The research for one of this week’s posts began last year. For another, it started sometime in the early 1980s, when my brother and I were allowed to open presents on Christmas Eve for the first time ever–on account of the Atari 2600 under the tree.
3/26/2012: Art of Video Games On Display, Discovery News
I had high hopes for “The Art of Video Games” exhibit at the Smithsonian Institution’s American Art Museum. But between the absence of some memorable titles (seriously, y u no have Tetris?!), and the lack of attention to such cultural aspects as the game industry’s reliance on sequels, “TAOVG” felt a little thin. I did, however, still enjoy playing a vintage copy of Pac-Man–and getting congratulated by a 10-year-old after clearing the first board.
3/28/2012: Sourcing Should Be Part of a Gadget’s Story, CEA Digital Dialogue
This post on outsourced manufacturing is the one that I’d meant to write earlier, then got delayed long enough to have Mike Daisey’s fabrications uncovered. In equally fortuitous timing, the Fair Labor Association released its report about conditions in Foxconn factories two days later. It documented abuses of overtime regulations, among other problems, but also drew public commitments from Apple and Foxconn to fix them–pledges that each will have a hard time ducking after all this publicity.
3/29/2012: Google Now Comes With Monthly Statement, Discovery News
Because I’m kind of a data nerd (and because I realized the other post I was working on could easily be held for later), I wrote about Google’s new Account Activity reports. These detail your use of a few of the Web giant’s services–just the thing for people who keep refreshing their Foursquare stats page.
4/1/2012: Glitch mixes up Facebook profile pictures, USA Today
This post explains a News Feed graphical mismatch in Facebook’s iOS app that was supposedly fixed by an update that should have arrived Friday night but still isn’t in the App Store as I write this Sunday night. That’s some strange latency, especially on top of the four days it apparently took Facebook–of all the companies!–to get this bug-fix release okayed by Apple. The rest of the column advises backing up the recovery partition on your computer’s hard drive, something I finally remembered to do before installing the Consumer Preview release of Windows 8.