Apr 042009
 

netflix

Actually, the title sounds more nefarious than this post really is :)  Here we have a behind the scenes look at one of the Netflix sorting warehouses in the east coast.  Thirteen photos of the internal workings and machinations of the receiving, and then immediate shipping out of DVD’s from one customer to another.  I had a Netflix membership once, and never had a problem with the time it took movies to get to me…aside from the occasional broken DVD.

Regardless, this is an interesting peek into their processing.  Check it out HERE.

Apr 032009
 

wix

Here’s an interesting website I came across a few days ago, called Wix.  It’s one of the many flavors of free website builders you can find out there in the interweb.  I found this one to be simpler and more intuitive to use in many ways, than the other builders I have attempted to use in the past.  After signing up for a free account, you can have a functioning website setup in less than ten minutes.  After spending some time on it, I managed to create a website using one of Wix’s premade templates that looked nearly professional enough to use mainstream!

Check it out and have fun.  If you make a website, tell us about it here, and maybe we’ll give you some exposure :)  Cheers!

Apr 012009
 

Apparently someone thought that this mechanical brush would make for happy cows, and then happy milk ;)  Regardless, this makes for an entertaining couple of minutes!

Now if they only had something like this in WoW, I might do better in the battlegrounds!  Moo!

Mar 212009
 

 Blizzard Theme Park

If you have artistic skills and a modicum of knowledge of the blizzard universe and what motivates its fans, then Blizzard has a contest right up your alley. Here’s their pitch:

Step right up, and take a ride on Onyxia’s Revenge — a wild, whelp-filled roller coaster through the depths of the nefarious dragon’s lair! Head to Koprulu Food Court and grab yourself a Zerger Burger — then don your Horadric Poncho, and prepare to get soaked in a rain of fire on Diablo’s River of Flame!

What thrills would you seek in the Blizzard Entertainment theme park of your dreams? This is your chance to show us.

We’re challenging you to design and illustrate your own Blizzard Entertainment Theme Park, including roller coasters, water rides, shows, shopping areas, food courts, game areas, patrons, and whatever fantastic attractions you desire.

Submit your original park design by March 30, 2009, and we’ll choose our favorites based on the creativity of the design, artistic technique (including the medium and style), and how your park reflects the lore and spirit of Blizzard Entertainment’s games.

You can submit illustrations that look like theme-park maps, compose your park to look like a screenshot from a game, or create whatever kind of park you wish — the only limit is your imagination. Winning entries will be featured on Blizzard Entertainment websites around the world as well as at BlizzCon 2009, being held in Anaheim, California on August 21 and 22.

The park designer who most creatively incorporates the StarCraft, Warcraft, and Diablo universes will receive a Wacom Cintiq 12WX Digitizing Tablet, a pair of StarCraft II beta keys, and more. See below for more prize details, or check out the official rules for more information.

Award Categories:

Best Overall Blizzard Theme Park

(incorporating StarCraft, Warcraft, and Diablo)

Grand Prize – Wacom Cintiq 12WX Digitizing Tablet, Echoes of War: The Music of Blizzard Entertainment, and two (2) StarCraft II beta keys

Best StarCraft Area or Theme Park

1st Prize – Echoes of War: The Music of Blizzard Entertainment and two (2) StarCraft II beta keys

Best Warcraft Area or Theme Park

1st Prize – Echoes of War: The Music of Blizzard Entertainment and two (2) StarCraft II beta keys

Best Diablo Area or Theme Park

1st Prize – Echoes of War: The Music of Blizzard Entertainment and two (2) StarCraft II beta keys

 Posted by at 7:15 am
Mar 142009
 

news_links_global_dimming  Global dimming: Air pollution clogging skies worldwide – Air pollution has caused skies above most of the world’s land areas to dim slightly over the past 30 years

news_links_pi  Today is National Pi Day, March 14 – Happy 3.1415926. In other Pi news today, a Michigan teen recites 2,000 digits of pi

news_links_google  Are Google’s Behavior-Based Ads a New Privacy Concern? – Google’s new interest-based advertising may lead to increased revenues for the search company, but privacy advocates have a list of new concerns for Google

news_links_battery   Batteries recharging in a matter of seconds – MIT researches discovered how to greatly improve recharging batteries; they worked on how lithium ions travelled from the cathode back to the anode. They achieved their performance goals by changing the structure of the standard Li-ion battery, making use of nanoparticles and some other elements such as carbon

news_links_blimps   Pentagon Seeks Fleet Of Massive DARPA Spy Blimps – The Pentagon has announced intentions to launch an entire fleet of giant 450-foot-long airships which will act as a massive airborne radar system providing perpetual surveillance of vehicles, planes and people on the ground

news_links_thor   New superhero movies pushed back – Marvel pushes out dates for Avengers and Thor. But hey, at least Samuel Jackson is still on board for a 9 pic deal to play Nick Fury.

 Posted by at 12:04 pm
Mar 132009
 

Fuzzfind

What’s FuzzFind?

FuzzFind is a web search mashup that combines the power of the leading search engines and social bookmarking sites to make it easier for you to locate and identify the most relevant information. All results are grouped together and sorted according to the search engine rankings plus the popularity of the sites according to the social bookmarking community.

As  you can see in the user interface screenshot above, you can tune the search results for various search engines by moving a slider left or right based on your personal preferences. This is cool and I’d love to see more engines included hear like Stumbleupon for instance. Or to do an image and video search as well.

I’m looking forward to see more like this, so far I’m liking what I’m seeing.

 Posted by at 10:13 am
Mar 102009
 

Broken-DVD

I’ve been downloading torrents for many years, and have come to know many handy tips and tricks.  One that I learned a while back, but had never had an opportunity to utilize, is correcting and repairing hefty sized files using your client’s hash of that file.  Yeah, it may sound complicated, but its actually pretty simple.  If you have a slow connection and downloaded something like the newest ISO of Ubuntu, then when you went to burn the image to a disc it’s corrupted for some reason…Don’t pull your hair out!  No need to download the file again; with some creative copying and a hash check, you can be back in business in no time at all.

Read this detailed article HERE to get the skinny on this procedure.  Be sure to backup anything you plan on testing this with, as the method can be a bit shaky at times.  Good luck!

Mar 102009
 

stbanner01

I can’t tell you just how long I’ve been waiting for this bad boy to be released!  I’d heard rumors of it as far back as two years ago, when NCSoft was shutting down some of its earlier developed games, and announced upcoming developments.  If you remember, Andy and I were down in Vegas last summer, and had an opportunity to check out some of the literature for the game there, and there was even a presentation of the MMO by none other than Leonard Nimoy himself.  Early videos promised some beautiful, yet functional space battles, unique character customizations, and many innovative worlds to explore.  One of the online consultants from MMORPG.com has had an opportunity to play the game, and give a semi-detailed analysis of its play HERE.

01

I’m chomping at the bit to play this game – and I’m hoping that it’s released soon.  With the new Star Trek movie just around the corner, it would be a smart move to ride the popularity coattails to help promote the game.  Especially since this early look suggests that there are tie-ins between the MMO and movie :)

Mar 092009
 

apple logo varied 

Several groups are interested in hosting iPhone apps, but they wouldn’t be officially blessed by Apple, meaning they’re not signed by our favorite fruity gadget maker. Which means to install one of these apps from outside the iTunes environment you must jailbreak your iPhone.

Why not just host these apps on iTunes with all the rest? Well, it appears Apple takes its sweet time to get a developer’s app into the cloud turning it into a minor crisis. And then there’s the whole porn thing that turns your iPhone into a smut emporium.

So if you’re interested in non-Apple certified apps, apps that that Apple hasn’t censored, then you’re only solution is to jailbreak the phone. The cause and effect part i’ve outlined is not news, what’s news is that it appears the desire for alternative non-blessed applications may be building to the point that it’s worth trying to act as an alternative to big brother.

In other Apple news:

  • Rumor: Apple touch-screen Netbook in the works? [CNET News]

  • U2 Hangs up on Apple, Dials BlackBerry [Wired]

  • Apple Shares Again Hit By Analyst Souring Sentiment [CNN Money]

    •  Posted by at 11:11 pm
      Mar 082009
       

      radar stations

      The technology that for decades kept airspace over Southern England safe can now be seen in action in public for the first time ever at The National Museum of Computing at Bletchley Park.

      For 25 years the British-designed IRIS investigative radar recording system operated behind closed doors at West Drayton handling millions of aircraft movements without a single incident ever being attributed to an Air Traffic Control failing. With the transfer of Air Traffic Control to Swanwick, the last of the PDP11-based radar stations were decommissioned earlier this year. Two were transferred to The National Museum of Computing where expert volunteers have brought them back to life after six months of diligent reconstruction.

      The two large radar displays, affectionately known as the Big Green-Eyed Monster because of their size and remarkable retro appearance, can be viewed for the first time by the public replaying historical recordings of flights in and out of London’s Heathrow Airport.

       Posted by at 9:47 am
      Mar 052009
       

       titan-logo   20080908211122_Lacie_logo

      Hey folks!  Our good friend, Flavius Saracut over at Neobyte Solutions (creators of Titan Backup)got a hold of me the other day to tell me about a fantastic weekly giveaway they’re sponsoring right now.  Every week, one lucky person will walk away with a 500gb LaCie external hard disk.  How awesome is that?  I think everyone could use an extra 500gb of storage, myself included :)  All you have to do is head on over to their website, and click on the banner across the top of the page.  Good luck!

        1027544

      Click HERE to go check out the review on Titan Backup!

      Mar 032009
       

      Watchmen

      No sequel? Yeah right. Whether it makes big $$$ is the determining factor.

      Here’s a snippet from the Associated Press story:

      LOS ANGELES (AP) — Fans should plan to savor every visual morsel when "Watchmen" swoops into movie theaters Friday because the subversive superheroes of the landmark comic book series may never return to the big screen.

      "There’s no way I would be involved in a sequel or prequel," said director Zack Snyder, who turned the graphic novel "300" into a 2007 blockbuster.

      "Will they make one? I have no idea how you would. The work is the work. This movie is about ideas. Anything else you would do, if you did a sequel to it, misses the point entirely of what ‘Watchmen’ is," he said.

       Posted by at 10:00 am
      Mar 032009
       

      Atom

      Intel is shifting its Atom-focus from MIDs (thank goodness, this vertical is a dog). Instead we’ll be seeing a greater focus on in-car infotainment and netbooks and possibly x86-based mobile phones. It’s going to do this by tweaking the chipset to further optimize it for other power sensitive scenarios Intel sees as the new hotness in x86.

      Read TGDaily for the details.

       Posted by at 9:28 am
      Mar 032009
       

      Green Eco Friendly WoW - World of Warcraft

      From PopSci.com we learn of a media expert at Stanford that details the ways in which online multiplayer games can reflect and reward real-world eco-friendly behavior. The idea is to tie in your home power usage and metrics to an online game, like World of Warcraft is an example the expert touts as one vehicle to encourage people to reduce power consumption.

      A scenario might be this: Within the game the user receives feedback on their home’s power consumption, let’s say that you left a bunch of lights on. If you then turn the lights off, the game detects the decrease in power and your character in the game is rewarded somehow to reinforce the eco-friendly behavior.

      The concept of rewarding people for reducing power consumption is good, and I think being able to provide live feedback to consumers is also great. But the implementation details this expert gives are screwed. A WoW player, most any MMORPG or online FPS gamer for that matter, is not going to be motivated to alter their real world lifestyle to impact their online experience.

      Now maybe if there was a way to tie the reduced power usage to a reduced WoW subscription fee or for free online game time, that is something I’d consider useful.

      Mar 022009
       

      television

      From NetworkWorld:

      Pining for instant access to episodes of "MacGyver" on your iPhone (and really, who isn’t)? CBS Mobile has you covered with its new TV.com app (iTunes link) released on Thursday. The app offers free streaming video content from CBS (including CBS News, Sports, and Radio), the CW, and Showtime, as well as CBS-owned Cnet and some other places (CBS aquired the TV.com Web site along with its purchase of Cnet in 2008).

      I’m not going to apologize for apparently not being among the masses pining to watch TV on a handheld device. Is there really a desire for this and will it generate enough revenue to pay for the bandwidth?

       Posted by at 12:18 am
      Feb 272009
       

       Doodle

      You might look like you’re not paying attention when you doodle, but science says otherwise. It actually keeps us on track with boring tasks.

      Researchers in the UK found that test subjects who doodled while listening to a recorded message had a 29 percent better recall of the message’s details than those who didn’t doodle. The findings were published in Applied Cognitive Psychology.

      Read more at ABC News.

       

      [Flickr ‘doodle’ photo courtesy of karindalziel]

       Posted by at 6:59 pm
      Feb 262009
       

      Old School geeks will recognize the name Lord British immediately as the game author/designer for the Ultima series of RPG video games. I have fond memories of playing hour upon endless hour of Ultima on an Apple //e back in the 80’s so getting to see this interview set is a real treat for me!

      This interview is in 3 parts, part 1 is below. Head over to VBS.tv to watch the entire series (Part 2, Part 3) of interviews and take a tour of his home which is a geek’s dream come true with gadgets, secret doors, magical gear, a full sized rotating telescope in the roof and more.

      VBS.tv chose a great topic to launch their new technology series of videos they call Motherboard…tip of the hat guys.

       Posted by at 12:25 am