Yes, it’s Monday, the day we all love to hate because it reminds us that we spend five days looking forward to two days which we spend dreading the next five.
The biggest news today is that the nuclear-powered roving laboratory Curiosity has landed on Mars as part of the Mars Science Laboratory project. Reactions were fairly unanimous: excitement. Of course, some idiots had to do their best to piss on the parade, but it didn’t last long. Now, the 1-ton robot will scour the planet in search for clues that life once resided on Mars, as well as finding water (or hints of water) and scope out the best place for human missions. Pretty cool, man.
Microsoft may have gotten rid of the Metro name for its interface on the upcoming Windows 8 OS, but they won’t let you get rid of it. Previously, you could disable the blocks and colors so that you booted to a normal desktop, but it appears that that feature has been removed from the latest build of the OS. Why? Who knows, but I imagine they’re really trying to get people used to it because of the future they see in that style of design. Don’t fret, however; we’re sure to have a crack for it before you can buy the OS.
In a move that has everyone in the tech industry asking “Why?” Apple has removed their dedicated YouTube function from iOS as well as the always present app. Apple’s excuse is that their license for the app has expired, and that Google is working on their own (also, the Safari browser will work just fine), but it seems that Apple doesn’t even want to try, nor do they want to direct any more traffic to Google. Who knows, maybe Google is crying in the corner about being bumped, but I sincerely doubt it.
Not only that, it’s rumored that the US was involved as well. Demonoid’s host – ColoCall – was raided by the Anti-Cyber Research Affairs of Kiev, who took most of the servers and have since copied and sealed the information on them. Some equipment was left, but it’s reported that it will no longer work. ColoCall, through an anonymous voice, said that they have also been forced to terminate their previous agreement with the site. It’s interesting that Demonoid actually blocked Ukrainian IP addresses in an attempt to make nice with local laws, and that they were shut down anyway. Rumors exist of a backup of the site, but I doubt it’ll be hosted in the same place.
In fact, he thinks it’s “horrendous,” which is a pretty strong word from someone with such knowledge of the tech industry. Woz backs his words up with this: “With the cloud, you don’t own anything. You already signed it away,” which is a valid point and good reason to keep local backups of anything you truly treasure. What kind of world would it be if your cloud data wasn’t safe? Oh, the real one, where hackers can bypass security to attack your personal life.
Iran, the country that has suffered quite a bit at the hands of hackers, partially due to their propensity to attack anything cool they find, has plans to unplug its key ministries and state bodies from the internet next month, citing the “fact” that the internet is entirely controlled by one or two western countries. They claim that the internet is ‘untrustworthy,’ and that they will be establishing a national intelligence network to replace the internet for those key areas. I guess Iran is jealous of North Korea’s Kwangmyong, the only online presence available to the North Korean citizens.
As something Agrippa and I disagree on, ebooks are interesting. What’s more interesting is the fact that for every 100 physical books that Amazon ships, 114 ebooks are downloaded. Astudy of British Kindle users showed that Kindlians (I made that up) are reading four times as many books as they did before they purchased a kindle. While there may have been a boost from 50 Shades of Grey (Not linking it, sorry), I think the availability of cheap ebooks, instant delivery and the diminished size of e-readers have served to lift ebooks above dead trees.
Microsoft has decided not to play nice with Apple announcements, trumping the Retina MacBook Pro with the Windows 8 Surface, and now it looks like Nokia will try to get the world to stop their usual week of “APPLE APPLE IPHONE” by announcing their new devices at Nokia World, which starts September 5, a mere 7 days before the rumored iPhone announcement. I, for one, can’t wait to see what they come up with because I love the Lumia 900, just not enough to be left out of Windows Phone 8. I’ll hold on to my HTC Surround as long as I can.
I know you’re sick of hearing about it, but this is an important case. Apple lawyers spent some time grilling Justin Denison, strategy head for Samsung Telecommunication of America, about memos and plans regarding Samsung phones and the Apple iPhone, which Apple claims was the inspiration for Samsung’s own devices. Mr Denison made mention of a number of interesting facts, like the fact that Samsung was putting larger and higher-definition screens into phones long before Apple coined the term ‘retina display,’ as well as having voice commands before Siri arrived. “What we would like to be able to do is compete in the market,” Denison said, stating that he wouldn’t be upset at all of Apple were to release a larger screen on the next iPhone. It looks like Apple is not getting the answers they want at this trial.