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Microsoft Finally Defeats a Seven-Year-Old Bug with Patch Fix

50°
319w ago - Microsoft recently released two new patches, one of which fixes a security hole that the company has been trying to plug since 2001. Amazingly, no one exploited the hole during those seven years.

Previous patches had mitigated the problem, so Microsoft rated its severity level as Important, the second-highest rating on the company's four-tier scale.

This bug primarily affects Windows XP (which some 700 million people still use) and Windows 2000. For Windows Vista, the risk is only Moderate, Microsoft's second-lowest rating, and the bug affects a key authentication protocol for a network technology called System Message Block (SMB). Exploiting the security hole would let an attack program capture user or program credentials, granting a successful attacker full control over the compromised PC.

Why did it take so long to fix?

"[In 2001] we said that we could not make changes to address this issue without negatively impacting network-based applications.... For instance, an Outlook 2000 client wouldn't have been able to communicate with an Exchange 2000 server," Christopher Budd, a security program manager at Microsoft's Security Response Center, said in a blog post.

If you don't get patches installed automatically, you can obtain this patch and more info from...
 

Sony Talks PS3 Home, Coming By Year-End But Still In BETA

350°
321w ago - It feels as though I've been writing about PlayStation Home for years. I haven't, it's only been months in reality, but with its release being delayed constantly, known and unknown development issues, and questions still remaining, it feels like the service has been a long time coming. Which makes any official word from Sony very interesting indeed.

Jack Buser, the director of PlayStation Home, recently sat down with IGN to discuss Home. He talks about why we should care about it, what experience it will give us, and what is it with all these delays.

He explains that Home is going to be a place to meet friends online, to find gamers of the same skill level and into the same games as you. It's going to replace the arcade as the place to make new friends and share your hobby with them. All in all, Sony is excited about Home, and so, apparently should you be.

Great, so where is it and when can we, the great unwashed who haven't been invited to try the closed beta be able to experience the joys of Home? Buser claims the service is now entering the final stages of closed beta, with the open beta very close to launch. And he goes one further by stating:

"Like we've said, we're excited about moving PlayStation Home into its Open Beta stage this year. Once we make the...
 

Sony: LittleBigPlanet a Clear Number One Any Other Time of Year

50°
322w ago - Sony's head of public relations for the UK, David Wilson, has revealed the company is pleased with the initial reaction to LittleBigPlanet as it has been their highest scoring game ever.

He added that in any other time of year it would be a clear number one, so the chart which says otherwise must be put into context.

To quote: "We're really pleased with the initial reaction to LittleBigPlanet - it has been our highest scoring game ever I believe with a Metacritic score of 95 and a huge list of 10/10s or 100 per cent scores," explained Wilson.

"We are also pleased with its commercial performance. In other times of the year it would be a clear number one - so you have to put the chart in context.

This is an incredibly volatile time of year and the chart reflects that - November 7 saw 47 titles released on that one day alone including many big hitters with Christmas number one aspirations. Look at the chart this week - the top four are all brand new entries."
 

15-Year-Old Suffers Epileptic Seizure from Lich King Marathon

50°
323w ago - A 15 year-old Swedish boy may have had the drive to follow in his fellow European gamers' footsteps of reaching level 80 in World of Warcraft in one 27 hour marathon session, but his body wasn't nearly so keen on the idea.

According to a Times report, after playing Wrath of the Lich King for 24 hours straight, he "suffered what appeared to be an epileptic seizure."

Doctors would later reveal the boy's body systems "had been disrupted by a combination of sleep deprivation, lack of food, and the prolonged period of concentration playing the game."

Understandably, the boy's father plans to place limits on the amount of time his son can play videogames after he makes a full recovery.

Let's make something clear; marathon gaming sessions aren't fundamentally bad since they have the potential to facilitate positive social interaction. But when Ho Hos and gumdrops become substitutes for spaghetti and meatballs and people start having seizures, it might be time to put that hot pocket down and reassess the situation.
 

Grand Theft Auto IV XBox 360 DLC Not Coming Until Next Year?

50°
324w ago - While speaking with Variety, Rockstar co-founder Dan Houser gave some disappointing news about the downloadable content that Xbox 360 user's were promised to come out by the end of the year.

While its still on track to be released for Microsoft exclusively, he's just not sure if we'll see it by the end of the year.

"Me: On another topic, I have to ask you about the "GTA IV" downloadable content you're doing. Do you still expect that to come out this year?"

"DH: I'm not sure. It's going well. But we don't know a date. We hope to be announcing that in the next few weeks. We're still figuring out a few things. We're more focused on quality than dates, always have been. But the development is going really good. It's shaping up to be something we're very proud of. That was our goal."

By saying "Not sure," we're 'pretty sure' that means we won't be seeing any new content until next year. Considering as we write this article, the date is November 9th – 52 days until the year ends. If they don't even have a date set and their still developing it, we're probably not seeing it till 2009.

Here is even more proof. Houser said the content of...
 
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