Roundup: Mathmagical Cartoons

I’ll start ya off with a cartoon that involves learning and math and stuff.

 Unity will be supported – and support – Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8.

Yessir, the Unity game engine will work on both Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8. This is awesome because WP8 has taken kernel cues from Windows 8 and will truly support multi-core processing, allowing games like those designed on Unity to be truly kickass.

New Theory: The Big Bang was a phase shift.

That may sound odd, but scientists have recently theorized that the Big Bang – beginning of Life, the Universe and Everything – was actually a phase shift similar to water freezing into ice. They believe that the pre-Bang universe was akin to water, flowing and changing. When the Big Phase Bang Shift (still working on it) happened, the universe “froze” into what we now know to be four dimensional space-time.

Nikola Tesla Museum has met their goal! 

It’s a good day for science! Well, it’s a great day, since as of this writing the museum fund has $926,000 in the bank, with New York matching $850,000 of that. That’s $1.7 million to bid on the land (no guarantee of sale) and some extra to build up the museum itself. Good job, everyone!

 The EFF writes to IP Czar: Stand up for internet users.

The EFF, or Electronic Frontier Foundation, wrote to Victoria Espinel, the current administration’s Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator – or IP Czar – asking for her to stand up for the rights of  internet users, as opposed to only backing the big corporations’ plans and ideals. There’s lots of ideas in the link, but this quote strikes me as good: “We’re encouraged, though, to hear a White House policymaker insist that private “anti-piracy” agreements must respect individual rights.” Which sound to me like they’re working on a way to disrupt IP infringement without punishing everyone.

New Father builds breath detector with Wii-Mote and lasers.

Being a new father is disconcerting at best; you’re constantly worrying if the kiddo is getting into something they shouldn’t, or if they’re eating and pooping right. The most worrisome thing for me was sleep: There is much discussion about how to lay your child down to sleep to best ensure that they don’t succumb to SIDS (or whatever they call it now). This awesome dad built a breathing detection system out of a Wii-mote and three lasers. The Wii-mote detects changes in how the lasers reflect, and if the child’s breathing stops or changes abnormally, the system sounds an alarm. These things aren’t usually too expensive, but homemade systems are just mo’ betta.

British Artists creates painting on his way to 100000 feet.

Using a balloon, dripping paint and a bit of curiosity, a British Entrepreneur named Josh Taylor sent a canvas into space, all the while letting paint drip out of four separate bottles onto the canvas. The result was kinda nifty, but honestly the video is cooler.

Apple v Samsung closing arguments clearly outline the problem with current patent law.

In the words of Samsung’s lawyers: Apple thinks they’re “entitled to have a monopoly on a rounded rectangle with a touchscreen…Just think about walking into a Best Buy store. You go into the TV section. All of the TVs look the same. “(Emphasis mine) That’s pretty much the issue here: Do we allow basic shapes/forms to be protected intellectual property? Or do we just assume that a laptop will have the screen above the keyboard and trackpad, separated by a hinge?  Apples comments included gems like ‘they never said it looked totally different’ (more or less the quote) which is a point no one argues. I hope this jury has common sense.

Nikon announces Android-powered camera line.

The Nikon Coolpix S800c is an Android-powered point and shoot with built-in Wi-Fi. Running on Gingerbread (or Android 2.3) the camera is rocking a 16MP backside-illuminated sensor and a 10x Optical zoom on top of the GPS, Wi-Fi and 3.5″ OLED touchscreen monitor. I imagine you can instantly get Instagram and crap-ify your photos without the need for external devices.

Hoverbike is slightly reminiscent of Star Wars.

This thing is awesome. It’s essentially two giant fans that you straddle and ride. It’s apparently so stable that you do not need driver training as with other designs. AeroFex, the company behind this awesomeness, hopes to have a commercial version ready soon. Not that these will replace cars: the noise and rotor wash are quite annoying, but it’d be fun to take one of these out on a snowy field somewhere and let loose. There isn’t any software involved in control; it’s all manual, so it’s less error prone than you might think. However, it appears that the idea is destined for unmanned drones before human variants are produced.

I’ll leave y’all with this: If good movies had bad fonts.