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PS4 ramps up winning momentum Security flaw takes down Twitter’s TweetDeck

LOS ANGELES, June 12, (Agencies): Sony’s new-generation PlayStation 4 console ramped up its winning momentum at international E3 video game show that wraps here Thursday. PS4 arrived at the major industry event a clear leader over Microsoft Xbox One and didn’t stumble. Instead, the Sony team played off the early success of PS4 to unify offerings from the Japanese entertainment giant’s film, television, and music studios in a concerted push to dominate home entertainment in the Internet Age. “This E3, given last year’s success, was like a rock band’s second album scenario,” Sony Computer Entertainment chief Andrew House quipped in an interview with AFP.

“There was an awful lot of pressure on us. I’ve been delighted with the variety of games and the feedback we’ve gotten.” At E3 last year, ahead of the November debuts of the PS4 and Xbox One, Sony put games squarely in the spotlight to win devotion from hard-core players seen as crucial to getting new consoles into homes.

Blockbuster
Sony this year again aimed at gamers with blockbuster titles and exclusive content for play, but added streaming offerings such as original television programming to the recipe. “The PS4 is already a multi-functional entertainment device; it arrived fully baked as that,” House said. “I don’t think that non-game content and game content need to be either oppositional or mutually exclusive; the key words are credible and relevent.” While gamers clearly drive adoption of consoles, the reality is that more time is spent watching shows at services such as Netflix than playing. The first PS TV original series, titled “Power” and based on a graphic novel of the same name, is in production and casting is under way, writer Brian Michael Bendis said at a Sony press briefing at E3.

The story revolves around two homicide detectives who specialize in investigating suspicious deaths of people with super powers. “We ended up with super-heroes-meets-crime-noir; and I think it is going to be a really good bet for us.” PS TV will synch with a Sony online store for digital content, provided they are members of the PlayStation Network. Powers television series brought together the gaming and television sides of Sony, according to House. He described the show as a first step, the merits of which would be measured by how well it prompts people to subscribe to PlayStation Network.

More than half of PS4 owners are already signed on the PlayStation Network, according to Sony.
PlayStation is keeping gamers foremost in mind while leveraging its place in the living room to also deliver music, movies, and television to folks at home. The jaws aren’t dropping at E3. Traditionally, the Electronic Entertainment Expo is the place where video game publishers reveal their biggest and boldest creations. That’s changed in recent years as game release dates have moved beyond the holiday season and leaks about upcoming titles have spread across the Internet. In the months leading up to this year’s trade show at the Los Angeles Convention Center, an unprecedented amount of both deliberate publicity campaigns announcing new games and seemingly unintentional breeches about upcoming titles meant that much of the typical E3 hype landed with a thud.

Can game makers still astonish?
A sampling of some big surprises at this year’s E3:
*  “Cuphead”: Despite receiving only a few seconds of screen time during Microsoft’s briefing on Monday, the old-school 1930s animated art style of this run-and-gun game from indie developer Studio MDHR captured attendees’ imaginations. It’s coming to the Xbox One as part of Microsoft’s ID@Xbox indie initiative.
 

*  “Powers”: Since the Xbox One’s debut, Microsoft has touted the console’s entertainment prowess and invested heavily in a slate of original programming. However, it was rival Sony who used its E3 press conference to tout a show set for its online service: a live-action adaptation of the graphic novel by Brian Michael Bendis.
 

*  “LittleBigPlanet 3”: It was assumed ahead of E3 that sequels to franchises like “Tomb Raider,” ‘’Crackdown” and “Uncharted” would be teased, while the prospect of a new “LittleBigPlanet” was a long shot. That made the revelation of “LBP 3” coming to PlayStation 4 later this year with playable sidekicks a bombshell.
 

*  “Splatoon”: Nintendo unveiling “Skylanders”-like figures or a “Legend of Zelda” installment for the Wii U on Tuesday didn’t catch gamers off-guard, but no one guessed that the “Mario Bros.” maker was working on a zany online multiplayer shooter featuring an original crew of shape-shifting squids battling each other with paint guns.
 

*  “Alien: Isolation”: Buried in a press release announcing that former THQ president Jason Rubin had joined Oculus VR as the head of worldwide studios Tuesday was the shocker that “Alien: Isolation,” the upcoming survival game based on the original “Alien” film, would also be playable with the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset.
Other jolts this week included the procedurally generated indie game “No Man’s Sky” bringing some gamers to tears at Sony’s briefing, Ubisoft announcing plans to resurrect “Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six” and Electronic Arts launching the multiplayer beta test for the cops-and-robbers game “Battlefield Hardline.”
 

Also:
WASHINGTON:
Twitter said Wednesday it briefly took down its popular TweetDeck application to view and manage messages because of a security flaw, which prompted some calls to stop using the program.
Some experts said the vulnerability could be exploited by hackers, and reports cited instances of people’s TweetDeck accounts hijacked on the Chrome browser.
The popular messaging platform said it discovered “a security issue that affected TweetDeck” and temporarily took the service offline, telling users: “Please log out of TweetDeck and log back in to fully apply the fix.”
After a period of confusion and complaints about the fix not working, Twitter announced, “We’ve verified our security fix and have turned TweetDeck services back on for all users. Sorry for any inconvenience.”


Independent security analyst Graham Cluley said the issue was “a potentially serious security flaw” and added, “It is easy to imagine how someone could take advantage of it with malicious purposes.”
“In my opinion, TweetDeck isn’t safe to use until the flaw has been fixed,” Cluley said in a blog post.
“So you need to quit TweetDeck right now, and revoke its access to your Twitter account.”
It was not immediately clear if Twitter’s fix had patched the flaws in the browser versions of the program.
Earlier, City University of New York journalism professor Jeff Jarvis tweeted that his account appeared to have been compromised and that Twitter’s advice failed to work.
 @twitter: 1. Impossible to sign out of Tweetdeck when it’s taken over 2. Killing app, reinstalling & signing in does NADA,” he said.
Founded in 2008 by Iain Dodsworth, Tweetdeck is a favorite of heavy Twitter users, allowing them to view “tweets” in various different ways and to organize their messages into columns — features not offered on the multiblogging platform’s own website.


Twitter bought Tweetdeck in 2011. It had been an independent application until that point.
Unknown hackers also took down two Web services — the online note-taking firm Evernote and the RSS news site Feedly.
Evernote said on its status page that a denial of service attack began late Tuesday and that most of its services were restored Wednesday.
Feedly said hackers were seeking “to extort us money to make it stop,” and added: “We refused to give in and are working with our network providers to mitigate the attack as best as we can.”
Feedly gained in popularity when Google ended its Reader service, which provided news updates from a variety of websites.


Cluley praised Feedly to refusing the extortion.
“It’s right not to give in to the blackmailers who are essentially running an extortion racket,” he said.
“The danger of paying DDoS blackmailers is that you’re only encouraging them to attack you more, perhaps increasing their financial demands next time.”
It’s not the first time tweets containing JavaScript code have self-propagated through security holes in Twitter. The last major outbreak was in 2010. The possible damage is somewhat limited by the brevity of tweets, which are at most 140 characters long.
 




 

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