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The Spiral Source: Technology at its best

Falling through the Earth

The Internet Explorer 7 tax

Kogan blog

Today at Kogan we’ve implemented the world’s first “Internet Explorer 7 Tax”. The new 6.8% tax comes into effect today on all products purchased from Kogan.com by anyone still insistent on using the antique browser.

But don’t worry, unlike other taxes, we’re making it easy to get around this one with a simple upgrade away from IE7 :).

I think this is a great idea, but why stop at 7? Internet Explorer 8 and 9 also exist.

The worst article on the internet

Wall Street Journal: CIOs Beware: New Macbook Pro Could Drive More Bandwidth Use

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article incorrectly said that the higher resolution Retina displays of the new iPad and forthcoming Macbook Pro computers would increase consumption of network bandwidth, thus slowing performance of corporate networks. Higher resolution screens do not in and of themselves consume more network bandwidth. Some analysts have suggested that owners of devices with high-resolution screens will likely consume more video and HD video, which would result in higher bandwidth consumption. This article has been substantially recast to reflect this change.

Watch out. All of those extra pixels take up way more bandwidth!

Ice Cream Sandwiches are hard to make part deux

Sony: Update on Ice Cream Sandwich rollout for Xperia™ smartphones

In regards to Xperia PLAY, after extensive in house testing with our developer teams and working with our partners, we have concluded that a consistent and stable experience, particularly with gaming, cannot be guaranteed for this smartphone on Ice Cream Sandwich – therefore, we will not make the Android 4.0 upgrade available for Xperia PLAY.

This decision was also verified when we received similar feedback from the developer community; both experienced developers and advanced users, along with game content providers following our ICS beta ROM for unlocked Xperia PLAY smartphones.

Our priority has and always will be, to provide the best possible user experience on Xperia smartphones. In this instance the ICS upgrade would have compromised stability, where we look to ensure a quality gaming experience with games optimized and developed for Xperia PLAY”

Sad news for the four people who bought one. But who didn’t see this coming?

Facebook, Instagram, and getting the big picture

April 9, 2012: Facebook buys Instagram to the tune of $1 billion.

May 24, 2012: Facebook releases their own camera app, which, at face value, looks like an Instagram competitor. 

I don’t think that the two are that much alike. Yes, the Facebook Camera app has filters, but it’s self-contained to the Facebook ecosystem. You can only see the pictures from people with whom you’re friends with, and that’s the case with sharing. With Instagram, on the other, you can view only your Instagram feed but share on Twitter in addition to Facebook. Again, it’s self-contained, but there are overlaps that exist. 

Dan Frommer from SplatF got this right. But it’s easy to miss the point entirely.

Most valuable brands in the world

Business Insider: The 28 Most Valuable Brands In The World

It’s no surprise that Apple sits atop the list, but the fascinating is the $67 billion margin between them and number 2, IBM. A full $67 billion, which is almost as much as AT&T, sitting at seventh.

  • Apple – $183 billion
  • IBM – $116 billion
  • Google – $107.9

Assassin’s Creed 3 ‘pre-alpha’ footage

Get ready to change your pants.

$99 Xbox with a 2-year subscription

Screen Shot 2012 05 07 at 12 38 02 PM

4 GB Xbox with 2 years of Xbox Live Gold (without subscription) = $419.99.

4 GB Xbox with 2 years of Xbox Live Gold (with subscription) = $458.76.

Edit: there’s an early termination fee, and it’s super shitty.

The most popular Android tablet is still keeping its identity secret

Android tablet market breakdown

Previously on The Spiral Source… The most interesting Android tablet is keeping its identity secret

Shitty article of the week

Forbes: Five Signs That Apple Is A Bubble

Right off the bat:

Apple is Apple because of Steve Jobs. Steve Jobs is gone. Unless we are prepared to suddenly de-deify the god of technology quickly, how can we expect Apple to maintain its supernatural talents now that its mastermind has passed away? Great men do not have great successors.

Of course Apple will never continue this momentum forever. Of course Steve Jobs made Apple what it is today. But — and that’s a big “but” — remember, Apple isn’t made of thousands of employees, all emulating Jobs. And to think otherwise makes your argument fallacious.


It’s a toy company. A toy company can’t be the U.S.’ most valuable company for long–that only happens in humorous SF and ‘Willy Wonka’ style stories.

Absolutely. Laptops are toys. Phones are toys. Tablets are toys.

Google Drive

Google: Introducing Google Drive… yes, really

Worst. Kept. Secret. Second only to the PSP Go.

Cartoon laws of physics

Cartoon Laws of Physics

Cartoon Law I

Any body suspended in space will remain in space until made aware of its situation.

Cartoon Law III

Any body passing through solid matter will leave a perforation conforming to its perimeter.

How engines work

If you’d like to see how all of the different types of engines work, this site is pretty cool.

Screen Shot 2012 04 23 at 4 10 52 PM

The Atlantic interviews Jonathan Blow

The Atlantic: The Most Dangerous Gamer

 “It just drives home how fictional money is,” Blow said, squinting against the unseasonably bright December sun. “One day I’m looking at my bank account and there’s not much money, and the next day there’s a large number in there and I’m rich. In both cases, it’s a fictional number on the computer screen, and the only reason that I’m rich is because somebody typed a number into my bank account.” 

Jonathan Blow is contentious, oft called a douche, but wildly fascinating.

Adobe CS6 pricing

TechCrunch: Adobe Officially Unveils CS6 And Its $49/Month All-Inclusive Creative Cloud Subscription Service

Photoshop can’t even handle rendering this crazy table here, I don’t think.

‘Portal’ turret goes skydiving

These things are adorable

10 million in 10 days

TechCrunch: Instagram’s User Count Now At 40 Million, Saw 10 Million New Users In Last 10 Days

Since the launch of its Android app, Instagram’s user base grew from 30 to 40 million. That’s over 1,000,000 new users a day.

Now, I’m sure it’s not all Android users — buzz factor alone will drive new iPhone users to download, too — but compared to the “outcry” of people upset over the Facebook deal, it’s still impressive. Although, it could be a very vocal minority. It’s a crying shame that we’ll probably never see those numbers.

Google tests augmented-reality glasses

NYT: Google Begins Testing Its Augmented-Reality Glasses

One person who had used the glasses said: “They let technology get out of your way. If I want to take a picture I don’t have to reach into my pocket and take out my phone; I just press a button at the top of the glasses and that’s it.”

Project Glass is some impressive tech. Although, I’d be way more into these if they resembled more like the Dragon Ball Z scouters. You know the ones I’m talking about.

Dell stops selling Venue Pro in the U.S.

PC World: Dell Ends Smartphone Sales in the US

This isn’t necessarily interesting news for many, but it is for me.

From the leaks many moons ago and its “Lightning” codename, I loved this phone. I bought it — twice — and I still loved it. There’s one on my desk as I’m writing this now, and — guess what? — I love it.

Jason Perlow is sick of Android

ZDNet: I’m sick to death of Android

And I’ve also decided that until the support situation substantially improves, I am no longer going to recommend Android-based products to my friends, family and colleagues. I’ll point them towards Apple’s iOS and Microsoft’s Windows Phone instead.

Already there.