If you want to hear 100 different variations of the human fart, there's an app for that. Mobile apps exist for scanning barcodes, detecting your heart rate, and all sorts of functions. Pretty soon, your smartphone may also be able to tell you if you have an STD, the U.K.'s Guardian reports.
A total of seven funders, including the Medical Research Council, have poured over $6.4 million into developing technology that would ultimately allow subjects to put urine or saliva on a computer chip roughly the size of a USB chip, jam it into their phone, and get a diagnosis within minutes.
"Your mobile phone can be your mobile doctor. It diagnoses whether you've got one of a range of STIs (Sexually Transmitted Infections), such as chlamydia or gonorrhea and tells you where to go next to get treatment," said Dr Tariq Sadiq, a senior lecturer and consultant physician in sexual health and HIV at St George's, University of London, who is leading the project. "We need to tackle the rising epidemic of STIs, which have been going up and up and up. Britain is one of the worst [countries] in western Europe for teenage pregnancy and STIs. That there's a major embarrassment factor here, especially among young people, makes the situation worse."
Similar to home pregnancy tests, doctors say the devices could help those who may feel intimidated going into a medical facility.
Are you getting sick and tired of the same old Call of Duty formula year-in and year-out? Are you ready to visit new places and violently murder new people? Well then, try this one on for size: space marines. You know, like normal marines, but in the future and, well, space. Still not ringing a bell? Think Master Chief from Halo. He's pretty much the king (or outer-space equivalent) of space marines. However, if Activision has its way, that may not be the case for too much longer.
According to sources that spoke with Gamasutra, the Sledgehammer-developed Call of Duty spin-off will exit the bounds of the past or present and – with them – the realm of pseudo-possibility. (Granted, one could argue that Modern Warfare 2's plot already put the whole “possibility” thing out to pasture – and probably set it on fire for good measure.) They went on to say that the game will feature, “for lack of a better term, space marines.”
Granted, the “for lack of a better term” bit could mean that we're not necessarily dealing with Master Chief's long lost cousins here, but only time will tell. While we're waiting, though, what's your take? Does Call of Duty need to start pitching curveballs? And if so, is the far-flung future its best bet? Or do you think it should stick with something a little closer to home?
Two men toting hand guns walked into a Baltimore area Gamestop and stole 100 copies of Call of Duy: Black Ops the night before it launched, according to a report in The Baltimore Sun.
The robbery took place just as Gamestop employees were getting ready to lock up and head home. That's when two men wielding semi-automatic handguns barged in an stole four cases packed with the Black Ops games, as well as some cash and game consoles. During the heist, two customers walked into the store, who were then led to the storage area (along with the employees) at gunpoint.
Black Ops retails for $60 pop, meaning the two men walked away with over $6,000 in goods and cash. And for you job seekers out there, this is actually the second time a Hartford County Gamestop store has been robbed in the past three weeks. Just something to think about.
Starting November 1st, Microsoft began making its free Security Essentials antivirus software available to Windows users through its Microsoft Update service, a move which has sparked outrage among at least two AV vendors.
"This will end up in action taken, especially in Europe," Panda Chief Executive Juan Santana told CNet in an interview. Santana went on to say that Panda "will monitor the situation," and Panda isn't the only one. Trend Micro isn't happy about the move either.
"Commercializing Windows Update to distribute other software applications raises significant questions about unfair competition," Carol Carpenter, general manager of the consumer and small business group at Trend Micro, told Computerworld last week. "Windows Update is a de facto extension of Windows, so to begin delivering software tied to updates has us concerned. "Windows Update is not a choice for users, and we believe it should not be used this way."
In a blog post on Monday titled "Microsoft just doesn't get it... Security is about diversity," Panda took things a step further in its criticism of both Security Essentials and how it's being distributed.
"Microsoft recently started installing its Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) free antivirus product via the Operating System update mechanism to computers which don’t already have an antivirus installed. Basically Microsoft is saying they are worried about the security of its users and they need to make sure they are protected... We agree with Microsoft; it’s better to have some protection than not having any at all. However the way the guys in Redmond are executing the idea is risky from a security perspective and could very well make the malware situation much worse for Internet users. That’s why we encourage Microsoft to continue using Windows/Microsoft Update but instead to push all free antivirus products available on the market, not just MSE."
You can read the entire blog post here, then hit the jump and tell us whether you agree with Panda and Trend Micro, or if competing AV vendors should 'leave Microsoft alone!'"
Things weren't looking so well for LimeWire, the peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing service the RIAA managed to shut down via a court order last month. But according to TorrentFreak.com, a secret development team has gone and brought LimeWire back from the dead, while adding a few changes in the process.
"On October 26 the remaining LimeWire developers were forced to shut down the company's servers and modify remote settings in the file sharing client to try to harm the Gnutella network. There were then laid off," a source told TorrentFreak.
"Shortly after, a horde of piratical monkeys climbed aboard the abandoned ship, mended its sails, polished its cannons, and released it free to the community."
The latest version, blatantly known as LimeWire Pirate Edition, is making the rounds via BitTorrent. TorrentFreak's name-less source says the new version differs from the original in that all dependencies on LimeWire LLC's servers have been removed, remote settings have been disabled, the Ask toolbar unbundled, and all features of LimeWire Pro have been activated for free. There's also no adware or spyware, basically leaving the core app without all the cruft, or so the source says. It also underscores the never ending battle between the MPAA/RIAA and file sharing community.
While this new version wastes no time beating around the bush, the real LimeWire founder (Mark Gorton) has been trying to reach a settlement agreement with the RIAA and music labels to turn LimeWire into a legit music distribution service, laying off 30 percent of its workforce in the process.
Bethesda Softworks is sitting on cloud 9 following the launch of Fallout: New Vegas, which has earned record breaking sales for the publisher. There have been five million units of New Vegas shipped around the globe so far, including Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC flavors, all of which have generated over $300 million in sales.
"We are delighted by the reception Fallout: New Vegas has received from fans around the world," said Vlatko Andonov, president of Bethesda Softworks. "Despite the large launch quantities for this title, we have already received substantial re-orders from our retail partners, underscoring the tremendous popularity of this highly entertaining game. We believe Fallout: New Vegas will be the 'must buy' title for gamers throughout the holiday season."
Strong sales aside, the New Vegas launch hasn't been all smooth sailing. Bethesda recently blogged that it was working on a patch to address "Xbox 360 save issues folks are reporting, along with a number of other issues," as well as a comprehensive patch for all three platforms (PC, Xbox 360, PS3). There's also "an incremental update for PC" that purportedly fixes "save corruption issues and problems with companions, as well as improve performance for Nvidia users and resolve some issues reported with Havok."
Open Handset Alliance's Alvara Fuentes Vasquez let it slip via Twitter that Nexus One owners will soon be receiving Google's Android 2.3 update, otherwise known as "Gingerbread." His statement qualifies as a rumor, but there's been enough chatter as of late hinting of an impending release that we'd be surprised if this particular one turns out to be false.
The update could come as early as this Thursday, November 11th, which is the date most often thrown around the rumor mill in regards to Gingerbread. And the Nexus One makes perfect sense since the device uses stock firmware without any UI overlays.
Android 2.3 is expected to bring with it a handful of notable changes, including the ability to rearrange icons however you want, custom color options for shortcut icons, custom wallpaper can be assigned as an app background, music player enhancements, and a possible Google Music Service, CrispyTech reports.
We suppose that – on some level – Fallout: New Vegas' ticking time bomb-like tendency to blow up in your face at the slightest provocation is fitting, given the subject matter. However, that doesn't make it any less annoying to have your ninth 26-hour marathon session derailed by a full-stop crash or a quest that requires you to speak with someone who's somehow managed to teleport into the core of the earth. Fortunately, Bethesda's announced that New Vegas' days as a glitchy, uninhabitable wasteland are numbered. Soon, it'll just be a normal uninhabitable wasteland.
“We’re currently running final testing and certification on a comprehensive patch for all three platforms (PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3), so we’ll have something available in the coming weeks. When we have more details, we’ll let you know,” the publisher wrote on its official blog.
“In the meantime, an incremental update for PC should be going up by early next week that will fix the save corruption issues and problems with companions, as well as improve performance for NVIDIA users and resolve some issues reported with Havok.”
So hooray and stuff. Still though, next time you make a game, Obsidian, do you think you could, you know, finish it? Perferably before you release it? This isn't the first time this has happened, after all, but we'd definitely like it to be the last.
As we all know, the desire to wage war and blow your enemies to bloody confetti on a large scale is a perfectly natural human impulse. The only thing holding most people back? Money. Yep, nowadays, massive weapon payloads and small armies are prohibitively expensive, so what's an average, empty pocketed Joe (or Joette) like yourself supposed to do to satisfy your average dark, bestial bloodlusts? Battlefield Heroes? No, no. We know kittens who are grittier than that game. Fortunately, this is where Battlefield Play4Free comes in.
In a nutshell, the horrifically titled game mixes Battlefield Bad Company 2's weapon and class system with Battlefield 2's most popular maps, and then wraps it all up in a free-to-play browser-based package. A match made in heaven? Perhaps, depending on your tolerance for – you guessed it – microtransactions.
Now, if you'd rather not spend your hard-earned cash until the game becomes BattlefieldPlay4YourHouseAndYourSonsCollegeFundYouMonster, you'll have BFBC 2's XP system to keep you company. Same classes, same unlocks, etc. Meanwhile, microtransactions won't give deep-pocketed players too much of an edge. Rather, they'll offer slight tweaks and weapons that allow you to play your class differently – but not necessarily better.
If, however, you love BFBC 2 so much that you did, in fact, marry it and can no longer touch another game without tarnishing your holy matrimony, DICE has also announced VIP Map Pack 7. It's composed of four maps, two of which hail from the first Bad Company – all of which are completely free to PC players.
Seriously though, DICE, what's with all the presents? We definitely appreciate them, but is there something else at play here? Some kind of special occasion, maybe?
Worried your teenager might be misusing Facebook and sharing too much information with the world? ConnectSafely.org and the iKeepSafe Coalition want to help and have jointly released "A Parents' Guide to Facebook," a 35-page booklet and online resource designed to help parents show their teens how to optimize their privacy and safety on the world's largest social networking site.
"Many of our recommendations are stricter than Facebook's default settings for teens but, fortunately, Facebook provides excellent tools for further customization. This booklet helps parents and teens customize those tools fo teen-appropriate safety, privacy, and reputation protection," said ConnectSafely co-director Larry Magid.
The guide offers up step-by-step instructions, illustrations, and parenting points on safety and privacy controls, and covers both cell phone and PC-based access.