Screen Grabs chronicles the uses (and misuses) of real-world gadgets in today’s movies and TV. Send in your sightings (with screen grab!) to screengrabs at engadget dot com.
The residents of Mystic Falls, Virginia are the most tech-savvy bunch of supernatural creatures we’ve ever seen. If Edward Cullen and Bella Swan bothered to email each other, then we’d have been spared the horrors of New Moon. Quite the opposite here, as The Vampire Diaries folks have their fingers close to the undead pulse of gadgets, with one character in last night’s episode refusing to type a text message so they could write out their response with an S-Pen. Fans of the show that keep score should know that it currently stands two to Microsoft, two to Google and the fate of humanity all to play for.
When you displease gamers, be prepared to feel their wrath. Modern Warfare 3 gamers are not a happy bunch right now. They have been requesting fixes to bug issues and have not gotten any answers, even though they have given Activision and Infinity Ward many chances. They are being ignored so now they feel that it is time to take action.
Registration for Google’s I/O conference opened earlier today, and it looks like this years conference could be more popular than previous ones, as it took just 28 minutes for the conference to sell out.
The guys over at Droid Life are also reporting that many users were met with a ‘checking for tickets’ message, and quite a few were unable to buy them due to massive demand.
It was probably inevitable, but on Tuesday, it became official: the Encyclopaedia Britannica is finally going out of print. The news was confirmed yesterday by Jorge Cauz, president of Chicago-based Encyclopaedia Britannica Inc., who told the New York Times that his company has decided to completely abandon print operations, in favor of its online platform. The announcement marks the end of a remarkable 244-year run for Britannica and its leather-bound tomes, which at one point stood as a hallmark of middle class living rooms and libraries. In fact, it’s been barely two decades since the company reached its high water mark, when it sold some 120,000 sets back in 1990. Once the internet came into full bloom, however, Britannica’s sales soon plummeted. In 2010, the publisher sold just 8,000 sets, leaving an additional 4,000 unsold copies to gather dust in a warehouse.
Tuesday’s announcement may mark the end of an era, but Cauz seems to have come to terms with Britannica’s decision, calling it a “rite of passage.” He’s also eager to devote more time to his company’s website, which will look to chip away at Wikipedia‘s market hegemony. Cauz, however, believes the two platforms can (and must) co-exist, because they fill two different roles. “We cannot deal with every single cartoon character, we cannot deal with every love life of every celebrity,” he explained. “But we need to have an alternative where facts really matter. Britannica won’t be able to be as large, but it will always be factually correct.”
In a move that is likely to concern Foursquare, Google has quietly rolled out a new leader boardfeature for its Google Latitude product. If you didn’t already know, Google Latitude provides a similar service to Foursquare. In that it’s a location-aware mobile service that enables a mobile phone user to allow certain people to view their current location.
Over the last little while, we’ve seen the Pirate bay slowly transition away from hosting individual torrentfiles with the expectation being that magnetic links would be the new flavor moving forward. Although this transition was coming, the exact date that the switch over would occur was not known.