Also, Apple and Samsung call a truce over patents, UberPool matches ridesharing passengers, Justin.tv shuts down, the potato salad Kickstarter comes to an end, and how to make 8-bit art.
Russian Gang Steals 1 Billion Passwords
— Dan Gillmor (@dangillmor) August 5, 2014
A Russian gang of 20-somethings is in possession of “1.2 billion username and password combinations” and “more than 500 million email addresses.” This is according to The New York Times, which was tipped off about the potentially devastating security breach by a company called Hold Security.
If the story is true then it’s extremely concerning. However, as reported by Forbes, the facts behind the hack have been kept intentionally vague while nature of the security breach has been hyped up for impact. So, we don’t know which companies have been targeted and whether the passwords are in clear-text or encrypted.
Muddying the waters further is the fact that Hold Security is launching a new service which will require businesses to pay fees to discover whether or not they have been targeted. This potentially major security breach needs further investigation, and until that happens all we can suggest is following sensible password management advice.
Apple Unveiling New iPhones On Sept. 9
But I had plans for Sept. 9.
— Farhad Manjoo (@fmanjoo) August 5, 2014
Apple fans need to cancel all previous engagements pencilled in for September 9, as that’s the date Apple is set to unveil the iPhone 6. The rest of us should remember to avoid reading all technology blogs on that date, as they’ll be filled with every single piece of information regarding the new hardware. Whether it’s interesting or not.
Apple hasn’t officially confirmed Sept. 9 as the date, but Re/code has it on good authority that Apple will hold a huge press event on that day in order to launch at least one, but probably two, new iPhones. One could even be a phablet with a screen size of 5.5 inches. Steve Jobs will be turning in his grave.
Apple & Samsung Call Truce In Patent Battle
Apple and Samsung have called a truce in their ongoing battle over alleged patent infringements. Unfortunately, the truce only extends as far as the U.S. border, so while the lawsuits in Europe and beyond are all being dropped, those being fought inside the United States are set to continue on for the foreseeable future. And who are the big winners in all of this? Lawyers, naturally.
UberPool Matches Strangers For Car Rides
UberPool is a new initiative by ride-sharing innovator Uber. It promises cheaper journeys by matching potential passengers with others heading in the same direction. This does mean sharing a potentially awkward car ride with a total stranger, but halving the cost of the ride should more than make up for any discomfort.
Justin.tv Streaming Service Shuts Down
Justin.tv has officially shut down, with the pioneering live-streaming service being killed in order for the company to focus entirely on Twitch. Interestingly, Twitch started out as nothing more than a category for gamers on Justin.tv, but eventually overtook its parent in terms of popularity. Which is what has led to this technological patricide.
Potato Salad Kickstarter By The Numbers
— Vox (@voxdotcom) August 6, 2014
Do you remember that guy who crowdfunded the making of a potato salad? He wanted $10, he ended up raising $55,000. Rather than bury this story as an example of how Kickstarter has gone downhill thanks to dumb campaigns, Kickstarter has published a blog post looking at the numbers behind the potato salad campaign.
It turns out this ended up being the fourth most-viewed Kickstarter of all time, behind the Ouya, the Pebble smartwatch, and the Veronica Mars movie. People in 74 different countries funded the potato salad, with the majority residing in the U.S. This is all very interesting, but it’s also all concerning a totally stupid idea.
How To Make 8-Bit Art
And finally, 8-bit is cool again, with pixelated images, videos, and games making a long overdue comeback. And now you too can jump on board this particular bandwagon with Make 8-bit Art!
I was going to screenshot my own personal composition but it was so bad I decided I couldn’t face the shame. If you create something you’re proud of then feel free to leave a link in the comments section below.
Your Views On Today’s Tech News
Do you believe the story about a Russian gang stealing 1 billion passwords is as scary as is being painted? Are you looking forward to the launch of the iPhone 6? What’s your reaction to a potato salad raising $55,000 via Kickstarter?
Let us know your thoughts on the tech news of the day by posting to the comments section below. Because a healthy discussion is always welcome.
Image Credit: Marc Falardeau via Flickr