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Time for a Monday pick-me-up: The Los Angeles offices of game studio Robotoki received a visit from the Los Angeles Police Department last night after someone hit their newly installed panic button. The panic button was to be used in case of an armed threat and was installed because game teams often receive death threats.
Boys will be boys and one of the designers decided to try out the freshly installed button as everyone was leaving work for the day. The only person left was studio founder Robert Bowling. The LAPD saw the statue of Ghost standing with his gun at the ready, so they perceived there was a threat.
They entered into the building. "I was in my office when they arrived and saw them coming up our stairs, guns drawn," Bowling said. "They yelled for me to put my hands up and walk towards them slowly, then took me into custody and out of the studio until they cleared the rest of the rooms and floors."
They finally realized that the statue was just that: a statue. The night ended with a friendly chat and round of video games.
Northern Imagination, a California-based company, have a Kickstarter page setup to get a statue of the famous innovator Nikola Tesla built-in Silicon Valley. Northern Imagination need to raise $123,000 in order to get the statue erected, and at the time of writing they had $80,269 pledged with 35 hours to go.
If they meet their funding goal, they would built a statue in Palo Alto, California and would make the statue depicting Tesla holding a lightbulb, demonstrating a wireless electricity concept. Better yet, the statue will double as a Wi-Fi hotspot and house a time capsule with predictions from Kickstarter backers that won't be opened for 30 years, all the way in the year 2043.
The co-founder and developer of Oculus VR, Andrew Scott Reisse, has been killed in a police chase in California. Reisse was not part of the police chase, but was unfortunately hit by a car at a crosswalk when police stopped to investigate suspicious activity a couple of blocks away, which lead to his death.
After the police pulled three suspects over, including 21-year-old Victor Sanchez, who fired at police and then fled in a white Dodge Charger. Their car hit several other cars and went through multiple red lights, with one of the red lights being where Reisse was unfortunately crossing, and he was hit. All of the suspects were eventually apprehended and are currently in police custody with an investigation ongoing.
Earlier this morning our own Anthony Garreffa posted a story about Foxconn gearing up to move out of the contract manufacturing business and striking out on its own. On June 3rd, we may just see this new era for Foxconn come to life at an announcement event to be held in conjunction with Mozilla.
Both Mozilla and Foxconn have officially announced that they will be pairing up on June 3rd to announce a new device featuring Firefox OS. While it is still unknown what the new device could be, website Focus Taiwan, says that an insider has told them that the new device will be a tablet that will target the budget Apple and Android tablet markets.
There are already Firefox OS smartphones roaming the wild - Huawei and LG are both rumored to be building Firefox OS handsets as well. It just makes sense for a tablet running Mozilla's open source OS to appear at some point and who better to build it than Foxconn who has years of experience building tablets for Apple.
Computex 2013 - As the world's largest PC industry show approaches, we are beginning to see more teasers being released by big name companies in the industry. This morning we have already seen a teaser from G.Skill and now ASUS is teasing a new mysterious product as well.
This morning on the company's Google+ page, ASUS posted a teaser image of what appears to be a metallic circular object. Judging by the pixel size, and the size of the circular machine marks, I am going to speculate that this is a power button of some sorts, but have no guess on what the product could be.
Fear not though as ASUS has given us a hint as to what the product could be. In the post on Google+, ASUS said "Here's our first teaser before next week's press conference! Hint: It'll move you." What could it be? Leave your guess in the comments below and remember to stay tuned to TweakTown for all of the latest from Computex as it happens.
It's probably pretty obvious to most that the cat has been let out of the bag in terms of 3-D-printed guns. Once Distributed Defense posted the CAD files for the gun, there was no way they would ever be eradicated from the Internet. The file has reportedly been downloaded in excess of 100,000 times.
In an interesting turn of events, Kim Dotcom and others have blacklisted the files and removed them from their services. But, it would be nearly impossible to remove them from the various torrent sites that they have been uploaded to. The bulletin by the Joint Regional Intelligence Center obtained by Fox News notes, "Even if the practice is prohibited by new legislation, online distribution of these digital files will be as difficult to control as any other illegally traded music, movie or software files."
Significant advances in three-dimensional (3D) printing capabilities, availability of free digital 3D printer files for firearms components, and difficulty regulating file sharing may present public safety risks from unqualified gun seekers who obtain or manufacture 3D printed guns. Limiting access may be impossible.
Kim Dotcom says US tech giants are infringing on his IP, might sue in wake of illegal raid on his home
Late last night Kim Dotcom posted a tweet that accused several US companies of infringing on his IP and after some investigation, I have to agree with him. The patents date back to 1997 and cover the two-step authentication that has recently become popular with big sites who are afraid of hackers.
In the tweet, Dotcom accuses Google, Facebook, Twitter and Citibank of infringing on his patent and he says that he never sued them in the past because he "believes in sharing knowledge and ideas for the good of society." and goes on to say "But I might sue them now because of what the U.S. did to me."
For anyone interested, I have linked to the patent at Source #2. It was filed under Kim Schmits, Dotcom's birth name, and details quite clearly the current method of two-step authentication being used today by many companies. We have reached on to Dotcom for an interview and are awaiting a response, so stay tuned to TweakTown for any updates.
Amazon looking to take on Apple for coolest campus ever, plans rainforest bio-dome in downtown Seattle
Apple may be practicing "forward looking" with its spaceship like campus in Cupertino, but Amazon is looking to take things in a very different approach to a green headquarters. Yesterday while everyone was focused on Redmond, a proposal was being reviewed by Seattle's Design Review Board.
Amazon has tweaked plans for its new headquarters that will be built-in the inner city of Seattle. The proposed three block campus is codenamed Rufus 2.0, and will feature a huge tri-sphere bio-dome like greenhouse environment. I have included the PDF file of the proposal at Source #3 below.
Amazon says that the "plant-rich environment has many positive qualities that are not often found in a typical office setting." Featuring five levels, the bio-dome feature work spaces, dining, meeting and lounge spaces, and even a pair of shops serving the general public. A wealth of trees and plants are also present to keep things nice and "Amazon" like.
The world's only seven-star hotel has started offering 24-carat gold-plated iPads to guests for use. While this is certainly overkill and completely unneeded, it is most definitely cool and adds to the luxury feel of the device and hotel.
The iPads will be used as a virtual concierge and provide information on restaurants in the hotel, spa treatments, and butler services. The iPads feature the hotel's logo on the back and likely feel great to the touch. The hotel will also be selling the iPads in the hotel's boutique.
A new audit published by the Fair Labor Association shows that Hon Hai, AKA Foxconn, is still continuing to break Chinese labor laws. The report finds that while Foxconn has complied with 98.3 percent of the new rules Apple and the FLA agreed to, the company is still forcing workers past the 40 hour work week plus 36 hours overtime per month limit imposed by the Chinese government.
The audit which took place in January found that Foxconn employees were regularly working as many as 70 hours per week which drastically pushed them over the monthly overtime limit. This also breaks Apples imposed restrictions on its manufacturing partners which state that no employee is allowed to work over 60 hours per week. Coincidentally the weeks in which the massive overages took place coincided with the launch of Apple's iPhone 5.