Weekend tech reading: Superbowl ad roundup, a $300,000 Eve battle, MS' ongoing corporate shuffle

By on February 2, 2014, 11:30 AM

Every Super Bowl commercial on the Internet: An ongoing round-up It's 2014, meaning your *favorite* brands are already posting (LEAKING! OMG!) their Super Bowl commercials online the week before the game. Which noteworthy ads have been watched the most so far? Here are the lot... CollegeHumor (Kia's K900 Morpheus ad above -- also, watch the game online)

The history of invisibility and the future of camouflage In 2004, the U.S. Army made a colossal mistake. It introduced a new digital camouflage called the Universal Camouflage Pattern (UCP), a single pattern designed to work across all environments. Only a few months later, however, as the war in Iraq was intensifying by the day, every soldier on the ground knew the truth: by trying to work in every situation, UCP worked in none of them. Unfortunately, the race to find a pattern that actually works -- a race officially known as the Army's Camouflage Improvement Effort -- has been its own kind of debacle. Gizmodo

Upcoming flood of new top-level domains could change how we surf the internet A big name start-up called Donuts Inc. is finally getting a chance to test its great theory of the internet: URLs matter, and if Donuts just happens to get rich along the way, so be it. That's the sales pitch, as the company rolls out the first seven of potentially hundreds of new top-level domains (TLDs), insisting that the new approach will change the way we use the internet. The new TLDs (sometimes called generic TLDs or gTLDs), which became available this week through dozens of domain sales companies... ExtremeTech

Waiting for the fall I've been playing a lot of Minecraft lately. Specifically, I've been playing it on my PC using a mod collection called the "Direwolf20 Feed the Beast" collection. It adds all sorts of fantastic mods to the game; stuff that adds magic, industrial machines, new ores, new enemies and in fact, in some cases, entirely new dimensions. It is this incredibly dense, highly polished and seemingly endless procession of features and activities. It takes a game that already seemed to provide infinite replayability and exponentially jacks it up to some kind of hyper-infinity that likely is slowly eating away at the quantum flux of the whole universe. Gamers With Jobs

A chat with Microsoft's Satya Nadella from before he was the (likely) next CEO Back in October 2013, I sat down with Satya Nadella, Microsoft's cloud chief, and we ended up talking about Microsoft and its competition, the role of the company in modern technology landscape and what it needs to do in order to get its mojo back. While most of the conversation took place from the context of cloud computing, we did get into specific challenges facing the company. The conversation was very telling, about Nadella and his approach to the large-scale overhaul the company needs to make in order to regain some of its lost sizzle. GigaOM

Here's why Bill Gates would step down as chairman of Microsoft Yesterday, Re/code first reported that Microsoft enterprise head Satya Nadella was the likely choice to be the CEO of the software giant and that a board vote on the new CEO would be made within the week. That was followed by a confirmation by Bloomberg on Nadella as the choice of the Microsoft board. But its report also included an intriguing bit of news that Microsoft co-founder and tech icon Bill Gates would step down as chairman in favor of the director John Thompson, as part of the changes. Recode

The bloodbath of B-R5RB, gaming's most destructive battle ever In the universe of EVE Online, players from every timezone around the globe have been waging wars on a massive scale for nearly 11 years. Some conflicts have been relatively small grudge matches between rivals from adjoining solar systems with maybe a dozen or so frigates and cruisers facing off in fast-paced combat. Others, like the Great War, are fueled by tens of thousands of players and blossom with all the same propaganda, diplomacy (and espionage), supply-chain logistics and military tactics that might fuel a real-world conflict, taking months to resolve and changing entire industrial patterns across the star map. Eve Online (four minutes of the battle in HD here)

Size comparison of sci-fi ships (click for full size, found here)

10 years of Opportunity: Celebrating the rover's role on Mars and Earth On January 25, 2004, a strange object fell out of the sky on a distant planet -- and when it hit the surface, it started to bounce. Even though that airbag-cushioned descent was exactly how things were planned, it wasn't exactly an elegant start to what's turned out to be a record-setting journey for Opportunity, which continues to operate long past its minimal mission time of 90 days. Opportunity may be notable for its longevity and all the scientific data that it's sent back to Earth over the past decade. Ars Technica

Linux on the NUC: Using Ubuntu, Mint, Fedora, and the SteamOS beta One of the drawbacks of buying a barebones PC like Intel's NUC -- at least if you're a Windows user -- is that it comes with no operating system. The big PC OEMs get Windows at a steep discount compared to end users, and you'll have to pay somewhere in the neighborhood of $100 for a full OEM Windows license (and more if you want a retail version with tech support). The other side of that coin is that barebones PCs can be good for people who aren't planning on paying for an OS. Ars Technica

AMD Catalyst 14.1 beta drivers now available: Mantle, frame pacing, & more Picking up from where we left off yesterday afternoon, word comes from AMD that they have finally squashed the installation bug on their Catalyst 14.1 beta drivers, resolving the last show stopper bug preventing the release of these drivers. As such, albeit a day behind schedule, AMD has finally publically posted the 14.1 beta drivers on their website for public use. Under most circumstances we don't place a great deal of importance on any given driver release. AnandTech

journey to the end of the world (of Minecraft) On March 28, 2011, a man who calls himself Kurt J. Mac loaded a new game of Minecraft. As the landscape filled in around his character, Mac surveyed the blocky, pixellated trees, the cloud-draped mountains, and the waddling sheep. Then he started walking. His goal for the day was simple: to reach the end of the universe. Nearly three years later, Mac, who is now thirty-one, is still walking. He has trekked more than seven hundred virtual kilometres in a hundred and eighty hours. The New Yorker

Warning: do not trust your internet service provider Imagine going to netflix.com and picking a movie to watch on their instant streaming catalogue. After a few seconds of buffering, the movie starts playing and you sit back to enjoy your fifth viewing of "The Princess Diaries 2: The Royal Engagement." The video starts stuttering again and a message pops-up: "Would you like to subscribe to the Super-Netflix plan that will allow you to view the thousands of movies in their catalogue in the highest quality possible?" The Trinitonian




User Comments: 3

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1 person liked this | TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Super Bowl ads are pretty weak this year. They were last year too. No doubt it takes some work and creativity to come up with an engaging ad, but it looks like sponsors are going the easy route.

1 person liked this | madboyv1, TechSpot Paladin, said:

My takeaway from the EVE battle: don't be late on your payments or the russian mafia will destroy your car and take your house (and stuff). =3

VitalyT VitalyT said:

They forgot a sci-fi ship on the chart - one that Serleena flew, from Men in Black II.

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