Talking tech since 2003

Happy Sunday! It’s time for another Weekend Wrap-Up, and this edition is quite hack-heavy. I’ll get into why in a minute, but you can expect to hear about Sony, as well as Xbox Live and the PlayStation Network, which both experienced attacks this week. Other companies in the news include Apple and Google. Let’s get to it.

Sony Allows Showings of ‘The Interview’ in Theaters, and Sells the Film Online

One of the biggest stories relating to the Sony cyberattack is that it nearly canceled the entire planned release for a movie — Sony’s The Interview. The company initially shelved the movie before having a change of heart this past week, and the film wound up showing in a limited number of theaters. It was also made available online through streaming sites like YouTube and Xbox Video. Reports say that The Interview pulled in $1 million on Christmas Day.

psnMicrosoft’s Xbox Live, Sony’s PlayStation Network Both Hacked

Those opening up an Xbox One or PlayStation 4 on Christmas morning experienced some disappointment — the online networks for both consoles were brought down as a result of a “DDoS” (distributed denial of service) attack led by a hacker group called the Lizard Squad. We reported that the always-interesting Kim Dotcom swooped in to attempt a rescue for the networks, giving the Lizard Squad lifetime vouchers to his encrypted Mega storage service. But days later, both networks continued to feel the effects of the attacks. Xbox Live has been somewhat reliable lately, and Sony’s PlayStation Network appears to be online today after being completely inaccessible, so perhaps today is the day everything returns to normal.

Apple’s 12-Inch MacBook Air Could Begin Production Soon

There’s an 11-inch model and a 13-inch model — so why not find a happy medium for the MacBook Air? It appears Apple is going to do just that, as we reported this past week that production on a 12-inch model of the MacBook Air could fire up soon. The updated model is said to be more powerful than previous versions (would that really be a surprise?), and would pack that power into an even thinner chassis (again, is that a surprise? This is Apple we’re talking about). Our own Brian Rubin asked an interesting question — could this 12-inch MacBook Air and the heavily rumored iPad Pro actually be the same device? At this point, the signs aren’t promising — but things could change.

Google Has a New Self-Driving Car Prototype

It’s safe to say that past versions of Googles autonomous car were a bit… rough. The company has come back with something that is absolutely adorable, though. Seriously, go read Brian’s story on this car and look at the photo. Anyway, the updated model is now updated to better comply with California’s laws regarding self-driving automobiles. Gas and brake pedals, as well as a steering wheel, are present in the car so that a human can take over should that be necessary. Google says it plans to bring these vehicles to market within the next six years, but a lot of states will have to address the issue of self-driving cars with new laws before that can happen.


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