or text messages and update Facebook and Twitter), email aggregation (send and receive messages from nearly any provider, including Gmail, Yahoo, and Hotmail), a Smart View system that displays things like photo attachments and maps as thumbnail pics in the right-hand sidebar, and more.
Project Phoenix is currently by invite only, which you can sign up for here. Video preview below.
Sony plans to launch a "Titanium Blue" PlayStation 3 console later this month to promote the release not of a new Smurfs game, but of Gran Turismo 5, Nexus404.com reports.
"The date is locked in: Gran Turismo 5 will go on sale throughout North America on Wednesday, November 24th," Sony announced in a blog post. "That means you'll be experiencing over 1,000 cars, including karts and select NASCAR cars, scores of tracks, the all-new Course Maker, a dynamic weather system, a robust online community, and everything else Gran Turismo 5 has to offer in less than two weeks."
As for the blue console, that will be part of the Gran Turismo Racking Pack bundle, albeit available only in Japan (at least initially) for around $435.