For those who don't know about the Amulet of Mara in the game Skyrim - like myself - it is a piece of jewelry that unlocks dialogue options within the game. One of these options allows you to marry characters in the game, but a real person has used this amulet in real life, to propose to his girlfriend.
Sara Briody, the girlfriend that was proposed to by her boyfriend explained: "I introduced [my fiancée] to Skyrim - and he enjoys every minute of the game. I love watching him play because we both have very different game styles. We do play other multiplayer games together when we have the opportunity".
Briody continues: "He gave me the amulet and while I recognised what it was - it didn't really click as to WHAT it was. "I put it on and he started to smile from ear to ear. Then he said: 'Is that an Amulet of Mara? I'm surprised someone like you isn't spoken for.' Then it finally registered that he was proposing! He got down on one knee and slipped the ring on my finger".
The western world is closely watching North Korea's military ambitions, with government leaders in Pyongyang investing a large amount of research into cyberwarfare capabilities, the US government recently warned.
Although not sophisticated as cyber arsenals from China or Russia, North Korea can still find partners to help foster its cyberattack capabilities. If matured further, the attacks will likely focus on South Korea, the United States and Japan, military advisors warned in the past.
"North Korea brings risk to the world's fastest-growing economic region, which is responsible for 25 percent of the world's [gross domestic product] and home to our largest trading partners," said Army Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti, in a Department of Defense press release. "Against this real threat, our nation is committed to the security of South Korea and to our national interests."
Modern virtual reality is still in its infancy, and social networking company Facebook hopes its $2 billion acquisition of Oculus VR will help usher VR technology into the future. The buyout initially raised alarm, but news also excited virtual reality supporters, anxious for large companies and mainstream users to pay attention to the budding technology.
The Facebook team has been left intact and the social media company doesn't plan to rebrand Oculus VR - or the company's Oculus Rift - which could be made available to consumers before the end of the year.
Facebook's acquisition of Oculus immediately raised concern, though company founder Palmer Luckey previously addressed the issue. Keeping the company at its Irvine office in southern California allows Facebook-owned Oculus to remain close both to video game studios and Hollywood.
Former NSA contractor Edward Snowden stirred an international debate about privacy rights, with 80 percent of those polled recently saying Congress should reign in NSA snooping, according to a new Harris Interactive survey.
However, over half also said the NSA-related snooping helps reduce the likelihood of terrorism, while believing Internet companies should cooperate with the US government. Ironically, two out of three respondents said ISPs betrayed them while working with the NSA secretly, as a growing number of users aren't trusting of ISPs and other major tech companies.
"People clearly are thinking more about the relationship between privacy and security," said Stephen Cobb, Eset Senior Security Research, in a statement. "What the Snowden revelations have done is to surface the unresolved tension over this issue. People would like, on the one hand, to think the surveillance is necessary. But there is push back against unnecessary surveillance."
Ransomware is becoming a major business for cybercriminals, and users can expect sophisticated attacks that go beyond just Cryptolocker, according to Web security company KnowBe4.
Cybercriminals are developing next-generation malware designed to infect users and steal information, or hijack the computer with ransom demands to unlock affected machines.
"There is furious competition between cybergangs," said Stu Sjouwerman, KnowBe4 CEO, in a press statement. "They did their test-marketing in countries like the UK, Canada and Australia and are now targeting the US. CryptoDefense doesn't seem to be a derivative of CryptoLocker as the code is completely different, confirming this is a competing criminal gang."
Not enough websites and Internet browsers utilize the HTTP Strict Transport Security (HSTS) policy to keep Internet users secure, according to the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF).
HSTS forces encryption by opening HTTPS sessions instead of just HTTP, so information to and from the website is encrypted. Using HSTS, websites never allow Internet users to interact with an HTTP session, with everything automatically converted.
The EFF believes not enough web developers know about HSTS, while browser support has also only increased slowly but surely. Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Opera have long-supported HSTS, while Microsoft said it will use the Web standard with Internet Explorer 12.
The Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) recently released a security notice of required steps that must be followed by banks and financial institutions operating in the United States. All banks under federal government regulation have to beef up security and pay attention to distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks which plague bank servers.
Specifically, these companies need to try and mitigate DDoS attacks to the best of their ability, to keep subscribers more secure.
"In the latter half of 2012, an increased number of DDoS attacks were launched against financial institutions by politically motivated groups," according to the FFIEC statement. "These DDoS attacks continued periodically and increased in sophistication and intensity. These attacks caused slow website response times, intermittently prevented customers from accessing institutions' public websites, and adversely affected back-office operations."
When I was a teenager, The Goonies was a massive part of my childhood. Riding off of the success of Superman: The Movie, director Richard Donner created quite the masterpiece, that even to this day is loved by millions around the world.
But today, Donner announced that he is working on a sequel of The Goonies, and he wants to bring back as much of the original cast as possible. Where it gets interesting, is whether the cast would play their original roles - but 28 years older - or whether they would play cameos, or something completely different.
There's not much else known about it right now, but at least we can now officially say: "Goonies never say die!"
If you purchase the upcoming Wolfenstein: The New Order, you'll gain access to the upcoming next-gen Doom beta. But, if you were to purchase the new Wolfenstein on the Xbox 360 or PS3, unfortunately, you won't receive access to the beta of Doom.
The access to the next-gen beta of Doom will arrive for PS4, Xbox One and PC gamers. You can take a look at the Wolfenstein FAQ right here which explains it all, but it is a little confusing. If you were to purchase Wolfenstein: The New Order on the PS3, you'll still receive beta access to Doom, but just not on your console. You can take that access to your PC, and use it there if you like.
Wolfenstein: The New Order drops on May 20 for the Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3, PS4 and PC.
We already heard that Watch Dogs will require a 64-bit OS and some beefy hardware, but now we have some specific hardware requirements for Ubisoft Montreal's open-world hacking [hopefully] masterpiece.
You'll need at a minimum, an Intel Core 2 Quad Q8400 at 2.6GHz, or AMD's Phenom II X4 940 at 3GHz. Ubisoft does recommend much higher specs, where it would like to see you use an Intel's Core i7-3770 running at 3.5GHz, or AMD's FX-8350 X8 processor clocked at 4GHz. When it comes to RAM, you'll need 6GB minimum, and for GPUs, Ubisoft's minimum requirements for Watch Dogs is an NVIDIA GeForce GX 460 or AMD Radeon HD 5770 with at least 1GB of VRAM.
When it comes to recommended GPUs, you'll need an NVIDIA GeForce GX 560 Ti or AMD's Radeon HD 7850. Storage wise, you better have over 25GB free to install Watch Dogs - not bad considering Titanfall requires a mammoth 48GB.
You can pre-order Watch Dogs through Steam right now, for $59.99 - it will be made available on May 27.