GeoHot Addresses PSN Security Breach

Renowned hacker and former Sony target George Hotz (GeoHot) wrote an insightful and interesting blog post on the PlayStation Network security breach. Before he really gets going, he made it clear that he had nothing to do with the attack. Although he’s a proud hacker, he’s not the kind that engages in identity theft. He also feels that Sony spent too much time and money having lawyers go after hackers instead of firming up PSN security. Here’s an excerpt:

To anyone who thinks I was involved in any way with this, I’m not crazy, and would prefer to not have the FBI knocking on my door. Running homebrew and exploring security on your devices is cool, hacking into someone elses server and stealing databases of user info is not cool. You make the hacking community look bad, even if it is aimed at douches like Sony.

Also, let’s not fault the Sony engineers for this, the same way I do not fault the engineers who designed the BMG rootkit. The fault lies with the executives who declared a war on hackers, laughed at the idea of people penetrating the fortress that once was Sony, whined incessantly about piracy, and kept hiring more lawyers when they really needed to hire good security experts. Alienating the hacker community is not a good idea.

I highly recommend reading the entire post. There’s lots of great stuff in there and Hotz is in an extremely unique position to provide commentary on Sony.

Source

Coffee Talk #343: Consoles, Personal Information, and You

With Sony’s revelation that user information — including credit card numbers — was compromised when PlayStation Network was hacked, I wanted to get your thoughts on tying your info to your consoles. I know that…

Welcome to Coffee Talk! Let’s start off the day by discussing whatever is on your (nerd chic) mind. Every morning I’ll kick off a discussion and I’m counting on you to participate in it. If you’re not feelin’ my topic, feel free to start a chat with your fellow readers and see where it takes you. Whether you’re talking about videogames, President Obama’s birth certificate, the fate of SETI, or your favorite Britney song, Coffee Talk is the place to do it.

With Sony’s revelation that user information — including credit card numbers — was compromised when PlayStation Network was hacked, I wanted to get your thoughts on tying your info to your consoles. I know that a few of you only make console purchases through gift cards and codes. Those of you that do are looking extra smart this week. For those of you that use your credit cards on PlayStation Network and Xbox Live, are you wary of doing so now?

Personally, I’m not too worried about it. In my limited experience, my banks have been pretty good at alerting me about fraud attempts — if anything, they’ve been overly paranoid. Plus, it’s not like I have money or anything (ha!). In the particular case of PSN, I’m guessing that the hack was a result of Sony’s strong-arm stance against people like GeoHotz. I will, perhaps naively, assume that malice was intended towards Sony Computer Entertainment and not its customers.

Now it’s your turn! How do you feel about the issue? Are you paranoid? Are you carefree? Or somewhere in between?

Today’s Poll: Do You Like Sony Qriocity?

Not that you can currently use it on your PlayStation 3 at the moment (thanks to external intrusions), but I wanted to get your opinions on Sony’s Qriocity service. A unified approach to streaming music, movies, and television sounds great on paper, but there are separate services that do each of these things so well. I know that a lot of you are big on Netflix and some of you use Hulu. Some of you dig Pandora, while a few of you are Slacker or Last FM peeps. Do you think Qriocity can take the place of those services? Or is it just not good enough?

What do you think of Sony's Qriocity service?

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Coffee Talk #342: Sony’s Android Tablet Ambition

Will the combination of PlayStation Suite and Qriocity lead to Sony succeeding in the Android tablet market? That seems to be what the company is banking on. Sony recently announced that it will be releasing…

Welcome to Coffee Talk! Let’s start off the day by discussing whatever is on your (nerd chic) mind. Every morning I’ll kick off a discussion and I’m counting on you to participate in it. If you’re not feelin’ my topic, feel free to start a chat with your fellow readers and see where it takes you. Whether you’re talking about videogames, Iranian terrorists taking over Sizzler steakhouses, currywurst, or Intelligentsia’s Los Inmortales El Salvador: Finca Matalapa Puerta Zapa, Coffee Talk is the place to do it.

Will the combination of PlayStation Suite and Qriocity lead to Sony succeeding in the Android tablet market? That seems to be what the company is banking on. Sony recently announced that it will be releasing two Android tablets later this year — a traditional tablet with a 9.4-inch screen and a funky folding tablet with two 5.5-inch screens. While Sony’s “style” will help these tablets appeal to the masses, it looks like the company is banking on its own services to help differentiate its tablets from the numerous Android manufacturers out there. Will this strategy work?

I need to think about it more, but my initial inclination is that these tablets will get lost in the shuffle. On the hardware side, a folding tablet doesn’t have the wow factor of 3D (LG G-Slate) or the practicality of a laptop dock (Asus Transformer). On the software and services side, Sony looks silly compared to Amazon and its aggressive Android moves. I know loads of people that love Amazon’s MP3 Store and several that love Amazon Instant Video. I don’t know anyone that thinks highly of Qriocity. PlayStation Suite has lots of potential and I’d love for it to take off, but a few sources within Sony have told me that the product is getting the bastard treatment internally.

What do you think of Sony’s Android tablet future? Will its slick industrial design, PlayStation Suite, and Qriocity help it rise above the competition? Or will Sony’s products end up being one of several Android tablets released in 2011? Leave a comment and let me know (please!).

What Caused the PlayStation Network Outage?

The recent PlayStation Network outage is pissing off millions of gamers. What caused (arguably) the biggest outage in PSN history? Some believe that the hackers at Anonymous have attacked Sony. Others believe that it’s merely a really bad technical malfunction. What do you think? Kindly take today’s poll and discuss!

The PlayStation Network outage was caused by...

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This Week’s Videogame Releases

After a few lackluster weeks, Q2 2011 finally gets some hot videogame releases! Portal 2 and Mortal Kombat top the list. Flying under the radar is SOCOM 4. The PSP gets a spruced up version of one of the best Final Fantasy games of all time along with sequel content in Final Fantasy IV: The Complete Collection.

Any of you picking up new games this week?

Today’s Poll: Gaming or Phoning While on the Toilet

Today’s poll was inspired by RPadholic Sandrock323. He mentioned that he never uses his Nintendo DS while…uh…making a deposit in the bathroom. He believes that his DS is too sacred. Do you agree? Is it okay to play some DS or PSP while doing the #2? How about web browsing on your Android phone or iOS device? Kindly take today’s poll and elaborate (hopefully not in a gross way) in the comments section.

Do you play games or use your cell phone while on the toilet?

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This Week’s Videogame Releases

While it’s not quite as bone dry as last week, there aren’t a ton of interesting games out this week. I’m curious to see how Michael Jackson: The Experience sells. The King of Pop is gone (rest in peace), but his family is still around to exploit his name. I wonder if Michael’s millions of fans will pick this game up. PSP gamers have a nice sequel (that’s free of Jesus juice) to gobble up this week in Patapon 3.

Any of you guys and gals buying new games this week?

Check Out my Review of The 3rd Birthday (Please!)

Machinima.com has posted my review of The 3rd Birthday. As a Parasite Eve fan and a fan of developers working on this game, I was expecting greatness. Instead I got…uh…goodness. Aside from amazing graphics, there’s nothing all that special about the game and it has little to do with its predecessors. Here’s a quote from the review:

One of the biggest changes in the game is Aya Brea’s characterization. In the first Parasite Eve, she was a strong NYPD officer that kicked ass and didn’t shove sexuality down your throat. That characterization is completely out the window in The 3rd Birthday. Aya still kicks ass, but due to (convenient) amnesia doesn’t possess the strong spirit she had in the other games. Her clothing also shreds as she incurs damage, so you’ll spend a lot of time staring at her legs and ass. There’s even a shower scene that seems like it was included to titillate gamers with a glimpse of her boobs. Aya is definitely hot (uh…you know, for a videogame character, I mean), but what the hell happened to the strong warrior that captivated gamers in Parasite Eve?!?

I’m quite proud that I was able to use legs, ass, and boobs in a review.

Anyway, please check out my review if you have a moment and leave a comment at Machinima if you have two moments. Thanks!!!

Final Fantasy VII Bundled with U.S. Xperia Play

Huge announcement on the American version of the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play — it will come bundled with Final Fantasy VII!!! I’ve been calling for this move early on. It’s a brilliant way for Sony Ericsson to attract gamers to the Xperia Play and for Sony Computer Entertainment to attract gamers to PlayStation Suite for Android. FFVII is one of the most popular and beloved games of all time. Launching the Xperia Play with Android version is just a sharp, sharp move.

Also, look at today’s date.