Are you a fan of Instructables or SuTree? Looking for a place with just science-related items? SciVee is a site for video clips of science experiments and processes that might be just up your alley. The service originally opened up to the public in late August but today is unveiling a newer, updated look with some new features to help users find and interact with content.
At its heart, the site has been designed with scientists (both established and fledgling) in mind, and according to an article yesterday by the Associated Press, creator Phil Bourne launched the site as a … Read more
Now that the deal between Vivendi and Activision has been officially announced, it looks like the former will take two-thirds control in the popular developer and be able to compete more effectively against the video game industry's de facto big shot--EA.
And while the $1.7 billion will allow Vivendi to become a more "complete" organization that can offer a wide array of games for people on all platforms, I just can't see how this will benefit any consumers.
Sure, the merger between Vivendi and Activision will finally create a competitor for the behemoth that is EA and with Activision's current streak of 74 percent growth since 2003 as compared to EA's paltry 25 percent, it's certainly possible that the former could overtake the latter in terms of size within the next decade.
But is an environment where two major video game developers control a significant stake of the market really beneficial to consumers? Unfortunately, the answer is no.… Read more
Even though the whole gadget galaxy sometimes seems to be going retro, every once in awhile we come across a product that actually doesn't want to stay stuck in the past. Case in point: The makers of the iMep video boombox have come up with an updated version of the portable multimedia player that has a more streamlined look and is built to withstand the rigors of today's rough-and-tumble personal entertainment world.
Like the earlier disco model, this new mobile system has a 7-inch LCD, iPod dock, DVD player, and other features, but it also has a "… Read more
I woke up this morning to news that France's Vivendi has agreed to buy a controlling interest in Activision, perhaps creating the world's-largest independent video game company.
The new entity will be known as Activision Blizzard--a suitable name based on the fact that Activision has the best-known video game brand in the new company, but that Vivendi's Blizzard Entertainment unit also produces World of Warcraft, one of the most successful massively multiplayer online games of all time.
But what is not clear is whether the new company will be able to achieve something that is clearly part … Read more
According to a new study that will be featured in the Journal of Adolescent Health, "Exposure to violent electronic media has a larger effect than all but one other well known threat to public health." And what exactly is that threat, you ask? "Cigarette smoking."
According to L. Rowell Huesmann of the University of Michigan, "The research clearly shows that exposure to virtual violence increases the risk that both children and adults will behave aggressively."
And yet, Mr. Huesmann and the gang only cite their proof from a collection of studies performed over the past 50 years. And while this may prove to be somewhat helpful in maintaining their fight against "violent" video games, I think it has everything to do with a fear of change. After all, movies and other forms of media were cited in his study, and yet Huesmann focused on video games.
Invariably, the fight against video games always comes down to a discussion on children and what the future of this world will look like if children stay in constant contact with interactive violence. But unfortunately for these anti-video game zealots, the numbers don't back up their arguments.
Simply put, these people have no clue.… Read more
As we have seen, Netflix and NBC have a very solid working relationship, offering exclusive web content for the site in the past. Today, Netflix announced that it will offer episodes of hit NBC shows, such as Heroes, The Office, 30 Rock, and Friday Night Lights to its subscribers for instant viewing online.
Just to clarify, Netflix has offered instant viewing of various DVDs, including Heroes Season 1, prior to today, but now it will be making episodes that are currently unavailable on DVD available for viewing. This also marks the fourth way that you can see NBC shows online. … Read more
Seesmic, currently in private beta (see end of post for access), appears at first glance to be a video version of Twitter. It does a good job of being that, but there's more here, as I learned about from founder Loic Le Meur.
Seesmic lets you easily record a short video (up to five minutes, which actually isn't all that short) directly from your Webcam, and it inserts that video, along with a title and brief description, into a Twitter-like feed. Just like on Twitter, Seesmic users can view all posts (the public timeline) or posts only from people they are following.
Users can link their Seesmic account to a Twitter account, if they have one, and every time they create a video, a link (with the title) will automatically get posted to their Twitter feed. In future updates, Seesmic will also post to other services: e-mail (see also EyeJot), blogs, Facebook, and YouTube. And you'll be able to specify, for each video you create, which of those services get your post. Also upcoming: The capability to create a Seesmic video via a Skype call. One feature that's available now but that Le Meur is considering removing: video file uploads. No one is using it, he says, and removing it pretty much guarantees that people won't post copyrighted content.
Seesmic could become much more than a utility to post videos if Le Meur's plan to turn it into a hub of video conversation bears fruit. When the site officially launches in February, it will support tagging and grouping of videos, which will make possible the creation of asynchronous video conversations, or forums. Now, it's true that YouTube already does this: You can respond to a YouTube video with another video. But Seesmic's design and interface feel more intimate than YouTube's, and it encourages participation in a way that YouTube does not. Le Meur even plans to open physical Seesmic cafes where users can gather to participate in these conversations. (We met in a bare room in San Francisco that will be remodeled into the first of these cafes.)
It's not everyday you witness a shotgun-wielding young man sidle up to a politician running for president and ask him at a formal debate, point blank, how he feels about gun control laws. Oh, and follow up by loading the rifle for emphasis and quipping, "Don't worry, you can answer however you like."
And I can't quite picture a typical moderator asking a question as direct as, what is your favorite make, model, and caliber of weapon, or do you believe every word of the Bible?
Yet a virtual version of those encounters is precisely … Read more