Google Glass brings new level of personal service to Virgin Atlantic

Virgin Atlantic hostess using Google Glass

Next time you arrive at the airport, the person checking you in may know your name, destination and even your dietary requirements before you even open your mouth.

Virgin Atlantic’s concierge staff in the Upper Class lounge at London Heathrow have begun trialing a scheme in which hostesses recognize passengers using Google Glass.

The technology will be able to identify a customer, see their flight details and preferences, before showing the hostess their flight information, and more.

The technology then immediately begins checking that passenger in, and can update the hostess on travel information, weather and events at the customer's destination.

Microsoft Surface Pro Finally Gets A Release Date

From The Verge

Microsoft is finally naming a date for its Surface Pro launch today: February 9th. The software giant may have missed its January release date promise, but the Windows 8-powered tablet will be available to purchase next month from retailers in the US and Canada. Microsoft is "taking a phased approach" with Surface Pro availability that may disappoint some international customers. "It will be available initially in the US and Canada with additional markets to follow in the coming weeks and months," says a spokesperson.
Microsoft's latest Surface tablet runs on a full version of Windows 8, meaning it will support existing desktop applications in addition to the new Windows 8-style ones. The Surface Pro is similar to Microsoft's Surface RT tablet on the exterior, with a 10.6-inch screen and support for Touch and Type Covers. However, pen support and a Full HD display with an Intel Core i5 processor means this tablet is significantly better specs wise. Earlier this month The Verge got an early look at Microsoft's Surface Pro tablet. We were particularly impressed with the display and the accuracy of the pen that Microsoft has supplied with this tablet. There's some trade offs with the Surface Pro compared to the RT, with an increased thickness and weight combination, but the speed and desktop apps support may make up for that.
Alongside the Surface Pro availability, Microsoft is also expanding the number of markets for its Surface RT tablet. 13 new European countries will be able to purchase the Surface RT in the coming weeks, doubling Microsoft's available markets. Three new Touch Covers will also be available for a limited time with unique designs along with a special Wedge Touch Mouse, Surface Edition. The Surface Pro will start at $899 without a cover for the 64GB model.

(Late) Reminder for iPad Buyers… Get money back!

Many shopping portals have the Apple Store listed so you can earn points/miles by going through the portal before making your purchase…

If you don’t mind waiting a bit, you could make the most of your options by going through a different retailer:

Shopping Portal -> Best Buy (with Reward Zone)
Shopping Portal -> Target (with Target RED Card discount)

Best Buy and Target also typically gave more points/miles per dollar than the Apple Store.

Steve Jobs Resigns as CEO of Apple

Thanks to Steve Jobs for everything he's done at Apple and for the Tech community. Good luck to Tim Cook in his new role as CEO.

via everywhere

Part of the letter from Jobs:

I have always said if there ever came a day when I could no longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple’s CEO, I would be the first to let you know. Unfortunately, that day has come.

I hereby resign as CEO of Apple. I would like to serve, if the Board sees fit, as Chairman of the Board, director and Apple employee.

Kim Jong-Il is MMO gold farming to finance North Korean nuclear program.

via The New York Times, Forbes, and CNET
Long story short, hackers are gaining access to popular South Korean gaming servers to prevent their accounts for being flagged for cheating. They are using scripts to automatically play Massive Multiplayer Online (MMO) games and gain gold and items which they then sell for real currency on places like Ebay. In turn the hackers get to keep 55% and the rest of the money gets forwarded to North Korean agents. South Korean officials tracked the money to the North Korean nuclear program and to Kim Jong-Il’s purchases of Rolex watches which he uses to placate senior North Korean military officers.
Buzz Out Loud funny quotes:
  • “Earn your gold gamers! Earn It!”
  • “I shouldn’t laugh, but yeah. Literally, if you buy virtual gold, the terrorists win.”
  • “We get nuked because a bunch of lazy worldwide gamers were addicted to their video games. What is going on in the world!?”
Sang-Hun, Choe. 2011. Seoul Warns of Latest North Korean Threat: An Army of Online Gaming Hackers. The New York Times. 4 August.
Tassi, Paul. 2011. Kim Jong-Il’s Latest Cash Source is MMO Gold Farming. Forbes. 8 August.
Wood, Molly and Brian Tong. 2011. Buzz Out Loud Episode 1526: Prepare for Maximum Overdrive!. CNET. 8 August.

12 Years Ago Star Wars was Revived

Totally Rad Show noted that on this day in 1999 Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace released to theaters which makes me feel old.

Here are some interesting facts.

12 years ago on this day…

  • … most people didn’t yet realize how much the story sucked - still in zOMG-THAT-WAS-AWESOME mode
  • … I had no idea who played the decoy Queen Amidala (a girl named Keira Knightley or something)
  • … I had an AMAZING Diamond Rio 600 32MB MP3 player (it could JUST hold an album at crappy bit-rates)
  • … The very first iPod was still two years in the future
  • … I had a Hotmail account (actually still do)
  • … The CLOSEST thing I used to a “Social Network” was AIM
  • … AsianAvenue was 2 years old by this time, but I didn’t use it
  • … LiveJournal was one month old
  • … I knew how to make a website, but it was fugly. WTF is CSS?
  • … Apple was still in trouble and the iBook did not yet exist (although the colorful iMac was gaining popularity)
  • … Mac OS 9 was still in development and Mac OS X was two years in the future
  • … Tablets were a miseriable, horrible failure (as I type this in the SquareSpace iPad app)
  • … Bluetooth 1.0 spec was defined, but almost no one knew what Bluetooth was
  • … I had a computer with a brand new Pentium III processor (500 MHz) and an incredible 14GB hard drive
  • … Zip Disks were the way people moved data
  • … I searched the internet with DogPile
  • … I used IE5 because, well, it was the best and Netscape 4.x was getting super-old
  • … I was still two years away from having a cell phone (the obligatory Nokia 33xx)

Actually, this post makes me realize how MUCH happened in the year 2001.

Microsoft shows off Internet Explorer 10 running on 1GHz ARM at MIX developer conference

After painfully long updates between IE6, IE7, and IE8, Internet Explorer 9 was given notice it’s successor is on the way. IE10 will bring CSS3 support, HTML5 support, and a few W3C APIs.

Typical for Microsoft, they were pretty tight lipped about the future of IE except to take a potshot at Chrome (and also Firefox) nothing that faster cadence (releasing more versions more often) does NOT mean more progress. True, but ideally it means more frequent security updates so…

The amazing thing about this preview was that IE10 (and therefore the version of Windows 7 running on the demo rig) was written to run on ARM. Exciting news.

Microsoft shows off Internet Explorer 10 running on 1GHz ARM at MIX developer conference

A Meaningful Partnership With Microsoft [History]

If we want to move forward and see Apple healthy and prospering again, we have to let go of a few things here. We have to let go of this notion that for Apple to win, Microsoft has to lose. Kay? We have to embrace a notion that for Apple to win, Apple has to do a really good job, and if others are going to help us, that’s great ‘cuz we need all the help we can get.

Steve Jobs, MacWorld Expo Keynote 1997 after announcing:

Meaningful Partnership with Microsoft

  1. Perpetual patent cross license for all past patents and all patents in the next 5 years
  2. Microsoft Office same number of major releases as Windows for the next 5 years
  3. Internet Explorer as Mac default browser, but will ship with other browsers
  4. Java collaboration on virtual machine compatibility
  5. Microsoft will purchase $150 worth of non-controlling stock at market value

Get 20 GB Free Storage For One Year From Amazon

We just told you about Amazon’s new Cloud Player music streaming service. To sweaten the deal Amazon is running a promotion. If you buy an MP3 album from the Amazon MP3 Store, you get 20 GB of stroage free for one year from the date of purchase. After one year is up, you will drop down to the free 5 GB plan, and you will never be charged.

Get the full details here.

Amazon Launches Online Music Streaming Service

Simply upload your music to Amazon’s servers and play them via the web or via Android. The new service dubbed Cloud Player works with the current Cloud Drive service which allows users to store any data up to 5 GB for free.

Google and Apple are rumored to be working on their own cloud-based players, but with the launch of Cloud Player, Amazon is the first to market.

Cloud Player works extremely well with the Amazon MP3 store, but can also handle music from post-DRM iTunes as well as other unencrypted music sources.

Cloud Player does not blow your mind, but rather gets the job done simply. Hopefully, this is an early release with more features to come.

Learn more about Amazon Cloud Drive and Amazon Cloud Player.

O'Reilly Offers 50% Off Entire E-Book Catalog to Help Japan

Many people know O’Reilly produces some of the best computer books in the world. Even better, they sell DRM-free e-books in a multitude of formats supported by many different e-Book Readers.

Today only (March 22) the typical Deal of the Day isn’t just 50% off a particular book, but rather 50% off the entire e-book catalog with some of the proceeds going to aid Japan relief efforts.

Use the discount code — DDJPN — at checkout.

via Download Squad

IntoNow: The Shazam of TV Shows

IntoNow launched its iOS application today which is able to identify 2.6 million broadcast TV airings. IntoNow will listen to what you’re watching and in four to twelve seconds the app returns the exact episode and whether or not the content is live or a re-broadcast.

Additionally, IntoNow allows one-touch access to show info, IMDb, iTunes and Netflix, and app notifications alert you to activities and comments from friends. IntoNow can optinally share what you are watching with your friends on Twitter and Facebook.

Learn more at IntoNow’s website or grab the app from the iTunes iOS App Store.

via Star Padilla and Mashable