We're back from our BOL summer vacation, only to find that Paul Allen is trying to patent-troll the Internet out of existence, Netflix seems to have finally put BlockBuster out of existence, and Foursquare ain't going down without a fight. Oh, and Donald Bell gives us his predictions for Apple's Sept. 1 event. --Molly--> Subscribe: iTunes (MP3) | iTunes (320x180) | iTunes (640x360) | RSS (MP3) | RSS (320x180) | RSS (640x360)… Read more
Last century's cash crops included tobacco, cotton, and sugar cane. Now we have magic cauliflower and super berries, too--and even though they can't be sold at market, some people still toil from dawn to dusk cultivating them.
People spend not just real time but also real money growing these crops in virtual farming games that combine the allure of both games and social networking in what is usually a cute and deceptively simple package. They can be addictive: many users come back at least once a day to micromanage their farms and deal with other users' requests.
On … Read more
In an effort to curb the temptation to text while behind the wheel, State Farm Insurance Company is updating its Pocket Agent application for Android with a widget that will do your texting for you, sort of. The On the Move widget is essentially an SMS auto-responder that will intercept incoming text messages and automatically reply with a canned response.
After loading the app, users are able to compose and save their automated responses. Although the widget is primarily designed for use while in a moving vehicle, multiple responses can be saved and used for different situations or moods. For … Read more
A group of scientists and engineers in Norway are testing a flotation device that could support offshore wind turbines so that they don't have to be built on shoals.
StatoilHydro, a division of the oil giant Statoil, said Thursday its Hywind floating wind turbine installed about 10 kilometers off the coast of Karmoy, Norway, in June 2009 is a success.
As a result, the company is planning to test an entire farm of Hywind turbines in Norway, and is looking to install more test farms in rough-water areas like Scotland and Maine.
The Hywind turbine is not a completely … Read more
There's a silly but enduring bit of apocrypha about the alleged rural pastime of "cow tipping"--in which, supposedly, there are so few ways for mischievous young people in the boondocks to amuse themselves that they resort to knocking over cows standing in slumber. (Actually, cows don't sleep upright. Should you try to "tip" a standing cow, be forewarned: it isn't asleep.)
Fittingly, a recently launched Facebook-based game designed to make a statement about the supposed inanity of other Facebook games--like the now-antiquated "sheep throwing" of Slide's SuperPoke and the … Read more
The 3,000-megawatt Alta Wind Energy Center when completed would actually be a series of several massive wind farms located near Tehachapi, Calif., a city in Kern County about 116 miles north of Los Angeles.
Terra-Gen is a renewable-energy company that develops wind, solar, and geothermal projects for producing electricity. Its first phase of this Alta Wind Energy Center, called Alta Project I, already has financing. Its construction began in March and consists of … Read more
Hawaii residents will soon be getting a 30-megawatt wind farm off the coast of Oahu's north shore.
The 30-megawatt Kahuku Wind farm developed by First Wind will consist of twelve 2.5-megawatt wind turbines manufactured by Clipper Windpower in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Once completed, it's expected to generate enough electricity to power 7,700 Oahu homes annually.
The Boston, Mass.-based First Wind signed of power of purchase agreement with the Hawaiian Electric Company to sell them electricity generated from the farm for 20 years at an undisclosed price.
A ceremonial groundbreaking held Wednesday for the Kahuka Wind … Read more
The most popular game in the Facebook world is coming to the iPhone.
Gamemaker Zynga announced on Thursday the launch of FarmVille for iPhone--the same day that Apple begins selling its next-generation smartphone. Players can now tend their farms from wherever they find themselves and can get status updates regarding their farms via push notifications.
"Mobile devices are an extension of people's daily social lives everywhere in the world and the Apple iPhone is the most innovative breakthrough in this area," Mark Pincus, founder and chief executive officer of Zynga, said in a statement. "We are … Read more
If two data points make a trend, here's a new one: there will soon be two iPhone apps that promise to turn your humble mobile phone into a mobile electric-guitar rig, complete with multiple amps, effects, and microphones.
DJ and electronic music apps for the iPhone aren't much of a stretch--after all, a lot of electronic musicians have been using computers as their primary instrument since the 1990s, and the iPhone is as powerful as the highest-powered desktops from a decade ago.
But most guitarists are stubborn analog creatures, hunting vintage music shops and Craigslist for the perfect … Read more
FarmVille creator Zynga has a new social game launching today on Facebook, called FrontierVille. With 60 million active players (although the number can vary widely month to month), FarmVille is the unstoppable juggernaut of social games (a relatively new category, which includes games played on Facebook and other social networking platforms), and Zynga is hoping lightning strikes twice.
The new game takes the action in an even more rural direction than FarmVille, setting up shop in a far-flung frontier town. Game designer Brian Reynolds describes it as, "Oregon Trail meets Little House on the Prairie meets FarmVille." And … Read more