Find It With Your Cell Phone

My editor tells me that cell phones are of intense interest to our readers, so I couldn’t resist the challenege to find you the newest technology for our little buddies.  Of current development, is a great new business locator program that is currently in beta called “Tellme“. 

TellMe banner 

Find any business in America by talking or typing.
Thumbs tired of typing? Now you can use the power of your voice to find a business.
Just say what you’re looking for and get the address, map, and directions. And it’s all free.

Now don’t count your ringtones before they go off….there is a catch.  Since the program is in beta, there are a limited amount of cell phones it will function on, AND it is availble only on the Sprint and Cingular networks.  I’d like to test this myself, but currently Verizon Wireless is sucking the life out of my bank account.  Fear not though, they do have a form you can fill out with your info to inform you when their service is available to you.

What Kind of Rave Dancer Are you?

A friend sent me this link today, and by god, I tell you that they hit the nail on the head.  Check this place out, and discover just what kind of rave dancer you are!  Personally, I’m more like #8, the fridge guy.  If you think they left any out, let us know here in the comments section!

Rave Dancer

I think they left out the “shocked with 10,000 volts of electricity” dancer 🙂  Party on!

 

Pandora – By the Music Genome Project

 Pandora

All geeks love music – whether its the atonal rhythmic booming of some indie band, or the soothing flow of instrumental jazz.  Whatever your tastes, if you’re like me, you’re always searching for more of the same kind of your favorite music.  Search no further my friends – the folks over at the Music Genome Project created Pandora, an intelligent web-based free service that take your minimal input about your favorite music,  then builds and plays a comprehensive list of songs it thinks you’ll like.

Pandora is a music discovery service designed to help you find and enjoy music that you’ll love. It’s powered by the Music Genome Project, the most comprehensive analysis of music ever undertaken. Just tell us one of your favorite songs or artists and we’ll launch a streaming station to explore that part of the music universe.

We take your input (artists, songs) and feedback (“I like this”, “I don’t like this”) and use the Music Genome Project to create stations that play songs that are musically similar to what you’ve told us. That’s it; only the music counts. We don’t care how popular the artist is, who’s backing them, and we don’t care which genre bin they usually belong in. Only the music matters.

This is the real deal, my friends.  I input several different genres of music/artists/titles, and I wasn’t disappointed yet.  A definate plus is that their music database is quite vast, as I haven’t been played the same song twice…EVER.  I’m definately keeping this earmarked for regular use, as an alternative to iTunes Radio or Live365.

Al Capone (Dead Jan 27th 1947)

Al “Scarface” Capone was an American gangster who rose to power during the Prohibition era  when the United States banned the production and sale of alcohol. His vicious career demonstrated the power and influence of organized crime in the United States.  Despite popular beliefs, Capone did not bring Italian strongarming over to the US; during his rise in the streets of Brooklyn, he stylized his own code of ethics, using criminal activities to achive his own widespread success.

Al Capone

Eventually due to tax evasion, treasury agents took him into custody and he was duly sentenced to ten years hard labor in a prison at Atlanta, Georgia, and ended in Alcatraz Island in San Francisco.  After release, he lived out the rest of his days in his estate on Palm Island, Florida, where he eventually died on January 27, 1947.

Vivid Leads The Way

The adult entertainment giant says it will start selling downloadable movies that viewers can burn to DVD and watch on their TVs.  Wow!  This announcement came late last year, however no great strides have been made to bone up on this deal.  But…if you’re looking for technical innovation in the motion picture industry I’ve got bad news for you. Two companies, Cinema-Now and MovieLink, announced they signed a contract to distribute digital copies of videos online. The catch was that these downloaded copies could not be burned onto DVDs or copied in any way other than on the computer on which they were downloaded. Now Vivid Entertainment Group has taken the initiative a step further.

Vivid Entertainment Group

Vivid will distribute its adult movies, including all the special extras included on DVDs, through CinemaNow. The difference: Vivid’s downloaded files will be burnable onto DVDs so people who purchase the files can watch on their televisions, or portable devices which play DVDs. The price, $19.95 per movie, is roughly the cost of actual DVDs in stores. They’ve taken the next logical step in making thier business model workable, we can only hope that “legitimate” Hollywood will follow the adult industry.

Third World Dumping Ground For Worthless Computers

In the recent past, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen a call out to people to donate their old computers and related equipment for the use in developing nations..  However, it seems that the majority of the equipment being received is useless or non-functional, resulting in being dumped in various locations ‘en mass’.  A report by Basel Action Network, a Seattle based environmental organiztion, claims that much of the used computer equipment sent from the United States is creating enormous environmental problems.

Computer Dumping

According to the report US corporations are avoiding recycling costs and making people believe that their used equipment is being placed for noble causes.

In various locations of Africa dumping of computer equipment has caused uncontrolled release of components, including cancer-causing chemicals and substances that disrupt human hormonal and immune systems. A typical computer and monitor contain several pounds of lead, plus toxics like arsenic, mercury, copper and cadmium according to the report.

Yeah, I’m not an enviromental freak either, but there is something to be said here.  Perhaps if the ‘developing nations’ want the equipment badly enough, they should also prepare for its waste disposal as well?  There are dozens of safe ways to get rid of various pieces of computer equipment without causing any enviromentally unsafe byproducts.  Only the future will tell.

GOOG Deactivates Googlebombs

In the “Official Google Webmaster Central Blog“, 2 google engineers describe the basic actions they’ve taken to finally prevent pranksters from being able to ‘game’ the google search analysis that drives traffic to one site.

One of the most famous examples was bloggers and web site owners collaborating to ensure the word ‘failure’ was associated with Bush. Geeks understand what’s happening here and take it as just the prank it is, but apparently there’s enough people out there that can’t fathom something more technical than the “on/off switch” assumed that these googlebombs were actually GOOG’s opinion, thinking they’ve altered the results in their database.

Well it appears GOOG has finally implemented an algorithm to specifically improve their analysis and prevent the 100 most well known googlebomb’s as well as detect future instances.

Check their blog post for more details.

 

Deus Ex Machina

Deus Ex Machina.

Do you know what it means? If you did, please leave a comment below telling me your little story of how and when you learned this, i have something for you if you’re the first response.

Before the history lesson, please allow me to provide a little aside:

You may have noticed, as I have that the latin phrase ‘Deus Ex Machina’ seems to be fairly popular in Hollywood. Well, let’s be honest, for the most part Hollywood isn’t that original and you see relatively similar titles of movies or TV episodes quite often, not to mention they’re churning out so much content (I call it drivel, the wife calls it entertainment), that there’s bound to be some duplication of titles, right?

But duplication of a latin phrase? I don’t think its coincidence that you see the phrase quite often that the producers are running out of english titles that they have to recycle latin? Latin!? I guess it’s just ‘cool’ and will add a little something extra to the movie.
Check IMDB’s TV episode match for the phrase here, this is what you get (this is just TV):

  1. “Stargate SG-1: Ex Deus Machina (#9.7)” (2005)
  2. “RahXephon: Twenty-Fifth Movement: God’s Uncertain Sound/Deus Ex Machina (#1.25)” (2002)
  3. “Waking the Dead: Deus Ex Machina: Part 1 (#6.3)” (2007)
  4. “Lost: Deus Ex Machina (#1.19)” (2005)
  5. “Berlin, Berlin: Deus ex machina (#4.16)” (2005)

Did you see that #1 on the list from the Stargate episode last season reversed 2 of the words – ‘Ex Deus Machina’. As I recall it had something to do with Ba’al incongnito on Earth after losing his ‘god-like’ powers in defeat, this will make sense at the bottom with the full explanation of what the latin phrase means, please bear with me…

Imagining The Tenth Dimension

This book looks amazing.  I encourage you to click over to this website and view the 11 minute animation that represents the core information of this book.  Rob Bryanton, though a new author to me, has made a name for himself writing theoretical texts in the past several years.  If the animation is an accurate representation of the book content, I’d call it a real page turner for the scientifically minded.  I’m going to order this book in the near future for sure.  If you have read this book, send me an e-mail with a brief review and what you thought of it as a whole.  I’d be very interested in hearing from you.

 Imagining The Tenth Dimension

On a seperate note, though, this author fancies himself a musical artist as well, having produced many vocal songs following the book concepts.  I’m not a professional music critic, but some of these songs are just plain awful.  I recommend that you stick with the written content, avoid the music, and you should be fine!

Hamburger Mouse?

Cylo Technology in Australia has developed this ergonomic mouse, that for the life on me, looks like a small hamburger.  Designed to utilize the different muscle groups in your hand, this mouse is quite effective in mundane and some specilized tasks.  But, as it’s target DPI is set to 800, gamers would be out of luck for it to be a gaming tool.  Honestly, without trying one myself, I couldn’t say if it would be usable or not.  It ‘looks’ uncomfortable to use for anything more than just a few minutes at a time, which precludes its use in any long term projects, etc.  Cylo Technology plans to have this badboy available by Q3 2007, at a hefty $120 bones.  Keep an eye out for it.

 Cylo-1

Word of the Week: Quine

In computing, quine is a program that produces its complete source code as its only output. For amusement, programmers sometimes attempt to develop the shortest possible quine in any given programming language.

Note that authoring the program to seek out and read its own source file to print is considered cheating.

Quines are named after philosopher Willard Van Orman Quine (1908–2000), who made an extensive study of indirect self-reference. He coined, among others, the following paradox-producing expression, known as Quine’s paradox: “‘Yields falsehood when preceded by its quotation’ yields falsehood when preceded by its quotation.”

Here’s one example of a quine in BASIC:

10 LIST

I found many samples of quines in many programming languages from Gary Thompson’s site, include everything from Ada, Assembly, BASIC, LISP, Javascript, Logo, Perl, Python, Smalltalk and many, many more. Though it appears he’s looking for samples in some of the more, ahem, ‘classic’ languages like COBOL, and others.

References:

– David Madore’s personal collection and tribute page to quines.
– The quine entry of the FOLDOC

Geeks With Bling

Marché Noir’s Computer Key Rings are spring mounted to accurately reproduce the action on your favorite key – so you can hit it whenever you need to reboot your cool.  Most geeks I know like to wear jewelry, and this, my friends, is the penultimate in tech-wear!  As soon as I saw this, I begged my wife to let me get an “ESC” ring.  The answer is forthcoming 🙂  I can wish, can’t I?

Computer Key Rings

I’d be proud to wear a set of these to my next LAN party…I know I’d be the envy of the room!  Though the prices are nothing to sneeze at ($38-$50) I think they are reasonable considering the effort that goes into making these spring loaded wonders.  I’ll keep an eye out…maybe he’ll design a Apple or Windows key ring.

What is this?

I have fond memories in my childhood of trying to figure out puzzles and feeling a bit of warm self-satisfaction when I was able to figure them out on my own.  One of my favorite puzzles in particular was in a famous gaming magazine that had a monthly section in which they would feature several close-ups of objects, and you would have to figure out what they were from the visual perspective they provided.  I thought I would try something of the same, but geared only toward technology.  Below is a picture of such an object.  Please submit your guesses in the comments section, and the first person to guess correctly will have their name featured as the winner in the next puzzle picture!  (Geeknews staff are excluded)  Good luck!

What is this??

Financial Support For D&D Clubs!

Wizards of the Coast “Dungeons and Dragons” division is providing US$20,000 to D&D clubs in an effort to help continue, expand and perpetuate the roleplaying genre. This initiative is being billed as the “Expand your Role” Grant. (Clicky)
DND Table

Who is eligible?

Any roleplaying club that is passionate enough to apply! Note: And must be governed or sponsored by a college or university!

How many Expand Your Role Grants are available?

A minimum of 15 grants will be issued to clubs.

How much financial support is available through the Expand Your Role Grant?

Clubs can apply for a grant amount ranging from a minimum of $50 to a maximum of $1,000. Applicants must provide a detailed budget for their anticipated costs.

How do I apply?

Using the online application provided (25k), tell them in 500 words or less how a Grant from Dungeons & Dragons will benefit the club, provide a brief background/history on the club, and describe how D&D has made a positive impact on your life.

Zombie Invasions!

In an effort to aquire some material for another article, I stumbled across this amusing site, called the “Zombie Preparedness Initiative”.  They present a lighthearted view on how to gear up for an imminent zombie incursion on the world.  You can find all sorts of advice here – from escape plans and safe encampment locations, to self defense and general life saving tips.

Zombie....RUN!!

Now, aside from the fact that I find this most humorous, and right up there with the UFO groups that litter the world, some people may find informative and useful information contained within.  All I can say, is that if zombies begin overrunning the streets, I’m most likely a goner anyways…so good luck with your zombie plans!

Virtual Freedom

Virtual Reality has been a well covered subject in the past two decades.  Prime examples of VR are in movies like “The Lawnmower Man” and “TRON”, TV shows like “VR.5” and “Harsh Reality”, and cult favorite books such as “Necronomicon” and “Otherland”.  All of these examples have one theme in common that reality does not…full freedom of unrestricted movement within a virtual environment.

VirtueSphere, Inc. is going to take us there.

Transparent VirtueSphere

The VirtuSphere platform is a large hollow sphere that sits on top of a roller-type base and allows the sphere to rotate 360 degrees. Wearing a wireless head mounted display, users can climb inside the sphere to fully interact with intuitive virtual landscapes. The VirtuSphere enables 6 degrees of freedom – one can move in any direction; walk, jump, roll, crawl, run over unlimited distances without encountering real-world physical obstacles.

I’m sold!  Send mine via Geeknews, please 🙂  Seriously though, this is an incredible achievement, and a immersive means with which to train soldiers, or have alot of gaming fun.  I’d recommend taking a stroll around their website, the applications for this technology are “virtually” limitless!  (Pun intended)