Mech Commander 2 Source Code Available

I found this on MSDN, basically MC2 is now ‘shared source‘:

If you’re interested in how real commercial games are built, look no further than Mech Commander 2, a real-time strategy game with full source code available released by Microsoft Game Studios. If you’re a C++ developer you can learn how to build your own mods to Mech Commander in these three free webcasts

Cost: Free

Get it: Download the full source code (1GB)

Code it: Mike Klucher from the XNA team gave a 3-part on-demand Webcast series on how to mod Mech Commander 2 that you should use as your starting point: Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.


Geek Gift #7 – Star Trek Classic Phasor

We’re listing gifts for geeks each day for the first several weeks leading to Christmas. We won’t bother listing all the way up to Chirstmas because you wouldn’t be able to order it and deliver it in time now would you? 🙂

Get this Star Trek Trek Classic Phaser as a gift for the wannabe Starfleet captain or ‘red shirt’ in your life!

With authentic action lights and sounds and adjustable power settings, this fun phaser is more fun (and more durable) than the props used on the TV show!

Looks like Entertainment Earth have it in stock and it’s only US$27.99.

Star Trek Classic Phasor

Eco-Friendly Laptop

We all know that major companies have been searching for more environmentally safe ways to maintain our 21st century lifestyles.  For the most part, its rather expensive to create the electronics that would allow this.  But, LG – A company more well known for their cellular phones, has developed an ecological laptop called an “ebook” that is powered by liquid fuel cells, rather than the standard battery.

LG ebook

The LG’s future laptop uses organic light-emitting diode (OLED) panels for display instead of the current liquid crystal display (LCD) panel. This concept notebook received a Red Dot Award nomination for “Best Concept Design” for 2006.  Unlike LCD, OLED does not need a frame around it, and it consumes less electricity. The keypad will also be made of a singe OLED panel, like the one used in LG’s Chocolate Phone, according to the report.

Although quite expensive to construct at the moment, LG promises that leading technologies will be used to keep this notebook environmentally clean, and cheap.

Sounds good to me!  If it is indeed not that expensive when they roll them out on the floor, I’ll be there to claim one of the first as mine!

Art Deco Speakers

Art Speakers

Art Lebedev creates electronic eye-candy that would make any computer enthusiast pant. While his Optimus keyboard was flattering enough, the Mus2 pointer-shaped mouse was pure genius. Design mobs take heart, as Art Lebedev Studios‘ has an uber-sleek Sonicum speaker system up for pre-order, and besides eliciting all sorts of geekish lust, the 2.1 computer-minded setup boasts dual 5-watt NXT speakers, a 15-watt subwoofer, and a few design cues that set it apart from the rest. The satellites bear a striking resemblance to a speaker cone silhouette, the subwoofer’s bass knob is cleverly marked with a smiley, and each simplistic piece is branded with Art’s own barcode logo.

For just $126.60, you can claim your Sonicum rig now, but unfortunately you’ll be waiting until next April to hear Lebedev’s latest masterpiece in person.

Geek Gift #6 – Astromech Droids

Star Wars Astromech Droids

Brought to you by Entertainment Earth, now you can save the galaxy with the help of your trusty droids! Entertainment Earth collaborated with Hasbro to bring us this Star Wars Exclusive.

Set #1: R3-T6, R3-T2, R2-C4, R4-A22, R2-Q2
Set #2: R3-Y2, R2-M5, R2-A6, R4-E1, R2-X2

You’ve never seen Droids like this before! Never before made as toys, these new figures incorporate some of the finest Droid designs out of Hasbro and the engineers of Industrial Automaton. Each droid has several points of articulation, with articulated “feet,” moving domes, retractable third legs, and all sorts of light-up eyes, clear domes, and other features that bring these unique droids to life!

It’s in stock now and is only US$69.99.

Astromech Droids

Scientists Piece Together da Vinci’s Fingerprints

Anthropologists said they have pieced together Leonardo da Vinci’s left index fingerprint, a discovery that could help provide information on such matters as the food the artist ate and whether his mother was of Arabic origin. Aspects of his fingerprint apply to 60% of the Arabic population indicating his mother may have originated from that region.

The reconstruction of the fingerprint was the result of three years of research and could help attribute disputed paintings or manuscripts whose creators are under dispute.


Read details on MSNBC.

Geek Gift #5 – Get Your Message Across!

Make a statement with bold scrolling text using the Electronic Message Board. Whether for your business or home, you can now vividly display messages on this large LCD electronic billboard.

The Electronic Message Board has a built-in keyboard with the entire alphabet, 10 number keys, and symbols allows for easy programming. A built-in digital clock displays time with hours, minutes, and seconds. It can even store up to 26 preprogrammed messages of your choice with up to 60 characters each.

It’s about 30″ long and 6″ high, costs US$89.95.
Electronic Message Board

RoboSalmon to Spy on Fish

LiveScience has a really cool article on RoboSalmon, an underwater robot meant to spy on the real fish, is being developed at Glasgow University.

The robot has a built-in camera to broadcast images of real fish back to the operators of the device. Zoologists will use RoboSalmon to monitor various fish species in their natural habitat.

A key feature of RoboSalmon is its propulsion system. Since the robot will use its fins and tail for movement, it will be able to move through the water in a way that is more natural for aquatic creatures. Propellers make an unnatural noise that disturbs fish; RoboSalmon’s biomimetic characteristics should help it blend in.

More detailed photos here. We could use something like this in the Pacific Northwest to chase away the sea lions eating the salmon as they try to enter the fish ladders to spawn.


Geek Gift #4 – Is It Art or Breakfast?

Our fourth holiday gift recommendation for your geek family comes to us from Brookstone.

Breakfast-Art Image Toaster for US$60.

Bring the fun back into the most important meal of the day with the Breakfast-art image bread toaster! Turn your toast into a fun, festive work of art in just minutes! This breakfast-art picture-making electric toaster allows the kid in all of us to actually have fun with breakfast. Using fun image plates, this bread toaster leaves one of four playful heat imprints—a smiley face, birthday cake, sunshine or coffee cup—right on your piece of toast.

In time for the holidays you can also purchase additional art templates to leave imprints of a snowman, Santa, snowflake or a christmas tree.

  Toaster Art

Geek Gift #3 – Go Retro With Your Mobile

Our third gift idea for your special geek that has it all, is a new ThinkGeek original and just in time for the holidays – a Bluetooth retro phone to replace your bluetooth handsfree device!

ThinkGeek Bluetooth Retro Handset – it’s US$39.99 and in stock.

The folks at have taken their ever-popular Retro Handset and updated it to connect to your cell phone using Bluetooth technology. That’s right! No more tangled up phone cord. Now people will think you’re really crazy talking into a old-time handset connected to… nothing.

As with most BT handsfree headsets, it can initiate and receive calls, charge the battery through the USB cable and is compatible with Bluetooth V1.0, 1.1, 1.2. I wouldn’t recommend using this while driving though 🙂

   BT retro phone

Wii Have a Problem Here


Now just when I thought I had heard it all, along comes a class of gamers that make you wonder just how far a person will go to play their console games.  Well, the Wii has been out for a bit, and as always, there are horror stories to be told about user experiences.  By far, the most prominent complaint yet has been the malfunctioning strap for the WiiMote. (pictured below)


This device is used in a number of ways, swinging or lunging while holding it, to mimic the use of a sword, or sports equipment, etc.  To many players demise, the strap that is supposed to hold the WiiMote to your wrist while flinging around at mach speed, breaks quite easily, and has damaged or outright destroyed many TV’s, Laptops and windows across the US.  Nintendo has agreed in many cases already to replace the wrist straps, hopefully with something a bit stronger!  Too bad they won’t replace a 60 inch plasma TV, in the case of one dismayed gamer, or a 10ft piece of picture window glass in the case of another.

A group of kids in Tokyo, Japan have taken a insane initiative, and have superglued the WiiMotes to their hands.  They see it as a status symbol, and show them off in public.  Parents have dismissed this as a wacky and bizarre action, but are wary of the problems it can cause.  Some gamers in the US have taken to using duct tape or strong rubber bands to keep the device from slipping out of their hands.  In the extreme, some doctors have claimed they have been approached with proposals of having the device surgically implanted in their hand!

Now come on folks…  I’m all for playing some new games on a new console.  But to be a slave to a conotroller is just going way over the line here.  Can you say “Nintendo-Borg”?

[Found via]


Mission Impossible: E-Mail

E-Mail ExplosionCheck this place out for some serious e-mail action.  The Owner of 10 Minute Email states you can claim a temporary e-mail address through his site, which you can use for any number of reasons, not least of all, registering with websites that require validation (when you don’t want to give out your real e-mail address).  After the ten minutes expires, so does the temporary e-mail address.  Rinse and repeat as many times as you need.  Be wary though; they are currently being slashdotted, so as popularity rises with this service, websites may ban the 10minute domain to avoid your anon status.


Geek Gift #2 – You Need Some Blue Water In Your Diet?

This next gift idea is #2 on our list as each day, we present a new gift for that special geek in your life. Hey, maybe that geek is you! We found this next one on the Discovery Channel Store, it’s in stock and only US$14.95.

Blue Faucet Light –

Light up a brilliant stream of water, every time you turn on your faucet!

  • Blue light beams brightly, adding an attractive glow to any sink
  • Nightlight effect makes kids’ bathrooms more friendly in the dark
  • Elegant, soothing glow adds a surprise touch to Mom’s powder room
  • Internal pressure switch activates the light whenever the water is turned on – light shuts off when water stops
  • Installation is simple and takes only minutes

Blue Faucet

Xmas Gift for Geeks #1

Each day the next several weeks I’ll post another geek gift idea. This first geek gift on our list i’ve seen advertised on one of my favorite sites (The Daily WTF) for quite a while, in fact it’s great for non-geeks as well! Here’s #1:

Sumo Lounge Omni

Don’t call it a beanbag. Kick back and chill on this super-sized pillow by Sumo. The Sumo Lounger Omni can be used as a lounge chair, crash mat, floor pillow, loveseat; the possibilities really do go on. Sumo Beanbags are made from space age rip-proof nylon and come filled with top quality Sumo Beads. Omni is 4.5′ x 5.5′ and it only weighs 18 lbs! Available in 7 colors, it’s in stock now at a special price of $129 through Christmas. 

   Sumo Chair

Dino Nest For Sale – Eggs Included!

Want to get your significant other a one-of-a-kind holiday gift this year? As one expert states – “Dinosaurs are hotter than ever. It is a very collectible market especially for higher quality specimens”.

Now’s your chance to pick up an exceptionally well-preserved 65 million year old fossilized dino nest. To top it off, it even has some eggs broken open exposing tiny dino skeletons inside!

The nest is going up on the auction block soon and expected to fetch a mere $200K. Get the details on Reuters News.

   Dino Eggs


Scientists Levitate Small Animals

Scientists have previously experimented successfully with levitating small amounts of liquid or solid such as iridium and mercury in an attempt to find a method of transporting or storing corrosive materials without allowing the material to physically contact the container.

Now they’re upping the ante to levitating live animals and bugs, including ladybugs, a spider, ant, beetle and a fish! They levitated each for about 30 minutes without many issues with the exception of the fish not fairing too well being out of water so long (they did try adding water to the space via a syringe periodically!).

 levitate_fish  levitate_ladybug You can read the details and view larger pics on LiveScientist.