Hot on HuffPost Tech:

See More Stories
Engadget for the iPhone: download the app now
AOL Tech

Latest Posts from Download Squad

BREAKING: EC response raises more questions for 'Gang of Six' browsers

EU Browser Choice Screen

The European Commission responded earlier today to the petition submitted by the 'Gang of Six' web browsers seeking "any of a myriad of small changes" to alert users of the 7 browser choices not initially displayed on Microsoft's new European Browser Choice update dialog. In an email to CNet writer Stephen Shankland, EC spokeswoman Amelia Torres writes:

"The elements of the Choice Screen were published on the Internet and attention was drawn to them both through a press release and a notice in the EU's Official Journal, in all the languages of the Union. Two of the signatories made submissions in response to this market test, but did not raise the suggestions they advance now. Nor did any other market participant. The elements in question therefore remained unchanged when the final commitments were made binding on Microsoft by the Commission's decision of 16 December 2009."
(emphasis added)

Torres' response leaves little room to argue the merits of the 'Gang of Six' petition. I contacted Flock's Shawn Hardin for a response to Torres' remarks.

"Microsoft informed us on 12/16/09 that Flock had been selected for inclusion. This was the first time Flock received any official information about a decision that Flock would be participating in the program. Prior to this, Flock was never identified or invited as an "interested party" by the European Commission"

(emphasis added)
The EU comment period ends on December 16th when the agreement became binding -- Immediately following which, Microsoft announced the results of the convoluted ranking calculation which defined the 12 browsers to be included.

In contrast to Torres' response on behalf of the Commission, the Directorate General of Competition has responded by scheduling a meeting to discuss the petition with the signatories for Monday.

'Gang of Six' browsers petition EU for immediate review of Browserchoice screen

EU Browser Choice Screen
Six of the twelve browsers chosen to be a part of the EU "Browser Choice Screen" petitioned the European Commission on Thursday, asking politely -- very politely -- that the Commissioners "consider any of the following suggestions which could be easily and quickly implemented and would allow users to exercise choice."

"Ok, seriously? Already? WTF!", was my immediate reaction. has been circulating for a little over a week, long enough for some armchair statistical analysis and at least one report of a stunning increase in Opera downloads.

So what's the big deal?

I spoke with Flock's CEO Shawn Hardin by phone, and -- to be quite frank -- he changed my mind.

Read more »

Fugly Friday : Aiseikai Hospital has no opthamologist on staff

With all the hullabaloo over medical reform in the U.S., you might wonder what health care looks like in other parts of the world. At this hospital in Japan, your care comes with a healthy side order of flashing, blinking Lucky Cats, and a prescription strength dose of animated gifs.

Warning: If you're epileptic, we take no responsibility for what may happen if you click to view this Fugly Friday. And, for once, we're really not joking.

Granted, I don't read Kanji, but I don't think I'm going too far out on a limb to say that this site is in need of some time in the emergency room. Even if the visible text were eloquent and poignant -- and I could read Japanese -- the overwhelming and incredibly inappropriate use of crazy color combos, frames and the dreaded solid black background of doom makes this a Fugly Friday to remember -- and avoid.

Steam Games - Braid Trailer

The Braid trailer, for the Steam games holiday gift guide! Master time and space in this puzzle-solving platformer.

Steam Games - World of Goo Trailer

Marvel at the cuteness and stickiness of the little Goos that you must manipulate and utilise in World of Goo! Save the Goo, save the world!

Steam Games -- Plants vs. Zombies Trailer

While you could easily be watching a low-fidelity version of a Warcraft 3 tower-defence mod, don't let it fool you! This is Plants vs. Zombies, one of the most addictive games released this year. Blow up zombies... with plant cannons and rockets. What more could you want...?

Steam Games - Trine Trailer

This trailer of Trine should show you just how beautiful this game is, how well thought-out, how refined. It's also available on the PS3 which shows you that this is more than just a mere adventure game curio. Probably the best game on the list (but I prefer World of Goo!)

Steam Games - Machinarium Trailer

This isn't much here that you won't already have seen in the flash-based precursor Samorost. But it's pretty, and you get an idea for the kind of puzzles you'll be solving in Machinarium.

Fugly Friday returns next week, until then enjoy this lazy roundup

Fugly Friday: Cybertown
Do you tire of your humdrum, meatspace world? Does Sony's PlayStation Home look too real? Are there too many flying penises in Second Life for your taste? Well, strap on your hippie goggles and...
Fugly Friday : Yvette's Bridal
My optometrist was insistent that I not remove the bandages for another 24 hours. He also said I might have done less damage to myself if, instead of searching for today's Fugly Friday, I'd tried...
Fugly Friday: Old school website atrocities from Microsoft
Back when I graduated high school, most websites hadn't begun thinking about design terms like glossy, grungy, or even "not a complete trainwreck." Heck, plenty of them didn't give aesthetics a...
Other Fugly we liked

The doctors all say my cornea are healing nicely, and I should be back to cursing and screaming at poor design within the week, although my insurance company did ask that I take our a new rider for something they call "Ocular Occupational Hazards."

Whatevs. They's just a bunch of haters, yo.

Fugly Friday returns next week with new highs about all the lows out there in the dark dusty corners of the web. Until then, enjoy this look back at a few of our favorite Fugly Friday finds so far.

Troubleshooting with your Teddy Bear

My buddy Dave once shared with me a bit of computing wisdom which I've since found invaluable.

"Proper troubleshooting requires a Teddy Bear."

As it was told to me -- long ago in a university computer lab not so far away -- there was a sysadmin who became frustrated with the number of questions he was asked by student developers. It wasn't that the questions were invalid, or that the students weren't thinking them through. Rather, his frustration was with questions which found their own answers.

Students seeking his help would begin to explain the problem they were working on. More often than not, they wouldn't finish explaining before having an "Aha!" moments; That tiny moment of clarity every developer, admin or desktop analyst seeks as a part of their job.

Being forced to explain the problem had some effect which thinking about the problem alone didn't. How can you achieve the same mind-altered state without bugging the sysadmin, or taking a handful of Adderol and Xanaax*?

The weary sysadmin found a brilliant solution. He attached a teddy bear to his desk, and forced anyone who wanted to ask him a question to address the bear and explain the problem.

So, the next time you're halfway through asking a collegue a question and find yourself saying, "Wait, I think I just got it, never mind!", remember to thank them for being your teddy bear.

* Download Squad does not condone the abuse of Adderol, Xanaax or any other prescription drugs. Just sayin'.

Excited about 128 bit "Windows 8"? Don't hold your breath.

I got a message yesterday directing me to some groundbreaking post on Ars Technica, in which the long-winded and storied tale of an in-development 128 bit version of Windows unfolded like something out of a geek spy novel. Robert Morgan is working to get IA-128 working backwards with full binary compatibility on the existing IA-64 instructions in the hardware simulation to work for Windows 8 and... Read more »

Preemptive FAIL : Five easy things Verizon isn't doing to fix Android

It's all over the place; Verizon is embracing Android. Google loving apologist geeks everywhere are heralding the 85 million new customers -- who are obviously ready to try Android, if only Verizon would let them -- as the beginning of a new era in mobile phone competition. The cries of panacea are all I've heard all day: "It's going to be a floodgate of new users! " "Death to the iPhone!" ... Read more »

Eolas v. Everyone you've ever heard of

Tireless patent troll Intellectual Property holder Eolas has filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas against, well.. nearly everyone. The issue at hand deals with two patents in Eolas' possession -- the first of which was the subject of a successful lawsuit against Microsoft back in 2004. The second patent, what Eolas refers to as "a continuation of the '906... Read more »

Did the FTC just mention something about blogging?

So that we're not the only single blog in the known universe and beyond who misses the chance to comment on the FTC's boneheaded guidelines requiring bloggers, celebs, reviewers and others -- basically anyone who you might read online -- to disclose any "material relationship" with companies they review. I tend to look at everything in terms of Pros and Cons. Here's the list I came up with. ... Read more »

Larry Ellison does near-standup comic rif on cloud computing

I've come out pretty strong against the fad of "cloud computing", which has spent the better part of the last year at the top of my most-hated buzzword list. In private, I've even been known to threaten that the next PR person to send me a release using the word "cloud" was going to get it, right between the Prada frames. So, imagine my glee while watching one of my heroes -- Oracle's chief... Read more »