The 404 1,319: Where we look through the other side of the glass (podcast)

Leaked from today's 404 episode:

- AOL still makes $600 million a year in Internet subscriptions.

- The creator of the iPhone's text message noise explains its origins.

- JewGlass: Google Glass app gives directions to Kosher restaurants and sets prayer-time reminders.

- Twitter messages can pinpoint restaurants with food safety issues.

- All You Can Arcade delivers arcade cabinets to your door.… Read more

Droid Maxx boasts two days of battery life

CNET Update takes it to the Maxx:

In this episode of Update:

- Examine Verizon's new Droid lineup and new software tricks from Motorola.

- Get discovered by Russell Simmons and his new label on YouTube.

- Score an Xbox Live deal as a reward for being productive on Office 365.

- Console the Candy Crushers, who may start to see ads for games in Facebook notifications.

CNET Update delivers the tech news you need in under three minutes. Watch Bridget Carey every afternoon for a breakdown of the big stories, hot devices, new apps, and what's ahead. … Read more

Santas and Burning Man and bridge climbing, oh my

OAKLAND, Calif. -- If you live in Austin, San Francisco, New York, or any number of other cites, the sight of hundreds of Santa Clauses prowling around, ducking in and out of bars, department stores, or parks as part of the annual SantaCon has probably become second nature.

But imagine seeing dozens of St. Nicks walking toward you on a San Francisco street in 1994 or 1995 , when the Internet was anything but ubiquitous, when culture jamming was a phrase no one had heard before, and Improv Everywhere, the Yes Men, and flash mobs were still a thing of the … Read more

Panda Jam 1.1.11 Review

The sheer number of games available for Android can make selecting enjoyable ones difficult. While functional, Panda Jam's dated interface and clunky gameplay make it a less desirable choice.

While the basic game is available for free, payment is required to unlock certain features or give the user additional turns. Despite the use of Wi-Fi, Panda Jam took longer than expected to download and install. Upon startup, the user is prompted to link to a Facebook account, although this can be bypassed. The menus and game interface appeared dated and were reminiscent of games from several years ago. Technical … Read more

Practice scales and chords in Piano Scales & Jam Free

The iPad is a perfect device for piano training. It is compact, easy to mount near or at the piano, and contains countless apps for practicing and training with scales or chords. So does Piano Scales & Jam Free provide enough features and an intuitive enough design to be useful for someone learning the piano, or is it yet another simple scale trainer like so many others in the App Store? It falls somewhere in between.

Piano Scales & Jam Free is simple at first glance. When you open the app you can choose to either practice scales as outlined … Read more

For Improv Everywhere, pranking society is high art (Q&A)

AUSTIN, Texas--If there's one man in the world who can convince thousands of people to take off their pants in the subway, to follow the disembodied instructions of a downloaded MP3, or to high-five a stranger on an escalator, it's Charlie Todd.

The brainchild behind Improv Everywhere, a New York-based "prank collective" that has been culture jamming society since 2001, Todd knows a thing or two about how to get a group of perfect strangers involved in something very unexpected and very funny.

Over the years, Improv Everywhere has grown from Todd and a couple of … Read more

New-to-vinyl converts talk about the joys of playing LPs

I've heard the naysayers for years, the ones that say vinyl is a fad, or that kids buy records just because they think LPs are cool. But the fact is vinyl sales keep going up year after year. I'd be the first to admit that playing an LP is more of a hassle than listening to Spotify, so why do people who grew up listening to CDs and files invest in a turntable, and search out their favorite music on LP? Why do they do it?

Recently, I talked with a few music lovers who grew up in … Read more

Clay Jam: Zynga goes claymation, with help from new partner

Clay Jam -- the latest game to come out of Zynga's recent push for mobile -- launches today, bringing a new type of game to the social-gaming platform.

Update, 10:38 a.m. PT: The game shows up in the Google Play store, but isn't ready for download, which is why some people may be seeing a "This item cannot be installed in your device's country" message. The creators said this should change any minute now. Android devices need to be on 2.3.1 (Gingerbread) or greater to play.

The claymation-based game, filmed in … Read more

Google's JAM with Chrome lets users play in virtual rock bands

Google is trying an experiment: it's letting armchair musicians shred virtual guitars and bang animated keyboards with a new interactive Web app called JAM, which is on its Chrome browser.

"If you ever dreamed of playing in a band, now's your chance to be a rock star," Google Creative Lab's marketing manager Emma Turpin wrote in a blog post today. "No matter what your level of talent -- from daydreaming air guitarist to music pro -- you can JAM together in real time over the web."

The way JAM works is it lets … Read more

U.S. government sanctions Iran for creating 'electronic curtain'

Iran is notorious for being a foe of the Internet, and the U.S. government has decided to do something about it.

The State Department announced today that it was sanctioning Iran for creating an "electronic curtain" that cuts off its citizens from the rest of the world.

The sanctions are against four individuals and five organizations that have been particularly oppressive when it comes to the freedom of information on the Internet.

According to a statement from State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland, these groups have "engaged in censorship or other activities that prohibit, limit, or penalize … Read more