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News articles search results by Chris Higgins

Google to help out with suicide prevention

1 comments Chris Higgins - Apr 07, 10 10:29am (PST) Like Share

Need help with suicide prevention? Google it

Nowadays, people use the internet for everything, especially when they want to find out information. With this in mind, giant Google is doing its part when a user enters in a search relating to suicide.

Obviously suicide is a tragic happening, but it can be prevented.  For example, you have a friend that has been having some suicidal signals and you want to help out but don't know where to look.  If you use Google as a research source and your search contains something such as "suicidal thoughts" or "suicide prevention", before any results appear, the telephone number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is shown.  Not all suicide related queries will display the telephone number at this time though. According to Dr. Roni Zeiger, chief health strategist for Google, “[They] are starting relatively conservatively.” 

This is the second time Google displays a lifeline telephone number based on a search.  The first was the number to the American Association of Poison Control Centers after a suggestion that came from a mother  whose daughter swallowed some poison and had troubles finding the telephone number for Poison Control.  Google decided to expand on this idea, and now offers the number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.  Good job Google.

If you or someone you know need to talk about suicide, visit the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline website.

Categories: Internet Related

A Guinness World Record for Batman: Arkham Asylum

10 comments Chris Higgins - Aug 28, 09 1:47pm (PST) Like Share

"The Most Critically Acclaimed Superhero Game Ever”

Well isn't this pretty cool?  There has been a lot of news about the new Batman: Arkham Asylum game, but who would have thought that it would earn a Guinness world record?

The people at the Guinness World Records gave the game the title "Most Critically Acclaimed Superhero Game Ever”. On a global scale, the game received a 91.67 out of 100.  Hell, Metacritic came out with a 91 out of 100.  Hoping there isn't a massive influx of bad reviews, this should stick well.

Congrats to the Rocksteady development team on Batman: Arkham Asylum.


Music device powered by temperature change

15 comments Chris Higgins - Aug 28, 09 1:06pm (PST) Like Share

Make it really hot, then really cold, and you have music

One of the latest pieces of technological advancement is the Greenergy music player, a device designed by Dmitriy Shcherbakov, which uses constantly changing temperature as an energy source. 

This isn't a totally next energy concept, as the Atoms Clock uses the same technology, and was invented in 1928. Granted, Generty is going to need to use more energy than the clock; the device contains its own "heating module", and "personal light."

It isn't quite clear how much energy is going to be needed to power the weird looking device.  It's still sketchy, but the music player could help push the world to become more "green."

Click here to see more images

Google Docs gets translation support

0 comments Chris Higgins - Aug 27, 09 1:46pm (PST) Like Share

42 different languages under wing

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Internet giant Google continues to support multiple languages, with Google Docs its latest foray; the corporation's translation system currently supports up to 42 different languages.

The feature automatically figures out what language is curently being used, and when you choose to translate the document through the settings menu, the translated copy is opened in a new window.  If you like how it looks, you can choose to replace the document, or save a new copy.

As time goes on, expect more of Google's features to support the translation feature.

Categories: Internet Related

Race-swap on Microsoft’s website stirs some controversy

16 comments Chris Higgins - Aug 26, 09 1:29pm (PST) Like Share

Photoshopped so bad, looks like it was done in Paint

If you have been paying attention to Twitter, a few other social sites, or even a thread in our own forums, you will notice that Microsoft has provoked some controversy.

On the United States version of the Microsoft Business website, there is a friendly picture of a white lady, an African-American man, and an Asian man.  Very diverse, very politically correct.  But on the Polish version of the site (picture before fix shown below), the African-American man’s head was replaced with a head of a white man.  Not only is that bad enough, but it was Photoshopped horribly, and the hand wasn’t even replaced.

Microsoft quickly stepped in, and replaced the race-swap picture.  A Microsoft representative said, “We are looking into the details of this situation. We apologize and are in the process of pulling down the image.”

Here is a screenshot of the US site, followed by one of the Polish site:

Really, whoever did that needs to take a class on Photoshop.


Throw out Windows for open source, says Free Software Foundation

11 comments Chris Higgins - Aug 26, 09 12:58pm (PST) Like Share

Perhaps Linux or BSD?

What are you in favor of?  Windows, or something free such as Linux?  This Wednesday the Free Software Foundation (FSF) will be holding a demonstration in Boston, where they will try to convince businesses to throw out their copies of Windows, in exchange of free software.

The Free Software Foundation believes that businesses using Windows have put a risk on their “privacy, security, and freedom."

The demonstration seems to be more focused on the next version of Windows, 7, to be released October 22, 2009.  FSF Executive Director, Peter Brown, was quoted saying that they are not targeting 7 in general, but more so Microsoft: “Any time Microsoft tries to push them to a new version, it's a good time to make that case," he remarked.

This isn’t just about which operating system has market share, but it’s also about digital rights management.  The FSF wants to prevent these powers from becoming too common in the world.

"That's the kind of power that proprietary software gives to these corporations," said Brown. "When we give that power, sooner or later somebody comes knocking, whether it is the government or the corporations themselves. Free software is kind of the answer to that."

So, if you’re interested, check out the Free Software Foundation’s website. Who knows, maybe you will become a Linux fanatic soon.

Categories: OS & Software

Wii Bowling Ball makers deny responsibility for damages

5 comments Chris Higgins - Jun 25, 09 2:08pm (PST) Like Share

And you thought the Wii Remote was bad...

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Do you remember when the Wii first came out and all the lawsuits that followed?  All because owners would not properly follow instructions!  Well, gaming accessories manufacturer CTA Digital has produced a new controller for the Wii, and it may prove even more hazardous than the original Wii Remote.  Yes, they have created a Wii Bowling Ball.

Sounds like trouble.  Their official website quotes the following, regarding proper product handling:

"This Wii peripheral is the first of its kind to be fashioned after an authentic bowling ball, turning your wii-mote into the optimum performance-enhancing accessory! To operate simply ...plug the three holes with your fingers, as you would a bowling ball. Lastly, make sure to wear the wrist strap securely around your wrist, this will prevent the ball from accidentally flying out of your hand...Even though holding and bowling the ball is so like-like[sic] to the actual sport, never, ever release the ball!!"

CTA Digital also stated they are not responsible for any damages caused by the bowling ball.  If this item actually takes off, you can bet we'll hear about more broken TVs and bruised bodies / egos in the coming months.


21,000+ upset gamers aiming to boycott Left 4 Dead 2

24 comments Chris Higgins - Jun 10, 09 12:32pm (PST) Like Share

A small handful of people really don't want L4D2 so early

Last week at E3 we heard the announcement of Valve's new game, Left 4 Dead 2, and we were even able to get some hands-on action and a demo video.  But not everyone is happy. As you may have already heard, some of the more hardcore Left 4 Dead fans can't stand the idea of a new game being released so soon.

The disgruntled gamers have started a boycott against the game, Steam, and Valve, with over 21,000 people signing a anti-L4D2 petition so far.  One gamer was quoted stating "I will no longer purchase any games from steam ever again, i will go to gamestop for all gaming needs i don't care if i have to walk or drive, if it is released, nor will i play any of valves future games even if they make a half life 3."

Another gamer believes that current L4D owners have been ripped off of downloadable content from Valve.  He stated, "I hope to GOD that people are smart enough to realize NOT to buy this BS. WHERE IS THE CONTENT YOU PROMISED US VALVE. Putting maps in the game that were SUPPOSE to be there at release is NOT new content."

The boycotting community believes that the release of Left 4 Dead 2 will "split the L4D community", thus "decreasing the quality of multiplayer gaming." In response, Valve said "L4D, we still aren't done with it...we still have updates coming...we're going to announce some stuff." 

Hopefully they'll keep their word.  If you want to learn more about the boycott, check out the Left 4 Dead 2 Boycott Steam group.


Free virus software, brought to you by Microsoft

11 comments Chris Higgins - Jun 10, 09 12:03pm (PST) Like Share

Say 'bye bye' to Norton and 'hello' to Microsoft

So you just bought yourself a nice new computer from Best Buy, and it came pre-installed with a whole lot of software, one of them probably being Norton Anti-Virus from Symantec.  Unfortunately, a lot of people can't stand Norton for a number of reasons, despite its overall effectiveness. 

To appease such consumers (like myself), Microsoft has announced that it will be developing its own free virus software.  The mystery software is still being tested by Microsoft employees, but a trial copy should be available for download soon.

We're not expecting Microsoft's anti-virus to have quite so many features as those pricey programs, so we're not sure if it will include encryption, data recovery, firewalls or back-up feature

Estimated release date is October 22, and the software will be bundled with Windows 7.

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Categories: OS & Software

Swine flu scare promotes Internet fraud

5 comments Chris Higgins - May 04, 09 6:53pm (PST) Like Share

The FDA is going around kickin' ass and taking names

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Unless you have been living under a rock for the past few weeks, you might have heard about a little something called the swine flu, or more officially, H1N1.  It's caused quite a scare by spreading so quickly from person to person, claiming a few lives along the way.  A number of schools in the States have even been shut down for weeks at a time when any student exhibits flu symptoms.  Kinda scary, eh?

As with all crises, there are some individuals out there who try to take advantage of the situation.  Over the past week, the Food and Drug Administration has been finding websites claiming to have a cure for H1N1, the most common ingredient in these fake remedies being silver.  Really?  People are falling for silver being the magic cure?  I guess people will believe anything in a time like this.

One such website that was publicly revealed to be fraudulent is, where a "$199 SilverCure Swine Flu Protection Pack" was being sold.  The pricey buncled included shampoo, lotion, conditioner and soap containing (you guessed it) silver.

Since the FDA has not approved any silver product to help cure the swine influenza, the claims made on the site are very much illegal.  If the website does not act within 48 hours, legal action will be taken.  Other websites are selling legal, FDA-approved products such as medical masks and gloves, but have been making false claims about their usefulness.  These products are more effective for people who are at risk such as first response and medical personnel.

If you come across a website that you believe to be fake, please fill out this form on the FDA website.

Categories: Internet Related

ESPN content straight to your DS

0 comments Chris Higgins - Apr 14, 09 11:40am (PST) Like Share

Check stats and order hot dogs straight from your seat

Now this will interest you all your baseball fans.  Imagine sitting at your MLB home team's opening game, and you want a nice hot dog.  Or you would like to watch the amazing double play that just happened.   For five bucks, this could be the lazy baseball watchers dream.

ESPN is parterning up with Nintendo to update their Nintento Fan Network's wireless sports network.  Currently the service is only avalible to fans of the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field.  Features of the new system include "Mariners-related content, general sports news and headlines, fantasy sports bulletins, baseball columns from ESPN's top name writers, and something called ESPN Zoom Game that involves matching photos" says Yahoo! Tech.

To learn more about the lazy baseball lovers feature, check out the Nintendo Fan Network's website, or visit Safeco Field and look at a kiosk in either section 127 or 143.


New iPhone app helps visually impaired

3 comments Chris Higgins - Apr 06, 09 6:02pm (PST) Like Share

A shake shake shake, and a phone call is made!

As you might know, the Apple iPhone has a ton of third-party applications, ranging from a guitar emulator to the  --oh so wonderful -- iBoobs.  Now, maybe these are not so useful, but they are quite fun.  However, a new app, called Shake & Dial by Muhieddine El Kaissi, can defintely be filed under the 'useful' category, especially if you happen to be visually impaired.

The general purpose of this application is to help out those who have less-than-stellar vision with doing a simple iPhone tasks, such as making phone calls.  Capitalizing on the iPhones motion sensor ability, all the user needs to do is shake the phone to make a call.  Six preset contacts are set in place.  For each shake made, the resulting contact will be called.  So if the iPhone is shook twice, contact number two is called.

Now even though the application is to help make the visually impaired more independent, someone with better vision must use the touch screen to set the six contacts.

To buy the app for a whopping amount of $2.99, follow this link to the iTunes Store.

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Categories: Technology

Google Maps to be censored?

11 comments Chris Higgins - Mar 28, 09 3:00pm (PST) Like Share

California politician to have internet maps censor "delicate" places

Everyone likes to go on Google Maps and look up their own houses or explore their neighborhood.  Well, what if you needed to find directions someplace only to find the location blacked out?

California politician Joel Anderson (R) wants to have Internet map services like Google Maps censor certain places of interests, such as religious or government buildings, homes of important people, and schools.  He got this idea from the United Kingdom after former prime minister Tony Blair's home was taken off Google Maps.  A few other UK government buildings were blocked as well.

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Categories: Internet Related

Firefox mobile released in limited beta

4 comments Chris Higgins - Mar 19, 09 6:19pm (PST) Like Share

'Fennec', a toned down and cuter version of the beloved Firefox

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A Fennec is a small little desert fox, one of the cute and cuddly ones.  Mozilla is naming their new mobile web browser Fennec, because it just so happens to be a smaller, cuter version of the very popular FireFox.

Released yesterday as a beta only for the Nokia N810 tablet, it has been gaining some attention.  Like FireFox, it includes the TraceMonkey JavaScript engine, and the ability for add-ons.  Of course, most add-ons currently available will not be supported, but lets hope the NAMFox is!

It is also expected that Fennec will be built to run on multiple mobile OS's, including Windows Mobile and Symbian.  If you want to try out the browser now, and you don't happen to have a Nokia N810 tablet, you can head to the offical Fennec site and download a emulated version for Windows, Mac, or some Linux flavors.

The official Fennec website can be found here.


US Airways sued for $1 million over missing Xbox 360

10 comments Chris Higgins - Mar 12, 09 11:50am (PST) Like Share

Spiffed-up Xbox 360 lost during a plane trip, owner suing airline for $1 million

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Everyone loves their consoles, whether it be the Playstation 3, Wii, or Xbox 360.  But 21-year-old Yale student Jesse Maiman thinks his modded Xbox 360 is worth somewhere in the small area of $1 million.

On December 17th, Jesse took a flight from New Haven to Cincinnati, bringing his tricked out Xbox 360 with him, packed in his suitcase.  After getting off the plane and going to baggage claim, he picked up the suitcase, sans 360.

Jesse is now suing the airline for $1,000,000; $1,700 being for the replacement of the console, the rest being for "non-economic distress."  The Xbox had a specialized $1,000 hard disk drive, which apparently made it spiffy.

Please tell me why anyone would need a thousand dollar hard drive?  Let alone $998,300 for "non-economic distress"?

Categories: Microsoft Consoles

Old Mac + Dreamcast = iCast

3 comments Chris Higgins - Mar 02, 09 7:22pm (PST) Like Share

Gutting an old iMac and putting in some Dreamcast parts gives you a working console

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Now I'm a big PC guy, but this is pretty freakin' cool.  Imagine having your own custom built Dreamcast, derived from an old iMac. 

Locigdustbin from CGCC did just that by taking an old iMac G3 and putting in some Dreamcast parts, ending up with a working console he dubbed the iCast. Taking out the old Mac components was necessary of course; he also put a controller port and power button in the front and added a disk drive into a port in the back.

If you would like to do this yourself, check out the forum post linked below.

Categories: Console Games

U.S. government could save billions by going open-source

7 comments Chris Higgins - Feb 22, 09 12:22pm (PST) Like Share

New research shows potential new ways for gov't to save

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So you might have heard of a little thing called the "economic crisis" happening all over the world. 

Here's another way our federal government can save some money during these tough economic times.  Based on a study conducted by various organizations, the U.S. government could potentially save $23.6 billion by going open-source, using virtualization technologies and cloud computing.

The study was conducted by MeriTalk, Red-Hat, and DLT Solutions, all of whom are involved in open-source technology.  According to their expert opinion, in three years "the potential savings would be $3.7 billion for using open-source software; $13.3 billion for using virtualization technologies; and $6.6 billion from cloud computing or software-as-a-service."  These hypothetical figures were based on current federal agency budgets and draw certain assumptions from other similar studies concerning federal computing resources.

Now that sounds very reasonable to me.  Although the change in infrastructure could mean some re-working needs to be done, in the long term this could really help out the economy.


GI Joe game will be based on 'The Rise of Cobra' movie

4 comments Chris Higgins - Feb 17, 09 1:12pm (PST) Like Share

American hero GI Joe makes a comeback this summer

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August 7th, 2009 marks the release of the of GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra movie, directed by Stephen Sommers, and EA has announced plans to make a game based on the GI Joe flick.  Talk about the revival of an American hero!

The upcoming game will let players relive some distinguished moments from the film, as well as the classic comic and TV series.  Yahoo! News hopes to see memorable quotes from the franchise return in the movie and game:

Shipwreck: Let's reconnoiter, Snake Eyes, and try not to attract attention. Sure. Who'd notice a wet sailor with a parrot and a silent, masked man with a timber wolf? I think we're in major trouble!

Flint: Remember, a Cobra is a snake and snake is sneak spelled sideways!

Cobra Command speaking about Sgt. Slaughter: That man has the constitutionality of a vending machine. 

Gameplay will include both a single-player mode and a single-screen co-op mode.  You will also be able to choose from 12 unique GI Joe characters, each with their own unique arsenal of weapons and abilities.  A countdown to the movie's release can be found on the official GI Joe website.

Categories: Console Games PC Games
(total 18 articles found)