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Boeing testing the effect of WiFi on flights, substitutes potatoes for humans

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Dec 20, 2012 2:24 pm

Boeing has been reportedly hauling around 20,000 pounds of potatoes in an effort to test the affects of WiFi on airplanes. One might ask what does potatoes and WiFi have in common? The simple answer is that they make great human analogs and closely replicate the way radio waves behave when passing through humans.




The study is trying to determine if everyday common place WiFi has any adverse effects on airplane navigation, avionics, and radar. In an attempt to inject a little humor, Boeing has titled the experiment SPUDS (Synthetic Personnel Using Dielectric Substitution).


We hope that WiFi becoming common place in every commercial flight is the result of the event and we are left wondering if the potatoes seated in first class had to pay more for their tickets.

The War Z gets removed from Steam after public outrage

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: Dec 20, 2012 10:30 am

You may have heard of The War Z debacle over the last few days, but it looks like good guy Valve have stepped up and removed the entire game from sale on Steam until the developer sorts their stuff out. If you've already purchased the game, you can choose to keep it, or ask for a full refund from Steam support. Valve admits they made a mistake by releasing The War Z at all, with their full statement below:




Valve: From time to time a mistake can be made and one was made by prematurely issuing a copy of War Z for sale via Steam. We apologize for this and have temporary removed the sale offering of the title until we have time to work with the developer and have confidence in a new build. Those who purchased the game and wish to continue playing it via Steam may do so. Those who purchased the title via Steam and are unhappy with what they received may seek a refund by creating a ticket at our support site here:


Again, we apologize any inconvenience.


I can't think of many companies that would remove a game after the public complained about it - but it shows that Valve are quick to act on decisions like this.

eBay jumps into the precious metals game with AMPEX-powered Bullion Vertical

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Dec 20, 2012 8:26 am

At the moment, eBay sell virtually everything - but one market they haven't gotten into is precious metals. Gold and silver are pretty much safe havens for investors, with stocks and currency constantly fluctuating, as it is easily manipulated at the top of the food chain, but precious metals are scarce.




eBay have announced a new, exclusive partnership with APMEX which will see eBay offer up the APMEX Bullion Center on eBay, which is open for business. eBay have said that there has been an increase in interest of precious metal purchases from consumers, and with APMEX being one of the world's largest precious metals retailers, it is a great partnership for the online merchant.


The Bullion Center offers 200 precious metal products, which are all backed up by eBay's Buyer Protection and APMEX's satisfaction guarantee. All of the purchases are also delivered safely to consumers in unmarked packages. Gold and silver currently sell on eBay, but it's hard to stamp the fixed-price or auction model to these items as the value of the metals are constantly changing with every passing minute. APMEX offers up-to-date pricing, right up to the minute of purchase.

Dell, ASUS, HP and more delay Windows 8 tablets

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Dec 20, 2012 6:36 am

Information Week are reporting that the new energy-efficient, Intel-powered, Windows 8-based tablets have been delayed into 2013. PC makers are reportedly have issues building drivers for Intel's dual-core Clover Trail Atom Z2760 processor.




The new Clover Trail-based processor is set to enter the tablet battlefield against the iPad and high-end Android tablets, where it will compete on both performance and battery life. The delays are pushing multiple companies' tablets back, such as Dell's Latitude 10, HP's Envy x2, ASUS' VivoTab Smart and Lenovo's ThinkPad Tablet 2.


The only Atom Z2760-based tablets hitting the market at the moment is Samsung's ATIV Smart PC and Acer's Iconia W510. Cindy Shaw, from research firm DISCERN, have said that this could really hurt PC makers, especially those in enterprise sales, where she continues:


HP and Dell are conceding they've given up on the consumer, so missing the holiday season is not that big of a deal. They're not missing that magical time of the year,"� the analysts said. "But the longer it takes for businesses to get their hands on evaluation units, the longer it's going to take to translate into enterprise sales.

Ouya game lineup expands by 10 games after 10 days of developer console giveaways

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: Dec 20, 2012 5:29 am

I'm looking forward to receiving my Ouya console, and I'm sure there are many thousands of people out there feeling the same - but what about games? The Ouya lineup has just expanded by another 10 potential games after 10 lucky new developers received some pre-launch dev units.




The dev units were given out during a 10-day giveaway on Twitter by Ouya, with the first game being picked up being Fist of Awesome, and the last being Starbound. The Kickstarter-funded, Android-powered console arrives in March 2013, and the game list continues to grow, which is great. Developers should receive their consoles in the coming weeks which should give them some time to get their games polished up and prepared for March.


The full list of games that were included in the 10-day dev unit giveaway are:

  • Day 1: Fist of Awesome
  • Day 2: MechKnight Chronicles
  • Day 3: Syder Arcade
  • Day 4: KidElectro
  • Day 5: Space Runner
  • Day 6: Legend of Dungeon
  • Day 7: iMech Online
  • Day 8: DustyRevenge
  • Day 9: HolyShield!
  • Day 10: Starbound

DARPA shows off LS3 robot, could be a Terminator's four-legged best friend

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: Dec 20, 2012 4:31 am

There may not be another Terminator movie on the horizon, but defence research outfit DARPA, have just shown off their latest improvements to their four-legged LS3 robot. The tests involved two weeks of real-world testing in the woods of central Virginia.



The LS3 robot, also known as AlphaDog, showed off a bunch of improvements in its autonomy and manoeuvrability, and even when it fell over and rolled - it recovered nicely. LS3 is also capable of responding to voice commands, and while the LS3 is not as good as Siri or Google Search, it still is capable of some cool tricks such as "Leader Follow" decision making, where the robot itself will determine the best way to follow its human counterpart.




All we need now is to see Arnold Schwarzenegger walking around with an LS3 and people would be getting scared pretty quickly.

Ex-Windows chief, Steven Sinofsky becomes Harvard professor

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Dec 20, 2012 2:29 am

Just weeks after Windows 8 was launched, Microsoft pushed their Windows President, Steven Sinofsky, out onto the street. But, with his previous record of employment, we all knew it wouldn't be long until he landed another position.




Well, the ex-Windows chief has announced through Twitter that he was "excited to return" to teach at Harvard Business School this coming spring. CNET has reported that he previously served as a "visiting scholar" at Harvard Business School in the late-90s.


So for those of you at HBS, you might be rubbing shoulders with the ex-Windows President next year.

Twitter suspends @YourAnonNews, then reinstates the account

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Internet & Websites | Posted: Dec 20, 2012 2:01 am

Twitter suspended @YourAnonNews, a popular Twitter handle that spreads Anonymous related news. The reason for suspension is said to be a picture that they tweeted, and it is believed to have contained the addresses or personal information of people in regards to the Westboro Baptist Church.




Twitter sent the Twitter handle owners and e-mail that contained the following: "Your account has been suspended for posting an individual's private information such as private email address, physical address, telephone number, or financial documents." They tweeted out a picture of the e-mail that they received.


The handle has since been restored and subsequently tweeted "BREAKING: We're back motherf**kers." (Pardon the censorship) Anonymous is a bit upset with the Westboro Baptist Church for protesting the vigils of Sandy Hook victims, hence the reason for them tweeting a picture believed to contain personal information.


The Twittersphere was not happy with the suspension, with some even going so far as to call it censorship, even though they did break the rules stipulated by Twitter.

New SimCity players will require an Internet connection to save game

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Gaming | Posted: Dec 20, 2012 1:32 am

If you're looking to become the next mayor of a virtual city, just make sure you have an internet connection. Otherwise, all of your hard work will go down the drain about as quickly as you can shut down your computer. That's right, the next SimCity will need a persistent Internet connection to play.




But, it's a bit more important than most games make it. Some require it to start, however SimCity will require it to save the game. This could prove troublesome if your Internet goes down while playing. Think about it--you might have to restart your system to get the connection back, but you can't do that because you can't save.


The reasoning behind the constant connection is both for piracy reasons, but also because of the multiplayer features, according to Maxis' Stone Librande. In response to a Reddit question, Maxis responded that if you lose your connection, you'll be allowed "to play for as long as we can preserve your game state," which is a period that will "likely be minutes."

ReportTT: Apple Television not coming anytime soon

By: Trace Hagan | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Dec 20, 2012 1:05 am

There has been a lot of talk about Apple TV lately, with Tim Cook even complaining about TV, saying it's like going back 30 years. A few analysts have been predicting that the release of an Apple TV is imminent, but it has yet to materialize. A new report from Apple Insider suggests that the TV isn't anywhere near ready.




Citing Focus Taiwan, who cited a source at Hon Hai Precision Industry, or Foxconn, Apple Insider says that the TVs are just starting to undergo initial product testing, suggesting that the TVs won't be available to ship until the end of 2013 or beyond. The report says that they are testing TVs sized 46 to 55 inches.


Taking away a bit of the validity of the report, it says that Apple TV-related products will be shown at CES, a trade show that Apple has seemingly avoided like the plague in past years. If they do show something this year, we'll be sure to get the scoop while we're in town.

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