The UpStream (Page 241)

SplashData's Worst Passwords of 2012 Released This Week

posted Sunday Nov 4, 2012 by Nicholas DiMeo

SplashData's Worst Passwords of 2012 Released This Week

Every year, SplashData releases their list of the worst passwords of the year. These usually are the most commonly used and most ignorant words, phrases or numbers that one could think of. This year was no different, as we saw the list hit right before Halloween and it's definitely interesting to see some of the passwords - if you can call them that - move up and down the list from last year.

For 2012, may we all please give a warm welcome to the terms "welcome," "jesus," "ninja," "mustang," and "password1," as those are new passwords that have been coined as the worst this year.

Morgan Slain, SplashData's CEO says,

At this time of year, people enjoy focusing on scary costumes, movies and decorations, but those who have been through it can tell you how terrifying it is to have your identity stolen because of a hacked password. We're hoping that with more publicity about how risky it is to use weak passwords, more people will start taking simple steps to protect themselves by using stronger passwords and using different passwords for different websites.

With major breaches in big companies like Yahoo, LinkedIn and Blizzard, it is certainly a year to reflect and see if you're using any of these passwords. I would hope, as an informed reader of this publication, that none of you are using any of these, but perhaps your friends and family are. If that is the case, take away their computer until they change their passwords under your supervision.

Below is the list of the top 10 and you can check out the source link below to see the full list of twenty-five. Are you surprised by any of them? Do you think your grandparents could be guilty of using these? Share your stories in the comments below.

Optimus Prime Coming to Universal Studios Orlando

posted Sunday Nov 4, 2012 by Scott Ertz

Optimus Prime Coming to Universal Studios Orlando

Until this week, Universal Studios Orlando was the oddball of the family, being the only park to not have a Transformers ride with the ride already installed in Hollywood and Singapore. There was a lot of speculation when the park closed Jaws that it was in preparation to install the ride in its place. As it turns out, that was close, but not exactly correct. In fact, Orlando will soon be getting a Transformers: The Ride 3D installed, opening for Summer 2013, but it will not live in the former home of Jaws. Instead, it will live at the other end of the lagoon, very close to where Terminator 2 currently resides. President of Universal Creative, Mark Woodbury, said about the positioning,

You put a lot of thought into those things. This is a big, iconographic attraction, so we wanted to give it a big, iconographic position, so that's why you see it right, smack in the middle of the park, facing out onto the lagoon - so it really has a prominent spot. And then we have Optimus guarding the entrance of the attraction, so that'll be a really stunning image when you see it.

That sounds like a pretty formidable entrance to a ride - certainly more than that of a Christopher Walken cutout standing at the entrance of Disaster!. One of the things that has shocked a lot of people is the sheer speed at which they plan to implement the new ride. In fact, it will be Universal's quickest installation of a new ride in the company's history. When asked, Woodbury, said,

It has already become a global phenomenon. People are just wild about the ride - the reaction has been over the top. So it was rush, rush and let's get it to Orlando in a hurry and that's what you're seeing happen out there today...

It is really fast. This is the fastest we've ever built a project as complex as this. This is a really, really complicated piece of work. From building the building, to the ride technology, to the film technology, it's very, very complicated to put together. And our motivation is it's wildly popular! So we wanted to bring it to market as fast as we possibly could. It's great for our business, great for our guests. And that's what motivates us...

I would say days after opening in Hollywood, we saw the response and we said, 'Let's go to Orlando!

That could either be read as, "People love it so we don't want to disappoint," or, "We want to cash-in in Florida before the ride's hype dispels." Either way, it is nice to see the ride, which has gotten a lot of positive reviews worldwide, will finally be coming to the Orlando campus as well.

$499 Model of the Surface Out of Stock Online

posted Saturday Nov 3, 2012 by Nicholas DiMeo

$499 Model of the Surface Out of Stock Online

There may have been no five hour lines for the release of Microsoft's Surface tablet but the device has been pretty popular. Even with some claiming the company staged lines and compensated people to stand and wait, the Surface was still able to sell out of its pre-order supply in a pretty quick timeframe. Now, with a week gone by for Windows 8 tablet sales, the $499 Surface unit is still sold out, at least at the online Microsoft Store.

Leading into this weekend, the basic Surface model, without the Touch Cover is marked "out of stock" online, with the white Surface Touch Cover also being out of stock. However, the 32GB and 64GB units with the black Touch Cover are still available for purchase. Just a few days ago, all of these models were marked as "backordered" but now it appears the higher-end versions are back and ready for purchase. Several brick-and-mortar Microsoft stores did say that they have stock of all three models as of Friday afternoon, but a handful also told me that they were either out of or were "running low" on the $499 edition of the Surface.

Why the shortage? Well, there's probably a couple of factors here. First, Microsoft handed out thousands of these at their Build conference this week to developers in attendance, although nobody has officially said that this could have affected inventory levels. Next, the $499 version comes without a Touch Cover, allowing you to purchase a colored cover of your choosing, or even shell out a bit more for the Type Cover. This could definitely lead to that particular model being more popular than its sisters. Also, the device is only being sold at Microsoft's own retail and online stores. This can surely affect the supply of products, as there could be less floating around in distribution centers at Amazon, Newegg, Staples, Best Buy, Wal-Mart, etc. Lastly, some might consider the Apple theory of supply-and-demand in this case. Did Microsoft go about its usual method (at least with its hardware partners up until now) of making sure everyone who wants a Windows product will get one? Alternatively, did the company, with this being its first hardware release - sans Xbox - take up the Apple mentality and only release a little bit at a time, creating shortages, and thereby potentially increasing the demand and hype around their flagship product? While the latter may seem plausible, we do know that everyone who pre-ordered their Surface received one, as well as everyone who waited in lines on launch day. This is true for at least the Florida Mall store in Orlando and the pop-up center in NYC, as these were the two I was able to definitively get that answer from.

So maybe the Surface really is that popular, despite all of the negative or apprehensive reviews from several seemingly Apple-funded publications. We'll keep you up to date on what happens and when the 32GB version comes back in stock. If you want one right now though, you're going to either have to trek to a store or pick up a 64GB model. With a 64GB Surface, you can load up a bunch more of your favorite movies, MP3s (or FLACs, if that's more your taste) and of course, our show! Bigger is better, after all.

Microsoft Reportedly Testing Own Smartphone Design with Asian Suppliers?

posted Saturday Nov 3, 2012 by Nicholas DiMeo

Microsoft Reportedly Testing Own Smartphone Design with Asian Suppliers?

Anticipation has been gradually increasing since Microsoft's announcement of Windows Phone 8 back in June, which obviously means that rumors were soon going to follow. In particular, many wanted to know if Microsoft would release their own "Surface phone" of sorts. As we moved closer to the WinPho 8 event, we learned about third-party devices like the Lumia 920 and 820, the HTC 8X/S and even Samsung was getting into the game. Through all of that, Microsoft was adament that they had no interest in building their own smartphone. However we are now learning that perhaps that was all a smokescreen for a bigger picture.

Reports are flying in that Microsoft is already in the process of quality testing its own branded smartphone with suppliers in Asia. Sources close to the situation are saying that the screen will be between four and five inches and will be completely competitive with the phones that are out in the market today. The interesting thing to note here is that Microsoft is reportedly into the test phase of its design process, which means this smartphone has been on the drawing board, I'd imagine, since the inception of the Surface itself.

There is no word yet on if the device will go into mass production, but one could assume that would all be gauged on the success of WinPho 8 from Microsoft's hardware partners. If Nokia, Samsung and HTC do extremely well, it is possible Microsoft would hold on releasing their own version, as they could put their faith into the manufacturers. If sales start to slip, however, I could see Microsoft stepping in and pushing this alleged phone to market at a rapid pace. I've discussed at length on our show that Microsoft may have to set the standard with Windows Phone 8 in the same way that they are shaping the tablet world with Surface.

The big question here is if the phone is actually real. If it is, then it would seem that Microsoft has taken a page out of Apple's book as far as developing both hardware and software for its platform. If this all turns out to be true, is a Windows-branded television and desktop computer on the way as well? Nokia has its phones hitting shelves very soon, with others following suit before Thanksgiving and the sales could definitely push Microsoft one way or the other on this. What do you think will happen? Post your comments (from a Windows 8 device if you have one) below.

Portal 2 In Motion Coming to PS3

posted Friday Nov 2, 2012 by Scott Ertz

Portal 2 In Motion Coming to PS3

No, this post is not from 2011 - Portal 2 is coming to PlayStation 3, but in a new and exciting way. Sixense will be releasing Portal 2 In Motion, a PS3-exclusive DLC for the original title, this Tuesday for $9.99. The DLC, along with the digital-download version of the game, have been remade by Sixense to work with PlayStation Move.

Sixense worked with Valve to bring full motion control to both the DLC and original game, to bring a new and exciting control scheme to the title. Along with the new control scheme comes new actual gameplay mechanics, including object rotation, portal surfing and scaling. As all control capabilities in Portal titles, you will need to master these capabilities in order to get through the new campaign, of course meaning you will have to rethink the way you solve puzzles.

The release of the DLC comes at the same time as the digital download version of the game for PSN, both of which will get a 30% discount for PlayStation Plus members. If you already own the Blu-Ray version of the game, you will receive the Move-powered controls via a downloadable patch, but only Portal 2 In Motion will include the new, motion-specific gameplay controls.

As a long time fan of the series, the addition of any new elements to the gameplay is exciting. Repulsion and propulsion gels were a welcome addition to the second installment, as was the radio challenge in the PC version of the original. Adding motion control, along with the new motion-specific controls for In Motion means new ways to challenge yourself with puzzles, and new ways to try and complete puzzles you thought you might have run out of ideas for. On the other hand, if the controls don't work well, it could be another Lair.

Are you going to pick up Portal 2 In Motion on Tuesday or wait and see how well it works? Let us know in the comments.

Porn to Cost Virginia Man $1.5 Million

posted Friday Nov 2, 2012 by Scott Ertz

Porn to Cost Virginia Man $1.5 Million

Porn can be an extremely expensive habit, especially if you pay for it. Uploading it to the Internet can be even more expensive, as one Virginia man has come to discover this week. About a year ago, Kywan Fisher and several others were sued by Flava Works for copyright infringement. It was claimed that the defendants uploaded porn videos owned by the company to Internet sites for free download. Flava Works, who is known to be litigious, appeared in court this week, where defendant Fisher did not. That was his mistake.

For failing to appear, the judge imposed the maximum penalty of $1.5 million. That is a pretty steep price, especially when you consider the fact that Fisher is only charged with uploading 10 files from Flava Works. The company says it can definitely prove that the defendant was responsible, claiming the company "has proprietary software that assigns a unique encrypted code to each member of plaintiff's paid websites. In this case, every time the defendant downloaded a copy of a copyrighted video from plaintiff's website, it inserts an encrypted code that is only assigned to defendant."

While clever, it is not exactly a new concept. In fact, the concept is called DRM (see the title of our media segment on F5 Live). Even with DRM being commonplace, many cases like this have not been successful, and yet the judge chose to impose the maximum fine despite seemingly circumstantial evidence. This cost, when spread over the 3,449 downloads claimed, works out to $435 per download - a pretty steep fee for an industry that lives in the $9.99 price range.

So, why was the penalty so steep? If I had to guess, I would imagine that the judge was not pleased that the defendant did not even show up for his trial. Because of that, it is my guess that the judge chose the $150,000 per download (for "willful" infringement) instead of the more reasonable $750 minimum that could have been imposed. This is a case of a federal judge making a point by making an example of a single defendant.

What do you think? Is it fair to impose a $1.5 million penalty on circumstantial evidence just to make a point? Sound off in the comments.

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