Spreading around the WIRED office this week is this HTML5 Game Boy emulator built for iPhone browsers. Apple doesn’t allow unauthorized emulators on the App Store, although the relatively open nature of the store allows people to sneak them on there for a few days before they get too popular and Apple pulls them down.
So get after it, quick!
Four tech giants embroiled in the government’s secret PRISM collection program reported today that they had received classified national security demands for the contents of at least 59,000 user accounts during the first half of 2013.
In the wake of a legal battle to provide more transparency about the number of government national security requests they receive for customer information, Yahoo reported that between January and June last year, the government sought content for between 30,000 and 40,000 user accounts, mostly using classified court orders from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.
Google reported that it received FISC requests for content on between 9,000 and 10,000 accounts during the same period.
Chris McKinlay was folded into a cramped fifth-floor cubicle in UCLA’s math sciences building, lit by a single bulb and the glow from his monitor. It was 3 in the morning, the optimal time to squeeze cycles out of the supercomputer in Colorado that he was using for his PhD dissertation. (The subject: large-scale data processing and parallel numerical methods.) While the computer chugged, he clicked open a second window to check his OkCupid inbox.
McKinlay, a lanky 35-year-old with tousled hair, was one of about 40 million Americans looking for romance through websites like Match.com, J-Date, and e-Harmony, and he’d been searching in vain since his last breakup nine months earlier. He’d sent dozens of cutesy introductory messages to women touted as potential matches by OkCupid’s algorithms. Most were ignored; he’d gone on a total of six first dates.
On that early morning in June 2012, his compiler crunching out machine code in one window, his forlorn dating profile sitting idle in the other, it dawned on him that he was doing it wrong. He’d been approaching online matchmaking like any other user. Instead, he realized, he should be dating like a mathematician.
Nineteen eighty-four was not like 2014. When Steve Jobs launched the Macintosh, he had to generate excitement about a product — a computer — that was unfamiliar to most people, if not downright scary. His creation would eventually entice them into changing their minds, but first, they had to be intrigued enough to learn about it.
The Macintosh was new, but the media would have to be old. There were no tech blogs, no Facebook, no Twitter, and certainly no Mac rumor websites. There were no websites at all. So Jobs had to generate his own campaign to tell the world about the computer that he would announce on January 24, 1984, 30 years ago today.
Google now owns a little piece of Apple.
Today, the web giant announced that it’s spending $3.2 billion to acquire Nest, a successful home hardware tech startup founded by Tony Fadell, one of the fathers of the Apple iPod.
Today, Nest makes internet-connected thermostats and fire detectors, but the plan is to extend its reach even further into the home. In a Google blog post, Fadell said that, with Google’s support, “Nest will be even better placed to build simple, thoughtful devices that make life easier at home, and that have a positive impact on the world.”
The announcement sparked much discussion across the web, as many joked about Google+ integration with Nest’s products and Google Ads showing up when you turn off your smoke alarm. But according to a statement Fadell delivered to TechCrunch, Nest will only use customer information for “providing and improving Nest’s products and services,” indicating it will not be used for Google’s larger advertising schemes.
That said, Google could certainly use Nest data to hone its online ads and other web services, changing its behavior according to when you’re at home and even where you happen to be in your home. The company’s Google Now service is already privy to such information.
Everyone’s always complaining about how hard it is to exercise and stay fit, especially during the holidays.
Compared to other ways that you can spend time, exercise is indeed often a chore. This is especially true when you’re talking about things that aren’t exactly exciting. Like walking. Absent the need to get somewhere or get in shape, it can be hard to imagine choosing to walk.
Walking is very good for you. Imagine if you could do it all day, while you were working. If we office drones have demonstrated anything during the past few decades, it’s that we can spend hours and hours multitasking at our desks. Given the opportunity, who wouldn’t like to work and work out at the same time?
This is Robot Restaurant, a 10 billion yen creation in the Kabukicho section of Tokyo’s Shinjuku neighborhood. Kabukicho is the city’s red light district, where the narrow, car-less streets are flanked by a seemingly endless number of towering, multi-colored, brightly backlit signs. It’s famous for its nightclubs, host and hostess clubs, short-stay hotels, and late-night eateries, but Robot Restaurant is a step beyond the usual fare.
Photos: Ariel Zambelich/WIRED