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September 2010

  1. Huffington Post Offering Free Bus Service To Jon Stewart’s “Rally To Restore Sanity” in DC

    Last night, Arianna Huffington appeared on The Daily Show and made a rather dramatic offer right off the bat, pledge to provide bus service to anyone interested in attending Jon Stewart’s Rally To Restore Sanity from the Soho offices of Huffington Post. HuffPost:

    Stewart has described the event as “Woodstock, but with the nudity and drugs replaced by respectful disagreement.” As of Tuesday, a Facebook page dedicated to the rally shows that over 170,000 people have committed to attend. Details of the HuffPost Sanity Bus are still in the works, but you can sign up [at HuffPost] to participate. As soon as we know more, we’ll alert you via email.
    >>>Check out the video of the announcement at Mediaite.

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  2. Space Footage Shot From Homemade Weather Balloon: Incredibly Awesome

    After eight months of research and testing, photographer Luke Geissbühler and his children attached an HD camera to a weather balloon and sent it off into space from Newburgh, New York, reaching 100,000 feet and recording space before plummeting back down to Earth.

    As stated near the beginning of the video:

    The mission was to attach a HD video camera to a weather balloon and send it up into the upper stratosphere to film the blackness beyond our earth.

    Eventually, the balloon will grow from lack of atmospheric pressure, burst, and being to fall.

    It would have to survive 100 mph winds, temperatures of 60 degrees below zero, speeds of over a 150 mph, and the high risk of a water landing.

    (It did.)

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  3. How Popular Is the iPhone? [Infographic]

    Someone once observed that infographics have become the Auto-Tune of the design world; that said, when there's dense, graph-heavy information to be conveyed, there's nothing like a well-done infographic to get the point across. This infographic by BillShrink digs up some good data to address the question "How Popular is the iPhone?" In condensed terms, the answer it gives: Not popular in absolute terms (neither are smartphones, of course), but dominant in particular areas like app sales, and it commands a ton of loyalty from its fans. Hit the jump for full sized view.

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  4. 3DS Super Street Fighter IV Automatically Fights Other 3DS Street Fighers While In Your Pocket

    The upcoming version of Super Street Fighter IV for the Nintendo 3DS contains a very appropriate feature for the game franchise: It fights other 3DSes in the street.

    Called "tag mode," if a Super Street Fighter IV equipped 3DS passes by another 3DS with the game, the two handhelds will automatically duke it out using both players' in-game collectible figures, earning more figures as the handhelds battle, leaving players to go on with their day while their 3DS is safely tucked away.

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  5. Star Wars to Be Released In 3-D

    Add another item to the list of things that George Lucas will do to beat one last round of cash out of his "once beloved accidental masterpiece." In a move that we're much more familiar coming out of big studios who wouldn't know artistic motivation if it kicked them in the pants, Lucas will be re-releasing all six Star Wars movies to theaters in 3-D, beginning in 2012 with Episode I: The Phantom Menace.   According to The Hollywood Reporter, he was inspired by Avatar.  (Not The Last Airbender.) 20th Century Fox must be pinching themselves.

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  6. Reminder: 40% of AOL’s Revenue Still Comes from Dial-Up Subscriptions

    In light of AOL's headline-making purchase of TechCrunch and its efforts to rebrand as an online media company, an interesting note about the company's business as it currently stands: 40% of AOL's revenue still comes from selling dial-up Internet subscriptions. To whom, we have no idea. WSJ:

    While the company continues to invest in its new strategy, its business hasn't moved much beyond its old one: More than 40% of its revenue still comes from selling dial-up Internet service and related subscription products, the legacy business it has been trying to shed for years. ... Advertisers like the idea of making AOL a go-to place for buzzworthy news and entertainment. But they aren't convinced it will work.

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  7. New Twitter Design Based on Golden Ratio

    The Golden Ratio, an irrational mathematical constant that signifies when two quantities are in the ratio "if the ratio of the sum of the quantities to the larger quantity is equal to the ratio of the larger quantity to the smaller one," was the basis for Twitter's new design.

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  8. This Batman Cover Looks Like It Has A Nasty Word On It

    This is part of what is apparently a cover of one of the upcoming Bruce Wayne: The Return Home books, featuring Batman and Robin jumping off a building, away from an explosion. Also, somebody is shooting lasers at them. Well, one of them looks like it might be a freeze ray. (It's the spiraling secondary ray that gives it away.) Oh, and there are some giant letters that look like they used to spell out the f-word.

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  9. It’s All Fun and Games Until…

    "It's all fun and games until your ex-girlfriend tells everyone the password to your friends-only LiveJournal account is the first letter in the names of each of the Ring-bearers, listed in the order they held it, including Sauron, Isildur, Smeagol and Tom Bombadil but neither Deagol nor Gandalf." --From Greg Ryan's excellent McSweeney's piece "Events, Over A Life Span, That Precipitate The End Of Fun And Games." (Thanks, Hannah.)

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  10. 16-Bit Computer Built in Minecraft

    Following in the footsteps of Dwarf Fortress grandmasters who have built in-game computers in the past, YouTube user TheInternetFTW has constructed the first piece of a 16-bit computer within Minecraft. According to the video description, "That computer will be "Hack" compatible, which is to say that it'll run code meant for the Hack machine described in The Elements of Computer Systems." In the video above, you'll see the first completed building block of the computer: The ALU, or arithmetic logic unit, one of the key components of the CPU (central processing unit.)

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  11. Nintendo 3DS Launching in US and Europe in March: Costs $300 in Japan

    Looks like our hopes for a surprise pre-Christmas stateside release for Nintendo's 3DS, a la the Nintendo DS before it, were premature: Nintendo has announced that the 3DS will be released in the US and Europe in March, following its February 26th launch in Japan. While we don't yet know how much the 3DS will cost in the US or in Europe, its Japanese price is a little steep: 25000 yen, or about $300. This isn't a total surprise, though: Nintendo made a big deal about its expectation that the 3DS would sell at a profit from day one, and market research company Lazard Capital Markets pegged it as costing between $250 and $300. And it's not certain that it would cost that much over here. Note that if it did, Nintendo would be in the odd position of having a handheld that costs $100 more than their current generation console. (GoNintendo via DToid)

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  12. Turn Any Webpage into a Playable Game of Asteroids

    Redditor erikperik created a most excellent JavaScript bookmarklet that lets you turn any webpage into a playable game of Asteroids. And in this case, "playable" means "you can fly around blowing up HTML by shooting at it." On longer, top-down pages, the ship even scrolls down with you. Controls: (via erkie.github)
    Steer with the arrow-keys. Shoot with space. To activate click the bookmark once on your webpage of choice. Can't see your remaining enemies? Then press and hold B
    Click this link to commence blasting at Geekosystem, and bookmark it to use on any page. (erkie.github via Waxy | Asteroids bookmarklet)

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  13. The Facebook Romance that Never Was [Video]

    The video, obviously though poetically staged, showcases two users who quite like each other on Facebook, but never get the ball rolling. They succumb to the wonderful feature of being able to edit things before they're said, something that is usually appropriate for delicate social situations, though as shown by this video, isn't always ideal.

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  14. Iranian Blogger Hossein Derakhshan Sentenced to 19 1/2 Years in Prison

    Hossein Derakhshan, the pioneering Canadian-Iranian blogger who was arrested in 2008 for allegedly undermining Iran's ruling regime by cooperating with Israel, has just been sentenced to nineteen and a half years in prison by Iran's revolutionary courts for the crime of "cooperation with hostile states, propagating against the regime, propagation in favor of anti-revolutionary groups, insulting sanctities, and implementation and management of obscene websites." While initially relatively liberal, pro-free speech and in favor of a less strident position with respect to Israel -- he wrote that "The Islamic Republic has long portrayed Israel as an evil state, with a consensual political agenda of killing every single man and woman who prays to Allah, including Iranians. I'm going to challenge that image" -- Derakhshan had actually veered in favor of the Ahmadinejad regime after a stint abroad. However, when he went back to Tehran, he was promptly arrested. While there's the tiniest glimmer of relief here -- Derakhshan faced the death penalty -- it's still an alarming sentence and a harsh blow against free speech. Reporters Without Borders state that "this case, fabricated from start to finish, shows that part of the regime wants to make Hossein Derakhshan into an example." (International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran via @jeffjarvis. Title pic via CBC)

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  15. Geekolinks: 9/28

    Ars interviews Notch. Last Minecraft-related thing of the day, promise. (Ars) Tetris seriously examined as a great work of art (Escapist) Best poll: "Who will succeed Kim Jong Il as North Korea's supreme leader?" (THD) The newest (tiny) threat to Earth: 2010 ST3 (Bad Astronomy) The most lie-filled tabloids (Mediaite) Gargling with salt really does ease cold symptoms (NYT) What if celebrities went by their real names? (HuffPost) (title pic via Reddit.)

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  16. PC Gamer’s Minecraft Cover

    If only this was real! Amazing Minecraft-inspired cover mocked up by PC Gamer, complete with hilarious captions. "Torches invented! Sun obsolete?"

    (PC Gamer via Notch)

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  17. The Incredibly Depressing Mega Millions Lottery Simulator

    The Incredibly Depressing Mega Millions Lottery Simulator is Rob Cockerham's statistically faithful tool that lets you experience losing money on lottery tickets over and over from the comfort of your own home. Choose five numbers and a Mega Millions number and play the numbers 1 time, 104 times (twice a week for a year) or 1040 times (two times a week for ten years) at the pull of a dropdown and the click of a mouse; you'll still lose!

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  18. Australia’s Next Top Model Reveals Wrong Winner On Live TV

    Oof, talk about wanting a do-over. Australia’s Next Top Model Cycle 6 held a live finale Tuesday night, where host Sarah Murdoch unveiled the winner to both the audience and show’s viewers on live television. Unfortunately, for the winner, the loser, and Murdoch, she accidentally announced the wrong one — and took a few minutes to realize it. >>>Video and more at Styleite.

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  19. The Levytator: A Free-Forming Escalator That Can Handle Corners

    The steps of the Levytator, an escalator created by a City University London Emeritus Professor of Mechanical Engineering Jack Levy, employ free-form curves in a way to make the escalator bend and shape to its surrounding environment. Dispensing with the general "two stairway" setup to which escalators adhere, the Levytator uses a single track design, more akin to a cyclical conveyor belt made of separate pieces that can raise or lower to form steps when appropriate. The escalator technology has been patented in the US, UK, Europe, and China, and City University London is currently seeking architectural and manufacturing partnerships in order to help produce and market the Levytator. (City University London via Wired via Gizmodo)

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  20. It’s National Ask a Stupid Question Day

    As Pee-Wee Herman helpfully reminds us, today is National Ask a Stupid Question Day. Thankfully, this isn't a Hallmark holiday: Rather, the original idea behind Ask a Stupid Question Day is for students not to feel inhibited about asking 'stupid' questions in an educational setting -- or, more broadly, in the world.

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