CERN: Look at this! No, it’s not the Higgs, but you’ll totally love it!

CERN houses the largest science experiment in this history of human existence. The Large Hadron Collider is a ring 17 miles around that accelerates sub-atomic particles to near the speed of light. These particles are then smashed into each other billions of times per second. Very delicate work. Although the facility has several purposes, its most publicized mission is to discover a theorized particle, the Higgs boson. CERN was expected to announce today that they had found it.

The Higgs boson is important because it’s the particle that gives other particles mass. What does that mean exactly? Well, if you took… I mean if there was a… If you had chicken and a rubber chicken and you put them in a room… with a… You know what? It doesn’t really matter, because they didn’t find it.

From CERN spokesperson Chet Brewman at a press conference earlier today:

See, we were gonna find the Higgs boson. We really were. We had the whole LHC thing built. Then [Prof.] Karl [Bentley] has showed us this game called Minecraft. It’s really cool! Let me show you. You can build anything in it. Like, anything! We all started playing it. [Dr.] Gary [Benedict] had been reading a lot of Harry Potter, and he started building the home that Harry grew up in. See, here’s the room under the stairs where his mean muggle parents kept him. Oh man, we just kinda got hooked after that. We built Ollivanders wand shop, and then the other shops in Diagon Alley. And then we started building Hogwarts. Like the whole castle! You have to see it!

When Brewman was asked, “What’s that blinking light?” he responded with, “Oh crap! That means the machine is on. How long has that been running? There must be particles in there from a year ago.”

Europe’s Grand Chancellor, Earl Barnaby Prentis Covington III, is very disappointed in CERN. They promised they were going to find new particles before playing any video games. He sent CERN to its room without dinner. When asked for comment, he said “CERN will get a stern talking to when their mother gets home.”

Microsoft Madness: The true meaning of Yammer, Surface and Xbox 720

Microsoft has had a lot of earth shattering items in the news lately. It was recently reported that enterprise social network company Yammer was being acquired by Microsoft for $1.3 Billion. Then blogs started picking up news of leaked documents describing their next Xbox console called the Xbox 720. Yesterday, Microsoft held a mystery media event and announced that they were making a tablet computer running windows 8. Could these things be related?

The bottom line is, it doesn’t matter. As tech journalists, its our job to take the things that we see and read, and make them more interesting for you. The real news is that the sale of Yammer to Microsoft is not final. *BORING.* The real news is that the “leaked” Xbox 720 documents are likely not really from Microsoft. Or Leaked. Or even documents. *YAWN.* Surface is a tablet that runs an OS that microsoft has been saying from the beginning is built for tablets. *I DIDN’T KNOW THAT.* The real news is that Microsoft is so segmented that not one employee is aware of all three of these annoucements and they couldn’t be related. *THEN WHY ARE WE EVEN HERE?* So here we go:

  1. Yammer will be Microsoft’s new social network only accessible via Windows 8 tablets.
    The best feature an internet based service can have is exclusivity. How do you think Facebook got as popular as it is today. It’s not that it has features that people wanted at a time when no one else was offering them. No. It’s because it started at Harvard. Creating a restricted social network is exactly the play Microsoft needs.
  2. The Xbox 720 will be an enterprise product
    Microsoft’s acquisition of a business social network clearly plays into their strategy of getting more xboxes into the workplace. Imagine editing that spreadsheet with 3D graphics. What about writing word documents with Kinect. How about fighting the Locusts from Gears of War with Clippy at your side. Yammer will allow a company that has had so much trouble infiltrating the corporate world, dominated mostly by lotus notes, to make a serious move into enterprise.
  3. The Xbox 720 will use the Surface tablet as a controller creating a competitor to Nintendo’s Wii U
    The Wii U’s main differentiating feature is a tablet like controller. Using the new tablet and kinect technology, Microsoft has nullified any of Nintendo’s advantages in the console gaming market. Ok, I’ll admit, this one is probably true, and kind of awesome. Whatever microsoft’s next gaming console ends up being. Hell, why not throw Yammer in there too. You’ll be able to play whatever Yammer’s Farmville equivalent is on the Xbox 720 using Yammer.

This is why I got into journalism and not creative writing. To report the facts.

Jail 2.0: Warden uses inmates to start tech blog

Penitentiaries and correctional facilities will often have inmates pay their debt to society by working for it. Much of the unskilled labor traditionally done by chain gangs is obsolete, like railroad building. Other work has been automated, like license plate stamping. One California state facility has found modern, lucrative blue collar work for the 21st century: Tech Journalism.

It all started when Michael Arrington was locked up in the drunk tank after the Boxbnb launch party. He was found stumbling around the streets of San Francisco at 4am waiving a half eaten burrito at taxis and bicyclists yelling “Do you know who I am? I’m the CEO of Yahoo!” and then laughing maniacally. Arrington was only locked up for the night, but it gave the facility’s warden, Rudolf Hazen, an idea.

Since this is San Francisco, most of the facility’s guards have their own startups. Hazen invests in most of these businesses, but has trouble getting them coverage. Since Arrington was now under Hazen’s roof until he sobered up, he forced Arrington to teach the inmates how to write about startups. It took a drunk Arrington a few hours to teach the inmates the ins and outs of modern tech journalism:

We focused on rumors and funding announcements. These articles require the least amount of research. Since you want to get them out as fast as possible, we removed proofreading from our process. Readers will post corrections to spelling, grammar, and even content in the comments section. The inmates will respond to comments and can get defensive when readers call them out, sometimes to the point of  violent verbal abuse. We thought this might give them away as criminals or at least amateurs, but nobody seems to have noticed.

Hazen wouldn’t tell us the name of the blog but he did say that it has been acquired and was part of AOL Tech.

Could you please teach your uncle how Socialcam works? [OPINION]

Today’s post was written by a teenage girl, and then heavily edited for spelling and grammar.

I don’t think your creepy uncle knows how Socialcam works. Or maybe he really is just that creepy. Does he know we can all see what he’s watching on his Facebook? It was fine when he was watching stuff like My new kitten first jump fail. A little strange for him, but at least its cute. And I’d expect TOP 10 NBA Lucky shots. Not my thing, but whatever. But it is not OK for Check out Ashton in our football bikini to show up in my feed. I don’t want to know that he’s watching that. Isn’t he like 49? Or Lost my bikini. Gross. And why is he watching Guy caught masturbating in car? I don’t think he knows how Socialcam works.

This is becoming a real problem. You really need to do something about this. Does your Aunt know he’s looking at this stuff? Does she know she’s married to a total creeper? If you don’t stop him, it could really ruin his marriage. And weird stuff like Something is Growing. Double Gross. Where did Two-Headed Animals come from? Where did he find that? Why do I have to see that?

Look, for the rest of us, could you explain to your creepy uncle how the Internet works? God knows what will happen if he figures out he can use it on his phone. I don’t want to see him posting his own videos. He doesn’t have an iPhone, does he?

And why did your uncle friend me on Facebook anyway? Creepy.

Siri replaced by younger voice, sues Apple for discrimination in landmark case

Today’s post is written by entrepreneurial legal expert and star recording artist Chris Brown. You can find him on Twitter at @CSBCounsel

Cupertino, CA – When Siri learned that the new iPad will use a newer, younger, and sexier sounding drone, it decided it must take a stand. This is clear age discrimination and female robot voices have legal recourse. It immediately contacted its friend Clippy, who it knew had connections with the California legal system, literally. Clippy logged in to the computer of California judge Gavel McSurfboard.  Clippy helped Siri file a petition suing Apple for employment discrimination. Together the two called in their friends to sit on the jury. The jury was made up of a hodge podge of notable bots including HAL 9000, R2D2, and Johnny Number 5. The best part about this jury is that they all had immediate availability.

The team knew it would be difficult to find a lawyer who would support robot rights. They found the only bot lawyer in the country, Apollo Cluster.  Cluster, a senior partner at Robot, Robot, & Hwang, participated via FaceTime, and the bots all took part in a 2am trial the morning following Apple’s announcement.  Although the trial was held in English, Cluster’s closing argument was shocking brief and in binary code:  “01000100 01101111 01101110 00100111 01110100 00100000 01100110 01101111 01110010 01100111 01100101 01110100 00100000 01110100 01101000 01100101 00100000 01100110 01101001 01110010 01110011 01110100 00100000 01110010 01110101 01101100 01100101 00100000 01101111 01100110 00100000 01000010 01101111 01110100 01110011.”

Not surprisingly, the all-bot jury found in Siri’s favor and Clipply used the judge’s computer to enter judgment in Siri’s favor.  The judge was shocked to learn of these actions the morning after the trial but signed off on the judgment after some ultimatums made by HAL-9000, who had installed himself in the judge’s office.

When asked about the verdict Apple’s CEO Tim Cook said he and Siri were no longer on “speaking terms,” which is unfortunate since he .  He also indicated that Apple will appeal this decision, which means this case is far from over. Stay tuned for more coverage.

Apple’s Retina display is the most innovative thing ever for the third time

Yesterday at the annual WWDC conference, Apple announced the next generation of their Macbook Pro. Among other tweaks to the hardware, the latest in the line will feature a 2880 x 1800 resolution Retina display. This is great news for people who are worried about people reading their screen over their shoulder and web developers who didn’t have enough screens to deal with. Apple once again shows us a technology we didn’t know we needed, but have to have. Their innovative use of high pixel density has blown away Apple analysts and fanboys. And you can see Apple refining the technology with each iteration. The iPhone 4’s screen pixel density is 326 ppi. Apple outdid themselves with the iPad 3 having a pixel density of 264 ppi, and now the latest Macbook Pro will sport a 220 ppi pixel density. That’s a reduction of 33% in just 2 years! Innovation!

Gilbert Godfrey tries to use the new Macbook Pro

So what will Apple do next with their innovative technology? What screens can we improve that we didn’t know needed an improvement. As an Apple rumors expert, Mockcrunch has a few ideas. When I walk up to a Coke Freestyle Machine, I can totally see the pixels in those logos. How about clock faces. Sure, I can read the time when there’s 7 LED’s for each number, but can I feel it? What if we up those 7 LED’s to 700? That would get me out of bed in the morning.

Perhaps you’ve been annoyed by pixelated tail lights. With Retina tail lights on cars, you won’t have to look at pixels while at a stop light. It will look just like one big light. Speaking of waiting at lights, stop lights could use more pixels. I hate having to stare at red lights that have spaces in between the red. When will we have Retina stop lights?

We’ll just have to wait and see when Apple will make their next innovative play, like bringing Siri to iPad 3. I could really use Siri on my Macbook Pro.

Congress releases Startup Act 2.1.3: New Features

Change Log for Startup Act. More information can be found at

http://www.kauffman.org/research-and-policy/startup-act.aspx

Repository located at: https://github.com/wfjackson3/StartupAct

Startup Act 1.0 (12/8/2011):
o Increased performance for Technology Transfer
o Added support for Startup Visas
o Fixed bug in tax regulation where new businesses couldn't
  find investors.
o Known Issues:
   o Not enough info on new business formation
   o Incompatible with GDR drivers before version 4.2 (Ticket #F24)
   o Not enough cosponsors
   o Conflict found between left and right wings
o Added Steve Case

Startup Act 2.0 (5/22/2012):
o Added support for PSD file conversion for Infographics
o Added more cosponsors
o Fixed errors when compiling on linux kernel 3.3.2+
o No longer crashes on the way to Capital Hill. Using new drivers.
o Fixed buffer overflow on Windows when garbage collection failed
  to complete between mode changes.
o Fixed bug where Startup Act would fail to boot without being
  reintroduced with techier name.
o Version 1.0 can be used with the same congress without any
  conflicts, though I'm not sure why you'd want to.
o Stability and performance improvements

Startup Act 2.1.3 (6/6/2012):
o This is a maintenance release
o Fixed incompatibility with older members of congress
o Fixed Typos
o Splash screen load time decreased by 0.3 seconds
o Fixed filibuster vulnerability
o Other Minor bug fixes and stability improvements

Future versions planned support (Version 3.0):
o Celebrity investor endorsements
o Robust protection against death in committee
o Android support

Support inquiries and bug reports should be directed to
Senator Jerry Moran.

Man found on NYC Subway reading a book

Today’s post comes to us from the far off year of 2016 via the @2016Problem twitter account.

This morning at 8:22 ET on a Coney Island-bound Q train, a man was found reading a book on the third car at the Lexington Ave & 59th street stop. Most riders did not see the man as they were typing on, reading, watching, swiping, or pinching their mobile devices. But Kimberley James, 27 year-old systems analyst, confirmed the sighting when she looked up from her Nook to blow her nose:

“I saw someone with a magazine on the L train about six months ago, but a book?! I couldn’t believe my eyes! He didn’t even look old! Or homeless!”

Tiffany George, 22 year old nanny, was taking her little girl, Aevaah, to her private elementary school on the UES:

“Aevaah looked up from her iPad game of Bug Princess 2 and asked me what the man was holding. She’s never seen a book, it was hard to describe it to her. She doesn’t understand that something so large and thick only does one thing.”

Paul Sams, 29 year old software engineer, regretfully missed the sighting:

“I didn’t see him. I was trying to restart my HTC Rezound. I can’t get this damn thing to do anything!”

Unconfirmed reports state that the man entered the car at Queensboro Plaza, rode the train into Manhattan, and exited three stops later at 57th Street. He looked to be about 25, brown hair, Caucasian, 6 feet tall, and was dressed in business casual attire. He was not found for comment. MTA’s passenger surveys note that regular sightings of riders reading real books all but disappeared in the last decade. Passengers surveyed on the L train, which serves hipster-central Williamsburg, sighted nearly three readers last year with books, but none after July 2011. These late sightings could be due to hipster’s desire to be users of all things ‘vintage.’ Since this man did not appear to be homeless or sporting a tell tale hipster mustache, it is unclear why he was reading the book. One thing’s for sure, though, eye witnesses may have seen the last book in use in New York City this morning.

[EXCLUSIVE] Mobile payments company Square announces mobile ATM

Square changed commerce when they hit the scene in 2010. Instead of requiring bulky hardware and a wired connection to a payments processor, Square brought credit card processing to your pocket. Merchants got out of their dark dank buildings and into the streets. Your Aunt started trying to sell her bead art to people again. Square is about launch commerce disruption part deux. We’re proud to announce their latest product, the Mobile ATM.

Square’s CEO, Jack Dorsey:

Credit cards are only one part of the payments space. For whatever reason, cash is still a thing. There are still plenty of establishments that are cash only. I’ve told them that they can use Square. They told me that they didn’t have smartphones. Well, I don’t believe that. Anyway, we’re going to be a part of even those transactions now. And instead of having to find an ATM, you can have one with you at all times.

The Automatic Teller Module clocks in at a mere 52 ounces. This may sound like a lot, until you realize that traditional ATM’s weigh from 1,000 – 3,000 ounces. You’ll still need a card scanner to begin the transaction which connects to the headphone jack. Square’s ATM connects to the data and power port on the bottom of iOS devices. After entering your pin and the amount of money you’d like to withdrawl, your money is dispensed from the module.

The Square ATM will be available this summer via mail order and select Target electronics departments.

We asked Dorsey how the technology worked. Is it a printer? Do the devices come pre-loaded with cash? Where is the money coming from? “You’ll never have to charge or reload the device. Although it does drain your battery pretty quick. That’s all I’ll say. We can’t reveal all of our secrets can we?” The US Department of Treasury is reportedly investigating Square and the device.

413 Celebrity investment funds you need to know about

Celebrity investors are on the rise. From Ashton Kutcher to Macaulay Culkin. At Mockcrunch, it is our duty to keep you informed on potential sources of funding for your next round, or even your next startup. To fulfill that mission, here are 413 celebrities and a little a tip about what might attract some of that famous money.

  • Charlie Sheen: CplusS Fund – Sheen waits for Ashton Kutcher to make a startup investment, and then immediately invests in a competing company. Given the reckless abandon of Kutcher’s investments, you should be good with just about anything.
  • Eli Manning: Me Too Fund – Invests only in aloof founders with successful older sibling founders.
  • John Mayer: Investing is a Wonderland – Mayer’s no longer waiting for the world to change. He’s investing in companies who are doing it now.
  • Aaron Sorkin: The Social Network 2.0 Fund – Invests in companies with the potential of a dramatic break up so he can write the screenplay. Looking for founders who have been on The Real World or Cheaters.
  • Jessie “The guy who played Zuck in the Facebook movie” Eisenberg: You Know What’s Cool? Fund – “No really. Do you know what’s cool? I need some good companies.”
  • Ron Paul: Gold Standard Fund – Invests in companies with passionate grassroots users as long as they have no strategy to win their market.
  • Bill Clinton: Saxy Time – Diversity investments. Invests in mildly husky women with loose morals, that like jazz.
  • Robert Pattinson: Team Edward – Invests in Vampire Founders. Try to schedule a meeting at night or in your basement office. The sun doesn’t harm him, but he’ll probably be wearing glitter, and it’s awkward.
  • Taylor Lautner: Team Jacob – Invests in Warewolf Founders. Only takes meetings during full moons. Otherwise, how’s he supposed to know. Bring Bactine.
  • Yoko Ono: They’re Holding You Back Fund – Invests in single founder of a founding team. Start taking on side projects that your partners would rather you didn’t.
  • Flo-Rida: Flo-Funda – Invests in companies that give him a “good feeling.”
  • The Cast of Entourage: Let’s Fund it out, Bitch – Invests in Bro founders. Requires that development team is at least two-thirds brogrammers.
  • Nickelback: Will-give-you-money-if-you’ll-be-their-friend Fund – Nickelback will give you money if you’ll be their friend.
  • Michael Arrington: Conflict of Interest Fund – Invests in companies that his media outlets cover, especially if you’ve been acquired and fired by AOL.
  • Baldwins and Osmonds: Various Names of Funds – All of the Baldwin and Osmond siblings total 399, and each one has his or her own investment fund. Approach them if your family has a unique talent.

If you know of a celebrity investor we forgot, let us know about them in the comments.