(George) Hotz, the hacker known as Geohot who pioneered jailbreaking the iPhone and became embroiled in a lawsuit with Sony after publishing the PlayStation 3’s root keys, has taken a position at Facebook.
Joshua Hill (P0sixninja), a member of the Chronic-Dev Team — the group responsible for greenpois0n, the premiere iOS jailbreak software — said in a video that Hotz declined an iOS jailbreak challenge (finding a boot ROM exploit in the iPad 2) to keep out of the media spotlight and also to focus on his new job at Facebook.
Then Gabe Rivera of Techmeme confirmed Techunwrapped’s report in a tweet by sending readers to Hotz’s Facebook page, where, on June 22, Hotz wrote: “Facebook is really an amazing place to work…first hackathon over.” Speculation has it that Hotz is working on the long-awaited Facebook app for the iPad.-P
A yearlong experiment with (America’s) electric grid could mess up traffic lights, security systems and some computers — and make plug-in clocks and appliances like programmable coffeemakers run up to 20 minutes fast….
Since 1930, electric clocks have kept time based on the rate of the electrical current that powers them. If the current slips off its usual rate, clocks run a little fast or slow. Power companies now take steps to correct it and keep the frequency of the current — and the time — as precise as possible.
Image: Jason Brummels
The group that oversees the U.S. power grid is proposing an experiment would allow more frequency variation than it does now without corrections, according to a company presentation obtained by The Associated Press.-A
Facebook’s incredible worldwide growth has reached another major milestone: the service now has 750 million monthly active users, according to a source close to the company.
We reached out to Facebook for confirmation, and a company spokesperson responded that they don’t have anything to announce at this time. That isn’t surprising: the company hasn’t officially released an updated user count since it reached 500 million users nearly a year ago. Facebook has obviously been growing since then — we believe the company may be waiting until it hits the 1 billion mark before officially updating the stat again.
The last semi-official update came from a leaked Goldman Sachs report for potential Facebook investors that pegged the number at 600 million in January.-T
Morgan Stanley Smith Barney is bucking the trend on Wall Street by allowing its brokers to use social networking during work hours.
Bosses will keep a close watch of a test group of 600 employees as they are allowed to use LinkedIn.
While they are allowed to communicate, they’re not at liberty to speak freely; all communications will have to be approved in advance. They will also not be allowed to recommend themselves or other brokers, or to be recommended.
Image: Beth Kanter
If all goes well with the test group, the company will expand the program to the rest of its employee base.
Sony is warning investors it has taken a big blow to its bottom line — much worse than previously anticipated — in the wake of a tsunami and hack on its servers that effectively shut down its Playstation Network for more than three weeks.
The company has revised its forecast for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2011. It now predicts a net loss of 260 billion yen or $3.18 billion (U.S.). Previously, the company foresaw a net profit of 70 billion yen or $855.52 million (U.S.). During the previous fiscal year, the company experienced a smaller loss of 40.8 billion yen or $498.64 million (U.S.).
Sony shares closed the trading day down by 0.45 percentage points in Tokyo and 1.7 percentage points in New York after the revision’s release.
Sony has announced an “our bad” freebie package for users who had their personal information, possibly including credit card numbers, stolen and were left without Playstation Network service for more than three weeks. (The Playstation Store is still not back). Along with their sincerest apologies and appreciation, Sony will provide:
For Playstation owners, two “classic” titles of this list: Dead Nation, Infamous, Little Big Planet (1, not 2), Super Stardust HD, or Wipeout HD with Fury
For PSP owners, two “classic” titles of this list: Little Big Planet (1), ModNation Racers, Pursuit Force, or Killzone Liberation
Certain movie titles for rental during one weekend
30 days’ PlaystationPlus membership (60 for current Plus members)
For U.S. customers, 30 days’ free Music Unlimited membership
100 free virtual items in Playstation Home
In the same breath, Playstation called its package “compelling”.
There is no word on whether the 30 days’ free Plus and Music Unlimited membership will include the commonly practiced negative-option billing, where the service provider starts charging at the end of the promotion unless a user remembers to cancel.
On the Playstation Blog announcement’s discussion forum, buried among a flurry of thank you’s, criticism:
“most of the ‘Welcome Back’ titles are ones we already own since they’re pretty much flagship titles. As for non-subscribers getting a month of PlayStation Plus …. best of luck to them enjoying the ‘free games’ unless they continue by paying after 30 days.” -Navcomm81
“What happens if I happen to own all the PS3 games?…. I am a loyal Sony, and Playstation consumer!”-Dzormagen
“Way to go choosing the most popular titles that most people already have.”-Stiner
Sony has announced a partial restoration of its PlayStation Network. Its Computer Entertainment president Kazuo Hirai delivered the news personally in a video blog post:
“I’d like to send my sincere regret for the inconvenience this incident has caused you,” Hirai says.
Users are required to download a firmware update and change their passwords.
“We strongly recommend that all PSN account holders with PS3s update their systems to prepare for when PlayStation Network is back online,” Vice-president of Sony Network Entertainment writes in a blog post. ”The release of this update is a critical step as we work to make PlayStation Network significantly more secure.”
What you get (and don’t)
Access will be limited, for now, the company cautioned in a news release. Users will only be able to play games on line, play rented video and access Qriocity music, third-party services like Netflix, friends and Playstation Home. There will be no Playstation Store yet.
The restoration excludes customers in Asia.
Sony claims to have completed the first phase of its restoration in all parts of North America.
Sony’s Playstation Network went down April 20 after hackers broke into multiple servers and stole the personal information of 77 million users. Sony scrambled to patch its software taking over three weeks to relaunch its service. Playstation Network lets users play against one another on-line and download games, movies and television shows through the Playstation Store.
Hirai says: “During the past 18 months, we’ve seen a dramatic rise in the volume of cyber attacks, their sophistication and their impact on businesses.”
Sony has appointed a Chief Information Safety Officer to oversee security at the company.
An image of Sony leaders bowing in apology has been circulated so much in the media, it has become near iconic of the company:
A 21-year-old Toronto gamer has launched a $1 billion class action against Sony for its handling of the breach.
Hacker George Hotz and activist group Anonymous launched high-profile operations against Sony in late 2010 and early 2011.
The influx comes as Americans are more concerned than ever about the security of their personal information and credit-card numbers, data security company Unisys reports.
The restoration overshadows news earlier the same day of criticism over Sony’s lax security by the government-financed U.S. Cyber Consequences Unit.