Starting Tuesday, the Chinese government shut down access to virtually all search engines and social networking sites, including Twitter, Flickr, Bing (Microsoft's new search engine), Live.com, Hotmail.com, Blogger, and others. All YouTube videos are also being blocked, as are BBC World News reports on the anniversary.
Are these actions unexpected? How can you bypass these types of blocks? Join us after the jump for more.
It might not be well publicized, but there's a major war brewing between Microsoft and Adobe, and they're fighting for you. Each one of them wants to be your provider for rich media content, a task that has traditionally been served by Adobe with its Flash player, but one Olympic sized loss could change the game in Microsoft's favor.
It was Microsoft who won the deal to supply NBC with video-viewing technology via Silverlight for the Olympics in Beijing, and while Microsoft and NBC have ties that go back to their collaboration building MSNBC, Adobe could have been considered a favorite to the win the account based the mature nature of Flash technology. So how did Microsoft secure the gold?
"We talked about features like adaptive streaming, the ability to automatically keep checking how much bandwidth you have and deliver the appropriate quality stream and how to be smart about knowing what's coming up in the stream," said Rob Bennett, the general manager of sports for MSN.
In other words, Microsoft won the account on a combination of Silverlight's feature-set, and convincing NBC that Flash's scalability had never been put to an Olympic-size test, unlike Silverlight's underlying technology which is based on Windows Media technologies.
Of course, it's only one account, but it's not so much what Adobe lost, but what Microsoft gained. While download specifics have not been disclosed, we do know that it's registering 1.5 million downloads a day, and according to a spokeswoman for Microsoft, "in the last several days, more than 50 percent of the visitors to NBCOlympics.com on MSN already have Silverlight 2 installed."
The last thing you want to see while hanging from a wire high above a crowd of spectators is Microsoft's Blue Screen of Death lingering in mid-air, but that's exactly what happened to Li Ning, one of China's sporting greats. The incident took place during the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics, and as Ning geared up for the torch lighting climax inside the Bird's Nest, stadium projectors beamed the BSOD onto the roof where it was clearly visible for all to see.
The BSOD came as an unfortunate side effect to using specialized theatrical computer controlled lighting equipment to light up the Bird's Nest, making the process not only automated, but susceptible to software failures. But hey, at least Windows was only running the light show and not the high wire act!
eWeekreports that NBC will provide 2,900 hours of live TV coverage, shattering the 2,562 hours of combined US TV coverage for all previous summer Olympics games. According to NBCOlympics.com, though, the number is even higher (3,600 hours) when all NBC Universal networks and NBCOlympics.com are taken into account.
To learn how NBC's doing it, and how you can watch it on your PC or mobile device, catch us after the jump.
An increasing number of sports simulation products are becoming available allowing sportsmen world over to not only practice on them but come face to face with their flaws in real-time. Marksman Training Systems has given professional shooters the first ever shotgun and rifle shooting simulator, the ST-2 shooting simulator.
In fact, Russian and Slovak Olympic shooters have entrusted their Olympic medal dreams to this new simulator, which isn’t commercially available as yet. Although the company hasn’t disclosed the price, all you virtual marksmen don’t give up your wonderful Counter Strike careers because it won’t be as cheap as a copy of CS.
The simulator comes packed with elaborate diagnostic tools that will help you iron out your flaws. The affluent enthusiasts can buy the simulator, if they like, as it is designed for all skill levels from beginner till professional.