Tech News Today 460

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Tech News Today
Episode 460

Tech News Today 460: Sky Pirates In Flight

Apple giving out cash, a hotspot with free data, OMGPOP unseats Zynga, and more.

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Top Stories

  • Free ISP NetZero Goes Wireless
  • Hands-on: NetZero to offer no-contract 4G mobile hotspot service
    • Big news about NetZero: 1st: isn't dead 2nd: it is entering the wireless data game.
    • Here's how it works: you buy the hardware outright - either a $100 hotspot or a $50 USB stick and it comes with 200MB per month for free of data for up to one year.
    • NetZero is selling these devices at a loss acc'g to GigaOM and hopes users move to paid plans
    • NetZero uses Clearwire's WiMax network, no access to 3G. So either you've got Wimax or nothing.
    • No contract plans:
      • $10 per month for 500 MB
      • $20 per month for 1 GB,
      • $35 per month for 2 GB and
      • $50 per month for 4 GB.
  • No overage fees. You hit the limit, you don't get any more data.
  • If you switch to a paid plan, you can't go back to the 200MB free plan.

Discussion Stories

  • Zynga No Longer Has The Biggest Game On Facebook By Daily Users. OMGPOP Does.
  • Zynga Is In Talks To Buy “Draw Something” Maker OMGPOP
    • Draw Something has 10.8M daily users based AppData leaderboard, which is a tracking service through FB logins. OMGPOP says DAU is 16.5M. Words With Friends was formerly on top w 8.6M daily active users. Monthly usage has Zynga’s CityVille and Texas Holdem Poker on top. OMGPOP says 25M registered users.
    • TC sources say Zynga in talks to buy OMGPOP. OMGPOP has raised around $17 million to date, deal could be in the $150 to $250 million range. Talks preliminary. Word says Japanese buyers like GREE & DeNA have also expressed interest.
    • would be Zynga’s biggest publicly disclosed acquisition. usually acquiring small teams for a talent-price range of $5 to $20 million. In 2010 Zynga bought Words With Friends-maker Newtoy for $53.3 million in cash and stock & doubled daily active users in 4 months.
    • Zynga could launch competitor, split the audience. makes sense to buy, crosss-promote, grow audience
    • failed to buy tiny tower developer NimbleBit, made ripoff Dream Heights.
    • drawings per second - 2,000 - 3,000 (with peaks higher than that)
    • 30 million installs
    • 1.7billion drawings
    • 60% US, 58% female
    • Every second 30 hours of drawings are made (to put this in perspective, youtube does 1 hour per second!)
    • word most failed "oar"
    • average guess time 86 seconds
    • record turns as of 3/05/12- 1174 (just back and forths, not including incorrect guesses)
  • New Internet Explorer will come in two flavors
  • Microsoft reportedly completing Windows 8 development this summer, will launch in October
    • IE10 browser for Windows 8 will come in two flavors--one a streamlined, ""Metro-style"" program designed to resemble a smartphone or tablet app, the other a more standard desktop browser.
    • As Lance Whitney at CNET wrotes, this is both the good and the bad news
    • everyone who wants to use IE10 will have to choose which flavor they want--and could even end up switching from one to the other mid-task.
    • no menus, tabs, address bar, or other visual clues appear. Instead, the Web page takes up the full real estate of the browser. Right-clicking anywhere in the browser then reveals the address bar at the bottom and a space at the top where you can open a new page in a separate tab or close an existing page.
    • Clicking in the address bar displays a screen with Navigation tiles for frequently-used and pinned sites, so you can quickly open any site.
    • Hovering your mouse to the left or right of the screen displays arrow that can take you back or forward.
    • No plugins , so no flash or external password managers -- Accessing other options, such as printing a page or sharing it via e-mail, requires you to launch the separate Charms bar. ---- The two versions do share certain elements in common, such as a History list. --------This isn't a major surprise, but Bloomberg is reporting that Microsoft is planning to finish up development on Windows 8 this summer, with the OS ready to ship on tablets and PCs in October. Bloomberg's sources of "people with knowledge of the schedule"
  • Bioware considering changing Mass Effect 3 ending
  • Bioware responds to Mass Effect complaints
  • Mass Effect 3 Player Files FTC Complaint Over Game's Ending
    • ON the Bioware forums, Bioware executive producer Casey Hudson, who says "insights and constructive feedback" from fans will help shape new content for the game going forward.
    • Also stressed that they were looking to make a polarizing ending
    • BioWare followed up with a post on the Mass Effect Facebook page today, saying that the developer is "actively and seriously taking all player feedback into consideration" and has "not made a decision regarding requests to change the ending."
    • Campaigners have acknolwegded they need to give Bioware some time to respond, though they continue to collect signatures.
    • "After reading through the list of promises about the ending of the game they made in their advertising campaign and PR interviews, it was clear that the product we got did not live up to any of those claims," user El_Spiko wrote on the Bioware Forums, according to
    • A newly formed "Keep Mass Effect!" Facebook group popped up over the weekend "to show Bioware that these petitioners and lawsuit harbingers are, in fact, a minority to all those who love the Mass Effect series and how it ended."
    • "some of our most passionate fans needed more closure, more answers, and more time to say goodbye to their stories."
    • Hudson promised new content in the next year and said Bioware will "keep listening, because your insights and constructive feedback will help determine what that content should be. This is not the last you'll hear of Commander Shepard."

News Fuse





"Hi Gang, As you probably recall a few days ago I sent out a poll on Facebook to help me name my child. Well the internet has spoken and Lennox is here, we chose the Top voted middle name from the facebook poll Matthew so I present to you and to the TWIT Army Lennox Matthew Gomez 9.5lbs.

And ofcourse since he was named after Linux the attached picture was obligator, I give to you Ubuntu Lennox (attached)


Thank you all

Jose C Gomez Software Engineer

"Dear TNT crew,

I am active in the conlanging community (including hosting a podcast about it), and while it's not really the main focus of what I am interested in, I see a lot of invented scripts and a few neographies for English. So, with that in mind, my initial reaction to Dotsies is that it is absolutely terrible. The idea of condensing writing might seem like a good idea at first, but natural language, in both written and spoken forms, has evolved built-in redundancies (which vary from language to language and script to script) in order to combat noise.

For Dotsies, a flyspeck on my screen could easily change the reading of a character or -- in the font size of the example on the site, hide a good chunk of a word. Also, perceptual problems that commonly lead to dyslexia with natural writing systems would be exacerbated greatly when the only difference between five different characters is in the position of a single dot which itself comprises the entire character. The result is a script that is harder to read than Tengwar and not nearly as pretty. In short, Dotsies is a little too compressed to be at all useful, and honestly, I don't feel that screen real estate comes at that much of a premium.

That said, it's not even the most extreme example of this sort of information-density stuff I've seen. Dotsies is essentially just a reskinning of the Latin alphabet. To see how this idea of maximum information density applied in the creation of a completely new language, I highly suggest John Quijada's Ithkuil: (fair warning: not that you would try it, but I really don't think Ithkuil is at all learnable by human beings).

Sincerely, George Corley (GAC in the chatroom)"



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Production Information

  • Edited by: Jason
  • Notes:
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