Apple approves and pulls emulator from app store, Microsoft can sell Word, 3D splash and UK’s oldest working computer

  • Commodore 64 emulator is approved for iPhone…and then yanked.  In order to get approval, the developers were supposed to yank out the BASIC interpreter (because, you know, Commodore Basic is a risk to the iPhone.)  Unfortunately, all they did was hide it…and then ‘leak’ the secret to activating it.  Apple promptly yanked the application.
  • Microsoft can continue to sell Word.  They were granted a stay from the injunction that would have banned sales of the product, in its current form, next month. 
  • Windows 7 flaw found that could cause a problem.  The flaw in the SMB2 driver could cause the system to hang or ‘blue screen’.  It also affects Vista and, possibly, Windows Server 2008.
  • Three-D is making a huge splash in consumer electronics.  Sony, Panasonic and Samsung are talking 3D tech.  Sony has offered up beautiful televisions, Blu-Ray and PS3 games.  These companies seem convinced that consumers will don the funky glasses to watch movies or play games.  Where does this seem like a good idea?
  • Sony manages to actually sell a few Playstation 3 consoles.  In every market where the ‘slim’ was introduced at its new, lower price, the PS3 sold in tremendous numbers.  In Japan, where they were lucky to sell two thousand a week, they moved 152 thousand units, a 7400% increase.  Astonishing.  While the new version of the console sells in the US for a hundred dollars less, it’s sustainability is questionable.  I suspect that for the next month or so, sales will be pretty good, but I don’t think they will last.  If that console were compelling enough AND had great games, it would be selling in larger numbers than it has.  The XBOX 360, a console that is also over priced AND has the single highest failure rate of any modern consumer electronics device (worse, than, pretty much any Goldstar TV or VCR from the late 1980’s) is the number two best selling console and, despite the failure rate, has maintained its momentum.  If the Wii were not around, the 360 would be the hands down winner of this generation of consoles.  PS3 needs more than just a price cut.
  • Busch Entertainment may be sold to Blackstone. Busch Entertainment, the theme park operator that was acquired by InBev when they purchased Anheuser-Busch, has been, apparently, talking to Blackstone, another theme park operator.  Blackstone is an investment group that has several park assets, including a 50% stake in Universal Orlando and Merlin Entertainment, the owners of the Legoland chain and other European parks.  InBev stated that it would shed its non-core business when it completed the AB purchase.
  • The UK’s oldest working computer-the WITCH-is to be restored.  The WITCH, AKA the Wolverhampton Instrument for Teaching Computing, also called the Harwell Machine, consists of telephone exchange relays and 900 neon filled valves called dekatrons.  The machine, in use from 1951 until 1973, is really not much more powerful than a pocket calculator was at the time it was turned off in 1973.  It was slow, taking up to ten seconds to complete a multiplication.  It was, however, extremely reliable for the day.  It ran for ten days, unattended, over a holiday period…a remarkable achievement considering the technology involved and the time.  It used paper tape for both input and output.   The restoration is expected to take a year.
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