SOE Awards 2012 G.I.R.L. Scholarship

May 30, 2012 -

Sony Online Entertainment has awarded Quinne Larsen of Northridge, California the 2012 Gamers in Real Life (G.I.R.L.) Scholarship. The scholarship awards Quinne $10,000 for tuition at California Institute of the Arts and a 10-week paid internship at SOE's headquarters in San Diego. While hundreds vied for the scholarship by submitting two pieces of original concept art inspired SOE's games PlanetSide 2 or EverQuest II and an essay discussing their views on women in the gaming industry, only one winner could be chosen.

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Report: Sony to Eliminate 10,000 Jobs

April 9, 2012 -

According to a Nikkei newspaper report (by way of Reuters / Yahoo! News), Sony will cut six percent of its global workforce, or 10,000 jobs worldwide. The report says that the company's new CEO, Kazuo Hirai, is doing everything he can to put the company back in the black after four years of being in the red.

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SOE Rebrands Annual Fan Event 'SOE LIVE'

March 26, 2012 -

Sony Online Entertainment has changed the name of its annual fan event to SOE LIVE. The freshly rebranded fan event is scheduled to take place at Bally's in Las Vegas, October 18-21, 2012. The annual SOE-sponsored event will allow the company to offer broader support for all of its various titles including DC Universe Online, EverQuest, EverQuest II, Free Realms, Magic: The Gathering - Tactics, PlanetSide 2, Star Wars: Clone Wars Adventures and Vanguard: Saga of Heroes.

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SOE's G.I.R.L. Game Design Competition Deadline is March 29

March 22, 2012 -

Sony Online Entertainment sent along a reminder to let anyone interested in applying for the fifth annual Gamers in Real Life (G.I.R.L.) Game Design Competition, that submissions are now being accepted. The G.I.R.L. Game Design Competition is an annual initiative to promote higher education among women and encourage their inclusion and participation in the video game industry.

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SOE Accepting Applications for 2012 G.I.R.L. Game Design Competition

February 16, 2012 -

Sony Online Entertainment is accepting applications and submissions today for its 2012 Gamers in Real Life (G.I.R.L.) Game Design Competition. In its fifth year, the G.I.R.L. program grants scholarships to four winners through the Game Design Competition.

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Sony Faces Class Action for PSN Terms of Service Changes

December 20, 2011 -

In September Sony updated the PlayStation Network's terms of service to include a new clause removing the ability for customers (who were more than likely upset over the major security breach that happened earlier in the year) to file future class action lawsuits. Users who accepted the new TOS had to agree to individual arbitration instead of a lawsuit if they had a grievance against Sony. Since users had to agree to the new TOS in order to sign in to PSN, many simply agreed and moved on.

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SOE Sees 400 Percent Increase in DCUO Registered Users After F2P Change

November 4, 2011 -

DC Universe Online had about 30,000 paid subscribers prior to switching over to a free-to-play model. Apparently that switch has helped the game gain an additional 90,000 registered users. Sony Online Entertainment, which manages the DC Comics-based superhero MMO, said the surge in interest represents a 400 percent increase on previous figures.

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SOE President Weighs in on Recent Security Breach Attempt

October 14, 2011 -

GameSpot managed to corner Sony Online Entertainment president John Smedley during the GDC Online conference this week in Austin, Texas to get his thoughts on the recent attack that resulted in Sony temporarily locking down around 93,000 PlayStation Network, Sony Entertainment Network, and Sony Online Entertainment accounts.

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SEC Changes Disclosure Rules on Reporting Cyber Attacks

October 14, 2011 -

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) released new guidelines on Thursday that require publicly traded companies to disclose when they are the victim of a security breach or cyber attack. The new guidelines are the result of members of congress pressuring the watchdog agency to add them following several major cyber attacks earlier this year. Senator John Rockefeller is one of those lawmakers.

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Sony Thwarts Mass Account Break-In

October 12, 2011 -

Last night Sony's new SVP & Chief Information Security Officer, Philip Reitinger wrote a lengthy post on the official PlayStation Blog, detailing some questionable mass logins. While some of those attempts to login to accounts by unknown persons were successful, Reitinger assures the public that those accounts have been identified by the company and temporarily locked down.

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Australia's Privacy Commissioner Clears Sony in PSN Attacks

September 29, 2011 -

Sony did not break Australia’s Privacy Act during the PlayStation Network cyber attack, ruled Australia's Privacy Commissioner Timothy Pilgrim. Pilgrim’s report, released today, said that the Commission found "no evidence that Sony intentionally disclosed any personal information to a third party." Pilgrim said that he was satisfied that Sony Australia took reasonable steps to protect its customers’ personal information, including encrypting credit card information and ensuring appropriate security measures were in place.

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Sony Changed ToS Because of AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion Decision

September 21, 2011 -

You may think the unprecedented and massive security breach that took down multiple Sony services including Sony Online entertainment and PlayStation Network is what pushed Sony to make the changes it did recently to the PSN Terms of Service, but a CNN report points to another reason: The Supreme Court. Last week Sony changed the document for PlayStation Network asking customers to give up their rights to file class-action lawsuits against the company and its partners.

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New PSN ToS Likely Not Enforceable in the UK, Says Lawyer

September 16, 2011 -

An interactive entertainment lawyer tells GameIndustry.biz that the new wording in the PlayStation Network terms of service is geared more towards consumers in the United States and is probably not enforceable in the United Kingdom due to existing laws that prevent such contracts.

In case you've forgotten it from yesterday, here's what paragraph 15 of the PSN terms of service states:

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Sony Adds Mandatory Arbitration Clause to PSN ToS

September 15, 2011 -

If you are a member of Sony's PlayStation Network, chances are you were greeted with an email from the company this morning telling you that that the terms of service for the network are about to change. The big change, in case you haven't received that email yet, relates to your ability to sue them. From section 15 comes this wonderful new clause:

Former Homeland Security Director Joins Sony

September 6, 2011 -

Sony has hired a heavyweight in its ongoing fight to protect its online game services from hackers. The company has hired Philip Reitinger, former director of the U.S. National Cyber Security Center, as its new chief information security officer.

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Sony, LulzSec Honored with Pwnies

August 5, 2011 -

At the annual Black Hat hacker convention that happened in Las Vegas this week Sony earned a dubious distinction of the security breach that took several of its services down for nearly two months. The awards are called "Pwnies" and - unless you are a hacker - you don’t want to be "honored" with on. Sony earned the "Most Epic Fail" award for the massive security breach that brought down the PlayStation Network and related services for nearly two months earlier this year.

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Star Wars: Galaxies Shutting Down in December

June 25, 2011 -

Star Wars Galaxies, the popular MMO created by Sony Online Entertainment and LucasArts is shutting down by year's end. SOE announced that it planned to shut down the Star Wars themed MMO in December of this year. They are doing this, they say, to switch the focus on the next Star Wars MMO, The Old Republic.

SOE president John Smedley said the closure of SWG will not affect the team because it will be transferred to an undisclosed project in Austin.

An official letter to SWG players was posted on the forums, laying out the bad news:

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Sony Faces Possible Class Action Lawsuit over PSN Security Breach

June 24, 2011 -

A new lawsuit filed in federal court in San Diego on Monday (Cotorreal et al v. Sony Corporation Inc.) alleges that Sony's security breach of Sony Online Entertainment and PlayStation Network were the direct result of layoffs earlier in the month of April. In late April the company laid off around 205 employees from its MMO company SOE, closing down offices in Denver, Seattle and Tucson. These layoffs also affected the company's Network Operations Centre. The complaint alleges that Sony did not mention that any of these employees were part of "network operations" at the time of the layoffs.

The complaint also alleges that Sony rushed to protect data when it first learned of the security breach - but it wasn't user data they were concerned about. The company paid millions to secure sensitive corporate secrets, not offering the same level of action for customer data, the complaint contends.

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Three Anonymous Members Arrested in Spain over PSN Security Breach

June 10, 2011 -

According to a New York Times report, Spanish police have arrested three men they claim were involved in hacking Sony's PlayStation Network and the PlayStation Store. Police also claim that the trio are part of the hacktivist group Anonymous. The three men were released on their own recognizance pending formal charges but are expected to be charged with "forming an illegal association to attack public and corporate Web sites," which carries a maximum sentence of up to three years.

The official Twitter feed for the hacktivist group does provide some confirmation that the three are somehow connected to the group:

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Kaz Hirai: We May Never Know Who Hacked Us

June 9, 2011 -

It's E3 week and that means that top executives make the rounds to as many media outlets as possible. Sony's Kaz Hirai is no exception, speaking to a number of publications in North America and Europe this week. In an interview with the BBC, Hirai admits that Sony has not been able to catch whoever breached the PlayStation Network's security in late April, and it is not exactly sure what they might have taken. All they really know is that they accessed user data and took some of it.

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Report: Sony to Testify Before Congress

May 30, 2011 -

Earlier this month a congressional subcommittee looking into the PlayStation Network outage and data leak asked Sony Computer Entertainment America chairman and Sony Corp. executive vice president Kaz Hirai to testify. He declined at the time. While Hirai didn't make it to Washington D.C. his company provided a detailed list of answers that - at least temporarily - pacified lawmakers. Now with the PSN back online, Sony had decided that it will comply with the request from House of Representatives' Committee on Energy and Commerce's Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade.

Ken Johnson, an aide to subcommittee chairwoman Mary Bono Mack (R-CA), told The Atlantic magazine that Sony Network Entertainment president Tim Schaff, is scheduled testify before the subcommittee next week.

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SOE Offers European Customers Identity Protection Plan Through Affinion

May 18, 2011 -

Sony Online Entertainment announced it will provide customers with a complimentary 12 month identity protection program through Affinion International Limited for Station Account holders in the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Spain and Germany. Customers will have the option of enrolling in the program for 60 days after SOE's services come back online by contacting Affinion directly.

The identity protection program provides customers whose accounts may have been affected by the April security breach on SOE's network with monitoring, surveillance, reporting and insurance.

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UK Chancellor Talks About PSN, Online Security Importance

May 17, 2011 -

The second most powerful man in British politics says that Sony's massive security breach should be a wake-up call for online services everywhere. Chancellor George Osborne told a London audience yesterday that all online services in the UK need to learn a lesson from the PlayStation Network troubles: security should be the top priority.

"The hacking into Sony’s online PlayStation Network, and the theft of millions of users’ credit card details, is a high profile example of the need for robust online security," Osborne said.

Osborne added that "this age of digitized public services creates challenges alongside opportunities – the challenge of ensuring the security of personal data and financial information."

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Sony Services on Hold in Japan

May 16, 2011 -

While the PlayStation Network has launched in North America, Europe and other regions, the relaunch of Sony’s services in Japan has been held up by regulators in Japan. According to a Dow Jones report, the PSN will not be relaunched in Japan until Sony provides assurances to the government that it has added additional security to its network services.

"We met with Sony on May 6 and 13, and basically we want two things from them," said Kazushige Nobutani, director of the Media and Content Industry department at the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.

"The first is preventative measures. As of May 13, Sony was incomplete in exercising measures that they said they will do on the May 1 press conference," he said, although he refused to provide exact details of the measures for security reasons.

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PlayStation Network, SOE Services Back Online

May 15, 2011 -

By the time you read this the PlayStation Network should be back online in most regions in the United States. After three weeks of being offline, the service slowly started going back online after Sony issued a new firmware update to deal with firming up security and allowing users to change their passwords.

The first phase of the network restoration will include online play, video streaming, friends lists, PlayStation Home, and Qriocity. Unfortunately the PlayStation Store is still offline. The v3.61 is mandatory and is available now.

And on a related note Sony Online Entertainment's various online game services are coming back online this weekend as well. From the SOE Site:

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SOE Services Down 'A Few More Days'

May 13, 2011 -

After several days of being offline MMO company Sony Online Entertainment says that users wanting to play games like EverQuest II, Free Realms, and DC Universe Online will have to wait a "few more days." The company took down its various MMO's after it realized that it had suffered a security breach at around the same time the PlayStation Network was hacked into - over three weeks ago.

In the latest update to the official SOE site, the company also detailed what it will do to make all this up to players:

Sony Online Entertainment has said it'll likely be "at least a few more days" before its online gaming services are restored following the recent security breach. In an update on its site, it also outlined the compensation PC and PS3 users will receive for the down time.

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Sony Sends Love Letter to Developers Over PSN Downtime

May 13, 2011 -

Earlier this week Sony sent a letter to developers hoping that it would give them some comfort as they wait for PlayStation Network to come back online. Several developers including Q-Games and Capcom complained about the amount of money they were losing with PlayStation Network being down - now in its third week.

Sadly, the letter doesn't offer any more information than what is already publicly known, nor does it offer a definitive timeline for when the network will be relaunched.

Below is the full text of the letter penned by Rob Dyer, Sony's SVP of Publisher Relations:

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Rumor: Sony Considering Reward for Information on PSN Hackers

May 9, 2011 -

C|Net is reporting that Sony is considering offering a reward for information leading to those hackers responsible for breaking into its PlayStation Network and Sony Online Entertainment networks that lead to both services being taken down nearly two weeks ago. According to the report, the company has been kicking around the idea of a reward for a while, but has not yet come to a final decision on the matter. Apparently, they are still weighing the pros and cons of offering such reward. If they do agree on it, the report claims, it will be brought before the company's top executives for approval.

CNET's report adds that any reward would have to be offered in cooperation with various law enforcement agencies around the world investigating the security breach including the FBI.

Sony has not publicly commented on this story.

Sony Stock Takes Hit on Tokyo Exchange on Security Worries

May 6, 2011 -

It should come as no great surprise that Sony shares have taken a beating since the massive security breaches a few weeks ago. The prolonged downtime of the PlayStation Network is also weighing heavily on investor confidence. Sony shares dropped 3.7 percent on Friday following this week's announcement that Sony Online Entertainment has been hacked and the ongoing struggle to get PSN back online.

Tokyo's financial markets were closed for national holidays Tuesday to Thursday, but reacted negatively to news on Friday morning, according to a Reuters report.

Analysts are also voicing concern about Sony's current situation, and with rumors of a third attack this weekend it is a recipe for more declines in its stock price.

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Report: Hackers Plan Weekend Attack on Sony

May 6, 2011 -

According to a C|Net report a group of hackers is planning another attack on Sony this weekend. C|Net is calling the planned offensive a "major attack" that will target various Sony web sites. The information comes from IRC chatter, observed by an unnamed source. According to the report, the people involved plan to publicize the information they are able to steal from Sony's servers, which could include customer names, credit card numbers, and addresses. The hackers claim they currently have access to some of Sony's servers.

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Matthew Wilsonyes it help a sub section of the poor, but hurt both the middle and upper class. in the end way more people were hurt than helped. also, it hurt most poor people as well.04/16/2014 - 12:13am
SeanBJust goes to show what I have said for years. Your ability to have sex does not qualify you for parenthood.04/15/2014 - 9:21pm
NeenekoSo "worked" vs "failed" really comes down to who you think is more important and deserving04/15/2014 - 7:04pm
NeenekoThough I am also not sure we can say NYC failed. Rent control helped the people it was intended for and is considered a failure by the people it was designed to protect them from.04/15/2014 - 7:04pm
NeenekoIf they change the rules, demand will plummet. Though yeah, rent control probably would not help much in the SF case. I doubt anything will.04/15/2014 - 1:35pm
TheSmokeyOnline gamer accused of murdering son to keep playing - http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/Crime/2014/04/15/21604921.html04/15/2014 - 11:50am
Matthew Wilsonyup, but curent city rules do not allow for that.04/15/2014 - 11:00am
ZippyDSMleeIf SF dose not start building upwards then they will price people out of the aera.04/15/2014 - 10:59am
Matthew Wilsonthe issue rent control has it reduces supply, and in SF case they already has a supply problem. rent control ofen puts rent below cost, or below profit of selling it. rent control would not fix this issue.04/15/2014 - 10:56am
NeenekoRent control is useful in moderation, NYC took it way to far and tends to be held up as an example of them not working, but in most cases they are more subtle and positive.04/15/2014 - 10:24am
PHX CorpBeating Cancer with Video Games http://mashable.com/2014/04/14/steven-gonzalez-survivor-games/04/15/2014 - 9:21am
Matthew Wilsonwhat are you saying SF should do rent control, that has never worked every time it has been tried. the issue here is a self inflicted supply problem imposed by stupid laws.04/15/2014 - 8:52am
E. Zachary KnightNeeneko, Government created price controls don't work though. They may keep prices down for the current inhabitants, but they are the primary cause of recently vacated residences having astronomical costs. Look at New York City as a prime example.04/15/2014 - 8:50am
NeenekoI think free markets are important, but believe in balance. Too much of any force and things get unstable.04/15/2014 - 7:25am
NeenekoWell, the traditional way of keeping prices down is what they are doing, controls on lease termination and tax code, but it will not be enough in this case.04/15/2014 - 7:24am
Matthew WilsonI said that already04/14/2014 - 4:22pm
E. Zachary KnightMatthew, The could also lower prices by increasing supply. Allow high rise apartment buildings to be built to fulfill demand and prices will drop.04/14/2014 - 3:48pm
Matthew Wilsonthe only way they could keep the price's down, would be to kick out google, apple, amazon, and other tech companies, but that would do a ton of economic damage to SF, but I am a major proponent of free markets04/14/2014 - 2:54pm
NeenekoThe community people are seeking gets destroyed in the process, and the new people are not able to build on themselves. Generally these situations result in local cultural death in a decade or so, and no one wins.04/14/2014 - 2:09pm
NeenekoWell yes, that is the 'free market', but the market is only a small piece of a much larger system. The market does not always do the constructive thing.04/14/2014 - 2:06pm
 

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