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Facebook Employees Had Access to Millions of User Passwords Stored in Plain Text

In a new blog post entitled "Keeping Passwords Secure" Facebook VP Engineering, Security and Privacy Pedro Canahuati explains how the social media giant accidentally stored Facebook user's passwords on internal data storage systems in plain text. Pedro explains how "these passwords were never visible to anyone outside of Facebook and we have found no evidence to date that anyone internally abused or improperly accessed them. We estimate that we will notify hundreds of millions of Facebook Lite users, tens of millions of other Facebook users, and tens of thousands of Instagram users." To keep your account safe, Facebook suggests changing your Facebook and Instagram passwords, pick strong passwords, use a password manager, and enable a security key or two-factor authentication. In recent months, Facebook has vowed to clean up its act as it has been accused of sharing user data, one click account takeover bugs, paying minors to harvest their data without parental consent, had its enterprise certificate revoked by Apple, access token hack, Cambridge Analytica, and many more fines and hacks. I would suggest picking a password so long and complex that Facebook employees would get tired from writing it down.

As part of a routine security review in January, we found that some user passwords were being stored in a readable format within our internal data storage systems. This caught our attention because our login systems are designed to mask passwords using techniques that make them unreadable. We have fixed these issues and as a precaution we will be notifying everyone whose passwords we have found were stored in this way.

Discussion
Posted by cageymaru March 21, 2019 1:17 PM (CDT)

Epic's Tim Sweeney Calls Store Exclusives "Procompetitive"

As controversy continues to mount, Tim Sweeney has returned to social media to justify store exclusives and defend the Epic Games Store from accusations it is bribing its way to the top with anti-competitive practices. Sweeney seems to believe the criticism is unfair because there’s nothing stopping Steam and other storefronts from playing his game, pointing out partnerships are a perfectly legit way of doing business. From where he’s standing, exclusives are "procompetitive," in that they compel other stores to differentiate themselves.

I get that you guys don’t like store-exclusive games, but that’s a completely separate, and PROCOMPETITIVE issue, compared to closing down platforms like Windows to monopolize distribution, as iOS does, and as Microsoft was trying to do with UWP and locked-down versions of Windows -- which failed, and whose proponents are now gone and replaced with great leaders like Satya Nadella and Phil Spencer who are driving Windows forward as an open platform!

Discussion
Posted by Megalith March 17, 2019 11:55 AM (CDT)

Valve Doesn't Sound Too Happy about the Epic Store Copying Steam Data

Could a lawsuit be brewing? A spokesperson with Valve has told Bleeping Computer the company is "looking into what information the Epic launcher collects from Steam" following allegations the software was stealing users’ information without their express permission. Engineers with Epic have admitted some of the scrapped data could be sent to the company's servers.

In other words, Valve doesn't think the Epic Store client should be touching localconfig.vdf at all, and presumably would prefer it if Epic used the Steam API to gather friends lists. For Epic's part, it has not said that the entire file is uploaded, only that it parses out user IDs and uploads hashes of them, should users import Steam friends. In the future, Valve could potentially encrypt local user data to prevent the Epic client and other software from copying it.

Discussion
Posted by Megalith March 16, 2019 1:40 PM (CDT)

Hunt Showdown is On Sale at The Humble Store

As we've noted before, Hunt Showdown is one of the best looking, and best playing, multiplayer shooters around, and it gets better with every update. While it normally goes for $30 (and will likely be even more expensive once it leaves early access), the Humble Store has the Cryengine-based co-op shooter on sale for $21.

Hunt's competitive, match-based gameplay mixes PvP and PvE elements to create a uniquely tense experience where your life, your character, and your gear are always on the line. At the beginning of each match, up to five teams of two set out to track their monstrous targets. Once they've found and defeated one of these they will receive a bounty-and instantly become a target for every other Hunter left on the map. If you don't watch your back, you'll find a knife in it, and your last memory will be of another team of Hunters walking away with your prize. The higher the risk, the higher the reward-but a single mistake could cost you everything.

Discussion
Posted by alphaatlas March 15, 2019 11:57 AM (CDT)

Tesla Raises Prices to Keep More Retail Stores Open

Tesla has announced that is going to raise prices 3% to keep more of its retail locations open. Some stores in high visibility locations will be reopened. These stores will have fewer employees, but test drives will be available. Some stores are under review and a decision will be made over the coming months to close or keep them open. As a result of keeping significantly more stores open, Tesla will need to raise vehicle prices by about 3% on average worldwide.

Potential Tesla owners will have a week to place their order before prices rise, so current prices are valid until March 18th. There will be no price increase to the $35,000 Model 3. The price increases will only apply to the more expensive variants of Model 3, as well as Model S and X. To be clear, all sales worldwide will still be done online, in that potential Tesla owners coming in to stores will simply be shown how to order a Tesla on their phone in a few minutes. Stores will also carry a small number of cars in inventory for customers who wish to drive away with a Tesla immediately.

Discussion
Posted by cageymaru March 11, 2019 3:25 PM (CDT)

Ubisoft Will Prevent Third-Party Digital Stores from Selling "The Division 2" after Release

According to a statement issued by Gamesplanet, Ubisoft and Epic Games have decided to ban third-party game-key vendors from selling The Division 2 after its official release. Post March 15, the title will only be available for purchase on Uplay and the Epic Games Store, so fans who want to save a bit of money may want to visit their preferred vendor straight away. The Division 2 will have a 50GB day-one patch for disc buyers, and the PS4 version weighs in at 100GB.

Needless to say that we are against this anti-consumer move from both Ubisoft and Epic Games. It’s one thing securing a game to launch exclusively on your launcher but to prevent all third-party digital stores from selling keys? That’s a new low in our opinion. Bad move Epic Games, especially when your boss, Tim Sweeney, was whining about UWP and how anti-consumer it was compared to Win32.

Discussion
Posted by Megalith March 10, 2019 12:05 PM (CDT)

Philadelphia Passes Ban on Cashless Stores; Amazon Go Plans Said to Be in Jeopardy

Amazon plans to open a chain of cashierless convenience stores across the country, but don’t expect them in Philadelphia: the city has just signed off on legislation banning cashless stores. While the convenience of technology has convinced many retailers to shift to credit cards and mobile payments only, Philly’s leaders opted for the opposite, citing their 26-percent poverty rate and poor consumers, some of whom do not even have bank accounts.

Nearly 6 percent of residents in the Philadelphia region do not have access to credit or bank accounts in 2017 and roughly 22 percent were considered "underbanked," according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Amazon warned Philadelphia officials behind closed doors that a ban on cashless stores would force it to reconsider its potential plans for Amazon Go stores in Philadelphia. Emails obtained by the Inquirer showed that the web giant also lobbied city officials to try to carve itself out of the cash requirement.

Discussion
Posted by Megalith March 09, 2019 1:05 PM (CST)

Cinebench R20 Is Available on the Microsoft Store and Apple Store

Cinebench R20 is the latest CPU benchmark from Maxon and it is available for download from the Microsoft Store and Apple Store. Maxon has provided instructions for its use as many features of the program have been modernized to incorporate the latest advances of today's hardware and to reflect the capabilities of Cinema 4D. The new Cinebench R20 benchmark uses four times as much memory as Cinebench R15, requires 8x the computational power, and still retains the single core test option. This means the results of testing performed with Cinebench R15 aren't comparable to Cinebench R20 runs. Users can manually define a custom number of up to 256 render threads, even if your machine does not have that many cores. Cinebench R20 and Cinema 4D R20 incorporate the latest rendering architectures, including integration of Intel's Embree raytracing technology and advanced features on modern CPUs from AMD and Intel that allow users to render the same scene on the same hardware twice as fast as previously. No GPU support has been added to the benchmark.

Anyone who needs to evaluate hardware performance should add Maxon Cinebench to their testing arsenal. System administrators can use Cinebench to help make purchase decisions, journalists can use the results in reviewing hardware, hardware manufacturers can utilize the feedback in optimizing their latest products. Any computer owner can evaluate their individual system. Unlike abstract benchmarks, which only test specific functions of CPUs, Cinebench offers a real-world benchmark that incorporates a user's common tasks within Cinema 4D to measure a system's performance. Improvements to Cinebench Release 20 reflect the overall advancements to CPU and rendering technology in recent years, providing a more accurate measurement of Cinema 4D's ability to take advantage of multiple CPU cores and modern processor features available to the average user.

Discussion
Posted by cageymaru March 05, 2019 4:46 PM (CST)

Amazon Is Reportedly Launching a New Line of Grocery Stores in Major US Cities

The acquisition of Whole Foods Market was just the beginning: according to The Wall Street Journal, Amazon will be doubling down on the grocery business by opening dozens of new stores throughout the US, which may or may not carry the online retailer’s name. The first store will reportedly debut in Los Angeles as soon as this year and be distinct from Whole Foods, offering a larger variety of food.

Whole Foods is limited to the types of items it can carry because of its quality standards and commitment to natural ingredients. A different store aimed more at mainstream customers could carry items from the biggest brands and could compete directly with big-box stores like Walmart, Target, and regional grocers. The new stores are planned to be about 35,000 square feet, which is typically smaller than a traditional grocery store, according to the report.

Discussion
Posted by Megalith March 02, 2019 10:00 AM (CST)

GOG in Financial Trouble as Layoffs Hit the PC Games Digital Storefront

GOG is in financial trouble as the DRM-free PC games digital storefront has confirmed it laid off 12 members of its team. This number may seem small, but it equates to 10% of the total workforce at GOG. On a more positive note, the company is hiring more employees and says it has "welcomed nearly twice as many new team members." GOG competes directly with other digital game storefronts such as Steam, Origin, Epic Store, etc.

"We were told it's a financial decision," that person told me in an online message. "GOG's revenue couldn't keep up with growth, the fact that we're dangerously close to being in the red has come up in the past few months, and the market's move towards higher [developer] revenue shares has, or will, affect the bottom line as well. I mean, it's just an odd situation, like things got really desperate really fast. I know that February was a really bad month, but January on the other hand was excellent. We were in the middle of a general restructuring, moving some teams around, not unprecedented. But layoffs that big have never happened before."

Discussion
Posted by cageymaru February 25, 2019 5:39 PM (CST)

Razer Shutting Its Digital Game Store This Month, Less than a Year after It Opened

That didn’t last long: Razer has announced its game store would "cease operations on February 28, 2019 at 0100hrs Pacific Time as part of the company’s realignment plans." The store originally opened in April 2018, less than a year ago. Games will still be offered through the company’s virtual credits and loyalty rewards system, Razer Gold and Silver.

"It has been a privilege for us to recommend and deliver great digital game deals to you," it said. "We have been extremely fortunate to have you as part of our awesome community. Thank you for the support and making all this possible." Razer will still fulfill any pre-orders made through the store, and any games you've already bought will work as long as you retrieve the keys -- either Steam or Uplay -- before February 28.

Discussion
Posted by Megalith February 17, 2019 10:05 AM (CST)

Cyberpunk 2077 Won't Be an Epic Games Store Exclusive

CD Projekt Red has reassured fans that Cyberpunk 2077 will not be an Epic Games Store exclusive. A fan brought the possibility up on a recent Twitter exchange, to which they replied: "Yeaaaaaaaaah.... Pass on that." The much-anticipated first-person sci-fi RPG is being worked on by over 400 people, almost double that of The Witcher 3.

This will no doubt be a welcome message to many gamers. However, the odds of CD Projekt Red actually making the game exclusive to the Epic Games Store were astronomically low. CD Projekt has its own online store and platform; GOG. As such, it would be extremely bizarre for them to release a game on another company’s platform and not on their own. Of course, it’s fair to note that CD Projekt Red made no statements about potential exclusivity to their own platform.

Discussion
Posted by Megalith February 10, 2019 10:55 AM (CST)