The Consumer Electronics show, the behemoth of tech, the Valhalla of gadgetry, has come and gone for yet another year. But this time, rather than arriving with a bang, it slinked into sight with something more like a whimper. CES…
Google has, this morning, taken the rare step of closing down one of the services that it runs. It’s ‘Lively’ virtual world was launched earlier this year, but recently it’s been anything but lively, with extremely low visitor numbers compared to its competitors like Second Life.
Google is recommending that anyone who’s created anything that they desperately want to keep should take some screenshots and capture video of their creations before they’re rendered inaccessible at the end of December. All team members assigned to the project will be moved elsewhere.
It’s a pity but Google’s foray into virtual worlds was, at the time, seen as a bit of a strange move. This shuttering is to be expected, considering the low population in the world, and the lack of synergy with any of Google’s other offerings. Right now, Google’s got more important things to focus on.
Pioneer has gone and announced exactly what everyone’s been expecting for the last month or more – that production of their Plasma screens will be ceased, with third-party (likely Matsushita) panels being rebranded for their Kuro range.
According to a news release from Pioneer this morning, “we have judged that maintaining the cost competitiveness of plasma display panels at projected sales volumes will be difficult going forward. Accordingly, we have decided to terminate in-house plasma display panel production and to procure these panels externally, after panel production for our next series of models is complete.”
To reduce the amount of job losses…
That headline’s perhaps a bit dramatic. That’s not really what the weather-watchers at The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said at all.
The point is this – our Sun appears to be going into a new cycle of sunspot activity, which could, possibly, maybe if it goes “2 da Xtreme,” interfere with all the cool electric stuff we so dearly rely upon.
The solar breakout could lead to mobile networks breaking, GPS systems crashing and the power grids…