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OMNI 

Omni, reboot: an iconic sci-fi magazine goes back to the future

OMNI magazine is coming back to life. This magazine played a big role in helping to make me the lover of science, engineering and using my imagination to dream big and take on big challenges in life.

Announcement

Gadgets

Super Mario Bros!

Check out the Super Mario Bros action figures from everbuying I found.

The site has all kinds of Electronic Gadgets. Everything from multifunction tools, 3D glasses and electronic cigarettes! I really like the portable solar panels to power up your mobile devices. If you do go for one of the solar panels, check for compatibility with your device and check the power capability meets your device’s needs.

Gadgets / Devices

The Most Addictive Online Games

Games

Thinking about online games, I wonder what the most addictive online games are, or were. We each have our own preferences so here’s my list.

Today I play Bejeweled on my tablet and on my mobile phone. It’s mindless, easy, mildly entertaining when jewels explode or get zapped. Yes, it’s a simple interface, and it works quite well. You can find it on gamehouse.com.

Another favorite addicting game is Plants vs. Zombies, it’s not as popular or addicting as Angry Birds, but again the interface is simple and the game play is simple. And the fun never dies! Who doesn’t like pea plants shooting their peas to kill zombies across the lawn? If you use the Chrome browser, there’s a Plants vs. Zombies app in the store.

I like the Tower Defense style of games, one of the more addicting I find is the Whiteboard Tower Defense, it’s got a great interface and I love the audio from the critters. Basically the game takes place on a whiteboard with colored markers and the critters wiggle their way across the board while your towers take them out to wails of “Ouch, owie!”

Online bingo is becoming more and more popular, for people new to online bingo you may not know how to get started, I recommend mybingoday.co.uk. It’s great for beginners and advanced game players to discover apps, sites, how to get started.

No need to head to the old bingo parlor, just look online for free bingo no deposit bingo and you can play from the comfort of your own home. You will still meet new people and network with other bingo players, too.

One of the most addictive games online today is Raft Wars 2; it’s taken the online gaming world by storm when most people have migrated to console games. Story: Somebody built a waterpark right on top of your buried treasure. Sneak into the waterpark, fight your way past security and find back your gold and diamonds.

There you have it, my list of the most addictive games online ranging from the classics like Bejeweled which bring back fond memories, to the new hotness like Plants vs. Zombies and cultural favorites like bingo. The thing they have in common is a relatively simple user interface, the rules are basic and with just enough strategy required that it’s attractive and addictive to kids and seniors and all walks of life.

Games

Being Green When We’re at Home and on the Web

Eco-Friendly

We’ve become accustomed to the most common ways to reduce energy in our homes and at work, including using more public transportation, turning off the lights in unused rooms, replacing light bulbs with energy efficient LED bulbs and CF bulbs.

In the last couple of years I’ve been paying more attention to my energy consumption and finding ways of reducing my carbon footprint. One big consumer of energy are data centers, and as our applications and devices push more of the processing to the cloud, I expect that usage to increase year over year dramatically.

A few years ago it was found that data centers were expected to consume 19% more energy in 2012 than 2011. This is likely a trend that will continue, and addressing this is one good way for some data centers to differentiate themselves.

There are other non-intuitive things you can do to reduce your energy footprint in the cloud. This includes hosting your web services with a company that actively reduces energy usage through heat reduction in their data centers and using more efficient server power supplies like here, in 1&1.

Other things you can do that may be intuitive for us geeks, but not for all our friends and family is to adjust the power management settings on their PCs and laptops to aggressively reduce energy. In Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8 there are advanced settings to turn off the screen or reduce screen lighting a little, to turn off the hard drive if not actively loading/saving files. Here’s a video for Windows 7 that walks you through changing these settings.

What additional, non-intuitive things can we do to reduce our energy usage?

Computers

The Sun Lab

How would you like to create your own laboratory at home to monitor the sun and report your findings for science?

It’s time to conduct your own investigations of the Sun. Find out place in the solar cycle. Predict future solar storms. Develop your own research project. You can do all this through the Sun Lab, a citizen science program you can do at home.

If you’re ready to start exploring the Sun, you need two things:

- Get educated here at this PBS site on Sun Research and why we care.
- Build your own Desktop Spectrometry Kit for $40US (pic below). The Public Lab Desktop Spectrometry Kit includes all the parts for a compact, simple, yet powerful experimental tool — a visible/near-infrared spectrometer, also known as a spectroscope or spectrophotometer.

Enjoy.

via: SciStarter

Desktop Spectromoetry Kit from The Public Lab

Science