Archive for November, 2010
A little Microsoft birdie Tweeted something a few days ago, but it seems it was a little ahead of itself. The Tweet implied the Verizon would be getting Windows Phone 7 (WP7) handsets this holiday season, but the original Tweet has since been pulled.
As you probably recall, WP7 shipped without CDMA support. Thus, it wasn’t just Verizon, but Sprint and other CDMA carriers globally who couldn’t support the new platform.
While the first Tweet has been pulled, it has been replaced by another Tweet, which says:
“Verizon is a valued partner and we look forward to seeing Windows Phone 7 devices in their stores in 2011.”
That is more in line with the expectations we have been given earlier.
For those who believe that Steve Jobs is possibly the only tech figure to reach near God-like celebrity proportions, we now have proof. The M.I.C Store is selling Steve Jobs Action Figures for $79.90, tax and shipping included.
Nicely, we can see that they have managed to keep Jobs’ ego intact (note the head size), but the term Action Figure is probably a misnomer, as it’s not as though the Steve Jobs Action Figure has an Eric Schmidt Action Figure to battle with.
The action figure comes with Jobs’ trademark turtleneck and crinkled blue jeans. He’s even carrying an iPhone, with an Apple logo on the back of the phone.
As noted in a hands-on test of the item, there are some clever details:
- Three speech bubble cards on which you can write things, such as “Android sucks,” or “One more thing …” (additional cards can be purchased)
- The platform the figure stands on is the Apple logo
- The glasses can be removed
The M.I.C Store can only guarantee Christmas delivery for the first 200 ordered. They also adde this will be a limited edition items with only 300 sold, in total.
If you can’t beat ‘em, say it was your idea all along. Microsoft has said that the Kinect hacking which allows the Kinect to be used with other devices besides the Xbox 360, wasn’t really hacking, and that they left the Kinect open by design.
At least, that’s what Microsoft said on NPR’s Science Friday. However, earlier, in response to a $3,000 bounty announced for an open source Kinect driver, by the open-source hardware company Adafruit, Microsoft had said it did not “condone” such behavior. In fact, Microsoft went further, mentioning that the company would “work closely with law enforcement.”
When the bounty was first announced, Microsoft said,
“Microsoft does not condone the modification of its products. With Kinect, Microsoft built in numerous hardware and software safeguards designed to reduce the chances of product tampering. Microsoft will continue to make advances in these types of safeguards and work closely with law enforcement and product safety groups to keep Kinect tamper-resistant.”
Here’s what Alex Kipman and Shannon Loftis said on NPR:
Alex: Kinect was not actually hacked. Hacking would mean that someone got to our algorithms that sit inside of the Xbox and was able to actually use them, which hasn’t happened, or it means that you put a device between the sensor and the Xbox for means of cheating, which also has not happened. That’s what we call hacking, and that’s what we have put a ton of work and effort to make sure it doesn’t actually occur. What has happened is someone wrote an open-source driver for PCs that essentially opens the USB connection — which we didn’t protect, by design — and reads the inputs from the sensor. The sensor again, as I talked earlier, has eyes and ears, and that’s a whole lot of noise that someone needs to take and turn into signal.
NPR: You left it open by design, then, so that people could get into it?
Congrats to everyone in the open source community, in about one week we turned “work closely with law enforcement” to “inspired’ by community finding new uses for Kinect.
Facebook Stress Syndrome could be a good name for a new psychological disorder highlighted in the medical journal The Lancet. According to the report, a young man saw his asthma exacerbated by reading details on his ex-girlfriend’s Facebook page.
The 18-year-old man was depressed after being dumped, and although she unfriended him, he created a second Facebook account to friend her again. The Lancet report said:
The mother was advised to ask him to measure the peak expiratory flow before and after internet login and, indeed, “post-Facebook” values were reduced, with a variability of more than 20%. In collaboration with a psychiatrist, the patient resigned not to login to Facebook any longer and the asthma attacks stopped.
The temporal relation with onset of symptoms suggests that Facebook login was the trigger of asthma exacerbations, in which hyperventilation might play a key role.5 Other possible environmental and infectious factors were excluded with a thorough history and physical examination.
Although in this case the service was Facebook, the doctors involved indicated that any social networking site could increase the psychological stress on patients. Of course, in reality the young man was just lovesick, and Facebook is just a new way he could track her post-relationship life.
In other words, instead of needing to go to common friends to see if she was dating other men, he could find out simply by tracking her Facebook updates. Facebook wasn’t really the cause, just a tool to exacerbate his lovesick symptoms.