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Video The Oddball Side of CES (Video) 35

In between nodding earnestly as hopeful exhibitors told him how wonderful their products were, Slashdot's Timothy Lord took a look at some of the less-serious displays and goings-on at CES. Some of these people and companies no doubt take themselves 100% seriously, but after grueling days patrolling the endless exhibits at this giant show, Timothy was looking at them through tired (and cynical) eyes. This short video shows some of what he saw.
It's funny.  Laugh.

Video Tales From the Slashdot Help Desk: Reverse-Engineering Rob Malda (Video) 28

One day Rob 'samzenpus' Rozeboom was happily working away at Slashdot HQ, then in Holland, MI, when a gentleman came though the door with a plan to make millions of dollars by reverse-engineering Rob Malda. There was a certain Underpants Gnome Step 2: '????' bizzareness to the idea, but he offered him a car just for a chance to meet Rob Malda, an offer Rozeboom could (and did) refuse. But that is just one of the many reader comments and requests he has dealt with in his years at Slashdot. Most of them come in by email, and we've included a few of the weirder ones in the video for your chuckling pleasure.

Video A Fun Slashdot 15th Anniversary Get-Together in St. Petersburg, FL (Video) Screenshot-sm 47

A lot of people in a lot of places celebrated Slashdot's 15th anniversary by getting together with other Slashdot readers in person. In the Tampa Bay part of Florida, a small and humble meeting was sponsored by an open source company called Fextel at their St. Petersburg HQ. The catering was excellent, and it was a fun group of 12 or so who showed up, about half of whom knew each other from the Suncoast Linux Users Group (SLUG). So we had good food and good people. What else did we need? Remote control helicopter battles, of course! In retrospect, we now believe remote helicopters crashing into each other should be required at any event with a Slashdot theme. We may may just be saying this because we live someplace where the NFL won't let us watch any home games, so we are more entertainment-deprived than most Americans. Then again, maybe helicopter wars are just plain cooler than watching football, and the USA should have fewer NFL games and more Slashdot-based parties.

Video Meet Interesting People at a Mini Maker Faire (Video) 18

There are Maker Faires all over the world, but this video was made at the one held in Ann Arbor this June. It's a random selection of demos given by people Slashdot editors met while cruising the exhibits. Want to have your own Maker Faire? Make Magazine has instructions on how to make a Maker Faire if there isn't already one near you.

Video Cubify 3D Printers Aren't Just for Squares (Video) Screenshot-sm 134

There are other 3D printers out there, but Cubify claims theirs is easier to use, has easier cartridge changes, and is all-around nicer and cooler than their competition. And Timothy Lord found them at Google I/O 2012, which means Google thinks they're cool, too. Wow. At only $1300 for their basic model (plus $50 each for the plastic "print" cartridges), every home should have one of these. Or maybe two or three. Or maybe Hackerspaces will buy all of them, and that's where we'll go to satisfy our lust for 3D printing.
Hardware Hacking

Video Electronic Glitch Artwork Made by 'Weirdos Within the Weirdos' (Video) 58

Jake Elliott and Jon (not Elwood) Cates are the ones who describe Glitch Art people as 'weirdos within the weirdos' in the context of Notacon 9, which was recently held in Cleveland. It's 'an annual event that focuses on people who like to build, make, break and hack stuff,' and even in the Notacon context the Glitch Artwork crowd stands out. Sit down with Jake and Jon and share their joy in working with "feral glitches... before they are domesticated," and see some of the output from artist Dave Musgrave's circuit-bent consoles.

Video Plantronics Helps Make Remote Workers' Lives Easier (Video) Screenshot-sm 233

If you're working at home or from a coffee shop or, really, anyplace outside your company's offices, they need to hear you when you talk, and you need to hear them. The same goes for dealing with clients via VOIP or video, the two communications techologies that seem to be driving POTS into obsolescence faster than we thought possible just a few years ago. In this video, Plantronics PR person Karen Auby -- who works remotely most of the time herself -- explains how Plantronics products help make work easier in a world of "unified communications."

Video HDTV Expert Alfred Poor Tells You What to Buy and What Not to Buy (Video) Screenshot-sm 324

Alfred Poor's website is called HDTV Almanac. That's where he talks about the latest HDTV industry news and changes. He also writes about HDTVs and monitors for a variety of industry publications and does some marketing consulting for manufacturers in the field. In this 17 minute video, Alfred tells us what features we should look for in our next TV buy and which ones aren't worth spending extra money on. He also says that for a variety of non-technical reasons, you might want to consider buying your next TV between now and June -- and says you should think about getting a 3D TV even if there aren't many 3D TV shows you want to watch right now.

Video Steve Jackson Games Shows Off Their Latest Tabletop Games at SXSW (Video) 95

Steve Jackson Games occupies a special place in the history of gaming, not only for publishing some of the best-known tabletop games ever published, especially their distinctive microgames, but the company's failure to roll over in the aftermath of an FBI raid more than 20 years ago led to the creation of the Electronic Frontier Foundation. Since 1980, Steve Jackson and company have been publishing games -- and a magazine, and even a book. The company is based in Austin, Texas, so while I was at SXSW, I had a chance to meet up with SJG's Chief Operating Officer and Managing Editor, Philip Reed, who gave a quick overview of what's new on the table. (Har har.)
Hardware Hacking

Video Austin Case Modders Take Their Exotic PCs and a Giant LAN Party to SXSW (Video) Screenshot-sm 40

As a nexus of both computer programmers and other creative builder and maker types, SXSW (and Austin generally) is a great place to witness the overlap. John Zitterkopf and his pal Red, while helping to run the giant (and charitable!) LANFest at this year's event, had on hand for display a few of their own modded computer cases. John and Red are both part of Austin Modders, which helps Austinites swap tools and ideas (in-person, and via forums) for creating the kind of enclosures that computer makers simply can't — they're too time-intensive and too personalized for that. It's especially fun to see the effects that the newly widespread availability of laser cutters makes possible. (C'mon, O'Reilly, isn't it time for another Austin Maker Faire?)

Video PR Expert Andy Marken Has Some Advice for Startups and FOSS Projects (Video) Screenshot-sm 43

This is a 15 minute video conversation with Andy Marken of Marken Communications, who has been working in technology public relations long enough to know what's what -- and then some. We had a pleasant conversation via Skype, and afterwords he sent along some excellent additional advice about how to handle do-it-yourself tech industry PR.

Video Gamestar Mechanic Teaches Kids to Write Their Own Computer Games (Video) Screenshot-sm 55

In this video, Brian Alspach tells you how Gamestar Mechanic helps turn kids from game players into game authors, which helps them learn a lot about programming and how computers work in easy steps while having a good time. If you're a parent, you'll especially want to read this page on their site, which will help reassure you that these folks know what they're doing, and might even (hint hint) give you the idea of suggesting that your local school should subscribe to Gamestar Mechanic, which several thousand schools already do. The price varies between free and $6 per month, which is a great deal for something that can engage children for many hours every day -- and just might keep a parent or grandparent interested, too.

Video It's New. It's a League. It's for Gamers. It's the League for Gamers! (Video) Screenshot-sm 62

Intrepid correspondent Timothy Lord writes, "I talked at SXSW with Kari Hale of League For Gamers, an organization started just a few months ago by Red 5 Studios founder CEO Mark Kern. (Kern was also team lead for World of Warcraft.) League for Gamers shares some of the goals of groups like the EFF and EPIC, but — as you might guess from the name — is tightly focused on the world of gaming. The group owes its existence to SOPA; the money used to start it up had initially been budgeted for Red 5 Studios' appearance at the most recent E3, but E3 sponsor's Entertainment Software Association's support for SOPA led Kern to withdraw from the show. Kari gave a quick rundown of the origins of the League, what it hopes to accomplish, and what sorts of efforts it's so far undertaken."

"For the love of phlegm...a stupid wall of death rays. How tacky can ya get?" - Post Brothers comics