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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.

FULL POST

December 26th, 2013
12:14 PM ET

Don't discount China's space prowess

Earlier this week on News Stream, I had the pleasure to talk with former NASA astronaut Leroy Chiao.

I was particularly riveted by his comments on China's space program.

China's first moon rover is still exploring the lunar surface, capping off a big year for China's space program.

Many pundits have pointed out that China is now doing what the United States already accomplished some 50 years ago. So how truly impressive are China's space achievements?

"I heard that argument a lot and frankly I think it's short-sighted," Chiao tells me.

"Sure we went back to the moon over 45 years ago, but the fact is we can't do it today."

Chiao goes on to say: "China's tech sophistication is very impressive to me. I've been over to see their space center and their space hardware. What they're lacking is operational experience."

"But they'll get there."

Click on to hear more of Chiao's thoughts on China's space program, and why he's calling for NASA to cooperate with the new space giant.

BlackBerry: Why breaking up is hard to do
September 24th, 2013
11:40 AM ET

BlackBerry: Why breaking up is hard to do

By Kristie Lu Stout

Hong Kong (CNN) – I can't even remember the last time I thumbed a message on its itty-bitty qwerty keyboard.

And yet, I stubbornly keep my BlackBerry in my bag and on my desk, fully charged.

As with my Palm Vx of yesterday, breaking up with a beloved gadget is hard to do, especially when you have history.

FULL POST

August 30th, 2013
07:10 AM ET

Game Faces: Josef Fares

Video games aren't always seen as the best medium for storytelling. But I think they should be, for one simple reason: interactivity.

As the player, you're experiencing the story first-hand. Whatever happens to the protagonist of the story is happening to you as a player. How you act and react forms part of the story.

I think interactivity should, in theory, allow people to have a greater connection with the story. But too many games use non-interactive, cinematic sequences to show their most important scenes. At a time when games could hammer home the advantage they have over movies, the player instead puts down the controller to passively watch it unfold without his input.

So it's funny that it took a Swedish filmmaker to make a game that avoids cinematic tricks to tell his story.

FULL POST

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Filed under: Game Faces • Games • General • Personal musings
August 29th, 2013
10:48 PM ET

Nintendo unveils the 2DS

It's safe to say few saw this coming: Nintendo's latest version of the popular 3DS handheld game console is ditching the 3D screen.

The Nintendo 2DS will play all 3DS (and DS) games - they just won't be in 3D. The upside? The 2DS will cost just $129 in the United States, $40 cheaper than the existing 3DS.

Kristie Lu Stout spoke to Nintendo of America's Reggie Fils-Aime about the 2DS, the Wii U's struggles, and Nintendo thinks you should swap Nike FuelBand for Wii Fit U.

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Filed under: Games • General • Titans of Tech
July 12th, 2013
10:21 AM ET

Google's balloon-powered Internet: Coming to a sky near you?

(CNN) – There's both poetry and promise in the humble balloon.

It delivered escape and adventure in Pixar's "Up," friendship to a small boy in the classic short film "The Red Balloon," and - delving into real-world history now - military messages for Chinese strategist Zhuge Liang back in 220 AD.

Now Google plans to use a network of high-flying balloons to deliver low-cost Internet access to remote and under-served places around the world. It's called Project Loon, the latest initiative from the tech giant's innovation lab, Google[x]. FULL POST

July 8th, 2013
02:14 PM ET

Girl raised in Mumbai brothel to study in U.S.

Recently on News Stream, I had the opportunity to talk to Shweta Katti, an incredible young woman who - after being born and raised in a Mumbai brothel - is on her way to attend university in the United States.

Katti is whip-smart and generous. And I deeply respect the shout-out she gives to the women who raised and inspired her:

"My mom is my inspiration, and she's the one who encouraged me and who said, 'You're going to do better, you are amazing,'" Katti says.

"And of course the sex workers whom I was surrounded by, because my mom used to go to factory at like 9 in the morning and she used to come back at 7. I used to spend most of my time with them... Because of my mom and because of them, I'm here."

I said it on air and I'll say it again here: Shweta Katti - you rock!

June 14th, 2013
09:06 AM ET

Game Faces: Brian Provinciano

There are festivals dedicated to independent film. Indie musicians are celebrated. But what about independent game developers?

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Filed under: Game Faces • Games • General • Technology
June 14th, 2013
03:20 AM ET

Game Faces: Cliff Bleszinski

Cliffy B. Dude Huge. Or just Cliff Bleszinski. Whatever you call him, he's one of the closest things there is to a celebrity video game designer.

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Filed under: Game Faces • Games • General • Technology
June 13th, 2013
04:59 PM ET

Game Faces: Ken Levine

Like most forms of media, video games are linear. They have a beginning and an end. But the path doesn't necessarily have to be a straight line. That's what makes video games unique.
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Filed under: Game Faces • Games • General • Technology
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