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internet tech

Sony Sued for Letting Hackers Break Into PlayStation User Database

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Photo by pajamo via LAist Featured Photo Pool.

If you’re a Sony PlayStation user, you probably noticed that you couldn’t connect to the gaming console’s online network for the past ten days or so. Most figured it was probably just a network outage. But as we learned Tuesday — one week into the outage — Sony deliberately pulled the plug on its online network as well as its streaming and on demand content services on April 20. PlayStation’s unencrypted user database was breached, allowing hackers access to info entered by the network’s 77 million users.

If you are one of the 77 million Sony Playstation users with a PlayStation Network or Qriocity account, a class-action lawsuit was filed on your behalf Wednesday.

The lawsuit (full text), filed in U.S. District Court in San Francisco on behalf of Kristopher Johns, 36, argues that Sony was negligent in allowing the hacker intrusion, which the plaintiff claims never should have occurred in the first place.

“Sony broke its contract and violated its customers’ trust,” Caleb Marker, an attorney representing plaintiffs in the lawsuit, said to the Wall Street Journal.

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syndicated tech

My Phone Knows Everything About Me and I’m Cool With That

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Andrew Hyde gets around. The iPhone Tracker app confirms this. (Photo via flickr).

Andrew Hyde sold all of his worldly possessions last August and began a trip around the world. He makes no secret of this — its detailed on his website. We’re well aware that personal information becomes vulnerable whenever we agree to the terms of service of yet another fun geo-location mobile app as it typically utilizes information from the phone’s positioning to track real-time location. But this week, geodata geek and author Pete Warden released an open-source iPhone application that exploits a file in iPhone 4 (or iPad 3G) containing all recorded geographic data in the phone’s history.

The information is available without a password to anyone with access to a laptop that the iPhone in question has synced with, notes Hyde. iPhones and iPads on iOS 4 record approximate the data based on the devices distance from the cell tower it is connected to at any given time. Is this something to worry about? Not really. Unless you’re a criminal with a bullshit alibi — data from cellphones and other mobile devices have been used by authorities for years.

Thanks to a California Supreme Court decision in January, no warrant is required for authorities in our state to search cell phones or mobile devices of arrestees.

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internet

Twitter Knows Me Well, Suggests ‘Who to Follow’

twitter suggested followers who to follow personalizedIt’s mid-2010 and the social web is finally getting comfortable with the opening and exploitation of the “social graph.” It likely helped that Facebook took a bit of backlash over the past few months to pave the way for the rest. And now, like any good social network should, Twitter is beginning to show the cards that we (the users) dealt it.

Twitter’s “Who to Follow” personalized suggestions can now be seen in the right-hand sidebar of the Twitter.com user web app and under this tab. This is familiar territory to anyone who uses Facebook or even Amazon. Twitter knows who you follow and who follows you back as well as who many in your circle follow that you do not yet follow. Hence the social graph. It’s a wild and crazy algorithm, but if you think about it in physical terms, we all have friends that we want to introduce specifically to other friends. And it should be assumed that by using Twitter, you hope to communicate with and discover new peers, business partners, etc.

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internet musica Uncategorized

Privacy Concerns and Social Networks

myspace facebook privacyIt was refreshing to see MySpace break out of its relative silence this week with a note addressing user privacy settings on social networks. Good to see you again MySpace, though we sometimes forget you’re still around we’re no longer threatening to delete our long-nascent profiles en masse or anything like that.

MySpace served itself well by publishing the note MySpace Empowers Users With New, Simpler Privacy Setting in outlining the company’s ethos and it’s mission to enable both discovery and self-expression for users since its inception in 2003.

But MySpace’s memo falls short on definition and lacks any sort of road map (beyond “in the coming weeks…”) to give users the “we’re in this together” feeling that Facebook so often overlooks. And it’s more than 3 weeks after the Facebook open graph-api-privacy hubbub broke out. Facebook privacy concerns made headlines again on May 5 when a glitch that provided access to some users’ private information was uncovered (and allegedly patched within hours).