In today's very special episode of Gizmodo Remainders, Microsoft admits to plagiarism, Comcast unveils a streaming video service, and stop reading this right now because you could develop nearsightedness. Plus, does anyone actually use MacDonald's Wi-Fi?
Microsoft Admits to Plagiarizing a Twitter-Like Service
It was recently revealed that huge swathes of the code in Microsoft's China-based microblogging service, MSN Juku, was directly lifted from another service called Plurk. It's so blatant that Microsoft even admitted guilt:
"We are obviously very disappointed, but we assume responsibility for this situation," Microsoft said in a statement. "We apologize to Plurk and we will be reaching out to them directly to explain what happened and the steps we have taken to resolve the situation."
Plurk has decided not to sue—for now—and will instead undergo some talks with Microsoft to see how best to resolve the situation. Microsoft, for its part, says MSN Juku was built by a third-party contractor, and they've since pulled the entire site. [Seattle PI]
Comcast Unveils Streaming Video Service
Comcast just launched a partly subscriber-only Flash video service, streaming content from a selection of its partners (27 in total, including IFC, HBO and Showtime). It's called The Fan, after the fan-like UI that's used to control which shows you watch. Does anyone want to try this out and let us know how it is? It looks like most videos are free to watch at the moment. [CNET]
Reading Gizmodo May Make You Nearsighted
A recent study showed a huge uptick in nearsightedness in the last 30 years, with in increase of over 80%. The condition (full disclosure: I'm nearsighted, and am thus biased and untrustworthy on this subject) is not very well understood, but may be due to genetics or an excess of close viewing (like, say, books, or a computer screen). The tests can't conclusively prove anything, but it seems (in my totally amateur, but totally confident opinion) that staring at an LCD screen for ten hours a day may not be entirely beneficial to ocular health. [ScienceNews]
MacDonald's Orders In-Store Wi-Fi Be Completely Free, Forever
Normally we'd be really excited about a major nationwide chain offering free Wi-Fi in every store. Hell, that's why I go to Peets and not Starbucks (well, that and the vastly superior coffee). But I have to wonder: Who is whipping out a laptop in MacDonald's? Every time I go there, I just want to grab my ball of meat-grease and run away as fast as possible to scarf down my 99-cents worth of shame in private. I'm not about to take out the MacBook Pro and sip a coffee and converse with my fellow fast food patrons. But maybe that's just me. [Electronista]