Sorry I missed a few days. Actually, I’m not. I took some time off of work and decided I would actually spend time away from the computer! Amazing.
Sadly, it probably won’t re-birth itself from the ashes, as I’m sure they’re spread over miles of the Pacific Ocean. The X-51A, an unmanned aircraft designed to fly at 6 times the speed of sound (roughly 4567.242mph), crashed just 31 seconds into its test flight, which was well short of the planned 5 minute flight. Just 16 seconds after the rocket booster designed to propel the craft to ludicrous speed ignited, a fault with one of the fins was found. That fin caused severe instability, and the plane/rocket crashed into the ocean. Cool fact: The plane is called the Waverider because it’s design allows it to stay in flight due to the pressure of the shockwaves it produces giving it lift.
I take this to be a bit of fun, like the IE/Firefox cake. Of course, they’re also drumming up attention for the upcoming announcement between Nokia and Microsoft about the mobile phone OS. Marketing VP Chris Weber tweeted “Samsung take note, next generation Lumia coming soon,” which doesn’t seem unfriendly, but also seems to be a little attention-whorey. Either way, I’m excited for the new OS. My HTC Surround has been good, but it’s starting to act like an old phone, and I’m ready to upgrade. Oddly enough, my upgrade date has been moved from Jan 2, 2013 to September 3.
Okay, that was a link to the Oatmeal, because he’s awesome. He’s raising awareness about the opportunity to purchase the land that Tesla’s lab once occupied and turn it into a Tesla Museum. Want to donate? Click here. As of now, it’s at $367,625 out of the $850,000 goal, reaching $100,000 in 3 hours and 20 minutes. He’s also put a call out to corporate sponsors, so if you own a business and want to play with Tesla’s old lab, head over to the comic to see what you can do to help.
Adobe updates, the bane of my existence as tech support, are annoying, but serve a purpose: (usually) to fix security holes, like the critical memory-related bugs in the current release of Adobe Reader. Well, Adobe patched about 20-30 holes recently for OSX and Windows users, but has neglected to fix the Linux release. These holes allow baddies to crash Adobe, as well as provide attack vectors for the bad guys to enter your system. For now, it seems that you should refrain from using Adobe Reader if you got the PDF from outside of your organization or a (very) trusted source.
Big Red is about to own more of the sky. Verizon and T-Mobile have been working with almost every major name in the cable business to exchange $3.9billion and some wavelengths. In a move that may help delay the wireless apocalypse, the FCC has okay’d the deal, with stipulations that ensure Verizon isn’t a big bad bully. The FCC has also said that Verizon has to divest, or sell off, some of its current wireless holdings, if I am to understand this correctly.
Kim Dotcom, owner of now-defunct MegaUpload and upcoming Megabox, has had a bit of luck. A New Zealand court ruled that if they were to extradite the man, the US would first be required to show him the evidence that the FBI now holds. I’m not sure why the US is being such a dick about this. They’ve clearly been caught with their hand in the proverbial cookie jar. Heads need to roll, because if no one is fired, then it’s showing that there are no consequences for being a bribed US official, as long as the briber has enough money to go around.
Germany, land of beer and trees (I couldn’t think of anything), doesn’t like Facebook. Most accurately, they don’t like the way Facebook has been compiling a facial-recognition database, which the social media giant uses to assist you in tagging duties. Currently, you are opted-in by default, which is in violation of European law. The investigation into the matter lasted a year before stalling, but has now come out and said that Facebook must delete all entries of photographs obtained in Germany, then revise the webpage so that users may opt in to the service if they so choose. Of course, Facebook’s European branch is in Ireland, where this sort of shady business is legal, so they claim they are not at fault and will not change.
Many of Facebook’s early shareholders were forced to hold on to their shares until after the period ended, during which the price of Facebook stock went from $35 to around $21, but has now dipped to $19.69. Between their advertisements being bunk, their “app security“, and the lame IPO, it doesn’t seem like Facebook made the right choice by going public, unless Zuck just wanted some cash.
It’s not like Sony can patch it out of the system like the PS3. Apparently, the PS2 was designed to be able to read burned DVDs (before Sony went ape with the anti-piracy-lock-it-down-don’t-touch-my-stuff), and can thus be loaded with alternate OSes. Hell, Sony even put their own Linux distro out there for it, but it’s outdated. This version is updated to work pretty well, but it’s as archaic as the PS2’s 300MHz processor and 32MB of RAM.
Samsung has been playing every card they’ve got to get Apple’s lawyers off their backs. Most recently, they’ve released videos from the past that show the multi-touch and tap-to-zoom functionality before the iPhone and subsequent patents, which would mean that Apple’s patents are not valid, leaving them with no legal footing to sue. Of course, if our patent system weren’t so horribly dicked up, we wouldn’t be hearing about this crap anymore.
In a move that has me thinking “why didn’t this happen earlier,” Google is apparently releasing gift cards for the Google Play store. The cards, seen in $10 and $25 denominations, can be redeemed in the store for credit. Now you can buy your favorite Fandroid some new music, books or apps!