Weekend tech reading: Microsoft Store hacked, plain text data swiped

By on February 12, 2012, 2:30 PM

Microsoft Store India hacked, username and password database leaked Reports are coming in that Microsoft's online store in India has been hacked. The site is now offline, but Google's cache shows that the Chinese Evil Shadow Team is taking credit for the hack. Worse than the site takedown is that a list of usernames and passwords for accounts have been released — unfortunately, it looks like the site kept its users' passwords stored in plain text... The Verge

Farewell Adam Adamowicz : The visual mind behind Fallout 3 Earlier today we learned that Adam Adamowicz, one of the main concept artists behind Fallout 3, Skyrim and other Bethesda titles, passed away today. It was silently announced, but I'd like to shine some light on Adam because he was an anomaly in the game industry, a veritable one-man conceptual machine, who unlike his contemporary counterparts, did a majority of his work in non digital mediums. Awesome-Robo

How close are we to truly photorealistic, real-time games? Every graphical and technical advance the game industry has seen from Pong to Crysis has been a small step toward the end goal of a real-time, photorealistic 3D world that is truly indistinguishable from a real-world scene. Speaking at the DICE Summit Thursday, Epic Games founder and programmer Tim Sweeney examined the speed and direction of computing improvements and determined that we "might expect, over the course of our lifetime, we'd get to amounts of computing power that come very close to simulating reality." Ars Technica

Steve Jobs’s FBI file notes past drug use, tendency to ‘distort reality’ The Federal Bureau of Investigation released a decades-old file it kept on Apple co-founder Steve Jobs that noted his past drug use and cites interviews with people who say he tended to “distort reality.” The 191 pages of FBI records are part of a 1991 background check of Jobs, who died in October 2011, for an appointment by former President George H.W. Bush to the President’s Export Council. Bloomberg

Quantifying comedy on YouTube: why the number of o’s in your LOL matter In a previous post, we talked about quantification of musical talent using machine learning on acoustic features for YouTube Music Slam. We wondered if we could do the same for funny videos, i.e. answer questions such as: is a video funny, how funny do viewers think it is, and why is it funny? We noticed a few audiovisual patterns across comedy videos on YouTube... Google Research Blog

Much of Western U.S. is a 3G wasteland, says FCC Anyone making a road trip across America should expect their mobile data service to basically not exist throughout much of the Western United States. The Federal Communications Commission today released a map showing which counties across the U.S. lacked coverage from either 3G or 4G networks and found that wide swaths of the western half of the country were 3G wastelands... Network World

NASA unplugs last mainframe It's somewhat hard to imagine that NASA doesn't need the computing power of an IBM mainframe any more but NASA CIO posted on her blog today at the end of the month, the Big Iron will be no more at the space agency. NASA CIO Linda Cureton wrote: This month marks the end of an era in NASA computing. Marshall Space Flight Center powered down NASA's last mainframe, the IBM Z9... Network World

Samsung unveils Ivy Bridge powered notebook too early Unless Intel has decided to move the launch of its Ivy Bridge processors forward, Samsung is getting way ahead of itself as the company had put up one of its Ivy Bridge powered notebooks – the NP700G7C – on its US website yesterday. Beyond having an Ivy Bridge processor, the 17.3-inch notebook also sports Nvidia 600-series mobile graphics. VR-Zone

The perpetual, invisible window into your Gmail inbox The other day, I tried out Unroll.me, a clever new service that reads your inbox to let you unsubscribe from mailing lists and other unwanted e-mail flotsam with a single click. As I was about to connect my Gmail account, my finger hovered over the “Grant access” button. Wait a second. Who am I giving access to my Gmail account, anyway? Wired

Apple wins ruling against Motorola in Germany over 3G patent Apple has secured a victory against Motorola in the German courts, after a judge ruled that the iPhone-maker is not fringing a 3G/UMTS patent. Judge Andreas Voss of the Mannheim Regional Court declared that Motorola failed to present conclusive evidence that Apple was infringing. V3.co.uk

 

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