Target Pays for Data Breach, PlayStation Vue Challenges Cable [Tech News Digest]
Target targets compensation, viewing PlayStation Vue, silencing Facebook, playing Chromecast tennis, using Netflix God Mode, and flying a speeder bike drone.
Target Owes Customers $10 Million
Targret: noun; the regret you feel leaving Target after spending $150 on…well, you’re not exactly sure what. But you needed it all.
— Criminelle Law (@CriminelleLaw) March 19, 2015
Target has agreed to pay out a total of $10 million to customers adversely affected by the data breach it suffered in 2013 . Individual victims are allowed to claim anything up to $10,000 in damages, but most will be due a lot less than that.
The hack on Target’s systems resulted in up to 40 million credit card and debit card numbers being stolen in the weeks following Black Friday . The hackers are alleged to have accessed Target’s system using stolen credentials, before using malware to skim data from the big-box retailer’s point-of-sale devices.
The cyberattack is reported to have cost banks and credit unions up to $200 million, dwarfing the $10 million being offered. However, it’s hopefully still a sum of money large enough to persuade Target and others to improve their security measures.
PlayStation Vue Streams in U.S.
Sony has officially launched its streaming television service designed to compete directly with cable companies. PlayStation Vue is initially available to anyone who owns a PS3 or PS4 living in New York, Philadelphia, and Chicago. An iPad version will be launched at a later date.
Prices start at $50-per-month, which gets you around 50 channels, including NBC, CBS, MTV, TNT, FX, and Comedy Central. Unfortunately, there is no ABC, although Sony is sure to be working on securing a deal with the network. The $60 package adds sports channels, while the $70 package adds mostly music and lifestyle channels.
The PlayStation Vue user interface seems to on the right track, looking like a cross between cable and Netflix. Sony is offering a week-long free trial for those in the launch cities, which should be enough time to know whether this is enough to warrant cutting the cord .
Unfollow Facebook Friends With Hushbook
This. Is. Genius. “Hushbook: Tinder for unfriending on Facebook” http://t.co/S1RuFeVmi8
— Sean Blanda (@SeanBlanda) March 18, 2015
If you’re bored of your Facebook friends but don’t have either the time, the patience, or the heart to unfollow them one by one, Hushbook could be the answer to your prayers. It won’t lessen the number of friends you have, but it will sweeten your timeline considerably.
Hushbook is essentially Tinder without the hookups, as it goes through your Facebook friends list helping you decide who to keep in your digital life. You swipe right to keep things as they are, and swipe left to unfollow them (with confirmation required to avoid any rash decisions).
At the time of writing, Hushbook is unavailable after Facebook requested it be removed from the App Store. But it should be back soon. And if it doesn’t return perhaps we should all delete our accounts as revenge for Facebook’s pettiness.
Play Tennis on Your Chromecast
You can now play tennis on your television using your smartphone as a motion-controlled racquet. This is possible thanks to Motion Tennis Cast [No Longer Available], a free Chromecast sports game from Rolocule. This developer previously released Motion Tennis, which does the same thing using an Apple TV and iPhones.
Motion Tennis Cast runs on your Android device, with you using your phone as a Wii-like motion controller while the action all takes place on your TV. You can even play friends you challenge to a game through Facebook or Google+. Rolocule is also working on a version for Android Wear .
Netflix God Mode Kills Horizontal Scrolling
Choosing what to watch on Netflix got easier, guys. ‘God mode’ bookmarklet gets rid of horizontal scrolling. http://t.co/Okqv08WTzz
— Rebecca Armstrong (@midwestmild) March 19, 2015
While Netflix’ user interface works perfectly on touchscreen devices, it’s a bit tiresome using it with a keyboard and mouse. The worst thing being sitting there with the cursor on the arrow endlessly scrolling horizontally through the various movies and TV shows available to watch.
Developer Renan Cakirerk has fixed this annoyance with a browser bookmarklet called Netflix God Mode. If you click on it while watching Netflix, the roster of content expands into one easily viewable list. Thus killing the need to scroll left or right until you see something you like.
Flying an Imperial Speeder Bike Drone
And finally, you can now recreate the speeder bike chase from Star Wars VI: Return of the Jedi without needing to risk and life and limb doing so. This is thanks to Adam Woodworth, who combined parts from a drone with a Hasbro toy to create a real-life speeder bike.
The video embedded above shows Woodworth’s creation taking its first flight. And we get to see the action both from a camera filming from the side and a camera attached to the drone itself. Who needs J.J. Abrams when we have amateur makers doing this kind of thing?! [H/T Geek.com]
Your Views on Today’s Tech News
Will you be chasing compensation from Target? Are you interested in subscribing to PlayStation Vue? Is the speeder bike drone the coolest drone you have ever seen?
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: Mike Mozart via Flickr
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