Fifty One Degrees

There is a city in Northern India called Phalodi, which just set a new heat record today of 51 degrees. On first thought, that doesn’t seem like much, except that the temperature is in centigrade. Convert that to Fahrenheit and you get a temperature of 123.8F. That’s hot. The previous heat record in India was set in 1956 in the town of Alwar at 50.6C. Today’s record is still 6 degrees cooler than the hottest day recorded ever in Death Valley, CA in 1913.

From the Guardian.

Xbox Live Gamertags

Microsoft is making available a 1 million dormant Xbox Live gamertags for anyone to pickup. If you haven’t subscribe lately or no longer using Xbox live, you may be losing your gamertag. What does Microsoft actually mean by dormant?

Microsoft has apparently been careful about what “dormant” means. This pile of names has been freed from a pool of Gamertags that were created on the original Xbox console and remained unused since that console’s servers went offline in 2010, meaning they were never used to log onto either newer console or through Microsoft’s Web-browser interface.

If you used it at least once online, you’re safe.

From Ars Technica.

FBI Paid 1.3 Million

The FBI paid $1.3 million to hack into the San Bernardino iPhone. This is after Apple refused to open up the iPhone, after the FBI could not access it by brute force due to the security features implemented by Apple. From the Washington Post:

Federal authorities have not publicly revealed who helped the FBI unlock the San Bernardino iPhone, which was at the center of an extended fight between the government and Apple. The Justice Department had maintained that only Apple could help it access the phone without erasing all of its data before abruptly saying it had gotten help from an outside party and no longer needed Apple’s assistance.

According to people familiar with the issue, the FBI cracked the phone with the help of professional hackers who were paid a one-time flat fee. Law enforcement officials have said recently that the FBI has found no links to foreign terrorists on the phone, though they are still hoping that geolocation data on the device could help reveal what the attackers did during an 18-minute period after the shooting.