Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the lights on at MakeUseOf. Read more.
Today in Tech News Digest, Nintendo admits the Wii U has failed, Chrome extensions are loaded with adware, the China Operating System is revealed, Paramount dumps 35mm film, Windows 8 is condemned as the new Vista, and Amazon wants to become the Nostradamus of online shopping.
Nintendo Wii U Failure, Future
Should Nintendo go software only? I’m on the fence. Seems inevitable. But: Atari & Sega. http://t.co/fSAOrhfqpi
— Chris Dixon (@cdixon) January 20, 2014
Nintendo has admitted the Wii U is a complete and utter failure, announcing an operating loss for the current financial year and lowering its sales forecasts for the console by 70 percent (from 9 million to 2.8 million). This is the third year in a row Nintendo has experienced an operating loss, and the company’s stock price tumbled on the news.
This all suggests there are tough times ahead for Nintendo, but there are signs the company is finally ready to change things up in an effort to reverse its fortunes. Nintendo President Satoru Iwata stated, “We are thinking about a new business structure. Given the expansion of smart devices, we are naturally studying how smart devices can be used to grow the game-player business. It’s not as simple as enabling Mario to move on a smartphone.”
Many analysts and pundits are suggesting it is that easy, and that Nintendo should embrace the opportunity smartphones and tablets offer. This means that like Sega before it, Nintendo could stop making hardware in order to concentrate on licensing its games to other companies. Such a move seems inevitable, certainly outside of Japan.
Chrome Extensions Hit With Adware
Browser extensions that aren’t audited by a trustworthy source are not safe. http://t.co/GZmDWhS3NZ
— Asa Dotzler (@asadotzler) January 18, 2014
It seems a handful of Google Chrome extensions are being hijacked for adware. This is according to a first-hand account by Amit Agarwal, who sold his ‘Add to Feedly’ extension only to find that the next update for it injected adware on all Web pages.
Ars Technica suggests that ‘Tweet This Page’ is another Chrome extension that was hit in a similar way. Google isn’t responsible for any of this, but its practice of pushing silent automatic updates out to users with no checks and balances allows this to occur.
China Reveals Mobile Operating System
The Chinese government has revealed its mobile operating system, the catchily-titled China Operating System (COS). COS has reportedly been designed to work on all devices, from PCs to smartphones, from tablets to set-top boxes. Its raison d’être being to “break the foreign monopoly” that currently exists.
The team behind COS were quick to criticize the existing mobile operating systems, condemning iOS as a “closed ecosystem,” Android for its “fragmentation problem,” and Windows OS for its “poor security.”
This is China’s second attempt at creating a mobile operating system, with the OPhone completely failing to take off in a big way. And if the skepticism and outright hostility to COS is anything to go by then it’s unlikely this attempt will fare any better.
Paramount Switches From Film To Digital
Paramount Pictures to dump film? (The physical medium, this is not my coded review of Jack Ryan)
— Marc Fennell (@marcfennell) January 19, 2014
Paramount Pictures has reportedly become the first studio to commit entirely to digital, with Anchorman 2 having been the last film it will release on 35mm film, at least in the U.S. This hasn’t been officially announced, but the Hollywood movie studio has informed theaters of its decision.
If confirmed, then other studios are likely to follow suit. The suggestion is that many want to switch from 35mm film to digital, but none wanted to be the first to show their hand. Around eight percent of theaters in the U.S. aren’t yet capable of showing films released in the digital format, so this move is of some consequence.
Windows 8 = The New Vista
It’s not news that many people hate Windows 8 with a passion (the NSFW video embedded above showing why this is so). However, if Paul Thurrott of SuperSite for Windows is to be believed, even Microsoft employees aren’t fans of the operating system.
Thurrott suggested in the tweet below that Windows 8 is regarded as “the new Vista” inside Microsoft, later adding that this is because of “sales and market acceptance.” In other words, Windows 8 has failed to win the public over in any conceivable way.
“Can we call Windows 8 the new Vista? Not so fast, analyst says.” Call it what you want. That’s what they call it inside of Microsoft.
— Paul Thurrott (@thurrott) January 17, 2014
Amazon Patents Anticipatory Shipping
So I love this new Amazon patent with anticipatory shipping but they need to figure how gift shopping works. I don’t need any more bad recs
— Ken Goyette (@kgoyette) January 17, 2014
And finally, Amazon has been granted a patent for “anticipatory shipping,” a system which sees the online retailer predicting what its customers are going to buy before they’ve actually bought them.
In essence, Amazon will use a number of metrics to predict what individuals in a geographic area are likely to buy, and ship the items to warehouses in advance of the actual orders being placed. At which point the items will be delivered by drones, no doubt. Minority Report, eat your heart out.
Tech News Digest… Breaking News Into Bite-Sized Chunks.
Image Credit: Tom Newby