Apr 182012
 

Tiny Cthulhu

Ben Crispin informed me of a new 3D platform game under development and pointed me to a trailer to demonstrate their progress.

This game is “Tiny Cthulhu”, an indie 3D platform game destined for the PC/Mac/Linux and of course the game is inspired by the works of H.P.Lovercraft. Check out the teaser trailer below, for more information head on over to the dev team’s blog for much more information on the inspiration and plans for the game.

 

 Posted by at 5:20 am
Apr 162012
 

The Croatian Times reports that the local university now has a course on Star Trek.

Here’s a snippet:

Students at the University of Rijeka in Croatia have been discussing philosophical issues based on themes from the TV series “Star Trek”. It is all thanks to their Professor Boran Bercic, who is a huge fan of the popular TV series, reported daily newspaper 24sata.

Starting with an ongoing academic year, the University of Rijeka, namely the Department of Philosophy introduced “Star Trek” as an elective course. Professor Bercic, the initiator of the course finds Star Trek to be an inexhaustible source of many philosophical themes.

I want to know if the course will also teach Klingon or if I still need to attend the Klingon Language Institute for that.

Apr 022012
 

(clicky)

The thumbnail is the Geeknews website banner redone as nano art by Sameer Walavalkar.

Sameer has an update to the Nano Art kickstarter project I mentioned earlier…

Project re-launch under the title “Nano Art: Reloaded” I’ve learned a lot from backer feedback and I’ve made changes that I hope you all will like!

I’m working on a new type of art– sets of customized etchings at the nano-scale.  I’m hoping to use Kickstarter to get my work out there and seen by as many people as possible! I’m not an artist by training or profession and I’m not focused on exhibiting my art, rather I want to make art for you to keep, display or give as a gift. Kickstarter gives me the opportunity to offer you these personalized pieces basically at cost (ie without markups) with the money acting as a seed to launch this idea! How cool is that?

These pieces are made to order, come in beautiful frames chosen to fit the piece, they look awesome on the wall, and are great conversation pieces! Interested? Read on about me and my project…

Head on over to Sameer’s Nano Art project site on Kickstarter and check it out for yourself. I’m backing the project because of the cool factor. :-)

 Posted by at 12:00 pm
Mar 282012
 

The following is a guest post by Laura McKeever.

If you have ever wondered what it would be like to reach the darkest depths of the ocean, today you will find out. Thanks to an expedition conducted by James Cameron, the director of Titanic and Avatar, we have an insight into what life seven miles below sea level is like. The famous director has boldly gone where only two men have been before, but unlike them he was able to see the area in the Mariana Trench, an area that is larger than the Grand Canyon.

To many people, life that far beneath the ocean surface conjures up images of alien-like creatures and foot long anthropoids. The mystique of the sea has always been associated with monsters that us mere mortals have not yet seen, but Cameron’s trip has proved our imaginations wrong. Disappointingly, he reported after surfacing that the only living things he saw in the Marina Trench were inch long prawn-like specimens. Despite returning without any captivating stories about monsters from the deep, Cameron feels as though his journey was largely a success. The three hours that he spent cramped into a tiny capsule were just a fragment of the intended six hour journey, but at the same time he felt as though he had “ventured between two planets.”

Although Mr. Cameron’s lack of discoveries are a little dull, there is plenty to be excited about when it comes to the machine he went down in. The lime-green craft, known as the Deepsea Challenger, is a tremendous feat of engineering. It has been designed to withstand the incredible pressures that are often exerted on mechanical objects in the deep sea, which can reach eight tonnes per every square inch of material.

The design of the Deepsea Challenger also means that it is able to withstand high variations in pressure. Imagine rocketing between ranges of 100 degrees Fahrenheit to well below freezing within a matter of minutes, as that is what Cameron’s sub has been designed to do. As the vessel descends, the electrical circuits heat up while trying to meet the continuously strenuous demands exerted on it. This is eventually reversed as the ocean floor grows nearer, as the deepsea water temperatures maintain a constant below freezing level due to receiving no sunlight.

Unfortunately, Cameron’s trip has not even been able to provide us with any geological discoveries. The hydraulics on the vessel stopped working as he reached the ocean floor, which meant he was unable to retrieve any samples that could give us an insight into life seven miles below the surface of the ocean. Despite this, it is pretty clear that Cameron’s dedication to learning more about what goes on down there won’t stop him from making some truly astonishing discoveries. The dedicated director was faced with the decision of either missing the premier of Titanic 3D, or going ahead with his mission. As he chose to head for the depths of the ocean rather than the big screen, his dedication shows that the Deepsea Challenger may be dusted off in the future to bring avid biology and geology lovers news of what happens under the sea.

Author Byline:

Laura McKeever is a Medical Sciences student from the UK and freelance writer. In addition to having an avid interest in medicine, she is also fascinated by other areas of science, including geology.

 Posted by at 7:56 pm
Mar 212012
 

Here’s a Kickstarter project I not only recommend, but I’m also a backer. The project comes from Caltech physicist Sameer Walavalkar; he is looking to raise $50,000 to create silicon nanostructures that can represent portraits, pictures, text and are all etched into a variety of objects. The etchings can be done on silicon, gold, sapphire, metals, which can then be mounted and framed as one of a kind art, or given as gifts.

I hope this project gets fully funded, I plan on having a picture of my cats etched and it’ll be a gift for my wife. :-)

 Posted by at 8:27 am
Mar 192012
 

Experiencing battery drain issues on your smartphone? The cause could be the ad-supported apps you’ve installed.

STRUGGLING to make your smartphone battery last the whole day? Paying for your apps might help. Up to 75 per cent of the energy used by free versions of Android apps is spent serving up ads or tracking and uploading user data: running just one app could drain your battery in around 90 minutes.

I’ve heard of one smartphone platform’s “free” apps making http calls every minute for the advert, and god forbid if it needs your location for the advert as well.

 Posted by at 7:41 pm
Mar 072012
 

This video shows experiments performed with a team of nano quadrotors at the GRASP Lab (General Robotics, Automation, Sensing and Perception), University of Pennsylvania. Vehicles developed by KMel Robotics.

The possibilities here are endless: carry a small explosive payload, surveillance, clear out rooms for SWAT, suicide drone…

 Posted by at 8:50 pm
Mar 022012
 

GOOG MUSIC

I didn’t even know Google had a music service, but apparently it’s a flop, it’s not living up to expectations and losing users weekly. Wow, there’s a ton of negative buzz about this service, I feel bad for the engineers dedicated to this area.

Things sound so bad that Google execs may pull the plug soon. If you keep your music in their store, hopefully you can migrate it in time.

I’m a big fan of Amazon’s MP3 Store and Cloud Player. No DRM, all MP3s, I can play on my WP7 Samsung Focus, on my laptop, on my Home Theater PC, my iPod Touch. And it’s simple to purchase.

 Posted by at 10:38 pm
Mar 022012
 

If you were, or are, into wrestling, then this video is for you. It comes from justJesman’s Youtube channel. There’s a tribute here to many of the old-school wrestlers from the 70’s and 80’s around the time I was really into the sport. Seeing some of these guys again brings back fond memories, like rowdy Roddy Piper, The British Bulldog, Ted Dibiase, and many more.

But where’s Sgt. Slaughter and the Iron Sheik? Smile

 

 Posted by at 1:14 am
Mar 012012
 

Sick Earth

My friend Emily pointed out a recent TEDTalk on her twitter feed.

Check out TEDTalks: Paul Gilding: The Earth Is Full on @hulu: http://www.hulu.com/watch/334860/tedtalks-paul-gilding-the-earth-is-full –Awesome but scary video. So true, we are running out.

The presenter makes the case that “the earth is full” is not a philosophical statement but based on science. Basically our consumption of resources is outweighing the Earth’s ability to sustain it too far into the future.

My recommendation besides reduce your consumption and waste is to learn to survive so when your neighbors are freaking out, you’re thriving. Also helps in the Zombie Apocalypse.

 Posted by at 5:56 am
Feb 262012
 

FORD Gadgets

Cars and the Internet are slowly getting closer, but it’s still hard for developers to get their apps into cars without being invited by the automobile industry. Given the security and especially safety concerns involved here, things will likely remain this way for a while, but a new project from Ford aims to accelerate in-car app development.

Last week the company today announced that it is now shipping a beta version of its OpenXC hardware and software platform to a group of handpicked universities, including the University of Michigan, MIT and Stanford, as well as app developers like the Weather Underground in the U.S. and HCL Technologies in India.

Read the analysis and possible impact of this announcement at siliconfilter.com.

 Posted by at 11:59 am
Feb 242012
 

 

If you have an iPhone check out project "cellhelmet," which was just funded on Kickstarter.com.

It is the first and only case to guarantee the iPhone 4/4S inside, for US & Canadian residents. If your iPhone should ever break inside of a cellhelmet, we’ll repair or replace it – guaranteed. It’s also made in the USA. Please read on via the following link and get in touch with us. We’d love to get your support and give you all the details!

 Posted by at 7:20 am
Dec 282011
 

Landmine

This afternoon, NPR spoke with Marian Bechtel, the 17-year-old inventor of a device that can detect land mines using sound waves. Earlier this year, Bechtel was awarded a fellowship from the Davidson Institute for Talent Development. Her science fair project -"A Stand-off Seismo-Acoustic Method for Humanitarian Demining" – has won her recognition for her innovation from science contests and from the US Army.

Listen to the interview as Marian describes how she discovered this innovative capability to help detect landmines.

 Posted by at 7:23 pm
Dec 262011
 

American Crow

I’m a big fan of crows, they’re all around me in the Pacific Northwest, they’re intelligent and I love seeing them solve puzzles. Most geeks are probably already aware that crows are pretty unique in the animal kingdom known to create tools and use them (if you’re not aware of this, you can see a short snippet of this tool creation in the following video).

Hacker and writer Joshua Klein is fascinated by crows. (Notice the gleam of intelligence in their little black eyes?) After a long amateur study of corvid behavior, he’s come up with an elegant machine that may form a new bond between animal and human.

After watching the video, check out these links if you want more on this vending machine:
Gizmodo did a review of the device
A paper written about the concept
Josh is also seeking support to make this device more readily available, he needs electrical and mechanical engineers to join him and needs a little funding to support it.

 Posted by at 1:10 am