Category Archives: Tech

Time Travel, a Thing of the Past

It appears as though, no matter how much money any of us have, we will never be able to steer the Titanic away from that iceberg, catch Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream Speech” in person, or even just regain a little dignity by correcting those nights in college that got a little too out of hand. Scientists from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology shut the door on all possible time travel today, making it solely a thing of the imagination.

 

After an intensive study into the relationship between light and physics, the researchers concluded that the speed of a photon, the smallest unit of light, can never travel faster than light itself. What this boils down to is that “an effect cannot occur before its cause.” And though they did not rule out travel across great distances in the universe through wormholes one day, they advised that this kind of travel would not allow you to bend time so much as distance. So, in the simplest terms imaginable, we’ll never be able to time travel. Bummer.

 

What could be most impressive about this particular study, however, is not that the scientists are killing my dream of drinking with F. Scott Fitzgerald, but that they’re actually coming to a conclusion that Einstein reached years and years ago. Brilliant as he was, Einstein obviously didn’t have the same kind of technology (or funding) that we do today, so no one was ever sure of whether or not his speculation that time travel was impossible was true, until now.

 

So while it may be a real let down for the rest of us, kudos to Einstein today for not only being able to solve the quandary of time travel, but for doing it light years ahead of his time (pun intended).

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Netflix Changes

This morning while checking my Facebook feed I saw that my older brother was very unhappy with Netflix. I figured it would be one of two things… Either “Justin Bieber: Never Say Never” still wasn’t available for rental or his subscription fee increased. Turns out it was the latter of the two.

Like many other people my brother has the unlimited DVD rental-unlimited streaming combo subscription. A plan which had an incredibly attractive price of just $9.99. That price is now gone, and a new pricing scheme has been released from the company.

The cheapest plan available was and still is $4.99 per month. That subscription allows two DVD rentals monthly. Unlimited DVDs is now an option (one at a time) for $7.99 which is the same price as unlimited streaming. So, add those two together and you get $15.98 for the unlimited plan. See why big brother is so angry? That’s a 37.5% increase for nothing being added to his plan.

Will this change hurt Netflix? Probably not… The stock is up today, they still have the best selection of available DVD rentals, and the new price isn’t absurdly high. Streaming all those movies to their millions of subscribers is quite the cost and licensing fees increase as more and more people join their service. It was only a matter of time before such a change occurred.

Hopefully my brother doesn’t cancel his plan… I’ve been mooching off that for over a year now and the streaming service is clutch for my lazy Sunday’s.

The Black on Black Beast

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One word comes to mind when I look at the Brabus Mercedes 800E… BEAST. Given the fact that Brabus specializes in making ridiculously powerful cars, it should come as no surprise that it recently added the world’s fastest cabriolet to its other records of world’s fastest production sedan and world’s fastest production coupe.

The Brabus 800E V12 starts off as your friendly neighborhood Mercedes E-Class Cabriolet. Then it gets injected with more steroids than the MLB during the 1990s.

Under the hood you’ll find a three-valve Mercedes S600 V12, and it doesn’t stop there. The final product of the engine features a 6.3 liter Biturbo V12 that pushes 788 bhp and 1,047 lb-ft torque at 5,500 rpm.

What does all that mean? 0-62 mph in 3.7 seconds, 124 mph in 9.9 seconds, and 186 mph in 23.9 seconds. Top speed? Only 231 mph… We’re talkin’ Formula 1 fast.

All that power would be enough to make even Ricky Bobby soil his drawers. It can all be yours for just $682,000.

The Flying Car Gets Approved

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In 2012, for around $250,000 you can own a flying car. I’m already saving my pennies and my diet will consist of nothing but ramen for the next several months.

The “Transition” by Terrafugia received the seal of approval to be sold to the public as a viable source of ground and air transportation. The Transition is capable of reaching air speeds of 115mph, has a range of 450 miles and gets a very surprising 35 miles per gallon on the road (better than my Subaru). The 19′ long two Seater has a wingspan of 26′ which takes less than 60 seconds to fold into driving mode.

The MIT engineers who designed the plane-mobile didn’t skimp on safety either. Automotive style airbags, an energy absorbing crumple zone, and a carbon fiber occupant safety cage have all been featured. There is also a vehicle parachute in case there are in flight malfunctions. I think that’s a safer alternative than an ejection seat; we all know how using one of those ended for Goose… RIP

So next year if you look into the sky and see a small plane with the NGD logo on the tail-fin, you’ll know that Nick and I have left the newsroom for our lunch break.

Free WoW Until Level 20

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Yesterday, Blizzard announced that World of Warcraft will be free to play for new users until their characters reach level 20. That isn’t just one character either, you can start as many as your little heart desires.

This is a great idea to help bring in new players and turn them to addicts since the MMO has been dealing with decreasing subscriptions. This blogger/gamer/closet-nerd, however, will not be corrupted! Why would I get sucked in to WoW when the Star Wars MMO, “The Old Republic,” is just over the horizon?

The Textbook Era is Ending

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As technology advances and tablet computers continue to grow in popularity, it is only a matter of time before textbooks become obsolete. We have already seen this transition for several news periodicals, and now the textbook industry is likely to follow suit.

The company, Kno, has announced the beta release of its digital textbook application available for the iPad. The free app currently has 70,000 exact digital copies of text and library books available at a fraction of the cost.

The app has one touch highlighting, double tap zoom and digital post it notes which can be attached anywhere the student is reading. It also has a built in search feature to facilitate studying a particular topic or term. The best feature, in my opinion, is the social aspect. This will allow for discussion boards, study buddies, extra help, etc. amongst students in the same class.

I have mixed feelings about all digital textbooks. On one hand, this can have a positive impact on students and education. There’s no denying kids love technology and gadgets, having everything on an iPad could get them excited about their schooling… Or it could be a distraction if they have the ability to download Angry Birds. Also, since younger students wouldn’t have to carry heavy books around anymore, we would probably see youth cases of scoliosis fall.

On the other hand, you have to think about the publishing companies. As much as I hated having to buy a ninth edition instead of a significantly cheaper eighth edition due to three words being changed, they still give jobs to real people. Going digital with textbooks would put more people out of work and with unemployment being at 9.1% as of the end of May, I find it difficult to get excited about iPads for education.

Must Be at Least a 10 to Get in

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BeautifulPeople.com is the latest victim of a hack attack. The dating website exclusive to certified dime pieces had a so called “Shrek” virus unleashed on it. The hack compromised the system which accepts or declines new applicants.

After the attack was discovered, administrators had to crush the hearts of some 30,000 people who actually did not meet the website’s minimum hotness requirements. Those individuals had their memberships revoked and their payments were fully refunded; an expense which will cost the company $100,000.

To help people deal with their shattered hopes and pain of rejection a hotline has been launched by the website. Translation: lawyers made them do it in case an individual takes extreme measures to deal with the situation.

I kind of want to sign up for the site to see if I’m beautiful enough, but I don’t know if my fragile, little heart could handle the denial.