Tag Archives: technology

In historic shift, new Microsoft Windows upgrade will break your computer for free

29 Jul

REDMOND, Washington—in a radical change to Microsoft’s business model, the company today released Windows 10 as a free upgrade.

“Instead of charging you $99 or more to mess up your computer and have to roll back the installation, we’re now going to do it for free,” said a Microsoft spokesman. “You’re welcome.”
Windows 10 replaces Windows 7 and 8. It includes new features such as mysterious crashes of Internet Explorer, a confusing new way of organizing your files, and a sort-of-but-not-really tablet-style interface.

“It also loads significantly slower,” said the spokesman.

According to industry experts, the company had originally planned to release Windows 9 late last year, but changed its mind when the product tested poorly in focus groups, apparently because all it did was cause your computer to catch on fire.

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Microsoft “put a lot more design thinking” into the look-and-feel of the Windows 10 blue screen of death

North Korean internet still down, crippling vibrant “Silicon Gulag”

27 Dec

PYONGYANG–North Korea’s vibrant internet startup community continued to suffer from ongoing connectivity problems, causing many entrepreneurs to suggest that the country’s innovation culture could be under threat.

“I love everything about this place–the deep pools of talent, the free flow of ideas, the bread made with sawdust–but if the internet stays down, I might need to retreat to California,” said Nathan Horsley, the CEO of iPurge, an innovative P2P oppression service based here.

Hubbard complained that normally the internet was available on both the country’s computers. “But one has been down for weeks due to a coal shortage, and now the other one has lost internet access,” he said.

Kim Jong Un, the country’s unquestioned leader, visited the offices of WheatNet, a startup outside Nampo whose traffic app helps North Korean residents find grain that may have spilled out of trucks. He issued a statement using the country’s backup communication links, but both pigeons were eaten by hungry VC executives before they could take off.

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/7a9/37750163/files/2014/12/img_0077.jpgKim Jong Un suggests to the military that they combine the wrapped and the striped candies

North Korea demonstrates crushing technological superiority once again with Sony hack

19 Dec

TOKYO–elite North Korean hackers today showed the world once again why Pyongyang is the hottest destination for tech talent, breaking into Sony Corporation’s servers and stealing virtually all of the company’s files.

“We’ve known the North Koreans have the best software, the best hardware, and the best talent,” said serial tech entrepreneur Jim Davies, who moved to Silicon Valley two years ago after finding that he couldn’t keep up north of the DMZ. “The Sony hack just shows that Japan, and indeed all the rest of us, are falling further behind.”

While the attackers left few digital fingerprints, American forensic technicians found fragments of code first seen on JucheBay, an e-commerce site where can North Koreans can list their items and the state takes them by force without compensation.

Davies said the problem could worsen significantly in the near future. “There are literally tens of thousands of brilliant software engineers in North Korea right now,” he said. “And when they finish the potato harvest and are allowed to return home, there’s no telling what they’ll be able to achieve.”

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The Rodong 1000, capable of performing literally dozens of calculations per second.

British spies report “undesirable nudity” in intercepted webcam chats; humiliated terrorists flock to the gym

28 Feb

LONDON—British intelligence has been intercepting millions of video chats and reports seeing “undesirable nudity” in 7% of them, causing a wave of terrorists to head to the gym to try to make their nudity a little bit more desirable, according to documents leaked here today.

“Oh, my God. I am so embarrassed,” said Kelsey Winslow, 26, who makes firebombs for a radical environmental group in Wales. “Sure, I’ve let myself go a bit during my time on the lam, but I didn’t realize it was as bad as that.” Winslow reports having started a rigorous cross-training program and says she “hopes the next leaked report gives us a better grade.”

Experts voiced concerns that the language of the report could lead to a negative body image among thousands of wanted felons, potentially leading to eating disorders. “Fugitives tend to have low self-esteem to begin with,” said Sandy Pearsall, a professor at Sheffield Medical School. “Being called names by the government is just going to make things worse.”

Not all surveillance targets accepted British intelligence’s verdict. “You call this undesirable nudity?” demanded Mohsin al-Ibrahim, 38, a member of a militant splinter faction in east London, sucking in his gut and flexing. “Look at the guns!” he shouted, kissing his own bicep. “Like pythons!”

A spokesman for the British government refused to answer questions, although, departing from his prepared text, he did note that “there are certain angles and lighting from which Mr. al-Ibrahim’s self-assessment is not entirely accurate.”

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Hobbits climb Mt. Gox; throw 750,000 bitcoins into Cracks of Doom

26 Feb

MORDOR, Tx—the titanic struggle between light and dark took a dramatic turn today as Frodo Baggins successfully climbed Mt. Gox and threw 6% of the world’s bitcoin supply into the Cracks of Doom. The mountain immediately went offline and received an FBI subpoena.

“It’s a surprising outcome for all of us,” said Cameron, or perhaps Tyler, Winklevoss, who had been marching towards Mordor at the head of his Army of Douches. “Nevertheless, I still think bitcoin is a brilliant investment for everyone. And you should listen to me, because of my long track record of shrewd business decisions.”

It was unclear to experts how exactly 750,000 bitcoins, which are supposed to be indestructible and are purely digital, had simply vanished on Mt. Gox. Concerns immediately spread among vendors of comic books, weird sci-fi costumes, and fake lightsabers.

“Everything is absolutely fine,” said Mark Karpeles, smiling calmly as he stood in front of the Mt. Gox building, which was on fire and being attacked by some kind of demon lizard. “I’m sure everybody’s money is perfectly safe.”

Facebook buys some dude with a fax machine for $146 billion

20 Feb

MENLO PARK, CA—shocking the tech world with another bold acquisition, Facebook today acquired SuperChat, a startup described on its web page as “some dude with a fax machine” who creates doodles and then faxes them to random numbers around the world.

“SuperChat is the logical next step in our strategy of overpaying for tiny businesses with no revenue,” said Mark Zuckerberg in a statement. “Let no one question our commitment to enabling pointless time-wasting communications between strangers.”

The founder and sole employee of SuperChat, fourteen-year-old Mike McDermott of Mountain View, CA, seemed to take the deal with equanimity.

“I’ve been doing this for literally weeks, and I expect to keep doing it for weeks longer,” said McDermott. “Having enough money to build a supervillain secret-volcano lair doesn’t really change anything, except for the fact that I’ll have a supervillain secret-volcano lair.”

Analysts applauded the move. “One thing we know in the social-media space is that you have to keep moving,” said a report from UBS. “Random, value-destroying acquisitions show that Facebook isn’t going to get stale any time soon.”

Authorities accidentally divert Chinese internet and vehicular traffic to Wyoming

23 Jan

CHEYENNE, Wisconsin–confusion reigned here today as, only hours after Chinese censors sent the country’s internet traffic here, Chinese police sent the country’s regular traffic here, as well.

“Man, I was just getting over this internet thing,” said Cheyenne Mayor David McGee. “Then I looked out my window and saw 600 million people in their cars, and I thought, Wow, this can’t be good.”

Both the internet and the traffic diversion stemmed from mistakes in routing conducted by the Chinese authorities. While seeking to divert web surfers away from Sophidea, a service based here that provides access to blacklisted sites, the censors accidentally diverted all web traffic here. Similarly, while trying to reduce congestion in several major Chinese cities, the traffic police appear to have accidentally sent all drivers to the same town.

“This is really inconvenient,” said Zhou Wei, 37, a fruit wholesaler who lives outside Guangzhou. “I was just trying to get home from work, and now I find myself in Cheyenne, several thousand miles away. It seems like a pretty boneheaded mistake, to be honest.”

When asked to comment, a Chinese government spokesman denied that anything had gone wrong. “Exactly how we planned it,” said the spokesman, speaking by phone from Cheyenne.

Pioneering government “website” to allow people to buy health insurance “online”

24 Oct

WASHINGTON—the Obama administration, once again at the forefront of innovation, has a risky but innovative plan to launch a computer-powered “website” that will allow people to obtain health insurance using “e-commerce,” a revolutionary new way of buying things.

“The technology hurdles will be immense, but in the years ahead, we expect that literally thousands of people will buy things using the so-called-‘Internet’,” explained Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services. “Already, dozens of people have been able to buy health insurance using nothing more than a desktop computer and a mouse.” Sebelius was quick to explain that the “mouse” she was referring to was a computer device, not a real mouse.

Experts agreed that the government will have to invent dozens of new technologies that have never been used before in order to let people buy insurance “online,” and that as a result glitches and delays are to be expected. “But it’s not their fault,” cautioned one technology expert. “Nothing like this has ever been done before.”

Among the uninsured waiting to “log on” to the website to buy insurance, excitement was high. “Sure, I expect it won’t be easy,” said Dionne White of Jackson, NJ. “But that’s the price we pay for being the first to buy something over this ‘Internet’ thing.”

Microsoft buys Nokia handset business for $7 billion; BlackBerry, Enron, Mondale campaign next on shopping list

4 Sep

REDMOND, Washington—in a bold move designed to turn around the flagging fortunes of Windows Phone, Microsoft announced yesterday that it was buying the cellphone manufacturing business of Nokia for $7 billion.

“This exciting news will enable us to leverage the best cellular technology of the mid-1990s,” said Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer at a press conference. “We look forward to introducing flip phones to Microsoft customers in the coming months.”

While many experts see Nokia’s best days as behind it, Ballmer disagreed, explaining that the biggest debates within Microsoft had been whether Nokia’s technology was sufficiently mature for Microsoft to use.

“We usually like to acquire products once they’ve had ten, fifteen years of stasis, just to make sure all the kinks are worked out,” said Ballmer. “Nokia’s had the same phones for about eight years, so it’s a little new and unproven, but we’re willing to take the chance.”

If the Nokia deal is successful, Ballmer said, Microsoft would look at other organizations that “haven’t done anything in the last ten years” for possible acquisition. He cited BlackBerry, Enron (“Very stable since 2002”) and Walter Mondale’s 1984 presidential campaign as possibilities.

Ballmer, who is stepping down as Microsoft CEO at the end of the year, said he was really pleased to have “one more chance to throw shareholder cash down the toilet” before leaving the company.

One of Microsoft's customers, using Nokia's latest phone

One of Microsoft’s customers, using Nokia’s latest phone

Hackers blamed as China catches up to US in reality television, enormous portion sizes, cat videos

6 Jun

BEIJING—operating from a non-descript building here, elite hackers from China’s secret “Unit 61398” have been stealing valuable intellectual property from American companies for years, experts say.

“First, the Chinese developed their own hot dogs,” said a scientist with a food-processing company in Ohio who asked not to be named. “Then they wrapped the hot dogs in pastry, and we took notice. And then we saw that they had stuffed the pastry with bacon and cheese, and we knew something serious was going on.”

Entertainment executives noted that Chinese television had made “decades” worth of progress in the last five years. “In 2002, it was all documentaries and classical music,” said an NBC executive. “I turned on my TV in Shanghai last week, and the first thing I saw was a reality show where bowling-alley hostesses train kittens to dance. They can’t have come up with that on their own.”

Grim-faced security experts see no easy way to stop the hacking. “Unless corporate America takes cybersecurity more seriously, there isn’t much we can do,” said outgoing National Security Advisor Tom Donilon. “Losing our edge in aerospace, computing, and defense was irritating. But now they’re striking at the heart of what it means to be American.”

Already, rumors are spreading that America’s final bastion is under assault. “We believe that a leading Chinese fast-food chain, Happy Lucky Chicken, is on the verge of releasing an eight-thousand calorie cheeseburger,” said a food-industry expert. “And it comes in a kids’ meal, where the toy is a handgun. We’re doomed.”

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