It’s gone under-reported this week—what with the royal nuptials (yes, I watched) and Donald Trump’s latest gasbaggery—but one of the biggest network hacks ever was pulled off, disabling the Playstation Network for the past nine days and potentially exposing the personal data of 77 million users, including limited credit card information. I noticed the hack last weekend, as I couldn’t go online to check out movies.* Instead, for the past nine days, I and every other member of the Playstation Network have been treated with a “the network is down for maintenance” message. Sony finally came clean on the 26th, several days after the attack, admitting their network had been seriously compromised, including the names, email addresses, user passwords, credit card numbers (minus cvc), purchase history, and potentially other data of users, and that they were working to increase security. No timetable has been announced for the network’s return.
You’d think the Playstation Network hack doesn’t effect those of us who mostly game offline. And, indeed, most games are still playable (some with draconian DRM requiring an online connection are unplayable right now). But online gamers, people who purchase games or movies over the network, stream tv and movies over the network, or have done so at least once in the past (guilty), are potentially at risk. I’m not sure what upsets me more: that an obvious target had such lax security that a hacker could gain access to such an incredible amount of data; Sony’s delayed admission that something was wrong; or that it’s been nearly a fortnight of darkness from the Playstation Network and no word of a return. Are they rebuilding from scratch? That inspires confidence. Everybody had better get a free copy of Uncharted 3 as compensation or something.
UPDATE (4/30, afternoon): Homeland Security getting involved. Also, Sony sets a target return date of 5/4.
*n.b. I’m not much of an online gamer anymore, except with people I know. As an early 30-something I no longer have the chops to go head-to-head with 16-year-olds who game 12 hours a day and have all the cheats turned on.
The banned John 3:16 Super Bowl ad is below. I happened to see it because I was in one of two television markets—Washington, DC and Birmingham, AL—that showed it. Worth getting upset about? It strikes me as fairly harmless, like the Tebow ad from last year.
Congrats to the Packers on their win from this Steelers fan. They deserved it.
- I know that the NFL has always gone for the militaristic patriotism angle, but it seemed really over-the-top this time. During that Michael Douglas promo video, I kept waiting for Tim Pawlenty to show up. Women’s suffrage! Civil Rights! Fighting Nazism! Packers and Steelers, next on Fox!
- Can we agree to never let Dallas host a Super Bowl ever again? The city was unable to deal with snow (covering it with sand, really?), falling ice nearly killed some people, they were still installing seats two hours before the game in a failed attempt to set the NFL attendance record, and the turf injured several people in the first half (and unless I’m mistaken, it looked slippy and wet; isn’t that place indoors?). I’m afraid if Rick Perry gets elected president, Jerry Jones is going to be put in charge of FEMA.
- “Despite all the injuries in the first half, Roger Goodell has decided to extend this game to 6 quarters.” (Bill Simmons on Twitter).
- If the Packers receivers hold onto the ball, they win in a blowout. If the Steelers don’t commit three turnovers, they win.
- Black Eyed Peas: catchy beats, horribly sung horrible lyrics, WTF choreography. Exactly as I expected.
- The commercials were not as sexist against women as last year at least. WIN: VW Young Vader ad; Eminem’s “this is what we do” Chrysler ad; Bridgestone’s “Beaver” ad; Coke’s dragon and border guard spots; Doritos “grandpa lives” ad. FAIL: Doritos “torturing the dog” and “creepy finger-licking guy” ads; Eminem’s Lipton Brisk ad; Faith Hill’s “Teleflora” ad (ok, sexism isn’t dead, it’s just against men this time). HOLD ON A MINUTE: Wasn’t that John 3:16 ad banned? I’m not the only one who saw it, right? WHAT THE FAIL?: that crossdressing ad for a product I can’t even remember. JUST GO HOME: GoDaddy.
- If I ever see another Glee “commercial for a commercial” spot I’m going to hurt somebody.
- I’m sure I’m not the only Steelers fan who thought, “we’ve got the ball, two minutes to go, needing a touchdown, in the Super Bowl—We got this!.” That drive even began with a stupid offensive penalty too. Oh well, can’t win em all.
The History Channel—that network that brings you such historical fare as Ice Road Truckers and Pawn Stars—has pulled the plug on an eight-episode miniseries on the Kennedy family, saying “we have concluded this dramatic interpretation is not a fit for the History brand.” The Kennedys was announced in December 2009 and has long been a target of ire due to the involvement of conservative Joel Surnow, co-creator of 24. Liberal activists and aging keepers of the Kennedy mystique like Ted Sorensen alleged the final product would be too politically biased and not historically accurate. Apparently they’ve won. The Kennedys suffered the same fate as CBS’s The Reagans, which in 2003 was pulled from sweeps week due to controversy over its portrayal of Ronald Reagan (the series eventually aired on pay cable). This show will go on—in Canada—starting March 6th, but apparently will not make it to U.S. television for now. The Kennedys starred Greg Kinnear as John F. Kennedy, Katie Holmes as Jacqueline Kennedy, and Tom Wilkinson as Joe Kennedy. The trailer:
About a year ago, this guy Remy came up with a rap about living in the yuppie suburbs of Arlington (“why are all these dudes in brown flip-flops?”). Some of the better lines in that one were about the DC Metro system. So here’s a new one exclusively about the Metro system:
Jim at Stones Cry Out posts 8 reasons why he won’t be watching Glenn Beck’s god-and-country show tonight. I’m glad other Christians are having issues similar to mine with this syncretistic event. I don’t need politics to “heal my soul,” thank you very much, I have my local church for that. And it’s funny how Beck’s Mormonism doesn’t bother his evangelical fans too much (somewhere Mitt Romney is seething). That said, I can only agree with 6 of Jim’s 8 points. #7 doesn’t apply to me because I’m single, and #8 doesn’t apply because my one team just had its 18th consecutive losing season and my other team just lost its stud rookie pitcher until this time next year.
Founder of Dogfish Head craft brewery Sam Calagione is going to be the star of a new reality show on Discovery Channel in the fall. Calagione is popular in the craft brewing world for his unique, “off-centered” approach to brewing. He is also a proud 1992 graduate of Muhlenberg College with a degree in… English?