Things and stuff
Who's saying what
Every week, I’ll be letting you rifle through what I think are the best tech-related stories. Some of them will be fairly straightforward, whilst others will make your hair bleed. So… you might want to find a fairly absorbent hat. Here’s what got me all confused and happy in the pants this week.
First up, some gadget news! The new Xbox 360 dpad has been cobbled together from reverse engineered alien tech (maybe), and does everything a good gadget should do: it’s functional, and it looks awesome. The only catch? You’ll not be able to buy the controller by itself. You’ll have to buy the play and charge kit to get it. This is sort of like being approved for a new kidney, provided you don’t mind having to remove it from somebody with your bare hands first. And by ‘sort of’, I do of course mean ‘nothing like’.
You'll soon learn that my inner child is not only well nurtured, but he's spoiled. Rotten. So when I saw this gadget, my brain pretty much contracted diabetes. Rick Prescott got a Nerf Vulcan machine gun to breed with some thermo sensors and a microcontroller, and managed to create something that won the grand prize at the MAKE/Design News Gadget Freak Design Contest. So what exactly makes this prize-winning creation so… uh…prize winning?
It's a heat-seeker.
All this needs are some armor-piercing rounds and… wait. Have I just crossed the line from childlike giddiness to fully blown Duke Nukem grade instability? (Rhetorical).
François Vautier took every frame of Blade Runner (all 167 819 of them), and rendered them into “a square of approximately 60,000 pixels on one side alone, 3.5 gigapixels (3500 million pixels)”. He then allowed a cirtual camera to pan over them, created a surreal digital quilt. You can witness the hypnotic end result below. It’s this sort of fusion of high art and digital innovation that gives me a brain boner.
Remember that recent Wikileaks debacle? How wikileaks managed to have someone else hack (I’m thinking a young, insolent Matthew Broderick, even though it was actually just a well-meaning anarchistic grunt) into military records, revealing a metric crapload of state secrets? Well, the techheads at Darpa think they’ve figured out how to make it harder for hackers to channel secrets out into the open. I suspect having 77,000 classified Afghanistan field reports leaked may have prompted them to step up their game. The new initiative is called CINDER and my sources indicate all CINDER employees will be required to dress like so:
Finally, here’s some insane gadget news. The source code for the PSGroove has been leaked: The code must first be downloaded and installed onto a $30ish AT90USBkey or a $25ish Teensy++ USB development board. After that, homebrew enthusiasts can then execute unsigned third-party apps and games on their PS3. At the moment, the ability to boot ISO files (read: pirated or "backup" games) is temporarily disabled. But we're sure that some of the internet's more nefarious types will find their way around that.
This effectively means that soon, you might be able to run a PS3 without having to buy a PS3. It’s not legit, and it’s screwing with software developers more than Sony themselves, but it’s a fairly batshit mental piece of technological innovation (read: genius-level dickishness). WHY ARE PEOPLE NOT CONTENT TO PLAY DARTS? OR ENJOY TOYING WITH AN ABACUS? WHY THE HIGH TECH TOMFOOLERY?
Oh, right. Because it’s awesome.
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