A scrappy rebel alliance launches jury-rigged space weapons in the hope of defeating a monolithic empire that's put the choke hold on freedom.
Sound like a space opera you might've seen a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away?
Actually, it's the latest imagined scenario to arise from one of Europe's major hacking conferences, which just wrapped up its 2011 edition in Berlin.
As the BBC's David Meyer reports, SOPA-hating hackers at the 28th Chaos Communication Congress (or 28C3) are hatching a plan to develop a DIY satellite-communications network that could keep the Internet alive and unfettered in the face of any government effort to pull the plug.
"The first goal is an uncensorable Internet in space," Meyer quotes hacktivist Nick Farr as saying. "Let's take the Internet out of the control of terrestrial entities."
Farr and others dream of a Hackerspace Global Grid made up of homemade satellites, along with ground stations for tracking and communicating with the self-made Sputniks.… Read more
Did your spouse or significant other bestow an iPad upon you this Christmas? If so, it won't be long until your spouse or significant other asks you to put down your new toy for a little while and pay attention to the rest of the family. There is, of course, a way to spend time with your family and your new iPad simultaneously: iPad board games!
Four classic games--Monopoly, Scrabble, Life, and Risk--are available for the iPad, and if you catch EA's DailyDeals holiday sale on the right day, you can get them for as low as 99 cents. The fifth game here, Ticket to Ride, is a personal favorite, and its iPad version is beautifully done. With Monopoly and Ticket to Ride, the iPad acts as the board, with players sitting around it and taking turns as they would with the actual board game. With Scrabble, Life, and Risk, the games feature Pass N' Play, where the board is oriented in one direction and the iPad is passed to each player when it is his or her turn.
Granted, playing a board game on the iPad isn't the same as gathering the family around the real thing, but for these five games, the iPad offers a reasonable facsimile. The iPad forces you to downscale, but what you sacrifice in size you make up for in faster gameplay, as the iPad tallies scores, moneys, armies, and so on.… Read more
2012 is coming fast. It's time to quit smoking, cut out the cola calories, and start backing up your data on a regular basis--for real this time.
I know CNET readers will have some technology-related resolutions on their lists. Maybe you're planning to cut back on the 12 hours per day you spend on Skyrim. Maybe you're going to pick up one of the bajillion fitness gadgets that have hit the market recently.
Clink champagne glasses, watch the LED ball drop in Times Square, and enjoy your last few care-free minutes before your New Year's resolutions set in.… Read more
Sure, your kids looked pretty adorable out there on the slopes in their R2-D2 snowboarding helmets. We hate to break it to you, though: the droid look wasn't quite cutting it during the apres-ski cocoa-quaffing session. (Definitely weren't the droids we were looking for. Nope.)
We're thinking some cozier headgear would've been a bit more apropos. A helmet, after all, looks a tad out of place indoors. Unless, of course, it's--gasp--a custom crocheted Boba Fett helmet!… Read more
A recent neuroimaging experiment apparently showed that the sounds an iPhone makes can trigger feelings of love in the gadget's user.
Well, such emotional connections are nothing new for Apple. Anyone who owned a Macintosh back in the day can probably remember the feeling of, if not love, then at least affection engendered when the machine booted up, the startup chime sounded, and the Happy Mac icon smiled forth. The device was functioning as it should, another session of satisfying and "user friendly" computing was about to begin, and all was right with the world.… Read more
It's easy to get a little jaded about the holidays.
If you're like me, you can't help but cringe when you hear that first strain of Christmas music wafting out of the speakers at your local drugstore in early November. ("Here we go again," you think.)
By the time Christmas Eve rolls around, you've battled crowds to grab your gifts and been bludgeoned with the latest Christmas cover tunes and advertising tie-ins. At this point, it's tempting to write it all off as nothing but an empty tradition or a moneymaking gimmick.
If you're lucky, though, you somehow manage to stumble on a Christmas story that hands you the holiday anew and makes the "spirit of giving" and "peace on Earth" more than mere platitudes.… Read more
Just a few days after releasing the PlayStation Vita in Japan, Sony is now focused on the U.S. debut of the system, disclosing the entire launch and launch window lineup.
According to a post on Sony's PlayStation.Blog, games will range in price from $9.99 to $49.99, and all be available on the PlayStation Store as well. An impressive 25 games will launch side-by-side with the system on February 22, 2012. Gamers can get started shopping a week earlier on February 15 when Sony first-party games and accessories will go on sale, including the complete First Edition Bundle.
While I still think the Vita should come with a small-capacity Vita memory card, give Sony a lot of credit for putting together such an impressive and diverse collection of software for launch. There's something for everyone on this list and also what I think are at least three must-buy titles. It's a night-and-day comparison to what Nintendo offered earlier in the year with the 3DS.
I'm also happy to see that Sony is going to debut the all-but-necessary proprietary format Vita memory card at a lower-than-expected price, starting at $20 for 4GB. Sony also announced that inside each Vita box will be six AR play cards (sound familiar?) and a voucher for more AR mini-games from the PlayStation Network.
Read on for the entire launch and launch-window list and accessory dates and prices.… Read more
I got my Japanese Vita a few days ago, but my order was incomplete.
I received a Wi-Fi Vita with three games, but the 4GB Vita memory card I ordered is taking a bit longer to ship. Little did I know that without a Vita memory card, my new handheld would be rendered mostly useless.
You read correctly: a sizable number of PlayStation Vita games will not even boot up unless a Vita memory card is installed in the unit (including the ones I bought: Uncharted: Golden Abyss, Ridge Racer, and Everybody's Golf 6). There are also a number of Vita apps that require a card to run, all of which I cover in my First Look video. It's not that I'm upset that the Vita requires a memory card to play games, it's the fact that Sony has chosen not to include one in the box. CNET has already confirmed with Sony that none of the U.S. Vita SKUs will ship with a card either, save for the $350 First Edition Bundle.… Read more