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One Second Ads Hoping To Grab Your Eyes

Posted by Zonk on 12:21 AM -- Saturday May 06 2006 from the newspeak-for-marketing dept.

otis wildflower writes: C|NET reports that GE will be airing a new advertising campaign called "One Second Theatre".

From the article: "GE One Second Theater," as the campaign is being called, presents a humorous peek behind the scenes at recent General Electric commercials produced by BBDO. The campaign is intended specifically for new media like digital video recorders, which can be used to watch expanded versions of the spots, and News Corp.'s MySpace social-networking service, where visitors can read a mock profile of Elli, the elephant star of one of the commercials. The spots will also be accessible on MP3 players, through podcasts presented as if they were recorded by Elli and other characters from the spots, and on a microsite offering an online version of the campaign. The multimillion-dollar campaign, scheduled to begin Friday, is the most recent effort by GE to explore media beyond conventional commercials and print advertisements.

Games: Comparing PC Game Physics

Posted by Zonk on 10:37 PM -- Friday May 05 2006 from the phighting-physics dept.

John Callaham writes: On Wednesday we posted up comments from Havok about rival AGEIA's use of their physics processor in the PC version of Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter. Today we have an expanded article with point-to-point comments from AGEIA that address Havok's statements.

From the article: How much interaction do you want in your PC games? It used to be that graphics were the number one factor in picking up a new game but now players are asking more and more about interactions in the environment. One company that has provided such interaction is Havok. They have developed a physics engine that has been used in a ton of games, including most famously in Valve's first person shooter Half-Life 2. Recently, Havok announced plans for a new physics engine, Havok FX, that would use Shader Model 3.0 graphics cards to further enhance game interactions and physics.

Science: Radioactive Warning for Future Generations

Posted by Zonk on 08:59 PM -- Friday May 05 2006 from the do-not-stay-here dept.

tengu1sd writes: The Los Angeles Times discusses the problems with trying to leave a message for generations down the line.

From the article: Symbols tend to lose their meaning over time. Exactly how and why Stonehenge was built, for instance, has long remained a mystery. Warnings, they argue, would be misunderstood or dismissed, the same way ancient grave robbers ignored curses inscribed on the tombs of Egyptian pharaohs to seize the riches inside. The curse of plutonium packs a painful penalty.

Best Buy Invaded By Blue Shirt Improv Artists

Posted by Zonk on 06:42 PM -- Friday May 05 2006 from the actual-wisdom-of-the-crowds dept.
deviantphil writes "About 80 Improv Everywhere agents invaded their local Best Buy store wearing blue shirts and Khakis. Eventually they were asked to leave, but not before capturing some great photos and video." From the article: "Security guards and managers started talking to each other frantically on their walkie-talkies and headsets. 'Thomas Crown Affair! Thomas Crown Affair!,' one employee shouted. They were worried that were using our fake uniforms to stage some type of elaborate heist. 'I want every available employee out on the floor RIGHT NOW!'" Their inspired cellphone symphony from this February is also well worth checking out.

Self-Serve Car Rental

Posted by Zonk on 05:56 PM -- Friday May 05 2006 from the web-2.0-in-realspace dept.
abb_road writes "Claiming 'Web2.0 values meet Brick and Mortar,' BusinessWeek is reporting on an entirely self service car rental company. Zipcar customers make all reservations online or using a cell phone, then use a card-key to pick up their car from the parking garage--no attendants needed. According to the article, one of the other important attractions of the system is transparency; the reservations system allows you to see exactly what cars in the area will be available at what times, and then reserve or adjust your plans accordingly. From the article: 'If the nearest Mini convertible is booked until 3 p.m., the customer might postpone plans by an hour to get it -- or decide the Mazda with a sunroof on another lot will do.'"

Science: Giant Rock Growing in Mount St. Helens' Crater

Posted by Zonk on 05:17 PM -- Friday May 05 2006 from the ch-ch-ch-chia dept.
An anonymous reader writes to mention a CNN article about the huge geological formation growing in Mount St. Helens' crater. From the article: "The fin-shaped mass is about 300 feet tall and growing 4 feet to 5 feet a day, said Dan Dzurisin, a geologist at the U.S. Geological Survey. The rock in the crater began growing last November, steadily moving west and pushing rock and other debris out of its way as it goes." Scientists think the mountain will eventually replace the lave dome blown out by the original 1980 eruption.

Your Rights Online: Judges Challenge IP Wiretap Rules

Posted by Zonk on 04:31 PM -- Friday May 05 2006 from the not-in-my-courtroom dept.
WebHostingGuy writes to mention an MSNBC article on an appeals panel harshly challenging the Bush administration's wiretap policies. New rules from the FCC would make it easier for police and FBI agents to wiretap IP-based phone conversations. From the article: "At [one] point in the hearing, Edwards told the FCC's lawyer that his arguments were 'gobbledygook' and 'nonsense.' The court's decision was expected within several months. In an unrelated case last year affecting digital television, two of the same three judges determined the FCC had significantly exceeded its authority and threw out new government rules requiring anti-piracy devices in new video devices. Lewis was also the losing lawyer in that case, and Edwards also was impassioned then in his criticisms of the FCC."

Developers: Web 2.0 Recipes With PHP + DHTML

Posted by Zonk on 03:51 PM -- Friday May 05 2006 from the web-2.0-the-easy-way dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Take a look at these full simple code examples for dynamic elements for your web apps, including: Ad boxes, Pop-ups, Spinners, and Tabs. Easy ways to show and hide content on the page." From the article: "Incorporating JavaScript into your page makes the page dynamic and creates a more compelling user experience. Users can get more data more quickly, look at information from different aspects, and seamlessly navigate the site -- and the site doesn't have to go back to the server for lots of pages. However, there's also a reason to avoid using JavaScript: browser compatibility. In the early days of flat HTML, Internet Explorer rendered pages differently from Netscape. Those problems were fixed, but when support for CSS was added, new compatibility issues arose. Now most of the CSS issues have been solved, but JavaScript compatibility issues have cropped up. These compatibility problems have no easy solution. You need to weigh the benefit of what the JavaScript is doing against the number of browsers you'll need to test against and support."

IT: El Reg Says Google Choking on Spam Sites

Posted by Zonk on 03:18 PM -- Friday May 05 2006 from the don't-believe-everything-you-read dept.
Grubby Games writes "The Register is reporting that Google is full, and in trouble." From the article: "Recently, we featured a software tool that can create 100 Blogger weblogs in 24 minutes, called Blog Mass Installer. A subterranean industry of sites providing 'private label articles,' or PLAs exists to flesh out 'content' for these freshly minted sites. And as a result, legitimate sites are often caught in the cross fire. But the new algorithms may not be solely to blame. Google's chief executive Eric Schmidt has hinted at another reason for the recent chaos. In Google's earnings conference call last month, Schmidt was frank about the extent of the problem. 'Those machines are full,' he said. 'We have a huge machine crisis.'" James Robertson points out that's a fairly selective bit of quoting.

IT: Are Spam Blockers Too Strict?

Posted by Zonk on 02:23 PM -- Friday May 05 2006 from the unequivocal-no dept.
Myrte writes " has a long piece on whether spam blockers are blocking wanted messages." From the article: "For years, e-mail users complained that torrents of unwanted messages clogged their inboxes and crimped their productivity. Now, e-mail users, marketers and mailing list operators are more worried that spam filters are blocking out too many wanted messages. AOL isn't the only company to face charges that it improperly blocks legitimate messages. But, as the world's largest ISP for years, it has long borne the brunt of complaints from mass e-mailers over the problem."

Science: One Big Bang, Or Many?

Posted by Zonk on 01:42 PM -- Friday May 05 2006 from the boggles-the-mind dept.
butterwise writes "From the Guardian Unlimited: 'The universe is at least 986 billion years older than physicists thought and is probably much older still, according to a radical new theory. The revolutionary study suggests that time did not begin with the big bang 14 billion years ago. This mammoth explosion which created all the matter we see around us, was just the most recent of many.'"

10 Years of Neon Genesis Evangelion

Posted by Zonk on 12:51 PM -- Friday May 05 2006 from the get-in-the-robot-shinji dept.
smooth wombat writes "Mainichi Daily News has a lengthy, multi-part article on the history of Neon Genesis Evangelion. The article looks back at the 10 years since Evangelion appeared and how it changed the world of manga." From the article: "In a series of 26 episodes, Evangelion told the story of a 14-year-old boy called Shinji Ikari, who piloted a biomechanical combat robot called an Evangelion, which fought against mysterious extraterrestrial monsters known as Angels. But Shinji was also a regular junior high school pupil, and his school life featured strongly in the anime's plot too. As did psychotherapy and the Old Testament, which director Hideaki Anno attributed as influences while creating the series. Evangelion become a huge hit across Japan, attracting fans across generations, sparking a massive public debate over its controversial final episode -- which many criticized for leaving the work unfinished -- and sparking unprecedented merchandising sales that set the scene for the current manga market."

Games: More Oblivion Re-Rating Fallout

Posted by Zonk on 12:48 PM -- Friday May 05 2006 from the talking-about dept.
The ESRB has a retort to the criticism leveled against it after rating Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion Mature. The move has required Bethesda Softworks to pull all of the current stock of the game to relabel. From the GameDailyBiz article: "When we brought the topless female images to Bethesda Softworks' attention, they confirmed that the art file existed in a fully rendered form in the code on the game disc. The ESRB's investigation found that the mod allowed users to change the filename for the female character mesh in order to access the art file that was created by Bethesda. While true that a modification was required to access this file, the changes we implemented last year - expanding our disclosure rules to include locked-out content - were made to prevent these kinds of situations" Via Cathode Tan, who has his own commentary, an opinion piece by John Romero has yet another view of the complicated situation.

Hardware: SF Wifi More Than Flipping a Switch

Posted by Zonk on 12:14 PM -- Friday May 05 2006 from the expensive-air dept.
An anonymous reader writes " is carrying a story looking at the costly rollout of the Google/EarthLink SF Wifi project." From the article: "EarthLink said it expects the project to run to between $6 million and $8 million in initial costs, which include attaching radios and receivers to utility poles throughout the city. Within 10 years it expects the whole network, complete with upgrades and maintenance, to cost about $15 million. Finer financial details of the project haven't been made public, but the plan calls for EarthLink and Google to contribute to the initial cost of building the network. It's not clear what the split between the two companies will be. Once the network is built, Google will pay EarthLink for access to the network on a wholesale basis. In order to make access free to people in San Francisco, Google will use revenue generated from local advertisements to pay for access to the EarthLink network."

Your Rights Online: Google Sued for Allegedly Profiting From Child Porn

Posted by Zonk on 11:35 AM -- Friday May 05 2006 from the this-is-what-happens-when-you're-the-biggest-target dept.
skinfaxi writes "Filed in New York, Jeffrey Toback claims Google has made billions by allowing child porn and 'other obscene content' providers to use sponsored links." From the article: "The suit, which claims Google acted negligently and intentionally inflicted emotional distress on the public, requests monetary damages to be determined at trial. It also accuses Google of violating federal statutes relating to child pornography and calls for the court to order that Google cease "advertising, promoting, or distributing" child pornography through its site or otherwise providing any links to such content."

Hardware: Electric Car Faster Than A Ferrari or Porsche

Posted by Zonk on 10:50 AM -- Friday May 05 2006 from the quite-a-cart dept.
jumpeel writes "CNN's Business 2.0 has photos and video of a Silicon Valley-made electric car with a 0-60 acceleration rate that's faster than a Ferrari Spider and a Porsche Carrera. From the article: 'In fact, it's second only to the French-made Bugatti Veyron, a 1,000-horsepower, 16-cylinder beast that hits 60 mph half a second faster and goes for $1.25 million.' The X1 is built by Ian Wright whose valley startup WrightSpeed intends to make a 'a small-production roadster that car fanatics and weekend warriors will happily take home for about $100,000 --a quarter ton of batteries included. The X1 crushed the Ferrari in an eighth-mile sprint and then in the quarter-mile, winning by two car lengths.'"

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