Gamers In China Are Not Interested In Game Consoles


A United States University Has Partnered With A Chinese University To Launch A Technology Institute Next YearThe long wait for video game consoles to be available to the public in China is over.

But it appears that the public may not be that overjoyed by the news.

Microsoft and Sony are poised to start selling their popular video game consoles in the country after a ban on them was lifted.

Both companies are estimated to sell over half a million of their Xbox One and Playstation consoles respectively, but those numbers pale when lumped into global sale tallies for Microsoft and Sony.

Part of the issue is that gamers in China are more prone to play games on mobile devices or personal computers as opposed to games on consoles hooked up to television sets.

Another issue that comes into play is that both Sony and Microsoft were required to associate themselves with a Chinese partner to sell their consoles and games.

Sony teamed up with Shanghai Oriental Pearl Group, and Microsoft partnered with BesTV.

But both of those local partners merged late last year.

Game publishers have also seen some obstacles as government regulators are slow to approve a heavy amount of games due to their internal codes regarding offensive content.

At present, 31 titles have been approved by the government with 20 titles pending.

Christopher A. Smith


18 Million Social Security Numbers Were Leaked In The Recent Government Hack


Cyberthreat Sharing Bill Approved By CongressThe United States Office of Personnel Management revealed during congressional hearings on Monday that they feel that 18 million people may have had their Social Security numbers exposed as part of a massive cyberattack in the past few weeks.

As first reported earlier this month, hackers believed to be aligned with the Chinese government gained illegal access to servers that contained sensitive information for every employee of the federal government.

That information was later revealed to include Social Security numbers, which was covered soon after on this website.

Standing before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, the director of the OPM spoke to this particular part of the breach.

“The 18 million refers to a preliminary, unverified and approximate number of unique social security numbers in the background investigations data,” said Katherine Archuleta.

Further testimony from the chief information office, Donna Seymour, stated that the hackers also took manuals on the department which included manuals on the government servers themselves.

The head of the committee, Utah Republican Representative Jason Chaffetz, voiced his displeasure with Archuleta’s testimony, blaming her for failing to disclose the full impact of the attacks and calling for her to resign.

“As the head of the agency, Ms. Archuleta is—in fact—statutorily responsible for the security of the OPM network and managing any related risk.” he said during the proceedings.

The OPM has taken great measures since the attack to bolster their online  security in a 23 step that includes mandatory cybersecurity training and more sturdy firewalls.

Christopher A. Smith


State Department Computer Glitch Holds Up Visa Application Processing


2000px-Simple_Monitor_Icon.svgTravelers around the globe have been left stranded due to a sustained computer glitch that is unresolved, according to a press statement issued by the U.S. State Department.

The statement, released on Monday, revealed that the computer issue was related to biometric data and a hardware glitch.

As a result, officials couldn’t process fingerprint checks and transmit them.

They were also unable to process photographs for background security checks.

It has been determined that there was no malicious intent behind the glitch, and that it was not linked to a shutdown caused by software last year.

The delay is expected to last into next week. Department spokesperson John Kirby said, “More than 100 computer experts from both the private and public sectors across the United States are working on this.”

The State Department did manage to issue 1,500 priority visas for humanitarian purposes along with over 1,000 temporary visas for Mexican farm workers.

But they were among the lucky ones – many more are left to wait while the situation gets resolved.

The United States reportedly receives 50,000 visa applications daily.

Among the affected was the world-renowned musician from Nigeria, King Sunny Ade who was forced to abandon a planned tour of the States.

Christopher A. Smith


California Is Using The Internet To Control Water Consumption


Water_texture_1390020_NevitIn the midst of one of the worst droughts that the state of California has experienced on record, officials are turning to the Internet to help out with water conservation efforts – and not in the way you might expect.

Utilities companies in the state are now using smart meters that will aid in enforcing water consumption restrictions that were put in place due to the extreme drought.

The smart meters are being installed at residences and businesses that have been reported for water consumption violations.

The meters then capture just how much water they’re using in real time, and if they get outside of the consumption limits, they are then hit with fines.

While the meters have been relatively successful, they are limited in number.

The state doesn’t have the infrastructure that is comprised of data centers mainly to install and monitor high amounts of the meters statewide.

But it hasn’t stopped some areas from trying to work around that issue.

Case in point?

The city of Long Beach has enlisted the T2 smart meter provider, who utilize battery-powered meters to save energy and also use Verizon’s cellular network for monitoring.

Christopher A. Smith


New Apple TV Box Will Not Be Revealed At WWDC


New Apple TV Service PlannedIf you were looking to find out more about the new Apple TV box at their conference next week, prepare to be disappointed.

The much-anticipated move was shelved by Apple after months of speculation and days before the Worldwide Developers Conference to be held on June 8th.

Many were looking to see what changes Apple had made to the device, and to also see what the company had in store in relation to a new Web television service they are looking to launch.

That latter product will also not see any light at WWDC.

The word from sources close to the company cite that higher-ups chose to delay the news and instead focus on working out the technological and financial details involved with both products.

There are those who feel that Apple may not deliver on a Web TV service until next year at this rate, but Apple has pulled back on releasing information before only to spring it on the public in more opportune moments.

Christopher A. Smith


Beats Pill XL Speakers Recalled Due To Overheating Risk


Los Angeles School District To Apple: Give Us Our Money Back!For anyone who owns the Beats Pill XL Speakers, Apple would like you to refrain from using them immediately.

Apple issued a voluntary recall of the speakers on Wednesday, citing instances that saw the speakers’ battery overheat and cause a fire hazard.

While they claim that these situations where this occurred were rare, (eight cases among over 200,000 sold in the United States and Canada) they are still offering a refund to those customers who return the product.

Those seeking a refund have to go to a special website and fill out a form to receive a box with postage paid to return the Pill XL Speakers.

Once Apple receives them, customers should expect an electronic payment worth $325 or opt to get store credit.

Apple will not accept returns in any of their stores.

The refund credit is more than the original retail price of the speakers, which was $299 – which is possibly a way for Apple to settle the matter quickly as they prepare for the WWDC event on June 8th, where more news involving Beats Music may be announced.

Apple acquired the music electronics company in 2014.

Christopher A. Smith


GameStop To Acquire ThinkGeek


GameStop To Acquire ThinkGeekIf you’re an avid fan of the hip and nerdishly cool website ThinkGeek, the latest news concerning its new collaboration may be of some interest.

Word has gotten out that ThinkGeek and GeekNet, its parent company, will be acquired by the video game retail chain GameStop.

The news comes in a startling way; prior to this, it had seemed that discount clothing retailer and pop culture trinkets giant Hot Topic would be acquiring the company and website.

The reason for the switch?

GameStop won by the power of the dollar in offering more per share than Hot Topic did, at $20 as opposed to $17.50.

GeekNet chose to go with GameStop’s offer and paid a termination fee to Hot Topic for their trouble.

There aren’t many details to offer in terms of what a merger like this can bring, but it seems likely that GameStop has taken notice of the vast array of video game and tech products that ThinkGeek is famous for and wants to see how that expertise could be integrated into their stores.

And maybe that will also include ordering ThinkGeek products and having them available in GameStop locations for pickup.

Christopher A. Smith


Woman Drops Off Rare Apple I Computer At Recycling Center


Original Apple Rainbow Logo Signs Up For AuctionFor those that claim that recycling never pays off, here’s another huge example to prove you wrong.

A recycling center in the Bay Area is actively searching for a yet to be identified woman who dropped off a rare Apple 1 computer along with other items.

CleanBayArea, which specializes in electronic recycling, was surprised at the discovery and sold the extremely rare PC for $200,000.

Apple 1’s were the very first computers from the company, released in 1976 and put together by hand thanks to co-founder Steve Wozniak.

Only 200 were ever sold.

They are now looking for the woman, who had left the Milpitas, California facility without leaving any information they could use to contact her when she made the drop-off.

The only thing the staff does recall is that the computer was among a slew of other boxes she brought in after her husband passed away.

CleanBayArea was also dealing with a backlog of donated items and hadn’t gotten to the woman’s donations for another two weeks after her drop-off.

The president of the facility did state that he could recognize the woman if he saw her again.

Christopher A. Smith


Cisco Loses Supreme Court Battle


Cisco_logo.svgCisco Systems has been dealt a big loss by the highest court in the land over a case involving patent infringement.

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court of the United States rendered a verdict that overturned a previous decision made in Cisco’s favor by the U.S. Court Of Appeals for the Federal Court.

With Justice Breyer recusing himself from the hearing, the decision came about after a 6-2 vote with Justice Anthony Kennedy writing the opinion.

The opinion stated among other points, that Cisco’s thinking that the patent in question was invalid wasn’t a strong enough defense.

The crux of the case involved a patent by Commil U.S.A. that improved on the implementation of wireless networks that contained multiple access points.

Commil filed the lawsuit against Cisco over the latter company’s use of similar equipment. Commil was awarded a judgement of $73.8 million in 2013 for induced patent infringement.

The Court Of Appeals ruled in June of that month that Cisco had the right to appeal on a ‘good faith’ defense.

Justice Antonin Scalia, aided by Chief Justice John Roberts, wrote the dissenting opinion which claimed that the ruling would be used heavily by patent trolls in future cases.

Christopher A. Smith


Huawei Building High-Speed Underwater Cables In Asia


Huawei Being Sued By T-Mobile For Theft Of Phone Testing EquipmentSoutheast Asia is about to receive a significant boost to their bandwidth capabilities thanks to efforts from a major company’s maritime division.

The marine division of Huawei put their signature to a design and deployment contract with a group representing the nations of Malaysia, Cambodia and Thailand for a cable system that will connect the three and provide 100G Ethernet technology along with a design capability ranging up to 30Tbps.

The group’s members are Telcotech, Telekom Malaysia and Symphony Communication Public Company.

The submarine cable network will also be able to be accessed by terrestrial networking from Laos and Myanmar.

Huawei stated that they intend to use their optical amplifier that can carry up to six fiber pairs, which will be contained within a slim titanium housing that will allow the cable system to be laid out and embedded in a straightforward process.

The network will span 1,300 kilometers, with an origin point in Cherating, Malaysia and end in Rayong, Thailand.

The entire network is expected to be fully operational by the midway point of 2016.

Christopher A. Smith