iFive: Sony Canada Hacked, Google’s NFC Credit Plans, No Windows 8 Soon, Amazon’s Cheaper 3G Kindle, EU Laws Vs. Cookies

It’s Wednesday May 25th, the 145th day of this year and 50 years to the day that J.F.K. said we’d put “a man on the Moon.” Interesting, no? Almost as interesting as our summary of today’s early news!

1. Sony’s hack woes have deepened–now its Canadian version of the eShop has been hacked by a self-professed grey hat Lebanese hacker, and 2,000 customer records have been acquired (evidence for around 1,000 posted online). At this point it’s tempting to say the attacks have moved into a new territory, with hackers simply kicking Sony when it’s down, acting in some kind of mob rule–rather than the “protest” attacks that began with Anonymous.


2. Immediately chasing Square’s announcements, Google is now poised to reveal its extensive plans for an NFC credit-card enabled wireless payment scheme in the U.S. with Sprint as a cell network partner. A roll-out is expected to start in New York and San Francisco before expanding across the nation, and may occur in partnership with a credit card enterprise like Mastercard. The announcement of this genuinely next-gen credit card system is expected later today.

3. Microsoft’s effusive CEO may have overstepped the mark again: Yesterday Steve Ballmer was quoted as suggesting the next generation of Windows, Windows 8, will arrive in 2012. Now Microsoft is saying Ballmer made a mis-statement, and spokespeople are noting they’re “eagerly awaiting the next generation of Windows 7 hardware” over the “next fiscal year” and to date “have yet to formally” reveal timing or names of the next Windows edition. Oops.

4. Amazon, possibly reacting to Barnes & Noble’s interesting new, cheap e-reader, has announced it’s expanding its ad-supported Kindle system to the 3G-enabled edition. This takes $25 off the price, so the 3G version is now a mere $164, or $25 more than B&N’s diminutive device. The maneuver could also be an early one to position Amazon more comfortably for what’s expected to be a couple of new Android powered tablet e-readers, due soon.

5. Today’s the day the EU’s legal protection for user privacy, centering on web cookies, takes effect–as of now, firms which lodge a cookie on your machine have to alert you to the practice, and note that they’ll be tracking your web habits. It’s aimed at protecting consumers from privacy invasions, and yet it would seem chaos reigns as different EU nations have yet to come up with their own supporting legislation. It may be seen as a model for upcoming U.S. “do not track” laws.

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