BBC BLOGS - See Also
« Previous | Main | Next »

Tech Brief

Post categories:

Mark Ward | 16:38 UK time, Friday, 14 May 2010

Windows XPOn Tech Brief today: Welcome the table overlords, how to exploit the vanity of New York ad men, and playing with Twitter.

• Vanity! Thou gaudy bauble. To everyone but Alec Brownstein, that is. The enterprising copywriter bought adverts based around the names of the creative directors at advertising firms that he wanted to work for. When they Googled their own names, up popped his ad asking if they had a position for him:

"It worked: Everyone but one of his targets called him, and today Brownstein works for Young & Rubicam, a fancy New York ad agency."

• At almost nine years old, Microsoft's Windows XP is getting on a bit. Perhaps this explains why the Redmond software giant is pensioning off some of the older bits. It has announced that versions only patched with Service Pack 2 will have support cut on 13 July. Byron Acohido predicts this will not end well because so many PCs inside large firms are just such XP machines:

"And as anyone paying attention knows, infected PCs in corporate settings are in high demand by cyber gangs controlling the botnets driving all forms of cybercrime. Botnets are used to spread spam, steal data, hijack online bank accounts, commit click fraud and conduct denial-of-service attacks for extortion or political reasons."

• Twitter: good for microblogging; bad for gaming. Until now. Thanks to coders Tom Scott and Dom Hodgson, you can use your followers and those of friends to play Tweet Trumps. Like Top Trumps but with friends rather than supercars:

"Basically, it looks at any given username and works out who is mutually following who, and then presents the statistics about those accounts in the Top Trump format. I'm pleased with my ability to work out which of my friends are actually sweariest."

• Beware the tables. They have found a way to reproduce without the aid of humans. Designers Reed Kram and Clemens Weisshaar have found a way to make tables that resemble each other like siblings do. Alike but not identical. Bruce Sterling likes what he sees:

"They'll fire up the algorithm, laser-cut one of those babies, powder-coat it, and it'll look like and yet unlike all others. They've made seven years' worth of 'em. Imagine the joy of doing something on this solid, generative table... dunno what, planning nonlinear world domination maybe... a table supported by stout iron legs created with minimal human intervention!"

If you want to suggest links or stories for Tech Brief, you can send them to @bbctechbrief on Twitter, tag them bbctechbrief on Delicious or e-mail them to

Links in full
Adrian Chen | Valley Wag | Copywriter Uses People's Incessant Self-Googling to Get a Job
Byron Acohido | The Last Watchdog | Microsoft to end security support for Windows XP Service Pack 2
Kieron Gillen | Rock Paper Shotgun | The Failstate Whale: Tweet Trumps
Bruce Sterling | Beyond the Beyond | Kram Weisshaar Breeding Tables

More from this blog...

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.