To celebrate its 190th anniversary, the U.K.'s Guardian (known at its 1821 founding as The Manchester Guardian) has concocted a very-old-school version of the front--er, home--page of today's edition.
The page uses serifed and black-letter Web fonts; copious vertical and horizontal rules; vintage engravings; and a background image of a pulpy, papery texture to re-create the thrill that awaited one who clapped a copper into a newsboy's palm and flapped open a newly purchased copy of the Latest Edition.
In explaining the project, the page's developers also have some fun with Georgian/Victorian-era prose stylings:
"This new edition is available in the following establishments: the Flaming Fox public house; the Verdi & Traviatta at the Royal Opera House; the African Expedition outfitters and the recently-constructed Silver V8 engine foundry," they write in a blog post. When readers click the included links, the rather exotic appellations become clear:… Read more
After a longer wait than was the case for users in the U.S., Asian gamers will finally be able to get back to the PlayStation Network.
Starting tomorrow, users in Japan, Taiwan, Singapore, and Thailand, among other countries, will once again be able to gain access to the PlayStation Network and Sony's Qriocity services. Sony said that it "worked closely with respected outside security firms" to ensure the security of its services was better than it had been. It also implemented an "early-warning system" that will alert the company as quickly as possible to … Read more
After facing some troubles the first time around, Amazon today is again selling Lady Gaga's new "Born This Way" album for just 99 cents.
The deal is available only for the MP3 version of the pop star's latest album, which hit store shelves on Monday. In addition to getting the album for less than a dollar, consumers will also receive 20GB of free storage in Amazon's Cloud Drive, which allows users to stream music over the Web to a PC, Mac, or Android-based device.
Although Sony had a rough time in its most recent fiscal year, the situation is apparently looking up for this year.
In the 12 months that will end March 31, 2012, Sony expects to generate revenue of 7.5 trillion yen ($90 billion, based on Sony's exchange forecast) and a profit of 80 billion yen ($963 million).
Sony's expectations of its performance stand in stark contrast to its most recent fiscal year, which ended March 31. The Japan-based company said today it lost nearly $3.2 billion in FY 2011 on revenue of nearly $88 billion.
Sony has made good on its promise to offer PlayStation Network and Qriocity users a free way to keep their identity safe.
Subscribers to those services can go to a new page that Sony has set up and input an e-mail address to start the process of joining AllClear ID Plus from identity-protection company Debix. Within 72 hours, according to the page, the person will receive a free activation code, giving them access to the service for one year at no charge.
Sony first announced plans to offer AllClear ID Plus for free to U.S. customers earlier this month. … Read more
NASA has just released some fascinating and mesmerizing footage shot by cameras attached to the booster rockets that lifted space shuttle Endeavour into orbit earlier this month.
Of course, there's been a lot of amazing film from space over the years (some of which I've recently encountered for the first time, thanks to a Netflix stream of a Discovery Channel documentary I missed when it originally aired).
There's Ed White's stunning spacewalk, the first-ever by an American. And the strangely moving footage shot from the Eagle as it lifted off from the moon to carry Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin back to the Columbia command module, which in turn would carry them and Michael Collins back home to Earth. In that last sequence, we see the American flag blasted by exhaust from the Eagle's ascent engine and shuddering crazily as it's left behind. (You can catch glimpses of both White's spacewalk and the Eagle's moon departure here--the former at 0:26; the latter at 0:31.)
In comparison to much of the known imagery, this newly released footage is rather mundane: No lone humans tottering vulnerably about in space, impossibly far from their home planet; no state symbols standing humbly yet grandiosely above a newly footprinted lunar surface; no tragic fireballs on liftoff or re-entry, declaring immutably the loss of all hands. And yet this footage has its own power, and it rewards the patient.
In some ways, it's reminiscent of the film that circulated on the Net awhile back of a father and son's project to send a small balloon into space equipped with an HD video camera and a GPS device. Of course, cameras attached to giant rockets that burn 11,000 pounds of fuel per second tend to leave the Earth much more quickly than do balloons. And there are a lot more fireworks to be seen as well. Still, the footage goes on and on, with the spacecraft climbing higher and higher and the clouds below growing tinier and tinier, and this helps give a powerful impression of the vastness, and loneliness, of space.
And the impression is underlined when the shuttle separates from the solid rocket boosters and their tagalong cameras, leaving them alone to tumble back down to Earth. The familiar-looking spacecraft arcs away; the roaring of the rockets dies out, leaving only silence; and the camera spins away from the blue of the oceans to face the blackness of space.
Regardless of the mundanity of much of the footage, the odd angles produced by the mounting of the cameras do make for some surprising images, and the ambient sound produces a weird effect as well. For though the sound drops out after the separation of the boosters, in some of the sections here, it reappears in a ghostly way as the boosters fall toward re-entry.… Read more
Despite the fact that I have crashed computers since I was 8, know more people online than in real life, and have knifed four people consecutively in Battlefield, I have somehow managed to miss out on the fact that today, May 25, is annual Geek Pride Day.
No more, however. When I found out about this hallowed day of geekery today, I immediately went and put on my Boba Fett/Empire Strikes Back T-shirt and listened to the original movie soundtrack in a 320Kbps MP3.
Why is May 25 the chosen date? Well, a few critical events happen to fall on this day:
May 25, 1977: Star Wars opened in 32 theaters and became an instant cult-classic. May 25, 2001: Two weeks after "The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy" author Douglas Adams died, fans commemorated his passing by creating "
Towel Day," playing off an amusing life-saving reference in his famous book. A special day for Discworld fans. According to the Discworld & Pratchett Wiki, "The People's Revolution of the Glorious Twenty-Fifth of May ended the increasingly tough reign of Lord Winder."… Read more
Data comparing students at two schools in St. Louis, Mo., suggest that just two hours of gaming or texting a day can negatively impact joint health, and that the younger the children are, the more severe the reported pain.
"Our study has shown the negative impact that playing computer games and using mobile phones can have on the joints of young children, raising concerns about the health impact of modern technology later in life," said Yusuf Yazici, a rheumatology professor at the NYU Hospital for Joint Diseases in New York, in a press release.
Duke Nukem Forever is finally ready to launch--after what seemed to some like an eternity.
"Duke Nukem Forever is the game that was once thought to be unshippable, and yet here we are, on the precipice of history," Christoph Hartmann, president of publisher 2K Games, said yesterday in a statement that may have contained just a tinge of hyperbole. "Today marks an amazing day in the annals of gaming lore, the day where the legend of Duke Nukem Forever is finally complete and it takes that final step towards becoming a reality."
Duke Nukem Forever, which allows users to play the brash, obscenity-happy title character who wants to save the world from "pig cops, alien shrink rays, and enormous alien bosses," has become a bit of a running joke in the gaming business for its protracted delay.
The game was first announced in 1997 as a follow-up to Duke Nukem 3D. After being delayed from its original 1998 release date, the game's developer at the time, 3D Realms, made several promises that it would be launched in subsequent years. Each time, those promises were broken, and many wondered whether the game would ever actually launch.… Read more