Wins and Fails This Week in Geek v 16


Hot geek threesomes (who’da thunk it?), French kiss (leave Meg Ryan out of this), Microsoft oopsies (not that a Microsoft mistake is newsworthy), Verizon being daft (when are they not?) and Amazon on the warpath (Amazon vs. Netflix will be more interesting than the entire catalog of either company’s on demand video). It’s a steamy week in geek, so let’s get to the good stuff.

WIN: Chess, Algebra and Music
It’s a triple threat this week! Jonathan W. Stokes, blogger and man clearly gifted with superior intelligence and entirely too much time on his hands, used algebra to turn famous chess games into piano music, which he then turned into mp3s. It’s not often boardgames, mathematics and tunes get to have a hot threesome, so for that I tip my hat to Mr. Stokes.

FAIL: Microsoft Update
Monday’s Windows Phone 7 update designed, according to the Windows Team Blog, to “improve the software update process itself “, seems to have broken the phone. At least for some users, whose complaints Microsoft’s been fielding on their WindowsPhoneSupport Twitter account. The only recourse Microsoft is offering? Take it to a store. Why? Could it be because the update designed to improve the update process has screwed up the update process? And now unfortunate Windows Phone 7 users wait with great anticipation for the next update which will undeniably be intended to fix the previous update, but will only further &@#$ things up. Because that is The Microsoft Way.

WIN: French Kissing
Ever wanted to control your video game with one of the least graceful and most accident-prone acts of intimacy in the arsenal of human contact? Probably not. But now you can, regardless. Developer Hye Yeon Nam has created a video game controller that’s powered by French kissing. I’d make a joke about no geek ever being able to take the the Kiss Controller for a test drive, but it’s already been done to death. Yawn. Next.

WIN: Amazon Prime
Amazon announced plans to stream videos free to its Amazon Prime users, a paid service that offers shoppers free 2-day shipping on all qualifying products and, now, movies and TV on demand. Of course, Amazon has been offering on demand video for a long time now, so it’s really not much of a revelation. It is, however, a volley at Netflix, since Amazon’s Prime pricing works out to less per month than Netflix charges for its streaming-only subscription plan. The selection may not compare as yet, with Netflix offering the larger of the two, but we’re talking about Amazon, here. How long can it take for them to fire off another shot?

FAIL: 911 Calls
Specifically, 911 calls via Verizon. It’s been revealed that a staggering 10,000 calls to 911 were dropped in the Washington suburbs during the massive blizzard late last month. As you’d expect, the Federal Communications Commission is pretty darn upset. The FCC is asking Verizon investigate the issue out of fear that the problem may be more widespread than just that one area, and could happen on a large scale again. It’s not the first time 911 calls have been fouled during a blizzard (filed under New York City). Will the Snowpocalypse force carriers and responding agencies alike to review how they handle things when that abhorrent white stuff starts to fall?

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