Friday, March 30, 2007

How to photograph smoke

n general this looks like a relatively simple process. The post details how to get the smoke just right, how to set up your light and exposure, and finally how to process your finished image in your image editor of choice. If you're a budding a photographer looking to boost your repertoire, this could be a fun project.

How to create smoke in Photoshop

The Abduzeedo weblog has a detailed guide for achieving an attractive smoke effect using Photoshop.

New California e-voting measure uses hackers to test voting machine security

New voting machine review standards (PDF) proposed by California Secretary of State Debra Bowen would require independent code audits, extensive Red Team security testing, and support for paper records. Bowen's proposed standards, which have met with widespread approval from electronic voting reform advocates and computer security experts, could lead to the decertification of practically all the voting machines currently in use in the state of California.

Goldfish live in a deep-fat fryer

A Japanese restaurant has combined a deep-fat fryer with a functional goldfish tank -- the boiling oil floats on the surface of the cool water, and the fish get to eat all the crumbs of batter that dribble down.

Sony VPL-VW50 (Pearl) Review

Wow this is one stylish piece of equipment; I have to say that Sony really did their homework and covered all the bases with regard to fit, finish and perceived build quality. From an industrial design standpoint the Pearl is nearly flawless, it’s stylish enough to cater to those of us who care about such things yet not so far removed from typical front projection designs; to turn off those who prefer simple unobtrusive designs.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Jet passengers may not get to chat on cellphones after all

The once-highflying idea of letting passengers use their wireless phones on airplanes is about to be grounded.

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Kevin Martin is recommending the FCC drop its tentative plan to lift its ban on in-flight cellphone use, three agency officials say. They asked to remain anonymous because the proposal is still being considered.

RIAA University Campaign Sputters: Group Asked To Pay Up For Wasting School's Time

[T]he University of Nebraska has told the RIAA that it can't help them identify many of the students accused of file trading. The school's system changes a computer's IP address each time its turned on, and it only keeps this information for month. After that month, the school has no way of associating an IP address with a computer or its user. The RIAA is angry about this, and a spokesman for the group criticized the university for not understanding "the need to retain these records". This is a ridiculous complaint. The university doesn't have a need to retain these records, and there's no reason it should do so out of some obligation to the RIAA. If there were any doubt that the university is really irritated by the RIAA's requests, it has requested that the RIAA pay the university to reimburse its expenses from dealing with this (good luck with that).

Top 10 Tuesday: Toughest Games to Beat

Across the history of gaming there have been numerous titles that have knocked players on their collective butts. Narrowing down the ten most difficult was a tricky task in itself, since the challenge of a game can be very subjective. In gathering our top ten, we gave favor to titles widely considered difficult by both IGN editors and readers and that derived that challenge through game design.

Zero ounces to freedom

Scientists have identified the No. 1 virus that infects San Diegans. It’s not AIDS, nor herpes, nor whatever fecal particle that has a history of sneaking into Jack in the Box’s tasty burgers.

The scientific nomenclature of the leading virus is called Santerium Sublimum—commonly referred to on “the streets” as Sublime. There are many negative ways the virus affects its victims, including, but not limited to, wearing “wife beater” tank-tops, driving large trucks, referring to strangers as “bro” and becoming the only known humans with the ability to smoke marijuana prior to getting in a bar fight.

Vista vs. Leopard in perspective

So ... Apple will sell in one year what Microsoft sells ... in its first month. Sure, that's great, I guess. But Vista will just keep selling. And selling. And selling. And after the initial Leopard upgrade boom ends quickly, Apple is pretty much back to its million Macs a quarter.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Carlos Mencia Stealing Jokes from Cosby

More creepy Russian playgrounds

Russian Kids Playgrounds

Strange Russian kids playgrounds.

The Marriage

The Marriage is intended to be art. No excuses or ducking. As such its certainly meant to be enjoyable but not entertaining in the traditional sense most games are. This means I am certain to be perceived as being pretentious by some who read this, my apologies. This is also a very difficult game to understand, again my apologies, I have tried to assist those who are interested but frustrated with the rules summary below.

The game came out of my explorations into games as art. This thinking started a few years ago out of a series of discussions with Raph Koster when we both worked at Sony Online Entertainment. While we ended up taking different approaches to it, the aim of pushing out the edges of games as art in our spare time was a common goal. I was also very taken with Jonathan Blow’s “Raspberry” which seemed to me to start to push towards expression through gameplay.

'Yahoo Betrayed My Husband'

Five years later, Yu, 55, sits in the dining room of a small house in Fairfax and weeps softly. She is a slight woman -- 100 pounds and barely 5 feet tall in slippers. Her eyes betray her exhaustion; but she is determined, too. She carries a thick stack of notes with her, and she has scrawled more on her left hand.

"Yahoo betrayed my husband and deprived him of freedom," Yu says through a translator, her voice trembling. "Yahoo must learn its lesson."

Orwell: Politics and the English Language

Most people who bother with the matter at all would admit that the English language is in a bad way, but it is generally assumed that we cannot by conscious action do anything about it. Our civilization is decadent and our language — so the argument runs — must inevitably share in the general collapse. It follows that any struggle against the abuse of language is a sentimental archaism, like preferring candles to electric light or hansom cabs to aeroplanes. Underneath this lies the half-conscious belief that language is a natural growth and not an instrument which we shape for our own purposes.

Guerilla RSS feeds for Daily Show and Colbert

Jeff sez, "When Viacom pulled Daily and Colbert Report clips from YouTube, they began posting them on Viacom-owned iFilm. While iFilm has a comprehensive set of clips from each episode of both shows, they incredulously don't provide RSS feeds. I used Dapper and Feedburner to create the follwoing [sic] RSS feeds for both shows. Enjoy!"

Use Windows Vista Reliability Monitor to Troubleshoot Crashes

Your computer has been crashing for at least a few weeks now, but you aren't sure what you did to make it start crashing. You go to the Reliability Monitor and discover that there were no crashes before 2 weeks ago, and the day before the crashes started, you installed some shareware software. Now we know that the shareware software is what probably caused the application crashes, and we can just uninstall that.

Windows Vista: more than just a pretty face

Windows Vista has had something of a troubled birth. Hyped features were pulled, and the project as a whole took far longer to complete than expected, partly due to standing still while MS dropped everything to work on Windows XP Service Pack 2, but in part also due to a decision to "reset" and scrap much of the new development. This has led some commentators to dub the project a "train wreck."

But is it?

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Save the Internet

Together we won the first round in the battle for Net freedom. But the phone and cable giants are launching a counterattack. We need to raise the alarm and send a clear message to our new Congress: Make Net Neutrality the Law in 2007!

OFFICIAL: Sirius and XM Announce Merger

XM Satellite Radio and Sirius Satellite Radio have jointly announced that they have entered into an agreement to combine the two companies - in an all-stock merger - with a combined enterprise value of $13 billion.

Sony Blackballs Kotaku

Sony's decision is disappointing, not because of what it means to Kotaku, but because of what it means to the industry.

Lonely man brought donkey to hotel room, court told

A man who was found dressed in latex and handcuffs brought a donkey to his room in a Galway city centre hotel, because he was advised “to get out and meet people,” the local court heard last week.