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Volume 14, Issue 32 


Published and Copyright 


Atari Online News, 


Dana P. 


Rob 


Atari Online News, 


Dana P. 

Joe Mirando 
Michael Burkley 
Albert Dayes 
Rob Mahlert 
Thomas J. Andrews 


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A-ONE #1432 08/17/12 
~ Wikileaks Back Online! ~ People Are Talking! ~ Social Media Openness! 
~ EA in Talks To Sell? ~ Supercharge Your Laptop ~ Facebook Stock Drops! 








~ AT&T Attack Temporary! ~ Virus Shuts Down Saudis ~ Twitter’s Medium.com! 
~ Nexus: Poor Man’s iPad ~ Facebook "Owner" Fined! ~ Hacks Are About Money! 


-* Sony Confirms PSN Hack Is Fake *- 
-* Digital Piracy Can Not Be Stopped! *- 
-* Teens and Video Games: How Much Is Too Much *- 





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


TOW TO Tr Wr Wr ee ee oe oe ee ee ee 





Can you believe that, in only a few weeks, we’ll be celebrating Labor Day, 
the unofficial end of summer! Personally, this entire year has been 
nothing less than a blur. And, there’s no clarity in sight with all of 
the personal issues we’re dealing with here. One step forward, a half 
dozen backward. We can’t seem to catch a break. 





But, sometimes one must create their own breaks. So, I’ve taken some 
action with regard to some of our family issues. And, we’re taking a 
week off, for a much-needed rest! Looking forward to it! 


Until next time... 


->In This Week's Gaming Section - Teens and Video Games: How Much Is Too Much? 





TOUT Tr ae Or Oe We ae ee oe ee ae ee oe ee oe ee oe ee ee ee EA in Talks To Sell to Private Equity Firms! 





Sony Confirms PSN Hack Claim Is Fake! 





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


TOUT Tr em Or er ee ee ee ee ee ee 


Teens and Video Games: How Much Is Too Much? 


The gamer community had a near-miss this week in Ohio, when a 15-year-old 
boy collapsed after playing "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3" for up to 
five days straight. 


The Columbus teen was rushed to the hospital with severe dehydration, 
where he recovered, according to a report from TV station WCMH on Aug. 7. 


Players who delve too deeply into their electronic worlds can face various 
health risks, ranging from deep vein thrombosis, or blood clots, to severe 
dehydration. 


For instance, in July, a Taiwanese teenager was found dead after sitting 
for 40 hours in an Internet cafe playing "Diablo 3." At the time, doctors 
speculated he died from a heart attack caused by a blood clot that formed 
during the long session. 


And last summer, a 20-year-old man from the U.K. died from a blood clot 
after spending 12-hour sessions on his Xbox. His father told "The Sun" 
newspaper, "He lived for his Xbox. I never dreamed he was in any danger." 








While these ar xtreme cases, they are a reminder that sitting at a 
computer or console for days, whether it’s for "World of Warcraft" or for 
work, isn’t healthy for anyone. But psychologists who study video games 
and kids say parents needn’t worry about the amount of time spent gaming, 
unless screen time starts to affect school, health or social life. (And, 
of course, a stint of tens of hours gaming is likely to negatively affect 
schoolwork and lead to social woes.) That said, researchers remain 
concerned about the effects of violent content in video games, which have 
been linked by many studies to aggressive behavior. 








These days, screens of one kind or another occupy youth for 50 hours a 
week, a 2010 survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation reports. "It’s a 
full-time job plus 10 hours of overtime, and that’s the average," said 
Douglas Gentile, a psychologist and director of the Media Research Lab at 
Iowa State University. 


Video-gaming consumed nine weekly hours for teens, the Kaiser survey 
found, while a Harris Poll conducted for Gentile during the same period 
reported 13 hours a week spent gaming on computers and consoles. 


While some kids can shoot ’em up for hours, for others, too much time 
gaming leads to poor school performance. Recent studies have finally 
linked the cause and effect, showing that gaming displaces after-school 
academic activities such as homework and reading. A 2010 study from 
researchers at Denison University in Ohio, published in the journal 
Psychological Science, compared two groups of boys that had never owned 
gaming systems. They gave one group a system right away, but withheld 
games from the other group for four months. Boys who received the 
video-game system first had more teacher-reported learning problems and 
significantly lower reading and writing scores than the other boys. 











Problems in school are relatively easy for parents to fix: Limit screen 
time of course, if you can get the controller out of his or her hands. 
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no more than one to two 
hours per day in front of any electronics. 





What’s harder to control is violent content in video games. The Pew 
Research Center reported in 2008 that more than 90 percent of games rated 
as appropriate for children 10 years or older contained violence, 
including games rated "E" for everyone. (Most researchers define violenc 
as the ability of a player to intentionally harm others in a game.) 











Now most researchers will agree that video games can help as well as 


harm. For example, educational games boost learning, and action games can 
improve vision and spatial skills. Video games have also been used 
successfully to teach children self-care skills for asthma and diabetes. 








And then there’s the primary reason people play video games: They’re 
relaxing. Gentile thinks the flickering screen and varying sound levels 
trigger a primitive brain response. "One of the reasons I think we find 
television and video games so relaxing is they provide the attention for 
you. It forces you to orient to the media. You don’t have to work to pay 
attention like you do in [a] classroom lecture," said Gentile. 








But a preponderance of evidence links violent video games to an increase 
in aggressive behavior in teens. The behavior wasn’t violent crime, like 
school shootings, but small yet hurtful offenses like teasing, 
name-calling, rumor-spreading and fist fights. In a review of 130 studies 
of kids and teens, Iowa State University researchers found that violent 
video games increased the likelihood of aggression and decreased empathy. 
The meta-analysis appeared in 2010 in the journal Psychological Bulletin. 











Of course, repeated exposure to violence in any environment has a 
deleterious effect, Gentile noted. "Seeing violence anywhere increases the 
risks that a child might become involved in aggression, whether as a 
perpetrator or a victim," he said. But video games are phenomenal teachers. 
Players get immediate feedback and rewards for punishing competitors. And 
not only do games reward hostility, they train your brain to respond to 
real-life problems with aggression, research indicates. 











In fact, games can prime teens to react to slights with name-calling or 
pushing, instead of choosing to avoid confrontation. "So when I get bumped 
in the hallway, I don’t assume it’s an accident anymore," explained 
Gentile. "What comes to mind first is to retaliate in some way. Those 
aren’t the only options you have, but we never think of them because what 
we see over and over in the media is ’You killed my monster, now you must 
die.’" 











But psychologist Patrick Markey’s research suggests just some teens are 
susceptible to these effects. Markey found people with certain personality 
traits those who are highly neurotic, less agreeable and less 
conscientious are those more likely to become hostile from gaming. The 
2010 study appeared in the journal Review of General Psychology. 





"The truth of the matter is that most people can handle this media, but 
for some people with a select predisposition, these people might be a 
little more aggressive, more prone to an argument here and there," said 
Markey, a professor at Villanova University in Pennsylvania. 














"The most interesting part is there is really no research that suggests 
video games have a different effect than TV or movies. It has empirically 
never been shown," said Markey. "Any media is supposed to engage us 
emotionally, and video games are a form of media, a form of art even." 





EA in Talks To Sell to Private Equity Firms 





Publishing giant EA has apparently been approached by two private equity 
firms about a potential sale. 





Sources close to the New York Post have claimed that the company was 





approached by private equity firms KKR and Providence Equity Partners over 
the possibilty of a purchase, but emphasised that talks are at an early 
stage. 





One source said, "It’s early days," but another added that EA has "made it 
known they’d do a deal at $20 a share." EA’s stock has had a tumultuous 
ride so far this year, suffering a 37% drop. When trading closed yesterday 
shares were being sold at $13.09. 





It’s a difficult economic time right now, and many videogame companies 
have experienced similar stock falls to EA thanks to increased interest in 
casual and social games. With a third of the company’s value disappearing 
so far this year though, it’s unsurprising that potential buyers are being 
sought. 





A possible reason for this is the current uncertainty regarding Star Wars: 
The Old Republic and its free-to-play future; the most expensive videogame 
ever made with a rumoured cost of around $200 million recently announced 
it was abandoning its subscription fee, less than a year after launching. 


But what does this mean for the average gamer? At the moment, nothing. 
This hasn’t been confirmed and even the claims state that any deal is 
still a long way off. But what is interesting to consider is the fact that 
Providence Equity Partners is a major shareholder in Bethesda’s parent 
company, Zenimax. As a result, it’s certainly a story worth keeping an 

eye on. 





Sony Confirms PSN Hack Claim Is Fake 


Update 4: Sony has given IGN the following statement: 


"Weve confirmed that the recent claim that PlayStation Network was 
illegally hacked and that customer passwords and email addresses were 
accessed is completely false." 











All is well! 





Update 3: Anonymous has deleted the Tweet claiming that it hacked the PSN. 
You can see the image of the Tweet as it existed in the original story 
below. 


We’re still waiting to hear back from Sony, but the removal of the Tweet 
is probably all the confirmation we need that this was fake. We’ll update 
with any further developments if and when they occur. 











Update 2: While this shouldn’t be counted as an official comment from 
Sony, Shane Bettenhausen -- EGM and 1Up alum who now works for Sony’s 
PlayStation-centric business development Tweeted the following: 








We’re still waiting for official comment from Sony, but in the meantime, 
file Mr. Bettenhausen’s comment as further confirmation that all is well. 


Update: Kotaku points out that the document of leaked data linked to in 
the Twitter account appears to be identical to one posted on the Internet 


back in March. 


This suggests that PSN - and the data therein - is safe, though we’re 


still waiting to hear back from Sony for confirmation and will update when 
we hear back. 





Infamous hacking group Anonymous claims to have hacked the PlayStation 
Network again. The following was posted on Twitter: 





The group linked to a lengthy document of the data they purportedly mined, 
including e-mail addresses and what appears to be other encrypted 
information. 





It’s important to keep in mind that this is totally unconfirmed. It’s also 
worth noting that PlayStation Network is still up, so if this is real, it 
was a data leak and hasn’t led to an outage (at least at this point). 








Weve reached out to Sony for comment and will update when we hear back. 


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





Digital Piracy Cannot Be Stopped 


From the early days of IRC to the creation of The Pirate Bay, online 
piracy has grown from a minor annoyance perpetrated by an underground 
community to a mainstream issue that impacts several industries. Internet 
savvy users originally shared music and videos with one another through a 
string of underground chatrooms, however with the rise of video-sharing 
website YouTube, it has become increasingly easy to watch or listen to 
copyrighted material on the Web for free. While Google (GOOG) does its 
best to remove infringing content, throughout the years users have found 
various techniques that allow them to bypass the Internet giants search 
and destroy tools, and keep their videos online for millions to see. 
YouTube and similar sites are only the tip of the iceberg, however. 











Each day more and more users are turning to peer-to-peer file-sharing 
websites that use the BitTorrent protocol, the most popular being The 
Pirate Bay. These websites offer users the opportunity to download 
millions of movies, music, games and software with a simple click of the 
button. For years, the United States government has attempted to shut down 
pirate websites, however it isnt that simple and online pirates always 
seem to be one step ahead of the authorities. 











Even as popular services like Demonoid and Megaupload are shuttered, 
users will find new places to download pirated content. 


As Nick Bilton of the The New York Times notes, stopping online piracy is 
like playing the worlds largest game of Whac-A-Mole. In the arcade 

version of Whac-A-Mole, the gam ventually ends often when the player 
loses. Bilton wrote. In the piracy arms-race version, there doesnt seem 

to be a conclusion. Sooner or later, the people who still believe they can 
hit the moles with their slow mallets might realize that their time would 











be better spent playing an entirely different game. 


AT&T Says Attack Temporarily Cut Internet Access 


AT&T Inc said some business customers temporarily lost internet access 
because its network was targeted by unknown attackers on Wednesday. 


Company spokesman Mark Siegel said that domain name system, or DNS, 
servers that direct traffic for AT&T customers were targeted at two 
locations by a distributed denial of service attack. 


In such attacks perpetrators target a server with a lot of requests at 
the same time, making it unavailable to users. 


The issue has now been resolved, he said. 


Saudi Aramco Says Virus Shuts Down Its Computer Network 


Saudi Arabian Oil Co (Saudi Aramco) said its computer systems had been shut 
down by a virus late on Wednesday, but it added that production had not 
been affected. 


"An official source of Saudi Aramco confirmed that it had isolated 
electronic systems for the entire company today and cut off external 
access as an early precaution," said a statement in Arabic from the 
company. 





The world’s biggest oil company said that although the virus affected some 
computers, it did not penetrate key components of the network, which it 
said would return to normal operating mode soon. 


"The source ... reiterated the lack of any effect at all on the work of 
production due to the strength of advanced protection systems," the 
statement added. 


Rumors had spread among traders earlier on Wednesday that the state-owned 
company had been subjected to a hacking attack. 


WikiLeaks Resumes Operations After Massive Cyberattack 


A hacker group calling itself "AntiLeaks" took credit for the attacks 
against WikiLeaks on Twitter, claiming it targeted the website because of 
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s ongoing efforts to seek political 
asylum in Ecuador. 








We are not doing this to call attention to ourselves," @antileaks said 
in an extended tweet. 


"We are young adults, citizens of the United States of America and are 
deeply concerned about the recent developments with Julian Assange and 
his attempt at aslyum [sic] in Ecuador. Assange is the head of a new 








breed of terrorist. We are doing this as a protest against his attempt 

to escape justice into Ecuador. This would be a catalyst for many more 
like him to rise up in his place. We will not stop and they will not stop 
us. 








DDoS attacks work by targeting heavy amounts of bogus traffic at a 
website’s host server in hopes of overloading it and forcing it offline. 
They’ re among the most common form of cyberattacks. 


AntiLeaks claimed it had no relationship to the United States or other 
governments considered enemies of WikiLeaks. However, that hasn’t stopped 
ongoing speculation that the attack was a response to WikiLeaks’ posting 
of documents related to TrapWire, a counterterrorism surveillance system 
that collects and analyzes footage from security cameras and license plate 
readers. 











Details about TrapWire were discovered in emails from security intelligence 
firm Stratfor acquired by Anonymous and leaked by WikiLeaks earlier this 
year. Some observers immediately labeled it a secret digital surveillance 








effort that’s in use around the world, though recent reports have cast 
doubt on several of the more audacious claims made about the system. 





WikiLeaks’ documents regarding TrapWire are now back online. 


Nexus 7 Is Great If Youre Too Cheap for An iPad 


Consumer Reports today added Googles Nexus 7 to its tablet rankings and 
concluded that while its probably the best cheap tablet on the market, it 
still cant match the overall quality of the Apple iPad. Overall, the 

Nexus 7 scored a 79 out of 100 and did particularly well in Consumer 
Reportss ratings for both touch response and portability. This gives the 
Nexus 7 vastly superior scores than similarly-priced tablets such as the 
Amazon Kindle Fire and the Barnes & Noble Nook Tablet, which scored 66 and 
65 respectively. 














All that said, Consumer Reports said that the iPad remains the best option 
for users who value having the best overall tablet experience regardless 
of price. 





With its bigger, excellent Retina display and a still-unmatched app 
store, the iPad still has the edge over the Nexus 7, wrote Consumer 
Reportss Donna L. Tapellini in a blog post. But if you want a tablet in 
a smaller package for a lot less money, the Nexus 7 is worth thinking 
about. 





5 Ways to Supercharge Your Laptop For Under $100 


Whether you have a 4-year-old notebook or a shiny new system you bought 
yesterday, you can dramatically improve your PCs performance and 
productivity value for less than the cost of a nice dinner out. For less 
than $100, you can purchase your choice of significant hardware upgrades 
that will allow you to get more done in less time and put off buying a 
new system for several more years. 


1. Upgrade to SSD ($80 to $100) 


There is no single upgrade that will improve your digital life more than 
going from a standard hard drive to an Solid State Drive (SSD). If youre 
still using a 7,200 rpm or (gasp) 5,400 rpm drive, youre wasting precious 
seconds of your life every time you boot, open a file or a launch a 
program. Instead of twiddling your thumbs while the old-fashioned 
turnable-like head spins inside your hard drive, you can be up and running 
in your favorite programs, including heavy applications like Photoshop, 

in just a few seconds. 





When we took a 5-year-old Dell Latitude D630 running Windows Vista on a 
2.4-GHz Core 2 Duo CPU and tested it with both its original 7,200-rpm hard 
drive and a speedy Kingston HyperX SH100S3 SSD, it felt like we were using 
two different computers. On PCMark Vantage, a synthetic benchmark that 
measures system performance, upgrading to SSD raised the D630’s overall 
score from 3,210 to 4,693 and its HDD score from 2,666 to 16,715. 


In real-world tests, the Latitude D630’s Vista boot time decreased by 
around 20 percent, falling from an average start time of 37.3 seconds to 
31 seconds. When we tested the launch times for five popular applications 
(Photoshop CS5.1 opening to a 400MB TIF, Adobe Reader 10 opening to a 500 
page PDF, Excel 2007 opening to a 20,000 row worksheet, Mozilla Firefox 14 
and Word 2007 opening to a blank document), each program opened about 
three times faster after the SSD upgrade. 





To see how much benefit an SSD provides on a new notebook, we opened some 
of the same applications and timed them on a 3rd Generation Intel Core i7 
notebook, both with a 7,200 rpm 750GB hard drive and the same Kingston 
HyperX SH100S3 SSD. Even with a much newer, faster processor, launch 
times were 2 to 4 times faster after the upgrade. 





Today, you can get a 120 or 128GB SSD for well under $100. A quick glance 
at popular retailers such as NewEgg, Tiger Direct and Amazon shows some 
budget-oriented SSDs like the OCZ Agility 3 selling for under $90 while 
the Samsung 830 Series, the winner of our Fall SSD roundup, can often be 
found on sale for $99 or less. If you require more capacity, you can find 
a 256GB drive for as little as $150. 
































2. Add more RAM ($20 to $40) 


The more RAM your notebook has, the less time it must spend writing to the 
Windows paging file on your hard drive (or SSD) to help make up for a lack 
of a physical memory. Since physical memory is infinitely faster than even 
the fastest SSD, you want to avoid your system needing to use that paging 
file whenever possible. Even better, if you have some memory to spare, you 
can create a RAM disk which will load your favorite programs much faster 
than even a speedy SSD. 





Most of todays notebooks come with 4GB of RAM and moving from 4GB (or 
less) up to 8GB can provide significant performance gains. If you have 
DDR3 memory, the standard type since 2009, an 8GB kits (2 x 4GB DIMMs) 
will cost you $40 or less. 





Since most notebooks have just two slots for RAM and come with both 
filled, youll probably have to remove your existing RAM. However, if you 
do have a free slot, the cost of a 4GB DIMM is around $20. To find out 
what kind of memory your notebook takes, either consult your owners 
manual or visit an online RAM configurator like the one on Crucial 
Memorys home page. Removing and replacing RAM on most notebooks is as 











simple as unscrewing a door on the bottom of the system, popping out the 
old chips and popping the new ones in. 





[To show the benefit of increased memory, we ran PCMark 07, a leading 
synthetic benchmark, on an Intel 3rd Generation Core i7 CPU, with both 4GB 
and 8GB of RAM installed. With 8GB installed, the benchmark returned a 
score of 3,398, about 9 percent higher than the mark or 3,121 it provided 
with 4GB on board. 


We also tried configuring 4 out of the 8GB as a RAM disk, using DataRAMs 
free RAMDisk software. With some of our favorite programs installed on 
the RAM disk, we were able to cut open times in half from what they were 
on a 7,200 rpm hard drive and reduce them even further when we paired th 
RAM Disk with an SSD. 





3. Get an external monitor ($80 to $100) 


You can never be too rich, too thin or have too many pixels on your 
desktop. If youre just relying on your laptops single screen, youre 
slowing yourself down, because you cant fit enough windows on the screen 
at once. 


Just imagine this situation. Youre working on a PowerPoint presentation 
in one window while using data from an Excel sheet thats in another 
window, looking up some facts on the Web in your browser and keeping 
track of your email in a fourth window. Every time you switch windows 
either by hitting ALT tab or by navigating to the task bar youre 
wasting a good 2 seconds and taxing your short-term human memory because 
you have to remember the contents of a window thats now covered over. 











With an external monitor attached, you can add a whole second desktop, 
which can either show one full screen window or two half windows that are 
docked next to each other. These days, you can get an 18.5- or 20-inch 
monitor today for $80 to $100. A quick survey of online retail sites shows 
several 20-inch, 1600 x 900 monitors priced at just under $100 and 
18.5-inchers with 1366 x 768 resolutions starting as low as $80. If youre 
willing to splurge, you can find a 1080p, 22- or 23-inch monitor for well 
under $150. 





If you want a monitor you can take with you on the road, you can find a 
portable, USB-powered monitor such as the 15.6-inch AOC e1649Fwu for 
under $100. However, we prefer the lighter, more portable, but more 
expensive $174 Lenovo ThinkVision LT1421. 





4. Step up to 802.11n Wi-Fi ($10 to $20) 


If your notebook is more than three years old, it may have an older 
802.11g wireless radio, which is significantly slower and less reliable 
than the current 802.11n standard. With 802.11n, you move from a 
theoretical maximum of just 54 Mbps to 150 or 300 Mbps, depending on your 
router and radio. 


While the stepping up from 54 to 150 Mbps probably wont improve Web page 
loads, it will enable you to transfer files a lot faster within your home 
or office network. That means better streaming from your media center, 
better backups to connected storage drives and faster copying of photos to 
and from your family members PCs. If you have an extremely fast fiber 
optic broadband plan such as Verizions 300 Mbps FIOS Quantum, youll see 

a boost in video streaming and file downloads. No matter what youre 


doing, youll also see an increase in range, making it easier to get a 





strong signal when youre further away from the router. 


The good news is that you can get an 802.11n Wi-Fi dongle that plugs into 
one of your USB ports for under $20. For just $10, Rosewills $9.99 
RNX-MiniN1 802.11n dongle offers speeds up to 150 Mbps and is so tiny that 
it looks like one of those nano receivers that come with some wireless 
mice. The $16.99 Rosewill RNX-MiniN2 sticks out a little bit more, but 
offers up to 300 Mbps and is still short enough to stay attached to your 
notebook when you stick it in your bag. If you dont already have an 
802.11n router at home, you can purchase one for as little as $25 for a 
150 Mbps unit or under $50 for a 300 Mbps model. 





To see just how much additional throughput you get from upgrading to 
802.11n, we used the Netperf benchmark to test an old Dell Latitude D630 
laptop with its native 802.11lg Wi-Fi, and then with the Rosewill 
RNX-MiniN1l and the faster Rosewill RNX-MiniN2. Though our results on the 
small file transfer were well below whats theoretically possible even 
with 802.1llg, there was a clear difference in performance between the 
three adapters. 




















5. Get an external battery ($70) 


If your notebook provides over 12 hours of endurance, perhaps you can live 
without more battery life. Whether youre sitting on an airplane or lying 
on the couch, you dont want to have to worry about finding and tethering 
yourself to an outlet. 


Unfortunately, in LAPTOPs tests, the average mainstream notebook 

provides just five and a half hours of endurance at 40 percent brightness. 
Even worse, more and more new systems come with sealed batteries you cant 
replace, so forget about buying an extended unit or carrying a spare. 





However, for around $70, you can purchase an external notebook battery 
such as the $69 Veho Pebble Pro. Ive been using the Pebble Pro for a 
couple of months now and found that the 13,200 mAH battery provides 
another several hours of charge to my notebook while, at just 14 ounces, 
barely adding any weight to my bag. Because the battery comes with 10 
different connectors, it works with nearly any brand of PC notebook on the 
market and is able to charge a phone or tablet at the same time. 





Mac users can opt for pricier Hyperjuice Mini external battery, which 
retails for $169. 


Judge Fines Man in Facebook Case 





THE RULING: A federal judge again ordered the release of a letter that 
Facebook says can help prove that a man’s lawsuit claiming half ownership 
of the multibillion-dollar company is a fraud. 














HE FINES: The judge also fined the man and his attorney for not giving 
the letter to Facebook’s lawyers when told to twice before. 




















HE LETTER: Facebook says the letter from the Kasowitz, Benson, Torres & 
Friedman law firm informs two other law firms that once represented the 
man, Paul Ceglia, that it is withdrawing from the case based on a finding 
that the contract is a fake. 














2012 Conventions 


Embrace Social Media Openness 


Democrats and Republicans are using social media to turn their national 


conventions away from the smoke-fil 
where anyone who wants to get invol 
where they are. 


Both parties’ 
that played a much smal 
Republicans call theirs 
say their gathering will 


ler role in 
a 














Democrats will not just show prime- 
also stream caucus meetings and the council 
party’s platform and ideals over the Web. Repub] 


will 











full 
nothing but engage people online. 





The conventions’ 
in the events, 





interact with a mouse click, 
convention Twitter feed 


had more than 10,000 fol 





Social media was still in its infancy four years ago. 





posted on Twitter on 


of tweets today, the social 





start from scratch in devel 
Twitter, YouTube, 





In 2008, 
their convention. Now, 
"Social Media War Room" 


Republican National Convention spo 
"Our goal is to leverage these tec 


whether they are in Toledo, Ohio, 
forward operating base in Afghanis 


Democrats will have a similar setup at their convention Sept. 


Charlotte. (Republicans meet a wee 


"We’re able to expand it even furt 


"convention without wall 
be "the most open and accessible in history." 


Facebook and Twitter sites are al 
with photos of the Republ 
Tampa or profiles of Democratic volunteers and del 


hnol 


tan," 


Lled rooms of yore and into meetings 
lved is just a click away, no matter 





ambitious plans reflect the maturation of social media sites 


the conventions four years ago. The 
ls," while the Democrats 





time speeches live on the Internet, but 
discussions of the 


licans have hired a 





-time blogger and a full-time digital communications manager to do 


lready stoking interest 
lican stage under construction in 
legates. Users can 





such as one who urged friends to help the GOP 
muster more foll 
llowers Friday. 





lowers than its counterpart. Both 


The number of items 


Election Day 2008 is equal to about six minutes worth 
media company recently wrote on its blog. 


The dramatic changes in social media have required both parties to almost 
loping strategies for incorporating Facebook, 
Instagram and Flickr into their conventions. 


Republicans hired a web vendor to handle all things Internet for 
there’s a dedicated social media team with its own 

in the Tampa Convention Center. 
biggest push through the Internet will 


The party’s 
come through videos on YouTube, 


kesman James Davis said. 





logies, to reach every American, 
he convention floor in Tampa or a 
"he said. 


4-6 in 


k earlier in Tampa.) 


her and invite the whole country to 


participate in a more interactive way then you might traditionally 


experience by tuning into a television," 





digital media for the 2012 Democra 


said Nikki Sutton, director of 


ic Convention. 


And those planning protests are using the Internet to get organized, too. 


The March on Wall 
Charlotte to rall 


Street South, 
y against big busi 











which plans to bring thousands to 


ness and economic inequality, has a 





website, Facebook page and Twitter 


account. 


Organizers hope to use the Web to direct people to sites in more than a 


dozen states where they can take buses to Charlotte to join in the various 
protests during the week. 


Social media is allowing modern-day campaigns and political parties to get 
their messages out unfiltered. That’s especially useful as broadcasters 
and newspapers have drastically reduced the amount of air time and space 
they devote to conventions. 


Convention organizers will use social media to emphasize themes that might 
get lost in the traditional media’s limited coverage, said Daniel Kreiss, 
an assistant professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 
journalism school who authored a book about the use of new media from 
former presidential candidate Howard Dean to President Barack Obama. 





"There’s just not a lot of convention coverage that is going to be offered 
by the major networks, and this becomes a way that individual figures’ 
speeches get publicity," Kreiss said. 


Social media is increasingly allowing parties to control their message 
and spreading those key messages through an online network of "friends" 
may allow them to create a sense of credibility, Kreiss said. It will be 
"Viewed as more credible and more authentic" than less-personal media 
coverage. 











The candidates’ overall campaigns are also ratcheting up efforts to reach 
voters online. A report released Wednesday by the Pew Research Center 
found that President Barack Obama’s campaign was more active than 
Republican Mitt Romney’s on the digital front. 


The group’s Project for Excellent in Journalism analyzed both campaigns’ 
efforts between June 4-17 and found Obama’s team posted almost four times 
as much content during the period and maintained an active presence on 
almost twice as many platforms. But Romney’s campaign said his Facebook 
page has more people who share or comment on his posts. 





Of course, the only metric that matters will be votes in November, and 
both campaigns and their parties think social media will be critical to 
get their voters excited enough to go to the polls. 


Democrats have already released a smartphone app that provides one place 
for videos, blog posts and photos. The app also includes an interactive 
map to help visitors to Charlotte find convention locations or 
restaurants. 


Their convention Facebook site has been running posts spotlighting 
different delegates and volunteers from across the country for months. 
Its Flickr page included more than 150 photos from people who printed out 
a special "I’m There" logo and had their pictures made with it, promising 
to either be in Charlotte or to follow the convention online. One person 
holding up his sign on the site is Vice President Joe Biden. 


On the GOP convention’s Facebook page, a posting showed a picture of 
lighting rigs inside the Tampa Bay Times Forum and said: "The lights are 
on and we only have 17 more days to go! Are you ready to nominate the next 
President of the United States?? The entry had more than 360 "likes" and 
400 comments on Wednesday afternoon. 





The Democrats used Twitter to invite more than a dozen followers on a tour 
in July. They got to see Time-Warner Arena, where most of the convention 


is taking place the first week in September, and the city’s football 





stadium, where Obama will give his acceptance speech. 


For Rashon Carraway, the tour was a dream come true. He sells men’s 
clothes online, but the political science major in college hasn’t 
forgotten his first love. 


T 





This was a great opportunity for me to get an up close and personal look 
at something I am passionate about, and I have always wanted to do," said 
Carraway. 


He plans to attend as many convention events as he can using his 
cellphone to make online posts. 


And it’s just not the parties and protesters who have an interactive 
strategy. 


Donna Chen, the director of marketing and communications for the Tampa 
Downtown Partnership said more than 15 tourism and convention groups are 
setting up their own "Social Media Command Center" for the convention. 


Tampa Bay and Co., the area’s tourism and marketing agency, is coordinating 
the effort. They’1ll use the hashtag "TampaBay" to curate the posts. 


Chen said about 50 local experts will monitor and interact with people 
online. They will staff the center and answer questions about the area 
from people in town for the convention for instance, "where’s a good 
Italian restaurant?" or "What’s the closest beach to downtown Tampa?" 





Twitter Co-founders Create Online Publishing Site 





A website launched by Twitter co-founders as a publishing platform for 
stories, memories and news was open Wednesday to members of the hit 
one-to-many text messaging service. 





A preview version of Medium.com, launched by Biz Stone and Evan Williams, 
was live with collections such as "This Happened to Me" stories and "When 
I Was a Kid" pictures. 


"We’re rethinking publishing and building a new platform from scratch," 
Williams said in a message on the site. 


"Lots of services have successfully lowered the bar for sharing 
information, but there’s been less progress toward raising the quality of 
what’s produced." 





"While it’s great that you can be a one-person media company, it’d be even 
better if there were more ways you could work with others." 


Stone and Williams are building the platform through their Obvious 
Corporation, an enterprise named for the notion that many great ideas seem 
"obvious" in retrospect. 





"We believe publishing, and media much more broadly, is important... It’s 
easy to forget this given how much pointless and destructive media is in 
the world," Williams said. 











"But there’s also more great stuff than ever before - and we haven’t even 


scratched the surface of what our smart devices and our networks that 
connect most of the planet might enable." 


Reading Medium posts was open to anyone with a Twitter account, but 
posting was initially limited to an invitation-only group that Williams 
promised would expand rapidly to include those who register. 


Google: An Update to Our Search Algorithms 


We aim to provide a great experience for our users and have developed over 
200 signals to ensure our search algorithms deliver the best possible 
results. Starting next week, we will begin taking into account a new 
signal in our rankings: the number of valid copyright removal notices we 
receive for any given site. Sites with high numbers of removal notices may 
appear lower in our results. This ranking change should help users find 
legitimate, quality sources of content more easilywhether its a song 
previewed on NPRs music website, a TV show on Hulu or new music streamed 
from Spotify. 








Since we re-booted our copyright removals over two years ago, weve been 
given much more data by copyright owners about infringing content online. 
In fact, were now receiving and processing more copyright removal notices 
every day than we did in all of 2009more than 4.3 million URLs in the last 
30 days alone. We will now be using this data as a signal in our search 
rankings. 


Only copyright holders know if something is authorized, and only courts can 
decide if a copyright has been infringed; Google cannot determine whether a 
particular webpage does or does not violate copyright law. So while this 
new signal will influence the ranking of some search results, we wont be 
removing any pages from search results unless we receive a valid copyright 
removal notice from the rights owner. And well continue to provide 
"counter-notice" tools so that those who believe their content has been 
wrongly removed can get it reinstated. Well also continue to be 

transparent about copyright removals. 














Facebook Falls to Half of Public Offering Price 


Facebook’s stock fell to $19 for the first time on Friday, losing half its 
market value since the company’s initial public offering in May. 


The stock dipped 87 cents, or 4 percent, to briefly hit $19, just minutes 
before it closed the trading day at $19.05. Facebook’s shares ended the 
week down nearly 13 percent. 


Facebook hit the $19 milestone a day after the expiration of a lock-up 
period that had previously prevented some early investors and insiders 
from selling their shares. Stakeholders who owned a combined 271 million 
Facebook shares before 1 





Thursday can now sell their holdings. 


A breakdown of just how many major Facebook Inc. shareholders sold their 
stock this week won’t be available until next week at the earliest, when 
sellers must disclose such transactions. 


Facebook’s stock has struggled since the company’s mid-May IPO. It closed 
its first day of trading barely above its initial offering price of $38. 
It has been below that level since. 





The stock has been down on 38 trading days, up on 25 days and unchanged on 
one since its initial public offering. 


Investors have been concerned about the social network’s ability to 
increase revenue and make money from its growing mobile audience. Many 
analysts, however, hold positive opinions of the company’s long-term 
prospects. 


Former Hacker: Today’s Hacks Are All About the Money 


Hackers have changed since the days of The Matrix. While most hackers used 
to hold iconoclastic ideals, with aspirations to "shock the system" for a 

perceived common good, today’s hacker/cracker community is more concerned 

with making a quick buck. 


At least that’s how Mike Calce, the former hacker known as /mafiaboy,’ 
sees things. Calce says he still has contact with some of the people he 
used to know in the hacker community, and while many of them are still 
active, their priorities have changed. 


"The hacker motivation has changed immensely," Calce told Mashable in an 
interview. "It’s much more about monetary gain, whereas in my era, it was 
about pushing the status quo." 


Calce’s era was circa 2000, when he pulled off major denial-of-service 
attacks on several major tech companies, including Amazon, Dell, Yahoo, 
eBay and CNN - all when he was 15 years old. Calce was eventually caught 
and arrested for the attacks, serving eight months in a "group facility," 
he says. 








After doing his time, Calce laid low for years, but now he works as a 
digital security consultant and keynotes at IT conferences. He wrote a 
book about his experiences in 2008, Mafiaboy: How I Cracked the Internet 
and Why It’s Still Broken. 


I asked Calce what he thought motivated hackers such as the ones that 
infamously hacked Wired writer Mat Honan, who claimed they wanted to get 
access to his three-character Twitter handle. Calce couldn’t see a clear 
financial reason for that particular hack, but he said that’s often the 
case. 





"There’s a lot of reasons people hack Twitter accounts," he said. "Some are 
into skewing data to their advantage. A lot of hacks dont even look like 
there is monetary gain involved, but normally that’s the alterior motive." 


With the shift from mischief-making to financial motives, the risk has 

shifted as well. Whereas 10 years ago hacking was more of a danger to large 
companies with big online operations, the risk today to individuals is much 
greater, Calce says. 





He cautions individuals to take basic security precautions like setting up 
a two-way firewall on their computers, turning Bluetooth off (on phones 
and PCs) when not using the feature and keeping a close eye on what sort 


of data and information they put online. Password managers are a good idea, 
too, since Calce says hackers still use "brute force" techniques, which 
often work on weak passwords. 


However, in Honan’s case he was using a password manager, and hackers 
instead slipped through the holes in various companies’ security 
procedures, resetting passwords to accounts over the phone by calling 

their tech-support departments. Calce says many companies - especially big 
ones — don’t invest nearly enough money in security. 





"Sometimes if you don’t find a way in electronically, you find a hole 
through a human being," he says. "[Companies] don’t budget enough for 
security. The IT department is often in charge, and they might not be 
looking at the how the company handles phone calls or the screening 
process for personnel." 


Predictably, Calce suggests companies contract third-party security 
consultants to find the holes in their security, but it’s tough to 
disagree with him. It took a high-profile hack like Honan’s to prompt 
Apple and Amazon to re-examine their security procedures. 





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