Xbox One – Microsoft Changes Its Mind

After feeling the heat from consumers over the Xbox One, Microsoft has changed its mind about some key features of the gaming system. In a blog post titled “Your Feedback Matters,” the company dropped the requirement for an Internet connection  in order to play offline Xbox One games. Previously, players would have needed to check in at least once every 24 hours. 

The company also dropped plans for limitations on the trade-in, lending, reselling, giving used games as gifts and game rental. 

Don Mattrick, President of Microsoft’s Interactive Entertainment Business wrote: “I would like to take the opportunity today to thank you for your assistance in helping us to reshape the future of Xbox One. While we believe that the majority of people will play games online and access the cloud for both games and entertainment, we will give consumers the choice of both physical and digital content. We have listened and we have heard loud and clear from your feedback that you want the best of both worlds.”  That seems like a polite way of saying, “Stop yelling at us! We changed it back!”

The move comes as a relief to game retailers and resellers who do a big business in trade-ins and used games, and also to gamers without consistent high-speed Internet connections.

Firefox Postpones Plans To Block 3rd Party Cookies Again

Mozilla has postponed plans to block 3rd party cookies by default in Firefox for the third time in three months. Mozilla’s CTO said that it was due to concerns about false positives and false negatives that would result in information you want being blocked and cookies you don’t want being permitted.

The company announced it was working with Standford University’s Center for Internet and Society to develop a “Cookie Clearinghouse.” The CCH would work at coming up with a list of site to be blocked by browsers.

Mozilla said their goal was to protect the privacy of the Firefox user while being transparent about the process. Many Internet advertisers expressed concern that default blocking of 3rd party cookies would cripple their businesses.

NASA Reveals Billion Pixel Panorama Of Mars

In addition to Tweeting his adventures on Mars back to Earth, NASA’s Curiosity Rover has been busy taking some pretty incredible shots of the red planet.  NASA has released a billion pixel panorama that stitches together nearly 900 images taken by the camera’s aboard Curiosity Rover.

The full-circle scene surrounds the site where Curiosity collected his first scoops of sand called Rocknest.

“It gives a sense of place and really shows off the cameras’ capabilities,” said Bob Deen of the Multi-Mission Image Processing Laboratory at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. “You can see the context and also zoom in to see very fine details.”

I  spent quite awhile zooming in on the rocks and looking for hidden signs of life. To paraphrase one my literary heroes Ray Bradbury, “There is life on Mars! It’s Us!”

You can check out the amazing images by clicking here.

 ~ Cynthia