T.G.I.F.

Friday Five: TomEE logo, Neil Young’s startup and a creepy Windows 95

Got that Friday feeling? It’s certainly present in JAX Towers this week, which means it’s time for the sorta-on-topic-but-quickly-not-so Friday Five.


1. TomEE logo contest

Calling all artists - the Apache TomEE team need your help! The Web Profile Java EE 6 stack has been progressing nicely over the past year, yet the project’s never had its own identifiable logo. That’s set to change with a contest announced at Devoxx. From now until December 15th, you can let your artistic flair go wild and submit as many logos as you please. Perhaps you want to stay true to TomEE’s Tomcat heritage or maybe you might prefer something a bit more avant-garde.

The winner will get their design emblazoned across the TomEE community - on the website, on TomEE shirts and on future conference swag. If you’re creative and love TomEE, there’s no reason not to enter. (CM)


2. Searching for a heart investment of gold

Legendary singer-songwriter Neil Young, at the age of 67, has entered the wild world of venture capital, with a new music format called ‘Pono’. He announced the venture on the David Letterman Show in September, showing off a prism-shaped yellow device and boasting that it “plays back the best sound that anyone can get”. It’s not a new format, he said, but a hardware device that can “play anything” and “preserve” studio-quality sound.

But will this be enough for Andreessen Horowitz et al? Does it have the potential to disrupt the industry? Have they iterated fast enough? Is there enough pivoting? I guess we’ll find out After The Gold Rush. (EB)


3. Al Gore on America’s information infrastructure

Over recent weeks, Reddit’s Ask Me Anything had some interesting personalities stop by, most notably the current president. Barack Obama’s visit also crashed the site. This week, the man who used to be the next president of the United States, Al Gore talked energy, climate change and Tommy Lee Jones being his college roommate, amongst other things.

One answer that caught our eye was this one:

Our national information infrastructure is no longer competitive. We need to invest in more bandwidth, easier access, and the rapid transition of our democratic institutions to the internet. And we need to protect the freedom of the internet against corporate control by legacy businesses that see it as a threat, and against the obscene invasions of privacy and threats to security from government and corporations alike. Please think about this: almost everytime there has been a choice between privacy/security on the one hand and convenience on the other, the mass of folks have chosen convenience. I for one believe the "stalker economy" on the internet is undemocratic and anti- American. Are folks at the gag point on this yet? Thanks, btw, to the Reddit community for fighting off Sopa and PIPA. Keep your powder dry; more big struggles ahead.

‘Gore 2016’ comments followed soon after. (CM)


4. Surface tablet lawsuit surfaces

It’s difficult to judge how successful Microsoft’s iPad-challenging Surface tablet has been so far, though Steve Ballmer has downplayed the initial launch. One particularly dissatisfied customer is Andrew Sokolowski, a California-based lawyer who was disappointed to find that half of the Surface’s internal 32GB is taken up by the operating system itself.

Instead of blogging about his anger or returning the device, he has filed a lawsuit demanding that Microsoft “correct its unlawful practices by providing consumers with notice of the true characteristics of the Surface tablets and that Microsoft refund profits from sales it obtained as a result of misrepresenting the characteristics of its Surface tablets”.

A Microsoft spokeswoman told PCMag: “This lawsuit is without merit.” (EB)


5. Tumblr of the Week: 'Windows 95 Tips'

And finally... from contemporary Microsoft products to classic ones: here’s a bizarre yet hilarious tumblr that defies further explanation.

Chris Mayer and Elliot Bentley

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