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Top-secret Windows Mobile 6.5 Prototype Stolen in Barcelona

200°
304w ago - Here's the risk you take holding the cellphone industry's annual gathering in Barcelona, a city famous for its world class pickpockets.

Only hours after Microsoft announced the launch of Windows Mobile 6.5 – the software giant's answer to Apple's iPhone and Google's Android – a prototype phone loaded with a top-secret copy of the new software was lifted from an executive's pocket, the [Register or Login to view links] reported Thursday.

Microsoft was "in a panic," according to this report, fearing industrial espionage.

The phone had reportedly been loaned to the CEO of Telstra, the Australian telecommunications giant, to test before launch. He, in turn, handed it to an unnamed executive, who was apparently pickpocketed that evening. According to the Telegraph:

"A spokesman for the Australian company confirmed the theft had happened. 'One of our product executives was given the phone to test the system. He had it with him at an organised evening event and it was stolen from him - we don't know by whom.'"

Microsoft declined to comment on the report.

Barcelona's professional pickpockets often travel...
 

Has Microsoft Stolen Sony's Tokyo Game Show Crown?

50°
323w ago - Tokyo Game Show is all about Sony... or at least it was. The annual event is in full swing now and that table has turned. Microsoft is usually as quiet as a mouse wearing slippers while the Japanese based Sony enjoys the love-in, but to date it has been Microsoft dropping bombs. Let us elaborate...

Back in the good ol' days (or not so good ol' days, depending on which side of the line you're on) at the Tokyo Game Show, Sony would come in first, Nintendo second, and Microsoft would be a distant afterthought.

Indeed prior to this year's TGS, the Japanese convention was dominated by Sony, plain and simple. Their booth was the size of a football field, they gave interview access to everyone who was anyone and, best yet, they delivered top notch treatment to game journalists.

Such was Sony's dominance of TGS that they would fly upwards of 10 Aussie journos to Japan and put them up in the most pimping of pimped out hotel suites to ensure coverage. We're talking the kind of hotel that doesn't start until floor 60, has a view that would leave God breathless, and includes features such a giant LCD and a glass-walled bathroom that allows you to watch said TV from the comfort of the bath... oh yeah.

Back in these Sony dominated times, Microsoft rarely even managed to register...
 

GameStop Employees Nabbed in Undercover Stolen Game Sting

50°
324w ago - GameStop have suspended their cash-for-trade transactions in Shelby County and DeSoto County, Mississippi until February 2009 after eight members of of its own staff were caught buying stolen games in an undercover sting.

"GameStop takes this situation quite seriously," said Rory Rhoads, GameStop's Regional Vice President of Stores.

"We are pleased to partner with the ALERT Unit and have taken very deliberate steps to improve our operations. "

To quote: Authorities said today that eight current and former employees of the world's largest video game retailer have pleaded guilty to theft of property charges for buying video games purported to be stolen.

Each of the eight defendants charged pleaded guilty to theft of property under $500 and was ordered to serve one year on diversion, a form of probation that can end with their record being cleared.
 

PSN helps find stolen PS3, Unwanted Xbox 360 the replacement

50°
331w ago - The fiance of Dustin Waller bought him a second hand PS3 from a store in Cleveland, but little did she know it was infact a stolen system. However, the police were able to track the system whenever Waller turned on the system as the original owner of the PS3's PSN ID was still stored on the system. The police confiscated the system and Waller was compensated by the store with an unwanted Xbox 360.

To quote: Police appeared on Waller's door after the purchase, and they inquired as to how he had come across the system. According to the Salisbury Post, the police were able to track the system whenever Waller turned on his system.

The original owner of the PS3's PSN ID was still stored on the system, and it was set to auto-login when the system turned on. By tracking Waller's IP address, they were able to find him.

Waller is of course innocent in the whole debacle, but police confiscated his system nonetheless. While the police look for the person who sold the stolen system to the games shop, Waller was given compensation from the store he didn't want: an Xbox 360.

"Waller is appreciative of the offer from the store but notes the Xbox isn't nearly as expensive or sophisticated as the PlayStation."
 

Grand Theft UPS: Copies of GTA stolen en route to retailers

50°
346w ago - According to a UPS employee, 3 members of staff were fired over the weekend for stealing GTA IV from shipment boxes and that more employees are set to be fired today for the same reason.

The source says they believe they are stealing the staff stole the copies for their own personal use.

To quote: "When we have a [big name release], we communicate it to operations and security teams. We have security in place at the facilities, and we make sure they understand to keep an eye out for things to exit the building," he explained.

How did they find where games were stolen? "We had tips from people inside, and some of them were discovered at intermediate hubs... it's easy to spot: flaps torn, some boxes are re-taped." In most cases, the bust is as easy as finding the last person who scanned the box as full and interviewing them.

"They're not selling them, these people are stealing one copy," he told me–all of the thefts seem to be for personal use. It seems many people think stealing a game a few days before release is worth it, and this is far from the perfect crime.
 
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