The Strong Museum Acquires Massive Atari Collection

It’s been about seven months since we last heard something from the Strong Museum and that was when they announced the first six titles to enter their World Video Game Hall of Fame, and now they are back with even better news for the game fanatics who love the origin of it all. The Strong Museum of Play in Rochester, New York has announced the acquisition of over 2,000 documents, drawings, photographs, mockups, proofs, and other materials that chronicle the design and creation of Atari game packaging and user manuals in the ’70s and ’80’s. from a pair of California collectors.

The new collection comes from a pair of California collectors, but whether it was sold or donated wasn’t really revealed. That doesn’t really matter anyway as everyone will be able to enjoy this collection now. It will be made available for professionals to study and review as well as be part of future displays.

The Cort and Barbara Allen Atari Packaging Design Collection (1976–1984), as it is called, includes packaging and manual design materials for the Atari 2600 home console (1982 version). There’s also unreleased Kee Games ( a company created by Joe Keenan, a friend of Atari co-founder Nolan Bushnell) version of the Atari 2600, the Touch Me (1977) handheld electronic game, as well as Atari 2600 and Atari 5200 personal computers. Included are also competitor’s consoles games, such as Mario Bros., Donkey Kong, Dig Dug, Pac-Man, Pole Position, Donkey Kong Jr., Jungle Hunt, Robotron 2084, Surround, Asteroids, and Real Sports Football. Besides the NTSC versions, the collection also includes PAL region and French language materials and artist Cliff Spohn’s original package cover artwork for the 1977 Atari Video Computer System launch title Surround.

The Intercept Leaks Huge Cache of Documents on the USA Drone Strike Program

Leaks of classified information have been part of the fabric of social interactions and also modern-day communications that includes the Internet, from hacked celeb pics to the now infamous Edward Snowdon cache of documents that detailed the extensive surveillance states and operations around the world. This leak is no different, yet if genuine, (I have to put this caveat in just in case someone is lying here and it comes back to bite me firmly on the posterior), is a huge trove of secret documents which have been published by The Intercept, detailing the Obama administration’s secretive and controversial drone-based assassination program.

If you’re not familiar with this program then let me elaborate, The US military and figures including the Obama administration have implemented a program that sort to track and kill high-value enemy targets throughout Afghanistan, Yemen, and Somalia. Now onto the documents which have been classed as being leaked by an anonymous whistleblower, this information covers an extensive array of subjects which includes kill chains, operations and also the standard intelligence flaws.

Skimming through this information reveals some extremely sensitive documents, for example “One top-secret document shows how the terror watchlist appears in the terminals of personnel conducting drone operations, linking unique codes associated with cellphone SIM cards and handsets to specific individuals in order to geolocate them”.

Another document reveals a case of a British citizen, Bilal el-Berjawi, who was stripped of his citizenship before being killed in a U.S drone strike in 2012. “British and American intelligence had Berjawi under surveillance for several years as he travelled back and forth between the U.K. and East Africa yet did not capture him. Instead, the U.S. hunted him down” and eventually used a drone strike to kill him in Somalia.

The “Kill Chain” sounds like a title to a film, yet this purported leak is very compelling, interesting, informative and also fascinating. It details the steps required to authorize a drone strike on a target in Yemen and the people who it passes through. It also shows that according to a Pentagon study, president Obama signed off on a 60 day authorizations to kill suspected terrorists, but he did not sign off on individual strikes.

According to the documents, there are two steps. Step 1 is choosing the target and step 2 is taking a strike. Step 1 starts from a JSOC task force before going through officials including Leon Panetta who is the Secretary of Defence, a principals committee which includes Hillary Clinton all the way to President Obama. Step 2, in the case of strikes in Yemen, ranges from a JSOC task force all the way to the president of Yemen.

Well yes, this is indeed big, am I surprised? No, the US is addicted to the Find Fix Finish mantra which has made drone strikes popular for the administration. The cache is extensive and it is far too much information to detail here, otherwise this article would be 5000 words long, and few want that.

It will be fascinating to see further developments in the coming days, weeks and also months.

Thank you theintercept for providing us with this information.

Millions of T-Mobile Customer Records Stolen In Data Hack

If I had a £1/$1 every time a company was hacked and private details of consumers were leaked to a third-party, I would be now looking at a brochure for mansions. The latest victim is mobile communications company T-Mobile, who have fallen victim to a data breach.

An estimated 15 million T-Mobile customer records have been stolen after hackers attacked Experian, who are the company responsible for processing credit applications from consumers for the mobile company. Below are the details that Experian believe have been stolen from consumers in the hack, this includes  “access to a server that contained personal information for consumers who applied for T-Mobile USA postpaid services between Sept. 1, 2013 and Sept. 16, 2015.

  • Name
  • Address
  • Social Security Number
  • Date Of Birth
  • Drivers licence
  • Passport Number
  • Military ID Number
  • Any Other T-Mobile Credit assessment details

According to Experian, there were no “Payment Card or Banking Information” obtained during the discovery of the breach on the 15th September 2015. Over at T-Mobile, CEO John Legere stated that he was “incredibly angry about this data breach and T – Mobile will institute a thorough review of our relationship with Experian, but right now my top concern and first focus is assisting any and all consumers affected. I take our customer and prospective customer privacy VERY seriously”.

In these situations a consumer can feel powerless, no matter how careful they are at their end, they may still find personal and very sensitive details leaked to a third-party. Companies need to fully prioritize and secure customers data, otherwise there will be many more instances of this nature which will be just around the corner. If Hollywood ever attempted to produce a film concerning the many breaches, it would have a plot akin to Groundhog day.

Thank you experian and t-mobile and nextweb for providing us with this information.

Original Image courtesy of droid

Anonymous Attacks The Canadian Government and Leaks Classified Data

In the real world, the establishment counteracts instances of criminality by an extensive array of resources and a structured organisation. In cyberspace, groups such as Anonymous are organised, well versed in operational hacking activities and are able to use tools which are inexpensive, perhaps this is why governments and companies have yet to get a grip on data which has metaphorically walked out the door, hitched a plane and ended up on someone else’s computer.

The fore mentioned Anonymous have looked to be using techniques to again prise open the gates to documents, as reports have begun to circulate over the leaking of yet another high-level federal document concerning the redevelopment of Canada’s key diplomatic centres in Britain. This alleged leak is the second in a campaign against the Canadian government with the information purporting to include budgetary deficits and the “selling, relocating and refurbishing of Canada’s diplomatic buildings in London”

The documents belong to the Treasury Board of Canada and are dated 6th February 2014, or if this is as many are believing to be authentic, a now very irritated Treasury Board of Canada. These leaks are an attempt by the Cyber infiltration group “to pressure the government over the fatal shooting of a protester in B.C. and the passing of Bill C-51, the controversial anti-terrorism bill that gave expanded powers to police and Canada’s spy agency”.

Meanwhile, sources say that federal authorities are comparing versions of the documents and scanning for discrepancies that may help track down from whose hands it may have slipped.

Have I any sympathy for the Canadian government? Well, you know me don’t you; it demonstrates poor Cyber awareness and a lack of safe practise in the storage of classified documents, remember, the infrastructure has not been breached by a country attacking another state but by a hacktivist group.

Governments are losing the argument when it comes to attacking the criminality of these acts, after all, the actions by this group are against the law, but for me, so are the increased surveillance capabilities of agencies and the implementation and recruitment of external hacking teams, as in the case of, well Hacking Team to be precise.

“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same”. Ronald Regan

Thank you nationalpost for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of occupycorporatism

White House Responds to Edward Snowdon Petition

Do you remember when 167,000 people signed a petition calling for Edward Snowdon to be pardoned? Not even Pepperidge Farms recalls this considering this was two years ago. The US government is known for hanging many decisions out, but I will give them credit for finally responding to this petition.

Once a petition reaches 100,000 signatures via the government’s official platform, under their rules they are duty bound to respond to it, which they have, eventually. So will Edward Snowdon receive a pardon? No, no he won’t according to Homeland Security advisor Lisa Monaco who accuses Snowdon of “running away from the consequences of his actions.”

A shortened redacted version of this statement is below, at least I have summarised the point unlike many US documents which have one word visible.

“Instead of constructively addressing these issues, Mr. Snowden’s dangerous decision to steal and disclose classified information had severe consequences for the security of our country and the people who work day in and day out to protect it.

If he felt his actions were consistent with civil disobedience, then he should do what those who have taken issue with their own government do: Challenge it, speak out, engage in a constructive act of protest, and — importantly — accept the consequences of his actions. He should come home to the United States, and be judged by a jury of his peers — not hide behind the cover of an authoritarian regime. Right now, he’s running away from the consequences of his actions”.

 This is the cliché catch 22 situation, if Edward Snowdon had of spoken out and challenged the status quo, this would have been quickly and silently shot down. One has to remember when scandals are broken; they are not publicized by establishment officials but journalists and external investigators, how do you challenge behaviour in-house?

I do feel that Edward Snowdon has placed a target with which to discredit via his asylum in Russia. It’s a bit of an irony to live in a country for speaking out against violations of democracy, when said new residence has the uncanny habit of hunting down perceived dissenters. I also don’t believe Snowdon will receive a fair trial at all in the US, one thing to consider concerning this aspect is this, during the somewhat recent trial of Boston bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the jury was made up of individuals which favoured the death penalty. Lawyers had the ability and are allowed to dismiss any juror who is opposed to the death penalty, thus in a roundabout way influencing the nature of the sentence.

The above example is just that, an example to show how the word “fair” could be slightly deviated for a desired outcome.

Thank you whitehouse petitions for providing us with this information

Image Courtesy of freigeistblog

 

Apple Co-Founder Ron Wayne to Sell Personal Archive

Apple’s third and largely unknown co-founder, Ronald Wayne, is planning to sell his personal archive of Apple memorabilia.

Wayne’s archive most notably features an untouched pre-order form for the Apple II and perhaps more importantly, blueprints for the same machine and proof sheets for the hallowed Apple I.

Even though no hardware will be included in the auction, the guide price for the documents is $30,000 – $50,000. The auction will be held by Christie’s on December 11th.

Ronald Wayne is Apple’s little known co-founder alongside Jobs and Wozniak. He was essentially brought into the company by Jobs to bring some business expertise to their rapidly developing company. Initially he was given 10% of the company, but later gave it up, declaring that he couldn’t deal with the two Steve’s endless bickering.

There’s no doubt Ron regrets that decision now though – 10% of Apple today would be worth $70 billion.

Source: The Next Web

NSA Revealed to have Collected Docs from Innocent Individuals, not Valid Targets

It appears that a huge report from The Washington Post has uncovered a large number of communications and documents collected by the National Security Agency’s surveillance programs.

The report is stated to have revealed that 9 out of 10 users from the collected documents are not the people targeted by the agency. However, personal emails, instant messages, photos and personal documents from these people are said to still remain in the NSA database, even though they have been marked as irrelevant to the agency.

It is said that a large number of ‘victims’ are US citizens or residents, having The Washington Post analyse the files, also known as FISA documents, collected by the NSA between 2009 and 2012 under programs such as PRISM or Upstream.

The collected documents are said to have been delivered by Edward Snowden, having it be previously debated with NSA officials that Snowden in fact did not have access to such private communications. The agency did however ‘minimize’ collected information, having email addresses for example obscured, as the law states.

The Post is said to have found over 65,000 ‘minimised’ documents, but the most interesting part is around 900 of them were not obscured. This meant that sensitive information made it through censorship. More shocking is the way security analysts handled communications from foreign individuals. The Post stated that e-mails simply written in a foreign language were reason enough to believe that a person was not an American, having them opened to a degree warrantless surveillance under US law. In addition to the latter, everyone in the friends’ list of a so-called ‘foreigner’ was also deemed to be a non-American individual.

While the privacy concerns mentioned above are very real, information gathered did however lead to some suspected terrorists. The information however is kept private so as not to interfere with current investigations. Nevertheless, the real question which everybody should be asking themselves is whether or not all the surveillance attempts and non-relevant information gathered, on top of law infringing actions, is really worth it.

Thank you The Verge for providing us with this information

All Snowden Files Rumored To Be Published in July

Multiple tweets from the digital library site Cryptome indicates that further, if not all, of Edward Snowden’s NSA files will be published later on this month. Vague ‘predictions’ on the site indicate that “during July all Snowden docs released”, followed by “July is when war begins unless headed off by Snowden full release of crippling intel. After war begins not a chance of release,”.

Other indications from Cryptome point to two upcoming events, the Hackers On Planet Earth (HOPE) event in New York City starting July 18, and the Aspen Institute’s yearly Security Forum following after the previous event, where former NSA directors Keith Alexander and Michael Hayden have been stated to attend. Former United States Department of Defense staff person, Daniel Ellsberg, the man who leaked the “Pentagon Papers” during the Vietnam War, is rumored to have a role in the possible Cryptome release. He is apparently scheduled to a keynote address at HOPE, having Cryptome tweeting that whoever wants more information about the Snowden docs should stayed tuned to that event for his speech and another from a ‘special’ guest.

In addition to the given information, it appears that a journalist from Vocativ has been in contact with Cryptome in order to get more details. His correspondence with the founder of Cryptome appears to have a back and forth approach to whether or not the events will be the point of release for the Snowden documents. There is however a reference to a ‘kick-spy’ Kickstarter camping started by the site last month, having raised already over $14,000.

A more interesting statement is seen at the end of the correspondence, where it says that “all of the documents will be released to kickstart the war on terrorism, in Iraq, in Iran, in North Korea, in the Holy Land, across Africa, Caribbean Drug Sea, the US-Mexican border, and the areas of operations always on alert in DC, Fort Meade and Colorado Springs.”

Vocativ has also released an article based on the given information. The most notable fact in the given article is said to be that Cryptome’s founder “has also ducked inquiries about how (or from whom) Cryptome received the document,” and “did not respond directly to questions about what the content of those leaked documents would reveal, other than to say that there may exist some ‘technical documents’ used ‘to combat technology’ of spying well beyond those promoted for ‘public debate’.”.

Thank you RT for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of RT

Real-Time Co-Authoring Added To Microsoft Office Web Apps

Microsoft responded with its own significant updates to the company’s Web-based Office applications after a major, free update to Apple’s iWork productivity suite for Mac, iOS and Web. More specifically, Microsoft announced that it has now added real-time co-authoring to its suite of Office Web Apps, allowing users to contribute to and edit documents simultaneously. The collaboration tools are now available for Microsoft’s Word Web App, PowerPoint Web App, and Excel Web App.

“New real-time presence helps you see where your co-authors are working in the document so that you don’t create conflicts as you edit,” the company said in a blog post. “Additionally, the new ability to see changes to text and formatting as they happen will help you and your co-authors stay on the same page as your ideas develop and evolve.”

Word Web App has also been improved with new formatting controls, including headers, footers and page numbers. Documents now automatically save and reflect collaborative updates, and the Web-based word processor includes find and replace functionality. Microsoft has also added a new table styles feature, that offers users a number of preset options. And page breaks can now also be inserted into Word Web App for more document control.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FtwDV_ShXJ8[/youtube]

Significant updates were also issued to Microsoft’s Excel Web App, such as sheet protection, which prevents users from selecting or typing in protected cells; status bar aggregates, which show values for multiple selected cells; and reorder sheets, allowing users to quickly move sheets into a desired order. Excel on the Web has also added the ability to drag and drop cells and rename workbooks. And Microsoft has promised that it has “much more in the pipeline,” with additional features expected to be added in the coming months, greatly expanding the functionality of its Web-based productivity suite.

Apple’s iWork platform has been enhanced to work across the Web, on a Mac, and on iOS devices like the iPhone and iPad. In revamping the suite, Apple was forced to change or remove a number of key features, though the company has indicated that a significant number of them will return within the next six months.

Thank you Apple Insider for providing us with this information
Video courtesy of Apple Insider