Don’t Drill Your Graphics Card or Receive This Expensive Lesson

We have all done something stupid at one point or another, but some people’s actions make ours look pale in comparison. Such a case showed up this week where the victim of stupidity was nothing less than a Zotac GeForce GTX 980Ti Amp graphics card. At this point, you might want to either get the tissue box for your tears and put away the drink so you don’t risk spitting it all over from laughing; because one of those two things are bound to happen.

A user named Zanderlinde had purchased a Zotac GTX 980 Ti AMP! graphics card for his new rig, but having a custom built case, the giant heatsink on the card became an issue and he decided to get an aftermarket cooling solution instead to help that issue. So far everything is like it should be, right? But here we go.

Zanderlinde got himself a Corsair HG10 GPU cooler for his graphics card and tried to mount that to his card, only to find out that it didn’t fit properly, one of the mounting holes didn’t align properly. Being a DIY man, as he calls himself, he attempted to fix this issue; sadly he did so in the worst possible way. Instead of trying to modify the mounting bracket or create a new one himself to fix this issue, he took his power drill and made a new hole in his $1000 CAD graphics card. Yes, you read that right, he drilled another hole in the PCB of a Nvidia GTX 980 Ti graphics card.

Motherboard and graphics card PCBs are usually multi-layered and even tho you can’t see any visible connections where you drill, there might be more between the layers and it looks like Zanderlinde drilled through multiple of those. Now at this point, the card wasn’t fully destroyed yet, but it was before he was done with his stupid ideas. Realising that he might have cut some internal connection within the PCB, he got the idea to solder it up to reestablish the connection. To simulate this before actually doing it, he put a screwdriver through the hole in order to bridge the cap. Oh boy, and yes you already guessed right what happened next. Smoke started to rise from the card.

Before the last stupid attempt, parts could have been salvaged from the card, but now everything is more or less fried. To finish the card off completely, he went ahead and broke it in two. But he admits to his stupidity and called himself out for it, so there is a chance that he learned from his expensive lesson and will ask for help first before attempting something as stupid as this again.

Google Translates Russia as “Mordor”

Google Translate is an extremely useful albeit slightly confusing tool at times, the freedom to translate any foreign web page or language with a degree of accuracy has been widely used by a huge array of consumers and companies alike.  However, there are instances when Google translates something completely different as in this case whereby the Russian Federation had been accidentally translated as “Mordor”

Reports confirm that Google has patched a bug within the “translation from Ukrainian to Russian service”.  Below is a screenshot to illustrate this rather awkward yet slightly apt re-imagining of the translation, the company stated this error was introduced automatically and, therefore, did not come from user input.

The search giant also stated that its software was able to operate by analyzing patterns within hundreds of millions of documents, this sounds impressive but the translations are not always perfect when you consider both the complexity and also the context of language which can vary depending on the circumstances.

It is interesting to note that “Mordor” is defined as a “fictional universe of Middle-earth and was the region occupied and controlled by Sauron,” when you consider the fairly recent activity by Russia in Crimea, it makes the translation all the more relevant.

Image courtesy of  the dailymail

Huge Steam Error Exposes User Details!

Steam is a worldwide service designed to help you and your friends purchase and play games with a sense of security and unity. This doesn’t mean it’s perfect though as we found out this Christmas with a bunch of users reporting seeing other people’s details.

Reported on Reddit users were claiming that not only were their information displaying in another language it was also showing other usernames and information related to their accounts. While this may sound trivial the kind of information wasn’t, with everything from Steam Wallet balances, purchase histories and PayPal information being met with some contact information. While there has been no official word from Valve has of yet, but the steam services

While there has been no official word from Valve has of yet, but the steam services did go offline for a period before being brought back to life with a fix.

Steam Database, a service that keeps watch on steam from its sales to its services, reported that while it was being exposed the information was read-only. This means that people could only see your information, not change it. They go on to stress that it is not a hack but most likely a misconfiguration in Valve’s caching mechanisms. They then recommend asking Steam to forget your payment information as “Valve have proven multiple times that they’re unable to keep their security standards to a high level”.

Microsoft Will Not “Force” Consumers to Upgrade to Windows 10… Or Will They?

Microsoft has been somewhat pushy concerning the adoption of Windows 10, from the many “forced upgrade” attempts, relentless hidden updates to the secretive file downloading system which launches an installer without explicit user acceptance, the tech giant has clearly overstepped its remit. Well, apparently no, no it has not, if a statement from the corporation is anything to go by.

“Windows Update is trusted for important updates through an official channel, while Windows 10 has been added in order to facilitate an easier way to find an upgrade to your system, you will receive a significant prompt before you choose to continue” said Microsoft.

Sounds reassuring, unfortunately, many users have found their systems being upgraded to Windows 10 without permission.  Microsoft has also found workarounds regarding third-party tools which aim to disable pop-up ads through the system tray, by automatically re-enabling any upgrade prompts. Furthermore, reports have been circulating concerning changes to the update system that will classify Windows 10 as a “recommended Update” from early 2016; this means users who think they will be installing a regular update will, in fact, be downloading the latest OS.

Then there is the latest scenario concerning the “Upgrade Now or Upgrade Tonight” prompt within Windows update for Win 7 and 8 users, but there does not seem to be an option to refuse the upgrade altogether.

I do think Microsoft have overstepped the mark concerning its relentless pursuit of upgrading every system to its latest OS, consumers have a right to decline any major updates if they wish to through a clear and transparent scheme.  Sticking by an older OS is perfectly legitimate for a variety of reasons, hopefully, I say that word without expectation, Microsoft will see sense and leave consumers be, if not, I can see a backlash to the point where many consumers have no other option but to ditch the brand before migrating to a different OS altogether, whether that be Mac or a variety of Linux distributions.

On a sidenote, I do think it seems slightly odd concerning Microsoft’s current upgrade policy, there seems to be an unprecedented push for all users to install the latest OS, Why? Is it purely marketing or is there something else, such as tracking, privacy, etc.

FAA Give More Details About Registration Plans For Drones

Drones are advancing at a rapid rate, with companies and the public alike looking to use them for a variety of reasons. Sadly with all new technologies coming into the public domain, there are a few issues. Most recently there was an incident when a drone crashed into a power line in Hollywood, cutting off power to almost 700 people. This has only added more fuel to the fire for people who want to get all drones registered, an idea which was received with skepticism and dread. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has now started to clarify some details regarding their plans.

Companies have already popped up stating that they would help users register their drones with the FAA, making that one less task to worry about when you purchase your new piece of tech. The FAA has responded by announcing that users won’t need to work with a company to register as the task will be simple. They state in the post that users should wait till later in the month when more details will be announced before they part with even more of their hard-earned money.

With drones being augmented and adjusted by the general public, do you think it’s a good idea to register the devices? If so, how easy would you want it to be before it becomes unnecessary work?

Rockstar Responds to FiveM Modder Bans

It has barely been two days since Rockstar banned the people behind the already popular third-party multi-player mod made by the FiveM mod team and we could only speculate on the reason up until now. The mod that FiveM made didn’t touch Rockstar’s multiplayer part, as that is forbidden and we’ve previously got to know. Modding the single player is totally fine and we’ve seen some amazing mods already. NTAuthority, TheDeadlyDutchi, and Quasjp however got hit by the ban hammer and how Rockstar has spoken out and explained the bans to PC Gamer.

“The FiveM project is an unauthorized alternate multiplayer service that contains code designed to facilitate piracy,” Rockstar said in a statement. “Our policy on such violations of our terms of service are clear, and the individuals involved in its creation have had their Social Club accounts suspended.”

That explanation doesn’t seem to be justified in any way as the mod actually connects to Rockstars Social Club in order to verify that the user has a legal copy of the game. And yes, it does provide the ability to play on third party servers, but that in itself isn’t forbidden anywhere in the Terms of Service. It honestly just looks like Rockstar was a little bit pissed at people being able to do a better job than they did themselves. Maybe they should hire them instead of harassing them – everyone would benefit from that.

Thank You PC Gamer for providing us with this information

Twitter Hope To Increase Users With Their New Homepage

Twitter has been cooking up a new homepage for its social media platform and it is now ready to launch. The social media platform plans to roll out their new homepage today, but what is the ultimate goal here?

From the looks of it, Twitter plans to get more people to join its platform. When you previously navigated to Twitter.com, the page would only display categories, but this is now going to change with the latest homepage. Twitter wants to draw more people in by showing a bit of what’s going on in and how the social media interaction is on the platform.

The new and improved homepage will display actual tweets by targeting and displaying ‘high value tweets’, something that Twitter hopes will get newcomers’ attention. In my opinion, Twitter was a bit of a mystery at first and it didn’t expose what you would expect from the platform. This made me a bit skeptical and I haven’t joined the platform until recently.

So, in a sense, Twitter’s Interim CEO Jack Dorsey has a good idea with the homepage. In addition to that, his ‘question everything’ perspective aims to get more out of user expectations and opinions in order to make the necessary changes and additions to expand Twitter even further. But until then, how do you find the new homepage? Is it something you were looking forward to?

Thank you Buzzfeed for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of TheNextWeb

AT&T Says NO to the FCC’s $100 Million Throttling Fine

If you read about it, AT&T just got fined last month for allegedly throttling customers with ‘unlimited’ data plan. To sum it up, the FCC saw that AT&T had been “severely” slowing down users while not telling those users about the caps placed on their speed. So, they decided to fine them with a staggering $100 million.

If you think the FCC is asking for a lot of money, they apparently aren’t. According to them, they first decided to fine AT&T with up to $16,000 per violation for millions of violations, but the figures were so ridiculously high that they went with the latter sum instead. Even so, AT&T now thinks that they did nothing wrong.

“The Commission’s findings that consumers and competition were harmed are devoid of factual support and wholly implausible,” AT&T wrote in a response to the FCC. “Its ‘moderate’ forfeiture penalty of $100 million is plucked out of thin air, and the injunctive sanctions it proposes are beyond the Commission’s authority.”

AT&T now states that the FCC is infringing their First Amendment right by demanding the company to tell customers of their FCC rule violation. But let’s face it, when you say ‘unlimited’, you don’t really mention about network slowdowns. Another interesting thing is that AT&T recently changed their policy for throttling LTE users after they pass 5GB of data. This means that unlimited data LTE users now get throttled during the time when the network is highly congested. Previously, unlimited data LTE customers used to get throttled for the rest of the month after passing 5GB of download. But despite AT&T’s attempts to convince the FCC it did nothing wrong, they are also facing a court order from the commission, which aims to bring millions of dollars of refunds to consumers.

In my opinion, throttling customer speeds, either on mobile data or the fiber optic speed you ‘get’ at home is not an option. I know a lot of internet providers face huge amounts of network congestion, but is that our or the network’s fault? I think mobile and ISP providers should focus on spending that money on upgrading their networks to handle more connections instead of keeping the speed throttling habit. What do you think?

Thank you Arstechnica for providing us with this information

Not Everyone Will Get Windows 10 on the 29th of July

If you were eagerly waiting to get your hands on Windows 10 on the 29th of July, you might be a bit disappointed. Microsoft just ruled out some updates on the upcoming Windows distribution timings, so bear with us on this.

The company said that Windows Insider program members will be the first to get Windows 10 when it launches, with other users who have reserved their copies being notified by email. Once you get notified, you will be able to get on downloading the Windows build. However, the company will be rolling it out in waves, which will increase in size gradually. This means there won’t be a lot of users who reserved Windows 10 getting it when the clock hits zero.

For regular home users, Microsoft will release the notification once it gets enough information from your system and considers it “ready” for Windows 10. Users who do not have a PC fitting Microsoft’s requirement will be notified by the Microsoft team and be given details as well as contact information on what they should do to get the build.

Business users have something else to deal with. Windows 10 Pro businesses will be able to download the build alongside Windows Insider users on the 29th of July, but larger companies have to wait. Windows 10 Enterprise and Education will be available through the company’s Volume Licensing Service Center starting on the 1st of August.

In addition to the above, all Windows 8.1 versions sold from retail stores will be given out with additional information on how to upgrade to Windows 10. More information about what Microsoft has planned for the Windows 10 rollout can be found over at their blog here.

German Court Says YouTube Is Responsible for User-Uploaded Content

There have been a lot of debate about copyright infringements on Google’s streaming service, YouTube. The streaming service has been in court with GEMA, the German organisations protecting authors’ rights, since 2006, but two German courts have now ruled their decision on the matter.

According to the Higher Regional Court in Hamburg, YouTube is responsible for what its users upload to the service. However, the streaming service is not liable for any copyright infringements. Therefore, nobody can sue the service for any infringements, though YouTube must act and take down any content that is marked and notified as infringing active copyrights.

However, GEMA did sue YouTube and expected some compensation. But the Munich district court’s decision ruled in YouTube’s favour and rejected GEMA’s bid. The copyright organisation demanded to be compensated with €0.375 per view of copyright material from artists it holds under its wing, leading to a sum of €1.6 million.

Truth be told, streaming services such as YouTube cannot be responsible for what its users upload, but it indeed can take down anything infringing copyright. The search media giant said it was open to discuss and take reasonable action alongside GEMA without having the need of taking everything to court. Despite the latter, GEMA is still thinking of making an appeal to the Munich Higher Regional Court.

Thank you The Register for providing us with this information

Here Is Why Windows 8.1 Gained a Big Lead Over XP and Why It Matters

I know most people who loved Windows XP still stuck with it, even if Microsoft dropped support for it back in April 2014. The people who upgraded went to Windows 7, which now has the majority shares between all OS’. But why does Windows 8.1 need to be in front of XP?

Ok, the main reason XP needs to be something of the past is linked to its legacy security flaws. Since there is no more support, the remaining security issues can be exploited by everyone out there and you are pretty much using something you know you shouldn’t. But still, people are using it and it may pose a high security threat to anyone on the same network as an XP user (not to mention the user himself).

However, statistics show that Windows 8.1 now has a big lead ahead of XP. Statcounter shows that Windows 8.1 is roughly 5% ahead of XP and Netmarketshare shows only a 1.14% increase in usage. The big gap between the two services is due to their methods of analysing different OS’ and browsers out there, but it still shows promise.

While people are adopting real quick the 60.98% market share is still dominated by Windows 7 users. This is a big thing and the reason this matters is that it shows a view of how many people will adopt Windows 10 once it gets released. While we see a lot of XP users moving towards the newest Windows 8.1 release, the same cannot be said for Windows 7 users.

In my opinion, Windows 10 would bring a lot of features and restructure the user interface to something more familiar that is now found in Windows 7. However, the number of users upgrading to Windows 10 will be quite interesting to view as will mark a big turning point. Windows 10 is designed with a lot of new cloud services and business-oriented software in mind, as well as a lot of new and interesting features for the users themselves. The question is, will it be enough to change people’s minds about new software upgrades?

Thank you PCWorld for providing us with this information

Rocksteady Studios Rolls out 3.5 GB Day One Patch for Arkham Knight

Like all games being released nowadays, Batman: Arkham Knight needs a huge day one patch to get it working. This comes after players inevitably get frustrated by waiting for a game and not being able to play it even if they have it already installed and ready to go. I really don’t get developers and their strategy today, but we may have to get used to it.

Rocksteady just launched a 3.5 GB day one patch for the title, promising to deliver more performance improvements, stability fixes and other goodies. Hopefully, along with AMD’s and NVIDIA’s newly released drivers, we might see the game running to an extent where it is ‘playable’, though we might need to wait for a couple of patch releases to actually see it working properly.

The full patch notes are as follows:

  • Improved Performance
  • Stability Fixes
  • New feature: Rival Points
  • New feature: Original Batsuit skin available to select
  • Support for “A Matter Of Family” additional content
  • General gameplay, graphical, audio, UI, and localization fixes

The real question here is whether it’s worth pre-ordering. I mean, we see more and more that titles don’t work properly once released, huge day one patches that hope to fix these problems and constant updates to actually see the game working as expected… months before it gets released. Shouldn’t we like wait until they get fixed properly before we buy them? What do you think?

Thank you GamingBolt for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of UOL

Government Looking for Exploits in Anti-Virus Software to Use Against You

Snowden’s latest leaked documents point to government agencies such as the NSA and GCHQ taking an interest in tracking user activity and spying on networks. However, to do that, they have to get one piece of software out-of-the-way; the anti-virus. This also seems to link with an earlier incident at Kaspersky Lab, where their headquarters was hacked by an unknown and well-equipped group.

The government agencies are said to be using a process named Software Reverse Engineering to gain access to vulnerabilities still present in current anti-virus products. One of the latest warrants GCHQ wants to approve, according to The Intercept, even states that Kaspersky poses a threat to its SRE program.

Other methods of intercepting and gaining access to anti-virus software databases consist of finding and exploiting employee emails that work in anti-virus companies. In addition, user PCs are targeted for HTTP requests sent to anti-virus headquarters, containing relevant security vulnerabilities found by their anti-virus suites.

To support the above claim, The Intercept also came across a GCHQ presentation where it shows that around 100 million malware events are flagged daily by the government agencies. The same approach might be found in every government agency, so at least we get another peek at what’s going on and how ’secure’ we are.

In the end, is targeting and ‘cracking open’ anti-virus software really a good solution? From my point of view, the GCHQ should hire Kaspersky Lab to design their network security if they are as good as they say they are. What do you think?

Thank you TechCrunch and The Intercept for providing us with this information

Valve Improves Dota 2 Reborn and You Can Play the Beta Now

The long wait for Valve’s latest Dota 2 title, Dota 2 Reborn, is now over. Despite the many bugs and features which are not fully functional just yet, fans and curious gamers can now play the beta version alongside Dota 2 on Steam.

Dota 2 Reborn brings a lot of features and improvements to its predecessor, including the Source 2 Engine. What this means is that Dota 2 will have a lot of rendering improvements, performance optimizations, higher fidelity content, and not to mention enhanced physics. Valve says that they will further improve cloth and simulation physics in the future too, but they are still awesome as they are now.

Other improvements can be seen in the UI, having Dota 2 Reborn come with a new and improved interface. Players area able to quickly and efficiently search for matches, stay in touch with their friends through newly added party and chat features, as well as see the what your friends (or enemies) are up to.

Now we all know how frustrating it is to have problems connecting or maintaining a connection to a server sometimes. This is why Valve worked hard to offer more reliable network connections through a new backbone and relay protocol. In addition to the latter, a lot of effort has been put into DDoS protection and we know that is a major problem nowadays.

Last but not least, Custom Games is also a nice addition to the series, having it come with better developer tools for modders. While regular users get to play other modes and maps made by fans, modders get the chance to expand their ideas a bit with new tools. The new Hammer Level Editor lets you quickly prep your map, while the Material, Model and Particle editors help shape it to look how you imagined it to be. Also, Valve now offers better debugging with their new Developer Console.

More details about the latest title can be found on their website here, or if you want to get straight into the action, you can do so by following the steps below:

  1. Install Dota 2 if you haven’t already
  2. Start up Dota 2
  3. Go to the Play tab and select Dota 2 Reborn Beta
  4. Click Install to begin your download

Facebook Will Consider Time Spent Viewing in News Feed Optimization

Being the first page most users see when they log into Facebook, the New Feed is obviously one of the areas that most research and optimization would focus on. As part of an effort to improve the experience for users, Facebook has decided to add the time spent viewing a post in optimizing News Feed. This goes on top of the regular signals of liking, commenting and sharing of posts. Facebook will be rolling out the feature starting today and over the next couple weeks

As befitting a team from such a large organization, the analysis extends beyond a simple calculation of time spent. In order to weed out slow internet connections, the focus will be on the relative time spent on certain posts compared to the majority of posts. Facebook also looks like they will be considering scrolling speed as well as part of determining time spent on a post. Similar posts will then show up more often and higher up in the News Feed.

While such a move to improve News Feed to make it more relevant is good, it runs the chance of becoming annoying. YouTube for instance, will change the entire genre of videos it suggests to me based on my last 3 videos. Having all my suggestions change so quickly and start showing me somewhat irrelevant videos can be galling. Hopefully, Facebook can avoid such a problem but it looks like they are already doing just fine.

Wikipedia Adds an Extra Layer of Security for Its Readers

Wikipedia just took security up a notch and added some extra security measures for its readers. The founders want to make connections between Wikimedia websites and their users more secure to share and view content.

The extra security measure involves HTTPS as the default encryption protocol being used from now on, along with HSTS (HTTP Strict Transport Security) to protect users from hackers trying to ‘break’ into the secure connections.

“Today, we’re happy to announce that we are in the process of implementing HTTPS by default to encrypt all Wikimedia traffic. We will also use HTTP Strict Transport Security (HSTS) to protect against efforts to ‘break’ HTTPS and intercept traffic.” Wikimedia wrote on their website. “With this change, the nearly half a billion people who rely on Wikipedia and its sister projects every month will be able to share in the world’s knowledge more securely.”

HTTPS connections have been available since 2011 for Wikipedia and its sister websites, but users needed to use the protocol manually. However, in 2013, Wikipedia made HTTPS the default protocol for authenticated users. Now, both authenticated and anonymous users are able to browse Wikimedia websites using HTTPS automatically, regard of whether they are logged in or not.

The founders also stated that migrating to HTTPS as the default connection protocol was not easy and required years of work involving teams from across the Wikimedia Foundation. Nevertheless, their hard work paid off and users can now browse more securely on their websites. But we want to hear your opinion as users too. Do you feel more secure now that HTTPS is widely available in Wikipedia? Let us know!

Image courtesy of enciclomedios.com

Facebook Messenger Gets its First Game

Facebook seems to be thinking of allowing games on its Messenger platform in the near future. The first one spotted on the platform is said to be Doodle Draw Game and although it’s nothing fancy, it still is the first one to pave the way for developers eyeing the platform’s potential for game development.

Doodle Draw is not the first third-party app that can be found on Facebook’s Messenger platform. The company allowed other developers to add apps that allow users to share GIFs and sound effects in the past, but the game addition really opened the market for the platform.

This is not necessarily good news for everyone and Facebook should tread carefully here too. We all are familiar with how game developers tend to spread the word and promote their games with inviting spams and automatic wall posts for achievements or other in-game activities. I don’t think users will enjoy the same marketing strategy on their Messenger too.

Still, this marks the beginning of a whole new market to both Facebook and other game developers out there. Although Facebook is not currently taking anything out of what developers earn from their apps on Facebook Messenger, they may be able to start making a small fortune in the future out of it. Let’s just hope people will still be using their platform and not run away from all the pesky marketing ads.

Thank you TechCrunch for providing us with this information

Facebook Wants to Give You More Information on Contacts with New Caller ID Feature

Social media giant, Facebook, has been busy as of late, providing users with more and more features to help them in their daily activities, as well as make them stay and enjoy their social media platform for longer.

We’ve seen that one of their biggest achievements as of late was to make the Messenger app web-based, so they provided users with access to the Messenger platform on both desktop and mobile, provided you don’t already have the app installed.

One of their latest achievements was to bring news articles directly in your feed, so you will have access to your friend’s activities as well as know what’s going on in the world too. I know it’s a bit of multitasking to do and you might even end up mixing your friend’s selfie with a volcano eruption, then you ask yourself what he was doing there in the first place, before realising you were reading two things at once. But hey, we all get used to it in the end.

Facebook’s latest addition is the CallerID feature, which brings some more details about contacts and who wants to connect with you. This is done by having the app display an even bigger photo of the contact, more details about how related you are with him or her and “much more”, as Vice President of Messaging Products, David Marcus, stated. The feature is said to already be available for Android and iOS users in the US, UK, France and India. So will this be of more help than just asking your friends about who is trying to connect with you? We will see.

Thank you Sci-Tech for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of FrAndroid

Valve Restricts Steam Service Features to Users Who Don’t Spend At Least $5

If you’ve ever been bullied or targeted on Steam by spammers or phishers, then you might be excited to know that Valve has set some restrictions to its online service. Valve stated on their Support Page that they are adding this security measure to deal with the latter problems.

Therefore, if you would like to have full access to Steam as a new user or even as an old one who used the service only for Free-to-Play games, you need to spend some money to get the full features.

Valve says that if you add at least $5 on Steam Wallet it should get you access, regardless if you actually buy anything or not.

Other methods of unlocking your account(s) include purchasing games that are equal to at least $5, adding a Steam Wallet card to your Steam account or purchasing a Steam gift.

If you think that you can do something to get around this, you are out of luck. Valve says that activating a retail game, playing free demos, adding a non-Steam game, adding/playing trials, free-to-play games or activating promotional CD keys from GPU manufacturers (like the ones found on AMD cards) won’t get your features activated.

Now, moving to the thing that really matters. What is actually restricted? Well, the company seems to restrict pretty much every social communication in the service. You can’t add friends, open group chat, vote on Greenlight/Steam Reviews/Workshop, take part in the Steam Market or post often on Steam Discussions.

In addition to that, you can’t send anything to the Workshop, post in Workshop Discussions, access the Steam Web API, use the browser and mobile chat and on top of that, your Steam Profile will always have its level locked at 0.

Now the real kicker. Though Steam said a minimum of $5 (that is USD currency by the way), how will it work in other non-US regions? I’ll let you read their response below.

“If the Steam store isn’t in USD, we will track the purchase amount in USD by converting each purchase total made on Steam using daily exchange rates. Once you have made the equivalent of $5.00 USD or more in total Steam purchases, you will gain access to the restricted Steam features.”

So why do non-US countries have to pray for the US dollar to drop in value to not spend more than others? I mean, why not do this for all the currencies once you thought about adding the restriction? Let us know if you consider this fair or not in the comments below.

Google Continues to Patch up Their Chrome for Windows XP Until the End of the Year

Are you a Google Chrome user that hasn’t upgraded since Windows XP? Well, the future looks bright and full of patches! Google just announced that it will provide support for its Windows XP browser up until the end of year!

The decision apparently was made for the company to add an extra layer of security to the decommissioned operating system. Microsoft has announced on the 8th of April 2014 that it will stop providing support for its XP operating system, therefore it has been over a year since the OS received any security updates.

“At the operating system level, computers running XP are inherently in danger of being infected by malware and viruses, making it increasingly difficult for Chrome to provide a secure browsing environment. That’s why we strongly encourage everyone to update to a supported, secure operating system.” Google states in their blog post.

But why make a hassle out of it and keep updating old stuff? Because a lot of people still use it, that’s why! The number of XP users is said to still be in the millions and that means that millions of people are still using an outdated ‘protectionless’ operating system. Crazy, isn’t it? If you are one of those people, it might not be.

Google aims to keep the current XP users secure and updated, at least when they browse the Web. However, the company is not planning to do this indefinitely! Google stated that it will continue updating the XP Chrome browser up until the end of the year. After that, you’re on your own!

“We will continue to provide regular updates and security patches to Chrome on XP through the end of 2015.” Google stated in the same blog post.

How about you? Are you still using Windows XP and the Chrome browser? Do you feel more secure that Google is pushing updates to its browser client? Let us know!

Image courtesy of Google

Researchers Say Facebook Tracking Violates European Union Privacy Law

Facebook had a lot of privacy concerns in the past, and it looks like they just keep on coming. Researchers from the Belgium data protection agency have also determined that Facebook’s latest web tracking policy violates the European Union privacy law.

What Facebook does is it uses cookies to track web visitors without permissions, whether they log in or take advantage of the EU’s proposed opt-out laws. Cookies themselves are only supposed to be used when the user is signed in and only for things users agree to. Facebook’s cookies however break that law by adding tracking cookies on the system in the EU, having the company tracking what users do regardless if they have opted out from tracking or not.

Facebook seems to be tackling these accusations with certain ‘issues’ it found, stating that the study has ‘factual issues’ and has offered resolve its problems with the Belgian government. Officials are said to have turned down requests so far, putting Facebook in a very tight spot should the company be forced to defend itself against the serious EU allegations in the near future.

Thank you Endgadget for providing us with this information

Thousands of Uber Accounts Are Said to Be Selling on the Dark Web

At least two vendors on the dark web marketplace named AlphaBay are allegedly selling Uber accounts. The accounts are said to let buyers order trips using whatever payment method attached to the accounts, while also providing them with the full trip history, email addresses, phone numbers and even location information of people’s home and work address stored on the accounts.

The price for such an account is said to be as low as $1, but it could get to $5, a price that won’t even get you around the block with a taxi. One of the sellers is said to have sold over 100 accounts to other buyers, but a lot more accounts are estimated to have been sold by now.

“We investigated and found no evidence of a breach,” a Uber spokesperson told The Verge. “Attempting to fraudulently access or sell accounts is illegal and we notified the authorities about this report. This is a good opportunity to remind people to use strong and unique usernames and passwords and to avoid reusing the same credentials across multiple sites and services.”

The method used to acquire the accounts is not yet clear, but this comes after Uber disclosed the information about 50,000 of its drivers had been accessed by a third-party in May. The latter might indicate that a security breach might have been found in the company’s system and exploited to get access to user’s account credentials.

However, Uber stated that the breach did not affect user names and suggested that the information leaked to the third-party is unrelated to the stolen user credentials currently selling on the dark web.

Thank you The Verge for providing us with this information