A heating and air conditioning contractor may have provided the opening hackers exploited in the massive breach of Target's computer network.

And it didn't even know it.

This new information about the Target breach highlights the potential for serious vulnerabilities at other major U.S. retailers. It also raises a head-scratcher: How could a heating contractor's password open up the secure systems used to process customer payments?

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Google is not having a good day today. After it’s ‘Reliability Engineer’ team took to Reddit for an AMA, Gmail and Google+ went offline in a massive, worldwide outage. As you can imagine at Google, they were likely scrambling to get the service back online but when the servers kicked back on, one Hotmail account started getting spammed with emails.

TechCrunch first noticed the bug and what happens is that when you search Google for Gmail, and then click the Email link shown in the image above, a blank email will open with the address This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. already filled in the address bar; Neowin was able to reproduce this bug.

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Sony announced today that it will be selling its PC business under the VAIO brand in order to focus on mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets.

It was reported recently that, Sony might be looking at revising its product strategy for the VAIO PC business after the company denied having talks with Lenovo for a possible acquisition.

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The popularity of Apple products combined with the out-of-reach pricing for some has been misused by con men to fool the people of Ceres in California's Central Valley into buying "iPads" that were actually floor tiles.

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According to the Ceres Police Department, numerous reports have been filed by people who were approached by scammers offering the tablets for an "out of the box" discounted price. The product in question was merely a floor tile matching the size of an iPad with an Apple logo and bubble wrap to make it look like the real deal.

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Microsoft has just announced an end to its official search for a brand new CEO. Frontrunner, Satya Nadella has been chosen for the position and will start his new job immediately.

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Nadella is a Microsoft veteran having been with the company for over 20 years. He joined the company back in 1992 after a short run at Sun Microsystems. At Microsoft he has acted as a senior VP for R&D in the company's Online Services Division as well as a VP of the Business Division.

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dataThe hacker group known as the Syrian Electronic Army claims in a new post on its Twitter account that it "didn't finish our attack" on Microsoft. The group has claimed responsibly for briefly taking over control of the official Skype, Twitter, Facebook and blog on New Year's Day. Last weekend, the SEA also said it hacked into the official Microsoft News Twitter and blog, along with the Xbox Support Twitter and Instagram accounts.

  The new message comes at the same time as a new statement from Microsoft, which admits that an unknown amount of its company email accounts were hacked into by the SEA. According to The Verge, a Microsoft spokesperson stated, "A social engineering cyberattack method known as phishing resulted in a small number of Microsoft employee social media and email accounts being impacted. These accounts were reset and no customer information was compromised."

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For those who regularly buy from Amazon, the company's Prime service is very handy indeed. For $79 a year, Prime customers enjoy free two-day shipping on over 19 million items, along with various other cool perks, such as unlimited streaming of movies and TV shows via Amazon's Instant Video service.

But, as The Verge reports, Amazon Prime customers could soon face a price increase of up to 50%. Speaking on an earnings call with analysts, after reporting its latest quarterly financial results, the company's CFO, Tom Szkutak, confirmed that Amazon is "considering" raising the price of an annual Prime subscription in the US by between $20 and $40.

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atmThe world's ATM machines will soon face a major issue on April 8th: The end of support for their operating system. According to BusinessWeek, 95 percent of active ATMs in the world, or nearly all of the 420,000 currently operating in the United States, run on Windows XP - a system which Microsoft is officially ending support for in under 90 days.

Despite being one of the most frequently used consumer technologies in the world, many ATMs run on outdated operating systems. and with the April 8th deadline looming, their owners must make the upgrade. But this may be easier said than done for many of the machines, which run on outdated hardware that may struggle to keep up with a newer OS, like Windows 7. According to Suzanne Cluckey, the editor of ATM Marketplace, "A lot of ATMs will have to either have their components upgraded or be discarded altogether and sold into the aftermarket—or just junked."

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Apple announced its financial results for its fiscal first quarter of 2014, which equals the final quarter of the 2013 calendar year that ended Dec. 31. The press release states that for the quarter, 51 million iPhones and 26 million iPads were sold worldwide, compared to 47.8 million iPhones and 22.9 million iPads sold in the same period a year ago.

Apple's press release also said that 4.6 million Mac computers were sold for the quarter, compared to 4.1 million for the same period a year ago. Overall, Apple brought in revenues of $57.6 billion for the quarter, compared to $54.5 billion for the same period a year ago. Net income was recorded as $13.1 billion, compared to $13.06 billion as year ago.

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intel logo 2Chipmaker Intel has announced plans to reduce its current workforce by about five percent by the end of 2014 as the company tries to change some of its business practices in the face of falling PC shipments.

Reuters quotes Intel company spokesperson Chris Kraeuter as saying the decisions were "part of aligning our human resources to meet business needs." Intel currently has about 108,000 employees which means that by the end of 2014 over 5,000 people won't be working there anymore. Some of those staff members will depart due to early retirement and attrition, according to Kraeuter.

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