The internet has become a breeding ground for scams of all shapes and sizes, but perhaps none more popular (and thus more easily recognizable) than the email rouse of a long lost relative, government official, or bank employee holed up in Nigeria and needing your help in securing a large sum of money. There's really no need to go on because you've undoubtedly received variations of this scam in your inbox countless times and, well, it never works. Or does it?
Not only does the old Nigerian bit still lure victims, the scam claimedits biggest known payday to date thanks to Janella Spears who forked over a mind boggling $400,000. Despite the big payout, Spears still contends she isn't easily duped. After all, she works as a registered nurse, teaches CPR, is a reverend who has married many couples, and also learned sign language to communicate with her hearing impaired husband. So what possible spin could this common scam have come with that got a seemingly intelligent woman to take the bait?
Hit the jump to find out what it was that convinced Spears the scam might be legit.
Yahoo co-founder and chief executive Jerry Yang has spent the better portion of 2008 staving off a takeover attempt by Microsoft that threatened to go hostile, a decision that hasn't always been a popular one with Yahoo shareholders. Nor has it sat well with the 10 percent of employees facing a job cut by the end of the year. Now, just 18 months after stepping into the role of CEO, Yang has announced his pending resignation and will return to his role as Chief Yahoo once a successor is in place.
"All of you know that I have always, and will always, bleed purple," Yang wrote in letter to all Yahoo employees. "I will always do what I think is right for this great company. While this step will be an adjustment for all of us, I know it’s the right one. I look forward to updating you on this process as soon as the board has developments to share, and will continue to do everything I can to make Yahoo! fulfill its full potential."
No front runner for the position of CEO has yet emerged, but Yang did say the board will consider both internal and external candidates. Hired to help in the search is international executive search firm Heidrick & Struggles, with the overall effort being led by Roy Bostock, Yahoo's chairman of the board.
Does this change anything in terms of a takeover? Hit the jump and give us your prediction on where Yahoo goes from here.
Because hackers target Microsoft's Windows operating systems more than any other OSes, one could argue that it would be only fitting for the software maker to offer its users a free security suite, and that's exactly what Microsoft intends to do. Noting the rapid increase in the prominence of malware, Microsoft says it will discontinue retails sales of it's fee-based Live OneCare subscription service by June 30, 2009 and replace it with a free security suite currently code-named "Morrow."
"Customers around the world have told us that they need comprehensive, ongoing protection from new and existing threats, and we take that concern seriously,” said Amy Barzdukas, senior director of product management for the Online Services and Windows Division at Microsoft. “This new, no-cost offering will give us the ability to protect an even greater number of consumers, especially in markets where the growth of new PC purchases is outpaced only by the growth of malware."
Morrow, which will offer protection against viruses, spyware, rootkis, Trojans, and other malware, will be built to use fewer resources, which Microsoft claims will make it well suited for both low bandwidth situations and low-power PCs. According to Microsoft, Morrow's protection will be on the same level as the company's enterprise solutions.
While that sounds like good news for Windows users, McAfee sees it as an even better opportunity for themselves and doesn't appear worried that it might lose paying customers to Morrow.
"Consumers have voted; OneCare, in its two years on the market, has achieved less than 2 percent market share," he said in an interview. "Microsoft is giving up and has defaulted to a dressed-down freeware model that does not meet consumer security needs. This is good news for McAfee."
Is McAfee underestimating Morrow? Hit the jump and give us your thoughts.
As predicted, HP today announced that they will immediately begin taking orders for the TouchSmart TX2, the first multi touch laptop widely available to consumers. The laptop, priced starting at $1,199, will begin shipping at the end of November.
The TX2’s multi touch interface will work with any program that already supports multi touch, as well as with HP’s integrated MediaSmart media suite. The laptop features an array of gestural controls, including all of the multi touch standards, like pinch-zooming and two finger rotation, as well as the ability to open MediaSmart at any time by drawing an “m” on the screen with both fingers. The screen uses capacitance-based touch detection and is designed to accept input either from the pad of a finger or from a built-in digital pen.
With a 12.1 inch screen and weighing in at 4.3 pounds, the TX2 is physically nearly identical to its predecessor, the TX2000. The only thing differentiating the two visually is the TX2’s glossy, charcoal-colored finish and “Reaction Imprint” design.
All but the cheapest loadouts of the TX2 come equipped with Turion X2 dual-core processors. All models will ship with Radeon HD 3200 integrated graphics, and consumers can opt for up to 8GB of DDR2 SDRAM and 500GB of hard disk storage. The laptop also features a webcam and optional fingerprint reader.
What do you think of the TX2? Are multi touch laptops going to become the norm? Let us know after the jump.
With the phrase now appended to read, "I'd rather get a root canal while playing a DRM'ed game [than date/know/look at you]," the time is right to take a stand against DRM -- and also brush the dust off a few classic games in the process. So, if you haven't already, definitely point your web browser in Good Old Games' direction. Especially now that the totally DRM-free service has added Epic's Unreal series to its ranks.
Already, Unreal Gold and Unreal Tournament: Game of the Year Edition are offering their services in exchange for low, low prices, with Unreal II: The Awakening and Unreal Tournament 2004: Editor's Choice Edition arriving "in the coming weeks."
"We know that a lot of gamers have been waiting for new deals," said GOG managing director Adam Oldakowski. "We're sure that the Unreal games will satisfy their lust for alien blood and intense multiplayer action... DRM-free, of course."
GoG also boasts games like Fallout, Gothic, and MDK, for prices ranging from $5.99-$9.99. Now go check it out! Show publishers that you'll be good boys and girls -- even without DRM's far-too-watchful eye looming heavy. If nothing else, it's a much more effective statement than complaining in our comments section (which we still encourage!).
Legitimate sport or not, professional gaming just can't seem to catch on in North America. First, the Cyberathlete Professional League wheezed out its final breath, and now, even after striking deals with BSkyB, STAR, and DirectTV, Championship Gaming Series is sitting next to its beleaguered comrade on a fluffy, DSL-connected cloud in gaming heaven.
The reason for its closure: CGS could talk a big game, but sadly lacked the credits needed to continue.
"While the concept was ahead of its time and we are extremely proud of what we’ve accomplished, it became increasingly clear as this ambitious project evolved, that profitability was too far in the future for us to sustain operations in the interim," said the CGS team in its farewell message.
"Our goal was to be ahead of the curve in the e-sports space, and we conceived of CGS as a true sports league. We invested wholeheartedly in the venture and presented viewers with a top-notch production, but the economics just didn’t add up for us at this time."
Good luck to everyone affected by this disappointing turn of events. Our prayers are with you.
MPC readers, what do you think it'll take for pro gaming to finally earn its spot next to apple pie, happy families, and football as something printed all over McDonald's bags and cups? Er, as a crucial piece of American culture, we mean.
Ms. Hilton! I must say, it is a pleasure to know that you’re a reader of our fine publication. Today we’ve got a wonderful story just for you, and it’ s all about an exceptional machine that will match perfectly with your comically undersized dog of the week.
China’s very own Eazo is offering a jeweled up PC that will come in many different colors, depending on what your desk is looking. Just make sure that you don’t throw off your feng shui!
The Eazo F20-SE Xing Crystal packs an Intel Core 2 Quad Q9450 processor and a Western Digital Green Power 1 TB HDD for storing all those important documents. So far though, there’s no word on how much memory is installed or what kind of graphics processing is available.
And while you’re looking at just how attractive this PC will look next to the pictures of your family, fifth car, and private jet pull out your wallet. This little beast will run you a fresh $70,000 for the top end model.
It’s an all to common story; boy gets Blu-ray player, boy wants Blu-ray movies, boy doesn’t want to pay full price for said movies so boy goes to China to snag bootlegs – we’ve all been there. But should you find yourself caught in this conundrum wait a moment before you do anything. Those fancy new Blu-ray movies you just got could very well be DVDs.
High-end movie pirates in China are ripping the legitimate Blu-ray movies (which use 1,080 lines of resolution) and then burning them onto writeable DVDs (which only support 720 lines of resolution). The swindlers are reportedly making roughly $7 a pop per movie.
Reports say none of the movies have made their way out of China yet.
While Shuttle’s new XPC SG45H7 might not have many discernable differences from the usual Shuttle system, it’s got a hidden treasure trove of new features hidden underneath that compact chassis.
The XPC SG45H7 only comes in black, but it sports plenty of powerful pieces underneath the hood. For starters, they’re shipping Intel’s G45 Express chipset topped off with your choice of an Intel Core 2 Quad or Core 2 Duo processor. This is mostly thanks to the improved cooling and space provided by the new H7 case, which is slightly bigger than previous Shuttle PCs. It allows for a larger, quieter power supply fan, room for dual-slot graphics and up to four sticks of memory.
This slick little box is available from specialist retailers with prices listed as low as $349. And with this economy, prices that low coupled with hardware that hot is a combination that’s tough to beat.
During the press briefing for Windows 7 at Microsoft's Professional Developers Conference (PDC), corporate vice president for Windows product management Mike Nash insisted Microsoft had learned from the Vista experience.
Judging by early Windows 7 code released at PDC, the signs are that it really has....Windows 7 feels more polished than Vista, even in the preview, and performance is good.
Anderson noted the new Device Stage, BitLocker to Go, and improvements in Windows Media Player. To find out what other features Anderson likes in the next Windows, join us after the jump.