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02 Oct 2016 

Windows 10: A Horror Story


If you work on a PC that's been around since last summer or longer, you know the relentless, obnoxious, uninvited pop-up boxes urging you to upgrade to Windows 10. Its hype has been such that you'd think Windows 10 includes an app for getting the Israelis talking to the Palestinians.

The upgrade message assures you that all of your files will be just where you left them. It's easy, convenient, and free for a limited time! Plus, if you don't like it, Windows 10 creates recovery site de compras coletivas files that allow you to roll back to your previous operating system any time within 30 days. Don't believe it.

I wonder what in the world is in this good free deal for Microsoft? Could it perhaps translate into big bucks for Microsoft; i.e. Bill Gates and a few key employees and investors?

Windows 10 has its fans. Three of them are smart, computer-literate friends of mine who (along with several others) convinced me it would be wise to upgrade. Because, they argued, Microsoft will be discontinuing support for my old familiar Windows 7, and unless I upgrade I will miss out on ongoing security measures, etc.

Here is my experience. It is admittedly anecdotal, but throughout the past hellish week nearly a dozen friends have shared their own Windows 10 horror stories, including two who said it was downloaded without their request or consent. (Occasional pop-ups say Windows 10 will be installed in X-number of hours, and unless you catch it and specifically decline by checking three different boxes, it's a done deal.) I admit to voluntarily signing on.

So at 2 AM on a recent Tuesday morning Windows 10 was downloaded onto my beloved four-year-old Lenovo ThinkPad laptop. At approximately 8 AM I entered digital purgatory.

For a few brief moments I enjoyed the crisp new look. Then I realized I could not access the two critical elements of computerdom on which my day depends: email, and Word documents. Not to worry. I'm only a few minutes away from the charming and super-capable Geek Squad folks at a nearby electronics place. I hereby salute & applaud my local Geek Squad. It took several exhausting hours - mainly because I tried to work with someone in Bangladesh who couldn't restore my email - but the Geeks found my Word documents and a way I could send & receive email, even if files, address book etc were lost in cyberspace.

Two hours later it was all gone. Windows 10 was back in control, and denying access to anything. The next two days were ofertas de produtos na internet essentially devoted to repeated trips to the Microsoft Store, where assorted other charming and super-capable geek types attempted to get Windows 10 the heck off of my weary laptop and roll things back to Windows 7. They could not. The only thing that eventually saved my life and laptop was a long ago purchase (and thank heavens for the auto-renew!) of Carbonite, which kept a copy of everything on my computer somewhere in its mysterious cloud. It took two straight days, but eventually I was back to where I was before the nightmare started.

Here is what Microsoft doesn't tell you:

Your computer may NOT be compatible with Windows 10.

If you attempt to upgrade using the link furnished with the ubiquitous pop-up, the installation may not be "clean." (This is what happened with my laptop; Windows 10 was sort-of installed, but not properly.) And you cannot simply re-install - or simply anything for that matter. So if you want to join the ranks of the Windows 10 fans, find a safe way to do so. Probably going to a Microsoft Store makes the best sense. The people at my local Microsoft Store were courteous and competent. They also kept bringing me bottles of cold water; I think they feared having a little old lady suffering a heart attack on their hands.

Your files may indeed be exactly where you left them (as you are repeatedly told,) but you may not be able to access them.

If you have a good anti-virus protection, you can get along just fine without whatever new security features my friends feared I would need.

And as for those "recovery files that allow you to roll back to your previous system within 30 days," don't count on it. I invested $149 in a package deal at the Microsoft Store so this could be done, but after two agonizing days of repeated trips we all conceded that the only hope was in the Carbonite cloud. If you really want to preserve the option of rolling back to your previous system, put every single piece of it into a cloud or onto a few flash drives.

Or buy a new PC and start from scratch. This I am doing with the nifty little Asus tablet the Microsoft Store folks set me up with so I could work during Hell Week. Of course by the end of the week I was loving it, so am spending the $300 to keep it for traveling. But I don't expect to be able to do anything but the most rudimentary tasks on it for a very, very long time.

In the meantime I will be studying my brand new, 325-page Windows 10 for Seniors For Dummies. And I'm adding my Asus to my Carbonite account.

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01 Oct 2016 

Sony hacked again as Playstation goes offline

Customers trying to access the PlayStation Store were greeted by a note saying "Page Not Found! It's not you. It's the internet's fault."

Hacker group Lizard Squad claimed responsibility for the attack. It posted "PSN Login #offline #LizardSquad" on its Twitter feed.

PlayStation owners were able to play games offline, but couldn't communicate with other players or make use of network functions.

Sony (SNE) said the problem had been resolved and it was investigating what caused the outage.

Related: What hackers know about you

PlayStation's competitor, Xbox Live, suffered a similar attack by Lizard Squad last week. The outage meant owners of the Microsoft (MSFT, Tech30) console were unable to download apps, games, movies, and connect with other gamers.

Lizard Squad warned more attacks were coming.

"Unlike Santa, we don't like giving all of our Christmas presents out on one day. This entire month will be entertaining," Lizard Squad tweeted.

The attacks come only days after hackers -- possibly connected to North Korea -- brought Sony Pictures to its knees by stealing more than 100 terabytes of data.

They leaked new movies, such World War II drama "Fury", and exposed internal memos and personal information about Sony's employees -- including the salaries and Social Security numbers of celebrities Conan ofertas de produtos O'Brien and Sylvester Stallone.

The FBI has warned other companies to be on alert for the malicious software that infected Sony's computers.

The attacks on the games' networks appear to be unrelated to the major Sony breach last week.

CNNMoney (London) First published December 8, 2014: 9:13 AM ET

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30 Sep 2016 

Sony says PlayStation network back online after three-day outage

Sony says its PlayStation Network is back online after three days of disruptions that began on Christmas.

But heavy traffic might continue to cause problems for customers seeking to play their favorite games, the company said Sunday.

A group of hackers called Lizard Squad -- or someone claiming to speak for it -- took credit for the disruptions. In a blog post Saturday night saying service had been restored, Sony vice president Catherine Jensen added that "PlayStation Network and some other gaming services were attacked over the holidays with artificially high levels of traffic to disrupt site de ofertas connectivity and online gameplay."

Microsoft's Xbox Live service, which also went down Thursday, was back online Friday, although the company reported continuing problems.

So far, there's no evidence to link these episodes with last month's attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment. The FBI has blamed that attack on North Korea, which was furious about Sony's "The Interview," a movie comedy about a plot to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
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23 Aug 2016 

Pokemon Go is a virtual craze - Pokemon Go: Wild tales of the video game craze - Pictures

Not comparar precos online every Pokemon Go story is a lighthearted one. Playing the game can also, apparently, be dangerous.

On July 10, police in Missouri arrested four teens (including Brett William Miller, pictured here) on suspicion of armed robbery. Police in the city of O'Fallon say the suspects used Pokemon Go comparar precos online as a tool to target victims.

"The way we believe it was used is, you can add a beacon to a Pokestop to lure more players," the city's police department said in an official release via Facebook. "Apparently they were using the app to locate people standing around in the middle of a parking lot, or whatever other location they were in."
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22 Aug 2016 

Pokemon Go underscores Nintendo's rich characters, vision

TOKYO (AP) -- Nintendo suffered as a latecomer to smartphone games but is seeing the deep wealth of its franchise characters pay off with the success of "Pokemon Go," even without a launch yet in Japan.

The Japanese game maker was starting to look like a casualty of history until the game was launched in the U.S. earlier this month. Not anymore.

Nintendo Co.'s management missed both the online and mobile revolutions. The popularity of "Pokemon Go" says much about the untapped value of cultural properties -- at least when you're lucky enough to deploy them in the right place at the right time.

"Nintendo might have been slow to adapt to the smartphone era, but now that it's doing it, it's doing it in full force and showing tremendous power," said Hiroyuki Kubota, a financial analyst.

The windfall from what Kubota dubs "Pokenomics" could help reverse Nintendo's fortunes, although some analysts think its impact on the company's revenues will be limited because the game is free apart from certain revenue-earning features, he said.

Nintendo's original Pokemon game featured adventurous wanderings through a fantasy world to collect cute, imaginary monsters. "Pokemon Go" involves finding digital creatures that pop up in the screen of your mobile device as you move about the real world. In the U.S., where it is extremely popular, some people have injured themselves in pursuit of the monsters, falling or getting distracted while driving.

The augmented-reality game could boost recognition for Nintendo's brand that likely will trickle down to other sales, including analog items like Pokemon cards or dolls, income from Pokemon movies, and other Nintendo games such as Donkey Kong, Kubota told The Associated Press.

Nintendo's stock has surged since "Pokemon Go" became available in the U.S., recently trading at about 26,500 yen ($250) a share in Tokyo, up more than 40 percent from its levels before "Pokemon Go."

Staff at Nintendo, which also owns the Super Mario and Zelda franchises, appear simply baffled by the overseas craze, referring all queries on "Pokemon Go," to its affiliate Pokemon.

The affiliate company refused a request for an interview with founder Tsunekazu Ishihara, saying it was turning down all such requests. A spokeswoman did answer basic questions, such as denying the company has decided on a launch date for "Pokemon Go" in Japan.

Anticipation is running high, with rumors circulating the game might be coming to Japan sometime this week. Online, many Japanese are questioning why Americans are having all the fun even though Pokemon originated in Japan.

"Everyone is getting antsy. The bigger it gets in the U.S., the more frustrated fans are getting in Japan," said Motohiko Tokuriki, chief marketing officer at Tokyo-based Agile Media Network, which specializes in online marketing.

Still, since "Pokemon Go" is based on U.S. company Niantic Labs' "Ingress" game, it made sense for the game to launch overseas first, says Tokuriki, who has a popular blog about technology.

It took matching Niantic's game with Pokemon characters to deliver the experience that's gripping so many people: Cautious Japanese might have squelched such a new concept, focusing on risks from such as accidents or the reported use of the game to lure potential robbery victims.

"This is about the Nintendo universe," said Tokuriki, who was looking forward to playing "Pokemon Go" with his fourth-grade and pre-school children. "That's why this is not about 'Disney Go.' This is about 'Pokemon Go.' "

"Pokemon Go" is the kind of game the creators of Pokemon might have come up with 20 years ago had current augmented reality and smartphone technology been available then.

Nintendo started out in 1889 as a traditional playing-cards maker and hit the world by storm with its series of video game consoles, starting with the Family Computer, or FamiCom for short, in the 1980s.

Its Game Boy and DS hand-held machines pioneered mobile games, and Japanese children have been using network connections on such machines to play games with total strangers.

But Nintendo resisted smartphones and mobile devices for years, sticking to its trusted formula as it struggled to protect its core earnings.

That strategy foundered as the company posted losses in two of the last five fiscal years, hit by competition from smartphones and unfavorable exchange rates.

Ultimately, "Pokemon Go" is aligned with Shopping MixdeVendas the vision of its former president Satoru Iwata, who died in 2015 after leading Nintendo for over a dozen years.

Contrary to the stereotype of a solitary game player glued to a display in a room, Iwata believed everyone is a child-at-heart, eager site mix de vendas to go outside and play, interacting with the world and other people.

"Video games are meant to be just one thing. Fun. Fun for everyone," he said, in one of his most quoted comments.


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