Wednesday, February 29, 2012
With the tagline 'The easiest way to get a girlfriend is to already have one,' Cloud Girlfriend promises to be a very interesting startup indeed. The brains of the operation, David Fuhriman, speaking to CNET, says it's all about fulfilling Maslow's hierarchy of needs. "CloudGirlfriend.com can fulfill Maslow's higher needs, even though the users know that the interaction is virtual. They will interact with a real person and see real profile images of the girl with whom they interact. This interaction can build confidence and esteem as well as provide real training experiences in navigating a friendship and a relationship."
Our concern, of course, is that it's very nearly April 1. We're also worried by the fact that Fuhriman has a name that sounds ominously like a social subculture that we've grown strangely attracted to here in the Download Squad bunker.
Finally, just stop and think about it for a second. Because your cloud girlfriend will be entirely virtual, she could be based anywhere. She could be underage -- or overage -- or she might be someone who you know in real life. She could even be a relative of yours, and you'd never know.
Let's not forget this is the Internet we're talking about, folks. Worst case scenario, she could turn out to be a hairy, male truck driver from Texas. Such as... your dad, perhaps?
And yes, you can already make Windows 7 behave this way if you like. Over at CodePlex, there's a little program called Aura that parks itself in your system tray and automatically adjusts your window borders to compliment your wallpaper images. The effect is quite nice, and you can try it out by minimizing your windows and cycling through your theme's wallpapers (right click on your desktop and choose next desktop background).
Update: In case you're still confused, one of Nokia's chief camera experts Damian Dinning gives a thorough walkthrough of the technology in the video after the break.Permalink | | Email this | Comments
Sharp's AQUOS SH-06D will most probably never leave the Land of The Rising Sun. That doesn't stop us, however, from lusting after its 4.5-inch. This 720p display also manages 3D, spread across a slinky 10mm frame that houses NTT DoCoMo's recently launched NOTTV streaming broadcast system. The device arrives in pink, white and blue options -- all provided with a matching dock and built-in aerial. Like several eastern phones with the ability to tune into live TV broadcasts, the AQUOS SH-06D has its own extendable antenna built into the side. The device, despite its largely plastic build felt solid in our hand, although the minuscule power and volume buttons proved difficult to manipulate at times. The screen technology is still a closely guarded secret, but it aims to bring both 3D functionality alongside a crisp HD display performance during two-dimensional antics. Viewing angles are great -- a welcome trend we've seen on plenty of handsets at this year's MWC -- but the heavily customized Android 2.3 skin took away some of that sheen. Applications are stowed away into several drop-down menus that took some getting used to -- regardless of any language barrier. Sharp hasn't revealed any plans to join its Japanese competitors in the frenzied global smartphone market, but some import options wouldn't go amiss. See why in our hands-on right after the break.
Sean Cooper contributed to this report
Gallery: Sharp AQUOS SH-06D hands-on
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At Mobile World Congress 2012, Texas Instruments was demonstrating a stylus that communicates its distance from a tablet over ultrasonic frequencies. The tablet in this demo has a microphone in each of its four corners, which can pinpoint exactly where the stylus is pointing at the screen, even if you're not touching it. Of course, the stylus also works perfectly well along the two standard planes, but it's particularly cool when you pull back and the model correspondingly zooms out.
The goal is to get as much sand as you possibly can out of the maze and into the bucket at the bottom of the screen. You need to rotate your maze every which way to get the sand rolling around it. You then try to direct the sand to one of the exits of the maze, and hopefully into the bucket. It took me several tries to actually get sand into the bucket, but that might be due to the fact that I didn't even realize the bucket was there at first. Things improved significantly after that.
As you level up, the mazes get more complicated, with moving parts and other things making your life more difficult. Once you manage to get through all these obstacles and get enough sand into your bucket, you can move on.
As I mentioned, this is not an easy game, but it's highly addictive. The graphics remind me of some long lost game from the 80s, but this just proves that you don't need super graphics and crazy sound to make a game work. There's a soothing guitar track playing in the background and that's it, as far as I could hear, and you can enjoy it just as much with no sound at all.
If you like a fun physics challenge, don't miss out on this one!
You get to play with a bunch of random strangers in real-time, and make up sentences out of a pre-set collection of words, including some fairly naughty ones, and all players' nicknames. As you can imagine, some of the results are not child-friendly.
There are ten rounds to a game. Once a round is done, players get to vote for their favorite sentence from that round. You can't vote for your own creation, of course. There's in-game chat, too.
I think the vocabulary could be made a bit more eclectic, but even as it is, it's a nice way to spend a few minutes and meet random strangers on the Internet (always a thrilling experience).
Built on the Windows Server 2008 R2 base, Home Server 2011 features a simpler dashboard, a better backup solution, dead simple remote access to your home computers, and Silverlight-powered remote media streaming. For a more detailed look at what's new in Windows Home Server 2011, you check out Microsoft's official breakdown.
Drive Extender, of course, didn't resurface for the final release of WHS 2011 and that's something a lot of power users are still pretty irked about. Even without Extender, Windows Home Server offers a boatload of useful functionality and might be a good fit for your home network. Manufacturers have already begun building hardware, so you should be able to pick up a device in the very near future.
An evaluation download for Windows Home Server 2011 will be made available in April -- we'll let you know when the links are ready.
VMware's official blog post makes it clear that the company wasn't so much interested in Mozy as a consumer offering. Rather, it's the inner workings of Mozy which piqued VMware's curiosity. CTO Steve Herrod says, "Over the past 5 years, Mozy has built one of the best examples of a globally distributed, large-scale cloud offering." He adds that the move will allow VMware to "further ramp our own cloud-related learning and accelerate new IP, scale, and capabilities" of its existing offerings.
Existing Mozy customers don't need to worry, of course. VMware has pledged to continue running Mozy's service without interruption.
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