The voice assistant was spot on with 15 out of 16 knockout match predictions
The quadrennial soccer extravaganza that is the FIFA World Cup just got over in Brazil, with the Germans beating the Argentinians for the title by scoring the only goal of the match in the second half of extra time. But they weren’t the tournament’s only winners. The final also saw Microsoft’s Windows Phone voice assistant Cortana cap off an overall brilliant tournament by once again correctly predicting the winner prior to kick off.
For those of you who watched the World Cup, you got to see some of the worst officiating in the history of sports with lots of blown calls and questionable judgment. So is it really any surprise that Toshiba's World Cup promotion would be equally controversial?
Here's the deal. Toshiba, riding the wave of the World Cup frenzy, ran a promotion that essentially encouraged consumers to buy a Core i5 laptop or Toshiba TV, and if your country wins the World Cup Final, Toshiba promised to refund your money. The promotion was run in Germany, England, Portugal, Italy, and Spain, and as everyone knows by now, Spain went on to actually win the thing.
Ready for the gotcha? A bit of small print on the ad instructed consumers to see Toshiba's site for more details, and it's there that Toshiba listed a requirement that all claimants must register their product by June 17th. As you might expect, a whole bunch of Spaniards are pretty pissed off over Toshiba's red card move.
The questions is, should Toshiba honor the rebates even if buyers didn't register their product? Spanish consumer advocate site Facua.org argues that such a major requirement shouldn't have been tucked away online, but included with the ads.
Do you agree, or this is a case where consumers simply failed to perform their due diligence?
One of the few things more annoying than having to contend with hundreds, if not thousands of vuvuzelas while trying to watch a World Cup game is putting up with spam. And like the vuvuzela, the World Cup seems to be drawing out these annoyances, with MessageLabs estimating that 25 percent of global spam is related to the event.
"Right now, spammers are reliant on the massive wave of excitement and expectation that typically surrounds an event like the FIFA World Cup," said MessageLabs Intelligence Senior Analyst, Paul Wood. "Riding this wave, spammers get the attention of their victims by offering products for sale or enticing them to click on a link. It is not uncommon for the event to appear in the subject line of an email but for the body of the same email to be completely unrelated."
With the U.S. out of contention, England falling in controversial fashion, and the World Cup as a whole soon coming to an end, this probably won't be the case for very long, but that doesn't mean there will be a sudden reduction in spam. According to the report, nearly nine out of 10 emails are now spam, and in the U.S., exactly 90 percent of email is spam. Engineering is the highest sector for spamming at 94 percent, while Education is a close second at 89.9 percent followed by Chemicals and Pharmaceuticals at 89.7 percent.
It was bound to happen sooner or later. If you're one of the many, many people contributing to making the World Cup one of the most Internet-draining events yet to occur, then you're probably deaf. No, really. I speak, of course, to the ever-present vuvuzela horn--that clarion call of annoyance that's the subject of countless Internet memes and angry messages between soccer fans worldwide.
Obviously, a freeware solution is in order. And while you might not have expected it to come from a company like Stardock, creators of the popular Impulse download service, Fences, WindowsBlinds, and other such useful system apps, the company has nevertheless dug deep to develop a solution for your auditory woes.
If you're a twitter user, you might have noticed the popular social site has been having more downtime than usual this month. According to a new blog post from Twitter, this last month has seen the most Fail Whales since last October. What's to blame for this degradation in service? Well, a big part of it is that everyone and their second cousin is tweeting about the World Cup.
Since the World Cup was a planned event, many have suggested Twitter should have been more prepared. The popular site explains they could never have anticipated the "unprecedented spikes in activity". Twitter says that they are working to make real-time adjustments to their setup to avoid excessive downtime, and a more long-term solution is in the works. How many Fail Whales are you seeing out there?
Soccer madness is upon us. If you're a true geek, you're watching game, after game, after game of this year's World Cup from the privacy of your personal computer. It's not that hard to find an online stream of any of the games in this year's tournament, and it's the perfect way to combine your love of the foot-ball and your need to actually get work done during the day. Can't lug a television into your cubicle, after all-right?
Anywho, two Firefox add-ons come to mind when I dream of soccer balls, 90+ minute feats of endurance, and that annoying horn sound buzzing in the background of every single match I watch. One of these add-ons is pure entertainment--it does nothing to enhance your Firefox experience beyond expressing your pride for a particular World Cup team in a grand, digital popularity contest. The other, however, is the add-on for up-to-the-minute World Cup scores... and more!
As I mentioned in my previous Firefox Add-on of the Week, it's World Cup time here in the ol', er, world. And just as there's a handy add-on or two for those interesting in keeping up with the latest scores and information via their Mozilla-based browser, so is there an equivalent way to stay on top of the World Cup through Google Chrome.
Just like before, I'm going to take a quick look at two different extensions for the browser. Unlike my choices for Firefox, however, there aren't any prettied-up or theme-changing elements to go around this time. It's nothing but pure soccer in this week's batch of extensions--whether you want to watch stats or watch the games directly, you're covered.
The FIFA World Cup kicked off today in Johannesburg, South Africa. Soccer's showcase event always puts viewership records in grave danger with its ability to elicit unprecedented frenzy. On the inaugural day of the tournament, news sites turned out to be the main beneficiaries of the fan fervor. According to content delivery firm Akamai, news sites around the world experienced vastly heightened activity on Friday as viewers flocked to them in record numbers.
Its Net Usage Index, which continuously monitors global news consumption, showed a steep climb in traffic around noon, when traffic peaked at nearly 12.1 million visitors per minute. Akamai has never before recorded such levels. The previous record of around 8.5 million vpm was set when Barack Obama won the presidential race.
Verizon this week announced that it has added V CAST content to all of its Android smartphones, including the Motorola Droid, HTC Droid Eris, Motorola Devour, HTC Droid Incredible, and LG Ally.
"With V CAST Video, Android customers can now enjoy a wide variety of top-rated entertainment, news and sports programs on demand, whenever they want on the large screens on their smartphones," Verizon said. "V CAST Video recently added programming from AETN, including A&E, Lifetime and History, and Spanish-language content from V-me."
V CAST video features more than 230 full-length programs from over 40 leading providers, meaning you can stream shows like 24, 30 Rock, Grey's Anatomy, Bones, Family Guy, and a whole bunch more, including several sporting events. In addition, Univision Interactive Media will provide live streams of all 64 of its Spanish-language broadcasts of the 2010 FIFA World Cup soccer, so you can watch USA rock England this Saturday, albeit in Spanish.
V CAST runs $10/month in addition to a smartphone data plan, a requirement for all the above mentioned Android devices.
Soccer fans around the world are eagerly waiting for the 2010 FIFA World Cup to kick off. Soccer's marquee event will virtually transform host nation South Africa into the mecca for the sport's impassioned followers around the world. Like with any other major world event or cataclysm, the internet's dark alleys are filled with people ready to tax the outpouring of human emotion during the World Cup. It is likely that some of their nefarious plans are already afoot, even though there is a fair bit to go before the start of the event.
Symantec recently discovered a “targeted attack” that quite clearly tries to exploit the mounting soccer fever. Thankfully, the attack was thwarted before it could cause any damage. The attackers tried to drop their malicious payload using an email message ostensibly sent by a legitimate African Safari organiser, Greenlife. To the untrained eye, the sender had attached a “highly informative World Cup Travel Guide” with the message. But in reality the attached file was a modified variant of the real Greenlife's actual PDF guide. The actual PDF document was first debased with malicious code to exploit a recently patched vulnerability in Adobe Reader before being forwarded as an attachment.
“The patch for this critical rated vulnerability was released by Adobe on February 16, 2010. Since then we have observed a large number of targeted attacks attempting to exploit this vulnerability. Proof-of-Concept exploit code is available in the Internet which is contributing to the large number of observed attacks,” Daren Lewis, a Symantec employee wrote on the MessageLabs Intelligence blog.
Targeted attacks are known to be precise and less spammy. For instance, Symantec only has to deal with less than 100 such attacks every day, despite it blocking around 500,000 malicious emails per day. Such attacks usually target organizations, with people at the top of the pecking order more likely to be attacked first. This way the attackers can gain access to a pretty large chunk of that organization's sensitive information. In this case, the malicious email was sent to a person only identified as “a user in a major international organisation that brings together governments from all over the world.”