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September 11th, 2014
02:26 PM ET

The end of the iPod Classic

Thirteen years ago, Apple was a small computer maker. It's now the most valuable company in the world.

And that transformation was triggered by the iPod.

Apple has quietly discontinued the iPod Classic, the latest incarnation of the original iPod. While the line lives on in the shape of the Touch, Nano and Shuffle, they aren't as iconic as the original. When you think iPod, you think of the Classic: Shaped like a deck of cards, with a metallic back, and of course, the scrollwheel.

But the original design lives on in one tiny way: The top row of icons on the Apple Store includes the classic iPod silhouette.

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Filed under: General • Technology
September 9th, 2014
02:19 PM ET

Destiny's mingleplayer experience

Few realize that many of the first video games were multiplayer. It took time for computers to be smart enough to provide decent opponents, leading to the rise of singleplayer games.

Now Destiny is about to introduce gamers to a new type of gaming: mingleplayer. FULL POST

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Filed under: Games • General • Technology
September 5th, 2014
09:53 AM ET

Can Apple solve iCloud problems?

Apple is strengthening security features after the high-profile hack attack that released celebrities' private photos.

Those nude images were posted online just nine days before Apple's next launch event. The company is expected to unveil a wearable device on September 9.

CNN Contributor Nicholas Thompson points out that this is the first time Apple is launching a new product category under Tim Cook's leadership.

"Up until last week, everybody thought this would be his great moment to shine. There was huge anticipation and excitement. And now suddenly there's this hack," Thompson says.

But that's not the only reason this attack comes at a bad time for Apple.

"They haven't done as well with cloud services. So iCloud is not as good as some of their competitors. It still has flaws," Thompson says. "Having this big problem makes some people wonder in the tech industry, 'Can Apple really succeed in this next step in the evolution of the industry?'"

Watch the video above to hear why Thompson thinks Apple can get the cloud under control, and learn how to protect yourself online.


Filed under: General
September 3rd, 2014
10:03 PM ET

Game Faces: Rami Ismail

For a small developer that's just four years old, Vlambeer has a surprising influence on the gaming industry.

The Dutch studio is made up of just two people, but it's one of the most well-known indie developers. Co-founder Rami Ismail almost feels like an unofficial spokesman for the industry.

"We are not afraid to speak up against things we find problematic in the industry, and things we find interesting in the industry," said Ismail.

Indeed, he has been a staunch supporter of Anita Sarkeesian and her series examining women in video games - a series that has sparked a wave of abuse for Sarkeesian and those who stand with her.

He also suggested Vlambeer's high profile might be because the company always seems to find itself in the middle of the industry's latest trends. FULL POST

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Filed under: Game Faces • Games • General • Technology
May 16th, 2014
02:11 PM ET

A strong message against illegal ivory

This week, the Hong Kong government started to destroy almost 30 tons of confiscated ivory.

It is destroying the massive stockpile by burning it. Officials plan to incinerate about three tons of illegal ivory a month. The process is expected to take at least a year.

Ivory has long been valued in China for making prized seals and carvings - turning China into a global hub for the illegal ivory trade.

So can this high-profile government program send a strong enough message to end the public's appetite for elephant tusks?

I talked to wildlife activist Sharon Kwok for her reaction to the campaign.

May 1st, 2014
07:54 PM ET

Game Faces: Jake Kazdal

It's always special to see a product that truly reflects its creator. GALAK-Z: The Dimensional bears the fingerprints of 17-BIT's Jake Kazdal. FULL POST

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Filed under: Game Faces • Games • General • Technology
April 1st, 2014
11:11 PM ET

Game Faces: Vince Zampella

The mark of a good multiplayer game is balance. Ideally, you want it to be fair for everyone who plays your game.

One simple way to ensure a fair fight is to give everyone the same tools. It's the easiest (and most logical) way to level the playing field. If everyone has access to the same weapons and same moves, the only major difference is a player's ability, right?

Titanfall is a multiplayer game built around a unique central concept: Giant armored mechs (Titans) battling with small and agile foot soldiers (pilots).

On paper, it is not a fair fight.

And that's what makes Titanfall so much fun. FULL POST

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Filed under: Game Faces • Games • General
March 12th, 2014
12:00 PM ET

World Wide Web turns 25

It started as a project by a British computer scientist to make it easier for universities to share and navigate large amounts of information.

Twenty-five years on, the World Wide Web stands as perhaps our greatest ever creation: A way to access the collective knowledge of humanity.

You can watch our tribute to Sir Tim Berners-Lee's creation above and check out a recreation of the first ever webpage right here.

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Filed under: General • Technology
March 11th, 2014
07:22 PM ET

Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 Passport Mystery Solved

Authorities have identified the two passengers who used stolen passports to travel on the missing Malaysia Airlines plane.

Both are Iranian men. Neither is believed to have any terror link, easing initial fears that foul play could be behind the plane's disappearance.

Earlier in the day, Malaysian officials identified the first passenger as 19-year-old Pouria Nour Mohammad Mehrdad, who they believe was trying to emigrate to Germany.

But why were stolen passports used on the missing airliner? And how deep is the airport security flaw it exposes?

Earlier, I talked to Phil Robertson, Deputy Director Asia Division of Human Rights Watch. He contextualizes why Mehrdad would use a stolen passport to reach Germany.

Robertson says that after the Green Revolution in Iran, “There were many Iranians who fled to Malaysia. Malaysia is a country where you can get visa-free entry for many Middle East passports. And so a significant number of asylum seekers from Iran did end up in Malaysia."

As for what the incident says about airport security and screening in Malaysia, Robertson says, "It's very interesting. I was a bit surprised to see people with stolen passports elude security at the Malaysia airport. That's one of the more effective and efficient airports in Southeast Asia."

Click on to hear more from Robertson including his thoughts on whether the two men were part of a human smuggling operation, and the thriving trade for stolen passports in Southeast Asia.

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.

FULL POST

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Filed under: Games • General • Personal musings • Technology
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