This Week's Hot News: April Fool's Edition

PC Says to Mac: Yeah, well, I'm CHEAP!

Last week Microsoft aired the advertisment that launched a thousand ships. PC and Mac fans completely went to town after Microsoft finally pointed out the ridiculously large elephant in the room: Macs cost way too much. A couple of blogs tracked down, Lauren, the girl from the video and were a little surprised that the sweet, geeky looking girl who sought, "a 17 inch laptop for under a thousand dollars," was actually an actress with stage combat skills and a cheerleading career. Shocker. You can check out the full story about the ad here, but what's really great is the feedback for this story. A lot of lovin' and hatin' in the comments. 

April Fool's!

In light of some of the comments from the PC/Mac story, we decided to have as much Apple stuff in our April Fool's stories as possible. You were all so sure Tom's had been living in Apple's pocket/wallet/purse so wanted to wind you guys up. This included a story on how Tom's Hardware was to transition to Apple-only news and a report that said Apple and McDonald's were teaming up to offer a no frills hamburger, the iMc. We also referred to Steve Jobs as God in a story that had absolutely nothing to do with Apple at all (a company in Oregon was selling regular DVDs as Bluray titles (porn and kiddie movies) to people for eight months and no one noticed). Be sure and check out the stories, guys!

New BIOS Virus Withstands HDD Wipes

Nothing sucks more than having to do a wipe and reformat because no matter what you do, you can’t seem to purge your system of that one nasty virus. Viruses that target the BIOS aren’t new, but a lot of the time, they’re specific to a type of hardware. Researchers have now demonstrated a new type of attack that could install a rootkit on the BIOS of common systems, making it very lethal and effective. Anibal L. Sacco and Alfredo A. Ortego of Core Security Technologies released a presentation detailing the exploit of this “persistent BIOS infection.” Through the use of a 100-line piece of code written in Python, a rootkit could be flashed into the BIOS and be run completely independent of the operating system. Yowza.

FileFront Acquired by Founders, Staying Online

Last week it was reported that the long time gaming file download repository, FileFront would be closing its doors at the end of the month, marking another victim of the ongoing recession. However, on the day the site was supposed to come offline, users were instead greeted by a message saying the site had been saved by its founders who had bought it back from Ziff Davis Media when they heard it was going to be closing down. You guys all seemed really pleases at the news, especially since the original news came as such a shock. Hurray for FileFront. Group hug!

A Peek at Windows 7 Starter's 3 App Cap

Windows 7 Starter Edition will be the el cheapo option aimed at low-cost PCs and netbooks, perhaps paving the way for more of the latter products to hit $200. Because it's meant to be the very bottom tier, Microsoft has imposed a 3 application at a time limit. While we're all for offering stripped down basic versions at a low cost we can't see this ever being useful, just annoying. Microsoft details in its help section, “With Windows 7 Starter, you can open up to three programs at the same time. For example, if you start WordPad, Paint, and Calculator, and then you try to open a web browser, you’ll see a message telling you that you already have three programs open.” Click here for screenshots of Windows 7 Starter.

Conficker Panic

April Fool's day is a lot of fun, however this year it was overshadowed (kind of) by a virus that was supposed to wreak havoc on April 1. While the virus itself has been around for months now, as March drew to a close, experts rushed to figure out the who/what/where and when of the Conficker worm. The Department of Homeland Security released a tool to help identify infected machines, Microsoft offered a bounty of $250,000 for information leading to an arrest and researchers discovered evidence that led them to believe the virus hailed from China. April Fool's came and went and nothing of consequence has happened yet.

Circuit City Used Consoles Had Porn, CC #'s

I love the smell of consumer scandal in the mornings! Apparently, pre-owned consoles taken in by Circuit City--before the chain officially closed its doors--contained personal information such as credit card numbers and homemade porn that was never deleted before liquidation. Circuit City did not wipe the drives before selling off the used merchandise, meaning personal information stored on the hard drives (or other data storage devices) remained intact if the consumer did not remove the information prior to selling the device. To be fair to CC, I would never, ever trade something in without having wiped it first, the same way I wouldn’t give dirty clothes to charity. That said, this sucks for the people who traded in and are now worrying about getting their credit cards scammed.

Woman Killed Over PlayStation Addiction

There are some very unstable people in this world. Retired Heathrow airport worker Malcolm Palmer, age 62, stabbed his female partner of thirty years--Carol Cannom, age 46--around thirty times with two knives because she had been playing Grand Theft Auto 4 too much. Unhappy with the situation undoubtedly exhausted, feeling detached and unimportant, Palmer ultimately confronted Cannom with suspicions of an extra-marital affair. He went into a violent rage, thus resulting in her wanting Palmer out of the house and out of the childrens' lives. Palmer grabbed two knives--a dinner knife and a folding lock knife--and filled her face, chest, and legs with over thirty wounds right in front of their son.

PS3 Price Cut Still a Possibility?

With the recent price cut announced for Sony’s PlayStation 2, fans are still holding out for a similar reduction on the PS3. While initial rumors about the price cut pointed toward the PS2, gamers were hoping the newer console would see its price slashed. Despite Sony only announcing a price cut for the almost 10 year old PS2, analysts say customers shouldn’t rule out a PS3 cut altogether, claiming Sony needs to lower its PS3 prices for a number of reasons, one of which being the surge in sales that Microsoft saw following the price reduction for the Xbox 360.

Final Fantasy 13 to Use "Nearly 100%" of PS3

the first Final Fantasy game to hit the system will nearly max out the console’s potential -- at least that’s what Final Fantasy XIII producer Yoshinori Kitase said in a recent interview with Japanese magazine Dengeki PlayStation 3. According to Kotaku’s translation, Kitase responded to a question regarding the how much the PS3’s power will be tapped by FF XIII by saying, "Doesn't the demo use about 50 percent of its power? Of course, I think the retail version will make use of nearly 100 percent." Kitase added that FF XIII will push the PlayStation 3 just like previous games FF VII pushed the PSone and FF X pushed the PS2.

  • NuclearShadow
    Of course the woman on the commercial was a actress. Does anyone honestly think that Microsoft randomly approach someone and give them this challenge? This would be like hunting down a kid from a Sunny D commercial to see him choose the soda (or god forbid the purple stuff) over the Sunny D.
  • Greatwalrus
    Wow, video game characters are starting to get too hot.. it's scary :\ Should I be attracted? crap. o.O (picture 10)

  • cheepstuff
    Wow, video game characters are starting to get too hot.. it's scary :\ Should I be attracted? crap. o.O (picture 10)

    how do you feel about picture 6 ? about attractive...:P
  • outacontrolpimp
    lol whats with the polar bear and wolf picture
  • marraco
    Ok. Fun.

    Now. Did you accounted by your site being read by the entire world?

    Hundred (¿or millions?) of people knowing nothing about "fools day"?
  • thejerk
    They do now... at that's alllllll that matters.
  • rigaudio
    marracoDid you accounted by your site being read by the entire world?Hundred (¿or millions?) of people knowing nothing about "fools day"?OH NOES WE MUST REMEMBER THAT FUN IS NOT ALLOWED ON THE INTERNET