Skip to main content

Full text of "Atari Online News Etc. Volume 14 Issue 21"

See other formats




Volume 14, Issue 21 Atari Online News, Etc. June 1, 2012 


Published and Copyright (c) 1999 - 2012 
All Rights Reserved 





Atari Online News, Etc. 
A-ONE Online Magazine 
Dana P. Jacobson, Publisher/Managing Editor 
Joseph Mirando, Managing Editor 
Rob Mahlert, Associate Editor 

















Atari Online News, Etc. Staff 





Dana P. Jacobson -- Editor 
Joe Mirando -- "People Are Talking" 
Michael Burkley -- "Unabashed Atariophile" 
Albert Dayes -- "CC: Classic Chips" 
Rob Mahlert -- Web site 
Thomas J. Andrews -- "Keeper of the Flame" 


With Contributions by: 


Fred Horvat 


To subscribe to A-ONE, change e-mail addresses, or unsubscribe, 
log on to our website at: www.atarinews.org 
and click on "Subscriptions". 
OR subscribe to A-ONE by sending a message to: dpj@atarinews.org 
and your address will be added to the distribution list. 

To unsubscribe from A-ONE, send the following: Unsubscribe A-ON 
Please make sure that you include the same address that you used to 
subscribe from. 





GI 











To download A-ONE, set your browser bookmarks to one of the 
following sites: 





http://people.delphiforums.com/dpj/a-one.htm 
Now available: 
http://www.atarinews.org 


Visit the Atari Advantage Forum on Delphi! 
http://forums.delphiforums.com/atari/ 


A-ONE #1421 06/01/12 





~ Facebook Privacy "Vote" ~ People Are Talking! ~ Activision Settles! 
~ Stuxnet Against the US? ~ Oracle Suffers Setback ~ Anonymous Comments! 
~ Wii U, Sequels at E3? ~ ‘Flame’ Virus vs Iran! ~ Dutch Rejects ACTA! 








~ Facebook To Buy Opera? ~ Final Windows 8 Tests! ~ Megaupload Lawyers! 


-* Facebook Stock Closes Lower! *- 
-* Playing Video Games With Your Mind! *- 
-* Mitt Romney’s Official App America Gaffe! *- 





->From the Editor’s Keyboard "Saying it like it is!" 


TOUT Tr re Oe ee ee ee ee 


The U.S. presidential campaign is on - Romney versus Obama. Already the 
gloves are off in what is already being predicted as the most negative 
presidential campaign ever. And you know what, I believe it. Obama has 
a lot to defend in the hopes to get reelected. I’ll be curious to learn 
what his campaign’s "catch-phrase" will be this time around! 


Still hectic around here these days. We’re still working to get my 
in-laws ready to move into their new digs. It’s quite a chore to figure 
out immediate needs to essentially start life all over again. Most of 
the daily life needs that we all take for granted have to be determined, 
a 

L 























nd obtained all over again. I don’t know how everyone is able to manage 
it all, but they are, somehow. 





Again, it’s another late release this week, so I’m going to finish off 
this issue and let you have at it! 





Until next time... 


->In This Week's Gaming Section - Activision Settles with ’Modern Warfare 2’ Ma 


kers! 
TOW TT Te Wr ae Oe Oe We ae ee ae ee oe ee oe ee oe ee ee ee ee Wil U, Sequels Take Another Swing at E3! 
Video Games You Play with Your Mind! 








—>A-ONE’s Game Console Industry News - The Latest Gaming News! 


TOUT Wr Or Oe Or ee Oe ee ee oe ee ee 





Activision Settles with ’Modern Warfare 2’ Makers 


The makers of "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2" and game publisher 
Activision Blizzard Inc. have agreed to lay down arms in a legal fight 
over millions of dollars in royalties. 








The two sides said Thursday that they had settled the matter out of court. 
The terms were not disclosed. 





Activision, a subsidiary of France’s Vivendi SA, said it doesn’t believe 
the settlement’s one-time expense will materially affect its earnings 
outlook for the current quarter or calendar year due to unexpectedly good 
performance recently. 





Jason West and Vincent Zampella, former heads of Activision game studio 
Infinity Ward, had sued Activision for wrongful dismissal after the company 
fired them in March 2010. The pair claimed they were fired to avoid paying 
them bonuses and sought more than $36 million based on the game’s profits 
following its release in November 2009. They later raised their claim to 
over $1 billion. 





Activision countersued, accusing them of conspiring to take their secrets 
to rival Electronic Arts Inc. and breaching their contractual and financial 
duties. Activision also said West and Zampella poisoned the atmosphere at 
Infinity Ward against Activision, prompting dozens of developers to follow 
them out the door. 














[The pair later formed a new company called Respawn Entertainment LLC, 
which is currently developing games for EA. 











Two weeks ago, Activision and EA settled a lawsuit over whether EA unfairly 
recruited th xecutives while they were under contract. 











EA hailed the settlement between Activision and the game developers as a 
victory. 








"Activision’s refusal to pay their talent and attempt to blame EA were 
absurd. This settlement is a vindication of Vince and Jason, and the right 
of creative artists to collect the rewards due for their hard work," it 
said in a statement. 


Shares of Activision rose 9 cents to $11.83 in after-hours trading after 
closing down 17 cents, or 1.4 percent, at $11.74. EA shares were unchanged 
after-hours but had closed down 53 cents, or 3.8 percent, at $13.62 in the 
regular session. 








GI 
Ww 


Wii U, Sequels Take Another Swing at 


Is the Wii U right for you? 








At last year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), Nintendo captured most 
of the spotlight by unveiling the Wii’s successor, a high-definition 
console called the Wii U that utilizes a tablet-like touchscreen 
controller. Attention alone wasn’t enough to declare a victory. Folks 
weren’t, well, feeling it. Critical reaction was mixed, and the Japanese 
gaming giant’s stock dropped. 




















"Nintendo has an uphill battle this year," said Morgan Webb, co-host of 


the G4 gaming show "X-Play." ’’It’s really a branding problem. I think a 
lot of people are still confused about the Wii U. They’re going to have a 
hard time convincing people that this could be a better gaming experience 
than the iPad." 





At this year’s E3 convention in Los Angeles next week, Nintendo Co. will 
attempt to assuage such concerns by introducing gamers to titles that will 
be available for Wii U when it’s expected to launch later this year. 
Previously, the "Mario Bros." creator only teased what was capable through 
a series of technology demonstrations. 








E3 comes at a time when the gaming industry could use a few good parties 
and pep talks. The NPD Group, a research firm that tracks the U.S. sales 
of game software, hardware and accessories, said that while consumers 
spent more than $1 billion on games and accompanying gizmos in April, 
retail sales fell 32 percent from a year ago, the fifth month of decline. 





The continued interest in cheaper-to-produce mobile, social and 
downloadable games is expected to be showcased more than ever before at 
E3, a flashy extravaganza typically focused on building buzz for the 
loudest and sexiest games. Zynga, the developer of social games like 
"FarmVille" and "Words With Friends," will have a presence at E3 for the 
first time. 




















"Every time I go to E3, I’m usually surprised," said Jay Wilson, lead 
designer of the role-playing game "Diablo III." ’’I expect to be surprised 
again. What I hope is that no matter what platform people are working on, 
no matter what new area that they’re exploring, the most important thing 

is gameplay. If a game provides great gameplay, the platform doesn’t really 
matter." 








Indeed, a strong line-up of games will be integral to the future success 
of the Wii U, a lesson Nintendo learned the hard way after last year’s 
lackluster launch of the 3DS, its glasses-free 3-D handheld device. 
"X-Play’s" Webb thinks Nintendo could win over the E3 crowd if it 
introduces innovative, unexpected, must-own games that appeal equally to 
both hardcore and casual gamers. 











Unless Nintendo’s fellow first-party publishers Sony Corp. or Microsoft 
Corp. unveil new hardware or radical updates to their respective 
PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 consoles, the E3 spotlight for better or 
worse will undoubtedly be shining back in Nintendo’s direction. 
(Microsoft and Sony have previously shot down rumors they’d unleash new 
consoles at this year’s E3.) 














"The Wii U was announced last year, and that stimulates all kinds of 
thoughts about what’s possible," said Mark Lamia, the studio head at "Call 
of Duty: Black Ops II" developer Treyarch. "It’ll be interesting to see 
what happens with the first parties. It’s always an exciting time when 
rumors are in the air, and we see if E3 is the time when they become mor 
than rumors." 











Most other game makers will use the expo to hype new entries in their 
seemingly never-ending franchises. There’s Activision’s "Call of Duty: 
Black Ops II," Microsoft’s "Halo 4" and "Forza Horizon," Sony’s "God of 
War: Ascension" and "LittleBigPlanet Karting," Ubisoft’s "Far Cry 3" and 
"Assassin’s Creed III," as well as the revealing of several other new 
chapters. 











Some sequels at E3 are emerging from deep within the vault. Franchises 


once considered extinct, such as invasion simulator "X-COM," stealthy 
shooter "Hitman" and town builder "SimCity," will return to a vastly 
different landscape. Will these once beloved series be r mbraced? It’s a 
strategy that’s worked for some ("Twisted Metal") but failed others 
("Syndicate"). 











Electronic Arts Inc. will show off such games as the real-world military 
simulator "Medal of Honor: Warfighter," a new iteration of its "Need for 
Speed" racing series and the sci-fi horror sequel "Dead Space 3." EA, 
like many publishers, will also be talking technology, focusing on 
advancements with its Frostbite graphics engine, digital distribution and 
cloud computing 











"Cloud competing isn’t rocket science," said Patrick Soderlund, executive 
vice president at the EA Games label. "It is a great feature that we’re 
embracing aS a game company. It’s just a natural evolution that I think 
will be used in most of our products, to some extent." 








Video Games You Play with Your Mind 


The gaming controller of the future won't have joysticks or buttons; it’1l 
wrap around your head. A number of companies like San Jose-based NeuroSky 
are developing affordable, consumer-ready controllers that takes cues from 
the electrical signals in a wearer’s brain to dictate onscreen action. 
Here, a concise guide to the new smart technology: 





How does it work? 


The head-mounted controller reads the brain’s electrical activity much in 
the same way that an electroencephalograph, or EEG, works. It then beams 
that information via BlueTooth to a connected smartphone. NeuroSky, Inc., 
which has made news with a Star Wars-based children’s toy called Force 
Trainer that let children suspend a ping pong ball in the air using a fan 


and their brainwaves, sells a mind-control headset called MindWave Mobile. 




















Does it read your thoughts? 





Not exactly. The technology only differentiates between between two 
states: relaxed or concentrating. The controller can’t track "specific, 
purposeful actions," says Timothy Hay at The Wall Street Journal. "Some 
players of mind games might be underwhelmed that they don’t have total 
control in the same way they could with a joystick." 





What are the games like? 





The NeuroSky controller comes with an interactive movie called MyndPlay, 
an immersive experience that’s like the popular line of "Choose Your Own 
Adventure" books, says Edwin Kee at Ubergizmo, because it allows users to 
make choices that steer the movie’s plot in different directions. Another 
company called Emotiv Systems, which offers a similar multi-sensor 
device, packages a variety of popular titles like Call of Duty and World 
of Warcraft, retinkered to work with their brainwave-sensing headset. 











What else can it do? 


Some psychiatrists think the technology could help improve mental health 
for patients suffering from conditions like anxiety or post-traumatic 


stress disorder. The attention required to use one of these brain 
controllers actually has a calming effect on the mind, game designer Jane 
McGonigal tells The Wall Street Journal. Another game called FocusPocus 
helps players "become smarter" by using concentration techniques commonly 
used to fight ADHD symptoms, says Ben Kersey at Slashgear. 








Is the headsets and games available now? 


Yes. You can order the MindWave Mobile headset from the company’s website 
for $130. Compatible games can be downloaded at the site, and a few are 
already available for Android and the iPhone. 


A-ONE’s Headline News 
The Latest in Computer Technology News 
Compiled by: Dana P. Jacobson 





Dutch Parliament Officially Rejects ACTA 


Legal Good news everyone! The Dutch parliament has just officially 
rejected ACTA. In addition, parliament has also accepted an additional 
motion which prohibits the government from signing similar agreements in 
the future. It was originally the plan to wait for the ACTA vote in the EU 
parliament, but a majority in the Dutch parliament felt that ACTA was too 
dangerous not to throw into the bin right away, EU vote or no. I’m not 
exactly sure what this means for ACTA as a whole, but it’s my 
understanding that if one member state votes against ACTA - which we just 
did - it’s effectively dead in the EU. 




















Facebook Closes Lower Once Again 


After a brief reprieve in morning trading, Facebook’s stock once again 
closed lower on Wednesday, nearly $10 below its initial public offering 
price. 


Shares of Facebook Inc. dropped 65 cents, or 2.3 percent, to close at 
$28.19. It’s the third consecutive trading day the stock has dropped from 
the previous close. It got some relief earlier in the day, going as high 
as $29.55. 


Wednesday’s close is down about 26 percent from the stock’s IPO price of 
$38. Facebook began trading on the Nasdaq Stock Market on May 18. The day 
started with a delay due to trading market glitches and didn’t get much 
better from there. 


Still, the IPO raised $16 billion for Facebook and early investors, making 
it one of the largest IPOs ever. But many investors were expecting the 
stock to go higher on the first day. Instead, it went up less than 

1 percent to $38.23 that day, before falling since then. 


Wednesday was a down day for the broader market as well, with the Dow 
Jones industrial average closing down 161 points. Other social media 
stocks, such as Zynga Inc. and Yelp Inc., also headed lower. 





Oracle Suffers Major Setback in Google Case 


A U.S. judge dismissed Oracle Corp’s copyright claims against Google Inc. 
for parts of the Java programming language, knocking out Oracle’s prime 
vehicle for damages in a high stakes legal battle over smartphones. 


The ruling on Thursday from a San Francisco federal judge is the latest 
blow to Oracle in its lawsuit against Google. It is one of several 
intellectual property cases between tech giants over smartphones and 
tablets using Google’s Android operating system. 








Apple is scheduled for trial in U.S. courts against Google’s Motorola 
Mobility unit in June, and against Samsung in July. However, Oracle’s 
lawsuit against Google, filed in 2010, was the first in the smartphone 
wars to go before a jury. 








The cas xamined whether computer language that connects programs and 
operating systems - known as application programming interfaces, or APIs 
—- can be copyrighted. In a trial that began last month, Oracle claimed 
Google’s Android tramples on its rights to the structure of 37 Java APIs. 


Google argued it did not violate Oracle’s patents and that Oracle cannot 
copyright APIs for Java, an open-source or publicly available software 
language. Android is the best-selling smartphone operating system around 
the world. 








Oracle sought roughly $1 billion on its copyright claims, but the jury 

deadlocked on a key copyright issue. They then found that Google did not 
infringe two of Oracle’s patents, which ended the trial last week before 
damages could be considered. 





Meanwhile, U.S. District Judge William Alsup had deferred a legal ruling on 
the ability to copyright 37 Java APIs until after the trial. 








His ruling on Thursday likely eliminates the ability of Oracle to seek an 
immediate retrial against Google in San Francisco federal court. 








Oracle spokeswoman Deborah Hellinger said the company will "vigorously 
appeal" Alsup’s order. "This ruling, if permitted to stand, would undermine 
the protection for innovation and invention in the United States," 
Hellinger wrote in an email. 





Alsup’s written order does not address whether all Java APIs are free to 
use without a license - or whether the structure of any computer program 
may be stolen. 





"Rather, it holds on the specific facts of this case, the particular 
elements replicated by Google were free for all to use," Alsup wrote. 


Google spokesman Jim Prosser said the decision upholds the principle that 
open computer languages are essential for software development. 


"It’s a good day for collaboration and innovation," Prosser said. 


The case in U.S. District Court, Northern District of California is Oracle 
America, Inc v. Google Inc, 10-3561. 


Here’s How the Stuxnet Virus Could Be Used Against the U.S. 


The cat is out of the bag: The United States is the first known country to 
carry out a sustained cyber attack with the intent of destroying another 
country’s infrastructure. Earlier today, The New York Times’ David Sanger 
confirmed America’s role in developing Stuxnet, the computer worm deployed 
against Iran’s nuclear facilities in coordination with the Israeli 
government. In interviews with curent and former American, European, and 
Israeli officials, Sanger outlined the Obama administration’s decision to 
use the sophisticated virus, code-named Olympic Games, which was 
originally developed by the Bush administration. 











For cyber security experts, the coming-out party of Stuxnet in 2010, after 
it malfunctioned and spread across the world, was a worrying event. The 
code itself is 50 times bigger than your ordinary computer worm and, 
unlike most viruses, is capable of hijacking industrial facilities like 
nuclear reactors or chemical plants. With its release, anyone could 
download and manipulate the Stuxnet code for their own purposes. But now, 
with America’s role confirmed, the fear is that a red target hangs on its 
back. What if Stuxnet was used against the U.S.? 





The prospect has long worried Sean McGurk, former director of Homeland 
Security’s national cybersecurity operations center. Not only has the 
Stuxnet technology been instantly democratized but it’s also highly 
susceptible to being revers ngineered. In March, he aired his concerns 
with 60 Minutes’ Steve Kroft, before America’s role in creating Stuxnet 
was confirmed: 





Kroft: Sounds a little bit like Pandora’s box. 


McGurk: Yes. 


Kroft: Whoever launched this attack-- 





McGurk: They opened up the box. They demonstrated the capability. They 
showed the ability and the desire to do so. And it’s not something that 
can be put back. 


Kroft: If somebody in the government had come to you and said, "Look, 
we're thinking about doing this. What do you think?" What would you have 
told them? 





McGurk: I would have strongly cautioned them against it because of the 
unintended consequences of releasing such a code. 


What sort of unintended consequences? According to McGurk, it has given 
countries "like Russia and China, not to mention terrorist groups and 
gangs of cybercriminals for hire, a textbook on how to attack key U.S. 
installations." Those types of installations include U.S. nuclear power 
reactors, electric companies, and other industrial facilities controlling 
everything from chemicals to baby formula, according to McGurk. And he’s 
not the only one worrying. 





In 2010, Dean Turner, director of the Global Intelligence Network at 
Symantec Corp., told a Senate hearing that the "real-world implications of 
Stuxnet are beyond any threat we have seen in the past." According to the 
Associated Press, he said the virus’s risks go beyond industrial 
infrastructure and include the loss of sensitive intellectual property 
data, which can be silently stolen. So who would be able to carry out such 
an attack? Apparently, quite a few people. 








Ralph Langner, a German expert on industrial control systems, told Kroft 
in March that even non-state actors could use such technologies. 





Langner: You don’t need many billions, you just need a couple of 
millions. And this would buy you a decent cyberattack, for example, 
against the U.S. power grid. 


Kroft: If you were a terrorist group or a failed nation state and you 
had a couple of million dollars, where would you go to find the people 
that knew how to do this? 


Langner: On the Internet. 


There were obviously powerful incentives to use the Stuxnet virus, which 
according to The Times succeeded in destroying 1,000 to 5,000 centrifuges. 
And of course, ever since the virus went public in 2010, the risk of a 
third-party using Stuxnet technology for ill has existed. However, with 
the confirmation that the U.S. broke the cyber threshold, the novelty of 
using cyberwarfare to attack another country’s critical infrastructure is 
gone. Should we expect Iran to refrain from striking back? As PC World’s 
David Jeffers writes, "We now have to deal with the Internet equivalent of 
a mustard gas or Agent Orange leak that has the potential to affect us 
all." It’s undoubtedly a scary thought. 








Iran: '’/Flame’ Virus Fight Began with Oil Attack 


Computer technicians battling to contain a complex virus last month 

resorted to the ultimate firewall measures cutting off Internet links 
to Iran’s Oil Ministry, rigs and the hub for nearly all the country’s 
crude exports. 





At the time, Iranian officials described it as a data-siphoning blitz on 
key oil networks. 


On Wednesday, they gave it a name: A strike by the powerful "Flame" malware 
that experts this week have called a new and highly sophisticated program 
capable of hauling away computer files and even listening in on computer 
users. Its origins remain a mystery, but international suspicion quickly 
fell on Israel opening another front in its suspected covert wars with 
archenemy 1 








Tehran. 


"This virus penetrated some fields. One of them was the oil sector," said 
Gholam Reza Jalali, who heads an Iranian military unit in charge of 
fighting sabotage. "Fortunately, we detected and controlled this single 
incident." 


The Flame virus a mix of cyberspy and hard-drive burglar has been 
detected across the Middle East recently. But Iran’s linkage to the oil 





network attack in April could mark its first major infiltration and 
suggests a significant escalation in attempts to disrupt Iran’s key 
commercial and nuclear sites. Iran is one of the world’s leading oil 
producers. 





Two years ago, a virus called Stuxnet tailored to disrupt Iran’s nuclear 
centrifuges caused some setbacks within its uranium enrichment labs and 
infected an estimated 16,000 computers, Iranian officials say. At least 
two other smaller viruses have been detected in nuclear and industrial 
centers. 





The Flame program, however, is widely considered as a technological leap 
in break-in programming. Some experts also see the same high level of 
engineering shared by Stuxnet, which many suspect was the work of Israeli 
intelligence. 





"It is very complex and very sophisticated," said Marco Obiso, 
cybersecurity coordinator at the U.N.’s International Telecommunication 
Union in Geneva. "It’s one of the most serious yet." 


Israel, a world leader in computer security, has never confirmed or denied 
any involvement in Stuxnet or other viruses that have hit Iranian networks 
nationwide. 


Israel fears that Iran’s nuclear program is geared toward developing a 
weapon that might be turned against it and Israel itself is believed to 
have nuclear weapons. 








Israeli leaders have repeatedly said that "all options are on the table," 
a phrase that is widely interpreted as meaning the possibility of a 
military strike and other measures that could include cyberwarfare. 


Already, Iran and Israel have traded accusations of carrying out 
clandestine hits and attack conspiracies in locales stretching from the 
Baku to Bangkok. 





Iran claims Israeli agents are behind the slayings of at least five 
nuclear scientists and researchers since 2010. Earlier this month, Iran 
hanged a man convicted of carrying out one of the killings after allegedly 
being trained by Israel’s Mossad spy agency. Israel denied any role. 











Authorities in several countries, meanwhile, are investigating possible 
Iranian links to bombings and plots against Israeli targets and others, 
including a wide-ranging probe in Azerbaijan’s capital Baku. 


On the cyber front, Iran says it has sharply boosted its defenses by 
creating special computer corps to protect crucial online infrastructure. 
Iran also claims it seeks to build its own Internet buffered from the 
global web, but experts have raised serious questions about its 
feasibility. 





Iran’s Deputy Minister of Communications and Information Technology Ali 
Hakim Javadi was quoted by the official IRNA news agency Wednesday as 
saying that Iranian experts have produced an anti-virus program capable of 
identifying and removing Flame. 





"The anti-virus software was delivered to selected organizations in early 
May," he said. 


That would have been at least two weeks after officials say it penetrated 


Iran’s Oil Ministry and related sites. Within hours, technicians decided 
to close off the Internet connections to the ministry, oil rigs and the 
Khark Island oil terminal, the jump off point for about 80 percent of 
Iran’s daily 2.2 million barrels of crude exports. 


Gholam Reza Jalali, who heads an Iranian military unit in charge of 
fighting sabotage, told state radio that the oil industry was the only 
governmental body seriously affected and that all data lost were later 
retrieved. 





"This virus penetrated some fields. One of them was the oil sector. 
Fortunately, we detected and controlled this single incident," Jalali 
said. 





Obiso, whose agency is helping to direct the international response to 
Flame, said the virus first came to the group’s attention in mid-April and 
researchers have been working on unraveling its code since. 


"We still think Flame has much more to show," he said. 
The Russian Internet security firm Kaspersky Lab ZAO said the Flame virus 
has struck Iran the hardest, but has been detected in the Palestinian 


territories, Sudan, Syria, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and Egypt. 


It also has been found in Israel leading some Israeli security officials 
to suggest the virus could be traced to the U.S. or other Western nations. 








Experts describe it as a multitasking mole. It can wipe data off hard 
drives, but also be a tireless eavesdropper by activating audio systems to 
listen in on Skype calls or office chatter. It also can also take 
screenshots, log keystrokes and in one of its more novel functions 

steal data from Bluetooth-enabled mobile phones. 











Israeli’s vice premier on Tuesday did little to deflect suspicion about 
the country’s possible involvement. 


"Whoever sees the Iranian threat as a significant threat is likely to take 
various steps, including these, to hobble it," Moshe Yaalon told Army 
Radio when asked about Flame. "Israel is blessed with high technology, and 
we boast tools that open all sorts of opportunities for us." 


Iran says is has previously discovered one more espionage virus, Duqu, but 
that the malware did no harm Iran’s nuclear or industrial sites. Jalali 
said Flame is the third. 





Dozens of unexplained explosions also have hit the country’s gas pipelines 
in the past two years. Officials have not linked them to cyberattacks, but 
authorities have not closed the books on the investigations. 


Megaupload Lawyers Move To Kill U.S. Internet Piracy Charges 


Lawyers for popular file-sharing company Megaupload, accused of copyright 
theft and internet piracy, have moved to have the case thrown out in the 

United States and tens of millions of dollars of assets unfrozen, a U.S. 

counsel said on Thursday. 





Before it was shut down in January, Megaupload was one of the world’s most 


popular websites, where millions of users stored data, either for free or 
by paying for premium service. 


The FBI claims founder Kim Dotcom masterminded a scheme that made more 
than $175 million in a few short years by copying and distributing music, 
movies and other copyrighted content without authorization. 


Papers have been filed stating that U.S. federal authorities cannot charge 
the company with criminal behavior because it is Hong Kong based, and also 
that no papers have ever been formally served, the lawyer said. 


Megaupload’s assets were seized and its executives in New Zealand and 
Holland arrested in January on warrants issued by the FBI alleging money 
laundering, internet piracy, and illegal file sharing. 


But Megaupload’s U.S. counsel said the FBI had made a fundamental mistake. 


"The law here in the United States is that you can’t indict and then serve 
a company that does not have a presence in the United States," Ira Rothken 
told Radio New Zealand. 


He said the case against Megaupload and its executives should be dismissed. 


"This case was flawed from the start, once this case gets dismissed it 
cannot be fixed," Rothken said. 


Megaupload chief executive Dotcom, 39, spent nearly a month in jail after 
New Zealand police raided a luxury country estate and cut him out of a 
safe room in which he had barricaded himself. 


U.S. authorities have asked for him and three other executives to be 
extradited. 


Megaupload has always maintained that it simply offered online storage, 
and that music and movie companies were given every opportunity to have 
illegal material removed. 





Dotcom is on bail after he convinced a court that he was not going to 
abscond. 


In the past week he has been allowed back to his mansion, and had travel 
restrictions eased. A New Zealand judge also ordered prosecutors to give 
Dotcom’s lawyers access to evidence collected against him and 
co-defendants. 


Rothken said he had also filed papers in the U.S. to unfreeze Megaupload 
funds, which could be used by the defendants to defend themselves. 


The FBI was not immediately available for comment. 


Australian Facebook Cash Image Leads to Robbery 


Two robbers have paid a visit to a house in south-eastern Australia, hours 
after a teenager posted a photo on Facebook of a large sum of cash. 

The masked men, armed with a knife and a club, struck the home of the 
17-year-old girl’s mother in the country town of Bundanoon on Thursday, 





police say. 
Her mother told the men her daughter no longer lived there. 


It is not clear how the robbers found the family address. The Facebook 
image was at the grandmother’s Sydney house. 


The men searched the house and took a small amount of cash and a small 
number of personal objects before leaving. 
Australia map 





No-one was injured. 


The girl had earlier posted a picture on her Facebook page of a "large sum 
of cash" she had helped count at her 72-year-old grandmother’s home in 
Sydney, 120 km (75 miles) north-east of Bundanoon. 


Following the incident, police have issued a warning over the dangers of 
posting sensitive information online. 


Is Facebook About To Buy Opera To Create Own Facebook Browser? 


A Facebook browser that would allow you keep up to date with your social 
life from in-built plug-ins and features on the menu bar could be on the 
cards. Pocket-lint has heard from one of its trusted sources that the 
social networking giant is looking to buy Opera Software, the company 
behind the Opera web browser. 





According to our man in the know, the company could be about to expand 
into the browser space to take on the likes of Google, Apple, Microsoft, 
Mozilla and now even Yahoo, who has recently launched its own browser. 


The move - which would no doubt send shivers of panic through Google - 
although unlikely to affect Chrome’s continued growth in the short term, 
would see the two tech giants battle it out on your desktop and mobile for 
web surfing as well as social networking. 





Opera already has a very good mobile browser, which has seen strong growth 
in the two years it has been available. And Facebook’s buying the company 
would save it having to build a browser from scratch. 





Since the Facebook IPO, which netted the company over $16 billion, Mark 
Zuckerberg’s organisation has plenty of cash to expand. It has also left 
us in no doubt that it wants to get into the mobile sector more and more. 
Owning its own browser to market data from users regardless of whether or 
not they are actually on the Facebook website would be one such way of 
doing that. 





Opera claims to have around 200 million users across all of its platforms. 
Google, Samsung Unveil New Version of Chromebook 


BGoogle will try to win more converts to a computer operating system 
revolving around its popular Chrome Web browser with a new wave of 
lightweight laptops built by Samsung Electronics. 














Tuesday’s release of the next-generation Chromebooks will give Google and 


Samsung another opportunity to persuade consumers and businesses to buy an 
unconventional computer instead of machines running on familiar software 
by industry pioneers Microsoft Corp. and Apple Inc. 


Unlike most computers, Google’s Chromebooks don’t have a hard drive. They 
function like terminals dependent on an Internet connection. The laptops 
come with 16 gigabytes of flash memory the kind found in smartphones, 
tablet computers and some iPods. Two USB ports allow external hard drives 
and other devices to be plugged into the machines. 





Chromebooks haven’t made much of a dent in the market since their debut a 
year ago. In that time, more people have been embracing Apple’s iPad and 
other tablet computers a factor that has contributed to a slowdown in 

sales of personal computers. 





The cool reception to Chromebooks has raised questions about whether 
Google misjudged the demand for computers designed to quickly connect to 
its dominant Internet search engine and ever-expanding stable of other 
online services, ranging from email to a recently introduced file-storage 
system called Drive. 








"The Chromebooks have had less to offer than tablets, so they haven’t been 
that interesting to consumers," said Gartner analyst Mika Kitagawa. 





Google says it always intended to take things slowly with the Chromebooks 
to give its engineers time to understand the shortcomings of the machines 
and make the necessary improvements. 





"This release is a big step in the journey to bringing (Chromebooks) to 
the mainstream," said Sundar Pichai, Google’s senior vice president of 
Chrome and apps. 





The upgraded laptop, called "Series 5 550," is supposed to run 
two-and-half times faster than the original machines, and boasts 
higher-definition video. Google also added features that will enable users 
to edit documents offline, read more content created in widely used 
Microsoft applications such as Word and Excel, and retrieve material from 
another computer at home or an office. More emphasis is being placed on 
Chrome’s Web store, which features more than 50,000 applications. 








The price: $449 for models that only connect to the Internet through Wi-Fi 
and $549 for a machine that connects on a 3G network. Samsung’s original 
Chromebooks started out with prices ranging from $429 to $499. Like the 
original Chromebooks, the next-generation machines feature a 12.1-inch 
screen display and run on an Intel processor. 





Google Inc. and Samsung also are introducing a "Chromebox" that can be 
plugged into a display monitor to create the equivalent of desktop 
computer. The box will sell for $329. 


The latest Chromebook and new Chromebox will be available online only, 
beginning in the U.S. on Tuesday, followed by a Wednesday release in the 
United Kingdom. The products will go on sale in brick-and-mortar stores 
for the first time in still-to-be-determined Best Buy locations next 
month. 











The expansion beyond Internet-only sales signals Google’s determination to 
attract a mass audience to its Chromebooks, just as it’s done with 
smartphones running on its Android software. More than 300 million mobile 
devices have been activated on Android since the software’s 2008 release. 


Without providing specifics, Pichai said several other computer 

manufacturers will release Chromebooks later this year. Google plans to 
back the expanded line of Chromebooks with a marketing blitz during the 
holiday shopping season in November and December. 





One reason Google is confident Chromebooks will eventually catch on is 
because the Chrome Web browser has attracted so many fans in less than 
four years on the market. The company says more than 200 million people 
worldwide currently are using the Chrome browser. 











Like other laptop and desktop computers, the Chromebooks will have to 
contend with the accelerating shift to the iPad and other tablets. The 
iPad 2, an older version of Apple’s tablet line, sells for as little as 
$399, undercutting the new Chromebook. Other low-cost tablets are expected 
to hit the market later this year. One of them might even be made by 
Motorola Mobility, a device maker that Google bought for $12.5 billion 
earlier this month. Google so far hasn’t commented on Motorola’s future 
plans for the tablet market. 











The new Chromebooks also are hitting the market at a time when some 
prospective computer buyers may be delaying purchases until they can check 
out machines running on Windows 8, a makeover of Microsoft’s operating 
system that is expected to be released in September or October. Microsoft 
designed Windows 8 so it can be controlled through touch as well as 
keyboards. That versatility is expected to inspire the creation of hybrid 
machines that are part laptop, part tablet. 











Microsoft Releases Final Test Version of Windows 8 


Microsoft is nearly done with a much-anticipated overhaul of its Windows 
operating system. 

The software maker signaled the makeover is nearly complete with 
Thursday’s release of the final test version of Windows 8. 





Windows 8 is considered to be the biggest change in decades to Microsoft’s 
widely used operating system. The software displays applications ina 
mosaic of tiles and has been designed so it can run desktop, laptop and 
tablet computers. 





PC sales have slowed in the U.S. as consumers delay replacements and 
instead buy mobile devices such as smartphones and tablet computers. The 
versatility of Windows 8 is expected to spawn a new generation of 
computers that are part laptop, part tablet. 


The latest test version of Windows 8 is available in 14 languages and 
includes several improvements from a less-refined version released three 
months ago. The upgrades include more ways to connect to other Microsoft 
services, more security controls and more touch-screen features. 


Microsoft Corp. hasn’t announced when Windows 8 will go on sale yet. Most 
industry analysts expect the software will be available in September or 
October. 








With Windows 8 looming, more prospective computer buyers may delay their 
purchases until the new operating system is available. 


Microsoft is trying to discourage procrastination with a special promotion 
that begins Saturday in the U.S., Canada and more than 120 other markets. 
The program allows buyers of computer running on Windows 7 to upgrade to 
Windows 8 Pro, when it’s available, for $14.99. Microsoft hasn’t announced 
other prices. 


Mitt Romneys Official iPhone App Misspells America 


It looks like the Republican candidate is running for President of 
"Amercia" 


After President Obama won his first election with help from effective 
social media campaigns, Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney has been doing 
his best to appear at the forefront of modern technology as well. 
Unfortunately, while Romney has a bustling presence on both Facebook and 
Twitter, his campaign’s recently launched official iPhone app called 
"With Mitt" has one major problem: It misspells "America." 








Where is "Amercia?"After downloading the free app which does little more 
than overlay some pre-approved text graphics over your own photos, and 
then ask for campaign contributions the very first screen that is 
displayed boldly states "I believe in Amercia." Yes, that’s A-M-E-R-C-I-A, 
rather than America. Social networks are already abuzz with the humorous 
error, and thousands of comments are already flooding Twitter and Facebook 
as both Romney and Obama supporters share a laugh. 








The app has been available for some time now, but has not been taken down 
or corrected at the time of this writing. Perhaps the Republican candidate 
is planning on not only changing how we feel about our nation, but also 
how we spell it. Either way, it’s embarrassing to say the least, 
especially given that the app is meant to be used to spread Romney’s 
message. In this case, it appears that message is "I don’t use 
spellcheck." 








Facebook To Let Users Vote on Privacy Changes 


Facebook is letting its nearly 1 billion users vote on changes to its 
privacy policy. 








The previously announced changes include new sections explaining how it 
uses people’s information. The updates also reflect recently added 
features such as a new profile format called Timeline. 





The new policy also opens up the possibility for Facebook to start showing 
people ads on outside websites, targeting the pitches to interests and 
hobbies that users express on Facebook. 


The voting period starts Friday and runs through next week. The company 
had announced the changes in May, a week before its initial public 
offering of stock. Facebook’s highly anticipated IPO landed with a thud, 
closing just 23 cents above its $38 offering price on its first trading 
day. The stock has declined another 26 percent in the two weeks since 
then. 


This is the second time Facebook Inc. is letting users vote on policy 
changes. The first time was in 2009 when Facebook was a much smaller, 
privately held company with fewer than 200 million users. 





It may be the last time, though. 


Thirty percent of Facebook’s 900 million users, or 270 million people, 
have to vote on the changes for or against to have the process be 
binding. Otherwise, Facebook considers the vote "advisory." 





That will most likely be the case. Facebook’s experiment in democracy 
hasn’t panned out as expected. While thousands of people have left 
comments on Facebook’s proposed changes, “our original intent was to get 
high-quality," and not high-quantity comments, said Erin Egan, Facebook’s 
chief privacy officer of policy. 

















Facebook said it is still interested in getting user feedback on its 
policies, but it is reviewing how best to do so. 


"While our participatory mechanisms may change, our commitment to greater 
transparency, accountability and responsiveness will not," Facebook vice 
president Elliot Schrage wrote in a blog post. "We will explore ways to 
bring user suggestions and concerns before Facebook’s management." 





To vote: 


http://on.fb.me/IXVN6T 


Judge Considers Idaho Anonymous Comments Lawsuit 


A lawyer for a newspaper website argued Friday that people should be 
allowed to post anonymous comments on its blogs without fear of being 
identified and then sued. 








But a Republican political leader in northern Idaho, who is seeking the 
identities of three individuals who commented anonymously about her, 
argued that she was libeled by a comment and has the right to sue for 
damages. 


District Judge John Luster in Coeur D’Alene said he would rule later on 
whether a subpoena sought by Kootenai County Republican Central Committee 
Chairwoman Tina Jacobson against The Spokesman-Review newspaper should be 
quashed. 





Jacobson is seeking the identities of three commenters, including one who 
suggested in a posting that she might have stolen money from the GOP. 


"We’re here for the rights of people to speak anonymously on the 
Internet," said Duane Swinton, attorney for The Spokesman-Review, based in 
nearby Spokane, Wash. "We’re here as an advocate for First Amendment 
rights." 


The newspaper has refused to turn over information about the commenters in 
a libel lawsuit Jacobson filed in April. 


Jacobson is not suing the newspaper. Instead, she is suing a commenter 


who posts under the name "almostinnocentbystander," saying that handle was 
used to post false statements about her handling of local GOP funds. 


Jacobson alleges that the newspaper is withholding the commenter’s 
identity. 


Attorney Matthew Andersen, representing Jacobson, said his client has the 
right to confront her accuser in court but cannot do so unless the 
newspaper releases the identity. 





"In Idaho, being called a thief is a per se libelous statement," Andersen 
said. "She has been called a thief." 


Andersen opened the hearing by asking if any of the anonymous bloggers 
were in the courtroom and wanted to come forward. No one did. 


According to the lawsuit, the commenter called "almostinnocentbystander" 
stated on the newspaper’s website that Jacobson had $10,000 that was 
missing from the Republican Central Committee. 





The statement posted Feb. 14 prompted inquiries from two other commenters, 
who go by the online handles "Phaedrus" and "OutofStatertater." They 
questioned the substance of the claim. Jacobson’s subpoena also seeks 
their identities as witnesses in the case. 


The original commenter, "almostinnocentbystander," responded to the others 
"with further allegations of missing funds, obstruction of the Republican 
Party Central Committee treasurer’s report and embezzlement," the lawsuit 
said. 








The comments were posted on the newspaper’s blog, Huckleberries Online, 
and were removed shortly after by the blog’s administrator, who noted that 
the comment regarding the missing funds was an "unsubstantiated accusation 
made against a local Republican official," according to court documents. 





Jacobson is seeking damages of at least $10,000 from 
"almostinnocentbystander." The lawsuit also asks a judge to issue a court 
order barring that individual from committing future acts of libel against 
Jacobson. 





Atari Online News, Etc. is a weekly publication covering the entire 
Atari community. Reprint permission is granted, unless otherwise noted 
at the beginning of any article, to Atari user groups and not for 
profit publications only under the following terms: articles must 
remain unedited and include the issue number and author at the top of 
each article reprinted. Other reprints granted upon approval of 
request. Send requests to: dpj@atarinews.org 





No issue of Atari Online News, Etc. may be included on any commercial 
media, nor uploaded or transmitted to any commercial online service or 
internet site, in whole or in part, by any agent or means, without 

the expressed consent or permission from the Publisher or Editor of 
Atari Online News, Etc. 

















Opinions presented herein are those of the individual authors and do 
not necessarily reflect those of the staff, or of the publishers. All 
material herein is believed to be accurate at the time of publishing.