Posts tagged Games

Yahoo Games Hit By Shellshock Bug, Researcher Reports

The Shellshock bug is bad news, and Yahoo may’ve just found out first hand. 

At least two servers for Yahoo Games were allegedly breached in a hack discovered by security researcher Jonathan Hall.  

Hall says he found evidence that Romanian hackers gained access to at least two of Yahoo’s servers by exploiting the Shellshock bug, a vulnerability in bash, a low-level program used to execute other programs. By exploiting the bug, hackers can gain remote access of servers and systems. Hall said Yahoo’s servers were vulnerable because they were using an older version of bash.

Hall, a Unix expert with Future South Technologies, offers a lengthy explanation on the tech consulting firm’s website, where he describes how he tracked the breach to Yahoo’s game servers. Hall also shares an email he says he received from Yahoo confirming the breach. Since millions of people play Yahoo games every day, they make an ideal target for hackers. 

See also: Everything You Need To Know About The Shellshock Bug

If hackers gained control of a Yahoo server using Shellshock, they could potentially steal user information, deliver malware to vulnerable computers and take control of the system. So you’d think Yahoo would be grateful for the information. Hall, however, claims Yahoo did not reward him for the discovery, instead telling Hall that his findings didn’t qualify for its bug bounty program.

“I literally gave them two servers that were hacked, of which there were most likely more—without a doubt—considering one gets a public DNS response of a private IP address… And that doesn’t qualify? What a joke,” Hall posted on Reddit.

Yahoo has a poor track record when it comes to rewarding security researchers who uncover serious flaws, Mashable notes. Where a similar bug might net five figures at Facebook, Yahoo is more in the habit of awarding $25 vouchers which can be used to purchase t-shirts, pens and other items from Yahoo’s company store. 

Photo via Shutterstock

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Are Games & Lyrics Sites Google Panda 4.1′s Biggest Losers?

Google began rolling out Panda 4.1 last week into this week but we already have the winners and losers report from SearchMetrics. The biggest winners for Panda 4.1 based on this early report are sites in the news, content and download portal realm. While the biggest losers are sites in the games,…

Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.

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If You’re Good At These 3 Games, You’re Probably Good At SEO – Forbes

If You're Good At These 3 Games, You're Probably Good At SEO
SEO is not dead or dying, despite some critics claiming otherwise. You may have heard, for example, about SEO Jill Whalen moving on after a successful 20-year career in the field. Her reason? In her opinion, since Google Google released its Penguin and …

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Google Dorking: It’s All Fun & Games Until The Hackers Show Up

For anyone not in the know, Google Dorking is the practice of using advanced search techniques – more specifically, specialized search parameters – to locate hard-to-find web pages and information. As innocent as it sounds, Google Dorking has a dark side – so dark, federal…

Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.

View full post on Search Engine Land: News & Info About SEO, PPC, SEM, Search Engines & Search Marketing

How Twitch And YouTube Are Making Video Games A Big Business

Mark this moment: Watching people play video games has become a big business, with Amazon, Google, Disney, and others vying for a piece of the action.

Call it livestream gaming: Top players record themselves playing popular titles and delivering commentary—or compete against each other in big, live, arena-style events. 

By turning video games from a solitary living-room obsession into shared events, livestream gaming is letting advertisers tap into a hard-to-reach demographic of mostly young men.

The Game Is Afoot

That means a huge influx of money into the video-game world: It’s changing from a hardware-and-software business into a Hollywood-like media operation, complete with its own celebrities, agents, studios, and networks.

The big event in livestream gaming was’s announcement that it will acquire Twitch, a site which specializes in livestream gaming videos, for a cool $970 million, after rumors that Google’s YouTube might be interested in buying it, too.

Gaming as a spectator sport has already attracted audiences of millions of online users, most of whom watch it on gaming-dedicated YouTube channels or on Twitch. It’s no longer an online subculture: For many teens, it is their mass media.  

And the wars to capitalize on livestream gaming and its personalities is underway. Maker Studios, a Disney-owned Web network that operates like a talent agency for popular YouTube stars, has just partnered with one of YouTube’s top gaming channels, The Diamond Minecart.

The Diamond Minecart joins two other Maker-represented gaming channels, PewDiePie and Stampylonghead. That means Maker Studios now has the top three most-subscribed gaming channels on YouTube. And it means Disney and Google have partnered up against Amazon and Twitch. It’s on like Donkey Kong!

Gamers at Insomnia 52, the UK’s biggest gaming festival.

Livestream gaming grew along with YouTube. Video-game streams were just one more genre of YouTube’s early bedroom-webcam confessionals. What else would teens talk into the camera about?

But as passionate and engaged fan communities blossomed into subcriber bases that numbered in the millions, then big businesses began to take notice.

Swede Idea

PewDiePie trying Oculus Rift, a virtual-reality gadget.

While Twitch specializes in gaming, the topic is no stranger to YouTube. PewDiePie, YouTube’s most-subscribed channel, is the online-video home of Felix Kjellberg, a 24-year-old Swede. He has 19 million subscribers, but he’s just at the apex of a community of gamers on YouTube who garner massive fan followings by uploading videos of themselves playing games. 

Some advertisers are already tapping into their popularity.

Kjellberg recently agreed to appear in a promotion for Hollywood horror movie As Above, So Below. The film’s marketers sent Kjellberg to Paris to record himself looking for missing keys within a haunted catacomb, complete with zombies and live cockroaches. It works particularly well because of the similarities to the horror-themed video games he often plays.

Video-game publisher Ubisoft partnered with popular YouTube comedy duo Smosh to create a song in 2012 for the release of Assassin’s Creed 3. The accompanying music video now has a total of 54 million views.

In 2012, first person shooter video game Halo released Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn, a science fiction action show, on YouTube channel Machinima Prime. The show has since been added onto Netflix’s roster of content.

Entering The Arena

Livestream gaming was born on the Internet—but it’s jumping into the physical world. 

Where livestream gaming involves posting videos, esports—short for “electronic sports”—involves quasi-athletic video-game competitions, often staged in big venues before live audiences and, increasingly, broadcast on television.

League of Legends World Championships

In October 2013, video-game publisher Riot Games held its League of Legends World Championships at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. The arena was sold out, and 32 million gaming fans watched the competition online.

In July, ESPN, the Disney-owned cable network, broadcast The International, a tournament which featured an online battle-arena-style game called DOTA (Defense of the Ancients) 2, with an $11 million prize. 

League of Legends gamers.

So what can we expect for the future of livestream gaming? We’re already seeing Disney, Google, and Amazon getting into the mix, putting down eye-popping amounts of money into acquisitions and poaching top YouTube gamers.

Google and Disney’s interests are obvious, since they are big sellers of advertising with a keen interest in teenage audiences. Amazon’s interest in Twitch came as a surprise to many—but it, too, has an increasing interest in video games, thanks to its Kindle tablets and its in-house game studios, as well as in online advertising, where it hopes to challenge Google.

Others are likely to pile into the market now. The big winners may be anyone who loves video games. Heck, you don’t even have to play them anymore. You can just lean back and watch.

Lead image by Madeleine Weiss, images courtesy of Riot Games, Tubefilter, PewDiePieThe Diamond Minecart, Flickr user artubr

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LinkedIn’s Hunger Games: Will You Volunteer As Tribute?

Get ready to feel really awkward on LinkedIn. The professional social network introduced a new feature Wednesday that turns logging on to LinkedIn into a game-like experience by showing you how you stack up against other people in your network. 

If you’re familiar with the universe of The Hunger Games, LinkedIn, once a safe place to share news articles and network, has turned into some kind of digital Panem, and we are all now volunteering as tribute.

Called How You Rank, the feature is a new part of Who’s Viewed Your Profile, the statistics dashboard on your account that shows you which people are looking at your LinkedIn page. How You Rank lets users see how popular their profiles are in relationship to other people in their network.

For instance, I rank 120 out of 604, and I’m in the top 20% of profile views among my connections.

LinkedIn’s new popularity contest will no doubt encourage people to scramble around to get more views on their profile, which will no doubt increase the social network’s page views—a metric closely watched by analysts on Wall Street, where the company faces its own kind of ruthless ranking against other Internet companies. 

The How You Rank page shows you what percentile you rank for profile views among your connections, which connections have been viewed the most, and how much those numbers have increased in the last two weeks. The right hand side of the How You Rank dashboard features personalized suggestions on how to get more people to look at your profile, like updating your summary, joining targeted groups, or adding a specific skill.

By following LinkedIn’s tips, you’ll spend more time perfecting your profile and competing with professionals you might not know personally—as if there wasn’t enough competition in the workplace already.

May the stats be ever in your favor.

Image courtesy of Coletivo Mambembe on Flickr

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See Atari’s Buried Treasure: E.T. Among 30 Retro Games Unearthed In The Desert

Just as the desert winds kicked up to 35 m.p.h., with prematurely disappointed onlookers already streaming away from the dusty hole in the ground, the team tasked with digging up Atari’s long-rumored burial ground struck gold—a copy of 1982’s Atari 2600 epic flop, E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, flattened but intact. 

But it wasn’t all Atari’s infamous E.T. adaptation. According to Raiford Guins, Associate Professor of Culture and Technology at SUNY Stony Brook and on-site Atari historian, the game that started (or ended) it all is actually outnumbered: “E.T. is the face of this dig … but there are a lot of corpses.” 

The real jackpot: a sprawling, colorful patch of early 1980s Atari cartridges, unboxed games, promo materials, booklets and comics, all preserved by a lack of water and oxygen under thirty years and 28 feet of trash.

Scattered among the early 80s artifacts, the dig team unearthed copies of Raiders of the Lost Ark and Yars’ Revenge—two far more successful titles created by E.T.’s designer, Howard Scott Warshaw. 

Here’s a full list of the Atari games pulled out of the Alamogordo landfill that I’ve documented so far, culled from my own photos, conversation with the dig’s archaeological lead, Andrew Reinhard, and a little time spent digging through a small sample of the findings with my own two hands:

  • E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial (roughly 70 copies present in the archaeology team’s collection, a very rough working estimate of 700 copies total were found during the excavation, which in total remains a very small sample—possibly 2% of Atari’s total “buried treasure” in the landfill)
  • Raiders of the Lost Ark
  • Yars’ Revenge
  • Pele’s Soccer 
  • Superman 
  • Human Cannonball
  • Circus Atari
  • Night Driver
  • Adventure
  • Haunted House
  • Combat-CX-2601
  • Defender (Atari 2600)
  • Defender (Atari 5200)
  • Space Invaders
  • Air-Sea Battle 
  • Missile Command
  • Pac-Man
  • Ms. Pac-Man
  • Warlords 
  • Swordquest: Fireworld
  • Vanguard
  • Star Raiders
  • Real Sports: Football
  • Qix
  • Phoenix
  • Asteroids
  • Berzerk
  • Centipede
  • Breakout
  • Super Breakout

Burning Man Meets A Gaming Expo 

The event, a literal excavation of one of gaming’s most enduring legends, cobbled together an unlikely, gleeful crowd at a yet-more-unlikely location. Yet here we were, on the Eastern edge of the White Sands desert, just a hundred miles from Roswell, N.M., at a landfill situated behind a McDonald’s parking lot.

At the site—a pop-up gaming convention cross-bred with Burning Man—a blockbuster production team joined retro gamers, curious locals, Xbox executives, a small, gleeful archaeological team and even a local garbage guru who’d tracked the truth—and all of its permutations—for more than three decades.

If that sounds crazy on paper, it was twenty times crazier in person. With trash literally swirling around us, the crowd looked on as a 40-ton Caterpillar brought up load after load of dusty garbage.

“I was getting nervous … [the tractor] was 30 feet down, almost the length of how far you can extend down” said Joe Lewandowski, the dig’s de facto historian, who owned a competing garbage company back when Atari sent nine semi-trucks to Alamogordo in 1983.

“At one point I said, okay, better hit it soon. As soon as I said that, two buckets later, then they came out with it; there was Space Invaders and Asteroids and right on top was E.T.”


For higher resolution images from the dig, refer to my Flickr album (a work in progress!).

All photos by Taylor Hatmaker for ReadWrite

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Bioshock Maker Irrational Games To Shut Down

Irrational Games, the 17-year-old development arm behind the successful games Bioshock and Bioshock Infinite, will be reshaped into a new team within Take Two Interactive, according to Ken Levine, the company’s creative director and co-founder:

While I’m deeply proud of what we’ve accomplished together, my passion has turned to making a different kind of game than we’ve done before. To meet the challenge ahead, I need to refocus my energy on a smaller team with a flatter structure and a more direct relationship with gamers.  In many ways, it will be a return to how we started: a small team making games for the core gaming audience.

Levine said Irrational Games will release the final downloadable module for Bioshock Infinite, entitled “Burial At Sea,” but Levine will part ways with all of the roughly 15 members of the Irrational Games team. Those laid off from Irrational Games will have a chance to discuss other opportunities within Take-Two Interactive, and Levine will also help departing Irrational staff get jobs at third-party studios and publishers by hosting a formal “recruiting day.”

To learn more about what will happen to Irrational Games and Levine’s next project, check out Levine’s blog post on Irrational Games’ website.

Lead image by nez on Flickr

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SEO Computer Games: Madoogle & Donkey Cutts – Search Engine Roundtable

Search Engine Roundtable
SEO Computer Games: Madoogle & Donkey Cutts
Search Engine Roundtable
(1) Donkey Cutts – a play on Donkey Kong, but the characters switched to be personalities in the SEO space. Including Matt Cutts, Pandas, Penguins, links, social, and much more. (2) Madoogle – a play on Angry Birds, but the birds change to the faces of
Madoogle SEO Game: Angry Birds As SEOsSearch Engine Land

all 2 news articles »

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Google Gay Rights Doodle Kicks Off 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games

Google’s home page today celebrates the start of the 2014 Winter Olympics and also protests Russia’s stance on gay rights in the form of a Doodle. Abandoning its usual primary colors, Google’s logo adopts rainbow colors symbolic of gay pride.

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