• How to be a civil servant AND a social networker

    Civil servants now have a new code of conduct for social networks, thanks to MP Tom Watson, a long-time blogger and savvy MP who just announced (on the floor of Parliament) that he’s got it down to five points and a few paragraphs of government health warning stuff at the end. A little bird emailed it over to me, so if you’re a civil servant, listen up: Principles for… Read More

  • Because walking is far too difficult

    People who think walking is too much trouble, this one’s for you. It’s a design by one Regimantas Vegele for a device that’s part Segway, part elliptical machine. Officially called Zingsniuoklis, you work it by stepping on the pedals, but rather than remaining stationary (as in the elliptical machine) your legs power forward movement. Strange, you say? A waste of time… Read More

  • The NYTimes Is Conflicted And Wrong About The A.P. And Needs To Stop Defending Them

    The New York Times’ Saul Hansell has now written three articles defending the Associated Press and their attempts to broaden content rights beyond what copyright laws allow. The A.P., in short, doesn’t want anyone quoting more than four words from their articles without paying, and they’ve been threatening to sue (and actually suing) parties who do quote articles. Hansell… Read More

  • Powerset Unveils iPhone-Optimized Wikipedia Search

    Powerset, the natural language search engine that partially launched in May, has released a mobile version of their site that allows users to quickly search Wikipedia from their iPhone. Since the release of the iPhone a number of sites including iPodia and Wapedia have released optimized versions of Wikipedia (though none actually made by the online encyclopedia). These sites reformat… Read More

  • Video: Fix your broken NES in no time

    If that old NES of yours has died, odds are the culprit is a 72-pin connector. Luckily, it’s easily fixed, as this video from Wired shows. And how’s this for an embarrassing admission: I never knew the pleasure of having an NES because of my parents’ strict “video games will rot your brain/no son of mine…” mentality. Once the SNES came out, though, all bets… Read More

  • Update on The TechCrunch BBC Debate

    Just to update you on The TechCrunch BBC Debate: A Common Platform, I can confirm that a few members of the press are now confirmed to attend, and we have added another great person to the panel: Tom Loosemore is leading Ofcom’s work exploring the proposal for a “public service publisher”, a new online operation that will have a budget of between £50m and £100m per year. He… Read More

  • Reroute Mobile Text Messages To Your PC With 3Jam's SuperText (Private Beta Invites)

    If you don’t have an all-you-can-eat subscription plan for your mobile phone that includes text messages, those messages can really add up on your bill. Especially if you are a teenager. Or a Twitter addict. Now there is a way to bypass those costly text-message fees when you are online. A new service by 3Jam called SuperText is launching in private beta that detects when you are at… Read More

  • Surface up close and personal: Microsoft reveals all

    I’m here at a Microsoft event where we’re getting into the nitty gritty details of Microsoft’s touch-screen table, Surface. If you want to see an earlier version in motion, check out Matt’s hands-on from CES where he makes a fool of himself. Meanwhile, we’ll be learning about what the thing is made up of, its parts and history (it used to be called… Read More

  • The Future! Car spotted in Japanese vending machine

    What this photo doesn’t show is the car salesman, who’s in the back getting the keys and a fistful of quarters from his manager to take this thing for a test drive. Ha! You can’t actually buy this Smart Car from a vending machine (yet?). It’s just a marketing gimmick. The machine doles out brochures about the car – cruddy, non-candy brochures – and I… Read More

  • The Hype Worked: Firefox 3 Downloaded 8.3 Million Times In First 24 Hours

    Despite getting off to a slow start yesterday, the official release of the Firefox 3 browser was downloaded 8.3 million times (that’s the unofficial tally as of 11:16 AM PT today). Mozilla beat its goal of 5 million downloads by 3 million and set a new world record! All right, there was no previous world record, but it still represents a massive one-day adoption rate. According to… Read More

  • Actual headline: Man gets Windows Vista to work with printer

    What sounds like a headline from The Onion is from the real story of an area man who did get Windows Vista to work with his printer, but not without the help of Microsoft software engineers. PI reporter Todd Bishop first brought word of the man’s trouble not long ago on the PI blog and local geeks wanted to help, as Seattle-area geeks tend to do. One helper was a Microsoft test engineer… Read More

  • ClickTale Tackles Frustrating Forms With New Analytics

    ClickTale, a hosted website analytics service that has provided a range of solutions from user experience videos to interaction heatmaps, is releasing a new tool today for identifying pain spots in online forms. The new Forms Analytics software, according to ClickTale, addresses three areas in particular: – Which fields take the longest to complete
    – Which fields are left blank… Read More

  • Philadelphia to Turn Free Wi-Fi back On

    In 2005, EarthLink began an ambitious project that would bring free Wi-Fi to the citizens of Philadelphia. EarthLink quit its effort in May because of complaints about signal service. In a city of over a million people, only 6,000 signed up for the EarthLink service. A new group of investors announced that they would finish the project. Network Acquisition Company, a group made up of local… Read More

  • You must try the Spore Creature Creator today! (I already made John Biggs!)

    Click To Play Has everyone tried the Spore Creature Creator yet? EA released it to the general public yesterday—apparently I had a preview password to play with it a little early—and I’ve already had a blast re-creating our very own editor John Biggs. I modeled him after this infamous photo. There’s a trial version, which I used, which gives you access to about… Read More

  • Louis Vuitton Brings Some Style To Audio Tours of China

    Louis Vuitton has partnered with Soundwalk to produce a series of surreal audio tours that whisk listeners through some of China’s most well-known cities: Beijing, Hong Kong, and Shanghai. The tours offer a strange and captivating mix of music, sound effects, and narration that are sure to enhance any traveler’s visit to the country. Listeners stuck at home can enjoy the tours… Read More

  • Panasonic develops the world’s first write-once Blu-ray discs with 6x writing speed

    Today Panasonic announced [JP] they will introduce the world’s first Blu-ray discs with 6x writing speed in Japan next month. The company will offer 25GB (LM-BR25MD) and 50 GB (LM-BR50MD) versions. The new discs feature a maximum data transfer speed of 216Mbps. Panasonic claims this is 20% faster than the transfer speed of 16x DVD-R discs. The 25GB discs will be priced at $16 per… Read More

  • Frets on Fire is like an open-source Guitar Hero

    Yesterday we brought news of a desktop version of Rock Band for Facebook that was mediocre at best. And today, we have Frets on Fire, an open-source Guitar Hero clone that looks like it could actually be pretty badass. You can play along to the included songs, or you can import your own from Guitar Hero 1 or 2 discs, a neat trick. Or you can create your own with the in-game song creator. Or… Read More

  • Meet Keromin: Half stuffed frog, half musical instrument

    Keromin is the name of a strange mixture between a stuffed frog and an electronic music instrument. Kero means “ribbet ribbet” in Japanese, while the Theremin is the world’s first musical instrument. The little guy has been featured in the Japanese media last year already but currently gets some extra-attention because 2008 is declared the year of the frog by the… Read More

  • AT&T will have Family Plans for iPhone 3G: $39.99 per month, $9.99 for each additional line

    A friendly tipster inside AT&T just told us that it will offer family plans for the iPhone 3G. Plans start at $39.99 per month for voice—the number of minutes unclear at this point—with additional lines available for $9.99 per iPhone. Not a bad deal, and a fine way to lock families, from dad all the way down to junior, to AT&T for at least two years. Read More

  • Verizon to bump FiOS speeds to 50 Mbps nationwide

    If you happen to live in one of the lucky areas of the 16 states where Verizon has made FiOS available, you’ll be able to top your Internet connection out at 50 Mbps down, 20 Mbps up. Verizon says the speed enhancements will begin next week. Some markets already have the 50/20 speed tier, but Verizon will be rolling out faster connections to FiOS customers where 30 Mbps had previously… Read More

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