Archive for September, 2011
It’s no secret that Facebook and privacy have had some issues. Take today, for example. Thanks to a modified cookie, Facebook knows where you are online—even when you’re not logged into Facebook.
So says hacker Nik Cubrilovic anyway, after he discovered during a series of tests that Facebook alters its tracking cookie code the moment you log out, instead of deleting them. Then, when a user being tracked in this manner heads to a web site that contains a Facebook button or widget, the browser continues to send “personally identifiable information” back to Facebook.
“With my browser logged out of Facebook, whenever I visit any page with a Facebook like button, or share button, or any other widget, the information, including my account ID, is still being sent to Facebook,” Cubrilovic wrote in a blog post describing the find today.
For the pissed off amongst you, VentureBeat provides this HackerNews tip:
To block Facebook from following you, you need to delete all Facebook-related cookies after logging out. You may also be able to use AdBlock Plus to block Facebook, with the following rules, as reported on Hacker News:
So I wake up to see this letter from Netflix…
“I messed up. I owe you an explanation.
It is clear from the feedback over the past two months that many members felt we lacked respect and humility in the way we announced the separation of DVD and streaming and the price changes. That was certainly not our intent, and I offer my sincere apology. Let me explain what we are doing.
For the past five years, my greatest fear at Netflix has been that we wouldn’t make the leap from success in DVDs to success in streaming. Most companies that are great at something – like AOL dialup or Borders bookstores – do not become great at new things people want (streaming for us). So we moved quickly into streaming, but I should have personally given you a full explanation of why we are splitting the services and thereby increasing prices. It wouldn’t have changed the price increase, but it would have been the right thing to do.
So here is what we are doing and why.
Many members love our DVD service, as I do, because nearly every movie ever made is published on DVD. DVD is a great option for those who want the huge and comprehensive selection of movies.
I also love our streaming service because it is integrated into my TV, and I can watch anytime I want. The benefits of our streaming service are really quite different from the benefits of DVD by mail. We need to focus on rapid improvement as streaming technology and the market evolves, without maintaining compatibility with our DVD by mail service.
So we realized that streaming and DVD by mail are really becoming two different businesses, with very different cost structures, that need to be marketed differently, and we need to let each grow and operate independently.
It’s hard to write this after over 10 years of mailing DVDs with pride, but we think it is necessary: In a few weeks, we will rename our DVD by mail service to “Qwikster”. We chose the name Qwikster because it refers to quick delivery. We will keep the name “Netflix” for streaming.
Qwikster will be the same website and DVD service that everyone is used to. It is just a new name, and DVD members will go to qwikster.com to access their DVD queues and choose movies. One improvement we will make at launch is to add a video games upgrade option, similar to our upgrade option for Blu-ray, for those who want to rent Wii, PS3 and Xbox 360 games. Members have been asking for video games for many years, but now that DVD by mail has its own team, we are finally getting it done. Other improvements will follow. A negative of the renaming and separation is that the Qwikster.com and Netflix.com websites will not be integrated.
There are no pricing changes (we’re done with that!). If you subscribe to both services you will have two entries on your credit card statement, one for Qwikster and one for Netflix. The total will be the same as your current charges. We will let you know in a few weeks when the Qwikster.com website is up and ready.
For me the Netflix red envelope has always been a source of joy. The new envelope is still that lovely red, but now it will have a Qwikster logo. I know that logo will grow on me over time, but still, it is hard. I imagine it will be similar for many of you.
I want to acknowledge and thank you for sticking with us, and to apologize again to those members, both current and former, who felt we treated them thoughtlessly.
Both the Qwikster and Netflix teams will work hard to regain your trust. We know it will not be overnight. Actions speak louder than words. But words help people to understand actions.
-Reed Hastings, Co-Founder and CEO, Netflix”
Nintendo 3DS and PlayStation Vita were definitely the stars of the show at this year’s Tokyo Game Show. Despite what Nintendo and Sony may claim, the dedicated handhelds do definitely seem to be competing with each other for your hardcore portable gaming dollars. While they were going head to head at E3, the question of software for the PlayStation Vita still remained. The Nintendo 3DS definitely had a bit of a surprise up its sleeve for TGS this year, although it was not exactly a well received one. Now that we’ve got more insight into both of these handhelds, where do they stand in the light of each others’ presence?
Ever since its initial reveal in January, we’ve had a sneak peak at some of the Vita’s titles. E3 better solidified these releases, with more complete builds and a handful of new software. But that early on, it’s always hard to tell exactly what will and won’t be in the near future. Now, we have the launch list of titles in Japan that we can start speculating on exactly what will be available on the platform at launch in Western regions as well. Uncharted: Golden Abyss and Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 are probably good bets, as well as a few other titles that were included on the release list. Just the addition of Uncharted: Golden Abyss, as long it turns out to be a quality release, already seemingly puts the platform in a better position against 3DS’ launch line-up.
Sony’s just announced in Tokyo that the PlayStation Vita will debut in Japan on December 17th, and it’ll partner with NTT DoCoMo for the console’s prepaid 3G service. Customers will have two choices of connection here: 980 yen ($13) for 20 hours, and 4,980 yen ($65) for 100 hours — see press release after the break. Alas, the rest of the world will still have to wait until 2012, but you’ll know more concrete dates as soon as we do. For now, head over to our sister site Joystiq for the SCEJ press conference liveblog.
Update: Capcom’s Yoshinori Ono came on stage to mention that Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 would launch simultaneously with the console. Square Enix also announced that the PS2’s Final Fantasy X will be remastered for the PS Vita, and it’ll be in PS3-like quality; sadly, there was no date nor demonstration.
Update 2: The first 500 units sold will come with 100 hours of prepaid 3G connectivity. Want in? Pre-orders open on October 15th.
Update 3: We now have a video demonstration of the Vita’s interface. Enjoy!
This weekend’s trip to the Adirondack Nationals produced some great PICS with a variety for vehicles. The streets in Lake George were lined with people looking to show off their ride. A detour to Saratoga Springs was equally rewarding. As the Wine & Food Festival and Ferrari Show started to come to and end for the day, we made a stop and took some shots.