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John Hodgman Asks Obama, "Are You a Nerd?" 147

Hugh Pickens writes "Watch a video of comedian John Hodgman speak after Barack Obama at the recent Radio and Television Correspondents Association dinner in DC and discuss the central question of our age: "how we can heal the great and shameful division that has plagued our nation for so long — the age old conflict between jocks and nerds" and ask Obama: Are you now, or have you ever been, a nerd?"
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Town Fights Cricket Plague With Led Zeppelin Screenshot-sm 190

The residents of Tuscarora, Nevada are getting ready to fight the annual invasion of mormon crickets with the power of Rock-N-Roll. Trial and error has shown that the crickets don't think much of Led Zeppelin or the Rolling Stones. The residents circle the town with boomboxes at regular intervals to drive off the millions of crickets. "It is part of our arsenal. You'll wake up and there'll be one sitting on your forehead, looking at you." says Laura Moore, an unemployed college professor and one of the town's 13 residents. The crickets devastate crops, cause slicks on the highway and evidently love rap.
Robotics

Sink Your Balls Quickly With Pool-Cue Robots 79

AndreV writes "In another attempt to dehumanize our bar games, a Canadian engineer has turned the classic game of billiards on its head with his BilliardBots pet project, which consists of a series of remote-controlled mobile robots meant to replace the standard cue sticks normally used to pocket pool balls. While in his version the basic rules remain, unlike regular billiards, players in this version simultaneously rush to pocket their designated balls (they don't take turns), 'thus it's very competitive and fast,' the creator says. In order to keep tight reins on the mechatronic ball handlers' movements, he adapted a pair of Playstation controllers and says that playing 'requires dexterity, like a video game,' to control their 3.5-m/sec-maximum speeds. The 'bots are designed simply but effectively, using a 3-by-3-by-3-inch metal frame with an electronic board, two motors and rechargeable battery packs. Using a Bluetooth wireless communication protocol, its commands come from the wireless controller with single or double joystick selectable control (the other buttons are not used). Its other parameters are software programmable, such as maximum acceleration rate, maximum speed and maximum rotation speed."
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The Science of the Lightsaber Screenshot-sm 197

Smartcowboy writes "Chances are that you have seen a lightsaber at one time or another, whether on the evening news or down at the local cantina. Therefore you know that a lightsaber is an amazing and versatile device that is able to cut through nearly anything in a matter of milliseconds. Have you ever wondered how these remarkable weapons work? Where does the energy come from, and how are they able to contain that energy in a rod-like column of glowing power? In this article, you will have a chance to look inside a lightsaber and discover the source of its incredible characteristics." I was sure the blade was made from the focused hate and disappointment of the last three movies.
It's funny.  Laugh.

EA Recommends Hilarious Work-Around For RA3 CD-Key 301

sunderbear noted that EAs Command & Conquer 3 shipped missing the last digit of the CD Key. He writes "EA's brightest minds have put their synapses into overdrive in order to whip up a comical work-around. 'There is currently a work-around that may allow you to bypass this issue. Since you have the first 19 characters of the code already, you can basically try guessing the last character,' said a note on EA's customer support site. Yes, they're serious. 'To do this, simply enter your existing code, and then for the last character, try the letters A-Z, and then the numbers 0-9. You should eventually get the right combination, and be able to play the game.'" It appears that the helpful hint has been purged.
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Ultrasound Machine Ages Wine Screenshot-sm 448

Inventor Casey Jones says his creation uses ultrasound technology to recreate the effects of decades of aging by colliding alcohol molecules inside the bottle. Mr. Jones said, "This machine can take your run-of-the-mill £3.99 bottle of plonk and turn it into a finest bottle of vintage tasting like it costs hundreds. It works on any alcohol that tastes better aged, even a bottle of paintstripper whisky can taste like an 8-year-aged single malt." The Ultrasonic Wine Ager, which looks like a Dr. Who ice bucket, takes 30 minutes to work and has already been given the thumbs up by an English winemaker. I know a certain special lady who is about to have the best bottle of Boone's Farm in the world.

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