Thursday, February 3, 2011

Texas Student Attends School As a Robot

Posted by samzenpus  

from the bully-proof dept.
kkleiner writes"Freshman Lyndon Baty's immune system is so fragile he can't risk being surrounded by people his own age, yet he attends classes at his high school in Knox City, Texas every day. All thanks to a robot. The Vgo telepresence platform is a four foot tall bot on wheels with a small screen, camera, speakers and microphone at the top. Baty logs into the robot remotely from his home, using his PC and a webcam to teleconference into his classes. Baty can drive Vgo around his school, switching between classes just like regular students. For a boy that has spent much of his life sick and isolated from his peers, Vgo not only represents a chance at a better education, it's also an opportunity for freedom and comradery."

No Internet “kill Switch” For Australia

Posted by samzenpus  

from the always-open dept.
An anonymous reader writes"Well, it looks as though at least some Governments have a backbone. Egypt switched off its internet to stop protests over the past few days, and the US Government is considering legislation that will give the President 'kill switch' powers over the internet as well. But in Australia, Communications Minister Stephen Conroy — best known for his attempt to filter the country's internet for child pornography and the country's flagship national fibre broadband rollout, says such a scenario couldn't occur."

19-Year-Old Makes Homemade Solar Death Ray

Posted by samzenpus  

from the archimedes-approved dept.
An anonymous reader writes"Concentrated solar power has the potential to generate immense amounts of energy — but it can also be amazingly destructive. American student Eric Jacqmain has assembled over 5,800 mirrors into his own parabolic 'solar Death Ray'."

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Why Your Call Dropped: Annoyances Explained!

Posted 01/28/2011 at 11:32am | by John Herrman

The call just died, and for no apparent reason. You were just walking down the street, for God's sake. So, let's talk about it: What happened?

OnLive Aiming To Become Netflix of Games

Posted by Soulskill  

from the sorry-gamefly-good-try dept.
donniebaseball23 writes"OnLive may have its long-term sights on entertainment besides games, especially with the hiring of Pandora executive Etienne Handman, but for now the cloud-based service is laser focused on taking a chunk of the games market. It has launched a Netflix-inspired all-you-can-eat plan for $9.99/month. 'The meteoric growth of Netflix reflects the enormous consumer demand for flat-rate instant-play media,' said Steve Perlman, OnLive Founder and CEO. 'OnLive PlayPack is uniquely positioned to address this demand in the realm of high-performance video games, instantly delivering games ... to TVs, PCs, Macs and iPad, and soon Android tablets, smartphones and Blu-ray players.'"

Video Games Are Good for Girls, If Parents Play Along

ScienceDaily (Feb. 1, 2011) — Dads who still haven't given up video games now have some justification to keep on playing -- if they have a daughter.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Unassuming Entrances Hide the Planet's Hippest Hangouts

  • 12:00 pm  |  

  • Wired February 2011

    << Previous | Next >>

    Club 33
    Photo: David Johnson
    << Previous | Next >>
    Club 33
    Where it is 1313 S. Harbor Boulevard, Anaheim, California—aka Disneyland—in a nondescript housefront next to the Blue Bayou restaurant
    Why you want in The Magic Kingdom is dry. Anyone craving a stiff bourbon to help make It’s a Small World a little more bearable is SOL, unless they’re members of Club 33, the secret restaurant—and bar!—behind this door.
    How to get in Good luck. There’s an 8- to 12-year waiting list to join the club. Also, they now take only corporate memberships.
    Safe House
    Where it is 779 N. Front Street, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
    Why you want in Every spy needs a refuge … preferably one that serves batter-dipped cheese curds. The plaque next to the door reads INTERNATIONAL EXPORTS, LTD. ESTAB. 1868, but behind it is a spy-themed eatery with a secret escape route and a chair that rises up from a trapdoor in the floor. 
    How to get in Go to the website, click on the Top Secret Clearance Agreement to promise you won’t disclose the location, then contact Control (translation: Make a reservation).
    Milk & Honey
    Where it is 134 Eldridge Street, New York, behind what appears to be a sewing shop
    Why you want in This is one very highbrow cocktail joint that keeps a very low profile. “Many New Yorkers assume that Milk & Honey is an urban myth,” the bar’s website says, and that’s how they like it. Order drinks with hand-cut, twice-frozen ice, and be sure to follow the code of conduct: no name-dropping, and gentlemen should not introduce themselves to ladies. 
    How to get in Befriend a regular or find the email address (not posted online) for reservations.
    Bad Robot Productions
    Where it is Somewhere in Santa Monica, California
    Why you want in If you dream of personally delivering some fan mail to the production shop responsible forFringe, Alias, and the Star Trek reboot, you have your work cut out for you. It’s harder to find than the island on Lost. But if you’re in SoCal, keep an eye peeled for an outfit called the National Typewriter Company. Hint: They do not manufacture typewriters there. 
    How to get in Be J.J. Abrams. Or work for J.J. Abrams. Or follow the hidden clues.
    Parallel City
    Where it is 140 Piazza Cavour, Naples, Italy
    Why you want in The bustling city of Naples sits on top of an enormous, nearly 3,000-year-old network of caves. This particular entrance to the underground city leads to 17th-century aqueducts that were once the property of Ferdinand II, king of the Two Sicilies.
    How to get in Make your way sotterraneo by heading through the unmarked doors and down the rickety WWII-era spiral staircase built by Mussolini’s civil defense program.

    Are Gamers Safer Drivers?

    Posted by Soulskill  

    from the stunts-served-me-well dept.
    thecarchik writes"Racing video games: many of us play them and love them. But do they really make us better drivers, as some say, or do they make us more dangerous on real-life tarmac? Two studies go head-to-head on the issue."

    Scientists Work To Grow Meat In a Lab

    Posted by Soulskill  

    from the sounds-delicious dept.
    codeman07 writes"In a small laboratory on an upper floor of the basic science building at the Medical University of South Carolina, Vladimir Mironov, M.D., Ph.D., has been working for a decade to grow meat. A developmental biologist and tissue engineer, Dr. Mironov, 56, is one of only a few scientists worldwideinvolved in bioengineering 'cultured' meat. It's a product he believes could help solve future global food crises resulting from shrinking amounts of land available for growing meat the old-fashioned way... on the hoof. Growth of 'in-vitro' or cultured meat is also underway in the Netherlands, Mironov told Reuters in an interview, but in the United States, it is science in search of funding and demand."

    Monday, January 31, 2011

    Nanocade turns your netbook into a lap-friendly arcade cabinet

    By Tim Stevens  posted Jan 31st 2011 3:54PM

    Nanocade turns your netbook into a lap-friendly arcade cabinet
    We'd all like our own personal arcade like Flynn's, but sadly personal finances and a lack of square footage can make that a challenge. The Nanocade is much more affordable and, conveniently, much smaller too. It's a kit from designer Rasmus Sorensen that enables you to turn a netbook or mini-ITX motherboard and 10.1-inch display into a wee MAME cabinet. If you have such a donor machine when this kit starts shipping in March all you'll need is a little adhesive and technical know-how to make your own. Oh, and $349 plus shipping. 

    Intel finds Sandy Bridge chipset design flaw, shipments stopped and recalls beginning

    By Tim Stevens  posted Jan 31st 2011 10:53AM

    Intel finds Sandy Bridge chipset design flaw, shipments stopped and recalls beginning
    A problem requiring a "silicon fix" is bad news in the chipset business, and sadly that's what Intel is announcing. Its new Intel 6 Series chipset, Cougar Point, has been found to have a flaw, something to do with the SATA controller. Intel is indicating that the ports can "degrade over time," leading to poor i/o performance down the road. All shipments have been stopped and a fix has been implemented for new deliveries, but it sounds like recalls will be starting soon for those with this ticking time bomb silicon within. It isn't a critical problem right now, though, so if you own a Sandy Bridge Core i5 or Core i7 system keep computing with confidence while looking for a recall notice, but it is bad news for Intel's bottom line: the company is advising a $300 million hit to revenue.