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Posts by Ted Johnson

  1. Steam on Your TV? Big Picture Mode to Launch Beta this September

    At last year's Game Developers Conference, Valve really got people talking when they unveiled Big Picture. A new mode for the company's online game distribution platform, Steam, Big Picture would allow users to play their downloaded games optimized for their TV screens. Today, Valve announced that the new mode will launch its beta in early September of this year. Soon, you'll be able to sit back on your La-Z-Boy with a controller in your hands and play your Steam games on the biggest screen in the house. Plenty of people are excited, but most have just one question on their minds: Does this mean that there's a Steam Box around the corner? Read on, good people! Read on.

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  2. Walking iPad Robots Now Available for Pre-order

    This may very well be the next big thing in remote-conferencing. A small startup located in Mountain View, CA by the name of Double Robotics is looking to revolutionize the way we communicate in today's world, by strapping an iPad to a Segway. The invention, simply called "Double," is now available for pre-order and will be shipping in early 2013. So what exactly does it do? Basically, it serves as a body double for teleconferences, allowing users to move around in a room, interact with different individuals, and connect with work, manufacturing, or school environments in a new way. So, a CEO can sit in his office in Manhattan and breathe down his branch managers' necks in San Francisco. Find out more and see a video of Double in action after the jump.

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  3. Report: EA Negotiating Sale to an Equity Firm?

    When most people think "EA," they think "challenge everything" or "it's in the game;" but EA might be playing a very different kind of game. There have been a number of rumors floating around about an alleged buyout of Electronic Arts, Inc. The story first appeared this morning in the New York Post, which reported, based on unnamed inside sources, that EA is in the early stages of negotiation with private equity firms KKR and Providence Equity Partners regarding a potential buyout. Could this really be happening? Could EA really be sold to an equity firm? Although nothing is certain as of yet, these rumors are certainly making a splash.

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  4. Insect-Mollusk Hybrids Are Horrifying, Yet Beautiful

    I'm not the biggest bug person and I'm not the biggest mollusk person; but I must say, these imaginary insect-mollusk hybrids have a certain air of beauty about them. Finland-based artist, Vladimir Stankovic painted a number of species in the "newly discovered" order known as Cephalopodoptera. All the images are animated .gifs, adding to their strange beauty. We have a full gallery of these strange creatures after the jump for you to enjoy!

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  5. Reddit Sets the Record for Largest Secret Santa. Why Stop There?

    We got word today that Reddit now holds the world record for the largest online secret santa game. The site will now take its place in the Guinness Book of Records alongside other greats like the man who rode a unicycle on the mouths of 30 feet of beer bottles and the man who collected his own belly button lint for 26 years. This is Reddit's first and only entry into the record books and we have to ask: Why stop there? There are dozens of records that the community we all know and love could easily set! We have a few in mind.

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  6. Kids With a Sedentary Lifestyle Shown to Have Nine Times Poorer Motor Coordination

    In a recent study conducted in Portugal, researchers found that children aged nine to ten who spend 75% of their time engaging in sedentary activities, such as watching TV or using a computer, are up to nine times more likely to exhibit poor motor coordination than more active children in the same age range. Not too surprising, right? The researchers also concluded that sedentary activity levels are an independent predictor of poor motor coordination in skills such as balance and jumping. In other words, it doesn't matter if a kid plays in Little League or if the only exercise he gets is walking home from school, he'll still have subpar motor coordination if he spends too much time on the couch.

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  7. Star Wars Characters as ’80s High Schoolers are Pretty Bodacious

    Denis Medri made seven portraits of Star Wars characters in the style of kids from a 1980s High School movie a la The Breakfast Club or Ferris Bueller's Day Off. You have all your standard cliques represented: Preps, racers, punks, and more! These pictures are truly awesome and make you go, "Yeah! Han would totally be the 'bad boy' who always works on his car." That said, my question is this: Would any of these '80s Star Wars kids have actually gone to see Star Wars? Make the jump for a gallery of the rest of DenisM79's pictures and a link to his deviantART page.

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  8. CERN Breaks Record for Hottest Man-Made Temperature

    Remember CERN? Sure you do! They were the folks with the Large Hadron Collider who discovered that Higgs boson thing back in July. Well, they're at it again with all their science and their 17-mile-long particle accelerator, and they've even broken a world record. CERN's physicists have created the highest human-made temperature in history with their ALICE heavy ion collider, beating the previous record of four trillion Kelvin. ALICE produced a quark-gluon plasma, a sort of subatomic milkshake if you replace the milk with quarks, the ice cream with gluons, the blender with a large ion collider, and the cherry on top with ground-breaking scientific discovery. This is starting to sound less and less like a milkshake. Read on for the full scoop.

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  9. Adding Fruit Juice to Chocolate Cuts Its Fat in Half

    A lot of people love chocolate; it's rich, it's creamy, it's sweet, and it's just delicious. However, all that chocolatey goodness comes at a cost in the form of chocolate's high fat content, but thanks to researchers from the University of Warwick, we may soon be able to eat chocolate without guilt. The team found that, by adding fruit juice, chocolate loses up to half its fat, but keeps all the things that make it great.

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  10. Zynga Loses COO, Tries to Convince Everyone Else to Stay

    Zynga has been looking more and more like a sinking ocean liner recently; it's getting sucked underwater, everyone is abandoning ship, and everything that could have gone wrong has gone wrong. The company took yet another hit on Wednesday when John Schappert resigned from his position as Zynga's Chief Operating Officer after being stripped of his game project responsibilities in a corporate "reshuffling." A number of employees are beginning to think that Schappert might have had the right idea, forcing Zynga to offer its employees a financial incentive to stay. With the ship taking on water, the crew members jumping overboard, and the captain paddling away in a lifeboat, things aren't looking all that great for Zynga.

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  11. Mars Has Tectonic Plates Just Like Earth Does

    We've heard quite a bit about Mars this week, what with this whole Curiosity business and all. But today, we got some other news about the red planet that may even help us understand Earth a little better. An Yin, a professor at UCLA, recently discovered that Mars has tectonic plates similar to those that we have on Earth. Yin made this discovery when he observed that the sides of the 2,500-mile-long Martian canyon, Valles Marineris, had moved roughly 93 miles relative to each other. Make the jump to find out just how he did it and what it means for us on Earth.

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  12. Indian Prime Minister to Provide Free Cell Phones to Low-Income Families

    A number of sources have reported to The Times of India that Indian Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, is planning to provide mobile handsets to the nation's over 6 million families living below the poverty line. The plan involves not only distributing mobile phones completely free of charge, but also providing 200 minutes of free local calls. Although the Office of the Prime Minister has yet to make an official statement regarding the "Har Hath Mein Phone" plan, it is expected to be announced to the public next week, on August 15. This could very well be the first chance for many Indian children to whine and beg for mom's phone to play the preinstalled trial version of Snake.

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  13. What Better Way to Honor Victorious Olympians Than to Put Their Penises On Display?

    Yes, those are what you think they are. Although the Icelandic Men's Olympic Handball Team was eliminated yesterday, a few of its members can make a claim that few other professional handball players can. Guðjón Valur Sigurðsson, Ingimundur Ingimundarson, and the rest of the 2008 silver-medalists can say that they are featured in the Icelandic Phallological Museum. So, I guess handball is kind of a big deal in Iceland, huh?

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  14. Add Flavor to Any Game Room with These Stained Glass Dice

    It's Saturday night, you and your noble band of adventurers are sitting around a table, and the Game Master is plotting your demise. But something's missing. You need something to really get the group into the game. Well, Claudia Malmberg has just the thing you're looking for. She makes and sells stained glass role-playing dice to brighten up your gaming headquarters. These dice, which can be found on Etsy, come as lamps, dice bowls, and more from her online shop, Dicey Decor. Make the jump to see a gallery of a few of theses amazing dice-shaped knick knacks and to learn how you can get your hands on one.

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  15. A Deer Walks Through a Door, Leaves Behind a Broken Family [Video]

    It started like any other day; the family wakes up, mom waters the plants, and suspender-dad combs his prominent mustache. All that changed when Mother Nature decided to take the family's happiness and tranquility as easily as a deer takes a drink from the planter Mom had watered just this morning. A deer takes a few wary steps inside the house and the family erupts into chaos.

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  16. Exposure to Insecticide Chlorpyrifos May Lower IQ in Boys but Not Girls

    A 2011 study determined that children who had been exposed to the insecticide Chlorpyrifos in the womb had a markedly lower IQ at age seven than those children who had not been exposed. However, a recent follow-up study conducted by researchers at Columbia Center for Children's Environmental Health found that the negative effects of Chlorpyrifos are only found in males who came in contact with the chemical; females, on the other hand, are unaffected. The study also evaluated the impact of nurturing parenting on working memory, a good indicator of IQ in children.

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  17. The Kitty Cam Will Expose Your Cat As a Cold-Blooded Murderer

    You know everything there is to know about Mr. Minxie-Bums, right? You know just the way he likes his belly rubbed, you know exactly when he wants his supper, and you know at what time he likes to go outside every night, but do you know what he does when he's out where the streetlights replace the sun and the rules don't mean a thing? A study conducted by students and researchers from the University of Georgia are catching a glimpse of the secret lives of outdoor cats with their Kitty Cams. The unobtrusive video cameras where attached to 60 urban free-roaming cats whose owners volunteered them for this project. Make the jump to watch a short video from USA Today and learn about the atrocities your precious Mr. Minxie-Bums is committing in your very own neighborhood!

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  18. Make Your Geek Dream A Geek Reality With ThinkGeek’s IdeaFactory

    Have you ever had an idea that keeps you up at night because it's just that awesome? Have you ever seen the next big thing in geekdom so clearly in your head that you could reach out and touch it? Have you ever wanted to have some amount of money? Well, you're in luck. GeekLabs, the R&D team behind the wonderfully nerdtastic webshop, ThinkGeek, is launching a shiny new project to help average everyday geeks realize their visions of a hot new product. It's called the IdeaFactory, and it'll take your idea and make a real life product out of it. Learn all about it after the jump.

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  19. What if Great Writers Were Great JavaScript Coders?

    What if the Bard of Avon was the Bard of Python? What if Hemingway wrote The Old Man and The C?  These are the questions that run through the head of coding guru and Twitter programmer, Angus Croll, as he downs his fourth cup of coffee infront of the glow of a monitor at four in the morning. Croll imagined how five prominent writers would write a program using the JavaScript language and returning a Fibonacci series. If you're a lover of literature, if you're a seasoned veteran of coding, or even if you have no idea what I'm talking about, seeing how Hemingway would've written JavaScript is pretty amusing. Check it out after the jump.

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  20. Caffeinated “Black Drink” Points to Pre-Colombian Trade Network, Jitters

    Next time you order that extra shot of espresso, know that you are continuing a tradition that has been around in America for thousands of years. Archaeologists recently discovered the residue of a highly-caffeinated ritual beverage known as "black drink" in pottery beakers recovered from Cahokia, the largest Pre-Colombian city North of Mexico. The trees used to produce the beverage, however, are not native to the region surrounding Cahokia and could have only been made available to the city by way of trade. Anthropologists believe that this discovery is indicative of a large North American trade network. Let that simmer as you enjoy that white chocolate mocha.

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