The lengths people will go through to obtain a rare Twitter username are astounding and perhaps a little frightening. Naoki Hiroshima is a software developer living in California who previously owned the rare username “@N.” He registered the name in 2007 and has had countless offers to buy it, including an offer for $50,000. Additionally, he’s fended off numerous hacking attempts on his coveted Twitter handle. Last week a thief using a trick known as “social engineering” was able to obtain access to Hiroshima’s GoDaddy website and his personal e-mail address. The thief was after his @N handle and agreed to release the e-mail and websites in exchange for access to the rare handle. The story is a fascinating look at how one can have their accounts stolen right from under them in unexpected ways.
Google faced its own unexpected development in the Patent Wars when the tech giant lost a court case and is being ordered to pay 1.36 percent of the revenue it generates from Adwords to Vringo. The small company originally purchased a set of advertising patients from Lycos (a now defunct search engine) and used those patients to sue Google in 2011. The first lawsuit was successful and in response Google changed its ad auction system. The changes did not stop it from losing yet another lawsuit. Continuing with Patent Wars, Google and Samsung teamed up to sign a global patent deal. The aim is to reduce litigation from patent trolls, increase innovation and to counter other corporations (such as Apple and Microsoft) with their own large pools of patents.
It is easy to pounce on Nintendo when their profits are down and their newest console isn’t doing so well. This week I’m more than happy to find some good news. Since its introduction the 2DS has sold 2.1 million units and to date 42.7 million 3DS units have been shipped worldwide. Those are numbers far higher than a niche console like the Ouya will ever see. Despite tepid demand for the microconsole there is a new Ouya model available. It sports numerous improvements over the original and has a higher price tag of $130 to match.