Sony

Update On Playstation Network Breach

It appears that Playstation Network and Qriocity users can breathe more easily when it comes to their credit card information.

Sony has stated that a vital piece of information related to purchases, the card security code, was NOT stored or archived by their system.

This code, which is usually three or four digits long, is used to confirm purchases online and by phone. It is printed on the back on Visa and Mastercard credit cards, next to the signature strip, and in the front of many American Express cards, just above the credit card number.

This card verification code expires with the credit card and another code is issued whenever new cards are sent out. So if the credit card you used on the above mentioned networks was about to expire, you should have no problem.

Furthermore, with the introduction of chip cards and services like Visa‘s Verified by Visa and Mastercard‘s Securecode services, information gathered from the security breach would not likely be useable. But I would definately advise vigilance in regards to purchases, just in case.

Canada’s major credit card companies had adopted Zero Liability programs years back for unauthorized purchases so i’m guessing the issue wont cause many problems, though it should be noted that Sony will NOT be asking people to provide personal or credit card information via email or by phone.

BTW, Sony has stated that some of the services will be reactivated this week and some of their users will be eligible for a free month of Playstation Plus. Details can be found on their official blog.

Blu-Ray Format Enhancements

In an April 2nd, 2010 Press Release the Blu-Ray Disc Association has released details about the new Blu-Ray formats that will be released this year.

There will be two different format enhancements, BDXL and IH-BD, both of which will add additional features to the Blu-Ray format.

The BDXL discs will either include one to two additional layers, resulting in a 100GB to 128GB capacity, or will be rewritable at 100GB. This format is primarily for professionals that require “a compact, stable and long term solution for archiving large amounts of sensitive data, video and graphic images”.

On the other hand, the Intra-Hybrid Blu-ray Disc (IH-BD) would instead incorporate a rewritable 25GB layer into the current format for consumers, resulting in a dual layered disc containing both “a single BD-ROM layer and a single BD-RE layer so as to enable the user to view, but not overwrite, critical published data while providing the flexibility to include relevant personal data on the same physical disc.”

These new format enhancements are not compatible with the current Blu-Ray players because they require a better laser. But the future BDXL and IH-BD compatible equipment will be downward compatible according to the press release, enabling playback of the current 25GB and 50GB Blu-Ray discs. And the Blu-Ray Disc Association expect consumers to access a new consumer version of the BDXL devices in areas where 3D Blu-Ray players or Blu-Ray recorders have gained acceptance.