Category Archives: News Links

Across The Ocean in a Pedal-Powered Submarine

Manned Submarine

Having served on fast attack submarines for 8 fun and stressful years, I keep my eyes and ears open to sub news from around the world. Today I found this inspiring New Scientist article:

Some men mark their 40th birthday by buying a flashy new car, changing jobs or finally getting started on that novel. Ted Ciamillo decided he would pedal across the Atlantic in a one-man submarine he has designed and built himself.

If the guy could pull it off, he would truly be a manly-man.

 

[via Blueflipper Diving]

The Week in News – 1-18-09

News Link - BSG  The Final Cylon revealed at last! Did you see it coming? – [Entertainment Weekly] See the video interview of the person that portrays the fifth cylon. Beware – the interview reveals a couple of very minor spoilers.

News Link - YHOO  The on-again off-again affair between MSFT & YHOO is on again? – [ComputerWorld] Fer crying out loud already, will it ever stop?!

News Link - Plane Crash US Airways  Mobile phone photo flashed around the world – [TimesOnline] – Someone twittered the first photos of the recent plane crash in New York.

News Link - Mars Life  New evidence of life on Mars spotted by NASA – [SFGate] Methane detected on the red planet may signal there is life. This life on mars theme is starting to get really old.

News Link - sexting  ‘Sexting’ surprise: Teens face child porn charges – [MSNBC] 3 school boys in Pensylvania, USA are facing sexual child abuse charges because they received nude photos via text messages of 3 girl schoolmates. The girls who sent the pictures of themselves are also accused of sending child pornography.

News Link - Youtube  YouTube Muting, Removing Videos Involving Warner Music – [Slashdot] YouTube has started muting videos uploaded by users that use ‘unauthorized copyrighted music’ in response to Warner Music’s threat over royalties.

News Link - FFXIII  FFXIII not coming West until 2010 "at least" – [arstechnica] Square-Enix has been extremely tight-lipped about Final Fantasy XIII. Aside from the odd scanned Famitsu page or brief recut trailer, very little is known about the new game other than the fact that it features some gorgeous graphics and will hit the PS3 and Xbox 360 simultaneously in the West after April 2010.

Burger King vs. Facebook, Who Ya Got?

Burger King vs Facebook 

Wow, that Burger King marketing team really knows how to get publicity. Last month it was the cologne(“Mmm, Smells Like Beef (New Burger King Cologne)”. A lot of people turned up their noses at that one, but it seemed to generate a lot of buzz.

Now they’re offering free burgers to Facebook users that delete 10 online friends. Guess who’s not liking that joke?

From Computerworld:

A Burger King spokeswoman today told Computerworld that Facebook took exception to the Whopper Sacrifice campaign and after days of negotiations, the fast food chain halted it. On the Whopper Sacrifice site, Burger King now says simply: "Facebook has disabled the Whopper Sacrifice after your love for the Whopper sandwich proved to be stronger than 233,906 friendships."

Latest Science News – 1/12/09

It was a productive week in Science. From a medical use for Tetris, to bizarre behavior in Mars rocks and a female Pharaoh recently pulled from a new pyramid interested in a cure for baldness.

News Link - Tetris Doctor: You’re medically traumatized? Play Tetris – [FOX] Playing Tetris, rated one of the greatest video games of all time, immediately after traumatic events appears to reduce flashbacks that plague sufferers of post-traumatic stress disorder

News Link - Mars Strange rock formations on Mars explained – [MSNBC] Rocks on Mars in some areas are scattered in a strangely uniform fashion, puzzling scientists for years. Now they’ve figured it out. And believe it or not, they’re rolling *against* the wind.

News Link - RacismStudy: Non-blacks silent toward racism – [UPI] You as an individual help define society’s values. It takes conviction in your own values to stand against racism, but according to a report on a recent study, we’re not likely to do that.

News Link - Mummy4300 Year Old Female Pharaoh found in newly discovered pyramid -  [Bloomberg] While her name was not found anywhere in the tomb, all the signs indicate that she is Seshestet. Queen Seshestet was the mother of King Teti, who founded the Sixth Dynasty and is believed to have ruled Egypt for over a decade. In papyrus texts referencing this queen, she apparently made a request to doctors to find her a cure for hair loss.

News Link - MedicalClimbers log lowest blood oxygen levels – [The Age] British doctors scaling Mount Everest have measured the lowest human blood oxygen levels ever recorded, according to a study. This data could help critical care doctors re-evaluate treatment for long-term patients suffering from respiratory distress syndromes, cystic fibrosis, emphysema, and other serious illnesses, many of which force their hosts to adapt to low oxygen levels in the blood.

News Link - Astronomy Astronomers view heavens through Galileo’s eyes – [Register] Astronomers are celebrating 400 years since Galileo made his famous observations, which were fundamental in proving the heliocentric hypothesis, by pointing a replica of one of his original telescopes at the heavens to recreate his original stargaze.

Chrome Stealing Ground from IE?

googlechromelogoI came across an interesting article from Ars Technica today. I thought a bunch of my fellow geeks would be interested in the read.

Microsoft is apparently suffering from the effects of Chrome’s success. Not that I’m excited about all that too much; I’m not a huge fan of Chrome and I’ve found IE to be a nice solid browser.

With out further adieu…

Chrome, apparently, will not remain in an indefinite period of beta testing for the rest of its life. Speaking to The Times, Sundar Pichai, Google vice president, stated that the browser will exit beta in January. Google, meanwhile, is exploring its distribution options and examining the various ways it might improve its market share. “We will probably do distribution deals,” Pinchai told The Times. “We could work with an OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) and have them ship computers with Chrome preinstalled.”

So there you have it… Microsoft is going to be under the gun when the OEM deals start rolling. Could it be that someone is challenging Microsoft on their level for the first time in a decade?

To read the rest of the article, visit Ars Technica.

4 Apple Related News Stories You Need To Know

Steve Jobs the Grinch

The week is only half complete and already it’s a bad week for our favorite developer of consumer devices – no, not Sony silly, Apple. There are four reasons why it’s a bad week for Apple:

  1. Is Steve Jobs Dead or Dying?
  2. So long Macworld, so long fanboys
  3. France Liberates the Jesus Phone
  4. Apple cancels Christmas

1. Is Steve Jobs Dead or Dying?

Apparently Steve Jobs is dead or dying due to a reoccurrence of his pancreatic cancer and AAPL stock was downgraded overnight because of it. Well, it was partly due to that and partly because Apple is silent on Job’s health and his succession plan. He was looking pretty sickly last Summer at a conference and the rumor mill has been churning ever since.

This has had an impact on the stock, down over 6% so far today. If you hold AAPL stock this is an excellent time to re-evaluate your position.

AAPL

2. So Long Macworld, So Long Fanboys!

MacWorld

Macworld Will Be Apple-less after an 11-year run.

That’s right, not only have they let it be known that Jobs won’t be the keynote speaker for Macworld Expo (adding further credence to the “Jobs is sick again” rumors), Apple has announced that it’s no longer attending the “fanboy con”. This surely leaves a hole in the Apple community according to the blogosphere. In my opinion, by deciding to drop the conference historically used for their big announcements like the iPhone or iPod, they are essentially killing this conference and it may reduce the big bang that occurs at each product launch.

Some speculate that this is a wise decision to cease catering to the fanatics and instead focus more on the developers and on their own release schedule. Here’s relevant snippets from Marketwatch.com on that theme:

Other analysts had a more positive take….noting that Apple has made past moves to pull out of trade events so it can better introduce products on its own schedule.

The Macworld show is owned and operated by media company IDC, not Apple.

“I think Apple wants to get away from the tyranny of MacWorld where it is forced to introduce new products on IDG’s schedule, rather than its own,” wrote Charlie Wolf of Needham & Co. in a report Wednesday.

So without Jobs, will the faithful make the MacWorld pilgrimage?

3. France liberates Jesus Phone from Orange

Jesus Phone

Apple’s ability to deal in exclusive deals seems to have run its course, the latest government to balk is the very liberal French. The French national competition council (Conseil de la concurrence) announced today that the iPhone will no longer be available for just Orange subscribers in that country. Naturally Orange will appeal the ruling to the courts.

An exclusive deal with a carrier was a very smart move on the part of Apple….that is, back when the iPhone was a novelty and unproven. Today this sort of deal just doesn’t make sense unless Apple is essentially raping profits from the carriers through this strategy compared to unlocking it for any supported mobile network.

4. Apple Cancels Christmas

Apple finally showed their hand this week by taking away one of our favorite holidays. Surely there will be a backlash? Is Steve Jobs the Grinch? 🙂

Relish my ghetto image editing skillz?

Steve Jobs the Grinch

Geek News Links – 12/15/08

Gaming

WoW icon  World of Warcraft restaurant opens [WoW Insider] – A new restaurant has opened up with a Warcraft theme, from the decor to the food. The entrance is designed to look like the Dark Portal, and there’s a recreation of Tel’drassil in the center of the dining room.

Guitar Hero Icon  First look: Metallica gets ‘Guitar Hero’ treatment [USA Today] – The legendary hard rockers are providing the latest riff on Guitar Hero, with a game based on their music expected in stores during the first half of 2009 for Xbox 360, Wii, PlayStation 3 and PS2. I used to scoff at this ‘fad’ until I learned The Guitar Hero franchise did around $1 billion in sales last year!

Wii  ‘Rock Band 2’ To Hit Wii, PS2 Before Christmas [RockBand PR] – Gamers who don’t own a PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360 — and aren’t expecting one under the tree this year — may still be in for a treat.

Gadgets

John McCain

Buy a BlackBerry and get John McCain’s number at no extra cost! [CSM] A Fox news affiliate in Washington DC bought John McCain’s BlackBerry at a ‘going out of business’ sale. The Blackberry had not been wiped it seems, so the Senator’s e-mail was still on it and some high profile phone numbers were in the contact list.

ATT - Radio ShackRadioShack To Offer $100 Netbook With AT&T [InformationWeek] –  The offering reflects an emerging trend among wireless providers to subsidize PCs and cell phones in return for customers signing service contracts. If you think it’s too good to be true, guess what?

Science

Holiday TreeFlame retardants prove ineffective on fresh-cut Christmas trees [Science Blog] – This Christmas season, think twice about spending money on a commercial flame retardant for your Christmas tree. The good, old-fashioned method—keeping your tree in a container of fresh water—is probably all you need to keep your tree green and healthy.

Breast Icon Why do women with dense breasts have more breast cancer? [ScientificaAmerican] – Doctors know that women who have dense breasts have as much as six times the risk of breast cancer as those who have less dense breasts. But they haven’t been quite sure why until now. Biopsies of healthy women showed differences in the cells of dense and non-dense tissue that may contribute to the development of tumors.

Medical Striking differences between brains of rich and poor [Science-A-Go-Go] – Measuring the brain activity of kids from a variety of backgrounds using an electroencephalograph revealed that the prefrontal cortex activity in the children from poor families resembled that of a stroke victim

Netflix: Good News & Bad News on Silverlight Adoption

netflix

Good News:

Netflix adopted Silverlight to act as their platform for streaming movies via the browser on Windows and Mac PCs. One of their VPs recently announced on the company blog that the Silverlight adoption has resulted in a better user experience with fewer technical problems to be solved – that’s the good news.

Bad News:

As the VP reports, the bad news is that the improved user experience has resulted in Netflix needing 50 fewer Tech Support employees…so Netflix is trimming the support staff in January.

Merry Frakking Christmas! 🙁

What an odd thing to announce in the company’s blog in the tone that it was given in (almost as a point of pride), I hope those 50 folks get an opportunity to stay on at the company in another capacity, that would be a better PR move than this announcement.

While the announcement is interesting yet odd, the comments responding to it are even better. Some of the anonymous comments seem to have more details on the layoffs and may be from insiders.

[found on Jim O’Neil’s MSDN blog]

My Favorite Lists of the Week

Lists

10 Useful Secrets the Cell Phone Carriers Don’t Want You To Know [Mobile Maven] – Wireless companies push you around, dictating terms you rarely can fight back against. Here’s 10 tips to enable you to “fight the man!” at their own game.

WordPress 2.7 – 20 Must See Features [Mashable] – 20 of the biggest changes coming in WP 2.7, but all together there have been over 400 changes to the program this time around. Any way you slice it, there is a little bit of something for everyone in this release. Take a look through and you’re sure to find something that appeals to you.

Most Underhyped Apps of 2008 [Lifehacker] – Take a look at the least hyped software that launched or saw great improvements in 2008, and give ’em the love they deserve

Top 10 International Products of 2008 [ReadWriteWeb] – They looked for products that were developed outside the U.S., which showed innovation and support for global Web standards. They also tried to choose from a cross-section of countries, although obviously they couldn’t cover all the major countries.

Google Earth Plugin Roundup [Google Earth Blog] – Roundup of the best GE plug-ins out there today. From Monster Milk Truck to Real-Time Satellites and Paragliding Simulator.

10 Useful RSS-Tricks and Hacks For WordPress [Smashing Magazine] – Each section of the article presents a problem, suggests a solution and provides you with an explanation of the solution, so that you can not just solve some of your RSS-related problems but also understand what you are actually doing.

Compilation of Promo’s and Trailers [Lost Spoilers] – OK, it’s not a really a list but a compilation of all the Lost Season 5 promos and trailers.

Insight into Recession Woes

No huge posts from me today… but interesting nevertheless!

MSN is reporting on the video games industry and how the recession is effecting it.

In an unusual turn of events the video game industry is being heralded as being strong and growing in the face of a recession. Mostly due to the fact that we gamers tend to want to play games instead of spending money on other junk… At least that’s my take on it!

Snippage from the conclusion of the article (for you people who don’t like reading the whole dull thing):

“In the short term, then, there is ample evidence that the video game business may well prove to be stronger than most others. No one is going to do better than companies producing cheap liquor, of course, but in the technology world, it may be tough to identify a sector that could better persevere than video games.”

Go forth and enjoy the read, if you’re the type to enjoy long winded ramblings of the market analyst style…

News Links That Matter – 11/18/08

Pocket Protector

Just Geeky:

New Visa Card, Generates Random Security Codes [Switched] – In response to popular concerns with online credit card fraud, Visa Europe has announced a newly designed credit card, complete with a keypad and digital number display, according to the Daily Mail.

Ubuntu to run on ARM-based netbooks [ZDNet] – Canonical has announced it will be developing a version of its Ubuntu Linux desktop operating system specifically for ARM’s Cortex-A8 and Cortex-A9 processor architectures.

Science

Science:

Doctors hoping for new era of artificial ankles [Physorg] – What was left of Dan Sivia’s ankle simply didn’t work. He limped through his 30s by sheer force of will, one foot almost completely immobile from repeated broken bones and surgeries. Then a doctor offered his last hope: An ankle replacement. A what? Sivia knew about hip, knee, even shoulder replacements. But ankles?

‘Jelly balls’ may slow global warming [Sydney Morning Herald] – VAST numbers of marine “jelly balls” now appearing off the Australian east coast could be part of the planet’s mechanism for combating global warming.

Detecting Disease In Less Than 60 Seconds [Science Daily] – Chemists and immunologists devised a new rapid system for detecting and identifying viruses. It uses surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy to measure the frequency of near-infrared laser light as it scatters off viral DNA and RNA. After a swab of a person’s nasal passage, the technique can detect individual virus particles quickly and identify many types.

Games

Just For Fun:

Marvel is Developing Animated Thor Series [SuperHeroHype] – Marvel Animation is developing and self-producing a 26 half-hour episode series based on its long-running comic book “Thor,” with the series targeted to launch in fall 2010, following Marvel’s live-action feature Thor , which hits theaters on July 16, 2010.

Lego Batman Demo Impressions [The Download Munkey] – An enjoyable romp through a bright and shiny Lego (Legoized / Legofied ?) Gotham City with excellently animated Lego minifigs of familiar characters from DC Comics’s Batman universe.

Pocket PC

Gadgets:

Asus to Launch World’s ‘Fastest’ Smartphone [PCWorld] – Asus is calling its new P565 smartphone the “fastest business PDA phone in the world.”

Lunar Baby Thermometer [Forever Geek] –  A simple temperature checking device for the mother or father, aunt or uncle; whoever’s doing the placing of the hand on the head. Check the child’s temperature without uncomfortable placing of glass sticks in places of discontent.

Mobile News Update – 3 Nov ’08

 2 mobiles

Google patches Android security flaw [CNet]- Google and T-Mobile have begun distributing a security patch for the first Android-powered phone, the G1 built by HTC. This is the update alert message

MasterCard via your mobile [MasterCard]- A similar service has been popular in Japan for a while now but last week MasterCard announced the launch of the MasterCard Over-the-Air Provisioning Service, the first program of its kind that enables issuers to perform over-the-air personalization of their cardholders’ mobile devices in an easy, one-step process.

Lower-Income Users Boost Sales of Apple’s iPhone [Sci-Tech Today]- Lower-income US consumers are flocking to Apple’s iPhone, sending an early signal that smartphones are changing from a luxury to a necessity, according to research company ComScore Mobile.

How to Unlock a T-Mobile G1 [Android Central]- Simple instructional video. Just need the sim unlock code from T-Mobile which they appear amenable to providing.

AT&T Device Holiday Lineup [Into Mobile] – Lots of goodies. The Pantech Matrix looks interesting.

RIM Blackberry Bold Review [PC World] – The BlackBerry Bold sports a revamped design and interface, but it falls short in other areas.

I like Windows Mobile and am not ashamed to admit it” [ZDNet]- The sheer number of WM devices may also be a weakness because there is no central way that the platform is being marketed. Apple and Google have it fairly easy with a single device to promote from a single manufacturer.

A Bucket ‘O News Links – 10-13-08

Games Space Invaders Gaming:

Microsoft Sues over Damaged Xbox Cargo [IDG News] -Microsoft is suing cargo delivery service DHL Express for allegedly losing 21,600 Xbox game consoles because of a 2007 train derailment in Texas.

Alliance to Research Games as Teaching Tools [Seattle P-I]-Microsoft and several universities have formed an alliance to investigate the use of video games as learning tools for young students.

‘Spore’ gets cute and spacey add-ons [CNET] -Your Spore creature could soon get even creepier–or cuter, depending on your preferences in primordial beings. Electronic Arts on Monday officially confirmed rumors that an expansion pack titled Spore Creepy & Cute Parts Pack will be available worldwide as soon as November 18.

Budget Gaming 101: Tips For The Broke Gamer [Consumerist] – Frugal gaming tips galore. Read the comments

Pocket ProtectorTech:

‘Unbreakable’ Encryption Technology Demoed [BBC News]-Perfect secrecy is a step closer with the launch of the world’s first computer network protected by unbreakable quantum encryption.

OpenOffice 3.0 released, for Mac [Macworld] – The OpenOffice.org Community announced Monday the release of OpenOffice.org 3.0, a free office software suite designed as an alternative to Microsoft Office.

Green Fluorescent Protein Scientists Win Nobel Prize In Chemistry [AHN] – A Japanese national and two American researchers won this year’s Nobel Prize for Chemistry for the discovery of the green fluorescent protein, or GFP as well as utilizing biological processes inside cells and behind diseases such as cancer and Alzheimer’s.

Pocket PC Gadgets:

Windows Mobile Firefox ‘Just Weeks Away’ [WindowsForDevices]-Code-named “Fennec” for now, the browser will sport a finger-friendly interface with “kinetic” scrolling, an “expose” feature for tabs, and an optional geolocation feature.

Reality To Go: 3-D Virtual Reality on Mobile Devices [Science Daily]-New information architecture from researchers in Offenburg, Germany puts 3-D visualizations in the palm of your hand.

T-Mobile Preorders 1.5 Million Android G1s [CRN] – T-Mobile has already taken 1.5 million preorders of Google’s G1 Android phone, according to reports.

Internet Web News:

Google Agrees to Work with Click Forensics [PCWorld] – Google is now cooperating with Click Forensics, a click-fraud detection company that Google in the past has accused of issuing misleading data.

Going Wireless without Wi-Fi [International Herald Tribune] – A cellular phone network system is competing with WiMAX to be the next generation of wireless connection to the Web.

Ballmer’s ‘Miss’ on Yahoo Looks Good Now [Bloomberg News] -Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said he was disappointed Yahoo refused a takeover offer that went as high as $47.5 billion back in May. Now he looks lucky.

Google: Yes, If Revenue Craters, We’ll Fire People [Silicon Valley Insider] – Sensationalist title, but the gist of it is true

News Links – 10-02-08

News flash

Fun:

Strongbad Answers His 200th Email [Homestarrunner] – Strongbad not only answers his 200th e-mail but he’s serenaded by They Might Be Giants to celebrate the occasion.

–  Tea bag of death [Blingdom of God]- Hmm, not my bag of tea, but maybe something a pirate would enjoy?

Minigeek - I'm a PC [GeekandPoke] I’m a PC!

 

Science:

NASA Challenges Students To Design Tools For Moon Rovers [NASA]- A new NASA contest challenges college-level students to design tools or instrument packages that could be used on the next generation of human-driven moon rovers.

Scientists Find Cells Coordinate Gene Activity with FM Bursts [Physorg] – How a cell achieves the coordinated control of a number of genes at the same time, a process that’s necessary for it to regulate its own behavior and development, has long puzzled scientists.

Mysterious new ‘Dark Flow’ discovered in space [LiveScience] – As if the mysteries of dark matter and dark energy weren’t vexing enough, another baffling cosmic puzzle has been discovered.

 

Computing:

Sony PS4 Will Use Existing PS3 Cell Processor [Gizmodo] – The impending PS4, which we last heard was coming in 2010, might be based on the same Cell processor that currently powers the PS3. Japanese tech site PC Watch said that Sony will forgo designing a completely new processor in a cost-saving attempt, and try to squeeze out some moderate technical advancement on its existing investment.

Engineers Aim to Solve ‘Burning’ Computer Problem [Science Blog] – “Laptops are very hot now, so hot that they are not ‘lap’ tops anymore,” said Avik Ghosh, an assistant professor in the Charles L. Brown Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. “The prediction is that if we continue at our current pace of miniaturization, these devices will be as hot as the sun in 10 to 20 years.”

–  Is The Original Spyware Company Finally Dead? [Techdirt] – Remember Gator? Guess what?

Flight Attendants Already Battling In-Flight Internet Porn

stewardess porn

Some airlines are now offering in-flight internet access like American Airlines, Jet blue, Southwest and Delta.

And some flight attendants are tired of seeing pornography on passenger’s laptops and demanding in-flight internet porn filters be applied as well.

Does an airline have the right to censor content and if they do, how do they ensure they’re not inadvertently filtering legitimate content?