PlayStation 3 ends Xbox 360's streak at top of U.S. market

Published: Friday, October 18, 2013 @ 11:01 PM
Updated: Friday, October 18, 2013 @ 11:01 PM

For the first time in almost three years, the Xbox 360 is not the top-selling console in the U.S.

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Sony’s PS3 took the top spot in September, according to numbers released by marketing research company NPD Group. This is potentially a game-changing move for Sony, and it’s all thanks to, well, a game.

Rockstar’s “Grand Theft Auto V” has been shattering records since its release, not only becoming the best-selling video game in 24 hours, but also reaching the $1 billion milestone in just three days. (Via GamesIndustry International)

NPD reports sales of the PS3/GTA V bundle drove the console’s September success. An analyst for the company says, “The launch of Grand Theft Auto V this September was a much needed shot in the arm for the industry.” (Via Rockstar Games)

No pun intended, we think. But Sony’s good news isn’t to say its competitors are suffering. In fact, September was a good month for everyone in the games industry. 

The Verge reports sales of Nintendo’s Wii U more than tripled last month — also thanks in part to a bundle pack with “The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker”’s HD rerelease. And as of September, Microsoft has sold more than 80 million Xbox 360s worldwide. (Via NintendoMicrosoft)

But last month’s real gaming winner isn’t a graphics-packed home console. A writer for Time says: “[Nintendo’s] 3DS outsold everything, hardware-wise, for the fifth consecutive month … and with Pokémon X & Y demolishing sales records, it’s probably safe to assume the 3DS is a lock for October.”

The fight is far from over, though. Starting in November, there will be a new front in the console war.

Sony’s triumph comes just as it’s about to launch its next-generation PlayStation 4 Nov. 15. Microsoft’s new Xbox One will hit shelves a week later.

A writer for BGR thinks Sony’s one-week head start and its current momentum might be enough for the company to “string together a nice little streak of its own.”

Of course, GTA isn’t the only franchise with the power to shake things up in the industry. Microsoft has announced a new version of the popular “Halo” series will make its way to the Xbox One.

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Classic Barbie gets a 21st century makeover into Hologram Barbie

Published: Tuesday, February 21, 2017 @ 6:17 PM
Updated: Tuesday, February 21, 2017 @ 6:17 PM

            Classic Barbie gets a 21st century makeover into Hologram Barbie

Mattel has unveiled its newest version of the classic Barbie doll, only it’s not really a doll. It’s a holographic image of a Barbie in a box.

The toymaker showed off the new virtual doll, Hello Barbie Hologram, at the annual Toy Fair in New York over the weekend.

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The new 21st century virtual Barbie is like a Siri or Alexa, only for kids.

The Barbie hologram exists inside a plastic container, CNN reported. It’s voice-activated, can answer questions, and can change its appearance, including skin tone and clothing.

The virtual doll talks, dances and is programmable. It connects to the internet and will also operate through Bluetooth

It’s expected to hit store shelves next fall for under $300.

Taxi drones ready for takeoff in Dubai this summer

Published: Thursday, February 16, 2017 @ 9:44 AM
Updated: Thursday, February 16, 2017 @ 9:44 AM

            Taxi drones ready for takeoff in Dubai this summer

Passenger drones may be just the fix for gridlocked roads in major cities around the world, especially in U.S. cities like Atlanta, New York, and Los Angeles to name just a few.

Plans are underway in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates to begin using taxi drones sometime this summer, the Associated Press reported.

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Built by a the Chinese company EHang, the EHang 184 MegaDrone, as it’s officially called, is billed as “the world’s first self-flying commercial taxi car.

The single-person drones have a top speed of 100 mph and a 31-mile range, with a weight limit of 220 pounds, according to EHang.

The drone is directed through the use of a touch screen, so a rider simply enters in a destination on a tablet inside the drone and away they go.

EHang, which is asking for clearance to operate in the U.S., said it expects the taxi drones to begin operations in China in the next couple months.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

Hacker releases iPhone cracking code used by FBI, other iOS impacted

Published: Sunday, February 05, 2017 @ 10:55 AM
Updated: Sunday, February 05, 2017 @ 10:55 AM

            Hacker releases iPhone cracking code used by FBI, other iOS impacted

A hacker, who accessed code used by the FBI to gain entry into the phone of one of the San Bernardino shooters, has now released part of that code to the public.

The hacker gained access to the code through the Israeli firm Cellebrite, which helped the FBI crack the shooter’s iPhone 5c after Apple refused to help.

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The hacker spoke anonymously to the online publication Motherboard, explaining why he hacked into Cellubite and got the code and why he then posted it on Pastebin.

“It is important to demonstrate that when you create these tools, they will make it out. History should make that clear,” the hacker said.

That is also the reason Apple CEO Tim Cook gave on refusing to help the government gain entrance into the phone of the San Bernardino shooter in early 2016.

Creating software to break into iPhones or other phone systems is a risk and is “terrible for public safety,” Cook said at the time.

The hacked code can apparently crack older iPhones, and Blackberry and Android systems, too.

“The debate around backdoors is not going to go away; rather, it is almost certainly going to get more intense as we lurch toward a more authoritarian society,” the hacker warned Motherboard.

Gmail phishing scam may lead users to give up login info

Published: Tuesday, January 17, 2017 @ 4:29 PM
Updated: Tuesday, January 17, 2017 @ 4:29 PM

            Gmail phishing scam may lead users to give up login info

A new phishing scam is allowing hackers to gain access to unsuspecting Gmail users' accounts and target their login credentials, according to recent reports.

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Mark Maunder, CEO of security service Wordfence, described the scam in detail in a blog post, adding that it is also targeting other services beyond Gmail.

Tech Times reported that the scam involves a hacker who has access to a user's account sending malicious emails with PDF attachments to people in the victim's contacts.

Because the emails are sent from a real account, the unsuspecting person opens the attachment, which opens in a new tab as a preview.

The new tab, which contains "" in the address bar, prompts the user to login.

Once the user puts in his or her credentials, the hacker has access to the information.

There are a couple of ways to prevent falling victim to the hack, according to experts.

"Make sure there is nothing before the host name '' other than 'https://' and the lock symbol," Maunder said. "You should also take special note of the green color and lock symbol that appears on the left."

Two-step authentication is a simple step that users can take to prevent such a hack. The process involves a code being sent to the user's phone for further authentication before someone can gain access to a Gmail account.

More information can be found at Wordfence.