Tech Digest Podcast #2


Here’s the second podcast from the team at Tech Digest. This week, we got stuck in to Twitter being bought by Google, Conficker’s no-show, and whether or not it’s reasonable for networks to get upset about Skype on the iPhone.

In the middle section, Dan extolled the joys of the Kaleidescape home cinema system, while I tried to convince him to use a couple of services that boost your Twitter experience – Mr Tweet and Topify.

Lastly, we talked about about the death of some poor guy while using Wii fit, and the end of Microsoft’s Encarta encyclopedia. I miss mindmaze so terribly 🙁

A small round of applause to the venerable Andy Merret, a.k.a. the Tech Trumpet, for coming up with some jingles for the start and end of the podcast. They’re rather good, aren’t they? Thanks Andy!

Download the podcast directly here, or subscribe via this URL.

As ever, if you have any comments, topics that you’d like us to talk about, or general abuse, throw it our way by sending us a tweet at @techdigest or emailing [email protected].

Encarta ended, Wikipedia wins


Microsoft’s encyclopedia software, Encarta, has finally had its plug pulled. In June, the software products will disappear, and on October 31st 2009, the website will go too. Japan gets slightly longer, until December 31st 2009.

Microsoft has an FAQ page dedicated to the subject, which sets out why the project is getting axed: “The category of traditional encyclopedias and reference material has changed. People today seek and consume information in considerably different ways than in years past.”

Basically, it’s saying ‘people use Wikipedia, so we’re giving up’. Fair enough, I suppose – it’s increasingly difficult to cope with the crowdsourced project, and it’s good that Microsoft isn’t kidding itself that it can compete, like it is with Games for Windows.

What I’ll miss most from Encarta is Mindmaze, which I spent many happy hours on at school once I’d got past the orbital simulator and had enough of listening to Martin Luther King’s ‘I Have a Dream’ speech.

Mindmaze was a quiz where you had to travel through a medieval dungeon answering questions to progress. It featured inappropriate cleavage (pictured) as well as insane non-sequiturs from the court jester stood on a big blue box and the creepiest alchemist ever. Ahh… happy days.

(via Ars Technica)