This article titled “Boot up: Windows 8 priced, nickel hoaxing, Android cameras, Bitcoin’s Ponzi scheme and more” was written by Charles Arthur, for guardian.co.uk on Thursday 30th August 2012 05.30 UTC
A quick burst of 12 links for you to chew over, as picked by the Technology team
Update at 4:15pm: Microsoft has told PC Pro that the Windows 8 upgrade will now cost only in the UK, correcting an earlier statement that the price would be
The origin of the “Samsung paid its bn fine in nickels” hoax. (As it would require 20bn nickels, more than are in circulation in the US, you have to question peoples’ ability to count, too.) Picked up by Yahoo Finance, among others.
“If you plagiarize news, do not use a fake news site as a source,” El Deforma said later in the day, after suggesting it would sue Yahoo for ripping off its story.
The Galaxy Camera will feature a 21x zoom lens and a 16-megapixel BSI CMOS sensor for some image quality that should put your phone to shame.
Interactions with Android will take place through the Cameras’s 4.8-inch HD SLCD display, a pleasantly large size for a device like this.
There will be both 3G + WiFi and 4G + WiFi options for connectivity, and for automatic uploads to the cloud.
Intriguing. Is the target market professional photographers? Or the sort of person who takes an SLR on holiday?
Navigating the new multi-screen world: Insights show how consumers use different devices together >> Google Mobile Ads Blog
In “The New Multi-screen World: Understanding Cross-Platform Consumer Behavior,” we discovered that 90% of people move between devices to accomplish a goal, whether that’s on smartphones, PCs, tablets or TV. We set out to learn not just how much of our media consumption happens on screens, but also how we use these multiple devices together, and what that means for the way that businesses connect with consumers. Below are highlights from our research:
There’s a longer report for download linked in that post.
And there is the famous story of Suzanne Vega’s “Tom’s Diner,” the song used by audio engineer Karlheinz Brandenburg to fine-tune the MP3 encoder. Brandenburg was putting the finishing touches on his compression algorithm when he heard Vega’s hit playing down the hallway. “I was electrified,” he later explained. “I knew it would be nearly impossible to compress this warm a capella voice.”
He listened to the song thousands of times, eventually figuring out a way to convert it into an MP3 while preserving the warmth of her performance. As reporter Hilmar Schmundt remarks, in an article noted by Sterne: “When an MP3 player compresses music by anyone from Courtney Love to Kenny G, it is replicating the way that Brandenburg heard Suzanne Vega.”
In the US, Google showed a large advert for the Nexus 7 tablet below the search box on the Google home page – one of the busiest pages in the US. Mathew Ingram:
Is Google putting its thumb on the scales?
That’s the underlying principle at stake, not whether or not the homepage has pop-up ads or birthday reminders on it — and it is the part of all this that could lead to even more problems for Google when it comes to the ongoing investigation by the Federal Trade Commission into what it alleges is anti-competitive behavior. A key aspect of that case is whether Google favors its own products, and whether doing so is unfair to smaller competitors because of the company’s monopoly position in search and search-related advertising.
Google wants to sell the unit within Motorola Mobility that sells set-top boxes and other equipment to cable television providers and has hired Barclays Plc to seek buyers, according to two people familiar with the situation.
Motorola Mobility’s Home Business unit might fetch about bn and the sale is in the very early stages, said one of the people, who asked not to be identified because the information isn’t public.
Selling the profitable bit. Does this have implications for Google TV? (Thanks @modelportfolio2003 for the link.)
Remember pirateat40, the e-currency banker we speculated could be the Bernie Madoff of Bitcoin? Well, it looks like he owes a lot of people money. On August 17, pirateat40 announced the closure of Bitcoin Savings & Trust, a virtual hedge fund that promised to pay high rewards to investors who parked their Bitcoins there. Ten days later, investors are still waiting to get paid and pirateat40 is on the defensive. “When I know, you will,” says his away message in the fund’s official chat room, an effort to quiet the loudening chorus of, “WHERE ARE MY BITCOINS?”
The “hedge fund” was promising returns of 6.75% per week
month; all you had to do was hand over your untraceable digital money. What could possibly go wrong? Pretty much puts the lie to the idea that Bitcoin users consist only of the brainy elite, anyway. Meanwhile: “loudening”?
Solved by hearing aids:
Following that experience, Chapman did what any smart Internet-connected 23-year-old with a question for a crowd would do: He turned to Reddit, asking, “I can hear music for the first time ever, what should I listen to?”
The response was tremendous, running more than 14,000 comments and garnering the attention of Spotify, which gave him six months of free membersion and a 13-hour playlist that covers a huge range of music. In the Reddit conversation, bands like The Beatles and Led Zeppelin figure in prominently, as do classical composers such as Beethoven (side note: can you imagine listening to this for the first time?). Overall, Chapman said to me over email that Beethoven’s Ninth was the top most recommended piece.
Technology plus humans = result.
I’m not sure where the idea that pinch and stretch was at stake originated. It seems to have crept into the trial coverage at some point and become part of the folklore of the case. And when the jury announced that it had found infringement by Samsung on all three utility patents, a large number of writers seemingly assumed that one of those covered the gesture. In the case of rounded rectangles, Samsung’s obfuscation certainly contributed. So did a general hostility toward the entire patent system in the tech community, including tech writers, which created a readiness to believe in the most absurd interpretation of the outcome.
Basically, most crane games are designed so the claw is randomly (and only once in many games) strong enough to let players win. Some even weaken in strength after a short time so players get close to victory only to see it slip from their grasp!
Points out the nonuniform corners, nonuniform bezels, and curved back of the Nexus phones’ designs, and in the software too. Samsung lost on a number of these, but not on any of the Google-designed phones.
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