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January 31st, 2014
03:35 AM ET

Saving Nintendo

Nintendo is in trouble.

It's hard to disagree with that after it slashed its forecast for Wii U sales from 9 million to just 2.8 million. Less dramatic but perhaps just as troubling: It also cut its forecast for its market-leading 3DS handheld. Nintendo now expects to sell 13.5 million of them, down from the 18 million they originally expected.

But what's up for debate is how Nintendo can climb out of this hole. By far the most common solution suggested: Nintendo should put games like Mario and Zelda on smartphones and tablets.

I disagree.

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Filed under: Games • General • Personal musings • Technology
January 29th, 2014
02:04 PM ET

Beijing ups the pressure on foreign media

Just last month in Beijing, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden lamented the lack of press freedom in China.

Despite such high-profile criticism, Beijing has increased its pressure on foreign correspondents in China.

China is refusing to renew a visa for New York Times reporter Austin Ramzy, the second Times reporter in 13 months to be forced out of the country.

It follows what the paper says is "the latest sign of official displeasure" with their 2012 report on the vast wealth of then-premier Wen Jiabao's family.

Is the visa holdup payback for critical coverage of China's political elite?

"It will certainly feed suspicion that it's retribution for the content of their coverage," says Peter Ford, President of the Foreign Correspondents' Club of China and Beijing Bureau Chief for the Christian Science Monitor.

For more on the various ways China is putting the pressure on foreign correspondents, watch the video report above.

January 27th, 2014
10:36 PM ET

She made the Macintosh smile

happymac

Anyone with an older Mac probably knows this icon: A boxy all-in-one computer with a simple smiling face on screen.

Like all good symbols, the Happy Mac serves multiple purposes. The official reason it exists is to tell you that your Macintosh has begun the process of booting up without error.

More than that, the Happy Mac was a symbol of intent from Apple: This computer is friendly. It doesn't have an impenetrable interface filled with text you don't understand. The Mac has pictures. And it's smiling at you!

Susan Kare was the graphic designer who created the Happy Mac. She spoke to us about the process behind that and many of the other icons that made the original Macintosh so different to any computer before it.

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January 21st, 2014
07:59 AM ET

Sachs on China’s sustainable development

With our planet under pressure from human activity and ecological constraints, noted author and economist Jeffrey Sachs says we have entered - by necessity - "The Age of Sustainable Development."

"We can't just focus on economics alone," says Sachs. "We need to focus on economics, social inclusion... and on environmental sustainability."

Sachs recognizes China's success in ending extreme poverty over the last three decades. And he commends the country for bringing big investment to Africa.

But China has a huge challenge ahead if it wishes to develop sustainably.

"It's done great on economics but on the environment? This is the next challenge," he says.

"China is a coal-based economy and coal is a huge problem for air pollution and carbon dioxide that changes the climate."

Because in the end, prosperity alone isn't enough for the people of China.

"They want happiness and well-being, and that means you can breathe the air and know you have the chance if you are poor that your child can get ahead," says Sachs.

Click on the video above to hear more about the balance that China and the world must strike to achieve sustainable development in the 21st century.

January 1st, 2014
11:21 AM ET

Looking back at 2013

News Stream usually brings you stories about the power of technology to improve our lives. But in 2013, the top tech story was more ominous.

Since June, revelations about the U.S. National Security Agency's surveillance programs have come to light. The fallout has been felt in Washington and the rest of the world.

Tech companies have expressed outrage over the U.S. government's spying practices. Listen to Google's chairman Eric Schmidt in Part 1 (above).

In Part 2, hear from Wikipedia's Jimmy Wales and examine the new generation of gaming consoles.

Finally in Part 3, astronaut Chris Hadfield speaks about his popular videos from space. And we ask what the future holds for mobile technology.

We hope you enjoy these highlights from 2013. We look forward to the year ahead!


Filed under: Gadgets • Games • Mobile World Congress • Technology • Titans of Tech • Viral Videos