Tech Bacon

Because everything is better with bacon

Fossils Already? May 21, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — lfheller @ 9:02 pm
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One last art inspired post heading into the long weekend. You won’t find these fossils in a field, but artist Christopher Locke has a whole collection of fossilized electronics. Old game controllers, a Walkman, boombox, rotary phone.

And this concludes art week on Tech Bacon. Thanks for viewing…

 

Microsoft Discovers Women February 3, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — lfheller @ 8:39 am
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Okay, it’s a poor man’s version of an Onion headline but this news item posted yesterday on Dealerscope was interesting AND disturbing. Microsoft is marketing to women gamers in order to expand hardware sales.

Yawn.

The news that women play video games is about as shocking as the fact that women go to movies. Every few months or so, someone comes out with a piece of data that “discovers” this demographic as a viable market.

According to a Gannett News Service story: “We’ve sold 20 million consoles to date globally since we launched three years ago,” says Heather Snavely, Microsoft’s director of interactive entertainment business global platforms. “In order to get to the next 20 million, we need to get a new audience of women and teens. We’re going after them in ways that are different than ways we’ve done before.”

Well, different for the electronics industry anyway. Microsoft is deploying a tried and true method of selling to women — the house party. Just like Avon, Tupperware and Magic Chef, Xbox is pushing home gaming parties where hostess’ earn party packs, universal remote controls, Xbox live subscriptions and points. All to help promote the platform.

It’s great that Microsoft is paying more attention to women gamers. By many accounts, women make up the majority of gamers when including things like cell phone games, and less violent puzzles, card and word games. Now they just have to get the schmoes that populate the Xbox live to be more inclusive. Game blogs report varying levels of prejudice ranging from girl players simply being ignored to outright hostility. Forums like Gamerchix might help and house parties are interesting solutions, but why are initiatives like this always reported like its the first time a woman every played a game?

 

Keyless Entry Easy? Hardly November 7, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — lfheller @ 6:17 pm
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arc_mid_link_core

The Schlage LiNK keyless lock system is getting a lot of love on design blogs but I fail to see the benefit of opening a door using a cellphone instead of a key or touchpad. It’s just another great example of technology for technology’s sake.

In an attempt to simplify an already pretty easy task, this really mucks things up. The Z-Wave technology allows a homeowner to control the locking mechanism via any Web enabled device like a computer or smart phone. Neat, as concept but how many times in our lives to we need to remotely unlock our doors?

There’s the possibility of someone hacking into our home. Battery failure gets you locked out of the house and how reliable is a cell phone connection? Do you really want to depend on a mobile service provider for access to your own home?

Because even at a demo for the product, the cell phone feature failed. Multiple times.

 

Au Revoir Circuit City, Almost November 3, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — lfheller @ 5:49 pm
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It’s not a final good bye, at least not yet, but with the news that Circuit City is shuttering 155 stores it’s a giant leap closer. Gizmodo got the hit list and it appears entire regions, no states, are being exited.

Sure, Circuit City has been floundering for a long time. CEO Phil Schoonover was recently forced out but this is caused less by new management than a tightening of the credit markets. Suppliers have been supporting Circuit City in the hopes it can pull itself together and remain competitive. No one wants Best Buy to be the only CE specialist, it gives them way too much power in the marketplace.

It’s not a good thing for shoppers either. For those giddy at the prospect of liquidation sales, the best stuff will be shifted to other locations and there’s not much inventory anyway, thanks to the credit issue. And it’s going to be worse. The store closing may keep Circuit City¬† open through the holiday’s. After that, it’s anybody’s guess.

 

Chauvinism? Not Really…. August 27, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — lfheller @ 7:03 pm
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Here’s a bit of misinformation so egregious it makes me hope Canon gets litigious.

Crunchgear.com has somehow twisted Canon’s description of a new camera aimed at the teen and tween market. Twisted it with this charming headline, “PowerShot E1: Canon’s women-only digital camera.” For women, because the camera leaves out “unnecessary buttons.”

And because the blogosphere is often one giant game of telephone, Boing Boing’s John Brownlee mucked it up even further. Brownlee is joking, attempting to lambast Canon for its chauvinistic ways. Problem is, he’s reacting to another blog and simply lending legitimacy to Crunchgear’s misinformed premise.

It’s hard enough for product development and marketing efforts to women to be taken seriously without this foolishness.