Saturday, November 30, 2013

PRISM Break: Cloud storage firms increase security to attract enterprise customers

With the prospect of government taking a peek into online data and communications, cloud service providers are kicking up security a notch to ensure privacy for clients. Will this be enough to prevent Big Brother from watching?

Businesses that have at least some reliance on cloud computing in order to share and store some of their most important documents may have a few reasons to feel unnerved about who can and cannot access them. The main cause of anxiety for many enterprises, particularly those in the US, is the potentially frightening prospect of government-sponsored snooping.

PRISM, a controversial surveillance program launched back in 2007 by the National Security Agency (NSA), has mined data from a variety of businesses and organizations. Initially set up with the aim of “fighting terrorism”, many internet service providers and cloud-based companies had found that some data which they looked after was seen by the NSA.

An “immediate and lasting impact”

According to the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation,*PRISM will cost cloud service providers*in the US some $21.5 to $35 billion in losses. These include costs required to ramp up security measures in their products, as well as lost revenue from customers looking elsewhere to host their data. Worldwide, the losses could be as much as $180 billion.

Earlier this year, awareness of PRISM became widespread following a series of leaks, notably those done by whistleblower Edward Snowden. Internet companies voiced their concerns straight away. For instance, Google and Facebook are known advocates against government data requests — or at least they release information on government requests to inform the public of possible intrusions.*

Increasing vigilance

Cloud providers, meanwhile, have started to revamp their range of products to include protection from PRISM. For instance, California-based cloud services provider*Egnyte*told VR Zone that*worries about intrusions from government have prompted the company to revamp its cloud storage packages to better put customers’ minds at ease. Users have reportedly expressed concern about*files being accessed by spies, government-sponsored or otherwise. *PRISM protection is a major component of their latest product, Storage Connect, which is squarely aimed at SMEs and the enterprise market.

Storage Connect enforces color-coding in its cloud storage system to identify access levels. “Green” files are ones which can be accessed using any device at any time, “yellow” files only sporadically and red files should only be accessed from a physical server in the office. Meanwhile “red” files are kept in a purely physical server — not the cloud — thereby adding a layer of protection from potential spies.

Additionally, files stored via the cloud or on a physical server can be set for access only with direct permission from the company’s IT administrator. This is another step that can help to entirely block out anyone trying to access data by bypassing any security measures.

Corporate responsibility

Rajesh Ram, co-founder and vice president of Egnyte, said that file-sharing using unsanctioned cloud services or even peer-to-peer networking poses a big risk for businesses. In a recent survey done by Harris Interactive, it has been found that about 52 percent of users “go rogue” with corporate content, by sharing these on outside networks, which can pose a big risk, especially if the data involved is sensitive in nature.

Ram therefore advises businesses to encrypt their data and ensure these are stored, shared or transmitted through secure means. This reduces the risk of malicious access, especially files that could be used for financial gain.

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Unknown LG-D830 and Samsung SM-N7505 handsets spotted online

Two announced handsets with model numbers not seen anywhere else have been spotted online.


The LG-D830 could be a high-end device, as it follows the D8xx model number convention. The LG G2, for instance, had a model number D802. The Nexus 5 came with model numbers D821 and D820. From the user agent profile listing, we do not get much information other than the fact that the device features a full-HD resolution screen and comes with LTE.

What’s the LG D830? (D820 / D821 is the Nexus 5.)

— @evleaks (@evleaks) November 29, 2013

The Samsung SM-N7505 is a single-SIM device that features a screen-size of 5.49 inches. There seems to be another variant of the same device with a screen size at 5.7 inches. From the listing on Zauba, we can see that the device was sent from Korea to New Delhi, India, where Samsung has a division that works on software services and wireless integration for its mobile devices. There were a total of eleven handsets that were sent to New Delhi, and it has been mentioned on the docket that the devices were for testing and evaluation.

The price for the device has been declared as $540 (INR 33,245), which is the best indication yet as to what this device might actually be. The Galaxy S4 in India was launched in India for $600, and the Galaxy Note 3 price was initially around $720. So it is unlikely that the SM-N7505 device would be a flagship offering.
What’s the Samsung SM-N7505? (SM-N900x is the Galaxy Note 3.)

— @evleaks (@evleaks) November 30, 2013

However, the model number SM-N7505 is consistent with what Samsung uses for its Note series, with the Note 3’s model number being SM-N900x. So, this device could likely turn out to be a Lite version of the Galaxy Note 3. Samsung had just announced that it intends to launch the Galaxy Grand Lite at MWC 2014, so it could launch the Galaxy Note 3 Lite at the same time.

Source: Twitter (1), Twitter (2), Zauba

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Winners for Megahouse's Excellent Model 10th anniversary poll finally announced

Megahouse is celebrating the 10th anniversary of their Excellent Model series with three different polls, one for Excellent Model’s Gundam series,*RAHDXG.A.NEO, one for their One Piece series, Portrait of Pirates (P.O.P.) and another one for their over-all Excellent Model line.

During the autumn edition of Megahobby Expo 2013, the second poll for the*over-all Excellent Model line have finally been announced and it contains quite a few surprises.

Taking the #1 spot is Sweet Precure’s Cure Beat. She will be receiving her own Excellent Model figure courtesy of Megahouse.


The #2 spot belongs to Demon General Astaroth from the Shinra Bansho chocolate trading cards. This surprising entrant prevailed over some pretty big names. Shinra Bansho chocolate trading cards go with some chocolate wafers and have been sold from Japanese candy shops, super markets and convenience stores since 2005. Its concept is quite similar to Lotte’s popular Bikkuriman.


They also announced the runners-up who unfortunately may not be receiving their own figure incarnations.

3. Onyo Miko (Kaku Rei) from Genji Tsuushin Agedama

4. Hyoubu Kyousuke from The Unlimited Hyoubu Kyousuke

5. Ichigo Hoshimiya from Aikatsu

6. Akari Sakura from Twinkle Jewelpet

7. Cure Melody from Sweet Precure

8. Tohoku Zunko [icon of the Tohoku region]

9. Deedlit from Record of Lodoss War

10. Yurika Todou from Aikatsu

The results for
Excellent Model's * Gundam* series,*RAHDXG.A.NEO have been announced earlier this week and the event has announced that the winners, Tiera Erde and Elpeo Ple will be receiving their own figure versions along with the legendary "Blue Giant" from the original 1979n Gundam anime, Ramba Ral. The new Ramba Ral figure will surely be no Zaku boys, no Zaku!

With the results for Excellent Model and*RAHDXG.A.NEO already announced, people are now eagerly anticipating the results for their P.O.P. line.

Read more on figures*here on SGCafe!

Also join in on the community’s discussions at*

Via*Megahobby Official

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Odaiba's 1:1 scale Gundam brings some holiday cheer

‘Tis the season to be jolly once again and the holiday spirit seems to have taken over a lot of establishments around the world, including Odaiba‘s famous 18-meter 1:1 scale RX-78-2 Gundam.

The new Christmas and winter theme started yesterday, November 30, 2013 and featured a winter version of the Gundam statue light-up, a Christmas melody version of the Gundam chime and the Gundam Stand at Jaburo.

Santa Gundam and Santa Zaku also joined in on the holiday celebrations as the two holiday-themed mobile suits appeared in the*32m × 11.5m big screen where Gundam Stand at Jaburo is usually shown. The two have become a welcome addition to the lights show.

A special Christmas video will also be shown on Christmas day, December 25, 2013, along with the usual winter light-up displays.

The winter version of the Gundam light-up will be implemented for a limited time from November 30 until January 13, 2014. The light-up can be viewed Monday to Saturday, from 17:00 – 23:00. The Christmas version of the Gundam chime will also be played from 18:00 – 22:00 and the Gundam Stand at Jaburo will be played at 13 minute intervals.

Read more on Gundam here at SGCafe.*Also join in on the community’s discussions at*


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The world's first 3-D fighting game 'Virtua Fighter' turns 20

Virtua Fighter, the world’s very first 3-D fighting game, has celebrated its twentieth anniversary.

When SEGA released Virtua Fighter across arcades in 1993, gamers flocked to the coin-op machines to dump quarters in and enjoy the best graphics for the era. If you remember the trademark floaty graphics and the over-excited animations that combatants yelled during victory, then you were around when the fighting genre took shape.

Over the last twenty years, the genre has kept pace with the technological advances put forth by modern consoles, but the basics have always been the same: two fighters, a health bar, a time limit and a win limit–and we can thank Virtua Fighter for that.

Yesterday the series celebrated its twentieth birthday–do you feel old yet?–and if you’ve got a Sega Saturn with a copy lying around, you ought to pop it in for some nostalgic beat-em-up action.

Nowadays the game can be painful to play due to its graphics–remember when we used to gawk at those polygons with wide-eyes?–but the game will always have a special place in many gamers’ childhoods.

To date the series has stayed alive, with Virtua Fighter 5 Final Showdown releasing on Xbox 360 and PS3 last year. A special 10th anniversary edition was launched on the PS2 to commemorate ten years of Virtua Fighter, and maybe we’ll see something like that later this year for current-gen consoles–or maybe a mega collection that bundles concurrent releases together.

SEGA has even started a special website in celebration of the game’s anniversary, and features official tournaments and events where players re-live those old nostalgic arcade moments in modern day times.

It’s good to recognize the classics and embrace our gaming roots, and more than a few gamers can regale their past moments playing the old-school arcade machines, in the throes of bitter combat and sweating as the intensity of those virtual melees got closer and closer. Those were the days!

Via Kotaku

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PS4's are already starting to sell out in the UK

Although the PS4 launched just yesterday in the UK, suppliers have revealed that they are running out of consoles due to high demand.

Sony’s next-gen contender the PlayStation 4 was released yesterday across all of Europe, and countless gamers waited overnight in long, winding lines to receive their bounty. Sony attended some of the launch parties, putting together crafty events for players to enjoy while they waited.

After the supply of consoles was chipped away by pre-order recipients and the mad-dash for PS4′s by midnight-launch attendees,some retailers have already reported that their stock has been completely depleted.

A Sony spokesperson had the following to say about the situation in the UK:
“We are starting to sell out – very rapidly but [we] will continue to work with all parts of the supply chain including our partners at retail to get more, as and when we can.”

In light of the “unprecedented demand”, Sony is setting up a stock-tracker website to help customers who have yet to pick up a console and want to do so before the holidays.

Those who opted not to wait in line or reserve their consoles before the cut-off date in August may have to wait quite a bit until new stock to come in. Additionally Amazon UK has revealed that customers who pre-ordered their PS4 after Nov. 13 won’t receive their consoles before Christmas–a bit of unsettling news that may ruin more than a few Christmases.

No word yet as to how long gamers may have to wait until stock is replenished, but it may take a few months. If you’re one of the many consumers looking to pick up a PS4, be sure to scout the internet and do daily checks at your local gaming retailers.

Many times retailers have extra stock from unsold pre-orders, and sometimes you can pick one up that way…but it’s always an unsure gamble.

Also it wouldn’t hurt to hit up the PS4 Reddit and ask users there for info, or even NeoGAF . Fellow gamers, especially across forums and social media, often help one another out, and you may be pleasantly surprised that their info is right on the mark.

Upon its launch in the US, Sony’s PS4 has garnered more than a million unit sales. It will be interesting to see the global sales once the data is correlated, especially in light of the high demand.

Via BBC News

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PS4+PS Vita ultimate edition bundles now available in the UK

Sony has confirmed that retailers in the UK will be offering multiple bundles that include the next-gen console and the company’s handheld at a not-so-attractive price.

A bit ago we covered some news that the overseas retailer GAME planned to offer a bundle that paired Sony’s PlayStation 4 with the PS Vita handheld. Now Sony has come forth to encourage other UK retailers to do the same.

Sony UK boss Fergal Gara told Eurogamer that the company is working with stores to release what’s called a “soft” bundle that combines the PS4 with a PS Vita, but there are some limitations. Not every outlet will be able to offer the package due to limited stock, but it’s expected that most retailers will be taking part.

Gara also reveals that the bundle will vary from store-to-store. Some will be offering what’s called the “ultimate edition” that comes boxed with both the console and the handheld, but other stores will be handling things a little differently:
“It’ll come to market in a few different shapes and guises. You may walk in and get a great deal on ‘buy a Vita when bought with’ type deal. So if you buy a PS4 you can get a Vita for X. And others will say, well here’s the Ultimate Bundle and you get all those bits in it.

“Retailers will package things around it or add certain things in. But as a base price we think that’s quite compelling.”

Sadly gamers won’t be saving much on this deal.

The ultimate edition is priced at “a little under £500″, which offers about £10 in discounts. At this point Sony is more focused on convenience and giving gamers the full spectrum of the new PlayStation experience rather than softening the blow to one’s wallet.

It was the PS4′s Remote Play functionality that convinced Sony’s UK chapter to implement this campaign in the first place:
“Our stimulus to do that is mainly the fact that once we got our hands on Remote Play we thought, wow, it really is real and good, and that deserves a shout.

“And of course it’s a PlayStation point of difference.”

In any case, the bundles should become readily available from now until Christmas, and there will likely be more incentives across different retailers when the holidays roll around. Hopefully there will be enough supply come Christmas time, as the consoles are already getting nabbed up quite fast.

Via Engadget , Eurogamer

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Bungie, not Bethesda, hires talented 'Skyrim' modder

Alexander Velicky, the exceptional Skyrim modder who had high hopes landing a job at Bethesda, has instead found his home with the creative minds at Bungie Studios.

A few months ago, Alexander Velicky crafted a huge Skyrim mod known as Falskaar to show his dedication and skill to Bethesda in hopes of getting hired. The nineteen-year-old modder spent over 2,000 hours building Falskaar, and with a host of additions like 25 hours of gameplay, new NPC’s each with their own voices, and customized towns, Velicky’s dedication was readily apparent.

But Bethesda wasn’t the only studio on Velicky’s list; he sent his creation off to many studios and companies, knowing it was a long shot but never fearing to try.

To his surprise, it wasn’t Bethesda who caught wind of his talent. It was Bungie Studios, one of the most renown and recognized names in the industry. And now Alexander Velicky is an Associate Designer for Bungie, and most likely working on Destiny.

Velicky recounted his experience in a note to the modding community, passing on a little nugget of wisdom that he’s learned from the whole ordeal: never be afraid to try–you might be surprised who will take a chance on you.
“I applied to many companies, and Bungie was in my, ‘Huge company that will completely ignore me’ category. Well, they didn’t and look what it got me.

“Bungie is an awesome company with an amazing team, and I’m very lucky that they’ve decided to give me a chance! Never be afraid to try.”

The modder-turned-Bungie-employee continued on to thank the modding community, saying that he wouldn’t be where he was now without their help and support. Additionally he says that he might abstain from modding in favor of his professional work, but with the possibility of Fallout 4 on the horizon, he might have to give in.

It will be interesting to see how his position at Bungie affects their games, and if his destiny will affect the studio’s Destiny .

One has to wonder what Bethsoft thought of Falskaar, and now that Velicky’s on his way to a potential promising career, he might hop on over to work on The Elder Scrolls. He’s already proved that bridging the gap from fantasy to reality isn’t impossible, and his hard work paid off dividends.

The story in itself is a great testament to the old adage about taking chances, and is an inspiration to modders everywhere–and the gamers who play them. In case you’ve missed it, we’ve included a trailer that showcases Velicky’s Skyrim mod below.

Via Joystiq

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Lady Gaga attempts 'kawaii' look with her anime-inspired costume

Lady Gaga is known for her weird and outlandish costumes, such as the infamous “Meat Dress“. The international pop sensation has recently appeared on a Japanese TV program, and surprised (shocked?) audiences with yet another over-the-top getup — this time, it’s inspired by anime.

She appeared on the Japanese TV Show*Music Station*wearing a Japanese anime-inspired outfit as well as anime eyes. *Music Station is a variety show currently being aired by TV Asahi in Japan.

Appearing along with the American pop star is Japanese idol*Kyary Pamyu Pamyu who like Lady Gaga is known for wearing outlandish and excessively “kawaii” outfits. The 20-year-old model and recording artist is also known for being Harujuku’s kawaii ambassador *as well as the “crown princess of kawaii”, yet with Lady Gaga in the house, the “kawaii princess” just got out kawaii-ed… sort of!

The internet then became abuzz when discussions over Gaga’s guest appearance and performance. Many were pitting her against*Kyary Pamyu Pamyu who also wore one of her trademark “kawaii” outfits, with an enormous pink ribbon. Many threads in the popular Japanese internet forum 2chan have discussed how the Japanese idol was clearly being upstaged by the American pop star.

Lady Gaga then went on stage to perform “Applause” and “Artpop”. She then posed for a picture with*Kyary Pamyu Pamyu to show people there were no hard feelings.

Read more on your favorite artistes*here on SGCafe!

Also join in on the community’s discussions at*

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Sony temporarily suspends code redemption on PlayStation Network

Sony has revealed that they’ve suspended some PSN features to investigate disruptions in the service.

With Sony’s Black Friday sale, a lot of gamers got their hands on PSN vouchers…but many weren’t able to redeem their digital content and instead were met with an error message.

The good news is that Sony is aware of the situation. As of Nov. 29, Sony has purposefully suspended code redemption in order to determine what went wrong with the global network. Once they’ve figured out the problem, we’ll likely see a fix implemented quite soon.

Unfortunately the suspension is for all codes, not just PS Store or PlayStation Plus redemptions–PS3 to PS4 game upgrade vouchers and any sort of other download codes are affected as well. Thankfully other parts of the service like online multiplayer aren’t affected, so your Call of Duty: Ghosts and Battlefield 4 matches are safe.

The news comes straight from the PlayStation Blog with the following statement:
“We are aware that users are experiencing some disruption to the PSN service. To minimize the inconvenience we have suspended the “redeem voucher” functionality while we investigate further. Unfortunately this means that money cards, product vouchers, PlayStation Plus vouchers, PS3-PS4 upgrade vouchers and any other vouchers for digital content are not redeemable at this time.

“Other PSN features such as log in, online multiplayer gaming, PlayStation Plus trials, PlayStation Store (excluding voucher redemption), Trophies, messages, friends, etc are all available.”We apologize for the inconvenience and will provide an update soon.”

For gamers who picked up a few vouchers during Black Friday this is a bummer, but Sony should have everything up and running soon. Be sure not to enter your codes on PC or console (or even your phone via the PS App) until an all-clear is presented by the Japanese gaming giant to avoid the potential usage of your voucher.

We’ll keep you updated when more information comes to light, and for now stay tuned to the PS Blog.

Via PlayStation Blog

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Friday, November 29, 2013

Family Mart offering up these Kantai Collection goodies

Kantai Collection has now become a national phenomenon in Japan and Family Mart is now selling several KanColle goodies from shirts to soap.

These will be the second wave of Kancolle goodies as Family Mart has previously started collaborating with the popular online social game.

These Kantai Collection shirts come in three designs namely the 6th Destroyer Fleet, the Four Sisters and the heavy cruisers. Each shirt costs 3,500 yen and are scheduled for release January 15, 2014.

This cute Shimakaze hooded towel is inspired by the cute Shimakaze. It costs 5,000 yen and is also scheduled for release January 15, 2014.

The Shimakaze Belly Band meanwhile is scheduled for release February 1, 2014 and also costs 5,000 yen.

The*Rensouhou-chan card case features Shimakaze’s lovable canons. It’s also scheduled for release February 1 and costs 1,890 yen.

Family Mart is also releasing these Kancolle soaps which come in three designs, Shimakaze, Tenryu and Haruna. Each soap costs 800 yen.

Family Mart will also be releasing this Shimakaze cosplay set which costs 43,050 yen. It is scheduled for release January 8, 2014 and comes with Shimakaze’s bunny ears head band, gloves, skirt, top and socks. It comes in four sizes namely S, M, L and XL.

The Kancolle cookie box meanwhile features the battleship girls as cookies and are packaged inside a cute battleship box. The whole package contains 12 cookies and is currently being sold in Family Mart convenience stores nationwide.

Read more about*video games*here on SGCafe

Also, feel free to join in the community discussions*here

Via Family Mart x Kancolle official website

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