Richard Piland

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MIT's Zipperbots Could be Coming to a Fly Near You

MIT's Personal Robots Group has created a tiny mechanized zipper that zips itself — good news for the absent-minded among us who forget now and then, but also for disabled people and any situation where manual zipping might be troublesome. It could, for example, help paraplegics and multiple …

Robotics

Flappy Bird lands on arcade machine

The smartphone game that ruffled millions of feathers last year is now roosting on a dedicated gaming coin-op<p>If you’re looking for a quick way to burn through all your loose change, veteran electronics firm BayTek may well have the most efficient solution – a Flappy Bird arcade game.<p>The …

Samsung Just Announced a New Metal Galaxy Phone That's Thinner Than the iPhone 6

This story originally appeared on Business Insider<p>Samsung just unveiled its newest smartphone, the Galaxy A7, which is its thinnest phone to date.<p>The 6.3mm Galaxy A7 is also thinner than the iPhone 6, which measures 6.9mm, and the device comes with metal edges just like the other phones Samsung has …

A Star Just Got Swallowed By A Warp In Space-Time

Om nom nom<p>A star has slipped out of view thanks to the space-time warp it creates as it orbits.<p>The disappearing star is part of a binary star system called J1906. It's a pulsar, which means it's a rotating neutron star, the result of a massive star collapsing in on itself. Researchers have been …

Excavation uncovers secret underground Nazi WMD factory

Suspiciously high radiation levels around the Austrian town of St. Georgen an der Gusen had long fueled theories that there was a buried bunker nearby where Nazis had tested nuclear weapons during WWII.<p>Those suspicions came one step closer to being confirmed last week after the opening of a 75-acre …

Archaeology

How Google can fix the broken app store for indie-game devs — and leapfrog Apple in the process

Google recently introduced an important new rule prohibiting deceptive promotion of apps on its Google Play store. It’s great that Google is clamping down on spammy advertising. However, the new requirement doesn’t really address a core, underlying cause for the practice: broken app discovery. With …

John Carmack is building a virtual reality comic book shop

John Carmack, co-founder of developer id Software and current chief technical officer of Oculus, is building a virtual reality comic book shop, according to a tweet from the programmer.<p>In January, Marvel announced the Marvel Developer API, a platform that provides access to the company's comics …

Defiance going free-to-play on PC/Xbox 360/PS3, dev promises no "tricks or traps"

Defiance, the PC and console MMO that ties in with SyFy's TV show of the same name, is transitioning to a free-to-play game starting next month. Coinciding with the premiere of the second season of <i>Defiance</i> the TV show, on June 4, you'll be able to create a Defiance account and play the game for …

Science Fiction

I made a video game with a pencil and paper

When I was a kid, video games didn't end the moment I turned off the NES. If I wasn’t holding a controller, I had a pencil in my hand, furiously scribbling out maps of Hyrule or alien caves for Samus to explore in <i>Metroid</i>. But since I didn't know how to code and wasn't much of an artist, those ideas …

Microsoft morphs into a hardware giant with closure of Nokia deal

Microsoft is no longer just a software giant, it’s now a hardware giant.<p>Nearly eight months after its original announcement, Microsoft has completed its deal to purchase Nokia's devices and services unit today. Microsoft will pay €3.79 billion for Nokia's phone making business, plus another €1.65 …

California Legislators Narrowly Defeat Smartphone ‘Kill Switch’ Bill

CNET reports California legislators have narrowly defeated a bill that would require all smartphone makers to preload and automatically enable a …

Dying grandmother uses Oculus Rift to walk outside again

Roberta Firstenberg had long loved walking outside and caring for her garden. However, a hard battle with cancer had weakened her so that going outside was no longer possible. In a bid to give her one more view of the outside world, Roberta's granddaughter Priscilla, an artist, programmed an Oculus …

Virtual Reality

One of Google’s top Android lieutenants comes to Samsung’s defense against Apple

The lawsuit between Apple and Samsung does not have Google's name attached to it, but that hasn't kept the company from being involved. Hiroshi Lockheimer, the company's current VP of engineering for Android took to the stand today to aid in Samsung's legal counter-battle against Apple, an effort …

Naughty Dog teaming up with Dark Horse Comics to release art book

Game development studio Naughty Dog is teaming up with Dark Horse Comics to publish an art book titled <i>The Art of Naughty Dog</i>, which will be available later this year.<p>According to Naughty Dog's community strategist Eric Monacelli, <i>The Art of Naughty Dog</i> will "span the history of Naughty Dog and …

Dragon Age: Inquisition to feature Kinect voice commands

<i>Dragon Age: Inquisition</i>, BioWare's next installment in the role-playing game franchise, will feature Kinect-powered voice controls for Xbox 360 and Xbox One, Official Xbox Magazine reports.<p>Although previous Dragon Age games have not included voice commands, BioWare added Kinect functionality to the …

The Elder Scrolls Online players can trade in this third-party auction forum

To make up for the lack of an in-game auction house, players have set up a makeshift marketplace on the TESO Elite forums for buying, selling and trading goods, services and other such commerce.<p>Developer ZeniMax has recognized this trading space via the <i>The Elder Scrolls Online</i> official Twitter …

Doing Free to Play Wrong - How Bad Monetization Harms F2P Games - Extra Credits

Gamification

Conker creator on Rare barns, sequel plans, Rusty Pup and more

Get to know the people that make great videogames<p>Some weeks ago on Sup Holmes, we welcomed Chris Seavor of Gory Detail to the program. Chris got his …

Retrogaming

There Came an Echo voice-controlled strategy game coming to PS4

<i>There Came an Echo</i>, a real-time strategy game that uses voice commands, is coming to the PlayStation 4, according to lead designer of Iridium Studios Jason Wishnov.<p>Posting to the PlayStation Blog, Wishnov said the quality of PlayStation 4's basic OS voice commands convinced the development team to …

Double Fine backs noir adventure Last Life

<i>Last Life</i> is an episodic adventure game in which the central character investigates his own murder.<p>Developer Rocket Science today launched a Kickstarter for the noir-style game, backed by Double Fine which will be "advising, distributing and helping get the word out" according to Double Fine …

Titanfall Private Match details expanded in patch notes

Patch notes for Respawn Entertainment's first-person shooter, <i>Titanfall,</i> include more information on the first public test for the game's new Private Match mode.<p>Respawn Entertainment announced the arrival of the mode earlier today on Twitter, which fulfills the developer's promises from March to add …

Here's What The Heartbleed Bug Looks Like In Action

The reason this bug is so scary is because it's a flaw in a very popular bit of software that is supposed to protect sensitive information, like passwords and credit cards.<p>The flaw is in software called OpenSSL. OpenSSL encrypts data as it flows across the Internet. You type your password into your …

Information Security

Does the world need a connected toothbrush? Kolibree launches a Kickstarter campaign to find out

The Internet of Things is headed to your mouth.<p>Paris-based Kolibree is today launching a Kickstarter campaign for its connected electric toothbrush, a product that first caught our eye at CES in January. The company hopes to raise $70,000 by May 25, and it’s already reached $14,000 from backers at …

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos: We're Getting Closer to Delivery by Drone

Apr.10.2014 / 11:29 PM ET<p>Amazon apparently is making progress on its goal of eventually delivering small packages to your home by drone.<p>In his annual letter to shareholders, made public Thursday, CEO Jeff Bezos provided an update on the company’s accomplishments and projects over the past year. …

Jeff Bezos

Apple Reportedly Targeting Q3 2014 Launch for iWatch

An alleged bill of materials for Apple's upcoming iWatch has surfaced, with supply chain sources indicating that the product will launch in the third quarter of this year, reports Taiwan's <i>Economic Daily News</i> [Google Translation] (via <i>Digitimes</i>).<p>iWatch concept by Todd Hamilton, based on the Nike …

Bionic kangaroo's one small hop is a giant leap in the field of automation

Engineers have spent two years creating a robot that emulates the animal's energy-saving jumping style<p>If it looks like a kangaroo and hops like a kangaroo, it could be a sophisticated robot powered by electric drives and pneumatic pumps.<p>After two years of research, German engineers have unveiled a …

Here's another peek at Google's build-your-own-smartphone project

Project Ara has only exploded in prominence since Google unloaded Motorola earlier this year, and now we're getting yet another peek at the work in progress. The Phonebloks team just released a video showing off the progress Google and its partners have made on those modular smartphones, and things …