Breakfast Briefing: Paul Allen's movie-buff app, Windows 8 a "gaming catastrophe", Facebook voters

In today's tech news round-up: news of Paul Allen's pet projects and games firms attack Windows 8

9 Nov 2012

Happy Friday. Today's week-ending stories include a personal project from Paul Allen, the problems facing Windows 8 as a gaming platform, a look into the progress of Microsoft's Project Midori and Twitter password jitters.

Paul Allen's personal search tool goes public

What do you do if you're a billionaire co-founder of Microsoft and decide you don't really like the tools available for finding films and TV content in your groaning collection? Of course, you build a new app for the job. According to GeekWire, Paul Allen's newly-launched Fayre app indexes content from a user's own collection as well as services such as Hulu, Netflix and iTunes.

"Paul has probably one of the world’s largest private digital collections of movies, music and TV shows. He wants to watch and listen to these things at his fingertips," said Chris Purcell, the vice president of technology for Allen’s Vulcan company. "We built Fayve to sit on top of his collection, to give him exactly that experience."

Where did it all go wrong, Paul?

Is Windows 8 really a gaming catastrophe?

Valve's Gabe Newell has his views on Windows 8 and they’re rather extreme. He thinks it’s a "catastrophe" for PC gamers, primarily due to Microsoft’s desire to create an Apple-style closed system - and as Valve’s public trial of Steam for Linux shows, those aren’t just words. Eurogamer has talked to a variety of games developers to see if they agree with Newell - and there’s a clear split in opinion.

On the one side are the developers of full desktop titles - such as the PC favourite Football Manager - who fear Microsoft wants a level of control that will make it hard for that scene to continue in its current form. On the other side are the start-ups, the indie developers, who are capitalising on the relative paucity of the Windows Store to get themselves noticed. It’s safe to say only one side is defending Microsoft...

Did Facebook make more people vote?

Facebook ran a little experiment on election day, which could prove very useful in improving future turnouts. For 96% of over-18s in America, logging in would tell you it was election day, give you an "I’m voting" button, and show you which friends have already voted. The other 4% were a mix of just the election day message, and no message at all. By matching these groups of profiles to the voter rolls, Facebook will be able to tell whether those given a social networking nudge were more inclined to vote.

Twitter's password jitters

Twitter says it has reset the passwords of "a large number of users" in a miscalculated security purge. According to the company it resets passwords if it feels accounts may have been compromised, but said it got carried away with its latest clampdown. "We unintentionally reset passwords of a larger number of accounts, beyond those that we believed to have been compromised," the company said in a statement that raises as many questions as it answers. The Guardian reports that the company sent out emails to thousands of users following a phishing attack.

Midori moving towards commercial OS status

The Midori project – a C# based operating system dating back to a research project from 2003 – is slowly moving towards becoming a commercial offering, according to ZDNet's Microsoft watcher Mary Jo Foley. In the report, ZDNet details the project being increasingly mentioned within the company as a "prototype extension to C# that extends C# so that it supports safe task and data parallelism", while the company is apparently hiring top programmers for the project.

Video of the day

Ever wondered what it would be like to watch a drunk person use Windows 8 for the first time? (Warning: contains foul language)

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