The U.S. Navy demonstrates how it can set a boat on fire remotely using a laser. Which is super awesome as a video, and slightly terrifying as a demonstration of future military capabilities. Also, Steve Jobs finally agrees to an authorized biography, Sony blinks in the George Hotz PS3 jailbreaking lawsuit, smart phone users are wasting hundreds of dollars a year, and Facebook is working on its latest venture: the Socialist Network. --MollySubscribe: iTunes (MP3) | iTunes (320x180) | iTunes (640x360) | RSS (MP3) | RSS (320x180) | RSS (640x360)… Read more
Sure, Bobby Boy Scout can tie a square knot and start a fire using flint and steel, but can he build a robot? If so, he'll now be able to sew a robotics merit badge to his sash.
The badge is part of the Boy Scouts of America's new STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) curriculum. One of 31 STEM-related merit badges, it's a nod to robots' increasingly wide-reaching impact and part of the BSA's ongoing attempt to teach its ranks relevant skills.
"While the guiding principles of scouting--service to others, leadership, personal achievement, and respect for the outdoors--will never change, we continue to adapt programs to prepare young people for success in all areas of life," BSA Chief Scout Executive Bob Mazzuca said in a statement.
Earning the bot badge will mean a scout not only has a handle on actuators, sensors, and programming, but on the myriad ways robots are tightening their metallic grip. … Read more
"Hey, Buzz Crew ..." Google seems to be building out a version of Chrome OS for tablets, which we're calling their "double rainbow" strategy: it breaks your brain. Plus, what Epsilon knew about their social phishing vulnerabilities, and when they knew it. Samsung cuts tablet pricing again, why we're never using Pandora again until we get an email from Tim Westergren, and a seriously old-school hacker story. --MollySubscribe: iTunes (MP3) | iTunes (320x180) | iTunes (640x360) | RSS (MP3) | RSS (320x180) | RSS (640x360)… Read more
It's hard to believe that it was almost two years ago when I dove into a tangled mess of wires and gadgets to perform my first public wire box cleanout. At the time, it looked like order and organization had won the day, and my future would be full of neatly bundled cables and perfectly sorted AC adapters.
Sadly, two years later, the forces of entropy and clutter have again reduced my wire box (actually four stacking plastic crates) to a jungle of old parts and useless accessories. This time, the motivation to clean out my wire box shantytown is an impending move, which is nature's great catalyst for discarding old junk. (And, as I prepare to move all the way from New York's SoHo neighborhood to, well, slightly farther east in SoHo, stay tuned for a series of articles on how I plan to construct my new midsize Manhattan apartment multimedia man cave.)
As I went through the four boxes of tangled wires and accessories, things were sorted into three categories: keep, trash, and give away. Click through the gallery above for a step-by-step tour of what I found, from vintage gaming gear to more sets of components cables than I know what to do with. If you're interested in any of the items that get placed on my giveaway pile, tune in to a future episode of the Digital City podcast, where I'll try and find a good home for any discarded gear.… Read more
As we draw closer to the release of the iPad 2, the Apple rumor sites are heating up, with the usual speculation and research into hidden clues about what the new device will be like. Rumors about faster processor speed and front- and rear-facing cameras have been out there for a while, but an article over at AppleInsider breaks down what types of the iPad 2 Apple is banking on selling most.
The first iPad came in Wi-Fi-only and 3G/Wi-Fi varieties. But with the introduction of iOS devices to Verizon, Apple has needed to make some adjustments to the hardware to make sure it works on all carriers.
According to the article, Apple is expected to offer three variations of the iPad 2: a Wi-Fi only version, a GSM/UMTS version for AT&T, and a CDMA/EV-DO version for Verizon.
AppleInsider reports that Apple is producing more of the 3G-enabled models than the others and concludes that the company thinks most people will opt for the 3G version over just Wi-Fi.
It's tough to say what Apple is really planning, but if you were going to buy an iPad 2 at launch, which variation would you buy? Let me know in the comments.
This week's apps include an app that lets you bring two turntables anywhere and a platform game that's so difficult you can't stop playing.… Read more
One consequence of the steady increase in computer power is that newer machines can emulate the behavior of older ones, with software running fast enough to simulate operations that formerly required hardware.
It's not all easy going, though. Perhaps the most advanced embodiment of the Web-app future, Google's Chrome OS, is stumbling on its way to market. Its troubles aside, however, it's clear more and more gets done in a browser window. … Read more
Sometimes, old can be better than new, especially when old is cheap. Retro games have flooded the Nintendo Wii via the Virtual Console, and the Nintendo 3DS will receive similar treatment via its recently announced Game Boy Virtual Console.
Considering the Game Boy's history dating all the way back to 1989, that adds up to a heck of a lot of games that could come back into circulation. Not all of them should, of course, but there are plenty of gems well worth a price point that we sincerely hope wouldn't hover above $5.
In fact, a retro … Read more
It seemed obvious when the Nintendo DSi first debuted: offering classic Game Boy titles from Nintendo's decades-long back library would be a perfect fit and a no-brainer parallel to the Virtual Console on the Wii.
But it never happened. Now the upcoming Nintendo 3DS, which won't be released in the U.S. until 2011, will rectify this with a Virtual Console of its own, according to a Nintendo announcement released early this morning. That's great news, but there are a few more surprises that the 3DS unveiled--some of which we had been expecting in the Nintendo DSi, … Read more
As a teenager I just about lived in the video arcade (Abbey Road in Farmington Hills, Mich.--anyone remember it?). I owned an Atari 2600, an Apple IIe, an Amiga, a Sega Dreamcast, and just about anything else that was good for games.
You'd think, then, that I'd go ape over something like C64 for iPhone 1.7, a newly updated Commodore 64 emulator that revives such classics as "Boulder Dash II," "Jupiter Lander," and "International Karate."
And you'd be wrong. While I have nothing but fondness for the videogames of … Read more
Thursdays are always special on The 404 Podcast because Natali Del Conte drops by to help us discuss stories, but today we say TTFN to our Loaded friend as she takes time off to take care of our little co-host-to-be. Since today is the last time she'll be on the show for awhile, we make a solemn oath to leave pickles, Inception, and iPhones out of the day's news rundown.