Facebook’s Fine-Print Fiasco

Social Networking

Businessweek is reporting on the Facebook issue of the week and this particular issue has privacy groups up in arms.

When social media site Facebook casually slipped in a clause that gave them rights in perpetuity to users’ content, consumer watchdog groups and privacy experts cried foul.

Essentially Facebook owns everything you upload to the site…forever, no matter what you do with the content after it’s touched their server.


Obama Inauguration Giga-Photo

Okay, so there’s a billion ways to gain fame by riding the coat-tails of Obama.  This photo is just one of the cooler ones that I’ve seen so far :)  This is a gigashot, a culmination of 200 seperate shots taken at one second each with a 1,474 megapixel Cannon robotic camera.  That’s some power!  I had a load of fun zooming in all the way to see the reactions on people’s faces during the event.  Follow the link HERE.


Bonus points if you can find the person in the tinfoil suit 😉

Alien Invasion In Your Home!

My friend Louie, over at the Brando Toy MFG in Hong Kong sent me this little jewel I thought I’d share with you guys.  They have all sorts of cool little games and gadgets there, but this one is one of the niftiest I’d seen in a while.  It’s a small IF RC UFO they you can fly around in your home or office!  Think of all the fun you could have…  Louie promises me that he has one on the way to me, so when I get it, I’ll post a more in depth review.


Here’s the Brando press release:

*It’s the World Smallest Infrared RC Indoor "UFO"*.
You can use the Wide Range IR controller to fly the Tiny & Super Light Weight Design "UFO" around your room. This Tiny "UFO" is rechargeable, while you are operating the "UFO", a LED Light will be flashing on the top of the "UFO". It’s Cool when you Fly it in the dark!* Just get one to join the Super Fun RC "UFO" Group in this New Year!

Check out the product page HERE.  I can’t wait to get my hands on this 😉

Big Blue Supercomputer: The Next Generation


From Channel Web I learned that IBM and the US Dept. Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration announced an agreement this week regarding an order for what will become the most powerful supercomputer in the world. One of the systems will be called ‘Dawn’:

… Dawn is a 500 teraflop-per-second initial delivery BlueGene/P system, scheduled for delivery in the first quarter of 2009. According to the release, Dawn will provide the applications foundation for multipetaflop per second computing on Sequoia.

If all goes according to plan, Sequoia’s 20 petaflops per second speed would make it 10 times faster than any other existing system.

Cloned Pet Comes Home, Looks Can Be Deceiving

Lance - Cloned Puppy

The first cloned pet (above) in North America recently arrived home where version1 of himself used to reside and he’s a spittin’ image of his oldself.

Of course the question still remains on whether long term v2’s personality mimics v1 so there’s some risk to the $155k the family spent was put to good use. This ABC News article covers the homecoming and also some of the pitfalls of cloning for families by recounting issues seen with a cloned bull.

Good news though, as the cloning technology improves, the cost has already come down and may only cost you $55k, possibly this year. I can see this costing just $5k within the next 3-5 years and at that time it will be accessible to the average family.

Across The Ocean in a Pedal-Powered Submarine

Manned Submarine

Having served on fast attack submarines for 8 fun and stressful years, I keep my eyes and ears open to sub news from around the world. Today I found this inspiring New Scientist article:

Some men mark their 40th birthday by buying a flashy new car, changing jobs or finally getting started on that novel. Ted Ciamillo decided he would pedal across the Atlantic in a one-man submarine he has designed and built himself.

If the guy could pull it off, he would truly be a manly-man.


[via Blueflipper Diving]

Bumpy Start for BlackBerry Storm

Blackberry Storm

Like all other iPod posers (aka “iPod Killers”), the Blackberry Storm is having trouble out of the starting gate and that’s nothing new to previous posers to AAPL’s “Jesus Phone”.

Verizon Wireless and Research In Motion Ltd. have high hopes for the BlackBerry Storm, which they spent nearly two years developing as their big response to Apple Inc.’s iPhone.  —  But despite a marketing campaign that cost more than $100 million, the smart phone has gotten off to a bumpy start.

In other Blackberry news:

BlackBerry Storm ‘ideal for social networking’ MobileShop.com
Leaked BlackBerry Storm 9530 firmware adds portrait QWERTY keyboard

Are Scientists Overselling Climate Models?

Global Warming

The Washington Post asks whether society is leveraging global climate models properly in their decision making process to slow or limit the warming trends. The author talks to Lenny Smith, a statistics professor at the London School of Economics and Political Science:

They can yield information on plausible risks and minimize vulnerability, although not necessarily provide totally reliable estimates of the odds. As Lenny puts it: "When I cross the street, average statistics about cars and how they are driven are of less value to me than the sound of a bus heading my way. Models help us listen for that bus."

Link to the Washington Post article

The Week in News – 1-18-09

News Link - BSG  The Final Cylon revealed at last! Did you see it coming? – [Entertainment Weekly] See the video interview of the person that portrays the fifth cylon. Beware – the interview reveals a couple of very minor spoilers.

News Link - YHOO  The on-again off-again affair between MSFT & YHOO is on again? – [ComputerWorld] Fer crying out loud already, will it ever stop?!

News Link - Plane Crash US Airways  Mobile phone photo flashed around the world – [TimesOnline] – Someone twittered the first photos of the recent plane crash in New York.

News Link - Mars Life  New evidence of life on Mars spotted by NASA – [SFGate] Methane detected on the red planet may signal there is life. This life on mars theme is starting to get really old.

News Link - sexting  ‘Sexting’ surprise: Teens face child porn charges – [MSNBC] 3 school boys in Pensylvania, USA are facing sexual child abuse charges because they received nude photos via text messages of 3 girl schoolmates. The girls who sent the pictures of themselves are also accused of sending child pornography.

News Link - Youtube  YouTube Muting, Removing Videos Involving Warner Music – [Slashdot] YouTube has started muting videos uploaded by users that use ‘unauthorized copyrighted music’ in response to Warner Music’s threat over royalties.

News Link - FFXIII  FFXIII not coming West until 2010 "at least" – [arstechnica] Square-Enix has been extremely tight-lipped about Final Fantasy XIII. Aside from the odd scanned Famitsu page or brief recut trailer, very little is known about the new game other than the fact that it features some gorgeous graphics and will hit the PS3 and Xbox 360 simultaneously in the West after April 2010.

EmuWiki.com – The Encyclopedia of Emulation


EmuWiki.com launched Jan 1 2009 and is already vying for the location of choice on everything related to software emulators. The admin for the wiki contacted me and provided some very interesting points about the site. The intent of the site is to:

  • Provide the user with quality information and quality emulators.
  • Preserve, collect and classify the artifacts of the emulation scene.
  • Produce interactive software that will allow browsing and analyzing the historical events that lead to the creation and existence of the emulation scene.

In the mail I received I learned the following about their focus on history:

So instead of just allowing leeching Emuz & Romz like most site, what I’m looking for is a true historical perspective on emulation. The Emulation Timeline is the part of the site where this perspective is most apparent; every event in emulation history is placed on a timeline… So I can ask : what were the news released about emulation on January 3rd 1999 ? What emulators running on Dreamcast were released between 2003 and 2004 ? What YouTube videos about NES were released in 2007 ? Of course the timeline is far from complete. As data is added to the encyclopedia through history pages of certain emulators like this one : http://www.emuwiki.com/index.php?title=History_of_Final_Burn, the data is automatically added to the timeline. So in 1 or 2 years, at my current pace and if I find some people to help me build the project, we should have a complete timeline of all emulation-related events from the 90’s, or even before, up to now.

The great thing about this particular wiki isn’t just that it’s your typical user-generated content site. It’s also hosting thousands of emulators, videos, documents, archived news items and more:

And at the same time of being a good tool for historical preservation, EmuWiki is just a huge emulation website for the everyday user. I’ve been working on it pretty much by myself for a year, and it only opened officially on January 1st, 2009, but the encyclopedia already contains 4280 archived emulators, 839 documents, 500 videos, 1869 current emulators, and 1321 Emulation Camp news archived (we’re trying to archive and classify all news of emulation websites that are not online anymore and emucamp just disappeared so we started with this one). Of course this is just the tip of the iceberg.

Drop And Give me CAT5, Soldier!

Ever wonder what your company IT’s are up to in their spare time?  Bored, and have some extra CAT5 to play with?  Well this guy was quite ingenious with his time, creating an army with weapons to behold!  Check out the gallery HERE.


So in my opinion, this is badass, and quite imaginative.  I think I see some CAT5 stripping in my future!  Have you ever done anything like this?  Drop us a note in comments and tell us all about it 😉

Burger King vs. Facebook, Who Ya Got?

Burger King vs Facebook 

Wow, that Burger King marketing team really knows how to get publicity. Last month it was the cologne(“Mmm, Smells Like Beef (New Burger King Cologne)”. A lot of people turned up their noses at that one, but it seemed to generate a lot of buzz.

Now they’re offering free burgers to Facebook users that delete 10 online friends. Guess who’s not liking that joke?

From Computerworld:

A Burger King spokeswoman today told Computerworld that Facebook took exception to the Whopper Sacrifice campaign and after days of negotiations, the fast food chain halted it. On the Whopper Sacrifice site, Burger King now says simply: "Facebook has disabled the Whopper Sacrifice after your love for the Whopper sandwich proved to be stronger than 233,906 friendships."

Watch the MST3K Cast….Live On The Web Jan 15


On January 15th, 2009 at 6:00 PM PST and 9:00 PM EST, RiffTrax will be hosting its inaugural RiffTrax Live! Webcast, featuring the former stars and writers of Mystery Science Theater 3000 (Mike Nelson, Kevin “Tom Servo” Murphy and Bill “Crow” Corbett) doing what they do best—sitting in front of a terrible movie and making fun of it.

With all luck, viewers around the country and the world will get a free, live look at how these three comedians practice their craft, courtesy of UStream.tv’s webcasting technology.

The film to be screened is the 1951 short, “Self-Conscious Guy,” one of those unintentionally hilarious informational films. Afterwards, Mike & Co. will participate in a live question and answer session with viewers.

Full details and the event itself will be available at: www.rifftrax.com/live

Fans can also submit advance questions for Mike to the RiffTrax Facebook page.

Klingon Keyboards Are Here, Bring On Vulcan

Klingon Keyboard

The Cherry Keyboard blog tells us that they’re making available a fun accessory in the form of a Klingon keyboard that carries the letters of the Klingon alphabet.

Other than the unique characters, this is a standard 105 key, PS/2 keyboard. But I’m sure a lot of Star Trek fans or Klingon enthusiasts familiar with the language would love to have this novelty.

The blog article teases with:

Rumours of Romulan, Vulcan and other variants are not without substance – though time will tell…..!

Gotta have one? It’s £43.99, order it here.

[via boingboing]