The FAA has asked Boeing to prove that its new connected airplane isn't so connected it can connect hackers. We also discuss why folks think women aren't as good at math when all the women we know are great at math. And we hash over some Apple tablet rumors. I mean, how could we not? We also have special guest host Clayton Morris from Fox News, and Ryan Shrout from PC Perspective.Subscribe with iTunes (audio) Subscribe with iTunes (video) Subscribe with RSS (audio) Subscribe with RSS (video) EPISODE 1152
OnLive responds to bad press, more beta testers … Read more
It may look like something your kids brought home from shop class, but this rugged, French-designed micro air vehicle (MAV) could be a missing link between smooth, steady hover and fast, forward flight.
The inventor, Dr. Jean-Marc Moschetta, professor of aerodynamics at the Institut Superieur de l'Aeronautique et de l'espace in Toulouse, France, created what he calls the MAVion with both commercial and military markets in mind.
A mere 30 centimeters long, the MAVion combines fixed wings with two counter rotating propellers, allowing it to operate with high aerodynamic efficiency--even in adverse conditions, according to the professor.
"… Read more
SAN FRANCISCO--If you draw a straight line representing the evolution of video games from the Atari 2600 to the Nintendo Wii, one thing is clear: if you don't know your past, you can't know your future.
That was the central lesson of Georgia Tech professor Ian Bogost's Friday talk at the Game Developers Conference here, "Learning from the Atari 2600." Essentially, Bogost argued, it's not always necessary to reinvent the wheel; sometimes, instead of being discarded as so much arcane, the discoveries of the past are best adapted for the future.
Bogost and MIT assistant professor Nick Monfort recently published Racing the Beam, a book about the iconic Atari VCS, popularly known as the 2600. So Bogost's talk Friday was clearly drawn from the research for that project. And while his fondness for the 1970s-era video game console was evident, the point he was really trying to make was that the seeds of successful games--especially those enjoyed by large groups of diverse people--have very little to do with the latest and greatest technology and much more to do with mechanics that make for enjoyable shared experiences.
For Atari co-founder Nolan Bushnell, a former carnival barker, the bloodlines that led to the 2600 were three things, Bogost argued: the fun-for-the-whole-family excitement of a midway, the shared competition of a game of darts played in a tavern, and the gather-around-the-TV sense of family time afforded by the den. At the same time, Bushnell wanted to repeat the success he'd had with coin-op arcade games like "Pong," but for the home.
What he was after was what Nintendo has also tried to build into its Wii: a feeling that people can have fun doing something together. That's why going to the movies is so much fun, or going out with friends to a bar: because it's something people can do together, in a social space, whether they're competing or not.
And it's about context, Bogost said. You can drink at home, but it's not as fun as doing it in a bar. Or you play pool in your house, but it's not the same thing as doing it with friends at the local tavern. And while no video game system can replicate being out in public, the right mix of game mechanics and tools can allow people to feel like they're in the middle of a social scene, even if they're in their living room.
"That's why Wii Bowling is the best game in the Wii Sports collection," Bogost said. "It really re-creates the experience and context" of real bowling.
"So what we see, I think in the (2600)," Bogost said, "is the adaptation of familiar subjects for familiar spaces."
He talked about the successes and failures of some of the games designed for the 2600, explaining that, for example, the original 2600 Pac-Man game didn't work because its designers didn't do a good job of adapting many of the atmospheric elements of the original arcade version. For example, it was missing the familiar music, as well as the animation of Pac-Man chomping and turning as he made his way around the maze. … Read more
If you were able to get on a bicycle, put a little child or two into the front basket, and fly off into the bluest yonder, would you make your home in Berkeley Heights, N.J.?
That is the troublesome question patting at the heads of certain UFO experts, whose attention has been drawn to the apparent apparition of E.T. on Google Street View.
The image, which you can see here, suggests that E.T. has lost his way. Perhaps he has lost his bike.
The kindly Google Street View camera took the image on the corner of Diamond … Read more
Do not attempt to adjust your monitor: yes, the eMachines you see to the left of this copy is just as boring as it appears. It's a budget system that costs $380, so we're not expecting world-class design, but eMachines doesn't even make it pretty on the inside. There's ample room for expansion, but the core components aren't blowing up skirts:2.1GHz AMD Athlon Dual Core Processor 4050e 3GB 800MHz DDR2 SDRAM 128MB shared NVIDIA GeForce 6150SE integrated graphics chip 320GB, 7,200 rpm hard drive dual-layer DVD burner Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 (… Read more
In its bid for our ticket-buying dollars, Hollywood has long sought to reach into our pockets by giving us films that appeal to our current sense of hopefulness or fearfulness.
Over the years, one of the most reliable mechanisms for doing that has been the alien, the evil, destructive invaders hell-bent on laying waste to everything we hold dear (The War of the Worlds, say) or the inquisitive visitors curious to make our acquaintance and see what they can learn from us and our experience (Close Encounters of the Third Kind, maybe).
And to many, the extent to which these … Read more
If you're buying a budget computer, it's worth your time to look into the Compaq Presario SR5610f desktop. It's not far off from a barebones machine, and you don't get a ton of extra features, but the price is so low that it's hard to complain. You get a dual-core 2.5GHz AMD processor, 3 gigs of ram, an integrated video card, and a 320GB hard drive, which should be enough power to get you through the standard applications, stuff like word processing, streaming video, mp3 playback, etc...but you definitely shouldn't expect it … Read more
After introducing its cell phones to North America at the 2006 CTIA show, Alcatel has remained silent on exactly when its handsets would arrive here. But this weekend Locus Telecommunications and O2 Wireless announced they were adding the Alcatel OT-E206A and the OT-ET227A Alcatel to O2's lineup. MVNO O2 is the first wireless operator in the United States to offer Alcatel handsets.
The GSM OT-E206A is a black candy bar phone. Its features are limited to text messaging, polyphonic ringtones, games, a 250-contact phone book and a 65,000-color display. The GSM OT-ET227A is equally simple. It sports a … Read more