Microsoft Ad Campaign Crashing Nation's Televisions

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Science & Technology

Biologists Still No Closer To Discovering How Birds Have Sex

BERKELEY, CA—With not a single scientist having successfully observed the behavior despite extensive ongoing research, the field of biology has made no progress in its understanding of how birds have sex, experts at the University of California told reporters Wednesday.

What Smoking A Cigarette Does To The Body

With the FDA recently pulling multiple cigarette brands off the market, the conversation surrounding the harmful effects of smoking has been returning in full force to the national stage. Here is what happens to your body as you smoke a cigarette

Alarming Report Finds Only 6% Of Earth’s Surface Indoors

LAWRENCE, KS—Drawing attention to the distressing prevalence of outside areas on the planet, researchers at the University of Kansas released an alarming report Monday revealing that a mere 6 percent of the Earth’s surface is actually indoors.

Meteorologists Say Upcoming Hurricane Season To Be Permanent

SILVER SPRING, MD—Warning residents to prepare for extreme winds, heavy rainfall, and flooding starting in the near future and continuing indefinitely, meteorologists at the National Weather Service announced Friday that the upcoming hurricane season would be permanent.

NASA Deploys Congressional Rover To Search For Funding

WASHINGTON—Calling the program “the most crucial in the agency’s history,” researchers at NASA announced Wednesday they have successfully deployed a Special Exploratory Rover to Congress as part of an open-ended mission to seek out any possible trace of funding on Capitol Hill.

What The Planet Will Look Like In 2100

As scientists try to project the effects of climate change into the future, many of these forecasts only go as far as 2100, a year beyond which the alterations to our environment become much harder to predict. Here is a breakdown of what we can expect our world to look like in 2100

What You Need To Know About ‘Female Viagra’

The FDA recently approved the sale of Flibanserin, a pink pill intended for women diagnosed with low sex drive; critics have questioned the pill’s effectiveness, while advocates are praising the move toward supporting both men and women with these sexual issues. Here are some of the most common questions about Flibanserin

GMOs: Myth vs. Fact

Consumers have consistently distrusted the use of genetically modified organisms in their food, believing that they make food unsafe for consumption, although a majority of scientific evidence contradicts these views. Here are the common myths associated with GMOs and the facts that refute them

Timeline Of Google’s History

Google recently announced the formation of Alphabet, an umbrella corporation that will separate the company’s internet search business from its forays into robotics, biotechnology, and other areas of innovation. Here are some of the most notable milestones in Google’s 17-year history:

How Hackers Steal Data From Websites

With millions of Americans’ personal information becoming compromised by recent high-profile data breaches, many people are wondering just how anonymous hackers target and infiltrate these supposedly secure systems. Here is a step-by-step explanation of how your data can be stolen

Man’s Body Running Out Of Ideas To Convince Him He Full

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How Apple Plans To Rebound From Apple Watch Flop

With sales of the Apple Watch reportedly down 90 percent since its initial release, Apple is suffering in the wearables market and faces a lack of enthusiasm about its latest product. Here are some ways Apple can improve the watch and prevent the company from falling into a slump:

Astronomers Just Going To Go Ahead And Say Dark Matter Nitrogen

‘Fuck It, We’re Done,’ Say Scientists

WASHINGTON—Declaring that this is the last time they ever hope to speak of the aggravatingly enigmatic substance, astronomers from NASA announced Thursday that they are just going to go ahead and say that dark matter is nitrogen.

What We’ve Learned About Pluto

Nearly 10 years after its launch, the New Horizons space probe made a flyby 7,750 miles from Pluto, marking the first time in history a spacecraft has examined the dwarf planet up close, and NASA has begun to release data and images transmitted from the approach. Here’s what we’ve learned about Pluto so far

Timeline Of Mass Extinction

Scientists predict that human activity has put the world on the brink of the sixth mass extinction in earth’s history, an event characterized by the elimination of a large number of species within a very short period of time. Here is a timeline of extinction events over the planet’s history

Study: Floating Heap Of Trash Now Ocean’s Apex Predator

SANTA BARBARA, CA—Noting that no marine species posed a threat and the total domination of its habitat, a study released Wednesday by researchers at the University of California, Santa Barbara revealed that the floating mass of trash known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch is now the ocean’s apex predator.

Dementia Study Reveals Fond Memories First To Go

BALTIMORE—Researchers at Johns Hopkins University published a new study this week on the cognitive effects of Alzheimer’s disease and other deteriorative brain disorders, finding conclusive evidence that dementia sufferers’ fondest memories are nearly always the first to go.

FDA Approves Female-Libido-Enhancing Man

WASHINGTON—In an effort to address the needs of women suffering from a lack of sexual desire, the FDA announced Tuesday that it had approved a new female-libido-enhancing man, which is expected to be made available to the general public by year’s end.

New Report Finds Humanity 10 Years Away From Something Called Ash Age

TUCSON, AZ—Explaining that the large-scale shift in geologic conditions and social organization would require a new taxonomic classification, researchers at the University of Arizona released a report Tuesday revealing that humanity is approximately 10 years away from something that will be called the Ash Age.

NASA Announces Bold Plan To Still Exist By 2045

WASHINGTON—In what is being described as the most ambitious mission ever undertaken in the space agency’s history, NASA officials announced at a press conference Tuesday their bold new plan to still exist by 2045.

YouTube Turns 10

On April 23, 2005, three former PayPal employees started a video-sharing site called YouTube, which has since grown into an influential media platform with over 1 billion users.

Pros And Cons Of Screen Time For Kids

As technology becomes more of a staple in everyday family life, parents are making choices about how much screen time to allow their children—and asking questions about how computers, phones, and TVs might help or hinder a child’s development.

Geologists Unearth Fully Intact Rock

FORT COLLINS, CO—Describing the discovery as the most flawless specimen ever unearthed, a team of geologists working in northern Colorado announced Friday they had excavated a fully intact rock.

Rehabilitated Otter Released Back Into Food Chain

SAUSALITO, CA—Following nine months of surgeries and physical therapy to heal the aquatic animal’s debilitating injuries, officials from the Marine Mammal Center released a fully rehabilitated sea otter back into the food chain Tuesday.

Conservationists Attempting To Get Head Start On Mars

WASHINGTON—Fearing that any further delay might prevent their movement from having any meaningful impact, a consortium of leading conservationists confirmed Wednesday it is attempting to get a head start on preserving the planet Mars. The newly form...

Apple MacBook vs. Google Chromebook Pixel

Shortly after Apple debuted its new ultra-thin MacBook this week, Google announced its new Chromebook Pixel 2, which similarly boasts the new Type-C USB port and high-tech trackpad.

How Cable Companies Plan To Fight Cord Cutting

More consumers than ever are “cord cutting,” or getting rid of their cable service in favor of watching shows online, challenging the cable industry to launch new initiatives in order to keep customers.

Features Of The Apple Car

After dominating sales of smartphones, tablets, and other electronics, Apple is reportedly secretly designing its first car, code-named Titan.

2015 Tech Trends

Showcasing everything from wearable devices to self-driving cars and personal drones, this year’s Consumer Electronics Show revealed the latest in new technology.

Doctors Recommend Getting 8 Centuries Of Cryosleep

STANFORD, CA—Claiming that the practice is essential for effectively recharging the body and waking fully rested and alert, doctors at Stanford University issued a report Monday emphasizing the importance of getting at least eight centuries of atomi...

Scientists Receive $10 Million Grant To Melt Stuff

COLLEGE PARK, MD—Saying the money would help further researchers’ understanding of the awesome scientific phenomenon, representatives for the American Institute of Physics announced Tuesday that they had received a $10 million grant to melt st...
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  • Father Apologizes For Taking Out Anger On Wrong Son

    ELIZABETH, NJ—Moments after losing his composure with an unwarranted emotional outburst, local father David Kessler reportedly apologized to his son Christopher Thursday for erroneously taking out his anger on him and not his older brother Peter.


Microsoft Ad Campaign Crashing Nation's Televisions

WASHINGTON—According to an FCC report released Monday, a new $300 million Microsoft ad campaign is responsible for causing televisions all across the country to unexpectedly crash.

Users have reported a number of failures resulting from the defective commercials, ranging from inability to change channels to "couldn't finish <i>Heroes</i>."

The Microsoft ads, which began airing earlier this week, are being blamed for generating critical system errors in more than 70 million televisions. In addition, thousands of frustrated Americans said that the ads have caused their TVs to become unresponsive, their screens to turn blue, and a small box with the message "terminal application error" to suddenly appear.

"I was in the middle of watching Monday Night Football when, all of a sudden, that stupid ad comes on and my TV freezes up," said Scottsdale, AZ resident Michael Chaplin, adding that he never wanted to see the commercial in the first place. "The next thing I know, all these numbers and symbols show up and I get an error message saying 'invalid file format' or something. Now my TV is ruined."

The new ad campaign, which features footage of everyday Americans using PCs, was launched as an upgrade to the poorly performing Jerry Seinfeld and Bill Gates commercials, which suffered unspecified failures in two-thirds of U.S. households. Microsoft pulled the defective ads in mid-September, but the move came too late, as countless televisions had already been infected with viruses and spyware.

So far over a half million television users have complained about the new ads. Some, such as Louisville, KY native Andrew Ryland, said they were instructed by tech support to press and hold the power, mute, and number seven buttons on their remotes in an attempt to shut down their television sets.

When that failed, many television owners said they were left with no other option but to manually restart their devices.

"I tried to push the power button, but nothing happened," said Andover, CT resident David Lax, who claimed that his television has never had any compatibility issues with commercials in the past. "Luckily I called my buddy Todd, who's pretty good with televisions, and he told me that you just have to unplug it and plug it back in."

Although the commercials crashed nearly every available brand of plasma and LCD television, as well as afflicting older cathode-ray models, Microsoft spokesperson Sarah Machen insisted that the problem was not her company's fault, and that it likely resulted from low memory, a fragmented disk, or perhaps an outdated video card. A press release issued by the software giant also advised televisions users to avoid quickly switching back and forth between programs to prevent any future crashes.

"Our engineers have repeatedly tested this commercial to work out all the bugs, and we proudly stand behind this advertisement," Machen said. "We've heard numerous complaints about a virus, so we urge all users to remember that there are untrustworthy cable channels out there that they should never visit."

Chicago resident Rick Yoder, 33, said he brought the 36-inch Sony Trinitron he purchased in 1999 into a licensed Microsoft dealer and paid well over $1,000 to add a graphic accelerator card and new motherboard that his television lacked.

"I took my TV into the store and they added a bunch of cards and stuff so I can watch it again," Yoder said. "But the shows run really slow. Now it takes me an hour and a half to get through an episode of Scrubs. And sometimes this hourglass thing comes on the screen right at a good part and, by the time it finally goes away, the show is over."

In some cases, the frequent crashes have caused more than just temporary hassles, with some Americans losing months of important shows they had saved on their TiVos.

"I was watching Cold Case and it said 'show not found,'" Tim Honnermann of Oakland said. "But I was watching the show. How is that even possible?"

Recent frustrations with Microsoft have not been limited to its television ads, however. Earlier this week, a billboard promoting the company's latest Windows platform angered hundreds in Detroit when it fell onto three cars, instantly killing all passengers.