It’s Friday! That means it’s time for another episode of All The [NERD] Rage, a lightning-round style review of the top nerd stories of the week. These are stories the Muggles may have missed. It’s time to catch up, so we’d better get started.
- Alleged LulzSec/Anonymous Hackers Arrested For Sony Security Breach
An Arizona man was arrested yesterday for allegedly stealing data from a Sony Pictures Entertainment database earlier this year. He and his accomplices allegedly breached the computer system for Sony Pictures, made “tens of thousands of requests for confidential data,” and then released the information on a public Web site and Twitter. 23 year-old Cody Andrew Kretsinger, from Phoenix, supposedly used the hacker handle “recursion.” He is alleged to be a member of the LulzSec hacker group, which is believed to be a spinoff of Anonymous. LulzSec bragged about breaking into the Sony Pictures system, and posted a statement on Pastebin on June 2 as proof of their attack. “We recently broke into SonyPictures.com and compromised over 1,000,000 users’ personal information, including passwords, email addresses, home addresses, dates of birth, and all Sony opt-in data associated with their accounts,” the statement said.
Sony said in a statement the following week that actually only 37,500 customers had personally identifiable information exposed in the breach.
- Gamers Help Out Scientists By Solving 10 Year Old Problem
It’s like a real-life scene out of Stargate Universe: “For the last 10 years, scientists had failed to resolve the configuration of an enzyme, the retroviral protease of M-PMV, which causes AIDS in simians. Eventually, the scientists gave their work over to a game called Foldit.
Foldit players leverage human three-dimensional problem-solving skills to interact with protein structures using direct manipulation tools and algorithms … Players collaborate with teammates while competing with other players to obtain the highest-scoring (lowest-energy) models.
So after turning a problem into a game, with competition against other plays and the prize of academic publication, the problem was solved. In three weeks. See mom, playing video games wasn’t a complete waste of time.
- TV & Movie News
The Walking Dead will soon be getting it’s own live talk show. AMC executive Joel Stillerman described it as a “kind of live water cooler.” The half-hour chat show, called The Talking Dead, will start right after the Season 2 premier on October 16. The show will be hosted by Chris Hardwick, from the Nerdist podcast and G4’s Attack of the Show! Hardwick stated, “Dissecting the moves of Rick Grimes and the remaining survivors after every episode is something I would be doing with my friends anyway, so the fact that AMC is actually paying me to do so is a bonus.” He added, “It will better inform viewers on making intelligent decisions when faced with the zombie apocalypse, which will probably happen sooner or later.”
Walt Disney World will soon be getting an Avatar-themed attraction. The project has just entered its design phase, with construction expected to start around 2013. The attraction is expected to take about five years to complete, and will feature “multiple attractions, entertainment, merchandise locations, restaurants and other immersive elements.” Chairman Tom Stagg stated on the official Disney Parks blog: “Disney’s Animal Kingdom is the perfect place for our first AVATAR land because at its core, the park gives guests the opportunity to experience the worlds of animals and nature – real and mythical – in whole new ways.”
This one isn’t nerd news, but it’s definitely worth sharing. A few years ago, the musical film Once captured our hearts. Now we get a glimpse into the real-life tale behind the film’s two stars, Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová. A documentary telling the true story of The Swell Season is set to get a limited theatrical release next month. “Fueled by two years of exhilaration, performance, and psychological turmoil, The Swell Season is much more than a music documentary. It is a volatile and intimate portrait of a romance that fractures in the face of life on the road and personal tragedy.” The official trailer can be seen on YouTube. Get the tissues ready, there will be tears.
- Gaming News
After a six month delay, Gears of War 3 finally came out this week. Did it live up to all the hype? Here’s what Game Rant had to say: “In short, Gears of War 3 offers a deserving conclusion to the trilogy and is without question, a game of the year contender … Gears of War 3 is a must-play title and the best game in the series, in both its campaign and its vastly upgraded multiplayer component, which introduces a revamped matchmaking process and several new game modes.” Needless to say, they gave it 5 out of 5 stars.
Michael Pachter went on record stating that Call of Duty is now the biggest mainstream franchise, having usurped that position from Rockstar’s Grand Theft Auto. In an interview with Industry Gamers, the Wedbush Securities analyst and video game market guru stated that the main reason for Call of Duty‘s meteoric rise in the mainstream is primarily due to how Activision has annualized the franchise. “Pachter estimates that Call of Duty is currently capable of selling 20 million units every year. By contrast, GTA sells about 25 million units every five years.”
DICE has announced that Battlefield 3 DLC will be a timed exclusive for the PlayStation 3, with all of the DLC content exclusive to the PS3 for one week following each release.
[Source: Game Rant]
- Tron is Real! Well, at least the bike is.
Parker Brothers Choppers has created an electric bike based on the light cycle design from Tron Legacy. “The all-new Electric Tron Lightcycle is powered by a 96 volt electric motor and lithium ion batteries. Its top speed is in excess of 100 mph, and its range is 100 miles on a single charge, with a mere 35-minute recharge time.” It even lights up, just like in the film. A video announcing the bike can be seen on YouTube. Top comment from the original Mashable article: “Good thing it only has a range of a 100 miles, that riding position? Go right to the ER to have your nuts put in a sling.”
- Facebook Gets All Netflix On Us
Two big things happened in Facebook land this week. First, they unveiled the big changes to the layout and newsfeed. Now everyone will be forced to have more extraneous windows open, in addition to the mandatory chat window we’ve all come to know (and not) love. Then yesterday, they held their annual F8 developer conference. Perhaps the highlight of the show was Andy Samberg showing up to do his Zuckerberg impression. The dust is still settling from all of the announcements. However, right now the big news is simply the scale of integration Facebook will have with, well, just about everything you do on the Internet. Soon, you can see what your friends are watching through updates in your feed. You could then click a link, and start watching something from Hulu or Netflix in your browser, while staying within Facebook itself. “But what promises to be big business for Facebook could prove to be a burden for users, who will see any activity they take on certain Facebook apps published instantly on the social networking site.” Geez, talk about overshare …
[Source: The Huffington Post]