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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

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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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  11. Verizon and Google Announce Chrome Tablet for November

    Download Squad is reporting that Verizon and Google have teamed up once again. But this time, instead of fiddling around with the tubes, they're planning to release a tablet running Google's Chrome OS this November. Specs on the device are purely speculative at this point, but include a 1280x720 multitouch display, 32 GB of Flash storage, GPS, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and a 3G data connection (this is Verizon we're talking about, after all). The hardware will reportedly be built by HTC, in the same manner as the Nexus One.

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  12. What Happens When You Auto-Tune a Vuvuzela? Geekosystem Investigates

    A vuvuzela is a long, plastic horn that soccer fans blow into to produce a loud, irritating buzzing noise; they have inexplicably become the Internet's central obsession in the opening week of the 2010 World Cup. Auto-Tune is a pioneering pitch correction program by Antares Audio Technology, which you most likely associate with the robotic vocal stylings of T-Pain and other pop music icons. But you knew all that. What happens when you Auto-Tune a vuvuzela? And while we're at it, what happens when you coordinate several Auto-Tuned vuvuzela samples to play a few measures from Europe's anthemic 1986 hit, "The Final Countdown"? In the name of science, Geekosystem investigates:

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  13. How to Add Facebook’s New “Like” Button to Your Blog

    Hot on the heels of Facebook's announcement that they were blessing the Internet with global "Like" buttons, a request came down from The Powers That Be to add the feature to posts here on Geekosystem. And with all due respect to Facebook, their documentation was terribly unhelpful. Here's how we did it, and it should work on any halfway-customizable blog:

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  14. Double Down: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Pulmonary Embolism

    My name is Scott, and last night I ate a KFC Double Down sandwich.

    The Double Down, for those of you fortunate enough to be unaware, is a "sandwich" consisting of bacon, Monterey Jack cheese, pepper jack cheese, and the Colonel's Double Secret Probation Sauce. However, instead of using bread, they pack all that between two boneless chicken strips. All our favorite barnyard byproducts -- chicken, pig, and cow -- together at long last in beautiful, artery-clogging harmony.

    They call it a sandwich, but that is a misnomer. Sandwiches use bread as a substrate. In fact, the first sentence of Wikipedia's Sandwich states, "A sandwich is a food item consisting of two or more slices of bread with one or more fillings between them." But the Double Down, my friends, is not a sandwich. It's something entirely different, requiring a name that truly expresses the contrivance. I choose to call it a "meatheap."

    The very first time I heard about this meatheap, I honestly thought it was a joke. Some half-cocked viral marketing scheme cooked up by hip young ad agencies trying to make waves on the interblogoTwitFace. But then I heard about the test markets in Nebraska and Rhode Island, where people were actually buying and consuming these things. I knew at that moment -- somehow, someday -- I would consume a Double Down Sandwich Meatheap.

    I've always had something of a penchant for test-driving awful fast food products. I generally find they manifest themselves as burgers with a few extra iterations of the meat-cheese-bacon loop (see the Burger King Quad Stacker and the Wendy's Triple Baconator for examples of what I've shoveled into my gullet over the years.) But the Double Down struck me as something more... exotic. It was fresh and new and exciting and something I MUST HAVE RIGHT NOW.

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