Password. Letmein. Asdf. Blahblah. Monkey. 1234. These are just some of the most commonly used passwords being used around the web, but even worse than using a boneheaded password is using the same one for every registered website. Nothing new, right?
Apparently it is, at least for one-third of respondents who participated in an online survey conducted by security outfit Sophos. According to Sophos, only 19 percent of respondents said they never use the same password for multiple websites. Almost half admitted to using a few different passwords, and 33 percent fessed up to using the same password all the time.
To state the obvious, using a single password for multiple websites makes it easy for hackers to wreak more havoc should the password become compromised. But obvious as basic security may seem, it's not being practiced by many. Recent examples include high profile Twitter account hijackings, including the ones belonging to President Barack Obama, Britney Spears, and Fox News, and the discovery that the population at large continues to use unimaginative passwords, such as selecting their first name.
We’ve always taken issue with the Internet’s highly malleable list of steps for rocking ultimate. "1) Do a thing, 2) Do another thing, 3) ???, and 4) Profit" are all well and good, but our generation’s best and brightest seem to have omitted the final step: Get sued by a tiny, opportunistic company over some patent that holds about as much water as a shattered snow globe.
Worlds.com, currently in the process of suing NCSoft -- while almost assuredly sliding its fingers down a bountiful mustache and readjusting its monocle -- has voiced its diabolical intentions: First NCSoft, then the World… of Warcraft. Then the world.
Worlds.com CEO Thom Kidrin said as much when he told Silicon Alley Insider that his company “absolutely” intends to send the gavel crashing down on games like WoW and Second Life if its suit against NCSoft succeeds.
Apparently, the conspicuously convenient patent arises from a collection of Starbright patents, which provide “an architecture for enabling thousands of simultaneous users in a 3D virtual space.” Worlds.com now owns said patents and decided they might – like an errant $20 bill in a recently washed pair of jeans – be useful.
So, where does mean old man Jenkins’ money-grubbing plot fall apart? Let our good friend and super sleuth Thomas McDonald explain it for you:
“This must be news to Steve Colley. Back in 1973, he and some other young programmers interning at NASA created MazeWar… Not only did you navigate a maze, but each player was represented by an avatar (an eyeball), people could shoot each other, and the whole thing was networked, complete with online chat!”
“But MazeWar wasn’t Colley’s work alone. Others had inspired him, and subsequent people built on his work, drawing on the potential of new technology to forge the entire gaming industry. No one person or company can claim ownership of these ideas.”
Big-name sequels charting well in their first month of sales? No way. Also clown-in-your-cake surprising is Fallout 3’s staying power (the game first launched in October!), for which we use the only portion of Left 4 Dead that didn’t also claw its way into the top 20 to give a hearty thumb-up.
Check out the full list:
World Of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King / Blizzard / $38 (Average)
The Sims 2 Double Deluxe / EA Maxis / $19 (Average)
Warhammer 40K: Dawn of War II / Relic / $49 (Average)
World Of Warcraft: Battle Chest / Blizzard / $37 (Average)
Fusion-io, also known as the company that Steve Wozniak just joined as Chief Scientist, has just revealed the world’s fastest SSD – touting a mind-boggling 1.5GB sustained read and 1.4GB sustained write speeds.
The blazing fast drive will come in four sizes, 160GB, 320GB, 640GB and 1.28TB. Three of these versions will be available in April, while you’ll have to wait until the second half of this year to get the 1.28TB flavor.
Chances are good that these cards will be absurdly expensive (reportedly in the tens of thousands of dollars), so chances are good that folks like you and I won’t be plugging these into our machines anytime soon.
It looks like the Japanese market has been given the exclusive on Dell’s new multi-touch Studio One 19. This all in one comes with a choice of color, and a Core 2 Quad under the hood. There’s also 4GB of memory, a 750GB HDD, 6x USB ports, and Nvidia GeForce 9400 graphics. Given that this is a media PC, there’s a built in Blu-ray player as well.
The Studio One 19 is being sold for ¥149,800 (which is roughly $1,538) over in Japan. It’s expected to reach the American market this Spring.
Google’s adverts have long been a prevalent part of surfing the net. While the ads that we normally see on blogs featuring AdSense and the text based ads on the sidebar of our Google search page seem like they’re looking out for us, the powers that be at Google are planning to make these ads a bit more sophisticated.
“Today we are launching ‘interest-based’ advertising as a beta test on our partner sites and on YouTube,” writes Susan Wojciciki (Google’s VP of Product Management) on Google’s blog. “These ads will associate categories of interest — say sports, gardening, cars, pets — with your browser, based on the types of sites you visit and the pages you view. We may then use those interest categories to show you more relevant text and display ads.”
Tailoring advice such as this to each user does allow for audiences to be targeted easier when advertisers take aim, Wojciciki believes “that interest-based ads will create the same virtuous cycle, by giving users more relevant ads, while generating higher returns for advertisers and publishers.” We’ll just have to wait and see!
At a glance, it'd be easy to mistake Patriot's newest Warp SSD for a Western Digital VelociRaptor hard drive. That's because like the VelociRaptor, Patriot plans to include a bracket with the Warp drive that converts the 2.5-inch drive into a 3.5-inch form factor.
Keep in mind that Western Digital's IcePAK was designed to help keep its 10K RPM hard drive cool. Patriot's bracket, which Fudzilla says is made out of aircraft-grade aluminum, will undoubtedly lend additional cooling prowess to the Warp SSD, but SSDs don't typically get hot in the first place.
As for the drive itself, the third-gen SSD checks in at 256GB and boasts increasingly common read and write speeds of 240MB/s and 160MB/s, respectively.
No word yet on availability or price, however according to Fudzilla, Patriot plans to give the bracket away for free with the Warp SSD.
Japan-based electronics firm Hitachi Displays Ltd. has plead guilty to price fixing charges on the sale of LCD panels and has agreed to pay $31 million as part of its deal with the U.S. Justice Department.
"The case should send a strong message to multinational companies operating in the United States that when it comes to enforcing the U.S. antitrust laws we mean business," Acting Assistant Attorney General Scot Hammond said in a statement.
Hitachi, who admitted to fixing prices on screens sold to Dell for use in desktop monitors and notebook displays from 2001 to 2004, isn't the only display maker to be accused of price fixing. LG, Sharp, and Chungwha Picture Tubes all struck similar plea agreements last year, with LG having agreed to pay a $400 million fine for panels sold between 2001 and 2006. All tallied, the U.S. government will have garnered over $600 million in criminal fines from LCD price fixing.
According to a report on Laptopmag.com, Office Depot associates "routinely lie about notebook stock" and would rather turn notebook customers away if enough isn't being spent on extras. Laptopmag.com says they themselves experienced this firsthand, and following a blog on the topic, users who purport to work for the retail chain chimed in with user comments suggesting it's true.
"At store level, OD puts too much pressure on sales consultants and managers to sell the PPPs (Product Protection PLans) & TDS (Tech Depot Services)," a reader going the moniker Office Depot Employee wrote. "I know of several stores in my market that will 'feel out' the customer to see if they are the type to purchase these services. If the customer lets on that they only want the computer and no services...then that store simply claims to be out of stock!"
The reader went on to say that employees are required to sell at least 30 percent on upgrades or risk getting written up or even fired.
Laptopmag.com says it contacted one of the readers (Rich, last name withheld) who comment on the story, who also provided a pay stub to prove he works for Office Depot. According to Rich, lying about notebook stock is not official Office Depot policy, but that store managers are held to a strict minimum "attachment rating" and could face disciplinary action if it falls below 30 percent. Instead of a percentage, sales associates must upsell $200 each week.
Hit the jump and tell us what your Office Depot experience has been like.