Senior Localization Producer Patrick Riley called into The 404 this week to talk with us about MadWorld, the new M-rated Wii game from Sega that has raised the eyebrows of media watchdog agencies such as the NIMF. Together we discuss the responsibilities that parents must endure when it comes to M-rated gaming, and how education about the ESRB's rating system needs to have a more public presence.
Dr. Michael Breus, the Sleep Doctor, joins us today for what is quite possibly the most informative show we've ever done. No iPhone OS 3.0 news here today. We've got something so much better. It's our 300th episode, and we're still not canceled! *Fingers crossed.*
That's right, we're still amazed. 300!
If you've ever listened to the show, you know we push the limit of acceptable behavior--even on the Interwebs. Justin has his poop jokes. Wilson has his stuffed peppers. And Jeff has his general hatred of humanity and happiness. Thank you, our listeners, for keeping us alive and giving us a reason to come into work every day. Go out and celebrate St. Patrick's Day with your friends, call The 404, and let us know why you listen to the show. 1-866-404-CNET (2638).
We couldn't think of any better way to celebrate than to have Dr. Michael Breus on the show. Why would an Internet culture show have a sleep doctor on? Because boy do we love sleep, and we promise you won't be disappointed. He talks about how long you should sleep. What you should eat before you go to bed. Whether clear liquor or dark liquors will give you a hang over. We cover it all. Thank you so much for your questions. He's got a great blog too.
Celebrating episode 301 tomorrow, we've got debbiefromtoronoto coming on the show. She's going to bring a big bag of goodies. We can't wait to get a hold of those ketchup potato chips. And for 302, we've got Jonathan Coulton, musician and generally cool dude. Be prepared for more awesomeness.EPISODE 300 Download today's podcast… Read more
We can't keep you from getting pinched if you've neglected to deck yourself in verdant hues this St. Patrick's Day, but we can help keep you in the spirit of green with these energy-saving apps. Of course, we'd never tease you so mercilessly with a collection of "green apps" without also pointing out our jolly supply of leprechaun and other St. Patrick's Day screensavers. Without further ado, make merry with these eco-minded downloads.
Rearden Commerce is a survivor. Founded right before the dot-com bubble peaked in early 2000, it's gone from a tiny company based in a sketchy San Francisco neighborhood to a growing Silicon Valley online service that helps more than 2,000 customers manage business services such as shipping and travel.
In a recent e-mail interview, CNET News Executive Editor Jim Kerstetter asked Rearden CEO Patrick Grady what's next for his company. In the interview, Grady was surprisingly candid about whether Rearden is a good acquisition target, discussed how Rearden made it through the dot-com bust, and revealed himself to be a considerable fan of the author Ayn Rand.
The following is a condensed version of that interview:
Q: When I first met you, your company was in a little office on the edge of (San Francisco's) Tenderloin. What happened to that old office? Grady: When we moved into that office in February 2000, it was the very top of the bubble and the vacancy rate was one-half of one percent in San Francisco. It was the absolute cheapest space I could find and it came with some interesting "amenities." We had the XXX "Theater" next door, drug dealers openly conducting business in front, the homeless regularly making their way into our cubes, and the methadone clinic behind us. As soon as the real estate market collapsed, we ran from that lease and the neighborhood and never looked back!
Your company is certainly a survivor. How'd you make it through the dot-com bust? Was there a point when you worried the company was going to go under? Grady: Nuclear winter was much longer and far more difficult on us than most companies I believe. First, we had raised a seed round of only $2 million before the bubble burst as opposed to the war chests of others. Second, our initial target market was the "enterprise" and large corporations simply didn't begin buying in any consistent manner from start-ups again until 2004. Third, more than a simple Web application company, we were building out a general-purpose platform and an application in parallel. In summary, we had virtually no cash, no customers and enormous technical complexity to contend with from 2000 to 2004. We call it the character-building era.
We survived by recapitalizing the company and ridding ourselves of investors that didn't have the patience to be in it for the long haul, moving into an industrial warehouse for a fraction of the cost of our former space, buying our equipment from auctions of dead dot-coms (i.e. Pets.com, WebVan) and having employees exchange cash for stock. During one stretch, our executive team worked for a $1 annualized salary and I invested $3 million personally to provide confidence to other investors. We lived payroll to payroll through the nuclear winter.
When exactly did you change the name of the company from Gazoo (to Talaris and finally Rearden Commerce) and why? Grady: I always intended to call the company Rearden Commerce once we had established proof of the platform and the business model. The name Rearden Commerce was inspired by the literary character, Hank Rearden, in the book Atlas Shrugged. Rearden worked for nearly 10 years to create a new kind of alloy that was far superior to steel. Rearden Metal was lighter, stronger, and cheaper than steel, revolutionizing not only the steel and railroad industries but served as a core enabler for the industrial economy.… Read more
We're saddened to learn that actor/writer/director Patrick McGoohan has died at age 80. His cult favorite TV series, The Prisoner (1967-68), was startlingly forward-thinking in its imaginative use of technology, presaging surveillance societies, virtual reality, and artificial intelligence.
After starring in the '60s spy series Danger Man (and turning down the role of James Bond), McGoohan turned the genre on its head and created and starred in (as well as writing and directing several episodes of) this 17-episode story arc about a kidnapped secret agent. The show played off of Cold War paranoia, with plenty of genre-breaking … Read more
The New York City police officer who was seen on YouTube last summer tackling a bicyclist in what appeared to be an unprovoked attack, has been indicted.
Patrick Pogan, a cop for just three weeks before a videotape appeared on YouTube that showed him slamming a cyclist to the ground without providing any warning, is charged with misdemeanor assault and felony counts for allegedly falsifying his report.
Pogan, 23, pleaded not guilty on Tuesday. He was released without bail and ordered to return to court on February 4, according to the Associated Press.
On June 25, Pogan was watching hundreds … Read more
White lists will be on every desktop within the next five years, according to Patrick Morley, CEO of Massachusetts-based Bit9. Morley was in town to address the Dow Jones VentureWire Technology Showcase in Redwood City, Calif., on Tuesday. He stopped by CNET News afterward to discuss why he believes white listing will be important in the next few years.
The basic idea behind "white listing" is to define a set of software, a set of vendors, and allow only those trusted applications or files from those vendors to run on your machine. If a file or application is … Read more
About 15 percent of all online computers are infected with bots, says a new report (PDF) on emerging threats for 2009 from Georgia Tech Information Security Center. And according to Patrick Traynor, assistant professor at Georgia Tech's School of Computer Science, "We'll start to see the botnet problem infiltrate the mobile world in 2009."
In Traynor's view, if botnets, or large networks of infected computing devices, gain a foothold on mobile devices, they could be used to create a distributed denial of service attack on the cellular network itself, inconveniencing thousands of cell-phone customers.
But … Read more
A second criminal hacker accused of involvement in the massive data breach targeted at T.J. Maxx's parent company, one of the largest security breaches to date, reportedly pleaded guilty on Monday.
As part of a plea bargaining arrangement Christopher Scott, 25, of Miami, has admitted to computer hacking, access device fraud, and identity theft, according to the Associated Press. He could face a sentence of up to 22 years in jail and a fine of up to $1 million for his crimes.
In November 1999, Patrick Grady gathered some friends and advisers to talk about creating an Internet service that would transform the way businesses services are delivered to large corporations. The idea was to build an on-demand Web services platform and a digital personal assistant that takes the hassle out of making travel and dining plans, shipping packages, setting up Web conferences, procuring event tickets and scheduling parking or car services. The metadata-driven technology would take into account user and business preferences and normalize service interfaces so that users could access data from several providers, such as airline or hotel reservations.… Read more