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Scottrade had no idea about data breach until the feds showed up

When an organization gets hacked, ideally they'll realize it promptly and warn their users right away. Take crowdfunding site Patreon, which was hacked on Monday and has already informed the world about the problem.Scottrade, an investment brokerage company, is different, and not in a good way.

The company announced Friday that it suffered a security breach over a period of several months from late 2013 to early 2014, affecting approximately 4.6 million customers. But in a statement, Scottrade said it had no idea that the breach had occurred until law enforcement officials told them about it.

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Cortana coming to the Xbox One in 2016

On Friday evening, Microsoft?s Larry Hryb?better known as Major Nelson?took to his blog to make a couple announcements. First, a new update to the Xbox Beta app for Windows 10 is on its way. We?ll get to that in a moment, but the big news is that Cortana, Microsoft?s digital assistant technology, will make its way to the Xbox in 2016.

According to Major Nelson, beta testers will get a chance to try Cortana on their Xbox ?later this year? when Microsoft releases it through the Xbox One experience preview program. This will allow the company to ? ensure that the experience is tuned for gamers? ahead of its public launch next year. Major Nelson didn?t provide any further details as to when in 2016 you can expect the official version of Cortana for Xbox, however.

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The Beginner's Guide review: A weird, fiercely personal game

Here?s Davey Wreden?s Steam description for his latest game, The Beginner?s Guide:

?The Beginner?s Guide is a narrative video game from Davey Wreden, the creator of The Stanley Parable. It lasts about an hour and a half and has no traditional mechanics, no goals or objectives. Instead, it tells the story of a person struggling to deal with something they do not understand.?

Turns out this disarmingly honest appraisal is a sign of what?s to come. To get a bit more specific: The Beginner?s Guide is short, weird, and either fiercely personal or painfully self-indulgent?or both, if you?d prefer.

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How News Corp is uniting 10 business units and 25,000 employees in a global I...

Embarking on a new IT project is a major undertaking no matter what your company's scope or size, but when you're News Corp -- with 10 business units and 25,000 employees around the globe -- it's not for the faint of heart.

That, however, was exactly the challenge that faced Dominic Shine less than a year after he joined the media conglomerate as global CIO.

Spurred by the company's split from 21st Century Fox back in 2013, Shine helped create a brand-new global enterprise IT strategy to take the newly reborn News Corp into the future.With 25,000 employees to support in 10 major business units covering diverse industries such as news, book publishing, marketing, real estate and education, Shine started by ensuring that the new strategy was based on three simple pillars.

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Motorola to drop Moto Assist, Migrate, and Connect in transition to Marshmallow

Motorola is dropping its signature software enhancements as part of the plan to update its phones to Android Marshmallow.

That means no more Motorola Assist, Migrate, and Connectadd-ons bundled with your device. Motorola says that with all the new features in Marshmallow, they?re no longer necessary.

Assist handles voice commands, and is always listening for the phrase, ?OK, Moto X? (or any phrase you set). Migrate transfers in contacts and other content from another phone. Connect lets you send SMS messages from a Chrome extension, which sync up with your phone.

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Five to Try: Showtime cuts the cord, and Need for Speed goes free-to-play
Grab these new apps and games for plenty of Android enjoyment.
Microsoft gives more weight to gaming plans with Havok physics engine acquisi...

While much of Microsoft's pitch for Windows 10 has been focused on everyday consumers and business users, the company has also taken the opportunity to push its new operating system on another key demographic for the company: video game fans.

Xbox chief Phil Spencer told an audience at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco earlier this year that the new OS is designed to be the best release for gamers. It's packed with features like a new Xbox app, the ability to record and share gameplay through Xbox Live, and more.Those initiatives are a key push for the company amid a rough-and-tumble gaming market with a lot of competitive players. Now, Microsoft is throwing more money behind its gaming ambitions with a new acquisition.

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Microsoft, Tesla say software-defined batteries could mix and match power on ...

To maximize battery life, a team of researchers from Microsoft, Tesla, and others have proposed combining several different types of batteries inside a single device, and managed by the operating system itself.

Tests conducted by the researchers showed that mixing and matching batteries could improve the battery life of a wearable by about an hour. A two-in-one could see far better gains, however?up to a 22 percent improvement.

Unlike a fundamental improvement in battery technology, however?which this is not?the improvements generated by software-defined batteries (SDBs) would be very personalized, the paper notes. And they would be limited, in part, to what batteries the manufacturers included in the devices themselves.

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YouTube Kids adds new playlists, a walkthrough for parents, Chromecast and Ap...

YouTube for Kids is getting a batch of new content and some new features to help your little one actually learn something during their approved screen time.

According to Google, the iOS and Android app is expanding the amount of programming to watch and will soon grant you a clearer view of the parental controls, to make sure your child?s eyes don?t venture to some of the other content YouTube is infamous for.

The impact on you: YouTube Kids is designed to put child-friendly programming front and center so parents feel good about handing over their phone or tablet. The newest updates expand the options and help you to lock things down behind a filter.

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Spotify expects to have close to 100 million users by year?s end
Listeners have been flocking to the streaming-music service in record numbers.
This week in games: BattleTech heads to Kickstarter and a Fallout fan builds ...

A BattleTech Kickstarter, a Mass Effect theme park ride, a live-action SOMA prequel, and one hardcore fan builds a working Fallout vault?we?ve taken a break from sipping apple cider to round up all the important gaming news from September 28 to October 2.

Still under siege

Bored again this weekend? The Rainbow Six Siege closed beta, originally supposed to end this past Monday (September 28) has been extended through Sunday, October 4. Keep on killing those terrorists, if you?ve got code.

Also you can play Speedrunners for free through Steam. It?s a fantastic multiplayer game even in Early Access.

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Batman: Arkham Knight swoops back onto Steam in time for Halloween

The Caped Crusader is almost done sitting in the penalty box. Warner Bros took to Steam Friday to announce the PC version of Batman: Arkham Knight will be back on sale ?at the end of October,? four months after it was originally yanked from sale because it was a terrible hackjob of a port.

Here?s the full statement:

?As many of you know, we released a major patch for Batman: Arkham Knight PC a few weeks ago. While there were significant performance improvements made to the game, the teams are continuing to work on the additional updates that were outlined in our previous post. We expect these updates to be ready at the end of October, at which time the PC version will be made available for purchase. In addition, support for all DLC that has been released for the console versions will be in place.?

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Oculus Rift consumer price will be more than $350

If you?ve already built an Oculus-ready PC and are wondering how much to budget for the Oculus Rift headset itself, the answer is likely north of $350.

?We?re roughly in that ballpark ? but it?s going to cost more than that,? Oculus Founder Palmer Luckey told Road to VR, when asked if the consumer version of Oculus would have a similar price tag to the company?s developer kits. The Oculus DK 2 kit cost $350, while the original TK 1 cost $300.

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Here's what we know about how Nexus Protect will work

You can?t get your hands on a Nexus 6P or 5X yet (although we did), but you can see how Google?s Nexus Protect program will work in case you?re wondering if it?s worth the extra cash.

Nexus Protect is essentially Google?s version of AppleCare, giving you two years of enhanced coverage for your new Nexus smartphone. The claims site, which is run by Assurant Solutions, is already live and gives you more details about how the protection plan will work.

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Patreon donor details apparently spilled after massive hack

Crowdfunding site Patreon has become the latest victim of a data breach, though this one?s slightly more interesting than your garden variety hack.

Patreon acknowledged the breach on September 30, saying that hackers gained access to names, email addresses, posts, and some shipping addresses, along with some billing addresses that added prior to 2014. The site also reported unauthorized access to encrypted passwords, social security numbers, and tax form information. Credit card data wasn?t compromised in the breach.

The theft of encrypted passwords and social security numbers isn?t unheard of in data breaches, and while it?s possible to crack the encryption with enough effort, Patreon at least used a powerful hashing function called bcrypt. This should make any cracking attempts much slower and more difficult due to the computational power required.

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