Roundup: Face Eating Zombie iPad!

Today is another beautiful day for tech news, even though I’m being bombarded with users who need the help desk to check their wires.

iPad violently attacks poor Taiwanese teen, smashes face.

Everyone loves technology, but what happens when it doesn’t love you back? Apparently, an Apple iPad ganged up with gravity to wake a sleeping Taiwanese teenager up by punching her in the grill, busting up her teeth. In a move that clearly demonstrates superior parenting, the mom has vowed to get the child a rubber case for the iPad. I would have sold the iPad to pay for the dentistry, but that’s just me. By the way, you won’t see a Samsung tablet doing that. Checkmate, Apple legal team.

Oculus Rift wins crowd support in huge numbers.

Oculus Rift, the 3D gaming headset that we’ve seen before, spent some time at QuakeCon after earning almost six times the requested amount on Kickstarter. The results? Overwhelming support. Palmer Luckey, founder of Oculus, said that even though the line to use the device was two hours long (all day!) that people said it was worth it when they got hands on the device. Even the prototype got good reviews from The Verge, so that’s saying something. Maybe Vitto and Ray were wrong about this thing.

RIM unleashes gameplay 1.4, their game framework.

RIM, known for their Blackberry devices, has released version 1.4 of their open-source, cross-platform game framework called gameplay, which is based on C++. I guess they’re taking  their move into mobile app development pretty seriously. Honestly, I didn’t know RIM had a gaming R&D department. With support for OpenGL (both desktop and mobile) gameplay has added a few new features – mostly developer side stuff –  and looks to add quite a few more that will really make games better, like vehicle physics, Linux support, AI improvements and gamepad support.

A look back at Zynga’s creative history.

Everyone knows that Zynga isn’t very good at making original games. Even their CEO says he doesn’t “f***ing want  innovation.” Taking a gander at the storied, original, creativescrew it – history of the company and their successes, it’s not very difficult to see why they’re not in favor with the public or stockholders. I’m not always a fan of EA, but I am on their side this time. They’re going after a bunch of thieves who live large on the ideas of smaller companies.

Google’s autonomous cars have gone 300,000 miles without an accident.

Google announced yesterday that their fleet of self-driving cars have gone a total of 300k miles without an accident. The fleet, made up of roughly a dozen cars, has covered a large range of traffic conditions and plans to do even more in the future. They’ve set their sites on snow-covered roads and temporary traffic conditions (the latter have been known to cause humans a great amount of stress) as well as going from driving in pairs to solo-commutes to work. Google also notes that the Lexus RX450H has been added to their lineup, which is cool because no matter how nice the system was, you’re never getting me to buy a Prius.

Apple’s hissy fit lawsuit in pictures.

Egads, lots of strike-through today. Anyway, Ars has put together a great compilation of what Apple is claiming in their lawsuit against Samsung. Note that displaying contacts is an infringement, as is having something scroll at the same speed that one’s finger swipes the screen, then slowing down. Also detailed are images of Samsung products before and after the iPhone and iPad, as well as a pre-iPhone concept from Samsung. If you’re not sick of the coverage by now, check it out.

Media companies are claiming NASA’s public domain videos as their own.

In a hint of proof as to how broken YouTube’s takedown policy is, NASA’s videos – part of the public domain and thus, not property of anyone – have been taken down by media companies time and time again. Not only has NASA had their own video taken down from YouTube because a news company claimed it was theirs, anyone who uses their videos in YouTube vlogs can be subject to a takedown notice, though not a proper one. If a news station uploads a clip from NASA, it’s entered into YouTube’s content matching database which is compared with new uploads. When new uploads are scanned and found to be a match, the first uploader (typically the true owner, but not always) can have the offending content taken down, but they usually don’t check to see what parts infringe. Lon Seidman, a NASA fan who did a G+ Hangout, got his video taken down as well, and has fought other companies for taking down his videos when they use the same music he licenses. It’s also important to note, as Ars puts it, that as YouTube’s ContentID is a “private system that goes beyond the DMCA, the Content ID system is under no legal obligation to comply with the DMCA’s safeguards and timelines.”

A tangible Angry Birds controller.

Yep, that’s right. It’s a hands-on controller that mimics a slingshot, allowing you to play Angry Birds with a greater sense of superiority, and probably more fun. A project called Super Angry Birds was started by students at the Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design to make the desktop version of the game a little more fun. With a nice little Arduino and some tweaking, they’ve managed to get a slingshot and a TNT detonator to run the game, allowing you to fling and blast your enemies into digital bacon.

Angry Twitterers take down ebook lending site.

LendInk (which appears to still be down), is/was a site which connected Kindle and Nook readers with others who were willing to lend books to them. Lending, a legitimate function of Amazon’s Kindle ebooks, is controlled by the publisher, and can be turned off or on. If you search for a book on Lendlink, you will be taken to Amazon’s search results for that book. If the book is doesn’t have lending enabled, you have the option to purchase the book via an Affiliate link, which helps support the site. If your book is available for lending, and someone else on the site has it, you can contact them to establish a loan, which expires automatically when the time is up.

None of this mattered to the mob of angry authors who grabbed pitchforks at the mere mention of piracy and threatened the site with DMCA takedowns, as well as overwhelming the site with traffic. The service only served to connect legal owners of the books with copies to lend and those who wanted to borrow them, like Craigslist, but with less skeeze. Even a publisher has established that the site did no wrong. I’m so glad that angry authors can read as well as they write.

Steam is moving past games.

Steam, Valve’s online distribution service which makes mad cash with their sales, is said to be moving beyond serving up only games. A leak on the mobile app showed that there are categories for “accounting, animation and modeling, audio production,” as well as others. Valve announced today that they will accept other types of software into their Project Greenlight, which allows users to vote on what they want to see, and software sold will take advantage of the current things that Steam offers: Automatic updating, easy updating and cloud saves. 

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