When I first conceived this week's blog theme starring some of the biggest "clunkers" of all time, I envisioned it as a week long series of potshots and cheap guffaws at images of cars you couldn't pay modern folk to drive. But as I've gone along with this concept and researched related video for this topic, I've unearthed clip upon clip of car enthusiasts who take some of the most historically laughable cars and transforming them into cars that not only run, but run like champs and look damn good at the same time. … Read more
Sprint customers in Vegas might be claiming "Jackpot!" right now, as they will be among the first in the U.S. to experience Sprint's 4G network starting this August. Sprint claims the 4G speeds are three to five times faster than 3G, with a peak downlink speed of more than 10Mbps and an average of 3 to 6Mbps. Sprint's 4G services are running on Clearwire's WiMax network, which is no surprise considering Sprint's 51 percent stake in the WiMax company.
Sprint first started its 4G rollout in Baltimore in September 2008, then it released … Read more
Brian Tong, host of CNET TV's The Apple Byte, finally makes the trip out to New York for the sole purpose of helping us host the show. Alright, we wish--in reality Brian is out here for a much nobler cause. Today's show is filled with everything you'd expect from Apple fanboys and video game nerds!
It's always an insane show whenever Brian Tong of CNET TV's The Apple Byte rolls through the studio, and today is absolutely no different. Although we'd like to think that Brian is here just because he loves us so much, it turns out that his trip is for a much greater cause: The big Moon personally invited him out to speak on a panel in front of CBS interns about what it's like being a minority in the media, something that Wilson and I definitely could have spoken about, but clearly CBS wanted a positive influence on the kids. Unfortunately, Brian finally drops some bad news when he tells us that these 13-year-olds are already vying for all of our jobs.
In today's episode, Brian gives us a rundown of his sojourn to E3 and all the recent video game news coming out of the pipe, including Project Natal, Xbox 360 rumors, next-gen console forecasting, and everyone's favorite Nintendo Wii vitality sensor! I wish I could remember what else they were talking about, but I blacked out (on purpose) just as they started talking about E3. Much thanks to B-Teezy for getting up early to do the show!EPISODE 362 Download today's podcast Subscribe in iTunes audio | Suscribe to iTunes (video) | Subscribe in RSS Audio | Subscribe in RSS Video… Read more
Updated at 12:03 p.m.: To correct that Arc Attack did not synchronize music to its tesla coils.
Just in time for Maker Faire, I read in the San Francisco Chronicle this morning that a local fire artist has created a revolutionary machine: a fire pit, from a company called Live Spark, designed to make flames dance to the beat of music.
According to the Chronicle, Brett Levine--not surprisingly, a Burning Man and Maker Faire artist, as well as a former software entrepreneur--has begun selling his so-called "Fire 2.0," a $15,000 device that has gotten … Read more
You may have avoided "The Fast and the Furious Tokyo Drift" in the theaters, but who can resist the curiosity of watching (possibly) the world's longest drift. This YouTube video shows Vaughn Gittin Jr.'s attempt to break the drift world record in a 2010 Ford Mustang for "0-60 Magazine." It was shot at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Update 4:19 pm: This story has been modified to include reaction from the creator of the card-counting iPhone app.
Since the July 2008 launch of the App Store, Apple has maintained a sort of moral code--a PG-13-type standard, if you will--surrounding the thousands of iPhone and iPod Touch applications available via the service.
That's why, for example, there are no iPhone porn apps, though it is certainly possible to access adult content optimized for the device.
Given that, one would think that Apple wouldn't have given the thumbs-up to an app that, if used in the most logical manner, could get someone arrested, or worse. But with an app called "A Blackjack Card Counter," that's not, in fact, the case.
We've all seen the movies where the hot-shot gambler slips up and finds himself hustled off to a back room where a genial but brutal casino manager calmly breaks a few fingers while issuing a stern warning never to come back. Films like The Cooler, 21, Rounders, Casino and many others have made this kind of scene, even if it's not always about card counting, a staple of our imagination.
Yet card counting--a complex practice that gives practitioners a way to determine the optimal times to bet in blackjack--prevails to this day. And it's not even illegal, though being caught at it is sure to lead to a hasty expulsion from a casino, at best, or even the kind of back-room visit discussed above. What is definitely illegal, however, is the employment of any kind of electronic device that aids players in counting cards.
And that's where "A Blackjack Card Counter," and perhaps a few other iPhone apps come into play.
Earlier this month, the Nevada Gaming Control Board, itself tipped off by the California Bureau of Gambling Control, issued an alert to "all non-restricted licensees and interested parties"--the state's casinos--warning of the emergence of iPhone card counting apps.
"This blackjack card-counting program can be utilized on either the Apple iPhone or the Apple iPod Touch...Once this program is installed on the phone through the iTunes Web site it can make counting cards easy," Nevada Gaming Control Board member Randall Sayre wrote in the alert. "This program can be used in the 'stealth mode.' When the program is used in the 'stealth mode' the screen of the phone will remain shut off, and as long as the user knows where the keys are located, the program can be run effortlessly without detection."
And, as Sayre pointed out, "use of this type of program or possession of a device with this type of program on it--with the intent to use it--in a licensed gaming establishment, is a violation" of the law.
For its part, the makers of "A Blackjack Card Counter," an Australian outfit called Webtopia, couldn't be happier about the attention being paid to its app as a result of its potentially illegal nature.
"Since the Nevada Gaming Control Board warned casinos about 'A Blackjack Card Counter' there's been an unprecedented demand for this app," Webtopia wrote in the tool's official App Store description. "Now you can see what all the fuss (is) about at a very reasonable price." … Read more
In the summer of 2005, the casino industry was abuzz with excitement over what was then seen as the next great thing--server-based gaming, a major technological shift in how slot machines work.
Essentially, this innovation was going to make it possible for the machines to present a wide variety of games, all served up from back-office databases, and chosen on the spot by players. This was a sea change from the traditional model, in which a device had a single game built into it. As a result, I wrote then, the technology was "slated to be the biggest news … Read more
T-Mobile activated its nascent 3G network in another city Wednesday.
Las Vegas now joins New York City as the only two locales to get 3G service. T-Mobile is promising that it will switch on its wireless broadband network in up to 20 more markets by the end of this year, but the carrier has not announced further details. We're hoping San Francisco gets service soon and that T-Mobile rolls out more 3G-capable phones.
Also in T-Mobile news, the carrier announced Wednesday that its Family Allowances program is now available.