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In The News 01-20-2012

In The News 01-20-2012
Your Weekly Update In The World Of Technology


It’s Getting Dark In Here

Wednesday was a big day for many websites protesting the new SOPA and PIPA legislation that is currently going through Congress.  SOPA, or the Stop Online Privacy Act, and PIPA, the Protect IP Act, has many websites worried that the act will essentially “censor the web” and completely shut down numerous sites. (more on SOPA here [1])

You may have noticed some of the Internet’s heavy hitters were “blacked out” on Wednesday.  Google censored its logo with a black bar while providing a link to information on SOPA and PIPA, as well as a call to contact Congress and sign a petition.  Wikipedia, as well as many other sites, have taken it a step further and have completely blacked out for the day.  Each site also includes information on the acts and what the site’s visitors can do.

Besides Google and Wikipedia, other opponents of SOPA and PIPA that participated in the blackout include Reddit, Craigslist, and Wired magazine’s website.  Supporters of the acts include the MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America) as well as major networks ABC, CBS, and ESPN.  Regardless of the fate of SOPA, it is obvious it has completely polarized the Internet.


Atari Is Cool Again (Well, Sorta…)

Raise your hand if you remember the Atari 2600.  The incredible two-dimensional graphics, that wonderful wood grain-like front, and the rather awkward but always awesome joystick with a single red button… sure brings back memories.  Wouldn’t it be awesome to have some of those old school games on your phone?  Well it looks that may just be a reality.

Atari is no adapting to the world of mobile and social gaming.  It has already released “Atari’s Greatest Hits” for the iOS back in 2011 and it found decent success.  Games included were the classics “Centipede”, “Missile Command”, and “Yar’s Revenge”, to name a few.  The greatest hits app has been released to both iOS and Android.  Atari is also giving Asteroids and Breakout a new life by reinventing them into new apps.

The major goal for Atari is to appeal to more than just those that love the classic games.  With a blend of reinvented classics and original ideas, Atari hopes to bring back its relevance not only to the gaming community, but to everyone.


Your Biggest Security Threat Is… Your Shoes?

Like shoes?  Like shopping for shoes?  Okay, so maybe you don’t, but if you were ever a user of Zappos.com, an online retailer of shoes and clothing, your personal information may have been compromised.  According to the company, 24 million customers had anything from names, email addresses, phone numbers, and even partial credit card numbers may have been compromised.

The big fear is that customers’ passwords were exposed, however Zappos assured customers that the passwords were encoded and not fully obtained.  Despite their reassurance, Zappos is still urging customers to change their login information with a large “create a new password button” on its homepage.  They are even suggesting customers change their login info on other sites as well.  They also went on to say that the partial credit card numbers exposed were the last four digits, making it a minimal security risk.