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Posts by Scott Smitelli

  1. 21 Back to the Future 2 Innovations the World Still Desperately Needs

    Today is Thursday, October 21, 2010. Not a particularly eventful day by most standards, until you ponder this little tidbit: In exactly five years, on October 21, 2015, Marty McFly, Doc Brown, and a strangely unfamiliar Jennifer Parker will arrive in Hill Valley in their time-traveling DeLorean. Yes, in five short years, the "future" scenes in Back To The Future II will take place. All in all, the filmmakers made a lot of startlingly accurate predictions. They foresaw flat screen, wall-mounted TVs with picture-in-picture and hundreds of channels. They hinted at hands-free video game systems, ridiculing anything else as "like a baby's toy." But then again, Marty Sr. was fired over a fax machine... Those will somehow need to make a resurgence over the next five years. (And who knows, maybe that'll be the next vintage technology that hipsters will ironically embrace.) But there are also a lot of cool futuristic things which haven't seemed to come to fruition since the film's release. Personally, I find that very disappointing, and have compiled a list of some of the more pressing things that we so desperately need to accomplish in the next half decade. Hurry up, science and society!

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  2. Most Roger Klotz Cackles From Doug Are The Same Sound

    The year was 1991. Metallica's Black Album had just been released, Terminator 2: Judgment Day was dominating the box office, and the children's TV network Nickelodeon aired the first episodes of three animated series -- Rugrats, Ren and Stimpy, and Doug -- collectively called "Nicktoons." Rugrats proved to be quite successful. The adventures of the show's inexplicably loquacious infants spanned nine seasons, launched two spinoffs and three feature films. Likewise, Ren and Stimpy's often crude and outlandish toilet humor helped cement its status as a cult classic for adults and children alike. But the third show, Doug, didn't manage to make quite as big a mark on the hallowed halls of animation history.

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  3. Google Scribe Predicts Words As You Type In The Chars And/Or Their Respective Owners Instruction Manual PDF [...]

    Last month, Google Labs released an interesting new tool called Scribe, which promises to autocomplete text while you're typing it. And boy oh boy, does it ever deliver on that promise. Given a few words, Scribe uses Google's immense database of collected human writing to "guess" the next word you intended to type. Assuming you were typing something that somebody else on the Internet had typed before, chances are good that Scribe would be able to properly complete words without you explicitly typing them. But things really start to get fun when you stop guiding its decisions. By just pressing Enter to accept the first suggestion in the list, Scribe essentially becomes a Markov Chain text generator, which can create sentences where small groups of words seem to make logical sense, but the text as a whole is one long, incoherent run-on sentence.

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  4. Adorably Delicious: Ninjabread Men Cookie Cutters

    What do we know about ninjas? The Barenaked Ladies' seminal research in the field has long since demonstrated that they are deadly, silent, and unspeakably violent. In fact, there is a nonzero chance that there is a ninja lurking behind me at this very moment, waiting for the perfect opportunity to strike me down. And you know what? I've come to accept that fact. But I just couldn't help but smile when I first saw this amazing culinary concoction: ninjabread men! Yes, no longer will we need to suffer through the bland, nonthreatening poses of our grandmothers' gingerbread cookies. Now the whole family can experience the thrill of being on the receiving end of a side kick to the face -- all without even leaving Granny's kitchen!

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  5. Steam Does The Improbable: Forces Apple to Address its Graphics Software Limitations

    THINQ.co.uk is reporting that Apple has pushed out a significant OS X software update, designed to improve performance and visual quality in the Mac version of Valve's Steam client. Since Steam was released for the platform three months ago, many sources have lamented the performance of the games compared to their Windows counterparts. Some have even gone as far as to set up Windows partitions using Boot Camp to avoid the reduced frame rates in the Mac client.

    That's all changed now, thanks to the Apple's graphics update and some Steam optimizations added by Valve. By tightening up some software inefficiencies pertaining to how the OS drives the graphics hardware, the games no longer have such a pronounced reduction in frame rate when running at higher resolutions or with cranked-up visual settings. One of the most hyped of these visual improvement is known as an "occlusion query," or as the guys at Valve put it:

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  6. People From the 1800′s Used Textspeak Too… As A Joke

    If you've got a cell phone and at least one friend with same, chances are you've run into the phenomenon known as textspeak. Phrases such as "I'll see you before tomorrow" can be shortened to "C U B4 tmw" or similar, mainly to overcome the traditional 160-character limit of SMS, or simply to speed up the otherwise arduous task of typing words into a tiny, poorly laid out phone keypad. If you were to ask the average person when this trend started, many would probably say the late '90s or '00s. But as Guardian.co.uk points out, those people would be wrong.

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  7. UPDATED: Entire Rock Band 3 Track List Leaked Online

    1UP called our attention to this bit of facepalm-y goodness: apparently the entire tracklist for the upcoming game Rock Band 3 has been leaked online. The list seems plausible, and contains 85 tracks spanning a multitude of genres -- from Amy Winehouse to Yes (literally, that's what the alphabetical list starts and ends with). The facepalm-y bit? It turns out the leak was completely unintentional, and came about as a result of some HD video of a game demo and several fans with a bit too much time on their hands.

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  8. Harry Potter Condoms

    Warner Brothers, the media behemoth that owns the rights to the Harry Potter movie franchise, is reportedly in the midst of fighting a legal battle against a Swiss company for copyright infringement. What did these neutral, chocolate-loving, particle-accelerating people do to earn their ire? Why, they simply created a line of condoms which prominently feature a cartoon likeness of Harry Potter.

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  9. Jonah Hill, On Sesame Street: On Mustaches

    Jonah Hill recently appeared alongside Sesame Street's Elmo to explain the finer points of mustachedom. Unfortunately, there was no discussion about the concept of neckbeards. Perhaps they're saving that one for a future episode. Video below:

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  10. Russian Cult Worships Gadget from Rescue Rangers?

    Gadget Hackwrench. Animated mouse from the Disney animated series Chip n' Dale Rescue Rangers. Pilot. Mechanic. Inventor. Central figure of worship in a Russian cult. Wait, what? Yes, apparently their love for Gadget burns with such unbridled passion, a group of people in Russia have built an entire religion around her likeness. They pray to posters of Gadget, write songs about her, and places stickers of her anywhere they can. But really, we'll let their (dubiously translated) words speak for themselves:

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