LinkedIN Censors US Journalist For China

I could try to ad-lib this, but the article says it much better than I could, so here goes:

LinkedIn censors US journalist on behalf of the Chinese Communist Party over ‘prohibited’ content, offers to ‘help’ her make her profile CCP-approved

“U.S. company LinkedIn now works as a censor on behalf of the Chinese Communist Party, blocking my Axios colleague’s profile because of her critical reporting on the CCP,” Axios reporter Jonathan Swan tweeted this week. With the tweet, Swan hoped to raise awareness about the alarming censorship activity going on at LinkedIn, a popular business networking platform owned by Microsoft, in specific reference to colleague his Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian.

Read the full article here:

Activision demands shutdown of Warzone’s largest stat tracking site

Activision LogoIt appears that the dinosaur that is Activision doesn’t like it’s players knowing their stats as they play the game Call of Duty: Warzone. You see, there is (was) a site called SBMM Warzone that tracked player stats for the game, in fact it was the largest stat tracking site out there. Recently, Activision had its lawyers reach out to SBMM Warzone and demand the shutdown of their site claiming copyright infringement. I personally think big companies doing this is wrong, the players obviously loved and used the site as it was providing a service that Activision itself wasn’t providing or it wouldn’t have been so successful. Sites like these help the game community and in return help the game stay popular and relevant. I mean, imagine playing World of Warcraft or Minecraft without CurseForge for example? This is another example of a big company flexing its muscles because it can, not because it is doing anything positive.

You can get more details here at PC Gamer.

Cool Tools: Trello – Organize Anything

Trello LogoI have found one of the coolest apps ever for making lists, using a virtual whiteboard, taking and re-arranging notes, outlining and even more stuff I haven’t even figure out yet. It’s an app called ‘Trello‘ and I originally found it on my iPhone for iOS. A few days later I was sitting here at my computer wishing I had it to use on my computer too. Low and behold I went to their website and it’s a web app as well that you can use on any PC/Maz/UNIX/Linux box that has a web browser and an Internet connection! Imagine my surprise!

So, finding that I could use it on my PC and my iPhone (you can use it on Android too, BTW), I just had to share this so everyone could get the benefits of this amazing application too. Now, before you get started, just one thing to share because this irks me when I run into it most of the time, and that is that you will be asked to create an account or log in with Google. Normally, I don’t like this because I figure why do I need to create an account just to use an app, right? Then when I realized I could use it in a browser on my PC the reason became clear. That’s how I can have all of my data in both places. So, YES you can indeed work on the same set of lists, the same data, all the same stuff between your mobile device and your PC at home. Cool, huh?

I highly recommend this app and service, it’s really cool and very productive, it really does a great job of organizing my data. You can create these lists and then move the data elements around by clicking and dragging, and etc. Plus you can drill down to and within each individual element and add more data to each one. It is just amazing what it can do, and therefore what you can do with it. So go try it out … NOW!!

Check out Trello today, you will thank me!

More Hacking Without The Slashing

Blizzard Ninja ProtectionIt seems that earlier this week (8/5/2012 –  8/11/2012) the network and I am sure some servers at Blizzard, the game company behind most notably World of Warcraft got hacked. A list of games that are either played or are accessible online are at the end of this post for your reference in order to help determine if this company is behind a game that you play/like.

At this time, Blizzard “security experts”, and law enforcement are investigating what happened. They are working to find out how someone managed to get into parts of Blizzard’s network where they didn’t belong, but also what information might have been lifted before the nefarious access could be cut off Go Here. So far, Blizzard claims that at this time there is no evidence that any financial information such as credit cards, billing addresses, or real names were compromised. Their work is far from over, but they have found nothing to suggest that these pieces of information have been accessed.

The only information that they can confirm was illegally accessed include a list of email addresses for global users, outside of China. Players on North American servers (which include players from North America, Latin America, Australia, New Zealand, and Southeast Asia) had information regarding the answers to personal security questions accessed, and even information about Dial-in and Mobile Authenticators was gotten too. However, based on what Blizzard currently knows, this information alone is not enough for anyone to gain access to players accounts.

It appears too that some encrypted passwords were taken as well, however, Blizzard is confident that their encryption methods and use of SRP (Secure Remote Password protocol) to protect these passwords, will make it extremely difficult to extract the actual passwords themselves. They do recommend that all users change their passwords for good measure, and take care if the password used here is or was used anywhere else, for any other services, and recommend changing that password also.

All in all, this is a bad way to end the week for Blizzard. I expect that a great effort will go into finding whoever did this, catching them, and using them as a bright and shiny example of not messing around with Blizzard. Just my 2cp worth.

*Notes: Other games that Blizzard is known for and currently active with include World of Warcraft, Diablo II, Diablo III, StarCraft II and more. However, these are the most relevant and Internet connected of them.

Tools for eBay

I am sure that just about everyone has at least looked around on eBay if not purchased something from someone through there.  There are a smaller number of us that have actually sold stuff on eBay, and as anyone who has done this can tell you, it ain’t pretty.  The good folks at eBay have tools, ways and means to get your stuff listed for sale, but as easy as it is it’s also very complex and confusing.  You can take some time and figure it out,  but it never hurts to have some help, and this is where third parties have made a small fortune making tools, software and even books that aim to make eBay easier to learn.

I am all for learning and making things easier to use, and I ran across this site earlier today where the author sorts through a bunch of tools for eBay posting only the good ones and giving reviews on the “9 Excellent Free Tools For eBay Buyers and Sellers”.  I took a look and while I can’t vouch for all of the tools, some of them I have used and I can say that I liked what I saw.  So, go check it out and see if any of these tools can help you in your eBay journeys!  Thanks 🙂

HP kills TouchPad, looks to exit PC business

Hp-ceoIt looks like the CEO at HP is smoking the crack and not sharing the recipe with the rest of us.  A month after their TouchPad debuts they kill the product because it’s not selling like they want.  OK, it wasn’t selling well at all from what I read, but come on you launched the thing when Apple was releasing the iPad2, what the hell do you expect!?  You have a new and untested product going up against the most wanted toy on the market.  Let’s not put any thought or … I don’t know, work into making the sales of that product better or maybe realizing that you picked the worst time ever to release it.  Just dump that chump and blow through more cash on something else.

Next they are talking about ditching their PC business, which generates 1/3 or their annual income at HP.  I mean, what crazy idea is that, especially when at the same time you talk about buying a database search software company for $10 billion in cash.  What in the world is CEO Apotheker thinking of??  Just by talking about the stuff after kill the TouchPad HP’s stock dropped 12%!  Can you say OUCH!

Read more here