Sketching For The Masses!

Okay so this is a creative new idea on how to get your idea across to the masses via sketch art w/sound.  Sounds a lot like whiteboard, but with a few spiffy twists.  There are a number of different applications for SketchCast, but the ones I find intuitive are the ability to share your art with thousands almost instantly, that you can use this to ferry ideas in presentations, and not to mention setting up a mean game of Pictionary (Thanks Taunya!) with your friends!

Here’s a demo:


Link: HERE

Apple Store Says You "Must" Have Dropped Your Laptop – No I Didn’t – Yes You Did – No I Didn’t – Please Leave The Store

apple logo Old Style

The Consumerist has a letter from a very upset MacBook user that received some shoddy customer service at the Apple Store.

The Consumerist’s response? Well, to paraphrase, it’s to ‘Kick the store in the nuts‘.

In the course of the explanation in how to go about implementing the kick to the proverbial crotch, they call out a book Unscrewed, known as ‘”The consumer’s guide to getting what you paid for: a pull-no-punches guide to getting your way, and your money back, when dealing with businesses or the government.”

I like they way they think.


[via reddit]


Battlestar Galactica: RAZOR

battlestar galactica

[This pic is from the Battlestar Galactica soundtrack album – 1978]

Nov 24 on Sci-Fi there will be a special two-hour episode “Razor”, which will serve as a backdrop for the events of season four of Battlestar Galactica, tells the story of Lee Adama’s first mission as the commander of the battlestar Pegasus ? and the harrowing tale of that ship’s desperate fight for survival in the immediate aftermath of the Cylon’s genocidal siege of the Twelve Colonies.

Lee Adama’s new XO, Major Kendra Shaw, is plagued by memories of her service and sacrifices under Admiral Helena Cain, who was able to save her ship during the Cylon attack ? but only by making Shaw and her fellow officers rationalize suicidal battle tactics and brutal war crimes against their own people.

In the crucible of war, Shaw must let her hesitation and doubts burn away, until all that remains of her is the honed edge of a living human weapon ? what Colonial veterans call “a razor.” But an edge so fine cuts in more than one direction. It can cleave an enemy to pieces ? or it can carve away a person’s soul.

Ozone Hole Shrank 30% This Year, Deformed Frogs Cry With Joy

Ozone Hole

The European Space Agency is reporting that the ozone hole over Antarctica shrank by 30% the year after having suffered from one of the worst depletions recorded. In other words, small hole = less radiation = fewer deformed frogs. Haven’t heard of the deformed frogs phenomenon? Do we need to talk more science here?

Scientists are hopeful but not confirming that the ozone layer is healing itself. Andy was heard to say under his breath:

Good luck with that

Japan Probe Reaches Lunar Orbit, There Goes The Neighborhood

Selene - Japanese probe

2 weeks ago Japan launched SELENE. Today it reached orbit to begin collecting data in the largest lunar project since Apollo.

At $279Million, Japanese taxpayers better get what they’re hoping for – territory to expand onto since Nippon is running out of space.

And I’m sure the Chinese gov’t is just livid since they’ve been beat by their tiny neighbors, though Beijing will surely beat Washington back to the Moon.

Here comes India’s Chandrayaan-1 lunar mission, and with Germany in tow!?

WTF is going on here? Mars or bust, baby. πŸ™‚

WindowsBlinds Is Finally Theming Vista

It took a while but you can now get Stardock’s WindowsBlinds for Vista. Microsoft generally doesn’t make available the option to skin Windows other than using the themes that come in the box (tired of Luna anyone?), and Stardock has always been there to help us scratch that itch of ours to be just a little bit different.

It’s eye candy for sure, but it is also more functional than the in-box theme controls. Create your own skins if you want, add additional buttons and even media player controls.

Check out these screens:

Windows Blinds 6_1

Windows Blinds 6_2

Windows Blinds 6_3


Technorati Tags: , ,

Spider-Man The Rock & Roll Musical


Tony Award winning director Julie Taymor provides an update to on her latest baby: Spider-Man The Musical. She’s been collaborating with U2’s Bono and The Edge for a while now to cast and develop the score and lyrics.

“We want to open in New York, and there aren’t enough Broadway houses,” says Taymor, adding that Bono and The Edge have finished the book and lyrics for the project. “It’s really tricky because ours is a big musical that’s really unusual. It will have some fabulous things in it because it’s got a very strong book.” She says, “I’m very proud of the songs that Bono and Edge wrote. It’s a real rock-and-roll musical, so we’re not worried about that aspect.

It appears Marvel Entertainment is sharing producing credits on this, not surprising since MVL is generating a lot of its revenue from licensing deals at least the last 7+ years. I believe this is the first time though that a MVL character has made it to Broadway so Stan Lee can add another feather to his cap. πŸ™‚

If you’re interested in this oddity, here’s Playbill news on the Spidey casting calls in April 2007.

[via Superhero Hype]

Microsoft Hooks

Windows Live

Looks like MS just added another online shop to its Live arsenal.

Jellyfish is a comparative shopping web site that shares revenue with their customers. When you boil it down it’s a search engine that is perfect for when you want to buy something online and they’re supposedly able to bring you lower prices through this model of theirs.

Jellyfish’s version of pay per action, which it calls “Value Per Action (VPA),” splits the advertiser’s fee with the customer, in effect compensating that person for his or her attention

To give a visual representation of how this works to lower prices, they have a pic:



I’m not holding my breath.

Wooly Mammoth Hair Yields "Fantastic" DNA


Contamination from bacteria DNA generally make up 50 to more than 90 percent of the raw DNA extracted from the bone and muscles of most ancient specimens. In contrast, more than 90 percent of the DNA extracted from hairs taken from woolly mammoth specimens in a new study belonged to the extinct mega-mammals themselves.

The secret ingredient is keratin, a protein that protects the hair’s DNA from bacteria.

The implications here of course are that the future is bright for cloning experts eyeing the Wooly Mammoth’s return.

Here’s the rest of the science story from MSNBC.

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.

Technorati Tags: , ,

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



Technorati Tags: ,

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.

[youtube 2TKtWegS1DY]

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.