Create your own Simpsons Treehouse of Horrors promo!

Simpsons fans can take a crack at generating their own promos for The Simpsons’ Treehouse of Horror XVI, which is airing Nov. 5 on Fox.

A Web-based editing tool at thesimpsons.com/treehouse will allow fans to customize a 30-second promo using Treehouse video clips, sounds and music; title cards and text also can be added.

A panel of judges will choose the best fan-generated promo after the deadline at 11:59pm Oct 30. The winner receives a trip for two to The Simpsons‘ 400th episode party in Los Angeles in May and a chance for the promo to air on Fox.

Get your head in the game, mister!

Toshiba revealed this lovely device in their daring play for the future of visual technology.  Although it offers a full 360 degree view of extreme eye-candy, I’m not so sure I’d have the inclination to strap this 7lb. piece of headgear on.  “Weigh” the pros and cons for yourself, people.

Toshiba Game Device

[Found via TheLastBoss]

Want a Bluetooth Watch For Chirstmas?

From the Fossil web site:

The Fossil Caller ID watch with Bluetooth technology keeps you connected in style by combining a vintage Bluetooth Watch from Fossilanalog/digital watch design with Bluetooth Wireless technology. It notifies you when your phone rings with a discreet vibrating sensation and showing the caller’s name and/or number on the bright OLED display. When an SMS/text message is received the watch will vibrate and the text alert icon will appear. You can mute the phone’s ringer or reject a call by simply pushing a button on the watch.

 

Features:

    • 2-hand analog time keeping
    • Call notification with Caller ID
    • Text message notification
    • Vibrating alert
    • Bright OLED display
    • Simple 2-button operation
    • Recharge through USB or universal AC adapter

Notes:

  1. Fossil is taking pre-orders for them now to be delivered in time for Chirstmas.
  2. It’s compatible with Sony Ericsson Bluetooth enabled mobile phones and Series 60 phones using Symbian OS version 7, 8, and 8.1.
  3. Personal note to the wife, this is not a hint from me to get one. I’m still in love with the one i hinted for and received from Mrs.Claus for Christmas 2 years ago. :-) 

XML Notepad is back!

I was heading to the msdn blogs aggregate page to peek at what the Microsoftie bloggers were up to today but decided to go through the main MSDN page first, when lo and behold, I learn that a new and improved ‘XML Notepad’ has been released!

Here is the MSDN tech article on XML Notepad, why it hasn’t been updated since 1998 and details on the new and improved version, it’s a good read. 

You can download the tool here.

xml notepad thumbnail
(thumbnail is clickable)

Treo’s live video covered plane crash for TV network

You may have heard on Wednesday that a single-engine plane crashed into a New York Upper East Side apartment building. 

Before the sattelite van could arrive at the scene, a Fox News camerman delivered some of the first live video to viewers from the crash site using a Palm Treo 680 that could stream video. The streaming video software Fox uses is called CometVision by Comet Video Technologies. Apparently Fox News is outfitting all their affiliates with 2 or 3 of these things for just such breaking news incidents.

 

Palm Treo 680 smartphone

 

City of Heroes: Issue 8 on Test Server

 

NCSoft announced today Issue 8 for City of Heroes and City City of Heroesof Villains is now available on their Test Server for subscribers. To Protect and Serve features Safeguard missions, Police Band missions similar to the newspaper missions of the villains from Issue 7, Pocket D Arenas where heroes and villains can battle each other, a new, reborn Faultline which has become a city zone, and for both heroes and villains a Veterans Rewards Program, which retroactively rewards players for their past active playing time.

More info about Issue 8

How to access the Test Server

Nachos, anyone?

Follow the interesting tale of a U.S. library researcher for the Oxford English Dictionary play detective decades ago in tracking down the antedate and etymology for the word ‘Nachos’.

As the largest city influenced by Tex-Mex trends, San Antonio might possibly yield a clue to nacho…

…how could anyone who has looked at and eaten nachos see any relationship between one of these and the adjective flat-nosed?…

[found via geekpress]

US Army patents a better rifle night scope

The US Army has filed a patent for a thermal site that mounts to a rifle. Big deal you say? Well this one doesn’t require the soldier to peek through the scope potentially exposing his head to enemy fire.

The patent proposes that a remote visual display, attached to the helmet via a cable, which in turn attaches to the night scope. As the drawing below illustrates, the user does not need to expose him/herself in order to sight the target.

Army Patent for better night scope

[Found via NewScientistTech]

Wake-up light for us early risers

Phillips’ Lighting division has a new wake-up lamp, which emits light that gradually increases to the intensity you have selected, simulating the rising sun in your bedroom, gently preparing your body to wake up.

According to Phillips,

“the light falls on your eyes and sends your brain a message to reduce the production of melatonin, the sleep-inducing hormone.  Over 30 minutes, the natural light gradually increases to reach the optimal intensity to wake you up at the set time, in a pleasant manner that leaves you feeling energized and ready to wake up. The light intensity can also be adjusted to your own personal preference.”

Wake-Up Lamp

How to build an igloo (a Microsoft office prank)

Check out this video of a bunch of geeks trying to prank their coworker who’s off getting married. Good stuff.

Note: If you’re a developer and don’t already follow Josh Ledgard’s blog, you should save his rss feed, he gives a great insider’s view to the Developer Division at Microsoft and the developer community efforts he’s involved in. I found this via Sara Ford’s blog, another one worth saving!

Physics Nobel for First Baby Picture of the Universe

Two scientists, George Smoot and John Mather, have been selected to receive the 2006 Nobel for Physics for their detection and analysis of evidence that gives us a ‘shapshot’ of the universe approx 380,000 years after the big bang. The big bang occurred over 13 Billion years ago.

They leveraged NASA’s Cosmic Background Explorer satellite to detect cosmic microwave background that is widely believed to be a remnant of the Big Bang.