Posts Tagged Sony

Vita YouTube app updated, adds new features

The PlayStation Vita YouTube has been updated, and now features a number of improvements. The app now has added channel and subscription support, improved controls, the ability to create playlists and support for closed captions, continuous playback and search filters.

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Pakistani Google, Yahoo, Apple, eBay, PayPal Hacked

The Pakistani websites of Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, Apple, Visa, HSBC, Coca Cola, Blogspot, Sony, HP, eBay and PayPal have been hacked and defaced.

According to The Hackers Media, the sites have been defaced by a group of Turkish hackers.

On their defacement page, the Pakistani hackers reveal not only their reasons for breaching the sites, but also the vulnerability they exploited.

“Why we have wasted our time to hack Pakistani Sites? Just because let us convey our message. We warned you and we were willing to fix your vulnerability but you think we are jokers and you guys took it as a joke? Yes it’s time to bang you guys!!” the hackers wrote.

The Hackers Media reveals that the one “warned” is actually PKNIC, a registrar for Pakistani .pk domains. A security hole in the registrar’s systems allowed the cybercriminals to easily alter the homepages of the affected sites.

The Pakistani hackers utilized the same method to deface several high-profile Israeli sites a few days ago.

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Vita homebrew hack underway, won’t allow users to pirate retail games

Homebrew developers without access to a PlayStation Vita development kit may have something to look forward to, as independent developer Yifan Lu has purportedly found an exploit that allows retail systems to run native, homebrewed Vita code. Lu is seeking other developers to help with the project, though neither an expected release date nor information regarding how the exploit functions have been made public.

What we do know, however, is that Lu’s exploit is being developed for the sole benefit of the homebrewing community, as opposed to purposes more suited to blacker hats. “No tool I will make will benefit piracy,” Lu told PlayStation Lifestyle. “This tool, in fact, cannot be used for loading backups/pirated content even if I want to because of the physical limitations of the exploit.”

Specifically, the exploit is “userland” and is incapable of decrypting or running retail games, Lu says. Though Lu is aware that releasing his exploit could lead to deeper analysis of the system and subsequently a more nefarious full-kernel hack, he would feel guilty if he “found something that could benefit the community (running homebrews and letting developers who can’t pay the license to develop/test games)” and kept it under wraps.

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Free ‘Treasure Park’ Vita app out now

Treasure Park, one of three free apps confirmed for the Vita, is available now in the PlayStation Store in North America and Europe.

Treasure Park allows players to create their own grid-based puzzle sheets with hidden objects and bombs, and share them with friends via the Near app.

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Japan’s Sony hit by fresh cyberattack

TOKYO: Sony said Thursday that hackers stole details belonging to hundreds of its mobile unit clients, the latest in a string of cyberattacks to hit the embattled Japanese electronics giant.

A group calling itself “Null\Crew” said it had attacked a mobile communications server, with a Sony spokesman confirming the cyber thieves had grabbed information belonging to 400 customers in mainland China and Taiwan.

Null\Crew, which reportedly has links to international computer hacking group Anonymous, posted online usernames, e-mails and some passwords along with a statement critical of the Japanese firm.

“Sony, we are dearly disappointed in your security,” it said, adding that it had gained control of eight Sony servers, which could not be immediately confirmed.

“Not even your customers can trust you,” it added.

The company spokesman said the incident was being investigated and added that the server with client details belonged to an unnamed “third party”, and not Sony itself.

In April last year Sony suffered a massive data breach that compromised more than 100 million accounts and forced it to temporarily halt its PlayStation Network and Qriocity services.

And in October, the firm suspended 93,000 accounts on its online entertainment networks, which let users play videogames and watch movies, after detecting a wave of unauthorised sign-in attempts.

The entertainment giant has been battling to restore consumer trust after the initial security gaffe, with a string of subsequent attacks on websites including in Greece, Thailand and Indonesia.

In another incident, a group of hackers known as Lulz Security in June said they had compromised more than one million passwords, email addresses and other information from SonyPictures.com.

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This Unfinished Swan story trailer is delightful

This trailer for The Unfinished Swan from PAX 2012 delves into the Sony-published, Giant Sparrow-developed game’s mysterious plot. While no specific release date has been revealed for this PSN-exclusive game, the game’s official site indicates it will launch some time in 2012.

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Yoshida on SOCOM: We ‘never retire any franchise’

Shuhei Yoshida, president of Sony Worldwide Studios, wants to quell fears that we’ll never see another entry in the SOCOM franchise. Even though series creators Zipper Interactive was shuttered back in March, “never say never,” he said.

“It’s not done. We never retire any franchise,” Yoshida told Official PlayStation Magazine (via UK) when asked about future entries. Yoshida then pointed to Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time, the recent resurrection of the Sly Cooper series, as a sign. “It’s sometimes good to have a fresh look at the franchises we have.”

The last game in the series, SOCOM 4, was far from the series’ best. So while it’s hardly confirmation we’ll see a new SOCOM game in the future, at least Zipper’s closure is not the death knell we feared it was.

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Rumor: PlayStation All-Stars characters and stages leak all over the place

A slew of images reportedly pulled from a private beta of PlayStation All-Stars: Battle Royale shows off many of the game’s characters and stages. An original image posted by Reddit user 696Ly is a leak in the truest sense of the word, as the word “leak” is written all over the picture (seen here).

More visible images of 14 stages and 12 characters from the game were posted online by NeoGAF user miladesn. The images appear to be pulled from the game’s stage and character select screens, including the BioShock Infinite-inspired “Columbia” stage seen above.

Joystiq have reached out to Sony for confirmation.

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Grand Theft Auto: Vice City as a Commodore 64 game

If you haven’t finished GTA: Vice City yet, you don’t want to watch this C64 demake because it totally ruins the ending. Then again, if you haven’t finished Vice City yet, you’re the biggest procrastinator we’ve ever met and maybe it’s time you caught up to the rest of the world.

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Samsung, Sony to launch smartphones with ability to learn things by touching

NEW YORK: There’s a form of extra-sensory perception called psychometry, whose practitioners claim to learn things about objects by touching them. Smartphones set to be released this month by Samsung and Sony will have some of that ability: they’ll learn things when you touch them to pre-programmed “tags.”

For example, you can program a tag with your phone number, and stick it on your business card. When someone taps their phone to the card, the phone would call you. Or you can put a tag on your night stand. Place the phone there, and it goes into “alarm clock” mode, holding your calls until the morning.

Samsung Electronics Co announced this week that it will be selling these tags in the form of stickers it calls “TecTiles”, $15 for 5 of them. They’ll work with its new flagship Samsung Galaxy S III smartphone, set to launch in a few weeks, and several others already in the market, including the HTC EVO 4G LTE sold by Sprint Nextel.

Sony Corp’s Xperia Ion, to be released June 24, will come with the ability to read different coin-like plastic tags that read “Home,” `’Office” and so forth. The tags cost $20 for four, and the phone can be programmed to react differently to each tag. The “Car” tag can launch a navigation application, for instance. Tapping “Home” can send a text message to the rest of the family that you’re home, and set the ringer volume to maximum.

The big push behind the technology, which is known as Near-Field Communications, comes from companies that see the phone as the wallet of the future. When touched to payment terminals, NFC-equipped phones can act as credit or debit cards.

But turning phones into credit cards is a tall order. Mobile payments already work with a few phones, but broad adoption is being held up while cellphone companies, banks, payment processors and retailers work out who pays for what and who benefits.

This ability to sense things close by is made possible by a new type of communications hardware in phones, complementing long-range cellular radios, medium-range Wi-Fi and short-range Bluetooth.

The latest version of Google Inc.’s Android software, known as Ice Cream Sandwich, comes with the ability to use NFC to communicate from phone to phone. When the backs are tapped together, the owners can trade information like contacts.

Samsung takes this one step further with the Galaxy S III. Tap two phones together, and they set up a connection via Wi-Fi. That means the owners can walk away from each other, and as long as they’re in the same room or so, they can transfer photos and even hefty video files between their phones.

There are issues to work out. The Samsung tags can be read by any phone running “Ice Cream Sandwich,” but that doesn’t include the Sony phone. Samsung and HTC phones won’t recognize the Sony tags.
Apple Inc, whose iPhones are trendsetters in many ways, hasn’t built NFC into them, yet. Its patent filings hint at an interest in NFC, but they’ve given no clue when the technology might show up in iPhones.

Nick Holland, an analyst with Yankee Group, believes NFC will shine first in non-payment applications, because they’re easier to sort out, and the technology has many uses. There have been NFC trials in Sweden, using phones as hotel room keys, he points out. Another compelling use case would be Wi-Fi hotspots. A cafe that wants to limit access to the local hotspot might let patrons tap their phones against a tag instead of having them laboriously enter a password.

“There’s been an over-focus on the wallets,” Holland said. “It’s a technology that’s not designed purely for payments.”

For advertisers, NFC tags could replace the so-called “QR” codes, two-dimensional bar codes that need to be photographed with specially downloaded software to be deciphered, so they can send a consumer to the advertiser’s website or earn them a coupon for a discount. QR codes work at a distance, unlike NFC tags, but have significant drawbacks.

“Someone described them as `digital vomit’ recently. You can’t make them look pretty,” Holland said.

Each NFC tag includes a tiny chip, which explains the relatively high prices Samsung and Sony are charging. Those prices will come down, Holland said, as adoption rises. QR codes, of course, have the advantage of being very cheap, since they can be created on a simple printer.

The big makers of NFC chips are NXP Semiconductors N.V., a Dutch company, and Inside Secure, a French one. But competition is looming, Holland said, from bigger chip companies like Broadcom Corp. and Texas Instruments Inc. “Basically, anyone who’s making chips is looking at NFC as a new area they could move into,” Holland said.

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