Thousands rally against CISPA cybersecurity bill

By on April 26, 2012 at 12:45 PM.

Thousands rally against CISPA cybersecurity bill

The controversial Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA), which is supported by more than 100 members of the House of Representatives, is scheduled to be discussed in Congress on Friday, where it will be the first bill to go to a vote since the collapse of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in January. The bill looks to give businesses and the federal government legal protection to share cyber threats with one another in an effort to prevent online attacks. Internet privacy and neutrality advocates, such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation, feel the bill does not contain enough limits on how and when the government may monitor private information, however, and they fear that such power may be used to locate and punish file sharers and those who infringe on copyrights rather than hackers. More →

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Tablet owners spend 50% more per purchase online than smartphone owners

By on January 20, 2012 at 7:20 AM.

Tablet owners spend 50% more per purchase online than smartphone owners

Tablet owners spend big bucks online according to a new report. In fact, the new study published by Adobe Digital Marketing Insights suggests that tablet owners spend 50% more per purchase than smartphone owners on retail purchases, and over 20% more than PC users. The study found that smartphone owners spent about $80 per purchase on average but tablet owners spent an average of $123. Laptop/PC users spent $102 per retail purchase on average in 2011. Tablet owners are three times more likely to make a purchase on a retail website than a smartphone user is, too. Adobe Digital Marketing Insights gathered its data from more than 150 U.S. retailers last year and more than 16.2 billion transactions made online. More →

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Sony: Hackers compromised 93,000 PSN, other online accounts

By on October 12, 2011 at 8:30 AM.

Sony: Hackers compromised 93,000 PSN, other online accounts

Following a period of peace after weeks of cyberattacks launched against various Sony-run online networks, Sony has confirmed that hackers are once again targeting the company’s digital properties. The electronics giant said on Wednesday that it discovered a “large number” of sign-in attempts on its PlayStation Network, Sony Online Entertainment and Sony Entertainment Network between October 7th and the 10th. According to Sony, approximately 93,000 accounts were compromised when valid log-in details were verified during what appears to have been a brute force attack. The company says it has locked the affected accounts and that credit card data tied to the compromised accounts was not at risk. More →

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AirPlay drives iTunes momentum in online movie market share

By on August 24, 2011 at 1:15 AM.

AirPlay drives iTunes momentum in online movie market share

A new report from research firm IHS suggests that Apple’s iTunes share of “consumer spending for movie electronic sell-through (EST) and Internet video on demand (iVOD)” grew during the first half of 2011, the first time since 2009, despite an increase in competition from Walmart and Amazon. iTunes had a 65.8% market share during the first half of this year, up from 64.9% during the first half of 2010. It also had the largest increase in revenue growth among its competitors. “Much of iTunes’ success can be traced to the rising usage of Apple’s AirPlay system, which allows wireless video streaming to consumer electronic devices including televisions,” said IHS research director Arash Amel. “This has expanded the reach of iTunes to new platforms, boosting sales of movies from the system.” Microsoft’s Zune Video Marketplace maintained the second largest share of consumer spending in the market with a 16.2% share, down from 18.5% during the first half of 2010. Walmart’s Vudu service saw the largest share increase among market leaders: it jumped from a 1% share during the first half of last year to a 5.3% share during the first half of 2011. Sony’s PlayStation Store now has a 4.4% share, down from 8.2%, and Amazon’s share grew slightly from to 4% from 4.2%. Read on for the full report. More →

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Sprint's BlackBerry Bold 9930 just $199.99 online

By on August 21, 2011 at 9:25 AM.

Sprint's BlackBerry Bold 9930 just $199.99 online

Sprint has never been known to follow convention. While other carriers are milking heavy data users for as much as possible, for example, Sprint is standing strong and maintaining its unlimited data plans for as long as possible. Another example: Sprint announced the BlackBerry Bold 9930 last week, stating that it would charge customers $249.99 on contract for the device. The nation’s No. 3 carrier made the device available on Sunday as promised, but the phone is actually priced lower online than Sprint announced; just $199.99 will score you RIM’s latest flagship smartphone from Sprint’s online shop. Oddly, the same $200 can also land you an old Bold 9650 if you have an aversion to touchscreens and gorgeous hardware. Sprint’s Torch 9850 launched at the promised $149.99, but we can’t imagine opting for it over the Bold 9930 for just $50 more. Interested parties may want to hit the read link quickly in case Sprint has a change of heart. More →

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Sony to finally complete full PSN service restoration this week

By on July 5, 2011 at 10:20 AM.

Sony to finally complete full PSN service restoration this week

Nearly two and a half months after its networks were breached by the hacker group LulzSec, Sony will finish restoring its PlayStation Network later this week when it reactivates the service in Japan. According to Bloomberg, Sony has been working with the FBI to identify the LulzSec hackers who were responsible for the attack on its San Diego data centers, during which the hackers obtained account information for more than 100 million PlayStation Network users. Reportedly, LulzSec rented and used servers from Amazon.com’s cloud service to facilitate the attack. Sony CEO Howard Stringer apologized after the attacks and offered a year of identity theft protection to those affected by the breach, as well as a free month of access to PSN. More →

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New PlayLater service lets you DVR online videos

By on June 29, 2011 at 9:00 AM.

New PlayLater service lets you DVR online videos

The firm behind PlayOn, the popular online video streaming service, announced its new PlayLater service. PlayLater allows users to record streaming video from nearly any website — including popular cable programs such shows from TBS, CBS, Adult Swim, and more — for watching at a later time. Its offline cachine features means you can store the video for watching even when a connection isn’t available, too. It’s exactly like a DVR, which means you can choose what you want the software to record, and simply forget about it until later. PlayLater is supported on PCs, and recorded content can also be watched on mobile devices such as the iPhone or iPad. Early beta users will receive a free one-month trial of PlayLater, after which it will cost $4.99 per month or $49.99 per year. Hit the jump for the full announcement, as well as a chance to be one of the first 5,000 users in the early beta. More →

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Apple begins selling unlocked iPhone 4 handsets starting at $649

By on June 14, 2011 at 7:35 AM.

Apple begins selling unlocked iPhone 4 handsets starting at $649

Apple on Tuesday began selling unlocked iPhone 4 handsets in the U.S. a day earlier than expected. The smartphone is now available in 16GB for $649 or 32GB for $749, and both models come in black or white. Other manufacturers, most notably Nokia and Sony, have sold unlocked smartphones in the U.S. for quite some time. Neither company has seen much success with unlocked handsets thus far, though Apple’s approach is somewhat different. Apple’s primary sales channels in the U.S. are undoubtedly carriers, and the availability of unlocked smartphones simply addresses the needs of a small secondary market that is willing to pay for phones outright rather than spreading the cost of their devices over two years. As an added benefit, buyers of unlocked iPhones will be able to switch freely between GSM carriers, though some surgery may be involved with carriers that do not offer micro-SIM cards. With just a few months between the start of the summer and the expected launch of Apple’s fifth-generation iPhone, the availability of unlocked devices will allow also users to purchase iPhones now and then make a subsidized purchase in September, or whenever Apple finally does release the iPhone 5. More →

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Verizon announces online payment partnership with Payfone

By on June 14, 2011 at 3:01 AM.

Verizon announces online payment partnership with Payfone

Verizon Wireless announced a new partnership with Payfone on Monday that will soon allow its customers using phones, tablets, and PCs to make online purchases easier. Once the partnership’s new service is deployed, customers will be able to make more secure purchases online and charge them to their Verizon Wireless bill or use other standard forms of payment. “Our relationship with Payfone complements the part of the mobile payments equation we’re already working on with our Isis joint venture,” said Greg Haller, marketing vice president, Verizon Wireless. “We approach the mobile payments arena from a customer’s perspective. As we move forward, the most important goals will be security, privacy and simplicity. Through our relationship with Payfone, we will be able to quickly offer value to our customers by offering them greater choice and a simple, safe and secure purchasing experience when shopping online from their smartphones, tablets and PCs.” Hit the jump for the full press release. More →

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Several Windows Phones now just 1¢ direct from Microsoft

By on June 8, 2011 at 9:10 PM.

Several Windows Phones now just 1¢ direct from Microsoft

Microsoft is currently offering Windows Phone handsets from three major U.S. carriers for just a penny each. Through the company’s online Microsoft Store, users can now purchase either Verizon Wireless’ HTC Trophy, Sprint’s HTC Arrive or T-Mobile’s HTC HD7 for just $0.01 alongside a 2-year contract with a smartphone data plan. While the HD7 is the oldest of the bunch, it’s still a wonderfully capable supersized smartphone that we enjoyed very much when we reviewed it last November. The Trophy is Verizon’s first Windows Phone, featuring HD video capture and SRS WOW HD sound, and the HTC Arrive is easily our favorite Windows Phone to date. Microsoft’s penny offers are only good through July 2nd, 2011. More →

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Sony’s PSN now fully restored in most markets

By on June 2, 2011 at 9:26 PM.

Sony’s PSN now fully restored in most markets

Sony announced on Wednesday that the final piece of its PlayStation Network, the PlayStation Store, is now back online after Sony’s networks were taken down due to a massive security breach. Sony also noted that it has outfitted PlayStation Plus store with new game trials, games, downloadable content, free avatars, and bigger discounts. The company’s “Welcome Back Offer,” which will provide two free games to Sony users as well as 30 days of PlayStation Plus, is in the final stages of testing and will also be available soon. More →

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Sony begins restoring PSN services

By on May 16, 2011 at 9:30 AM.

Sony begins restoring PSN services

Sony has announced that it’s starting to bring its services back online after a major security breach leaked the credit card data and personal information of over a hundred million users. The first step for Sony’s PlayStation Network members is a firmware update that’s been issued for the PlayStation 3. After applying the patch, PS3 users will be prompted to change their PSN passwords. “Please note that these services will take a bit of time to be turned on and rolled out to the whole country,” the company said in a blog post Saturday. “The process has begun and some states are being turned on now, so please be patient as we reach your city and state.” More →

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