Archive for June, 2013

Under fire, Microsoft dumps Xbox One restrictions

xbox1

Microsoft's Xbox One is scheduled to be released in November. (Microsoft)

A surging tide of negative consumer sentiment has resulted in a sea change at Microsoft, who today said it would drop many restrictions announced for the upcoming Xbox One gaming console.

Multiple tech sites are reporting Microsoft is “heeding gamer feedback” and changing how the eighth-generation console, due to be released before Christmas, operates.

Gamers flooded the internet with complaints after the tech giant announced the $500 machine required an internet connection to play games, wouldn’t play used games and even required the motion-detecting Kinect sensor to be connected.

Don Mattrick, president of Microsoft’s Interactive Entertainment business, said in a blog post titled “Your Feedback Matters” that an internet connection will no longer be required to play games on the Xbox One after its initial setup, and users can share and play games like they have on the Xbox 360.

“You told us how much you …

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Farmer making bacon with marijuana-fed pigs

The notion of feeding marijuana to pigs has not been reported in North Korea. (AP Photo)

The notion of feeding marijuana to pigs has not been reported in North Korea. (AP Photo)

Party animals are quite tasty, according to reports from the Great Northwest.

Up in Washington, a state named for a U.S. president who grew hemp, at least one farmer is feeding pigs stalks from marijuana plants processed at a legal weed dispensary. He’s also feeding the pigs spent grain from the production of vodka and beer.

Why?

The “pot-bellied porkers” are allegedly happier and tastier animals. They also get fat as fast as a redolent couch potato with an expensive cable package.

Pig rancher William von Scheneidau, whose name was not made up to made this more entertaining, says the animals that eat marijuana-fed animals “gain weight 20 percent faster” while they “lie around, barely able to lift their heads.”

His customers describe the meat as “more savory” in “blind bacon tests.” It must be good; he sells out of the meat before the farm animals are even killed.

A Seattle-area TV reporter

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Snowden: ‘Truth is coming and it can’t be stopped’

Edward Snowden (AP Photo/The Guardian, File)

Edward Snowden (AP Photo/The Guardian, File)

The whistleblower behind what many call the “biggest intelligence leak in U.S. history” answered online questions today on the Guardian newspaper’s website.

Guardian reporter Glenn Greenwald, who broke the story along with the Washington Post, hosted the live Q&A that began at 11 a.m. Eastern Time.

Snowden, 29, an ex-CIA employee, is presumably still in Hong Kong after earlier this month revealing the National Security Agency is hoarding phone call data, including that of Americans who have broken no laws.

Many, including federal authorities, consider Snowden a traitor for releasing the top-secret data to reporters. Others think he’s a civil liberties hero.

What questions would you ask Snowden?

Here is a sample of questions Snowden answered. Visit the Guardian site for the complete Q&A.

Q: How many sets of documents did you make? If anything happens to you do they still exist?

A: “All I can say right now is the US Government is not …

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Furor as HGTV uses U.S. flag as tablecloth

A show featuring REALLY bad home decorating ideas has been put on hold. (HGTV)

A show featuring REALLY bad home decorating ideas has been put on hold. (HGTV)

“No one dies for a table cloth.”

That would seem to be an easy concept to grasp, but somebody at HGTV.com suggested the flag of the United States would make for festive decor during July 4 gatherings.

“Drape a large American flag over the table as a bright and festive table runner,” HGTV said. “Use a nylon flag so spills can be easily wiped off and the flag can later be hung with pride on a flag pole.”

A photo depicts plates, flowers and a jug of lemonade atop the flag. A name card on a plate indicates someone name “Barb” may be the home decorator behind all this.

Public outrage over the article and photo on the cable television channel’s website arrived as quickly and devastatingly as a bomb-toting drone.

“I am appalled that you would suggest using the flag that my brother was killed defending in Iraq as something to catch spills on a table at a cookout,” wrote one displeased American on …

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Edward Snowden: American hero, traitor or fool?

Ballerina Lindsay Mills looks for her boyfriend.  (image from lsjourney.com)

Ballerina Lindsay Mills looks for her boyfriend. (image from lsjourney.com)

“Information wants to be free,” is the oft quoted maxim. Information also wants to be expensive, according to the original quote.

Whistleblower Ed Snowden, who revealed the National Security Agency’s massive cellphone record hoarding program, likely wants to remain free. He was last seen leaving an expensive hotel in Hong Kong and will start accruing an expensive legal tab once the feds catch up to him.

Since many consider him a hero, he may get topnotch, free legal counsel.

Many consider Snowden a traitor. He did reveal classified information, after all. I’ve never worked for the NSA, but I’m thinking they made him sign a few documents that indicated it was NOT OK to download stuff at work and share it with reporters.

Some consider Snowden a fool, not for breaking the law, but for ditching his ballerina girlfriend in Hawaii. Snowden, according to published reports, did not tell the young lady WHY he …

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