What Happens if You Leak Microsoft Gear of War Secrets?

We’ve known for a while now that Gears of War was getting a remake, it’s been rumored for a while now, but finally we have proof. VMC Games is a company contracted to test out new games and like many other companies these contracts comes with an NDA (non-disclosure agreement). But what happens if you break this? Well apparently your Xbox One is removed completely from the online world.

NDAs have been around for a while, companies take them out so the only time anyone can speak about a topic or product is when its done formally through a press release of some kind. Used in everything from courtrooms to government offices, the name gives away that once you sign it, you do not speak about it. An unlucky VMC games tester has unfortunately found out the hard way that Microsoft does not approve of you breaking your contract with them.

By sending a screenshot to a friend about the Gears remake that he was testing, that’s right he was telling his friend what he was working on and then sent him a screen grab of the game, the employee has found that both his bosses and Microsoft are taking action. With both VMC Games’s legal department and no doubt Microsoft’s involved, the employee is in a lot of legal troubles, all the while coupled by the fact they are now banned from the VMC Games program and they are having their Xbox Live access removed. Break the NDA and you lose all access to online functions, both for your account and your Xbox apparently. So break their NDA and you’ll quickly find your online life removed from your Xbox for however long Microsoft deem it necessary.

This was all caused by the fact that, after being tricked into thinking they were working on the same project, the employee sent a Snapchat of the screenshot which was then uploaded to the web before going viral. Not only has this damaged VMC Games reputation and potentially the trust of companies around the world with beta testers as a whole, but one person has lost a job all because a friend tricked them. These were not the only leaks I would like to add, several members of the Beta testing community have been found to have leaked footage and screen shots of the unannounced Gears of War project, and no doubt Microsoft will be making sure that their Xbox Ones are disabled with a swift hand.

What do you think about this situation? Do they deserve it for breaking the NDA, is removing Xbox live access going a little too easy on them?

Thanks to Kotaku and Engadget for the information.

Image courtesy of Pichost.

Nexus 7 Tablets Get Bricked After Updating to Android 5.0

Some Nexus 7 owners haven’t had a chance to fully take advantage of what Google’s Android 5.0 brings. It is reported that some Nexus 7 users had their tablets bricked after updating the device to the latest Android OS.

The devices appear to be stuck at the Google logo, but nobody seems to know exactly why. One theory suggests that there could be a problem with the flash memory, or a problem with the software itself. However, given that the problem appeared only after updating to the latest Android OS, all indications point to a software issue.

Normally Asus or Google would have reassured their customers they are looking into it through social media by now, but the reality is that the companies have not yet responded to any of the complaints that pile up on Twitter.

Thank you Phonearena for providing us with this information

Chip Company FTDI Silently Bricking Clone Chips

Chip manufacturer FTDI has admitted that a silent update they issued has been used to brick clones of their FGTI FT232 chips.

The FT232 is an extremely common chip found in various electronic devices, therefore some clones are most certainly present through different manufacturers. Unfortunately for us, the 99%, there’s no real way of telling if your device has a clone chip installed. That is unless you’ve recently had your device bricked.

Obviously there’s an outrage at the way this situation has been handled by FTDI, who’ve utilized a Windows Update to deliver a driver update that bricked all cloned FT232 chips. What this driver actually does is a simple reprogram of the USB PID to 0, rendering the chip dead instantly.

Still a bit confused about why you should care or where the chip comes in to daily life? FTDI’s chip is quite often seen on devices which contain USB-serial port hardware capabilities, used to add a USB serial port to a device or project. Popular hardware Hacker website, Hack A Day, added:

“The FTDI FT232 chip is found in thousands of electronic baubles, from Arduinos to test equipment, and more than a few bits of consumer electronics. It’s a simple chip, converting USB to a serial port.”

FTDI has since admitted to bricking these cloned microchips, claiming it is justified due to them being illegitimate clones of their original device. They went on to explain that they do not intend to target users, but the manufacturers using said chips. Unfortunately for FTDI, they aren’t aware that the end users actually have no idea if there is a cloned chip in their device or not.

Image courtesy of Arduino

Warning: Nokia Lumia Cyan Update Could Brick your Smartphone

There have been reports that some Windows Phone users were experiencing BitLocker issues after upgrading their handset to the latest Cyan update, but a clear confirmation of who was experiencing it and how could not be made. It now seems that the users being affected are Windows Phone 8.1 Preview for Developer users who are using BitLocker full disk encryption through their companies, having their devices bricked after updating to the latest Cyan update.

Microsoft is said to have issues an official statement and recommends users to downgrade from the preview version of WP 8.1 to the commercial software before attempting to upgrade to the latest Lumia Cyan update. Along with the latter, the company has also suspended the preview program, which includes the 12400 build as well.

“We are currently investigating the issue. We have paused delivery of the update to customers using the Preview for Developers, and will resume once a fix is in place. Customers whose phones have been affected should use the Nokia Software Recovery Tool to return your Lumia to a normal commercial software state before downloading the Lumia Cyan update.”

Users who are still running on the Windows Phone 8.1 Preview for Developer software and noticed that the Cyan update is not available for them should know that Microsoft has postponed the Cyan rollout for the given preview software until a fix is available. For those affected by the BitLocker issue, Microsoft recommends using the Nokia Recovery Software Tool in order to return the handset to a commercial software in order to regain functionality of the device.

Thank you Windows Phone Central for providing us with this information

Firmware Update Causes PlayStation 3 Systems To Become Bricked

Gamesradar let us know yesterday about a mishap with Playstation, and a firmware update 4.45. Unfortunately Playstation let a firmware update through the cracks which caused some systems to stop working, these systems appear to be bricked. If you were one of the few unlucky people to be on top of your updates, and had your system stop working because of this update, then I may be able to help you. From the research I have done into this issue, it looks like you should be able to download the current firmware and reset everything, unfortunately I do not have a Playstation 3 to test this out on, so you will need to let me know what works, and doesn’t work. Or you could just wait until Playstation offers an Official story. The update is not posted on their site at this time, and is currently 4.41.

The video below will give you a step-by-step walkthrough.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TVOJny2FdRM[/youtube]

Download the update from Playstation HERE. Place update on a USB drive. Connect the USB drive to the Playstation and follow these steps.

  1. Turn off the PLAYSTATION 3 by holding the Power button on the front of the unit till the Power light is red.
  2. Touch and hold the Power button, you will hear the first beep, meaning the PLAYSTATION 3 is powering on. Continue to hold the Power button and after about 5 seconds, you will hear a second beep, indicating the video reset. Continue to hold the Power button and after about another 5 seconds you will hear a third beep and the system will power off (Power light is red).
  3. Touch and hold the Power button, you will hear the first beep, again for the PLAYSTATION 3 to power on. Continue to hold the Power button and after about 5 seconds, you will hear a second beep for video reset. Continue to hold the Power button and after about another 5 seconds you will hear a quick double beep. At that point release the Power button. If you succeeded in activating Safe Mode, you will see a message on the screen saying, “Connect the controller using a USB cable and then press the PS button.”

Source / Source /Source