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Toshiba HD DVD throws in the towel

Post image Media has always been a large part of the entertainment industry and battles are won and lost fighting for customers. Tuesday February 19th Toshiba announced that they would no longer develop HD DVD devices. Most of us know that comming out of the turnstile Sony grabbed the market with their Blue-ray hi-definition media. The battle between the two media's has lasted long enough and was started by Sony in 2000. Toshiba then announced its own version of high definition discs known as the HD DVD in 2002. From the begining Toshiba was the underdog. What sealed the deal was the news that Toshiba recently lost Warner Brothers, one of the largest film producers to Blue-ray, as a supporter. Many have debated which company would win in the battle for the masses and now we finally have a winner.

You can view the New York Times article here. You can also view the timeline of the HD DVD and Blue-ray battle here.

The 'Cloud' for British Airways

Post image I was browsing youtube today and came across something mesmerizing. The 'Cloud' digital sculpture created by TROIKA that now sits in British Airways Terminal 5 at Heathrow Airport is an amazing combination of technology and art. The digital sculpture uses 4638 flip-dots that are individually controlled by a computer. The computer animates the sculpture by flipping individual dots to simulate a wave like movement. The result is almost hypnotic.


Next time your in London take some time out of your day to take a look. For more information visit the project website here. The TROIKA website has videos that can be found here or seen below.



Demonstration of the 'Cloud' Sculpture:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=42hgPLL8IrA

Installation of the 'Cloud' Sculpture:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J9LUlADnwAE

Can High Speed Internet get any worse?

Post image So after work today I am surfing the net and come across this article about Time Warner Cable. First off before I get started ranting about the issues with the test they are conducting in Beaumont Texas, let me just say they are overcharging for a service that is faulty and inconsistent. Many people I know including myself have found high speed internet connections to terminate intermittently and bandwidth to be fairly limited depending on the time of day especially during peak hours.

Wednessday Time Warner announced that they will be trying a new payment plan for Internet Access. Instead of paying an outrageous monthly fee for their service customers will be charged for the amount of bandwith that they use. This puts gamers, geeks, and movie buffs in a bind. Now those of us who enjoy spending our free time on the net will now be paying much more for our internet service. For instance, say that you like to download movies. If you download movies through Amazon or Itunes not only will you be paying for the price of that movie but the cost of the download.

The article from Bits points out the reason why. The cable companies are scared that the Internet is going to decrease their business, and you know what.... they are right. I am sick of cable companies setting their prices and forcing customers to use their service because it is the only option in the area. They have horrible customer support and brain dead minimum wagers handling technical phone calls. Let me put it this way if this new payment plan becomes mainstream I will have to find another way to enjoy the internet.

You can view the article here.

NJ teen makes profit from hacking iPhone

Post image I was browsing the net at work today and came across this article from www.engadget.com. A NJ teen apparently hacked an iPhone to unlock the functionality. The hacker found the iPhone on board JTag. a look at the article if you have some free time. You can find the article here and the teens personal blog here.

Pocket PC Robot

Post image I was surfing the net today and came across this post from 2004 on the MSDN blogs. Yes, it's a little old but still a cool idea. Anyways Mike made a humanoid robot that is controlled from a Pocket PC. First I thought to myself why the heck would anyone use a Pocket PC to control a robot? I came to the conclusion that in 2004 it was probably a heck of a lot easier to do then control it using any of the other mobile platforms.

The robot needs some work but its a great start. Just click on the image on the page here to see the video. The robot movement isn't very fluid and there is also a balance issue but it is probably due to each leg using a different type of servo. Fun video to watch if your bored.

Wii controller hack to open a door

Post image I know that more and more Wii hacks come out daily because of the ability to easily interface with the controller but I thought that this one was kinda cool. The Wii controller interfaces with a system that then controls the deadbolt locking mechanism of a door. Pretty cool video. Of course this system would be utterly useless to use for security purposes as anyone with a Wii controller could come and open the door unless they did some kind of bluetooth paring. Even with the paring a system like that could be easily hacked.

It is a fun concept though. If your bored check it out here. There is a link to the site with the design but it has to be decoded into English. You can give it a try here if you want, it didn't work to well for me.

Open A Locked Car With A Tennis Ball

Post image I was at work today and found something that I'd like to try out. Problem is I don't have the right kind of car to try this on. I drive a piece of junk 1998 Honda Civic with more miles on it than most commercial aircraft. Anyways the female in the video apparently unlocks her car with the pressure from smashing a tennis ball. There are rumors that this actually used to work and it was tested on MythBusters on a few minivans but this definitely doesn't work on new cars anymore. It was an issue with cars around 2000 or so.

"BY SMOGBOT AT 06/26/07 09:19 AM

Actually this did used to work, but only for a couple of years, and only on cars with central locking systems. I haven't tried it for a long time but have been told it no longer works with modern cars, but if you still drive a pre 2000 car then this MIGHT still work for some models.

But this is still a crap tip because my brother told me about this when I was about 10 years old"



I am not sure this is legit at all but its definitely good for a laugh. Check it out here if you get some time.

Use a Halloween hand to pet your cat

Post image So I was at work looking around for something good to post for good old Halloween. Instead I came across this easy hack and laughed so hard that I had to post it.

Halloween Hand Hack

This guy made converted a Halloween fake motorized hand to pet his cat because his cat was requiring to much attention. The hand is motion controlled and sound controlled so that it doesn't keep running without the cat being nearby. Great idea and funny as heck to watch in action. If your bored take a look.

Keyboard EL wire light mod

Post image Yah I know I am obsessed with keyboard mods. It's probably because I have a keyboard fetish but I didn't say that outloud. I found a easy EL wire mod tutorial for those who would like to add a little flash to their boring keyboards. It doesn't take much time and is very inexpensive. The only problem with this tutorial is the fact that the guy runs another wire off of his keyboard to the main pc for the power. I would try to pull the power off of a usb bus if that is what your keyboard is using. That would take a little more effort doing the conversions etc.

Take a look here

Chair Hack

Post image I saw this online today and almost died laughing. I mean seriously this is hilarious. For those of you not so technically inclined I think you could learn a few things from this post. Or if you need a laugh or have a broken chair take a look.

http://selever.freeshell.org/projects/hacking/chairhack.shtml

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