Today in Tech News Digest, Custom Support for Windows XP, Google Camera app, first Heartbleed arrest, personalized Microsoft Bing, Tuckaway Stand on Kickstarter, Samsung vs. Steve Jobs’ ghost, and Super Mario wine.
Microsoft Slashes Support Prices For XP
IRS (uncle Sam) will pay millions to MS for custom XP support ~ is it so hard to move on?? #wow
— Umair Aziz (@umairazizz) April 13, 2014
Microsoft may have ended support for Windows XP installs used by the general public, but it isn’t above extending that support for organizations willing to pay for the privilege. And, according to Computerworld, it has slashed the prices it charges for doing so.
Custom Support Agreements are deals made between Microsoft and enterprise customers to offer critical security updates for retired operating systems. A number of high-profile deals have been done over XP, including the IRS in the U.S.
Computerworld asserts that CSAs have always cost $200-per-device, but that the total ceiling price per company has been dropped from $5 million to just $250,000. The minimum number of devices covered by a CSA is thought to be 750 units (costing $150,000).
The suggestion here is that Microsoft realized it needed to act to protect the large number of companies who neglected to upgrade from XP in time. It couldn’t extend support for everyone, so it chose to lower the price of Custom Support instead. Only for its most important customers, mind; the rest just have to suffer.
Google Camera App Lands On Android
Google has released a new camera app for Android, creatively called Google Camera. Google Camera is designed to work on all smartphones and tablets running Android 4.4 (Kitkat). Features include a 100% viewfinder, a Lens Blur mode, and 360-degree Photo Spheres. Google Camera is available from Google Play.
First Heartbleed Arrest Made In Canada
— Alexis Ohanian (@alexisohanian) April 15, 2014
The first person has been arrested in relation to the Heartbleed bug in OpenSSL. Stephen Arthuro Solis-Reyes, a 19-year-old from Ontario in Canada, stands accused of stealing 900 social insurance numbers from the website of the Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA). Solis-Reyes will appear in court in July 2014.
Bing Goes All Google Now, Now
Microsoft has given Bing a Google Now-style makeover, with personalized cards added to the homepage. Users need to sign in to their Microsoft account and add a list of interests to see the cards, which will deliver personalized news, weather, and/or stocks and more. All of which will be retained across platforms, including Cortana, the new personal assistant built into Windows Phone 8.1.
Tuckaway Stand Hides Ugly Set-Top Boxes
Well designed TV stand that doesn’t require a wall mount & keeps ugly cables hidden: https://t.co/OU6Sfrj9Md
— Peter Degen-Portnoy (@PDegenPortnoy) April 8, 2014
Most geeks rather enjoy showing off their gadgets, and proudly display all their various set-top boxes and games consoles on their TV stand. For those who tend towards minimalism, Tuckaway Stand is a TV stand that hides everything connected to your television set behind the screen. And it’s currently being funded through a Kickstarter campaign.
When Steve Jobs Died, Samsung Attacked
Do you want to spend the rest of your life selling sugared water or do you want a chance to change the world??#RememberingSteve
— Steven Paul Jobs (@SteveJobs__BOT) April 17, 2014
Around the time of Steve Jobs’ death, Samsung was plotting how it could defeat Apple. We know this thanks to a series of emails sent in October 2011 that have been presented as evidence against Samsung in its ongoing legal battle with Apple.
The New York Times and others claim Samsung execs were referring directly to the passing of Jobs when stating “this is our best opportunity to attack iPhone.” However, as Ad Age points out, it’s more likely the exchange was referring to persuading Google to go on the offensive by talking up the advantages Android has over iOS. Because context is important.
Regardless of the finer details, this email exchange was happening at the same time as Jobs’ death, which certainly suggests a lack of respect.
Super Mario Theme Played On Wine Glasses
And finally, the Super Mario theme is one of the most recognizable songs heard throughout the history of video games. And now someone has seen fit to record a version of the Super Mario theme played on wine glasses. It’s not known whether or not the performer consumed wine beforehand, but it seems rather likely.
Tech News Digest… Breaking News Into Bite-Sized Chunks.
Image Credit: Judit Klein via Flickr