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EA and DICE have officially taken the wraps off of Battlefield 4, where it has been completely and utterly announced to the world. EA have confirmed it is indeed launching in Fall 2013, and will be powered by Frostbite 3, not Frostbite 2 as previously thought.
Today, we have a 17-minute gameplay demo unleashed upon us, which I'm about to check out once I click the submit button on this news. Patrick Soderlund, Executive Vice President, EA Games Label has said:
We are so humbled and proud to debut Battlefield 4 on a global stage with simultaneous events in San Francisco and Stockholm. To be this early in development, and to already be so polished is a huge achievement for the DICE team and reflection of their passion and commitment to driving the franchise forward. Today's demo was just the beginning -- we have so much more in store. It is thrilling to witness peoples' reaction when seeing the game for the first time. It really makes you realize that we are at the beginning of a whole new era for gaming. As artists and craftspeople, we are focused on creating a dynamic, open design that brings people together with amazing, surprising unscripted moments that they'll talk about for days. That's the beauty of Battlefield.
Things are heating up in South Korea once again, with South Korean authorities investigating a major attack on multiple fronts. Three TV broadcasters and two major banks were attacked, with the South Korean army raising their alert levels thinking that North Korea are behind the attacks.
Servers at television networks YTN, MBC and KBS were taken down, as well as two major banks; Shinhan Bank and NongHyup Bank. Some of the computers that were infiltrated had files deleted, according to the authorities. A police official has said: "We sent down teams to all affected sites. We are now assessing the situation. This incident is pretty massive and will take a few days to collect evidence."
The banks are back up and running, but the TV stations have said they don't know when they'll be fully operational again, with some workers at the stations not able to boot their systems back up. South Korean military hasn't been affected, but they've raised their state of readiness in response. Police and government have both declined to speculate on North Korea's involvement, but the North have threatened the South more than once now, stating they would attack both South Korea and their major ally, the United States after they were slapped with United Nations sanctions for their nuclear test back in February.
At tonight's Galaxy S IV launch, Samsung showed off some cool new features that really take the smartphone game to the next level. The new "S Features" are being called: S Translator, S Voice Drive, and S Health.
The S Translator is an app that automatically translates information that is typed or copy/pasted into it, and helps you translate up to nine languages at launch, including Chinese, English U.S., English British, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean and Portuguese. S Voice is Samsung's version of a hands free car app that lets you make and receive calls and text without ever taking your hands or eyes off the road.
S Health is a new app that is part of Samsung's push into the health department. It allows users to sync up their Galaxy S IV with smart sensors that can report back on blood glucose levels, heart rate, weight, and can even access the S IV's built in Pedometer to help you track your exercise.
Hotmail, Outlook.com outage enters hour 12 - Microsoft still working to fully bring services back online
This morning TechCrunch is reporting that Microsoft's Outlook.com and Hotmail email services have been down since 4:00PM EDT yesterday. That puts the services past 12 hours or so since they were last accessible.
SkyDrive and Calendar were also affected, but it appears that those services have been restored. Early speculation tied the outage to the Hotmail to Outlook.com migration, but an official statement from Microsoft denied that the migration had anything to do with the outage.
As of this posting I am unable to reach outlook.com and attempts to login to an old Hotmail account also failed. TechCrunch is reporting that the outage is not a total systems blackout though with some users still being able to reach the service.
It looks like users are experiencing some downtime to multiple Microsoft services, for the last few hours and counting. Hotmail is one of these services, and three hours without email is like a week without snail mail for some.
SkyDrive and Outlook are experiencing similar issues, with SkyDrive users having problems with file editing. Hotmail and Outlook issues seemed to be pegged on an issue not displaying all of your emails, which is, well, quite important. Microsoft have given the following statement on the problems:
Microsoft is investigating an issue affecting a small number of customers' access to Hotmail and Outlook.com, and we are working to restore full access to the service as quickly as possible. For the latest information, we encourage people to visit the Hotmail and Outlook.com status page (HTTPS://status.live.com/).
It appears Evernote are the latest in a string of attacks, with their Operations & Security team discovering, and blocking suspicious activity on their network. The attempted attack appears to be a coordinated attempt to gain access to Evernote's network.
In order to keep your data safe, Evernote have enabled a server-wide password reset - meaning that everyone will need to change their password before they log into their Evernote account. Evernote's network was compromised, with the investigation in place reporting that the hackers gained access to Evernote users' information, such as usernames, emails and even encrypted passwords. The passwords were protected by one-way encryption, which keeps them much safer than normal.
Evernote would still like to play it safe, which is where the server-wide password reset comes into play.
Facebook victim of Java zero-day exploit, admits they were hacked, no evidence user data compromised
Social media giant Facebook has said that they were hacked via a Java zero-day exploit after employees visited an infected mobile developer website back in January. Facebook has said that it does not appear that any user data was compromised and that they are working on moving away from Java.
"They gained limited visibility into our systems," Fred Wolens, a spokesperson for Facebook told VentureBeat. "We've accelerated our program to disable Java in our environment."
A patch for the bug used to compromise the fully patched laptops was issued by Oracle on February 1 after Facebook alerted them to the bug that allowed the hackers to bypass the sandbox protections. This is the latest in a string of high-profile hackings and exploits found in Java.
Many people have called for Java to be uninstalled from systems due to the frequency in which major security holes are found. The Department of Homeland Security has reiterated this recommendation.
Facebook is working with law enforcement to identify the hackers and the details. Facebook was quick to post about the hack so that other companies can protect themselves. They say that they were "not alone in this attack," though it's not clear who else has been affected by the compromise.
North Korea may have just tested a nuclear bomb, emergency Security Council meeting now happening in Seoul
It looks like things in North Korea just got a whole lot more real, as there has been a 5.1-magnitude earthquake in the country that might have been an artificial quake caused by a nuclear detonation. Reuters is reporting that a UN Security Council diplomat confirmed the nuclear test after speaking with South Korea.
An emergency Security Council meeting is currently taking place in Seoul, South Korea. Yonhap has quoted a South Korean official as stating that both the United States and China were alerted yesterday of North Korea's plans to test a nuclear device. South Korea are currently trying to figure out the source of the tremor.
An 8-magnitude earthquake has struck just off the Santa Cruz islands, after weeks of tremors. I've been reading that most sites are reporting that there have only been a few tremors, but there has been nearly two weeks of tremors averaging at 5-magnitude.
The earthquake has resulted in tsunami warnings for many places, including Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Tuvalu, New Caledonia, Kosrae, Fiji, Kiribati, Wallis and Futuna. There is also a tsunami watch in effect for American Samoa, Australia, New Zealand and eastern Indonesia. The earthquake happened at 12:12pm local time.
It struck at a depth of 5km, just off the Santa Cruz Islands, which are part of the Solomon Islands nation. The above picture shows just the last few days, where the Santa Cruz-based EQs have been rattling along for days now.
Uh oh - users based in the US might be experiencing an outage of Facebook, where the social networking site has been down for patches of US-based users, including Texas, New York and others for nearly two h ours now.
Some parts of the country are still able to access Facebook without a problem, and over here in Australia I'm experiencing no issues whatsoever. Downrightnow has given Facebook's current status as 'Likely Service Disruption', and reports that the social network has been experiencing issues since 20:00 EST.
It's ok - Facebook will be back everyone, you can sit down and relax. Everything should be back to normal in just a couple of hours.