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Saturday, August 9, 2008

What Can You Make With 1,238 Black Lego Pieces?

If you are computer science student Luke Andersen you'd make a pc! Luke first created his plans for a lego PC using a simple CAD program and he's made the plans available for download via his blog. Here is a time lapse video that Luke created while assembling his gleaming lego beauty!

Well done Luke!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Keeping Up With The Olympics On Google

Check out Google's coverage of the Olympic Summer Games including a Google Maps rendition that tracks medals by country and displays where the events are taking place (stadium view) . You can also add the google gadget to your ig page and get a quick tally of medal standings.

EA's Games For Dummies

G4's The Feed is reporting that Electronic Arts (EA) is making a series of videogames based on the "For Dummies" series of books. "Through an easy to navigate interface, the For Dummies titles teach players the skills to master a variety of activities, from Poker and Solitaire to brain training and Sudoku." The first title, Poker for Dummies, is apparently available now with more titles being rolled out in the coming months and in November the For Dummies series goes mobile with Travel Games For Dummies for the Nintendo DS. I wonder when the A+ Certification for Dummies will be complete?

Thursday, August 7, 2008

DNS Flaw Concerns

Brian Prince at says that security researcher Dan Kaminsky has been afraid of what he uncovered in a DNS protocol vulnerability. Kaminsky apparently told reports attending the Black Hat conference in Las Vegas "I spent the last month terrified of large companies having all their e-mail stolen because of a bug that I found," Prince writes in his article, that Kaminsky has explained "it is a game of dominoes—one domino could be redirecting Web traffic to malicious sites, the next could be interception of sensitive corporate e-mail. The possibilities are numerous and problematic." Scary stuff!

Want To Find Olympic Coverage Onine? Checkout Wired's How-To Wiki

If you are a sports fanatic as well as a geek, Wired's How-to wiki has compiled a list of online destinations for getting Beijing Olympic coverage. With the opening ceremonies taking place this Friday, August 8th, and most of the events taking place while we in the western world are sound asleep, there are a dozen or so resources listed here that will help you keep on top of the action. Wired even gives you some tips on how to beat the regional restrictions.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Martian Soil Not So Friendly Afterall

A second test of soil extracted from the surface of Mars by the Phoenix Lander suggests the existence of perchlorate, a highly oxidizing salt, that would create a harsh environment for plant life contrary to an earlier analysis that said the martian soil could sustain plants such as asparagus, green beans and turnips.

On Earth perchlorate is a main ingredient in solid rocket fuel and can be found in fireworks, pyrotechnics and other explosives. Scientists are considering the possibility that the substance could have gotten there by contamination before launch, however Phoenix used another fuel, hydrazine, to power its thrusters during it's journey to Mars.

"it is a reactive compound. It's not usually considered an ingredient for life," said Brown University geologist John Mustard.

Discovery Channel article here.

Olympic Highlights Coming To Youtube In Underdeveloped Nations

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has struck a deal with Youtube to make highlights of the Beijing Games available in 77 territories in Africa, Asia and the Middle East where no broadcasting deals exist or the deals in place are not exclusive. "The Olympic Games will be played out on Facebook, YouTube and Flickr whether we like it or not. We need to engage, not disengage, with them," said London 2012 head of new media, Alex Balfour. "The main objective is to give as much access to as many people as we can," Youtube representative Anthony Zameczkowski told the CBC. With the games a half a world away, most of us will be getting highlights and rebroadcasts anyway, and with the surge in social networking it will be interesting to see how much amatuer video, photography, and commentary makes it to the likes of Youtube, Flickr, and Blogger.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Unmanned Patrols Via Golfcart Sized Robotic Rover

Crave blog has spotted an interesting robotic vehicle designed to provide perimeter patrolling capabilities in a small footprint unmanned vehicle. "The Guardium UGV (unmanned ground system) employs state-of-the-art technologies and any number of payloads to guard places like airports, energy plants and military bases-24/7".

The Guardium employs an autonomous decision-making system and persistent navigation to overcome poor GPS conditions, deal with obstacles and other variables as well as to plan and replan routes in real time, according to Crave.

Guardium is a joint venture of G-NUIS Unmanned Ground Systems, Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) and Elbit Systems Ltd.

Functional Clothing Takes On New Meaning

From shirts that generate electricity when you move in them to fabrics that can prevent colds and flu and never needs washing. The garment industry is making huge headway in changing the clothes we wear from simply a fashion statement to a truly a functional wardrobe. "Your whole body can be equipped with an array of sensors," Bruce Thomas, co-director of the Wearable Computer Laboratory at the University of Australia, tells CNN.

"If clothes could talk, they could tell us so much about our bodies," says Dr. Shirley Coyle, an engineer based at the National Center for Sensor Research at Dublin City University, Ireland.

"They are an interface between our bodies and the environment and in the future will prove a vital tool in health care. We are creating clothing with sensors that does not intrude on the comfort of the patient with wires."

"This is an entirely new area, but every day we are discovering ways of adding new functions to textiles. It has so much potential. Our clothes will definitely play a very different role in the future," says Dr Coyle.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Thailand Pulls Grand Theft Auto From Shelves

A video game distributor in Thailand has decided to pull Grand Theft Auto games from shelves after an 18 year old man killed a taxi driver in an attempt to recreate game play in real life. “He said he wanted to find out if it was as easy in real life to rob a taxi as it was in the game,” chief police investigator Veeravit Pipattanasak told Reuters. The assailant was caught trying to steer the taxi cab backwards out of a Bangkok street with the severely wounded driver in the back seat. The victim, a 54-year-old man, was apparently chosen by the high school student because of his age.

SpaceX: '... there has been an anomaly.'

For the third time in three attempts private space company SpaceX has attempted to launch it's Falcon 1 rocket and failed. "It was obviously a big disappointment not to reach orbit on this flight," said Elon Musk, founder of SpaceX in a message to his staff. "On the plus side, the flight of our first stage, with the new Merlin 1C engine that will be used in Falcon 9, was picture perfect. Unfortunately, a problem occurred with stage separation, causing the stages to be held together." The Falcon 1 was carrying Trailblazer, a small satellite built by the Pentagon, a mini-laboratory called PreSat and a 10-sq-m Solar sail, both built by Nasa. SpaceX is being viewed by NASA as a viable alternative to fill the mission gap that will exist as the space agency decommissions the current shuttle fleet and builds it's replacement. BBC Story here.