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Archive for News

Borders files for bankruptcy

Posted in News by Conner Flynn on February 16th, 2011

It’s official, Borders, the second largest bookstore chain the U.S., has filed for bankruptcy. The company will continue to operate while it restructures, but it will be just a shadow of it’s former self. It has to close around 200 of its stores, about 30 percent. After that, it might need to close another 75.

Though the company hasn’t produced its own e-book reader, it has partnered with Kobo to sell its device, and it has established its own e-book store that is used by various e-reader apps for smartphones and tablets. We don’t know yet if the bankruptcy will affect those or not.

Watson Beats Humans in Round Two on Jeopardy!

Posted in News by Darrin Olson on February 15th, 2011

IBM's Watson beats humans on Jeopardy!IBM’s Watson computer triumphed over its human competitors on Tuesday’s special episode of Jeopardy. The computerized trivia-playing machine finished out with a total of $35,734 in winnings with the next runner up at $10,400 and 3rd place at $5,000. One more day of competition will determine an overall winner to a $1 million prize.

The man vs machine competition has drawn quite a bit of attention with two Jeopardy! champions taking on the IBM supercomputer named ‘Watson’. The first special episode which aired Monday night turned out to be the highest rated episode since early 2007 and the second most program of the night.

Gadget uses electric vibrations to straighten your nose

Posted in News by Conner Flynn on February 8th, 2011

Women who can’t afford nose jobs in Japan have at least one more option now, thanks to the Electric Beauty Lift High Nose. The idea is that it will straighten your nose. And if you believe that, I have some swampland to sell you.

The Electric Beauty Lift High Nose supposedly uses electric vibrations to straighten your nose, while making you look ridiculous at the same time. Anyway, if this worked, there would be no crooked noses in the world.

Crazy gadget forces your kids to smile

Posted in News by Conner Flynn on February 6th, 2011

This seems more like something Batman’s Joker would use on unsuspecting Gotham residents, but it was actually created by a Japanese inventor. It’s called the Electro Smile. The device hooks onto your child’s face, then constantly sends electricity to your child’s cheeks, triggering the muscles to make them smile.

Creepy huh? It has an adjustable current, so even the most stubborn kid can be made to smile. This is definitely the work of a Batman villain. Why the long face son? Zap! he he he ha ha ha.

Flickr recovers deleted photographs

Posted in News by Conner Flynn on February 3rd, 2011

Yesterday we reported that a Flickr user had lost 4,000 photographs due to an accident that caused his account to be deleted. Luckily for him, he brought attention to his case throughout the internet. Bad press is something that Flickr doesn’t want, so today they corrected the situation.

The user had his account reinstated and his 4,000 photographs were restored. He was also rewarded with 25 years of Flickr Pro membership. The official statement from Flickr below:

Flickr accidentally deletes 4,000 plus photos

Posted in News by Conner Flynn on February 2nd, 2011

“The best online photo management and sharing application in the world.” may not be able to make that claim any longer. It has deleted more than 4,000 pictures from a very prolific user. Flickr then sent photo blogger Mirco Wilhelm a so-called apology.

Understandably it irritated Mirco even further as he took to his blog with a post titled “You have to f**king kidding, Yahoo!” So, how did this happen? Well, Mirco realized that another blogger was using his photos and wanted Flickr to help, so he reported the problem. Then Flickr “accidentally deleted” Mirco’s account and when he contacted Flickr about this they responded like this:

Visa begins iPhone ‘iWallet’ payment tests in Europe

Posted in News by Conner Flynn on February 1st, 2011

We still need to carry around our credit cards in our wallets, so why not turn your handset into an e-wallet? Might as well. That’s what Visa Europe has in mind with the first commercial deployment of its iPhone payments App.

NFC-capable iPhones should be on their way later this year and the AAPL intends to look into ways for merchants to obtain a cheap and easy set-up for payment kiosks so that mobile payments can be easily handled with the proper infrastructure in place. This iPhone payment system requires users to use an add-on device before making a payment, but the iPhone 5 may have a built-in e-wallet if the rumors turn out to be true.

Woman caught at Airport smuggling 44 iPhones in her clothes

Posted in News by Conner Flynn on January 24th, 2011

The iPhone is a hot commodity even after all this time. Apple is making a ton of money on it, smugglers too. When they can get away with smuggling the goods anyway. An Israeli women was caught at Ben-Gurion International Airport, while attempting to smuggle 44 iPhone 4 smartphones under her clothes. Apparently they were everywhere, including her stockings.

The woman, who is in her 60s, was returning from London when one of the airport’s full-body scanners detected the load of smartphones that she was hiding under a traditional Georgian outfit. Officials had also noticed that she appeared to be walking with difficulty, which is what made them notice her in the first place.

Dominos Pizza website hacked, customer data leaked

Posted in News by Conner Flynn on January 23rd, 2011

You might not be aware of this fact, but Dominos Pizza has been in India for more than a decade, so they decided to launch their online ordering system late last year. Clearly they weren’t ready for that move as a hacker managed to get a lot of customer data by hacking into their server.

The company isn’t saying what the extent of the damage is, but they have sent an apologetic letter to customers. Online privacy is apparently not taken very seriously. Their privacy policy is dated 2005.

Starbucks app lets you pay by phone

Posted in News by Conner Flynn on January 19th, 2011

Do you like the idea of paying for things by using your phone? What about coffee? Well, Starbucks has announced that its mobile payment test has concluded and that the service is now available in all stores around the country.

This means that you can now pay for your coffee if you use the iPhone or a Blackberry, using the official Starbucks App. The app can be funded using either your credit card or PayPal. Once your jittery coffee fueled hands get money in your app account, all you need to do is place your order and then hold your device with the barcode on the screen under the scanner at the counter. Pretty convenient no?

Researchers invent glass that is as strong as steel

Posted in News by Conner Flynn on January 12th, 2011

We all know that Gorilla glass is unbreakable. It is used in products like the Zune HD and Galaxy Tab, as well as some HDTVs, because it is super strong. Well, now we have something even better thanks to a group of scientists who have created glass that is as tough as steel.

Developed by a team of scientists from the Berkeley Lab and the California Institute of Technology, this palladium-based glass “bends rather than crack – giving it a fracture toughness that goes beyond the limits of some of the strongest and toughest materials known.” That’s pretty darn tough.

HTC Droid Incredible takes a bullet

Posted in News by Conner Flynn on January 10th, 2011

John Garber, an employee at Club Halo in Atlanta, was shot outside his club, but don’t worry this story has a happy ending. Thanks to a bit of luck and his HTC Incredible, he is alive. The HTC Incredible was in his breast pocket and saved his life.

He will no doubt be an HTC fan for life. Though while his HTC took a bullet for him, some would say that the trade off might be radiation instead, since he had it in his breast pocket, but regardless he is glad he had it there.

Capitol Hill to permit iPads and other devices

Posted in News by Conner Flynn on December 26th, 2010

Lawmakers on Capitol Hill will soon be permitted to use iPads, iPhones and Blackberry devices on the House floor according to a recent report. Current rules ban the use of these devices, though incoming House speaker John A. Boehmer, the Republican Member for Ohio, is working on plans to relax these measures.

Members would still be banned from using the devices for matters that are unrelated to House matters, so they won’t be allowed to shop on Ebay or play games, but permitting the use of technology should help them be greener and help members quickly refer to legislation and receive important communiqués. So it could make things more efficient.

Solar-powered rainbow machine

Posted in News by Conner Flynn on December 23rd, 2010

Rainbows are a beautiful and amazing creation of nature. But sadly, they are rare and don’t last very long. If only we had a machine that could make rainbows whenever we wanted them. Well we do and we can.

Michael Jones McKean’s artificial rainbow machine uses reclaimed rainwater and sunlight to create rainbows. It “uses a series of high-powered jet pumps and custom fountain nozzles to spray water into the air, creating the conditions needed for a rainbow to appear.” Maybe now he can work on some double rainbow technology. The machine is set to be installed at the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts in Omaha, Nebraska next June.

Blockbuster Kiosks Face Same 28 Day Wait As Netflix

Posted in News by Conner Flynn on December 17th, 2010

Blockbuster has confirmed that its Express kiosks will have to wait 28 days before getting new movies from Warner Bros. to rent, even though they have recently tested same-day launches. The company made the move in an effort to have closer contact with Warner Bros. and to lower distribution costs.

The company already has similar deals with Fox and Universal. This news means that Blockbuster’s kiosks are now in the same position as Netflix, which also is restricted by the 28 day wait to ensure access to major titles for physical rentals and online streaming.