Wednesday, December 31

January 2015 Free Game Lineup for Xbox Live Members

Microsoft has announced the slate of titles that will available for free to subscribing Xbox Live Gold members next month and they include some old and new titles.
Xbox players will be able to download Dark Dreams Don’t Die for the Xbox One all month and MX vs. ATV Alive on the Xbox 360 from January 1 to January 15th and The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings from January 16 to January 31st.

Phil Spencer: A year 2015 that will be remembered

We have seen this year 2014 was rather poor in large outputs, with a very long period of near empty and too much concentration of headlines at year end. We are still waiting the real games called "next-gen" and it may well be that 2015 is truly the year that will start this new generation. This is certainly what we said the boss of the Xbox division, Phil Spencer.

For now, Microsoft is still shy on big games coming next year, and we hope that everything will be focused on the end of the year. In terms of exclusives, Halo 5 Guardians Rise of Tomb Raider and Quantum Break will be here late 2015 and ScreamRide arrives March 6 and we expect other announcements probably not arrive before E3 2015. Who knows, maybe will we be entitled to Forza Motorsport 6 or the compilation of Gears of War ..

LizardStresser now helping anyone copy its Xbox and PlayStation attacks

Lizard Squad, the “hacker” group best known for attacking Microsoft’s Xbox Live and Sony’s PlayStation Network, has now launched a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack tool. Now anyone can now take down the website or online service of their choice thanks to “Lizard Stresser,” which we’re not linking to for obvious reasons.

The hacker has launched a “booter” service called LizardStresser, which charges between $6 and $500 – paid for using the bitcoin cryptocurrency – to help people launch DDoS attacks on any website or internet service they choose.
“This booter is famous for taking down some of the world’s largest gaming networks such as Xbox Live, PlayStation Network, Jagex, BattleNet, League of Legends and many more!” explains its website.
“With this stresser, you wield the power to launch some of the world’s largest denial of service attacks.”
Announced on 30 December by the group’s official Twitter account, LizardStresser’s highest level of attack promises 30,000 seconds – just over eight hours – for $129.99 a month or $500 for “lifetime” usage.
Not only is Lizard Stresser open to anyone willing to pay, but customers can also use it against any target they wish. As a result, if someone wanted to target Xbox Live and PlayStation Network again, they could do so, even though Lizard Squad itself promised not to attack those services anymore.

In an interview with Daily Dot, a representative of Lizard Squad claimed that the Christmas attacks on Sony and Microsoft had been “a huge marketing scheme” for the DDoS service.
“Playing games on a Twitter is fun, but it comes down to the money. The objective here, for me at least – can’t speak for others – is money.” He added that 25 people had paid to use LizardStresser within hours of its launch.
That contradicts interviews given by two members of the group over Christmas, during which they claimed that their motivations were amusement as well as highlighting the security weaknesses of the games networks.
After filesharing mogul Kim Dotcom offered the group free vouchers for his Mega service to call off the attacks, the same Twitter account promised that “we are no longer attacking PSN or XBL, nor are any members. We will not be attacking them in the future”.
Instead, the group is launching a DDoS service that could be used by other people to launch such attacks.
Seeking commercial gain is a risky move for Lizard Squad, however, with the FBI investigating its Christmas attacks, and security researcher Brian Krebs claiming to have identified two of its members already.

Hackers reportedly leak Xbox One Software Development Kit (SDK)

A full version of Microsoft's official Xbox One software development kit was reportedly leaked by hacking group H4LT (@notHALT), according to an announcement and screenshots made available from the group's official Twitter account.

The apparent public leak of the SDK doesn't mean that everyone with a basis in programming can start launching games and apps on Xbox One — developers aiming to officially release software on the company's consoles must register and be approved by Microsoft before doing so. But with the SDK in the hands of the public, there's the possibility that developers could create homebrew apps and modifications for the console further down the line.

So far, the hacking group says there is no "definite exploit" that could allow developers to bypass this, but it hopes those familiar with Windows 8 can dig into the files to find more information. According to H4LT, the group leaked these files in an effort to allow for "creativity and research" in the community.

Tuesday, December 30

Final day for Xbox Live's Countdown to 2015 offers season passes, add-ons, and more

The end of 2014 is tomorrow, which means this is the last Countdown to 2015 update. Today’s daily deal is for a collection of seasons passes, consumable items and add-ons for a variety of different games.

Xbox One 

  • NBA 2K15 35,000 VC Pack       Add-On 25%
  • NBA 2K15 75,000 VC Pack     Add-On 25%
  • NBA 2K15 200,000 VC Pack     Add-On 25%
  • Dead Rising 3 Season Pass     Add-On 67%
  • Outlast Whistleblower            Add-On 40%
Xbox 360 

  • Titanfall Season Pass          Add-On 75%
  • Watch_Dogs Season Pass      Add-On 50%
  • Bioshock Infinite – Burial at Sea Ep 1 Add-On 67%
  • Bioshock Infinite – Burial at Sea Ep 2 Add-On 67%
  • Red Dead Redemption Undead Nightmare Collection Add-On 75%
Xbox Video also has special deals available tomorrow for both TV and Movies, be sure to check Xbox Video for the latest deals on Holiday favorites, as well as discounts on new movie releases and TV shows .


The last Deals with Gold in 2014

The last Deals with Gold in 2014 are bringing LEGO titles to the table. LEGO Marvel Super Heroes LEGO Batman titles,LEGO Harry Potter games, LEGO Star Wars and The LEGO Movie Videogame are on sale until next week, with discounts from 25% to 75%.
Deals with Gold
Xbox One: prices and availability are subject to change and may vary by region. Deals with Gold are valid for Xbox Live Gold members.
Xbox 360: prices and availability are subject to change and may vary by region. Deals with Gold are valid for Xbox Live Gold members.

Source: Major Nelson

How to Get Email Notifications of Xbox Live Games with Gold and Deals with Gold

I looked around for some way of getting notifications of new deals and free games so that I wouldn’t miss anything if I was busy or didn’t play Xbox for a while, but couldn’t find anything. I did, however, discover that Major Nelson posted about every deal. He also has RSS feeds for all marketplace posts or all posts tagged ‘deal’.
I did a bit of searching online, and found a couple of free RSS-to-Email services. Some of them looked a bit naff and some wouldn’t let me sign up with a plus symbol in my address (urgh!). I found two that looked reasonable and didn’t have poor email validation but since I didn’t know how reliable they’d be, I decided to sign up for both and see how they went.
The two services I signed up with are:

  • Blogtrottr - Free with ads; or paid plans are available.
  • Feedrabbit - Free with no ads, but restricted to 10 RSS feeds and 20 emails/day max; or paid plan available.
I was pleasantly surprised that both services have worked perfectly well since I signed up at the start of December, which is around 17 emails so far. The emails tend to arrive within an hour of each other; and according to the timestamps; actually arrive before Major Nelson even posts them! 

Via: dannytuppeny 

Microsoft: stop selling original Kinect for Windows sensor in 2015

In a recent  blog post this morningMicrosoft announced today that will be discontinuing the sales of the first generation Kinect for Windows in 2015. The Xbox One-maker didn’t announce exactly when it will stop selling the motion detection system, however, they did say that it would stop after exhausting the existing stock. 
The move seems completely reasonable and strategic as, if you remember, the company had launched the second generation of its Kinect for Windows sensor in October earlier this year. The second generation Kinect for Windows brings a lot of improvements over the first generations’ offerings, including enhanced body tracking, full 1080p high-definition video, and new active infrared capabilities, among other features.
The Kinect is Microsoft’s $199 hands-free motion sensor system. The setup lets users interact with several game titles and other applications with gestures and/or voice without using any other input peripherals.  
According to Microsoft blog “The original Kinect for Windows sensor was a milestone achievement in the world of natural human computing.”  “It allowed developers to create solutions that broke through the old barriers of mouse and keyboard interactions, opening up entirely new commercial experiences in multiple industries, including retail, education, healthcare, education, and manufacturing.”
While Microsoft hasn’t provided the updated number, in February it had announced that the company had managed to sell 24 million units of Kinect. The second generation of the Kinect for Windows SDK also allowed developers to build Kinect-enabled apps for the Windows Store. Earlier this year, the company had urged the developers to make Kinect for Windows apps with an Xbox One version of the sensor using the Kinect Adapter.

Windows 10: Microsoft is working on a new web browser " Spartan"

Microsoft is working on its new Windows 10 operating system and its new features, including the new web browser. The Spartan project will use the  JavaScript Chackra and Trident technologies. The web browser has also been modified, making it closer to Google Chrome and Firefox. Finally, it will support  extensions.

Moving to a new browser, and not just a new version of IE, could help to bring the web to treat Microsoft more equitably as well as upgrading it to a faster, more lightweight, more standards compliant browser.  A "dual browser" solution could solve compatibility problems for Microsoft, while allowing it to move forward more quickly for sites that offer the latest in web standards.

The new web browser should be presented when Windows 10 event to be held on 21 January. However, it is possible that Spartan is absent PCs and mobile versions of Windows Consumer Preview 10 because of its instability, and he finally makes its appearance later.

Xbox One: Microsoft improves performance of eSRAM

Microsoft decided to settle for GDDR3 and eSRAM in order to handle its high-end graphics, although in the most recent update to its SDK, it was mentioned that the eSRAM that is within the Xbox One has received a performance improvement.

Maciej Binkowski of Dying Light has confirmed the improvements to the Xbox One’s eSRAM module, mentioning, “The new API allows you to do a lot more with the ESRAM, things devs have always wanted to do but were not easily accessible. This together with better tools (PIX) allowed us to really improve performance and tweak ESRAM usage”.

The updates to the Xbox One SDK as well as other small improvements for developer tools will aid future games in achieving the best possible visual and playable results on Xbox One. It is expected that, sometime in 2015, Microsoft will push out a DirectX 12 update to the Xbox One, which should help with cross-platform development and potentially improve the performance of the Xbox One.
Source: Gamingbolt

Xbox Live: the Network Creator, Boyd Multerer, leaves Microsoft

The name of Boyd Multerer is not known to the public or the Xbox community, but the man is neither more nor less than the founders of Xbox Live and XNA, which is a tool to facilitate the development on Xbox, Windows Phone and Windows. At the time, both designs have positioned the Xbox 360 as a strong alternative to the Sony machine (PS3) with one hand, a reliable network and secondly, openness to independent development on consoles salon.

After more than 18 year career at Microsoft, Mr. Multerer decided to move on and announced his departure from the company.

After nearly two decades, fatigue often sets in and a desire for change is felt, what Mr. Multerer expressed in his message on twitter. Despite the issues some users, Mr. Multerer has not disclosed what he was going to spend his free time now. Perhaps a certain Japanese company could use its experience and expertise in networking?

Goodbye Microsoft. It was a good run. Xbox was Great! Time to do something new.

Monday, December 29

Microsoft: Final chance to purchase Xbox One at $349

The holidays are nearly over (and so is the 2014 year), but there’s still time to take advantage of the special, limited-time pricing of $50 off the Xbox One Assassin’s Creed Unity Bundle and Xbox One Assassin’s Creed Unity Bundle with Kinect. For one final week, fans can purchase Xbox One starting at $349 in the U.S. until this Saturday, Jan. 3 at most major national retailers, including Amazon, Best Buy, GameStop, Microsoft Stores, Target, Toys ‘R Us and Walmart.
In order to further entice consumers with more than just a $50 discount, the following retailers are offering online-only deals that end January 3rd:

  • Amazon, Best Buy, GameStop and Target: $50 off Xbox One Assassin’s Creed Unity Bundle or Xbox One Assassin’s Creed Unity Bundle with Kinect, plus a free $50 gift card
  • Toys 'R Us: $50 off Xbox One Assassin’s Creed Unity Bundle or Xbox One Assassin’s Creed Unity Bundle with Kinect, plus a free Xbox One controller
  • Meijer: $50 off Xbox One Assassin’s Creed Unity Bundle or Xbox One Assassin’s Creed Unity Bundle with Kinect, plus a free Xbox One game of your choice
  • Newegg: $50 off Xbox One Assassin’s Creed Unity Bundle or Xbox One Assassin’s Creed Unity Bundle with Kinect, plus a free 12-month Xbox Live Gold subscription and a $20 Newegg gift card

After January 3 is over, however, the price of the Xbox One goes back up to $399 without the Kinect add-on or $499 with the sensor. Hopefully Microsoft will drop the asking price permanently during 2015.

December 29th deal of the day is Assassin's Creed IV Black Flag at 50% OFF

Today's Xbox  Countdown to 2015 deal sees Assassin's Creed IV Black Flag on sale with 50% discounted on the original listed price. It's a superb offer should you not already have this popular title in your collection. For Xbox 360 owners, Assassin's Creed Liberation HD is 75% off today only.
Unfortunately, there isn't any DLC or extras thrown into the mix. Also, it's slightly odd to see Black Flag on sale, especially when it's included in the Assassin's Creed Xbox One console bundle. But do excuse us while we sail the seas in search of coin.

Source: Major Nelson

Sunday, December 28

The FBI is investigating Lizard Squad Over Xbox Live And Playstation Network Attacks

The FBI is actively investigating a member of the hacker collective that claimed responsibility for recent high-profile cyberattacks on Microsoft and Sony properties, according to multiple sources with knowledge of the investigation and the attacks.

A member of Lizard Squad, who goes by the name "ryanc" online, spoke openly to the media about the attack, sharing such details as methodology and motivation. The FBI noticed, and has now opened an investigation.

Ryanc" has been identified as Julius Kivimaki. Ryan is said to be 16 or 17 years old and lives in Finland, according to sources who spoke to the Daily Dot. The sources requested anonymity, fearing backlash from Ryan and the FBI. Ryan refused to confirm his age or other personal details with the Daily Dot.

Due to Ryan’s alleged age and country of residence, it may be difficult for U.S. law enforcement to extradite Ryan for his alleged role in the attacks.

Lizard Squad knocked Sony's and Microsoft's systems offline by using a denial of service attack, often shortened to DDoS. This means of attack works by overpowering a server with more traffic than it can handle. It's like trying to very quickly shake everyone's hand in a crowded room while more and more people enter. Lizard Squad said the DDoS attack maxed out at 1.2 terabits per second. If that is accurate, it's the largest DDoS ever rendered, three times larger than a similar attack against content delivery company Cloudflare earlier this year.

Ryan confirmed he is the same person who spoke to Britain's Sky News in the video report embedded below. In it, he cites one of the group's motivations for the attack as being a means to raise awareness of the poor state of computer security used at such large, brand-name companies. There's also the more base and less empathy-worthy reason of doing it for laughs, a common motivation among hackers.

Top 10 Xbox 360 games of the season

With the holiday season starting, it is time for a top 10  Xbox 360 games of the season – in no particular order.

Top 10 Xbox 360 games of the season

1. Assassin’s Creed

2. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare

3. Bio Shock

4. Halo 3

5. Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion

6. Rock Band

7. Gears of War

8. Guitar Hero 3

9. Mass Effect

10. Shadowrun (requires Xbox live)

Some of the above games are not out yet, or they just came out.  However all of them are highly anticipated and great buys for the gamer in your family.

Saturday, December 27

Xbox One: Sales Top 10 Million Worldwide

Concerning the sales of video game consoles. Microsoft has done everything it can to turn around the sluggish sales of the Xbox One. The temporary $50 price cut in the US has helped push Xbox One sales.

According to vgchartz the Xbox One has now sold more than 10 million units worldwide, with sales of 10.06 million units. The milestone was achieved on the week ending December 13, 2014, where it sold 546,189 units.

Hackers Just Released a Huge Cache of 13,000 passwords and credit cards of Xbox, PS and Amazon users

On Friday, a group claiming affiliation with the loose hacker collective Anonymous released a document containing approximately 13,000 username-and-password  combinations for sites like Amazon, Xbox Live and Playstation Network, along with credit card numbers and expiration dates.

The Daily Dot's Aaron Sankin has compiled a comprehensive list of sites associated with the username and password leaks, including Amazon, Walmart, PlayStation Network, Xbox Live, Hulu Plus and Dell. The file also included the accounts of a number of dating and porn sites.

The news comes just one day after Microsoft's Xbox Live and Sony's PlayStation networks sufferedconnection failures thanks to the work of hacker group Lizard Squad. The hack interrupted the gaming of Xbox's estimated 48 million subscribers and PlayStation's 110 million.

Just to top it off, the group also posted a copy of the movie The Interview, making it available for pirated downloads.
Don't panic: As Business Insider notes, the odds that one of your passwords is is among these 13,000 is extremely unlikely. Still, better safe than sorry: You'd better change your password now.
Just to be on the safe side, if you have an account with any of these places, you might want to change your password and start monitoring your credit card for any suspicious charges.
  • Amazon
  • Walmart
  • PlayStation Network
  • Xbox Live
  • Hulu Plus
  • Dell
  • Brazzers
  • lKnowThatGirl
  • Mofos
  • DigitalPlayground
  • Wicked
  • Twistys
  • Fantyasyhd
  • Puremature
  • Tiny4k
  • MotherFuckerXxx
  • Playboy
  • CastingCouchX
  • BangBros
  • POVD
  • BabesNetwork
  • ArtisticAddiction
  • X-art
  • Shutterstock
  • DareDorm
  • PrettyPetites
  • NaughtyAmerica
  • PornAccess
  • RookieBabe
  • GFMembersPass
  • HungarianHoneys
  • PleaseBangMyWife
In a effort to be topical, the hackers also put up a link to where people can download a copy of The Interview, for freedom.