Midnight: A Twist On The Hero Worlds in d20 Fantasy Games

Below is a youtube review of ‘Midnight‘ developed Fantasy Flight Games. The twist on this game is that evil won the war and the heroes are basically fighting a guerilla war against evil.

Midnight is an original d20 setting that pits the players against overwhelming forces of evil in a desperate fight for survival and freedom. There is only one god in Midnight, and it is the dark lord Izrador, the Shadow in the North. For centuries his twisted spawn have assaulted the free people of Eredane, and 100 years ago, he won. Now the land is his, the people are enslaved, and magic, weapons, and literacy are outlawed. Only the brave and courageous few dare to resist the Shadow.

You can find this game on Paizo or Amazon.
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Games

IEEE Launches New Working Group for Body Area Network Tech

Body Area Network

Are you digging my ghetto logo for this article?

IEEE has put together a working group for Body area network (BAN), 802.15.6, is a low-frequency technology intended to endow a future generation of short-range electronics, both in a body and on or around it, with a wireless communication standard for exchanging information.

These devices, communicating through wireless technologies, transmit data from the body to a home base station, from where the data can be forwarded to a hospital, clinic or elsewhere, real-time.

Examples of devices include smart implants like cochlea, artificial heart, capsule endoscope and more.

Read the draft criteria for the standard here (Word doc). I found the responses to the RFC here.

Additional references:

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Medical

New Game Controller: Your Hands

Games

Israeli start-up 3DV aims to be a contender with motion-sensing tech that has a good handle on depth perception.

Link to the CNET article.

Gadgets / Devices, Games

Toyota: "Robotics Will Be a Core Business"

Toyota Robots

Toyota President Katsuaki Watanabe said robotics will be a core business for the company in the next couple of years. He also says that Toyota will test out its robots at hospitals, Toyota-related facilities and other places starting next year. And the company hopes to put what it calls “partner robots” to real use by 2010.

Watanabe presented a vision of the future in which wheelchair-like “mobility robots” would offer “bed-to-bed” services to people, including the elderly and the sick, just like cars take people “door-to-door.”

In august they started teaming up with Sony in an effort to leapfrog Honda and their robotics trickery of late.

The pic above is their violin playing version of the more famous child-like Asimo from Honda, though this fella apparently plays a mean ‘Pomp and Circumstance’.

Read more at the Future of Things.

This video shows off a wide array of Toyota bots and a few from other manufacturers.

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Computers

Our Gods Wear Spandex: The Secret History of Comic Book Heroes

Spandex

While searching through Amazon for a particular Fantasy book I stumbled across this: Our Gods Wear Spandex: The Secret History of Comic Book Heroes

I don’t own this but it appeared to be something that might appeal to some of you geeks looking for a holiday gift to let your significant other know about. It was just released a month ago, is 256 pages in length, is illustrated and costs less than US$14.

Here’s the editorial description:

In Our Gods Wear Spandex, Christopher Knowles answers these questions and brings to light many other intriguing links between superheroes and the enchanted world of estoerica. Occult students and comic-book fans alike will discover countless fascinating connections, from little known facts such as that DC Comics editor Julius Schwartz started his career as H.P. Lovecraft’s agent, to the tantalizingly extensive influence of Madame Blavatsky’s Theosophy on the birth of comics, to the mystic roots of Superman.

The book also traces the rise of the comic superheroes and how they relate to several cultural trends in the late 19th century, specifically the occult explosion in Western Europe and America. Knowles reveals the four basic superhero archetypes–the Messiah, the Golem, the Amazon, and the Brotherhood–and shows how the occult Bohemian underground of the early 20th century provided the inspiration for the modern comic book hero.

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Superheroes