Plus how to 3D-print your own working camera, and the latest happenings at the NBN Co.
By Jason Imms on July 12, 2013 at 12:17 pm
Welcome to the Friday Tech Roundup! Contained herein is your weekly dose of some of the best tech news from across the Internet, rounded up for your edification and entertainment. Read on for all the details of Microsoft’s major executive reshuffling, the 3D printed manual SLR camera, and EA’s feelings on the Wii U.
EA not supporting the Wii U because “it feels like an offline experience”
A recent article over at gamesindustry.biz states that “EA, at present, has no games in development for the Wii U – and its AAA game engine isn’t compatible with the system.” Peter Moore, COO at EA, spoke frankly about the company’s stance on Nintendo’s floundering console, “We were there with four games for them [at launch],” he said. “It’s been a disappointment when you look at sell-through and, as a company, we have to be very judicious where we deploy our resources.”
It seems that the lack of a robust and populous multiplayer experience on the console is one of the key reasons for their abandonment, “The lack of online engagement that we see on Wii U [is troubling],” says Moore. “It’s so integral to what we do. They’re so small it’s hardly worth running the servers. It seems like a box that’s out of sync with the future of EA – which is one that gives a real social feel to our games. The Wii U feels like an offline experience right now.” The article also includes comments from Yves Guillemot, Chairman and CEO of Ubisoft, and Eric Hirshberg, president and CEO of Activision, both of whom lend their concerns about the future of the Wii U.
NBN Co head Mike Quigley stepping down
NBN Co has announced that CEO Mike Quigley will be stepping down from the position after four years of service. In his statement to the press, Quigley said that his goal to lay the foundations for the NBN for the next 30 years is largely complete. “The role of the next CEO will be to build on these foundations. It is now critical that we further strengthen our partnerships across the construction and telecommunications industries, as we escalate the build of the network and work closely with our retail customers to ensure a smooth migration of families and businesses to the NBN.” According to Communications Minister Anthony Albanese, Quigley was “instrumental in negotiating the deal with Telstra which has paved the way for the NBN rollout.”
He also noted that “Mr Quigley came out of retirement to head NBN Co. He was eager to join the project because he understood the importance of nation- building infrastructure that is essential for our nation’s economic future.” Quigley will remain in the position until a new CEO is found, at which point he will be re-entering retirement.
Major restructuring of Microsoft executive team attempts to unify strategy and direction
In a memo to employees entitled “One Microsoft,” CEO Steve Ballmer has announced what he calls a “far-reaching realignment of the company that will enable us to innovate with greater speed, efficiency and capability in a fast changing world.” In reality, this has resulted in a large number of unit president positions being changed to executive vice presidents. Most notably Terry Myerson, former corporate vice president of Windows Phone, is now the executive vice president of operating systems, and Julie Larson-Green will now be heading up the hardware development division, a change from her former Windows-focused role. In the memo, Ballmer wrote “we are rallying behind a single strategy as one company — not a collection of divisional strategies” and that the changes “will enable us to execute even better on our strategy to deliver a family of devices and services that best empower people for the activities they value most and the enterprise extensions and services that are most valuable to business.”
The changes for the company are designed to allow it to define its product line more holistically, rather than as “a set of islands.” AllThingsD’s coverage of the story notes that the restructuring “would also give even more control over the company to Ballmer, who does not seem to have answered the increasingly interesting question of who will eventually replace him. The new reorg does not seem to point to any one person as a clear heir apparent. Yet, that is.”
Break your camera? No problems, just print a new one
Self-replication has long been the end goal for the RepRap 3D printer project. The idea of using an in-home 3D printer to produce reliable spare parts for devices around the home is exciting, though it seems that French design student Leo Marius has taken it to a whole new level. By using nothing more than a 3D printer capable of working with ABS plastic, a CNC tool, and some other inexpensive parts, Marius can produce a working SLR camera body that is compatible with nearly any lens. The process takes about 15 hours of 3D printing to produce the components, and another hour or so for assembly.
The end result is a manual, film-based SLR camera, with a fixed 1/60s exposure, and manual shutter. Taking photos with the OpenReflex camera isn’t simple, as there is a series of manual steps involved in taking a shot, but it could be a good study for budding photographers in setting up the perfect shot.
Automated NERF sentry turret will cause intruders grievous minor inconvenience
Instructables user BrittLiv has put together an automated NERF sentry gun using little more than a custom housing for a NERF Vulcan machine gun, two servomotors, a webcam, a couple of power sources, and a laptop. The gun has been modified with a heavier spring that increases projectile velocity and range, and is capable of aiming at moving targets by adjusting yaw and pitch. The sentry also features logo recognition as a rudimentary method for identifying friend and foe. Check it out below.