Archive for the ‘News’ Category

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Parental Discretion Advised

In other words, Mom don’t read this one! :-)

A couple of unusual stories caught my eye over the past couple of days… The first involves an incident last week at O’Hare airport. A Chicago Sun-Times article reports that a man named Mardin Azad Amin was stopped by airport security after a suspicious object was found in his baggage.

So, Amin, 29, handled the delicate situation this way: He told security the object was a bomb, Cook County prosecutors say.

The security guard then asked Amin to repeat what he’d said to a supervisor. This time, Amin was chuckling as he spoke, prosecutors say.

In fact, Amin was trying to disguise the fact that the black object — resembling a grenade — was a component for a penis pump.

Amin eventually told investigators he’d lied about the object because his mother was standing nearby when it was discovered and he didn’t want her to know about it. Unfortunately, he might get up to three years in jail for lying to officials (and his mom, of course).

The second story comes, appropriately enough, from the world of Second Life (also mentioned in a previous post). This Wired News report covers a Second Life convention held in the real world (San Fransisco) last weekend. Specifically, the article discusses a panel dedicated to sex in Second Life. I would call it cyber-sex, but it turns out that it’s not so cyber any more… A robotics engineer, who’s avatar name is qDot Bunnyhug, presented “the first open-source interface for controlling sex toys from within the virtual world.”

“I created the first Second Life sex-toy interface in July of last year and had it running within three days of creating my account,” qDot says. “Actually, it’s why I started my Second Life account.”

He describes that first attempt as “really bad,” and says it limited you to changing the vibrator’s speed just once per second, which resulted in a stuttering effect in the vibrations on the other end. “You could update the values once per second, and there were ways to smooth the transition between the power levels, but it still didn’t feel quite right,” he says.

But he couldn’t quite stay away from the vibrator interface. He built a new version entirely with open-source code (from It enables you to send 10 to 20 updates per second to the vibrator, resulting in much smoother speed transitions than the first release. It also offers anyone with time and coding ability the chance to customize their own teledildonics system.

Teledildonics?!? There’s a word I never imagined I would read.

OK mom, you can start reading again… :-)

Comments Off on Duran Duran Gets a Life Life

Duran Duran Gets a Life Life

Not sure how I missed this piece of earth-shattering news when it initially came out last week…

The 80’s pop music group Duran Duran announced that they are planning to get a life; a second life in fact… The members of the band will appear and perform as custom designed characters, called avatars, in the Second Life 3-D online virtual world.

Second LifeSecond Life is a virtual world entirely built and owned by its residents. Since opening to the public in 2003, it has grown explosively and today is inhabited by more than 400,000 people worldwide. Users can build virtual homes, have fantasy jobs, experiment with alternative lifestyles, and apparently enjoy online music concerts.

I’m pretty sure that a Second Life appearance won’t be enough to trigger a full-blown Duran Duran comeback, but it’s a decent way to get some cheap press coverage. Rock on!

Comments Off on Don’t Be Evil (Most of the Time)

Don’t Be Evil (Most of the Time)

This article on the UK news site called The Independent states that Google, known for its mantra “don’t be evil”, has fired off a series of legal letters to media organizations, warning them against using its name as a verb.

Google has become known for their anti-corporate image of youthful non-conformity, from the jeans and T-shirts often worn by its billionaire founders, Sergey Brin and Larry Page, to the scooter lanes and volleyball courts at its Palo Alto headquarters.

In the letter(s), Google gives an example of what’s appropriate and what’s not…

Appropriate: I ran a Google search to check out that guy from the party. Inappropriate: I googled that hottie.

Given the rep that they’ve cultivated to this point, it’s a little surprising that Google is acting like such a suit now. Especially after all of the negative press that AOL received recently for releasing potentially sensitive search data.

OK, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go google that hottie, uh, perform a GoogleTM search regarding the attractive young lady in my office… :-P

Comments Off on This sounds like a job for the Mythbusters!

This sounds like a job for the Mythbusters!

According to the following Wired News story, people should not use mobile phones outdoors during thunderstorms because of the risk of being struck by lightning.

I don’t doubt that this story is true, but I find it surprising that this is the first we’ve heard of it. I predict that we will see this tested on Mythbusters soon.

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