Items tagged with whatcouldpossiblygowrong

For the past nine days, Maxis has been caught in a firestorm of epic proportions. Having failed to beta test the game appropriately or account for actual server loads, Maxis' SimCity servers disintegrated under the onslaught of people wanting to play a game they paid for. Since launch day, company executives and representatives have remained steadfast on one point -- the game must be played online. "With the way that the game works, we offload a significant amount of the calculations to our servers so that the computations are off the local PCs and are moved into the cloud. It wouldn't be possible... Read more...
There are, it seems, some companies that simply can't get changes right -- and if there's a Top Ten list somewhere, Facebook deserves to be on it. The company's latest bright idea, now rolled out to all 900M users, was to change your default email address from whatever it was currently to "John.Doe@facebook.com." This new "feature" was pushed through without notification or discussion, and it predictably cheesed off a number of people. Hang on. We're not even to the unbelievably stupid part yet. In the wake of the change, users began complaining that they'd lost address books, emails, and messages... Read more...
In early 2010, a brand-new company named Righthaven began cutting deals with newspapers by promising to safeguard their content online. Said protection consists of suing anyone and everything for so-called copyright infringement, even in situations where no sane judge would rule infringement had taken place. Now the tables have turned; Righthaven is facing a class-action lawsuit brought by the 57 Colorado-based companies it's sued for infringement. (As of this writing, Righthaven has sued a total of 275 bloggers, news sites, and reporters). The list of abuses Righthaven has perpetrated would make... Read more...
Nintendo has taken a page from Sony's playbook, even as the video game giant struggles to recover from the impact of its decision to remove Other OS support. The Free Software Foundation recently examined* the EULA and privacy policy Nintendo attaches to the 3DS; both are far more draconian than corresponding agreements for the DSi, DSi XL, DS Lite, or original DS. Let's start with the privacy policy. The two documents are organized differently; a careful comparison indicates that the DSi policy matches the 3DS policy on nine of the latter's ten points. The missing point (ix in the 3DS agreement)... Read more...
Sony has sent an open letter to Congress detailing and defending its actions in the wake of multiple (successful) hack attempts over the past two weeks. The company previously declined to attend a hearing scheduled in the wake of its data theft debacle. The head of that hearing, Mary Bono Mack, tore the company up one side and down the other for its shortcomings; this recent missive is an apparent attempt to save face. Ironically for Sony, the company's data was stolen right around the time period it brushed off any concerns that Anonymous' attacks could negatively impact its security or systems.... Read more...
BlackBerry's PlayBook has raised eyebrows and gotten attention from all corners since the company unveiled it early last fall. We've had a bit of hands-on with the unit and covered BlackBerry's attempts to improve the tablet's attractiveness by running Android aps (albeit imperfectly) on its QNX operating system. If a leaked PDF is accurate, the PlayBook is in a great deal of trouble. The system's hardware is fine, with storage options ranging from 16-64GB and 1 GB of memory, dual 1080P cameras, and a dual-core 1GHz CPU. It's the software—or more precisely, the lack thereof—that could... Read more...
One of the persistent criticisms of the Motorola Atrix and HTC Inspire is that the devices don't deliver anything like the wireless speeds AT&T claims they're capable of. AT&T has been coyly playing cat and mouse over the question of whether or not its phones consistently deliver "4G" speeds but has finally admitted that it had capped the phones' upload speeds. An April update to remove the limitation is currently in the works. One of the major problems of communicating such differences and limitations is that there's no industry-standard definition on what 4G is (or isn't).  Service... Read more...
It's been nearly a decade since the music industry declared war against file sharers via its controversial policy of suing individuals supposedly identified via their IP addresses. After all this time one would expect the various companies to present a consistent, united front. As a recent court filing against Limewire shows this is absolutely not the case. Last May, federal district court judge Kimba Wood granted the record industry's request for a summary judgement against Limewire. With their winning ticket in hand, the RIAA withdrew to contemplate the level of statutory and punitive damages... Read more...
When Nvidia announced its next-generation Tegra product at the Mobile World Conference, it pulled out all the stops in an effort to impress. The stats themselves were impressive—the chip packs a twelve-core GeForce GPU in with a quad-core ARM CPU—but NV opted to hammer home the point by showing benchmark results. According to Nvidia, Kal-El turned in a score of 11,352 in the embedded processor benchmark Coremark while a T7200 Core 2 Duo (65nm, 2GHz dual-core, 4MB L2, 667MHz FSB) returned a score of just 10,136. If you want to see Nvidia's original video, you can do so here. We weren't... Read more...
It hasn't been a good month decade for AOL. A little over a week ago, The New Yorker published a profile of the company's CEO Tim Armstrong in which the author, Ken Auletta, dismissed most of the website's published content as 'piffle.'  Worse, Armstrong admitted that the vast majority of the company's subscribers—some three million out of an estimated 4.1 million total—are needlessly paying an extra $25 for the AOL service. As if that wasn't bad enough, someone inside AOL has since leaked a copy of the company's business plan for Q1 2011; it's not the sort of document that's going... Read more...
Seagate issued a general announcement yesterday in an apparent attempt to clarify its SSD plans going forward. Of all the various hard drive vendors, Seagate has been by far the most acrimonious towards SSD development; former CEO Bill Watkins' plans for dealing with the introduction of SSDs was to threaten to sue the companies out of existence. Watkins is gone, but Seagate has barely dipped a toe into the SSD market. Seagate's latest official press release statement attempts to justify the company's decision to mostly ignore SSDs in favor of conventional hard drives or hybrid drives. ...the yawning... Read more...
Windows Phone 7 devices support additional storage via MicroSD but making use of that capability has become problematic. Users who attempt to re-use MicroSD cards they purchased for older phones are in for a nasty surprise. Insert a legacy MicroSD into a Samsung Focus, and the device may crash, slow considerably, or suffer data corruption. Worse, there's no going back—an incompatible SD card that's been plugged into a non-compatible handset can no longer be used the original reader. According to Microsoft, SD cards should only be inserted by the carrier and only certain specific SD cards... Read more...
In the wake of the pair of thwarted bombings by Al Qaeda last month, the TSA has announced additional restrictions and guidelines for passengers traveling both within the United States and internationally. In additional to logical and prudent steps, such as banning packages from Somalia and Yemen (temporarily) and additional screening for packages classified as high risk, there's a new pair of rules that're collectively bizarre. From the DHS press release: Toner and ink cartridges over 16 ounces will be prohibited on passenger aircraft in both carry-on bags and checked bags on domestic and international... Read more...
It's been a few months since we heard much from the Lower Merion school district (LMSD) and the allegations of improper conduct, voyeuristic behavior, and civil rights violations leveled against administration employees and the vice principal of Harriton High School, Lindy Matsko. The case and accompanying federal investigation have been percolating for nigh on a year, but the government has finally reached a decision not to prosecute. According to US Attorney Zane David Memeger, investigators have found no evidence of criminal intent by the district's administration. ""For the government to prosecute... Read more...