Tech 2.0 for Monday, October 15, 2012

Contributor: Matt Davenport
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Updated: 10/15/2012 3:16 pm

Looks like the computer incursion at Northwest Florida State College is much bigger than first thought. Officials now say hackers were able to swipe the confidential information of nearly 300,000 students statewide -- as well as that of the school's president. At first, it was believed the problem involved only employees at Northwest Florida State. Officials with the Florida Department of Education say the records that were stolen include the names, Social Security numbers and birth dates, as well as ethnicity and gender information for students eligible for the state's Bright Futures program for the 2005-06 and 2006-07 school years. Officials say it was a professional, coordinated attack -- and the information had been used to either obtain loans or to take out a Home Depot credit card.

There's a new report that says for the first time in 11 years, sales of personal computers worldwide will decline this year. The forecast is being issued by the research firm IHS iSuppli. And it projects that there will be nearly 349 million PCs shipped this year. While that seems like a lot, it represents a 1-percent decline from the nearly 353 million shipped last year. That's a small drop. But even so, it's the first time PC sales haven't grown since 2001. Insiders blame the drop on the growing popularity of smartphones and tablet computers. Meanwhile the PC industry is hoping the new version of the Windows operating system will fan the interest in desktops and laptops. The new OS goes on sale later this month.

Computers, speaker systems and even a pool table that once belonged to Curt Schilling's video game company are on the auction block. The former Red Sox pitcher's company, 38 Studios, filed for bankruptcy in June and is getting rid of everything from electronics to furniture. The first of two auctions is scheduled for Tuesday in Maryland. The second will be held next week at the firm's Providence headquarters. The products were on display Monday at a Timonium, MD, office building that once housed Big Huge Games, a studio acquired by Schilling's 38 Studios in 2009. Rhode Island lured the company from Massachusetts with a $75 million loan guarantee. Auctioneer Sal Corio says there's been ample interest in the auctions, but he doesn't expect them to raise $75 million.

On November 13, Activision will release “Call of Duty: Black Ops II.” Today, they announced a few changes coming to the Call of Duty: Elite program. The biggest news is that the program will be free when the latest “Call of Duty” game launches next month. Gamers will be able to keep stats on their gameplay, watch videos and take advantage of premium features that are currently available only to paid Elite members. Activision will bundle their downloadable content offerings under a “Season Pass” plan. The Season Pass will feature four map packs that will be released for Xbox 360 first and then to other platforms for $50. The four map packs will be available a la carte as they are released for $15 each. “Call of Duty: Black Ops II” will be released for the Xbox 360, Playstation 3, PC and on Nintendo’s new Wii U game system.

Softbank Corp. reaches deal with Sprint Nextel Corp. to acquire 70 percent of Sprint for $20.1 billion

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The Curt schilling / 38 Studios, Big Huge Games - auction is taking place on October, 16th 2012, LIVE via the

38 Studios Equipment Up For Auction: Curt Schilling's now defunct and bankrupt video game company, 38 Studios, ...

Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 Charges for DLC but ELITE is Free (VIDEO ...

'Call of Duty: Black Ops 2' DLC Season Pass Confrimed, Elite Goes Free: It's official, Call of Duty Elite...

Call of Duty Elite now offers players the ability to connect, compete and improve like never before:
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