blackbearnh writes "While China is attempting to pull its industry up out of mere manufacturing mode, for now the country is the production workhorse of the consumer electronics industry. Almost anything you pick up at a Best Buy first breathed life across the Pacific Ocean. But what is it like to shepherd a product through the design and production process? Andrew 'bunnie' Huang has done just that with the Chumby, a new Internet appliance. In an interview with O'Reilly Radar, he talks about the logistical and moral issues involved with manufacturing in China, as well as his take on the consumer's right to hack the hardware they purchase."
chaz373 writes "CNET reports that Microsoft is going retail. In the 'Beyond Binary' blog Ina Fried reports, 'After years of brushing off the notion, Microsoft said on Thursday that it will open up its own line of retail stores. Without detailing the plans, Microsoft said it has hired David Porter, a 25-year Wal-Mart veteran, to lead the effort. Sources say that Porter's mission will be to develop the company's retail plans and that the effort is likely to start small with just a few locations.'"
Chris_Jefferson writes "I work on a simple iPhone puzzle game called Combination. Probably the most frequent request I get from users is for an in-game hint system, to help them out on the harder problems. However, when I tried beta testing such a system, almost every user would just hammer the hint button as soon as they got stuck for longer than 30 seconds, spoiling (I believe) their enjoyment of the game. Should games programmers decide they know what's best for users, and not give them features they are crying out for? Has anyone ever seen a good middle-ground, where users are helped, but can't just skip their way through the entire game?" This question can be generalized for just about any game that's being continually developed — where should the game's designer draw the line between responding to feedback and maintaining what they feel is is the greater source of entertainment?