The Mis-Adventures in Technology of an Old Dog Learning New Tricks…

Originally posted on Variety:

Iwata Satoru, the hugely popular president of Japanese games giant Nintendo, has died of cancer, age 55.

The company issued a notice reporting that Iwata died on Saturday as a result of a bile duct growth.

He joined Nintendo in the 1980s as a programmer. In 2000 he became a board director and became president in 2002.

In his time at the top he oversaw some of the company’s best products: the Wii and the DS, as well as less successful introductions, the GameCube and the Wii U.

Twice in recent years, Iwata took pay cuts as the company reported losses, and recently he attempted to steer the company away from its dependence on consoles. That policy seemed to be bearing fruit, and the company expects a major jump in profitability thanks to new smartphone gaming.

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Originally posted on CBS Detroit:

DEARBORN (WWJ) — There’s been a lot of hype about 3D printing lately — 3D printed pizza, chocolate, toys, cell phone accessories — even precision manufactured products like hearing aids. With 3D printers falling to under $500 in price, there are predictions that there will soon be one in every home.

Well, the world’s 5,000 foremost experts in 3D printing will gather at Detroit’s Cobo Center in June for a global conference.

Sponsored by SME, formerly known as the Society of Manufacturing Engineers, the 25th annual Rapid conference will be held at Cobo June 9-12. It’s the first time the event has been in Detroit since 2007.

Of course, SME uses some different words for 3D printing — phrases that now sound a bit antiquated, like “rapid prototyping” or “additive manufacturing.” But after all, this technology has been around for more than 25 years — although the machines that now…

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Originally posted on TechCrunch:


This has been a long time in the making, but after almost three months of testing in the highly experimental Firefox Nightly release channel, Firefox’s new Australis user interface has now found its way into the pre-beta Aurora channel. The new user interface, which the company has been working on for a long time, gives the browser a more Chrome-like look. As in Chrome, the settings and options are now behind the same kind of drawer menu next to the URL bar as in Google’s browser and rounded tabs at the top of the screen.

These similarities with Chrome is likely the first thing users will notice. Indeed, if you quickly switch back and forth between the two, you’ll likely get confused about which one is which.

The team also completely redesigned the menu too, and added a large number of customization options that aren’t available in…

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Originally posted on TechCrunch:

Let’s be real here: there’s a decent chance that you picked up a new smartphone at some point during the holidays, so you’re off the market for at least a little while longer. As it turns out though, you may have been better off waiting a bit.

In a show of New Years magnanimity (or, you know, a ploy to push more units) Motorola has slashed the prices of its sans-contract Moto X — a fully-customized 16GB model for any carrier will now only set you back $399 rather than the $499 it would’ve originally cost. Sadly, those of you with a woodgrain fetish will still have to pay a premium for those newly-available bamboo backs — $100 to be precise.

Does this ultimately mean you should pick up a Moto X over, say, a Nexus 5? Not necessarily — much as I love what the new Motorola is…

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Originally posted on Tech:

Yesterday, I wrote about The Verge’s report that Nokia was furiously working on a low-end phone running a customized version of Google’s Android. I said I couldn’t figure out a reason why Microsoft — soon to be the owner of Nokia’s phone business — would support such an idea.

Now All Things D’s Ina Fried, who ranks high on the list of tech’s most reliable reporters, says that Nokia’s “Normandy” Android phone project is indeed the real deal, and that it’s not a given that Microsoft will nix it:

While Normandy has some open-source elements of Android at its core, Nokia would be heavily customizing the look of the software, as well as the services at its core, much as Amazon has with its Kindle line.

According to a Nokia source, the software has a look more similar to Windows Phone than to the “squircle” icons used on the…

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