Boeing Completes Eight-Hour Flight of A160T Hummingbird

Boeing Hummingbird

The autonomous unmanned rotorcraft, measuring 35 feet long with a 36-foot rotor diameter, eventually will fly more than 140 knots with a ceiling of 25,000 to 30,000 ft. (high hover capability up to 15,000 ft.) for up to 20 hours.

And in a major milestone last week, Boeing has successfully flown its A160T Hummingbird unmanned vehicle for eight hours while carrying a 1,000-pound payload. During its longest flight to date and the program’s 42nd flight overall, the aircraft reached an altitude of 5,000 feet near Victorville, Calif. The half-ton payload simulated the delivery of critical supplies to the battlefield. Future payloads will include a combination of sensors, weapons and systems to perform a variety of missions.

Read the full coverage at Space War.

Miss Master Chief

Master Chief as a chick

You can bid for this one of a kind statue on ebay here. Right now the bid is up to US$1575 and 10% of the winning bid goes to the American Breast Cancer Foundation.

This figure is 11.5 ” tall to the tip of the sniper rifle and is created in polymer clay. You can view some of the artist’s other works here, like the Zombie Hooker, Futurama Leela and one of the weirder ones Poko the clown.

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Mahalo – The Human Powered Search Engine


Mahalo is a human-powered search engine that creates organized, comprehensive, and spam free search results for the most popular search terms.

The site contains meticulously detailed lists of quality links on topics or keywords you want to search for. Of course since it’s a search engine whose DB is compiled by hand it’ll never have the breadth of coverage of a Yahoo, Dogpile, Live, Google, etc…

But wow. When you do get a good result the quality is above and beyond what you’d likely find elsewhere. Take this one: ‘How to Plan a Cheap Date‘ or this one ‘Halo3 Ending‘.

Give it a try: Mahalo



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Using Nanotubes To Detect and Repair Cracks in Aircraft Wings

Nanotubes in resin

This is a bit of really cool news coming from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute – new technology enables real-time diagnostics and on-site repair.

Adding even a small amount of carbon nanotubes can go a long way toward enhancing the strength, integrity, and safety of plastic materials widely used in engineering applications, according to a new study that a research team has been working on for more 18 months.

Researchers at RPI have developed a simple new technique for real-time detection and repairing small but potentially dangerous fatigue-induced cracks in high-performance aircraft wings and many other structures made from polymer composites.  

Once a crack is located, engineers can then send a short electrical charge to the area in order to heat up the carbon nanotubes and in turn melt an embedded healing agent that will flow into and seal the crack with a 70 percent recovery in strength.

Read more the full RPI press release.

New Adobe Flash Lite 3 for Mobiles

2 mobiles

Adobe Systems released a new version of its popular Flash Player on Sunday that promises to bring the quality of live video on cellular phones closer to that of video on computers.

They claim that more than 300 million mobile devices equipped with previous versions of Flash had already been shipped and it expected more than a billion Flash-enabled devices to be available by 2010.

Does this mean I can get youtube mobile to run on my smartphone now? It’s never worked due to flash issues, sigh.

The Adobe Press release.

Breaking News: Kasparov Enters Russia’s Presidential Race

Garry Kasparov

Breaking News!

Politically inspired former World Chess Champion Garry Kasparov has overwhelmingly been elected to enter the presidential race representing the country’s opposition coalition called The Other Russia.

If you’re not the kind of geek that followed Kasparov over the years, you can catch up in this 60 Minutes interview as they look into the riskiest move of his career, given the police state that Russia is becoming, Kasparov fears for his life.

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Bungie Talks About The ‘640p’ Issue w/ Halo 3

halo 3 logo

The last couple of days there have been a bunch of complaints about the Halo3 resolution. You see, it appears that Halo isn’t running in 740p but rather 640p which isn’t even a standard. Welp, some folks figure they’re being ripped off of their ’80p’ they think they’re due.

You can read Bungies response in the snippet below or go read the entire Bungie Weekly Update: 09/28/07:

One item making the interwebs rounds this week was the scandalous revelation that Halo 3 runs at ?640p? which isn?t even technically a resolution. However, the interweb detectives did notice that Halo 3?s vertical resolution, when captured from a frame buffer, is indeed 640 pixels. So what gives? Did we short change you 80 pixels?

Naturally it?s more complicated than that. In fact, you could argue we gave you 1280 pixels of vertical resolution, since Halo 3 uses not one, but two frame buffers ? both of which render at 1152×640 pixels. The reason we chose this slightly unorthodox resolution and this very complex use of two buffers is simple enough to see ? lighting. We wanted to preserve as much dynamic range as possible ? so we use one for the high dynamic range and one for the low dynamic range values. Both are combined to create the finished on screen image.

This ability to display a full range of HDR, combined with our advanced lighting, material and postprocessing engine, gives our scenes, large and small, a compelling, convincing and ultimately ?real? feeling, and at a steady and smooth frame rate, which in the end was far more important to us than the ability to display a few extra pixels. Making this decision simpler still is the fact that the 360 scales the ?almost-720p? image effortlessly all the way up to 1080p if you so desire.

In fact, if you do a comparison shot between the native 1152×640 image and the scaled 1280×720, it?s practically impossible to discern the difference. We would ignore it entirely were it not for the internet?s propensity for drama where none exists. In fact the reason we haven?t mentioned this before in weekly updates, is the simple fact that it would have distracted conversation away from more important aspects of the game, and given tinfoil hats some new gristle to chew on as they catalogued their toenail clippings.

Here’s a lot of comments on the Kotaku post on the subject which is worth checking out.

d20 Soap – Just What The Stinky Gamer Needs

D20 Soap is offering scented soap with an actual d20 embedded in it, click the pic for a better view.

These are handcrafted soaps so each one is slightly different, not that factory made crap you’re using today. 😀

Come on now, don’t you agree that this needs to be on your holiday shopping list?

It looks like they’re on backorder now, and when you can get them you have various scents to choose from. What gamer wouldn’t want to show up for his RPG night smelling like Cucumber Melon or Sandalwood?

When to Submit to a Social News Site

Get info is your site for small business marketing and guerrilla marketing techniques. It’s not flashy and sexy, but it’s the basics, it’s tips/tricks and a little common sense tossed in for good measure.

The article that caught my eye to take a look was ‘When to Submit to a Social News Site‘. If you’re marketing your site or have a recent startup then you should at least check it out. If you’re the average joe like me it may not be your cup of tea but I still found a few nuggets still applicable.

Rizzo’s Random Thoughts


Here’s a site from one of the Geeknews followers that I’ve recently subscribed to myself that is worth checking out: Rizzo’s Random Thoughts.

These are a couple of my favorite posts from the site:

Ride the Seattle Slut

Top 10 reasons I love Tivo

You may be wondering what the heck the pic above has to do with this, well I, um, came across it from another of Rizzo’s articles Religion and Nudity , and well, erm, you already know about my obsession (‘Confessions Of A Screenshot Addict‘) now, right? 🙂

Gung Ho Lego, Git Yer Guns!

Gung Ho Lego

OK, looks like we get two geeky gun stories in the same week from The Firearm Blog, so I guess it’s a good thing I subscribed to the feed, you should too if you’re into firearms because today we learn about Lego Guns! 🙂

These toys come from Brick Arms; you can get firearms for your Lego figure ranging from the Uzi to the 1911 to the ‘Broomhandle’ Mauser, you can also get weapons packs, accessories and custom military figures.

Brick Arms

Free Games That Don’t Suck.

I’m always on the search for good games to play that are decent, and not just a side-scrolling clone from some flash scripting noob.  There are lots of free game web sites full of flash games that look like random scrawlings from a two year old.  I’m talking about games that can be had for nothing that have some substance, and a credible following of players.

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Here is a comprehensive list of games that deserve a gander and some play time, if you so desire.  My fave in this list is F.E.A.R. 😉

Major Biological Discovery Inside The Chernobyl Reactor, A Fungus That Feeds On Radiation

Chernobyl is an abandoned city in northern Ukraine, in the Kiev Oblast (province) near the border with Belarus.

There has been an exciting(!) new biological discovery inside the tomb of the Chernobyl reactor. Like out of a B-grade sci-fi movie, a robot sent into the reactor discovered a thick coat of black slime growing on the walls.

This slime, a collection of several fungi actually, was more than just surviving in a radioactive environment, it was actually using gamma radiation as a food source. The fungi appear to use melanin, a chemical found in human skin as well, in the same fashion as plants use chlorophyll.

Enjoy the rest of the article on the World Time News Report.


IronKey Launches Military-Grade Secure USB Flash Drive


IronKey is a provider of secure portable computing products and Internet security services, the other day they announced the availability of the IronKey: Enterprise Special Edition. Want to jump right into the good stuff? Then head to the demo.

It’s a secure flash drive designed for use on sensitive government, military and enterprise networks.

The IronKey: Enterprise Special Edition features include:

  • Hardware-Encrypted USB Flash Drive: there is no need to install additional hardware, software or drivers.
  • No Administrator Privileges Needed: does not require Administrator privileges on Windows XP or Vista.
  • Designed for Enterprise Networks: performs dynamic drive letter mapping for use in enterprise environments with network-mapped drives.
  • Tamper-Resistant and Waterproof: cannot be physically tampered with or disassembled by a determined hacker. Has also tested, passed, and exceeded military waterproof standards (MIL-STD-810F).
  • Easy to Inventory: Each UFD has a unique serial number, making it easy for IT managers to inventory the devices.
  • Rugged and Durable: Not plastic!  Has rugged metal casing  and is filled solid with epoxy, making it both tamperproof and waterproof.

Retro Video Games – Remember These?


I’m not to proud to admit that video games are a large part of my life.  Almost acting as a surrogate parent for me as I grew up in different countries and US states up till now.  I have fond memories of playing “Sneakers“, “Burgertime” and “Wizardry” on our “Japple” (an apple clone we bought when living in Japan).  Also My brother, sister and I tore up our Atari 2600 with “Pitfall“, “E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial” and “Missile Command“.

So, I came across this great review of the “Game On” exhibit in London, that traces the history of video gaming through arcade machines, consoles, and computer games.  If this exhibit ever makes it to the west coast, I’m there with bells on, man!

Check it out – Game On!

MIT Hackers And Master Chief

Halo 3 prank Clicky

MIT pranks Harvard in honor of Halo 3’s release today.

From MIT’s online newsletter:

In recognition of the release of Halo 3, a highly anticipated video game by Microsoft and Bungie, MIT hackers adorned the John P. Harvard statue, in Harvard Yard, with a Spartan helmet. The back of the helmet, which is worn by the protagonist of the game, Master Chief, was labeled with “Master Chief in Training.” The statue was decorated with an assault rifle (bullet count of 2E), as well as a Beaver emblem on the right shoulder.