Why the PSN hacking doesn’t reflect as badly on Sony as you think.

The security breach that allowed loose-knit hacker group Anonymous to access the details of around 100m PSN accounts is undoubtedly a blemish on Sony’s reputation. Even rabid fanboys couldn’t seriously argue that it won’t hurt Sony in any way. But whatever personal information was obtained by the online security breach can’t be blamed entirely on Sony, and here’s why.

Many of you may recognise this man. His name is Gary McKinnon, an autistic 45 year old Systems Administrator from Glasgow. He was responsible for hacking into 97 different computers belonging to the United States military and NASA in an attempt to uncover evidence of extra-terrestrial technology being used by the government, causing an on-going extradition battle.

The US has accused him of hacking into their computers and deleting important files, resulting in the shutting down of 2,000 of their computers for a 24 hour period as well as copying restricted documents onto his home computer, all of which is alleged to have cost the US government $700,000. McKinnon denies causing any damage but freely admits to breaking into government computers.

Now you may be wondering what any of this has to do with Sony’s current predicament. Well, it’s simple. It stands to reason that information stored on the US military and NASA computers is going to be considerably more valuable and important than any data stored on the Playstation Network, and thus would be protected a lot better than the bank details of 100m gamers. The point I’m trying to make is that even if Sony had spent several million more to make their secure data even more secure, there’s always going to be someone that could eventually hack into this data if they were determined enough.

If a mentally challenged Scotsman can shut down US military computers for 24 hours from his Glaswegian home, then we shouldn’t be surprised that a group of hackers can break into a video gaming network. Xbox Live has been hacked before; it could easily be hacked again if someone wanted it enough. As could the Steam servers. Try to get some perspective before accusing Sony of a massive failure on their part. Sure, they’ve admitted the PSN had security flaws. But even if these had been fixed it probably wouldn’t be enough to stop a hacker group as determined and relentless as Anonymous.

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Roger Ebert, Twitter, Amazon and the Japanese tsunami – A marketing match made in heaven.

Anyone who follows longstanding film critic Roger Ebert on twitter will have noticed that he constantly posts links to various Amazon products. In an interview with Clickz.com he explained that this is purely to create another revenue stream for himself, making use for the Amazon Associates program by which a referrer to a particular profit earns a percentage of its cost if their click-through results in a sale. He told Clickz.com:

“I receive the standard percentage as published by Amazon. The Sun-Times itself has been an Amazon Associate for as long as I can remember, and receives a percentage of all my books and DVDs displayed on RogerEbert.com and from the Amazon “Ebert Store” on the site. This does not amount to much.”

Aside from his own products he also advertises new releases and DVD’s but the other day, unfortunately the day of the tsunami in Japan, he chose to branch out:

His post about the Tsunami came a few minutes after his advertising of trousers, but it’s just such an awkward transition, going from making a bit of money on the side from discount corduroys to mentioning one of the worst natural disasters of this century, kind of like when the news goes from reporting on a suicide bombing in the Middle-East to a piece of trivial celebrity news. In fact, later on in the day he was back to more clothes selling, with a post about linen suits.

I somehow doubt that on a day when twitter was buzzing with constant updates and reposts of developments of the tragedy, that many people bothered to heed his suggestion and get a new pair of Levi’s.

Is this the most pointless article ever?

Pocket-lint seems to be  scraping the barrel so much that they’ve reached soil with an article entitled: “Why do wires get tangled up? – Pocket-lint unravels the mystery”. That sound you can hear now is the collective sigh of relief from people all round the world who finally have an answer to possibly the most discussed question known to man.

It helpfully begins:

“We’ve all been there – you place your headphones delicately into your pocket, sometimes just for a minute while you pop into a shop, but when you go to retrieve them, they don’t look like your headphones anymore”.

Yeah this has happened to me a few times and I have to say that I wouldn’t wish it upon anyone else; it’s arguable worse than accidentally letting your tea go cold or having hiccups. Is this article for real? It sounds like a Michael McIntyre routine.

However eventually the mystery is cracked and we find out:

“It seems that round-bodied cables all suffer from the tangling problem thanks to their aerodynamics and friction control (or lack thereof) making the cords rotate and tangle”.

Huzzah, so the answer to the question of ‘Why do wires get tangled up?’ is ‘because the cords rotate and tangle up’. Pocket-lint you’ve done it again!

Next week: Pocket-lint explains why objects fall to the floor when you drop them and investigates whether bears defecate in woodland areas.