Microsoft appears to want to make better use of its time, and that doesn't involve hopping around from place to place attending various events. Less than two weeks after making its final appearance at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, the Redmond software giant announced the cancellation of its MIX 2012 conference, and will instead merge the the event into a BUILD-like conference later this year.
Has CES seen its heyday? The gargantuan trade show seems to get bigger and more packed every year, but some top companies – Apple and Google among them – avoid the gathering like the plague, instead focusing their attention on other events and conferences. Now, a third 10,000 lb. gorilla is pulling out. Microsoft, a longtime CES mainstay and a massive presence at the show, announced today that the 2012 conference will be the last one for the company.
The Black Hat conference is a great place to go if you want to learn how to, say, hack an insulin pump or get around the traffic-shaping practices of your ISP. But Black Hat's about more than a sharing of ideas; it's also a time of celebration. Well, maybe not if you're one of the companies who win one of those non-coveted Pwnie awards, but for everybody else, at least. Can you guess who won the Pwnie for the Most Epic Fail of the past year? C'mon, sure you can.
Maximum PC’s Loyd Case did an amazing job summarizing all the announcements at this year’s Google I/O conference, but if you’d prefer to relive the experience for yourself, you’re in luck. Head on over to The Google Code Channel on YouTube to find the main Keynote presentations from both days, along with all the snarky and sarcastic comments you can handle to help get you through the Angry Birds announcement.
Links to the individual videos can be found after the jump.
It's hard to condone the act of RickRolling, but desperate times call for desperate measures. In a recent blog post by Wi-Fi convention provider Codify, excessive BitTorrent traffic at last year's Tech.Ed conference in Australia forced them to take drastic action against anyone trying to file share. The cruel, yet effective weapon of choice was Rick Astley, and his now infamous song "Never Gonna Give You Up" .
According to Codify the problem with BitTorrent users on a public Wi-Fi network isn't bandwidth, but excessive port usage. “At this point you have to remember that we have a heap of bandwidth available. Some clients chomping through a lot of bandwidth isn’t a problem and running BitTorrent isn’t a problem per se,” saidCodify’s David Connor. Several options were considered to restrict traffic, but in the end it was determined nothing short of Rick Astley could save the day. “….we implemented certain, ahem, ‘interim countermeasures’,” wrote Connor. “We quickly built a list of all of the top torrent trackers around and got the nod from Jorke [Odolphi, Web Platform Architect Evangelist for Microsoft Australia] to add them all to the local DNS resolver and point them at a local web server containing some RickRoll scripts.”
Microsoft has collected the MAC address's of offending users, but is planning on enforcing a mandatory registration process prior to the next event to help identify users on the network. My guess is that this is to prevent any lawsuits for cruel and unusual punishment due to accidental Rickroll exposure.
Does the punishment fit the crime? If you can correctly answer the question pictured above, you have my sympathies.
Some say the third time's the charm, but for the TechCrunch50 conference, the third time is the last, if event co-founder Jason Calacanis is to be believed. In a strange puppet interview (NSFW - explicit language) with humorist Loren Feldman, Calacanis said it has been a good three-year run, but it's all coming to an end.
"I can tell you that this is the last TechCrunch50," Calacanis responded when probed about an open feud between him and event co-founder /TechCrunch editor Michael Arrington.
According to Cnet, the fallout between the two began when Arrington publicly called attention to plagiarism charges against Calacanis, which you can read all about here. What happened after that is anyone's guess, and while Calacanis seems convinced this is the end of the line for TechCrunch50, Arrington doesn't sound ready to throw in the towel.
"I don't know how to respond to that. After seeing that video, it seems to me that he's engaging in theatrics and fireworks," Arrington told VentureBeat in a phone interview. "I'm waiting to see what his plan is. It seems to be distracting from the startups."
At today’s DEMO conference Always Innovating plans to debut their new netbook, which will offer 10 to 15 hours of battery life, weighs under two pounds and will feature a touchscreen, all for less than an Amazon Kindle.
Always Innovating will offer a base model of the netbook for $299 that will not feature a touchscreen, but will have an ARM Texas Insturments OMAP3 processor, a 1024x600 8.9-inch screen, 8GB of flash storage, 802.11b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth, and 6 USB ports. For $100 more, you can upgrade to the touchscreen version.
It’s reported that the Touch Book will be available in the U.S. around May or June 2009.
It almost seems like common sense, but 37signals' Jason Fried had some specific words for those in attendance at this year's Future of Web Apps conference in Miami, Florida: the future is not free.
Continuing on, his point is that companies need to turn away from the business model of pump-and-dumping free applications to a gleeful audience. Open-source and free software might be an excellent means for attracting attention and eyeballs to a product, but now is not the time to pack alternate revenue strategies around these concepts. Advertising and other extraneous revenue add-ons are a distraction, argues Fried. It's time to shift back to a meat-and-potatoes business model, and that involves selling a product that contains enough quality to make an audience want to pay for it, even given the current economic difficulties.
That said, there's still room for free in some capacity--read on to find out where Fried thinks free applications can exist!
If you check the list of hot topics on Twitter right now, you’ll fine #TED at the top of the list. That’s because today is the opening day of the annual TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) conference, a prestigious gathering of just over 1000 of the world’s most influential thinkers, entertainers, and futurists. This private event (registration costs $6,000, and that’s only after you’re invited) hosts a series a thought-provoking presentations aimed at stimulating the minds of attendees who are then encouraged to engage in an exchange of ideas throughout the week-long session.
Past speakers include Al Gore, JJ Abrams, and Jeff Bezos, who each gave provocative talks about their passions and innovations. This year’s lineup includes Green Auto Pioneer Shai Agassi, web pioneer Tim Berners-Lee, and one Bill Gates. The public typically has to wait several months before videos of these 18-minute long TED talks get uploaded, but we’ve received special access to the live stream of the main stage. Over the next three days, we’ll be posting recaps of tech-related talks to give you some insight into what goes on in this exclusive and enlightening forum. Keep tabs on our TED coverage by clicking this link!