Late Night Leftovers

Geeky goodness with a side of home fries!

ShapeWright Generates 3D Spaceships From Any Text

GUO spaceshipPink Polka Dot Alert! Class 5 time waster off the port bow! is an unassuming little web site that has a text box on the top and a large, WebGL powered window below. Type in some text and watch as ShapeWright pieces together a custom space ship from a library of prefab parts. Kiss productivity good-bye as you figure out which of your friends, family, pets, and coworker’s names creates to coolest starship.

Resultant models can be downloaded for free in VRML format or you can buy 3D printed models of your favorites!

Store Your Data the Old Fashioned Way: In a Wine Barrel

Wait… What?!

Yep, over at HardOCP  forum member Tweakzz wanted to do something a little different for his NAS (Network Attached Storage) system. The result is an amazing combination of old world class, new world usefulness, and AA members’ true confessions.

Check out the forum thread as Tweakzz has documented the entirety of this amazing build!

Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12 for iPad and iPhone is Free. Rich Old Men Rejoice!

PGA Tour 12 iPadRich old men and golf go together like… Well, rich old men and iPads! And how did those old men become rich? By keeping a tight grip on their cash and not piddling it away on silly things like video games! Today EA throws them ol’ misers a bone. You bankrupt lil’ whippersnappers wake up and learn something!

Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12 is on sale “for a limited time” in the Apple App Store for the low price of free to celebrate the game’s 1.0.2 update (ie. they finally fixed it). This is down from the $5-$7 price.

You can get it here for iPhone, or, if you’ve been enough of a tightwad, here for iPad.

Persona 4: The Animation Getting Blu-Ray and Digital Releases

Cult PS2 RPG hit Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4 has a 25 episode anime adaptation to begin airing in Japan on October 6. Fortunately for us over in Region 1, Sentai Filmworks has just announced that they have picked up both the streaming rights as well as announced a Blu-Ray release for 2012.

While details are scarce (the press release simply states “Digital distribution of PERSONA 4 the Animation will begin soon through many outlets”), Sentai currently has content on such varied online haunts as iTunes, Hulu, Netflix, Amazon, Zune Marketplace (OMG, Zune Marketplace is still up!), Anime Network, Playstation Network and YouTube.

Sentai describes Persona 4 the Animation thusly:

453002-persona_4_animation_1“When Yu Narukami’s family moves to the rural country town of Inaba, he’s expecting a lot more peace and quiet than he’s been used to in the big city. Instead, the peace has been shattered and the only quiet is the quiet of the grave, as a rash of mysterious murders and kidnappings sweep the countryside. With the police stymied, Yu finds himself joining with a group of eight other teenagers in a desperate bid to solve the mystery. A mystery that is somehow connected to both the local weather patterns and a strange video game world which Yu, his friends and the enigmatic killer can all enter. And where each must wield a unique weapon and learn to use amazing powers if they wish to survive. Journey beyond the Velvet Room as the hit PlayStation 2™ game becomes a spectacular anime in PERSONA 4 the Animation!”

No mention is made of the mysterious use of capitalization.

Update: The Anime Network confirmed on Thursday that it will simulcast the Persona 4 The Animation television anime series. The Anime Network will make each episode available for free at 3 p.m. EDT on Thursdays (the same day the show airs in Japan) starting on October 6. In addition, each episode will be streamed on Hulu and Hulu Plus within 24 hours of being posted on The Anime Network.

Carbon Nanotubes Reach New Milestone As Electric Wire

Electricity has been carried through copper wires commercially for almost 150 years and copper has done an excellent job of conducting the electricity.  However, copper does have it’s flaws.  When copper is used to transmit electricity, power is lost to heat caused by resistance in the wire.  Copper is also vulnerable to corrosion and the prices for copper have been rising steadily.  To solve these problems, researchers working with carbon nanotubes have spun the first nanotube wire used to transmit electricity as good as copper wire can.  The nanotube wire can conduct 100,000 amps of current per square centimeter while only weighing one-sixth as much as copper.  In addition, nanotubes never corrode and don’t lose nearly as much energy by creating heat when electricity passes through them.  While copper did get the job done for a long time, nanotubes are the future and will allow for smaller and more efficient electronics.

Late Night Leftovers

Gonna move the Thursday Leftovers to Friday night. Seems a better balance.

Get 5 Free Games for Babies and Toddlers With Kneebouncers Vol.1 (iOS/Android) has been a big fan of since she was just a tiny little giggling ball of goo. The interactive nature of the medium makes virtual toys a great, easily portable supplement to their real world counterparts. As she’s grown over the past two years, she’s expanded her video game play from simply whacking at a keyboard (although there’s still plenty of that!) to using Grandpop’s iPod. Therefore, it gives me great joy to announce that Kneebouncers Volume 1, an app bundling 5 of Kneebouncer’s web games, is available for free as part of KneeBouncers’ Bounce, Play, Learn! Initative.

“5 great BIG games for babies, toddlers and preschoolers in one great little app. KneeBouncers Big Little Games Vol 1 includes:

  • F is for Frog!Choo Choo: A train, a car, a tractor and LOTS of fun!
  • Big Top: KneeBouncers perform in a three-ring circus.
  • Pop-a-Lot: You're little one will love what pops up next!
  • It's Colorific: Bright balloons and amusing characters help make this intro to colors a whole lotta fun
  • The Alphabet Game: Is it a letter-learning tool or just plain tot entertainment? Both.”

Based on a ‘press any key’ control scheme, they’re great fun for even the tiniest of tykes (and I must confess to being a bit of Pop-a-Lot junkie myself!). Just head on over to, select your platform (Android or iOS) on the left, and download! You can also play the original Flash versions on their web site. And this promo is just the beginning of Bounce, Play, Learn!

Beginning on the 27th, KneeBouncers be posting tips about learning through play on KneeBlogger, our Facebook Page and through Twitter as part of the 'Bounce and Play campaign. Have your own ideas to share? Feel free to post them on our Facebook page or use hashtag #KneeBouncersPlay to join the conversation!

KneeBouncers! Grandpop recommended, Baby Girl approved. Also fun to sayWinking smile

New York Senator Demands Reversal of OnStar’s Tracking Policy, Calls for FTC Probe. Update: OnStar Agrees.

New OnStar LogoIn a press release on September 26, 2011 U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer called for the Federal Trade Commission to launch an investigation into the newly revised privacy policy for automotive service company OnStar.

“By tracking drivers even after they’ve cancelled their service, OnStar is attempting one of the most brazen invasions of privacy in recent memory,” said Schumer. “I urge OnStar to abandon this policy and for FTC to immediately launch a full investigation to determine whether the company’s actions constitute an unfair trade practice.”

OnStar notified its six million customers of the updates to it privacy policy last Monday. The policy had been amended to include OnStar’s right to track and collect data from vehicles equipped with the OnStar system even after the service contact was terminated as well as OnStar’s right to sell logistical and demographic data collected from its users to undisclosed third parties.

You can read our full coverage of OnStar’s privacy policy changes here.

Update: OnStar has just issued a press release stating it will not continue to track customer’s vehicles after termination of of the OnStar service unless customers op-in.

“We realize that our proposed amendments did not satisfy our subscribers,” OnStar President Linda Marshall said. “This is why we are leaving the decision in our customers’ hands. We listened, we responded and we hope to maintain the trust of our more than 6 million customers.”

Attention Facebookers: Relax! You Are Not That Important or Interesting

A couple times in casual conversation I found myself comparing Facebook users to the AOL users of yore. I could not have been more wrong. In fact, Facebookers are the polar opposite of AOL members. Most America OnLine users were born on AOL. It was their ISP as well as their online experience. The stayed in that walled off garden blissfully playing on the grass out of ignorance. They had no knowledge of the World Wide Wonders that lay outside their door. Users of Facebook, on the other hand, looked upon the wonders of the World Wide Web and decided they did not want it. It was vast. It was varied. It took effort. They voluntarily walked into the garden, closed the door, and stared vainly at a picture of themselves on a Wall where their Friends would bring them the news of the world.

This Dragon Ball Let’s You Summon Shenron from the Palm of Your Hand

Here’s a little gadget that’s sure to make anime fanboys squeal like um… well, anime fanboys! This is a Dragon Ball that summons Shenron (or Shen Long, depending on your preference of translation)!Using 3 watch batteries, a single LED light, and two contacts on the bottom, this 2.5” Dragon Ball projector works on the same principals as those little chirping chicks that don’t shut up when you hold ‘em. Well, except that this projects a totally awesome spirit dragon on your ceiling! Whether you prefer Z, GT, Kai, or unsalted, all fans of Dragon Ball can agree that this is cool.

Squeeeal! I gotta get one of these for BG! She loves dragons AND flashlights. Wait ‘till she gets a load of this!

The Dragon Ball Shen Long Projector Dome is available from Strapya World for ¥1,570 (or $20.20 US)

Where Do We Run To When The I.S.S. Comes Back To Earth?

This week the UARS Satellite came crashing back to Earth and the only problem was that nobody knew where it was going to hit.  The UARS was the state of the art in Upper Atmosphere Research Satellites when it was deployed from the Shuttle Discovery in September 1991 but, as with all low Earth orbit satellites, it eventually comes crashing back to Earth in a spectacular fashion.  The UARS didn’t completely burn up in the atmosphere because it was too big: 6 tons and the size of a bus.  So what will happen when the International Space Station comes back to Earth, especially since its 431 tons and the size of a football field?  NASA has a plan, but, as with the UARS, they can’t be 100% sure exactly when and where it will land. 

Review: Space Miner: Space Ore Bust HD (iPad/iPhone) Deliv-Ores the Fun

SpaceMiner4Uncle Jeb is one heck of a space miner… And one terrible businessman. In Venan Arcade’s Space Miner, you take your pick of either a male or female anime inspired avatar and step in to help Uncle Jeb out of trouble with killer robots, greedy corporations, and mysterious alien technology in this Asteroids inspired action adventure. Space Miner is classic arcade action with a sweet coating of JRPG goodness!

All Sesame Street iPhone and iPad Apps on Sale for a Buck Until 9/26

In celebration of the launch for the new science-filled season of Sesame Street this Monday, all official Sesame Street apps for your iPhone and iPad are only $0.99.

Yup, everything from ABC books, to making your own Muppet to play with Elmo, to the Yip Yip-tastic Martian sound board (actually, that one was always a buck, but how could I not plug it Smile), they’re all on sale this weekend.

Remember that Sesame Street is a nonprofit educational organization “committed to the principle that all children deserve a chance to learn and grow; to be prepared for school; to better understand the world and each other; to think, dream and discover; to reach their highest potential.”

How’s that $1 iYip Sound Board app looking now? Winking smile

Here’s a full list of apps for iPhone and for the iPad.

My First Cthulhu Reminds Us That Gibbering Madness and Babies are a Natural Fit

Little kids like Cthulhu.If you’re anything like me then you know the feelings that looking upon the face of a child can bring. Feelings like madness, terror, and the knowledge that you are confronting a supernatural evil from which there is no escape. Yes, children and ancient alien gods bent on global destruction go together like milk and cookies!

That’s why ThinkGeek brings us the My First Cthulhu Plush. Why should our children be snuggling strange creatures like bunnies and kitties when they can hug something they truly understand, like an Elder God whose very name drives men to madness. From the mythos of H.P. Lovecraft to your little one’s crib, Cthulhu Fhtagn, little one!

Late Night Leftovers

I actually did eat leftovers tonight. Too many noodles left without BG.

OnStar Updates User Agreement to Allow Tracking After Cancelation and Sale of Your Location

GM began notifying customers last week of an update to the privacy statement for its OnStar emergency car service. The changes to the privacy statement, effective December 2011, are clearly marked, in plain English, and chilling:

paranoia coptersWe have added more detailed information about the information we collect about you and about your Vehicle, including how we collect your information, what we do with it and how we share it. For
example, unless the Data Connection in your Vehicle is deactivated, information about your Vehicle may continue to be collected even if you do not have a Plan.

In addition to other purposes set out in the prior version of the Privacy Statement, we may use the information we collect about you and your Vehicle to improve the quality of our Service and offerings and may share the information we collect with law enforcement or other public safety officials, credit card processors and/or third parties we contract with who conduct joint marketing initiatives with OnStar

So, I cancel OnStar and they stop tracking me, right? Not so fast!

Unless the Data Connection to your Vehicle is deactivated, data about your Vehicle will continue to be collected even if you do not have a Plan.  It is important that you convey this to other drivers, occupants, or subsequent owners of your Vehicle.  You may deactivate the Data Connection to your Vehicle at any time by contacting an OnStar Advisor.

Yup. Unless you specifically contact OnStar and opt-out, OnStar will continue to track your vehicle forever with your personal data on the auction block to the highest bidder or freely available to any government agency who comes knocking. What personal data? Let’s see:

  • Diagnostic codes, oil life, tire pressure, odometer reading, and fuel economy
  • Was your car ever in a crash? When? Where? What side? Did the air bag deploy? Were you using your seat belt?
  • History of when your car’s ignition was turned on and off and when the gas tank was refilled.
  • Speed and location of your vehicle using GPS satellite data.
  • Pair your cell phone to your car? Well, OnStar tracks that too! They do not explicitly list what information they harvest from your phone, but it’s safe to say that the IMEI or ESN (unique identification codes used in all mobile electronics) is passed along… at the very least.
  • Use OnStar’s Hand’s-Free Calling minutes? They also collect info “such as call detail records, the number of minutes purchased, the date minutes were purchased, the number of remaining minutes, and their expiration date".

You can check out OnStar’s new “privacy policy” (SPOILER: You don’t have any) in PDF form here.

Happy motoring! …and it had better be happy. The world is watching.

First Actual Picture Of An Alien Planet - Ever!

The European Southern Observatory recently was the very first observatory to actually take a picture of an alien world from their ground based telescopes which are located in Chile.  The planet, which is the reddish dot compared to the bluish star that it orbits can easily be seen and is remarkably distinctive in the picture.  It is extremely difficult to image other planets due to the extreme brightness of the star in comparison to a planet which does not emit light of it’s own.  However, in this case the star is a brown dwarf – among the smallest and dimmest stars and the planet is relatively large.  The star is estimated to be 5 to 10 times the mass of Jupiter which is among the very smallest of brown-dwarf type stars.  Due to the similarity in mass between the planet and it’s star, the two orbit each other is more of a binary fashion, rather than the planet orbiting around a stationary star.

The NACO instrument allows for images to be as clear as if the telescope were in space, due to adaptive optics technology  This image is not in normal light that we would be able to see, instead the image is in infra-red. This makes the planet seem brighter in the infra-red because the planet is thought to be about 1500 degrees Kelvin or about 2240 degrees Fahrenheit.  The distance between 2m1207b (the planet) and 2m1207a (the star) is thought to be similar to the distance between Pluto and The Sun, which also makes imaging easier because even that large distance is extremely small when viewed from as far as 175 light years away.

The planet that was imaged is about 175 light years away from Earth and it’s about 5 times the size of Jupiter, so this isn’t a likely place for us to visit any time soon, especially because it’s most likely a gas giant with no solid surface.  The extreme temperature would also suggest that it may not be suitable for life, but as we have seen with the moons of Jupiter and Saturn, there are often many moons around such Gas Giants.  Who knows, between the heat from the planet and it’s parent star and the planet – perhaps there are moons that could even support life in this unlikely place.  We are not likely to find out anytime soon, but who thought 100 years about that we would be actually looking at other planets around far distant stars? 
(Above) The VLT in Chile from which the image was taken.

Late Night Leftovers

Nerdy News! Deep Fried!

Gears of War : The Board Game on Sale

Packed full of miniatures and high quality cardboard, Fantasy Flight games have long topped my list of things to drool on when visiting my local comic shop. Their latest offering is sure to grab the attention of our chainsaw wielding brethren still battling the Locust menace.

Gears of War: The Board Game is packed full of goodies like plastic figures (over 30!), nearly 250 cards, and 17 double sided map tiles. In a unique twist, this game features a co-operative system where up to 4 players face off against the game’s card based “AI” system in 7 randomized scenarios. All of your favorite moves from the video game are represented, such as the Roadie Run or blind firing from cover. There is even an optional rule set for playing Horde Mode!

Fantasy Flight has been kind enough to post the rule book online and released an overview video.

Gears of War: The Board Game is on sale right now. Be sure to give that box a good sniff for me! Mmmm… That’s one thing that digital distribution just can’t offer.

Studio Ghibli Animated PS3 RPG Ni no Kuni to be Released Stateside

Level-5 (Professor Layton, Dragon Quest) has revealed that their drop dead gorgeous PS3 role playing game Ni no Kuni, designed in cooperation with anime powerhouse Studio Ghibli (Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away) will be arriving in the United States in early 2012. This trailer from IGN’s visit to the Tokyo Game Show clearly shows both studios at the top of their game for what promises to be a spellbinding adventure.

This PS3 version of Ni no Kuni is scheduled for release in Japan November 17, 2011.  A version of the game had been previously released for the Nintendo DS in Japan. There has been no news of the DS version being released in other regions.

DCF Rant #213

Click through the jump to subject yourself to my latest batch of Baby Mama Drama whining.

Yar! Here be Yer International Talk Like a Pirate Day Online Festivities

facebook_the_pirate_bay_7f5g57B getn l33t w@rez 4 piR8-

Huh? Oh! Wrong pirate.

Avast ye scurvy dogs! Dis day ‘ere be International Talk Like a Pirate Day! GUO be sailin’ da seven tubes o’ da ‘Net ta bring ye some rum flavored fun!

Pirate Party Wins 15 Seats in German Parliamentary Election

As associations claiming to act in the best interests of “artists” continue to wine and dine elected officials around the world in an attempt to monitor and censure global communications via secret treaties, it should come as no surprise that We The People are taking notice and moving to act.

File:Logo Piratenpartei Deutschland 3D.svgThe growing world-wide political movement known as The Pirate Party has just claimed a rather unexpected victory in Germany. First results of the 2011 Berlin state parliamentary elections show the Pirates have claimed 9% of the counted votes securing them 15 seats. This is nearly double the 5% minimum required to enter parliament that the Pirates were hoping for. The Pirate Party has, to date, already secured over 50 members in elected offices in Germany; More than all other countries combined.

How does this change the political landscape in Germany? TorrentFreak spoke with Sebastian Nerz, Chairman of the German Pirate Party:

"We are going to demonstrate that it is possible to conduct a transparent approach to politics. Traditionally politics are a secret ‘no trespassing’ area. Meetings are held behind closed doors, agendas and protocols are closed, treaties are not being published,” Nerz told TorrentFreak.

“We will demonstrate that it is possible to openly and truthfully inform the citizens what is going on, what alternatives are possible and why a certain path has been chosen. We will demonstrate that citizens can be integrated into the fact-finding and path-choosing methods. Why not ask citizens about their opinion before you decide? Its well worth a try!”

Check out the full story on TorrentFreak. For more information about the Pirate Party in your country, please visit

New American SLS Rocket Will Be The Biggest, Tallest, Fastest, Most Powerful In History

The Space Launch System, or SLS will surpass even the massive Saturn V rockets that took the first men to the moon. This new rocket is part of the Deep Space Transportation System envisioned to take astronauts to Asteroids and Mars. The SLS will take off from Kennedy Space Center in Florida using facilities that were developed to handle extremely large spacecraft like the Saturn V or the Space Shuttle. There are other rockets from America and other nations that are planning on challenging the lift capacity of this super-heavy rocket, but even these rockets do not compare to the abilities of the SLS rocket. While this new type of rocket will be the envied by the rest of the world, it is not due for it’s first launch until 2017. While this is a long time, it will allow the USA access to the solar system that no other nation has. Recently, other large space programs have been on the budget cutting block lately due to financial constraints but hopefully this program will survive to keep America in the lead of the space race.

Before the SLS, the largest rocket ever made was the Saturn V. This rocket was used in all of the manned moon landings because it was able to lift enough men and equipment to successfully explore the moon. The Saturn V had a lift capacity of 262,000 pounds to LEO, while the SLS is expected to eventually have a lift capacity of 280,000 to LEO. While the Saturn V was 363 feet tall, the SLS will be taller at about 400 feet tall. Indeed the Saturn V was a tremendous achievement at the time and they even launched the Skylab space station into orbit allowing the USA to have it’s first space station. Unfortunately at a cost of about $1.1 Billion in today’s money, the nation could no longer afford these monster rockets.

New York Protest Against Money in Politics #OccupyWallStreet is Now Live

I’ve been lax in covering these sorts of issues for a while. Time to make up for lost time!6mckj6

The Internet organized protest #OccupyWallStreet, a potentially weeks long sit-in to stand against the influence of corporate money over the United States government is now being streamed live on LiveStream,  Embeded below:

Watch live streaming video from globalrevolution at

I’m shocked that this isn’t being reported by the mainstream media. Police are currently deploying extra barricades around the protesters and a Twitter user states that the police have been advised to prepare for a riot.

Don’t know what everyone is so upset about. It’s not like Apple can just rent a U.S. police force or something, right? Oh, wait. Well, at least Sony can’t get the IP address of anyone who ever watch a YouTube vid on hacking a PS3. That one too, huh. Well, at least the FCC can keep the Interne- Them too? Kinda makes you think. Kinda makes people act!

You can get more information on #OccupyWallStreet from

Update: Mass media finally showed up. Articles now on CBS, ABC, Al Jazeera, and CNN Money. Thanks Mrs!

CNN Money? Really? Way to report CNNAnnoyed

Deal! Tabletop RPG Game Systems and Accessories $1 Sale from Avalon Games

Avalon Games is having their Dollar Day sale today, September 17th! You can pick up everything from full RPG and wargame rulebooks to ground tiles and cardstock models in handy PDF form for a buck a piece! There are even complete print-and-play boardgames. Check ‘em out.

LeviathansAlien Armada, Avalon Mini-Game #19Fantasy House and Manor

Portal 2’s Space Core Rockin’ Riddum on da YouTubes

c0a68582b1space_core_jpgThere is no question that one of the more lovable character’s in Valve’s Portal 2 is the corrupt little Space AI core. Turns out, he’s quite the little musician, too! Hit the jump for a small sample of the many Space Core remixes available on YouTube:

Also, the original Portal is free on Steam if you pick it up before September 20th. This is a great time to try out Valve’s innovative first person puzzler if you haven’t already. Now on Macs, too!

A Brief Word on the Star Wars Blu-Rays


Behold the Teddy Bear Roman Legion of Emperor Cuddlius!

Eureka Miniatures, the fine folks behind such mad figure lines like Jurassic Reich and Winged Fez Monkeys (as well as a huge selection of traditional historic and sci-fi minis), bring you the snuggliest conquerors of the ancient world. 28mmTBRomans02

Since Eureaka already took all the good jokes, I’m just gonna quote them:

The Emperor Cuddlius is here to direct his mighty furry legions and Centurion Fuzzius Maximus (hero bear and champion of Teddy Bear Rome) puts in an appearance as well. Mike has also included a catapult siege engine - which we think you will all agree is the epitome of Ancient Teddy Bear technology! The bears use this wonder weapon to fire pots of honey into besieged enemy fortifications to remind them of the sweet benefits of submitting to Roman Teddy Bear civilization.Roman Teddy Bear Catapult

You can check out the full line on either Eureka’s site or their US Store. Stick it to those bar-bear-ians!

Late Night Leftovers

BG returns from visitation tomorrow. One last peaceful meal.

Scientists Create Green Glowing Cats–Mice No Longer Safe In The Dark

Scientists at the Mayo Clinic have inserted genes from fluorescent jellyfish into feline eggs prior to fertilization creating green glowing cats. The researchers were not doing this just to make the cats glow in the dark, they were also using the genetics of macaque monkeys in an attempt to learn how to ultimately stop both feline FIV and human HIV. The glowing traits were used to track the monkey genes and make sure that they were working. Tests on the cells of the glowing cats showed that they were indeed resistant to feline AIDS.

This technology is being proved so that not only cats, but humans could fight off the deadly HIV virus. Macaque monkeys have certain proteins that can stop the viruses from invading immune cells, thus defeating both FIV in cats and HIV in humans. When the florescent cats had kittens of their own, they did transmit both the FIV resistance and the ability to glow in the presence of ultra-violet light. This glowing ability has been shown to work in dogs, mice, and monkeys when the jellyfish genes have been passed to the unfertilized egg of the animal through a harmless virus. This is being done to learn how restriction factors can be used to forward gene therapy for not only HIV but also for other viruses as well.

Microsoft Unveils Windows 8 and You Can Try It Now for Free!

Windows 8 pre-release at D9 conference.pngAfter teasing us for a couple months, Microsoft has finally give us a compete look at the next incarnation of their Windows operating system. Lifehacker has digested the software giant’s 3-hour keynote down into a much more manageable 8-minute video.


What’s more, those fine folks at Redmond have made a pre-release build available to the public! ISO disk images are freely available in both 32- or 64-bit flavors on their developer website. If the Windows 7 preview is anything to go by, expect to have a hard time getting a download running for the first week or so Winking smile

Watch Tokyo Game Show (TGS) 2011 Live

The last big video game convention of the year is nearly here! Let’s take a look at where you can see the show without shelling out for airfare (or putting up with the smell!)TGS2011 map

It’s probably important to note that this is the Tokyo Game Show. Don’t expect English to be the defacto language here!

Japanese gaming site will be live streaming all 4 days of the convention live Wednesday through Saturday, 9:00 p.m. to 4:00 a.m. EDT. You can catch it on UStream on the 4Gamers site.

…and that seems to be about it. For the latest announcements and trailers you can hit up the usual sources like IGN, GameSpot, or your favorite site.

Late Night Leftovers

Leisure news is yummy for the tummy!

Super Mario Bros. Played in a Cardboard Box

I just had to post this brilliant little gadget!

Video Game in a Box from Teague Labs on Vimeo.

Play Xbox 360 on October 1st for Charity!

xbox-360-halo-charity-consoleFire up your ol’ gaming buddy on October first and start clocking hours to support Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals!

REDMOND, Wash. — Sept. 12, 2011 — Xbox 360 today announced the upcoming Gaming and Giving for Good (G3) Xbox LIVE charity event taking place Saturday, Oct. 1, to benefit Extra Life, a Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals fundraiser. The charity is an organization that supports 170 children’s hospitals across North America. G3 will harness the power of millions of members on Xbox LIVE, the online entertainment network for Xbox 360, encouraging participants to raise money donated from family and friends for every hour spent gaming online. As part of the event, all participants will register at and receive a free Xbox LIVE Gold Membership for the weekend to play their favorite games. Xbox LIVE Gold allows users to play games online with friends and family and receive exclusive discounts on Xbox LIVE content. –Microsoft News Center

Those interested in raising money, donating or learning more about G3 can visit for more information.

Tipping Point Reached - Space Junk May Prevent Future Human Spaceflight

Space junk is a deadly menace to satellites, humans, and anything else that is orbiting our planet.  The number of pieces of orbital debris has been increasing every decade since the 1960’s.  The contents of orbital debris  range from dead satellites and spent rocket boosters at the large end of the spectrum, down to nuts and bolts at the small end.  This debris is so dangerous because it is traveling at speeds of 17,500 miles per hour or greater.  At these speeds objects as small as 0.2mm, like a fleck of paint, can penetrate a space suit or damage a window on a spacecraft.  When you consider that rifle bullets travel at a measly 2,000 mph you can imagine that a screw moving at 8 times the speed of a bullet can do serious damage to just about anything in orbit.  NASA estimates over 20,000 pieces of orbital debris larger than a softball and 500,000 larger than a marble.

Deus Ex Human Revolution’s Secret Homage to Half Life

The latest entry in the Deus Ex series is full of little secrets to discover: Air ducts to slink through; Apartments to break into; Computers to hack; Bathrooms to rig with explosives; Etc. Here is one such little nugget bearing a very familiar spiel from the corporate handbook:dxhr 2011-09-09 20-44-24-24Gordon would be proud!

Late Night Leftovers

Stuffed! Starting next week, we’re moving Leftovers to Tuesdays and Thursdays.

  • 4Kids' launches its first new Japanese-animated kids' license in 3 years, Tai Chi Chasers.
  • The Mexican government has a new weapon for its war against the cartels: Motion comics.
  • GameStop is now taking trade-in on iPods, iPhones, and iPads.
  • PC World has a fantastic list of tips and tricks for Google, GMail, and Maps with an even better title. Just in time for Google to close ‘em.
  • Meet the $2,800 Razor Blade Gaming Laptop:

Guaranteed to be state of the art for 4 months.

Watch NASA’s Next Moon Mission Live Online

GRAILAfter two delays due to high winds, NASA is currently preparing to take another shot at launching the GRAIL (Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory) mission Saturday, August 10, 2011. Launching from Cape Canaveral, this mission will use a Delta II rocket to deploy the twin, unmanned GRAIL spacecraft in orbit around the moon and use high-quality gravity field mapping to determine the moon's interior structure.

The launch is currently scheduled for 8:29AM EDT with a second launch window at 9:08 in case of delays. Launch coverage begins at 5:45AM and will be streamed live via NASA.TV.

More information on the mission can be found at GRAIL’s project home page.

For help on connecting to NASA.TV using a mobile device, see our previous coverage of the shuttle launches.

Review: Demolition Dash HD (iPad/iPhone) Infinite Runner Godzilla Style

photo 4Demolition Dash is another entry in the entry in the emerging genre of ‘infinite runner’ style games popularized by titles such as Canabalt and Robot Unicorn Attack. Unlike most infinite runners  however, Demotion Dash makes you a powerful, city stomping (albeit shockingly cute) kaiju. Armed with jump and roar buttons, the cotton candy colored Zilla smashes cities around the world, bowling over traffic, kicking dumpsters, and using its powerful roar to drop police helicopters from the sky.

BG’s Joke of the Week


“Look Pop-Pop!”

“Oh, yeah. That’s a squirrel.”

“I’m gonna eat it!”

“Wha? No, we don’t eat squirrels.”

“Hahaha! I’m funny!”

“Yes, you are sweetie.”