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Saturday, July 26, 2008

Resistance 2 - Interview With Ted Price

G4 sat down with Ted Price, President and CEO of Insomniac and maker of Resistance 2 the game that pits you against a 300 foot tall monster in the middle of Chicago! I'm not a Sony Playstation 3 player but this is one game that really gets my attention... check out the video!

Robotic Moon Excavation Contest

According to this NASA press release twenty-five teams have registered for NASA's Regolith Excavation Challenge scheduled for Aug. 2-3, 2008, on the campus of the California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo. The objective of the competition is to build a roving autonomous excavator capable of navigating, excavating, and transfering approximately 330 pounds of simulated lunar regolith, moon soil, into a collector bin within 30 minutes. "NASA is looking for new ideas for excavation techniques that do not require excessively heavy machines or large amounts of power. Excavating lunar regolith will be an important part of any construction projects or processing of natural resources on the moon."

Friday, July 25, 2008

Video Optical Illusion

This is an interesting trick... don't let the image fool you, it is safe for work (depending on where you work of course). - Watch more free videos

Found at Dvorak Uncensored.

Hasbro Launches Lawsuit Against Scrabulous Developers

This story has been dragging on for a while now, but Hasbro has finally launched a lawsuit against brothers Rajat and Jayant Agarwalla the makers of Scrabulous. “Hasbro has an obligation to act appropriately against infringement of our intellectual properties,” said Hasbro’s general counsel Barry Nagler, in a statement. “We view the Scrabulous application as clear and blatant infringement of our Scrabble intellectual property, and we are pursuing this legal action in accordance with the interests of our shareholders, and the integrity of the Scrabble brand.” Interestingly the suit comes only after the launch of a beta version of an official Scrabble game which leads to the question did Hasbro try to do a deal with the Agarwalla brothers or did they wait until their own online version of the game was complete before taking real action? Either way Hasbro's version has a lot of catching up to do with nearly 9,000 active Facebook players Thursday while Scrabulous had over 500,000. More from the LA Times here, and the New York Times here.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Internet Founder Speaks Out About ISPs

Vint Cerf, the man who developed the technical principles on which the internet works, has come out swinging at telephone and cable companies over their attempts to arbitrarily control the infrastructure. "Basically, it's like little kids in a tantrum: 'I'm not going to build this system unless you give me three scoops of ice cream and a pony,'" he said in a video posted on the blog on Tuesday. "My reaction to this is quite negative. It's harmful to the national interest to behave in this way because it is serious infrastructure — it's very much like the road ways." The debate has raged on in Canada this year as phone giant Bell has employed bandwidth throttling techniques that have caught the attention of smaller ISPs who buy capacity from them. "We have to provide incentives that cause those companies to behave differently or create an incentive for a competitor to put in facilities that will compete with them. I want to take away their monopoly mandate," Cerf said. "We have to make it a privilege to build the infrastructure. There has to be a reasonable rate of return, but it cannot be a confiscatory rate of return and it cannot be abused by allowing people to throttle competitors." Vint Cerf now works for Google as senior vice-president. CBC Story here.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Fancy Yourself A Game Developer? Microsoft Is Looking For You

Microsoft is looking for XBox 360 game developers and has stepped up it's game in an attempt to attract more homegrown projects. Microsoft has launched "Xbox Live Community Games" a platform for would be game developers to sell their creations. Here's how it works, use the XNA Game Studio toolset to develop your game, submit your work to Microsoft who will "rigorously peer-review" your creation. If your game makes the cut it will be added to the Xbox Live Marketplace catalog and offered at a chosen price point of between $2.50 and $10. As a games developer you will net yourself up to 70% of the revenue generated through sales via the Xbox Live Marketplace. "The Community Games channel will launch this fall in the United States, Canada and select European locations, with others to follow in 2009." according to PC World.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

DC Comics Creating Online World Of Superheros

Riding high on a big opening weekend for the Dark Knight, DC Comics and Sony Online Entertainment are creating a new online game called DC Universe Online. "You chose your physique, your name and your power base and based on (that), you have a tree of powers that you can develop," says artist Jim Lee (All Star Batman and Robin, The Boy Wonder), executive creative director on the game. "You can be a speedster, or fly fast, or be one of these characters who swims." No release date has been given for the game yet but more details will be given at Comic-Con, starting Thursday in San Diego. My advice is to start thinking about your really cool superhero name now! USA Today story here.

Apple Hints At New Product Again!

In Apple's quarterly conference call with investors several company officials hinted at a new product line to be introduced before the end of September. Speculation has it that it will be a new form factor netbook, something between the iPhone and Macbook. “One of the investments we make is to introduce new products that initially cost more because they delivery an entirely new level of value to the customer,” said Tim Cook, chief operating officer. “Then we ride the cost curves down with value engineering and volume manufacturing, leaving us far head of our competitors. We have some of these types of investments in front of us that I can’t discuss. And we will continue to execute this strategy in the future.” One thing is sure, they really know how to play coy!

NY Times Bits Story.

Monday, July 21, 2008

GM Working On Windshield To Aid Aging Boomers

With the number of drivers 65 and older on the road in the US nearly doubling in the next 20 years, General Motors is working on ways to assist these drivers as their eyesight wanes. Employing infrared sensors and a camera, the new technology takes what's happening on the road and enhances it, assisting drivers with vision problems to see a little more clearly what is on the horizon. "... during a foggy drive, a laser projects a blue line onto the windshield that follows the edge of the road. Or if infrared sensors detect a person or animal in the driver's path during a night drive, its outline is projected on the windshield to highlight its location." according to this CNN article. An interesting concept so long as what is projected on the windshield does not itself become a distraction!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

A Batsuit A Modern Day Crime Fighter Would Be Proud To Wear

Over the years we've seen Batman hit the big screen in many batsuits including tights accompanied by a silk cape and the rubber fitted number preferred in the 90's but the Dark Knight version is one a super hero can be proud of. "Why, in 2008, would a superhero put on a rubber suit?" costume designer Lindy Hemming asks. "Why would he wear something that made him less active and unbelievably, unpleasantly hot? He wouldn't. He'd use all the technology available to be as comfortable as possible." The new batsuit has been compared by the designers to a sneaker "It has armored elements with carbon fiber running through them, but also semi-rigid areas for flexibility, and mesh panels that allow it to breathe. You end up with these kinds of crumple zones that allow you to bend, to crunch." costume effects supervisor Graham Churchyard points out. The suit apparently weighs in around 30 pounds but the designers have distributed the weight fairly evenly making it less of a chore to wear. I for one am anxious to see the suit in action!

LA Times story here.