AOL Tech


Apr 7th, 2012


BlackBerry Bold 9900, 9930 Will Run BlackBerry OS 7

RIM kicked off its BlackBerry World event in Orlando, Florida by launching the not-so-secret BlackBerry Bold 9900/9930 models, also dubbed "Bold Touch." While the devices don't noticeably stray from RIM's design choices from the past decade -- they're instantly recognizable as QWERTY keyboard... Read more »

BlackBerry OS 7 Features Announced--But It Won't Run On Older Devices

This morning, RIM finally unveiled its next generation mobile operating system, BlackBerry OS 7. It's not a giant leap forward, but RIM is detailing a faster and easier-to-use OS that comes with an integrated, voice-enabled Universal Search system. BlackBerry fans that have been frustrated... Read more »

Farewell, Internet

Well, here we are. More than four years after launching, Switched and DownloadSquad are unfortunately being closed. I've been thrilled to work at these two sites that have expanded tech coverage beyond the usual gadgets and social networks to cooking, culture, design, art and more. It's been... Read more »

Interview with Digital Camera Inventor, Making Game Boy Music

Here are a few of the other noteworthy things we saw today on our never-ending journey through the wild, wild Web. Read: Research In Motion Eyes a Rebound "They've been caught flat-footed," said Jean-Louis Gassée, a former Apple executive, the former chairman of Palm's software... Read more »

Dinos and Trenches in '1916 - The War You Never Knew'

This week's batch of games take its inspiration from real life, but twists your expectations in weird and wonderful ways. Consider it an alchemical transformation that results in gaming gold. We're no history buffs, but we're fairly certain that World War I did not involve ferocious... Read more »

Swedish File Sharers Get Religious About Stealing

Swedish philosophy student Isaac Gerson thinks that file sharing is sacred. The 19-year-old leader of the Missionary Church of Kopimism believes that stealing and sharing are signs of appreciation, and has compared closed-source software to slavery. Last year, Sweden rejected the church's... Read more »

Google's New Crossword-Style Trivia Game Wants Puzzlers to Search

Fellow puzzle fans, Google has brought us joy. The engine's newest venture, A Google a Day, asks cunning participants not to use the knowledge they have but rather the knowledge they can unearth with Google search to solve riddles. Much like crossword puzzles (possibly your author's favorite... Read more »

As Expected, Smartphones and Social Networks Targeted by Malware

As security firms have been warning for some time, malware attacks are now more frequently focused on social networks and mobile devices. In Symantec's latest Internet Security Threat Report, the company noted that the number of malware attacks delivered through the Web practically doubled from... Read more »

Facebook Strikes Deal to Create New Social Network in China

Facebook is reportedly working with China's largest search engine to create a new, jointly owned social network. The collaboration with Baidu would allow Facebook to get a foothold in the Chinese market while giving Baidu the chance to capitalize on Mark Zuckerberg's network-building expertise.... Read more »

Google Will No Longer Collect Street View Photos in Germany

Google has decided to stop collecting Street View photos in Germany, where regulators have spent much of the past two years railing against the search giant for violating the privacy of German residents. A company spokesman confirmed the decision in a statement sent to the Register, explaining that... Read more »

Jonathan Franzen's New Yorker Piece Hides Behind a Facebook Like Wall

Jonathan Franzen has a new piece in The New Yorker, but you'll have to become a fan of the magazine on Facebook if you want to read the whole thing. Taking its cue from the likes of Lil Wayne and Jennifer Lopez, The New Yorker has published Franzen's piece exclusively on its Facebook page in an... Read more »

PEW PEW! U.S. Navy Fires Lasers at Sea

Good news, everyone! The future is finally here, and we'll soon leave bullets behind for a much sexier laser alternative, filled with "PEW PEW" and plenty of cat-shaped guns. The U.S. Navy successfully fired a high-energy laser at another boat, continuing its research into using lasers to blind or... Read more »

West Bank Settlers Spread Propaganda Using Violent Video Games

Using video games as propaganda is nothing new. The U.S. has been doing it with 'America's Army' for some time, while Hezbollah has employed 'Special Force' to spread its message. But those games might seem quaint and diplomatic in the face of a series of games from Residents' Councils of Samaria... Read more »

Julian Assange Says WikiLeaks Is More Accountable Than Most Governments, Gets a Little Sassy About It

Julian Assange thinks WikiLeaks is more accountable than any democratic government in the world. And if you dare say otherwise, you'll probably get sued. That was essentially the message that Assange conveyed over the weekend, during his first public appearance since being arrested in December,... Read more »

Russia Won't Ban Gmail or Skype Amid Security Concerns

It looks like Russia won't be banning Skype or Gmail, after all. The Kremlin was reportedly considering blocking both services, along with Hotmail, in response to a major cyberattack that crippled the country's most popular blog and an independent news site. Some within the Kremlin had believed the... Read more »

Steve Jobs Approves New Bio to Be Published in 2012

Steve Jobs has finally given his seal of approval to a new book about his life. Walter Isaacson's 'iSteve: The Book of Jobs' is slated for release in early 2012, marking the first time that the Apple CEO has participated in a biography. Isaacson, who has been working on the book since 2009,... Read more »

Switched's Comprehensive Guide to Video Game Emulators

The video game emulator -- the bit of software that allows nostalgic button-mashers to mount an NES on their PCs in order to relive halcyon "HADOUKEN!" days -- is one of the most misunderstood elements of modern computing. But we're here to tell you exactly what they are, how they work, and even... Read more »

Students Create Smartphone App Capable of Detecting Malaria

A group of grad students has come up with a way to instantly diagnose malaria, using only a smartphone and some fancy software. The team, comprised of students from around the nation, developed the prototype using a Samsung Focus smartphone, running Windows 7. After adding a microscopic camera... Read more »

Ericsson's Hyper-Connected Vision of the Future, The Torrenting Turtle Weighs In

Here are a few of the other noteworthy things we saw today on our never-ending journey through the wild, wild Web. Read: Fake Salem Song Teaches Internet A Lesson It'll Probably Forget Pretty Soon Yesterday the Internet lit up for a bit with news of a new track from the draggy, divisive... Read more »

'Lesbian Spider-Queens of Mars' Is More Retro Than Risque

This week we're showing love to the latest games from some of our favorite designers. These are creators from whom we've come to expect the best -- and this week's picks certainly live up to our expectations. Self-professed "dot matrix dominatrix" Anna Anthropy (a.k.a. Auntie Pixelante) has... Read more »

Man Goes to Prison for Threatening Eric Cantor on YouTube

A man named Norman LeBoon is headed to prison after making threats to House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in a video posted to YouTube. In the clip, the 38-year-old LeBoon called the Republican "a liar" and "a Lucifer," and promised to shoot him. LeBoon pleaded guilty to the charges in November, and,... Read more »

Level Up Your MMORPG Character Using Developing Economies

Next time you are scoring that amazing Amethyst Helm of Schadenfreude for your Level 38 Warlock Raider (I just made that up, but I hope something like that exists), you may be helping people in developing countries to make some cash. According to the BBC and a report released by the World Bank --... Read more »

Ghana's Email Scammers Work Hard, Pray Harder

Here's a fascinating look at the world of Sakawa, a unique blend of e-mail fraud and African religious tradition that has become a cultural force in Ghana. The young and unemployed people who use scavenged computers and Juju priests for their scams also drive a thriving music and movie scene... Read more »

Convicted Hacker Says He Committed Credit Card Heist for U.S. Government

The hacker who orchestrated the biggest computer crime operation in U.S. history is alleging that the American government authorized him to do so. Last year, 29-year-old Albert Gonzalez pleaded guilty to hacking into computer systems at TJX, Office Max, Dave & Busters, Heartland Payment... Read more »

Latest Scam Claims Facebook is Deleting Accounts

Haven't you ever heard the old adage, "if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is"? Well it doesn't just apply to things that are "good" -- it works for just about anything that sounds a bit unbelievable, like that Facebook is going to close all user accounts. It's not gonna happen. That... Read more »

Florida Man Guns Down SWAT Team Robot With an AK-47 -- Naked

What's crazier than locking yourself in your house and threatening to kill anyone that crosses its threshold? Walking out of your house to shoot a robot with an AK-47. Naked. While being videotaped. A Florida man accomplished all of those feats, during a recent standoff with a camera-equipped... Read more »

About Time! 'This American Life' Finally Goes iPad

Not to make gross generalizations, but it is pretty amazing that 'This American Life,' the NPR talk show hosted by hip geek Ira Glass, took this long to get to the iPad. NPR and iPads should have an intrinsic relationship, like Volkswagens and Macs, Starbucks and the New York Times. Once again,... Read more »

Upper Deck Evolution 'Cards' Use LCD Screens to Play Highlight Reels

We thought collecting baseball cards went out with grunge, but apparently we were wrong. Upper Deck (one of the card companies that isn't Topps) is still clinging to life and pushing the envelope of what can legitimately be called a "card." The half-inch thick Evolution Series holds a... Read more »

Pandora Provides Detailed Data, Including GPS Coordinates, to Advertisers

After it was revealed earlier this week that several smartphone app makers, including Pandora, were being targeted by a federal grand jury in New Jersey for illegally gathering and distributing user information, security firm Veracode decided to do its own analysis. It took a look at the Android... Read more »

With Schools Turning to the Web for K-12 Education, Quality is a Concern

Online courses have become an accepted fact of college life. But more and more school districts are turning to Web-based learning for lower grade levels, especially as a way for struggling high school students to make up courses they've failed or missed. The online classes aren't only for those... Read more »

Cell Phone Evolution, Say Farewell to Voicemail

Here are a few of the other noteworthy things we saw today on our never-ending journey through the wild, wild Web. Read: Voicemail, an Obituary Do not leave me a voicemail. I will not listen to it. I'm going to press the corresponding number to delete your message as soon as the... Read more »

Surreal Gaming in 'Machinarium' Creator's Latest, 'Osada'

This week we're showing love to the latest games from some of our favorite designers. These are creators that we've come to expect the best from -- and this week's picks certainly live up our expectations. If you've played either of Amanita Design's previous works -- the 'Samorost' series or... Read more »

Tony Montana Would Not Approve of a 'Scarface'-Motivated Killing

Well, this is the world that we live in now: 22-year-old Texan Alejandro Garcia pleaded guilty to shooting his then-17-year-old cousin over who would get the next turn to play 'Scarface: The World Is Yours.' The world certainly doesn't belong to either cousin now; Garcia has a sentence of 30... Read more »

Geminoids Meet Their Meaty Doppelgangers

Which ones are the humans and which are the robots? We're not even sure the participants in this terrifying photo op know the answer to that question. Three nightmarish Geminoids were brought together with the flesh bags they were modeled after, presumably so the 'bots could learn a bit more... Read more »

Turn Your Friends Into Stock With Empire Avenue's Social Game

Social networking is a numbers game. Not only do you try to get the "right" amount of friends on Facebook and a good follower/followed ratio on Twitter, but it's all about wielding some social currency: who knows whom, where you get invited, if you'll get the scoop on the latest celeb death.... Read more »

GameStop Unveils New Facebook Store

GameStop opened a new store today on Facebook. The shop, accessible via GameStop's Facebook page, allows users to purchase games online, read product reviews, watch trailers and find nearby GameStop outlets. Fans of the retailer can also "like" and share specific games on Facebook, and earn... Read more »

U.S. Might Use Facebook, Twitter to Broadcast Terrorism Alerts

The U.S. government is considering using Facebook and Twitter to issue terrorism warnings, as part of its revamped terror alert system. According to a draft of a Homeland Security plan obtained by the AP, the government would broadcast the warnings via Facebook and Twitter "when appropriate," and... Read more »

A Baker's Dozen Tips for Spring Cleaning Your Mac

Whether you're a recent convert, ambivalent veteran or one of those hardened Apple fanboys, let us remind you: a Mac, like any other computer, needs to be maintained. No, you probably don't need anti-virus software (yet), you may never have to fiddle with registry editing, and you'll likely never... Read more »

Chicago Catholic Church Warns Parents About Facebook

While some outlets may bash Chicago's St. John Cantius Roman Catholic church for warning its parishioners of Facebook's moral dangers, we won't. After all, the church's clergy didn't forbid Facebook; they just declared that it facilitates vanity and dishonesty (specifically in children), allowing... Read more »

Future of Online Customer Support Looks Like 'Minority Report'

Online shopping can be a pretty solitary endeavor, unless you're shopping at B Reel's 3Live Shop. On the 3Live Shop, shoppers are invited to start video calls with sales reps, who can guide them through their purchases, using touchscreens to drag different products into the frame. According to... Read more »

Google Adding 'Channels' to YouTube, Looking to Compete With TV

Google is looking to make some major changes to YouTube in an attempt to keep up with the expansion in services that allow users to stream content directly to their TVs. Sources close to the matter told the Wall Street Journal that YouTube is planning to introduce new channels on the site,... Read more »

New Dating Site Blurs the Line Between Capitalism and Prostitution

Somewhere near the intersection of online dating and unabashed prostitution is where you can find -- a new dating site where cash trumps compatibility. Site founder Brandon Wade compares to eBay. "When you see a hot single you want to date, just make an... Read more »

Girl Rides a Roomba, iPhone 'Tilt' Easter Egg

Here are a few of the other noteworthy things we saw today on our never-ending journey through the wild, wild Web. Read: Tumblr's Mark Coatney Tired of Sites that Disrespect Commenters If you look at most websites the commenting page is down way at the bottom after all the links to other... Read more »

Old School Meets New School in Locomalito's 'Viriax'

This week we're showing love to the latest games from some of our favorite designers. These are creators that we've come to expect the best from - and this week's picks certainly live up our expectations. Designer Locomalito can always be trusted to deliver the goods when it comes to games... Read more »

Elderly Woman Takes Out Armenian Internet, Faces Jail Time

A 75-year-old woman in the Democratic Republic of Georgia is facing criminal charges after she damaged a fiber-optic cable responsible for providing Internet service to neighboring Armenia. The elderly woman was scavenging for copper on March 28th when she managed to cut the connection for the... Read more »

Anonymous' Latest Target: Itself

It appears that the hacktivists at Anonymous are struggling to cope with the group's expansion. The list of organizations, companies and individuals targeted by the collective has started to grow out of control. That's mainly due to its decentralized nature, allowing any member to pick a target... Read more »

Richard Branson to Penetrate Ocean's Depths With 'Virgin Oceanic' Mission

After unveiling his 'Necker Nymph' submersible last year, Richard Branson is taking his underwater adventures to the next level, with 'Virgin Oceanic' -- an initiative to explore the deepest parts of the world's oceans. Over the next two years, Branson hopes to penetrate the deepest... Read more »

Overdue Reviews: 'Strange Days'

Overdue Reviews takes a critical look at tech-centric films that are well-loved, well-loathed or eye-rollingly obscure. When Kathryn Bigelow's 'Strange Days' was released in 1995, it didn't even break $8 million at the box office; with a production budget of $42 million, it was by all... Read more »

MPAA Files Lawsuit Against Movie Rental Start-Up

Six movie studios have filed a federal lawsuit against Zediva -- a movie rental start-up that allows users to watch films shortly after they're released on DVD, but before they become available on services like Netflix or Redbox. According to Zediva's founder and chief executive, Venky... Read more »

FBI Turns to Crowdsourcing to Crack Unsolved Code

Crowdsourcing unsolved codes has been done before. (Remember the San Francisco Chronicle appealing to the masses to crack the Zodiac killer's mystery missives?) But, it hasn't been done often by the FBI. So it is strange to see the Bureau open up a 12-year-old case, in which a man was found... Read more »

Dish Network Buys What's Left of Blockbuster

Dish Network has agreed to buy Blockbuster more than six months after the movie rental chain filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Dish "won" a bankruptcy court auction for the company, with a winning bid of $320 million, although negotiations pushed the final price down to a paltry $228 million. Tom... Read more »

Netflix to Stream 'Mad Men' Reruns, Ease Our Withdrawal Symptoms

Netflix has obtained the rights to stream 'Mad Men' reruns in the U.S. as part of a new deal with Lionsgate, the show's producer. The agreement allows Netflix to stream all seven seasons of the series, including the four that have already aired, and the three final seasons. That's 91 episodes in... Read more »

Obama, Zuckerberg to Hold Town Hall Meeting on Facebook

The White House has announced that President Obama will hold a Town Hall meeting later this month, alongside Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and company COO Sheryl Sandberg. The event, scheduled for April 20th, will be held at Facebook headquarters and live-streamed via the social network. You can... Read more »

House Moves to Repeal Net Neutrality Rules, Obama's Veto Looms

The House of Representatives has approved the procedures for a joint resolution that would overturn the FCC's controversial Net neutrality rules. The resolution (PDF) is scheduled for a vote on Thursday in the GOP-controlled House. If it passes, it would then move on to the Democratic-controlled... Read more »

An Augmented Reality Toy, How to Speed Up Firefox

Here are a few of the other noteworthy things we saw today on our never-ending journey through the wild, wild Web. Read: Photojournalism in the Age of New Media While verification can be a minor obstacle for photojournalists using social media as a resource, it lies at the heart of... Read more »

Play the Incredible 'Iconoclasts', Then Help Finish It

This week we're showing love to the latest games from some of our favorite designers. These are creators that we've come to expect the best from - and this week's picks certainly live up our expectations, leaving us fiending for what's next. Anyone who's played designer Konjak's previous... Read more »

Britain's Oldest Working TV Up for Sale 75 Years After Purchase

For a little over $8,000, you could be the proud owner of a 75-year-old Marconi television set -- the oldest working TV in Britain. The family of the set's late owner, G.B. Davis, is putting it up for auction later this month in London, where the set will likely sell for more than the $8K experts... Read more »

Urdu Translation Software Understands Nuance

A computer scientist at the University of Buffalo has developed a new program capable of taking automated translation beyond the literal. Rohini Srihari began working on her software in the hopes of improving computerized translations of Urdu -- a linguistic blend of Hindi and Persian that is... Read more »

Twitter's New Homepage Signals a Maturing Service

Twitter is rolling out a new homepage, which suggests a subtle shift in focus for the service. The new landing page asks you to "follow your interests," with a strip of suggested accounts that lean heavily toward news services and "industry experts." Overall, the design is cleaner and more... Read more »

Michigan Man Finds Kidney Donor on Facebook

Jeff Kurze is a 35-year-old man from Michigan who suffers from chronic interstitial nephritis -- a condition that led to kidney failure and forced him to go through dialysis treatments three times per day. Kurze was in dire need of a kidney transplant, but his doctors told him it would... Read more »

David Bowie's 'Golden Years' to be Rereleased as Remixable iOS App

David Bowie's 'Golden Years,' from his classic album 'Station to Station,' is coming to the Apple App Store on June 6th. You'll have the ability to remix the song by manipulating eight of the original instrument tracks, including vocals, guitar and percussion. Users will even be able to... Read more »

Gucci IT Employee Faces Serious Jail Time for Hacking Former Employer

A former Gucci IT worker is facing a 50 count indictment and a wide range of charges (including computer tampering, identity theft, falsifying business records, computer trespass and unauthorized use of a computer) after he broke into the company's systems and wreaked havoc. While an employee at... Read more »

Is Apple Ditching the Physical Home Button on the iPod Touch?

As any owner of an aging iOS device can tell you, the iconic Home button does not stand up well to long-term abuse. A leaked photo, purportedly of a fifth generation iPod Touch, suggests that Apple may finally be joining the rest of the gadget industry and switching to capacitive touch buttons.... Read more »

Manning Used Data-Mining Software to Obtain Documents, Army Claims

Army Pfc. Bradley Manning, the man suspected of supplying WikiLeaks with thousands of confidential military documents, used unauthorized data-mining software to obtain the information, according to the Army. The Army alleges that Manning installed the software on computers connected to the Secret... Read more »

Court Dismisses Challenges to Net Neutrality Rules, Leaves Door Open for Future Suits

Challenges to the FCC's new Net neutrality rules filed by Verizon and MetroPCS have been dismissed by a federal appeals court judge. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia tossed out the cases on a technicality. Since the rules had not yet been published in the federal register, it... Read more »

Facebook iPhone App Update Lets You Unfriend on the Go

Facebook released an update to its iPhone app yesterday, bringing event check-ins and enhanced map functionality. Rather than relying on Facebook Places, users can now check in at events and use Google Maps to visualize where their friends have checked in. And, perhaps best of all, the update allows... Read more »

Royal Wedding Won't Be Filmed in 3-D, We Cry Lifelike Tears of Sorrow

The royal wedding of Kate Middleton and Prince William is swelling to an unceasing, deafening and overexposed roar. We Yanks have been barraged with imitation wedding rings, iTunes soundtracks of the event and commemorative plates galore (SO. MANY. COMMEMORATIVE. PLATES.) But one sensory assault we... Read more »

Man Scams Condé Nast Out of $8 Million With a Single E-mail

The U.S. Attorney's Office in New York has filed a lawsuit on behalf of Condé Nast after a scammer named Andy Surface swindled the company out of $8 million. Posing as a rep from printing company Quad/Graphics Inc., Surface sent an electronic payment form to Condé Nast in early... Read more »

New Jersey Feds Call Grand Jury Investigation Into Smartphone Apps

Federal prosecutors in New Jersey have called for a grand jury investigation to determine whether or not smartphone apps have been illegally gathering and spreading users' personal information. According to the Wall Street Journal, federal authorities are looking into whether or not app... Read more »

Professor Shuts Student's Laptop in Class, Gets Arrested for Assault

A professor at Georgia's Valdosta State University was arrested on assault charges last week, after shutting a laptop on a student's hand. Frank J. Rybicki, an assistant professor of media studies, reportedly became angry with a female student who seemed to be surfing the Web on her laptop rather... Read more »

Teacher Adapts 'Minecraft' for the Classroom

The cult hit 'Minecraft' stands out from the current crop of video games as perhaps the most malleable, and its latest adaptation is as a classroom aid. Computer teacher Joel Levin at Columbia Grammar and Preparatory School has adapted the game to teach an entire unit to his first and second... Read more »

Building TRON's Computer Interfaces, Augmented Reality in Your OJ

Here are a few of the other noteworthy things we saw today on our never-ending journey through the wild, wild Web. Read: In Praise of Distraction The catch is that plenty of new research suggests that forcing Internet-addicted employees to go cold turkey may make them less productive, not... Read more »

'Hot Throttle': a Terrifying Vision of Racing

This week we're showing love to the latest games from some of our favorite designers. These are creators from whom we've come to expect the best -- and this week's picks certainly live up our expectations. Your writer likes to think of designer Cactus Squid as the David Lynch of gaming. As... Read more »

NYC Renters Can Find the Worst Landlords on Craigslist

Not even 48 hours ago, your author completed one of the most arduous, mind-and-body-destroying adventures any New Yorker can undertake: moving within the five boroughs. With space at an ongoing premium, the city's horrid rental reputation is well-earned and frankly nightmarish. (I actually had... Read more »

Paying For an Online Reputation: Fair, Or Gaming the System?

For everything we do now -- from scheduling a mover to choosing a restaurant for a first date -- we turn to the Web. Yelp, Twitter, Facebook, Citysearch and even Google immediately pull up reviews and hear what the collective voice of the Internet has to say. In fact, when scheduling a doctor,... Read more »

Anonymous Takes Down in Response to Suit

The hacktivists at Anonymous have lately set their sights on Sony. The collective's latest action is in response to the company's lawsuit against hacker George Holtz, also known as GeoHot. Holtz previously published the code necessary to jailbreak the PS3, enabling users to run homebrew software... Read more »

Facebook Photoshop Scam Spreading Like Wildfire

Share Clicking on Facebook links is dangerous business. At least a few of aren't aware of this sad fact; otherwise, the latest scam Facebook app wouldn't be spreading at the alarming rate of almost 90,000 clicks per hour. M86 Security labs reported the latest link hoax, which spreads quickly... Read more »

Conservative Group Turns to Wikis to Take on Obama

Conservative group Crossroads GPS is turning to the wiki model of crowdsourcing information for its latest project, called Wikiaccountability. The site targets the actions of the Obama administration, encouraging participants to file Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests and post the... Read more »

Spanish Man Escapes Prison With a Fax... Again

A 57-year-old Spanish man is back in prison today, after using something called a fax machine to break free. The inmate, Juan Carlos Serna, reportedly got his wife to send a fax to the jail, posing as an official order from a regional court. The letter demanded that Serna be released, and was... Read more »

Obscure Canadian Band Mistakes Spam for 100K Illegal Downloads

According to their Twitter page, One Soul Thrust is a "groove-oriented purist rock band from Canada," with "a female singer who whispers and wails like an angel sighing sass in your ear." But One Soul Thrust aren't very well-known. They have fewer than 300 followers on Twitter, and their YouTube... Read more »

For Chinese Festival, Even Paper iPad 2s are in Short Supply

During the Qingming festival (also known as Ancestor Day or Tomb-Sweeping Day), Chinese communities burn effigies of money and luxury items to honor their ancestors. This year, iPad 2 replicas are among the popular items that people are purchasing to offer to their deceased relatives. But,... Read more »

Apple, Intel Vow to Stop Using Conflict Minerals From Africa

Apple and Intel have both decided to stop using conflict minerals to manufacture products, as part of the Conflict-Free Smelter program. Conflict minerals include valuable commodities such as gold, titanium, tungsten and tin, which generate massive revenues used to fund wars in Central Africa,... Read more »

New Book on Google Reveals Details on China, CEO's Political Donations

In his new book, 'In the Plex,' tech journalist Steven Levy traces the history of Google and exposes some juicy details about the company along the way. The New York Times recently reviewed an advanced copy of the book, and highlighted some of its most interesting revelations. Eric Schmidt, for... Read more »

TweetForger: Your Lawsuit-Attracting Impersonation Site of the Day

TweetForger does exactly what it sounds like. Enter your mark's handle and some lulz-worthy copy, and blammo: You're all set up with a fake tweet. Not that anyone with a basic grasp of Photoshop couldn't already do this, but it's a good time-waster to kick off the week. (Apologies to both Sarah... Read more »

Google's 'Gmail Motion' Prank is Even Less Funny Now That It's Real

Google's Gmail Motion hoax might not be so far-fetched after all. A group of post-doc students at USC's Institute for Creative Technologies has turned Google's April Fools' joke into reality, using their software engineering skills and Microsoft Kinect motion sensors. They even incorporated... Read more »

'Porn Wikileaks' Reveals Adult Stars' Real Names, Home Addresses

The adult film industry is up in arms over 'Porn WikiLeaks' -- a new site offering the real names, birth dates and other private information belonging to more than 15,000 adult actors and actresses. As Gawker reported last week, Porn WikiLeaks obtained this information from a patient database... Read more »

Massive Data Breach Leaks Customer Names, Email Addresses

A cyber-attack on an online marketing firm has impacted a wide array of companies and customers in what could be the largest data breach in U.S. history. The online marketer, Epsilon, sends out more than 40 billion email ads and offers each year, typically to users who register with a company's... Read more »

Thunderbolt Outselling iPhone 4 in Verizon Stores?

There were some who speculated that the arrival of the iPhone 4 on the Verizon network would spell not just certain death for AT&T, but put an end to Android's reign atop the smartphone heap at Big Red. So far, though, neither of those predictions has come to pass. AT&T has not suffered a... Read more »

Switched Roundup: $16 Million Cable Bill, The Biebs Takes Over YouTube

Our top 10 most popular posts from this past week: Time Warner Sends Ohio Man $16 Million Cable Bill 'ICorrect' Helps Celebrities Debunk Myths, Refute Rumors Pro Tip: Don't Sell Military Spy Drones on eBay 'The Social Network' Frame by Frame, Disable Ping to Save Your iPhone... Read more »

Tech Could Be Key in Fight Against Rape in Haiti

Documenting and counting all of the rapes and sexual assaults occurring in Haiti is difficult, if not impossible. The U.N. has estimated that as many as 50-percent of the women living in the country's shantytowns have been subject to assault -- although some critics (including the Telegraph's... Read more »

James Cameron to Shoot 'Avatar' Sequels at Higher Frame Rates, Aiming for 'Reality'

During an address at CinemaCon in Las Vegas yesterday, James Cameron introduced what he considers to be the next frontier in filmmaking: faster film projection rates. It may not sound quite as sexy as some other cinematic techniques that Cameron has pioneered, but, according to the 'Avatar'... Read more »

Eric Schmidt (Slightly) More Popular Than Steve Jobs, Employee Survey Says

Eric Schmidt may no longer be the CEO of Google, but he's still more popular at his office than Steve Jobs is at his. Schmidt finished his Google tenure with an approval rating of 96-percent, according to an employee survey conducted by That score was barely enough to edge out Jobs,... Read more »

The History Behind 'Super Mario Bros. 2,' Robot Folds Paper Airplanes

Here are a few of the other noteworthy things we saw today on our never-ending journey through the wild, wild Web. Read: Roger Ebert: 'Source Code' Review What we have here, setting aside the fancy editing involving the time travel, is something that looks like hard science fiction. That's... Read more »

The Underwater Odyssey of 'Deep Sea Diver'

Spring's barely arrived, yet we're already looking ahead to summer and the prospect of lounging on the beach with a trashy paperback in hand. In the meantime, we've picked a few of our favorite nautically themed games to satisfy our longing for the sea. While it may not be the most accurate... Read more »

U-Move Wii Controller Will Keep You Moving, Won't Take No For an Answer

The U-Move nunchuck controller is like a drill sergeant for the Wii. This little peripheral uses a pedometer to keep track of every step you take, and will let you know exactly how many calories you burn while playing any Wii or Wii-Fit game. Thing is, you'll have to keep moving at all... Read more »

Chicago Teacher Accused of Ridiculing 7-Year-Old Student on Facebook

A public school teacher in Chicago is under investigation for allegedly ridiculing one of her students on Facebook. Last week, 7-year-old Ukailya Lofton attached Jolly Rancher candies to the ends of her braids in celebration of her school's picture day. The hairstyle reportedly amused Lofton's... Read more »

Lawyer Files $1 Billion Lawsuit Against Facebook, Zuckerberg Over Palestinian Intifada Page

Earlier this week, Facebook pulled a controversial page calling for a Third Palestinian Intifada after facing intense pressure and criticism from Israeli politicians and organizations like the Anti-Defamation League. When it eventually decided to remove the page, the social network explained the... Read more »

Oops: YouTube's April Fools' Button Also Makes Horrible Things More Horrible

YouTube's April Fools' gag -- a "1911" button that turns any video into an old-timey silent film, complete with syncopated piano and sepia tone -- maybe isn't so hilarious for all videos. Gawker points to 9/11 footage, the Rodney King beating, WikiLeaks' infamous Apache helicopter footage and... Read more »

James Franco Mercifully Abandons Twitter

We pray to whatever higher power there might be that this is not some April Fool's prank: James Franco has deleted his Twitter account. No more feuding with Bruce Vilanch or bravely taking on a college newspaper via TwitPic. Franco will now have to go back to his 13 day jobs, four degree programs... Read more »

More Fox Shows Coming to Netflix, Including 'The Wonder Years'

The Netflix library just keeps getting bigger and bigger. Today the company announced that it struck a deal with Fox to bring older shows like 'The Wonder Years' (huzzah!) and 'Ally McBeal' (meh) to the streaming media service, as well as more recent titles like 'Glee' and the FX series 'Sons of... Read more »