Archive for November, 2011

Mobile Industry Rolls Out Game Rating System

November 30th, 2011 11:23 admin View Comments

Portables (Games)

alphadogg writes “Mobile telecom trade group CTIA and the Entertainment Software Rating Board will roll out a rating system for mobile applications similar to ratings on other electronic games, the groups announced Tuesday. Six mobile application storefronts will support the rating system and will roll out the ratings in the coming months, CTIA said. AT&T, Microsoft, Sprint Nextel, T-Mobile USA, U.S. Cellular and Verizon Wireless are the founding members of the rating system.” An opinion piece at Gamasutra points out that this initiative falls a bit flat without Apple or Google on board, since iOS and Android are so vital to the current mobile gaming industry. “In the long run, the ESRB/CTIA announcement could be another sign of shifting power in the gaming industry. Normally, the ESRB gets what it wants. But it has no leverage against Apple and Google.”

Source: Mobile Industry Rolls Out Game Rating System

Analyst Says Apple Television Set Is Coming Next Year; Provides Some Interesting Details

November 30th, 2011 11:11 admin View Comments
Categories: iphonehacks Tags: ,

Analyst Says Apple Television Set Is Coming Next Year; Provides Some Interesting Details

November 30th, 2011 11:11 admin View Comments

UK Plans Space Based Radar System

November 30th, 2011 11:08 admin View Comments


First time accepted submitter peepster84 writes “The UK government is to kick-start an innovative project to fly radar satellites around the Earth, with an initial investment of £21m. NovaSar-S would have a number of viewing modes that could enable it to perform a wide range of roles, from flood monitoring and land cover management to disaster mapping and maritime enforcement — notably ship tracking and oil spill detection.”

Source: UK Plans Space Based Radar System

Another iPhone Explodes, This Time In Brazil

November 30th, 2011 11:12 admin View Comments

Daily Wrap: Path is Awesome and More

November 30th, 2011 11:00 admin View Comments

dailywrap-150x150.pngJon says the version 2 do-over of the life-streaming app, Path, is like a slicker, more elegant Facebook Timeline. Is that a good or bad thing? Either way, Path is live and ready to play with, and Timeline’s launch continues to slip. This and more in today’s Daily Wrap.

Sometimes it’s difficult to catch every story that hits tech media in a day, so we wrap up some of the most talked about stories. We give you a daily recap of what you missed in the ReadWriteWeb Community, including a link to some of the most popular discussions in our offsite communities on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+ as well. This is a new feature at ReadWriteWeb so we covet your feedback. If you have suggestions, please leave them in the comments below or reach out to me directly at robyn at

Path, Timeline & Worship of The Self

ReadWriteWeb writer Jon Mitchell has mixed feelings about the Timeline-esque app, Path. He explains that while the app’s design is amazing, it still has some issues, including mainstream user adoption and extreme similarities to Facebook’s Timeline. Of course, Timeline only wishes it was this elegantly done.

From Matt Albert, ReadWriteWeb commenter:

For me as a father and a son and a brother to technophobes with iphones and no facebook accounts this is exactly what I want out of a social network. Oh hell yea there is an awful lot of this “ego streaming” but isn’t that part of the fun. As a designer myself its refreshing to see something so elegant and new come onto the “scene”.

Here are a few more must read posts, chosen by your fellow community members.

Marc Benioff Live from Cloudforce Winter 2011 Keynote

Google: Tablets Are For Fun, Laptops Are For Work [study]

Spotify Launches Music App Directory, Integrates With and Rolling Stone

ReadWriteWeb reader, Baxter Tocher, wonders:

Any word from them about whether they intend to use any of this new-found energy towards bringing the user gapless playback, like every other music player on the planet has had for the last who-knows-how-many years?

Top 5 Online Music Trends in 2011

Au-to-do: Google Releases App Engine Ticket Tracker

Why Hasn’t Google Put ChromeOS Out to Pasture?

Browsers in 2011: Chrome & Mobile Safari on The Rise

Reader, Jonathan Bray, commented:

“So Safari on mobile is now almost the equivalent of IE on desktop.” Thanks to the same bundling tactics.

Blue vs. Pink: What Role Does Gender Play In Mobile Phone Usage?

Siri, You’re Never Going To Take Over Search If You Can’t Find Abortion Clinics

This was our Big Question for today, so to see reader reactions, check out Big Question (Answered): “Siri Can’t Find Abortion Clinics. Purposeful Policy or Search Oversight?”

ReadWriteWeb Community

You can find ReadWriteWeb in many places on the web, a few of which are below.

Source: Daily Wrap: Path is Awesome and More

Anonymous Threatens Robin Hood Attacks Against Banks

November 30th, 2011 11:32 admin View Comments


gManZboy writes “Just in time for the holidays, hacktivist collective Anonymous has announced that it has teamed up with like-minded group TeaMp0isoN to donate to charity. The catch: they’re using stolen credit data from big banks to make donations, in a campaign they’re calling Operation Robin Hood. Is the #OpRobinHood campaign for real, or like previous threats against Wall Street and Facebook, just another hoax? Aesthetically, at least, the OpRobinHood video ticks all of the traditional Anonymous aesthetic requirements: a mashed-up ‘p0isoaNoN’ logo (green on black), a liberal dose of swelling choral music (via that movie trailer staple ‘Europa,’ by Globus), together with selected clips of Kevin Costner as Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves.”

Source: Anonymous Threatens Robin Hood Attacks Against Banks

DIY Electronics Hacking: Bigger, Better & Smarter Than Ever

November 30th, 2011 11:39 admin View Comments

Arduino, the open source electronics platform with the adorable name, announced the beta availability of its version 1.0 today, 6 years since it was forked from the nearly 10 year old Wiring platform. Wiring released its 1.0 just three weeks ago.

As these platforms, which turn consumers into creators, reach this important milestone, are people really using them? What’s the community around them like? What is the state of the Maker-o-Sphere, if you will? Looking from the outside, it appears that there is a thriving market of DIY electronics, that education is a high priority for the Maker community and that there’s no shortage of new developments coming to light all the time. I thought I’d take this opportunity to share a few examples.

As 2011 draws to a close, the DIY electronics hacking community has a culture, an economy and a campaign to grow through education of its own and other people.

Maker Holidays

It’s the holiday season and in this part of the world, these holidays are largely about stuff. That’s true among Makers too, but instead of just buying or getting stuff – they’re making stuff. Black Friday was celebrated by the desktop fabrication startup Makerbot Industries too, just a little differently than it was at Walmart.

Fab lovers gathered around the table with friends and family like so many people did for Thanksgiving, but some of them shared laser etched ham, 3D printed turkey and chocolates made in home made molds.


Above: From a holiday blog post by Ponoko, Happy Thanksgiving: A Digitally Fabricated Feast.
The unofficial publication of the Maker movement, Make Magazine, is giving away a different DIY kit to make something or another, including help getting started with Arduino, every day this holiday season.

Electronics shop Sparkfun is doing well enough that they’re upping the ante by 30% this year with $200,000 in free product giveaways in one day next month. Humans only need apply, “sometimes robots can be bad” the company notes.

New Year, New Hacks

What do people do with all this stuff? Maximum PC recently highlighted 25 relatively accessible projects that you can do with an Arduino, including making a really sophisticated, if crazy, magic mirror to put on the wall of your house. Alot of that is just novelty though.

The Arduino-friendly electronics provider Adafruit today highlighted one of its users’ hack of a Comcast universal remote, run through an Adafruit IR decoder plus Arduino, now controling a TV with Siri.

Yesterday a startup called Berg Cloud announced a new product called the Little Printer, which pulls content from websites you use into a little printer that prints out reciept-sized summaries of information of interest to you throughout the day. There’s a cloud services component, too, which other developers can use to make their devices Web connected.

We think of BERG Cloud as the nervous system for connected products. It’s built to run at scale, and could as easily operate the Web-enabled signage of a city block, as the playful home electronics of the future. Not to mention the smart product prototypes that we work with our clients on, in the other side of our design studio.

That’s getting serious.

If the maker industry is ramping up and if new platforms are becoming available to turn what used to be a hobby in the garage into a connected part of the web, will the supply of opportunities lead to more demand for capable Makers than there are in the world? That seems possible.

Education to Build the Future

Maker Faire and Make Magazine founder Dale Dougherty said on Twitter this month that he spoke to a National Science Foundation conference for more than one hundred award-winning sciene and math teachers in Washington D.C. and almost none of them had heard of Maker Faire before. Dougherty’s talk was part of a larger effort by makers to educate the world about the work that can be done.

Jaymes Dec, a Program Manager at a program called GreenFab that teaches South Bronx high school students science and math through green design and fabrication, says he’s convinced his local middle school to adopt a “one-arduino-per-child policy.”

MakerBots are being used in classrooms around the country, too. This and next week Makerbot Industries is offering an advanced course in 3D modeling to educators who have already had experience using a MakerBot in a classroom.

Community self-education is a never-ending part of the Maker movement too.

Make Magazine does a regular live video show and tonights is a tour of 5 different hackerspaces, facilities for hardware and other hacking, located all around the world.

Forbes this month highlighted wearable computer innovator Lynne Bruning, the creator of The eTextile Lounge, “a global hackerspace for wearable computing, soft circuits and electronic textiles” where interested hackers can share tips by live video.

What Could Happen

What do you get when you put it all together? A community of people who can build up the steam to do things like hack the Nike+ to turn one of the most popular consumer sensors in the world into a source of readable data for anyone who wants to build apps on top of it. That’s what Dmitry Grinberg, a man who’s been called “an enigma and a legend” in the mobile hacking community, did last month. And he posted the code for all to see. That’s a landmark momement.

Might there someday be such a vibrant community of developers innovating around a hacked Nike+ sensor that the company decides to throw its weight into supporting their work, like Microsoft quickly did with the Kinect? That seems like a possibility. It seems even more possible when you consider Nike moves like hiring Ward Cunningham, inventor of the wiki, to become the company’s new open data platform leader this Summer.

So that’s one picture of where the maker/hacker/DIY community is these days, as one of its best-known platforms, Arduino, reaches 1.0 status. It’s got a culture, an economy, is educating itself and others. It’s exciting to consider what that world will be doing when these platforms hit 2.0.

Source: DIY Electronics Hacking: Bigger, Better & Smarter Than Ever

Permafrost Loss Greater Threat Than Deforestation

November 30th, 2011 11:03 admin View Comments


Pierre Bezukhov writes “Emissions from thawing permafrost may contribute more to global warming than deforestation this century, according to commentary in the journal Nature. Arctic warming of 7.5 degrees Celsius (13.5 degrees Fahrenheit) this century may unlock the equivalent of 380 billion tons of carbon dioxide as soils thaw, allowing carbon to escape as CO2 and methane, University of Florida and University of Alaska biologists wrote today in Nature. Two degrees of warming would release a third of that, they said. The Arctic is an important harbinger of climate change because the United Nations calculates it’s warming at almost twice the average rate for the planet. The study adds to pressure on United Nations climate treaty negotiators from more than 190 countries attending two weeks of talks in Durban, South Africa that began Nov. 28.”

Source: Permafrost Loss Greater Threat Than Deforestation

Big Question (Answered): “Siri Can’t Find Abortion Clinics. Purposeful Policy or Search Oversight?”

November 30th, 2011 11:00 admin View Comments

big-question-150.pngYesterday Raw Story noticed that Siri will find you many things, including Viagra, the meaning of life, and even give you a good place to stash a body, but ask for help locating some reproductive services and Siri will serve you abortion alternatives. In New York, for example, Siri finds no abortion clinics.

Alicia Eler makes the case that because Siri represents the future of AI-powered search, it’s imperative that it gets search right.

Is it an oversight or some sort of anti-abortion policy?

We asked and culled your responses from Facebook, Google+, Twitter and the original post and we used Storify to present it all back to you. If you have additional responses, please leave them in the comments.

Source: Big Question (Answered): “Siri Can’t Find Abortion Clinics. Purposeful Policy or Search Oversight?”