ahoehn writes: "MAKE is reporting that the N-Prize challenge is underway. The N-Prize is 'a challenge to launch an impossibly small satellite into orbit on a ludicrously small budget, for a pitifully small cash prize.' Two £9,999 prizes will be awarded to the first two teams who launch a satellite with a mass of between 9.99 and 19.99 grams into space, and can prove that said satellite has completed at least 9 orbits.
The catch? The entire launch has to cost less than £999.99. 'Imaginative use of string and chewing gum is encouraged.' Want to enter? Head over to the official site."
ahoehn writes: "Amanda Schaffer has written a refreshingly balanced piece about the connection between video games and violence. Instead of regurgitating the typical reactionary voices in this debate, she looks at what scientific studies suggest about the issue.
From the article: "Pathological acts of course have multiple, complex causes and are terribly hard to predict. And clearly, millions of people play Counter-Strike, Halo, and Doom and never commit crimes. But the subtler question is whether exposure to video-game violence is one risk factor for increased aggression: Is it associated with shifts in attitudes or responses that may predispose kids to act out? A large body of evidence suggests that this may be so.""
ahoehn writes: "Slate.com has an article by Paul Boutin which finds fault with the iPhone imitators present at CTIA 2007, and predicts the iPhone's dominance in its market. The article is subtitled "What Apple's competitors get wrong about the next generation of cell phones".
Much of Boutin's prediction rests on his belief that the current restriction on third-party apps on the phone will be loosened. He states that if Apple continues to "limit the iPhone to apps Apple approves of, [...] the thing will never take off like the Mac did"."
ahoehn writes: "In contrast to previouscoverage on Slashdot, the LA Times is reporting that both HD-DVD and Blu-ray have been actively courting the adult video industry. Even though Sony is still publicly refusing to manufacture adult Blu-ray discs, the article states that, "Last summer, a group pitching Blu-ray visited the Canoga Park offices of Wicked Pictures, whose films include 'As Sleazy as 1-2-3' and 'Womb Raiders.' Wicked executive Jackie Ramos said the Blu-ray proponents spent hours explaining how the movie studio could benefit from releasing Blu-ray DVDs, which deliver dramatically higher picture quality than conventional discs.
But what amused Ramos was the warning that came after the presentation — 'They said, 'We can help you, but remember: We were never here.''"
The article implies, but doesn't implicitly state that the representatives came directly from Sony."