2013 was the first time in many years that Microsoft didn’t host the opening keynote for the Consumer Electronics Show here in Las Vegas. Instead, the show went to Qualcomm and its CEO, Dr. Paul Jacobs. We weren’t quite sure what to expect beyond a new series of processors, but what we got was weirder than anything we’ve seen in all of our collective years attending CES. While Chris Ziegler translated the surreal experiences into a liveblog and I took photos of the craziest moments, the rest of the Verge staff took to Twitter to react to the event. You can relive the insanity right here.
The video is here.
What a trainwreck.
Today, January 8th 2013, marks the 20th anniversary of my house burning down, so I decided to write a comic about it. It was a terrible thing and I’ve found the best way to deal with terrible things is to tell funny stories about them later.
The court in the northeastern canton of Glarus ruled that the farmer and his family no longer needed to pay some 70 Swiss francs (£47) a year to keep the sanctuary lamp of the Naefels Catholic church burning.
The debt dated back to 1357, when a certain Konrad Mueller killed a man named Heinrich Stucki.
To save his soul and avoid revenge attacks from the victim’s family, Mueller gave a sanctuary lamp to a local church and vowed to finance its fuel “for eternity”.
If he failed to do so, his land would go to the Church, Swiss public broadcaster RTS reported.
But when the Naefels parish wanted to register this arrangement officially with the municipality, one of the landowners balked.
The church took him to court, but the court ruled on December 20 that the legal customs practised in the 14th century had ceased to be valid when Switzerland reformed its lending sector in the mid-1800s.
Hosts of the Atheist Experience cable access show in Austin hung up on a Christian caller over the weekend after he suggested that God might not stop the rape of a little girl because the victim was also “evil.”
More and more US schools have police patrolling the corridors. Pupils are being arrested for throwing paper planes and failing to pick up crumbs from the canteen floor. Why is the state criminalising normal childhood behaviour?
A Roman Catholic priest in the Netherlands is to put on display the names and photographs of parish members trying to leave the Church in a bid to get them to stay.
“This is a large parish, and I don’t known everyone: by putting up the photos I thought someone might recognise someone they know who they could try to make stay in the Church,” priest Harm Schilder told AFP on Tuesday.
Many Catholics in the liberal Netherlands were shocked by Pope Benedict XVI’s Christmas call to “fight” gay marriage, which the Netherlands was the first country to legalise in 2001.
Schilder said that he had received four requests to leave the Church around Christmas.
“This isn’t about pointing a finger, naming and shaming,” said Schilder, insisting that the plan would help the community pray for these people not to leave the Church and perhaps “persuade them to stay”.
The fun thing is, he’s breaking Dutch privacy laws which could cost him dearly.
A popular Indian spiritual guru has sparked a backlash after saying a 23-year-old student could have averted a murderous gang-rape by begging for mercy from her attackers.
Self-styled godman Asharam, known to his followers as Bapu, or father, told his devotees on Tuesday that blame for the assault on a moving bus in New Delhi on December 16 should not just rest with her attackers.
“This tragedy would not have happened if she had chanted God’s name and fallen at the feet of the attackers. The error was not committed by just one side,” he said in video footage which has been widely circulated on the internet.
The 71-year-old’s remarks – the latest in a series of gaffes by public figures blaming women for the country’s rape epidemic – drew a chorus of condemnation.
I suggest we charge him with being an accessory to rape.
Fresh from paying back a $182 billion bailout, the American International Group Inc. has been running a nationwide advertising campaign with the tagline “Thank you America.”
Behind the scenes, the restored insurance company is weighing whether to tell the government agencies that rescued it during the financial crisis: thanks, but you cheated our shareholders.
The board of A.I.G. will meet on Wednesday to consider joining a $25 billion shareholder lawsuit against the government, court records show. The lawsuit does not argue that government help was not needed. It contends that the onerous nature of the rescue — the taking of what became a 92 percent stake in the company, the deal’s high interest rates and the funneling of billions to the insurer’s Wall Street clients — deprived shareholders of tens of billions of dollars and violated the Fifth Amendment, which prohibits the taking of private property for “public use, without just compensation.”
If you fear genetically modified food, you may have Mark Lynas to thank. By his own reckoning, British environmentalist helped spur the anti-GMO movement in the mid-‘90s, arguing as recently at 2008 that big corporations’ selfish greed would threaten the health of both people and the Earth. Thanks to the efforts of Lynas and people like him, governments around the world—especially in Western Europe, Asia, and Africa—have hobbled GM research, and NGOs like Greenpeace have spurned donations of genetically modified foods.
But Lynas has changed his mind—and he’s not being quiet about it. On Thursday at the Oxford Farming Conference, Lynas delivered a blunt address: He got GMOs wrong. According to the version of his remarks posted online he opened with a bang:
I want to start with some apologies. For the record, here and upfront, I apologise for having spent several years ripping up GM crops. I am also sorry that I helped to start the anti-GM movement back in the mid 1990s, and that I thereby assisted in demonising an important technological option which can be used to benefit the environment.
One of the interesting bits in Lynas’ speech (linked above) is his comparison of rejection of GMOs as equally anti-science as rejection of global warming… just on the other side of the political spectrum.