Robotic Submarine Explores Antarctic Ice Shelves on 5000 D Cells

Autosub

The British have developed and are deploying a robotic submarine, called Autosub, under the Pine Island ice shelf in Antarctica.

The Autosub has a top speed of 3.4 knots and can dive to 1,600 meters and oh by the way, is powered by 5,000 batteries. Yes, that right, it’s powered by 5,000 D cell batteries. As in  the kind used to power flashlights!

The unmanned boat can travel up to 400km before requiring a return trip to pick up 5,000 fresh batteries from the mother ship.

Get the full story from Reuters.

[via UberReview]

Rolling In Style

It’s been a while since we’ve posted anything related to table gaming, so I thought I’d drop these in here. I saw this in a forum where interesting and unusual items are displayed.  How awesome would it be to have a set of six siders like these at the gaming table?  Being Diamonds, I’m sure the cost of these would be astronomical….but who said fun didn’t come without a price? :)

blackdiamonddice

The dice (total weight 32 carats) and solitaire (just under 4 carats) not only look fantastic but roll very well! The dice are an exclusive design by Coster of Amsterdam.
The black diamond, also known as Carbonado, is a natural polycrystalline diamond found in alluvial deposits in the Central African Republic and Brazil, they look black and are highly porous. A study by Stephen Haggerty and Jozsef Garai, both of Florida International University, analyzed the hydrogen in black diamond samples using infrared-detection instruments at the Brookhaven National Laboratory and found that the mineral formed in a supernova explosion.

Bragging rights for owning a set of these would be enough to seal the deal 😉  Could you imagine having a full set…d4,d8,d10,d12,d20…..that would rock!

WoW GM Gets Teen Arrested

 Lootless Dwarf

The World of Warcraft GMs are watching and listening to you on their servers to help maintain fair and quality play, but in a recent incident the GM’s role went above and beyond. As learned from Loot Ninja today, a teenager was chatting with a WoW GM online recently and the teen made suicidal comments in an effort to play on the GM’s sympathies hoping to get some loot.

A 17-year-old Fairfield Twp. teen pretended to be suicidal when he became frustrated with an online video game, Fairfield Twp. police reported.

The teen…typed that "he was suicidal and that the game is the only thing he has to live for," according to the report.

The company representative called 911.

The GM did the smart thing and called the cops in the off-chance the kid was truly suicidal, so of course the police and paramedics show up at the young man’s home.

The juvenile told police it was a joke "to try to get what he wanted for the game," according to the report. He was then handcuffed and placed in a patrol car.

Isn’t this just sad?

Let’s hope the young man has learned his lesson that you have to work and invest something of yourself to get ahead in the world, that part of growing up is trying and failing, learning from your errors and growing from it. But it really seems that this teen’s attempt at ‘pity loot’ is a classic symptom of the typical "Trophy Kids" (aka "Generation Y") that have been raised to think everyone is a winner and even losers deserve a trophy.

Well, the loser of this story has won himself a minor criminal record.

The news article originates from the Middletown Journal and has the full story.

Footballer Wants To Change Name To Show His Love of WoW

Chris Kluwe

A punter for the American Football Team Minnesota Vikings says that he loves playing World of Warcraft so much that he’s tossed around the idea of changing his name. His name (for today at least) is Chris Kluwe, his teammates know of his love of WoW and they’ve already given him an appropriate nickname but he is considering taking that name to the next level.

Here’s his discussion of the topic on his weekly radio program (original article from Star Tribune):

“I think more people like to hear me talk about playing video games than football,” said Kluwe, an expert at many video games. “I’ve played video games since I was 4 years old. I play them a lot more than I kick a football. I kick the ball about 45 minutes a day. I play video games about five or six hours a day. But that’s OK. I don’t watch TV.”

“Back when [Bengals receiver] Chad Johnson changed his name to Ocho Cinco, I told the guys at 93X that I was going to change my name to Chris ‘World of Warcraft,’ ” Kluwe said. “They said that’s too long. So they started calling me Chris ‘Warcraft.’ I could make a lot of money if I changed my name to that.”

He’s doing pretty well for himself. He recently renegotiated his contract for $8.3 million over the next 5 seasons.

According to his wikipedia page, he plays a troll rogue on the Kil’jaeden sever, keep an eye out for him. It’s unknown whether he plays a female or male char :-)

 

[via Gaming Angels]

DIY – Colored Balls For Your Blackberry Pearl

I’ve seen several different DIY posts for changing the LED color of the Blackberry Pearl trackball.  Some informative, some not very much so.  After some experimentation on my own, I managed to make a simple modification to my Blackberry Pearl 8130 trackball to change the LED color.  I must say it looks rather nice, and adds some flair to an otherwise drab looking smartphone.

My Blackberry Pearl 8130:

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Before attempting this mod, I would recommend that you power off your phone!  First step is to remove the trackball assembly.  Use a pair of tweezers to hook into a small slot in the chrome retainer ring, located directly above the #2 key on the keypad.  Gently pry up the ring until the ring pops loose, and remove it, exposing the trackball assembly underneath.

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Set aside the chrome ring, in a safe place.  It is plastic, so make sure not to bend or break the catches on the underside.  Use the tweezers to remove the trackball assembly – it’s self contained, so don’t worry about it falling apart.  Set the assembly aside along with the chrome ring.  Now you should see this:

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Now comes the easy part!  The LED that lights up the trackball is on the lower right, indicated in the picture by the bright red circle.  Grab yourself a fine tipped permanent marker (I used a Staedtler Lumocolor fine tip in Red) and lightly coat the LED in your chosen color.  As a side note, you can apply several coats of the same color to achieve darker shades of the same color to your desire.  Just make sure you give a few minutes to dry between each application.  I applied four coats to give myself a nice scarlet red color.  After your final coat dries, put everything back together!  Make sure you settle the trackball assembly in all the way, and align the Chrome ring in the socket the same way it was when you removed it.

That’s it!  Turn your phone on, and you should see something like this:

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Congrats on your newly modded phone :)  I personally really like the dark red color because it gives me that “HAL 9000″ type feeling!  Now if you want to change the color, follow the same steps as before, and use a q-tip with a light application of rubbing alcohol to gently remove the marker ink.  Let dry, and apply the new color of your choice.

If you try this, be sure to tell us about your experience!

EDIT– Many People have suggested using the “Blingball” or “Color Pearl” apps for the Blackberry Pearl.  The model 8130 does not possess the polychromatic  LEDs necessary for those apps to function correctly or at all.  That’s why I wrote this DIY in the first place.  Carry on 😉

The Bro Code

What is this, you ask?  Some lame attempt at chauvinism?  An awesome codex of life for your fellow man?  No, my friends.  This is a book that carefully details the rules that all Bros must live by; a subtle collection of clarity and wisdom passed down through the ages by your fellow Bro, and all contained within the pages of a single book.  This lexicon of empowerment can help you solve such situations as “A Bro will, in a timely manner, alert his Bro to the existance of a chick fight.” or “A Bro only claims a fart after first accusing another Bro (Exception: “Pull my finger.”).”

brocode

I asked my wife to get this for me during the recent holidays, because I felt it was time to rebolster my “Inner Bro” – He has been beaten down and oppressed for a while now, and now I feel it is time to let him shine through!  Women, buy this for your man!  Men, embolden yourselves, and claim your Bro status for all eternity :)

Based off the musings of Barney Stinson in “How I met your mother” TV show.

Buy this at Amazon.

Outstanding Warcraft Fan Video

Here’s one of the best machinima videos I’ve ever seen: “The Craft of War: Blind“.

I don’t have much in the way of constructive criticism other than the transition in music early on didn’t seem appropriate, but the song used for a majority of the vid (Hide & Seek by Namie Amuro) added to the vibe the animator was trying to set.

The lighting was spot on, the use of WoW models was brilliant, the SFX are great, the plot had me hooked and I’m anxiously awaiting to see more on this assassin vs. Dragon theme.


The Craft of War: BLIND from percula on Vimeo.

Unique Test Of The Microsoft Mouse Bluetrack Technology

[Editor’s note: Today’s post comes from my sister Beth, who is *not* a geek. :-) She received a rechargeable Microsoft Explorer Mouse w/ Bluetrack technology for Christmas this week, this is the latest and greatest in mouse tech. Here’s her initial usability report, with a unique test of this supposedly ‘more precise imaging’ Bluetrack technology. -andy]

This is my first experience with a wireless mouse and I have to say I am impressed. Easy to install and quick charging. The ergonomic feel to the mouse is pleasing, but I find the weight of the mouse a little much. I’m sure with time it will feel normal but for now it feels like I’m dragging it around my desk.

I have to admit that when I read on the case it came in that you could use this mouse on the carpet, desk, granite countertop, concrete sidewalk, park bench or wood walls, I had to put it to the test… The mouse worked on my office’s rough wood walls, my upholstered computer chair, the carpet on the floor, my daughter’s arm, and yes, even on my cat’s belly.

-Beth & ‘Bella the cat’

Bella cat testing Bluetrack Mouse

Eartha Kitt (Catwoman) – RIP

Cat Woman - Eartha Kitt 1 

Eartha Kitt passed away today at the age of 81. If you don’t know her by name, you may remember her as one of the women to play Catwoman, a super nemesis of Batman in the TV series from the 1960’s. She was also the only black villain to appear on the show.

From ABC News:

Eartha Kitt, a sultry singer, dancer and actress who rose from South Carolina cotton fields to become an international symbol of elegance and sensuality, has died, a family spokesman said. She was 81.

Kitt, a self-proclaimed "sex kitten" famous for her catlike purr, was one of America’s most versatile performers, winning two Emmys and nabbing a third nomination. She also was nominated for several Tonys and two Grammys.

BTW, the other 2 women to play Catwoman on the TV series is Julie Newmar and Lee Meriwether.

Catwoman - Eartha Kitt 3  Cat Woman - Eartha Kitt 2

iPhone App Explodes on Market

Who knew that flatulence would be so lucrative?  Well apparently the developers over at InfoMedia who created the iFart thought so.  So much so, that they grossed about $10,000 in the first day it was available via iTunes.  Reviewers at MacWorld place this app at the #1 overall downloaded app of all time!  I guess this is one app that doesn’t stink, hah!

ifart_iphone

I personally find these types of apps useless, and a general waste of space and memory, and akin to childish antics.  But hey, it takes all types, no?

Google Bonus Is Smartphone, Not Cash

Google girl

Google is clearly showing signs of growing up and recognizing it can’t spend lavishly and expect the online world to slurp their every deliverable.

From Bloomberg:

About 85 percent of workers will get a handset powered by Google’s Android operating system as a holiday gift, said the person, who asked not to be identified. Google handed out $1,000 cash gifts to most employees last year.

Of course a lot of the GOOG employees may already have some kind of smartphone, in that case you’d think they’d just sell it on eBay and collect the cash value. But according to the company memo sent to all employees, they are not allowed to re-sell it as it would violate company policy, but i’m sure it’d be ok to re-gift it. :-)

Snowzilla Returns – The Frosty Fiend Reigns Terror On Anchorage Officials

 Snowzilla

Snowzilla is a 16 foot snowman, he’s so big the base snowball of his body is as large as a pickup truck. He has appeared in recent years on the lawn of an Anchorage Alaskan home, but had recently received a cease and desist order from the city to ensure he’s not reborn again this Winter like a Phoenix from the North Pole.

Well this frosty fiend has mysteriously appeared again, this time to reign terror on city officials and to irk a few neighbors. The homeowner swears he’s not responsible for this magnificent monster of snow.

The Anchorage Daily News has the details on Snowzilla.

Holiday Battle: Good vs. Evil?!?

We all know one of those super nice people. They help old women across the street, never leave the toilet seat up and give you their last French fry. It’s those charity working, compliment giving, birthday remembering niceys.  Or maybe you know one of those bad-ass naughty doers—the no good, rotten, nasty meanheads.  They’ve flipped us the bird, flirted with our significant others, AND stole your friggin’ parking spot yesterday.

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Well, it’s holiday time and just as Santa would have it – here’s your chance to put those peeps on the Global Naughty or Nice List – and give credit or a kick to the balls where it’s due.  So join your fellow geeks in a  quest to expose, for better and for worse, the goody goody…and the not so well behaved…

What’s the funniest thing about the whole list?  Check out where Jesus sits in the list….

Scientists Discover New Forest, Species on Google Earth

GreenDino

Found on Digg:  Scientists discover new forest, species on Google Earth.

Best Digg comments:

– FTA: "…a new member of the Gaboon viper family of snakes that can kill a human in a single bite." Thanks Google. Thanks a lot.
– Google, saving all our ***** one thing at a time
– Oil companies and poachers have Google Earth Pro. The possibilities are endless…
– Wake me up when they find dinosaurs… or dragons.

Tetris Bracelet!

Following with the Tetris theme from the other day, I found this slick Tetris bracelet from a private designer.  It’s a clear resin bracelet, with a unique handmade Tetris design imbedded inside, with a large “GAME OVER” printed on it.  Now I’m not much for jewelry, but I’d have to take an exception for this piece of gaming bling :)

tetpic1 tetpic2

Seems they are in limited supply, so email the designer quick if you want one!

Top Articles For The Week 12/21/08- Computer Science, Anime, Zombies and the Easter Bunny

 I love geeknews

During this last week I’ve had a little more time than usual to look at the Geeknews traffic, later in the week I’ll discuss the year’s most popular topics and solicit your feedback. Below you can see that there’s quite a variety of topics comprising the top 15 pages with the most views this week. Interestingly, two in particular have been pretty popular lately even though they were posted much earlier in the year – one is a motivation poster I created sitting at #5, and at #10 is my take on what women should wear to a tech conference.

1. Who Needs a Computer Science Degree When There’s Wikipedia

2. The Little Mermaid Cosplay

3. The Women Of Sci-Fi And Their Provocative Poses – Amanda Tapping – Amanda Tapping queries always rank pretty high on incoming referrals.

4. Christmas Gifts For Geeks – 11/18/08

5. Motivational: Embrace Diversity

6. The Women Of Sci-Fi And Their Provocative Poses

7. More Geeky Christmas Gifts

8. Crack/Keygen Sites That Are Safe To Use

9. Extra-Wide Contacts = Anime Look

10. What do women wear to tech conference?

11. Superhero Or Stripper, You Decide – Superhero Strippers, interesting combination.

12. Beauty and Braaaaains! – Almost anything related to Zombies attracts geeks.

13. Anime Easter Bunny

14. Cosplay Gone Bad

15. Geeky Christmas Gift – Dr. Horrible @ US 9.99

Mmm, Smells Like Beef (New Burger King Cologne)

Burger King body spray

The wife sent me this news article about a Burger King cologne, not for me to consider for Christmas, but she thinks it’s something you might be interested in knowing about. If you’re not familiar with BK, it’s a fast food restaurant that competes directly with McDonald’s

Is this April 1? This has to be another of their viral campaigns by BK, right? Geeks, do *not* wear this. Ladies, do *not* date someone that would wear a cologne that made them smell like "the scent of seduction with a hint of flame-broiled meat".

If you want to see the flash-heavy BK site firemeetsdesire.com advertising this, knock yourself out. Else, here’s the AP story:

By Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) – Looking to beef up your mojo this holiday season?

Burger King Corp. may have just the thing. The home of the Whopper has launched a new men’s body spray called "Flame." The company describes the spray as "the scent of seduction with a hint of flame-broiled meat."

The fragrance is on sale at New York City retailer Ricky’s NYC in stores and online for a limited time for $3.99.

Burger King is marketing the product through a Web site featuring a photo of its King character reclining fireside and naked but for an animal fur strategically placed to not offend.

The marketing ploy is the latest in a string of viral ad campaigns by the company. Burger King is also in the midst of its Whopper Virgins campaign that features an taste test with fast-food "virgins" pitting the Whopper against McDonald’s Corp.’s Big Mac.

Burger King Holdings Inc. shares rose 15 cents to close at $20.53.

See more news stories on the universal disgust over thishere’s google news on this topic.

The Coolest Blocks Around.

I doubt that Alexey Pajitnov had any idea in 1985 that when he designed Tetris, it would be one of the most popular games in video gaming history.  Here we are 23 years later, and you can find it on every popular computer type, gaming console, handhelds, cell phones and PDA’s.  And being so wildly popular, there is bound to be fan designed products dedicated to the game, such as tshirts, mousemats, stickers, etc.  But I have to say, the wildest, and dare I say “Coolest” product I’ve seen dedicated to Tetris, is the ICEBLOX.

 compozice-ctverec1 14_iceblox-blue

14_tetrice02 14_tetrice04

Now you can chill out with your favorite drink and play Tetris like one cool customer!

Hemp-Mote Smokes The Competition.

Dhreck, a dedicated modder went ahead and made a Wiimote and Nunchuck shell entirely out of hemp. Why would he do this? I believe the operative question is “why not?” And yes, it is an actual Wiimote under there, it’s not just some hemp mockup. It is fully functional, and ready to use in game play.

hemp-mote1 hemp-mote3

The Hemp-Mote is absolutely playable, all buttons, accelerometers and the infrared camera accounted for. Unfortunately its exterior is also quite fragile and prone to degeneration, being in the raw state that it is.


Using saws and files I removed most of the hard plastic shells, then rebuild the underlying shapes using modeling putty. After Smoothing the result out with fine grained sandpaper I give the whole a quick black paint job to ensure eventual gaps didn’t stand out too much. Ta-daa!, a base to wrap stuff around.

It continues to amaze me the lengths some people will go to to enhance their personal game play.  I’ve sanded a few edges here and there and shortened or lengthened cables, but this level of modding takes the virtual cake !  That being said, I want one!