Earlier this morning, Netflix sent out an apologetic email informing Netflix subscribers about a new development: Henceforth, decreed CEO Reed Hastings, the word "Netflix" will now refer to only the streaming video service. DVDs (and now video games) will be banished to another site, which will look identical to the old Netflix but which will be called "Qwikster" and be, for all intents and purposes, totally separate from Netflix.
This is dumb.
By Andrew RosenblumPosted 08.11.2011 at 2:56 pm 4 Comments
Over the past year, casinos around the world have lost millions of dollars to baccarat cheats. Between the antics of the globe-trotting Cutters syndicate, the Chinese nationals who hacked auto-shuffler machines in Macau, and the South Korean duo who hid a card-switching device up a sleeve at the Foxwoods Resort Casino in Connecticut, baccarat has attracted some very shrewd con men and women. To understand why, it helps to know a bit more about the rules of the game.
By Darren MurphPosted 07.31.2011 at 5:12 pm 0 Comments
Five years ago, Nintendo introduced the Wii, and with it a new kind of controller that became a virtual sword, bat or blaster that players could swing and aim just like the real things. Now, while Sony and Microsoft concentrate on upgrading similar motion-capture systems on their existing consoles, Nintendo is once again reimagining how we play. The upcoming Wii U console, which will roll out next year, uses an updated controller will make games even more immersive.
L.A. Noire's carefully reconstructed world owes a huge debt to Robert Spence, who photographed Los Angeles while leaning out of a biplane with a 46-pound camera in the 1920s
By Joseph A. Bernstein and Dan NosowitzPosted 05.17.2011 at 1:25 pm 6 Comments
Rockstar's newest and perhaps most ambitious title, the marvel of technology and storytelling that is L.A. Noire, uses incredible face-mapping techniques to craft a startlingly subtle and realistic murder mystery game. But Rockstar's attention to detail didn't stop there: The team had decided to create an authentic depiction of the City of Angels in the 1940s, and needed as much data as they could find. Rockstar's ace in the hole? They relied on the services of a daredevil photographer named Robert Spence, known for documenting Los Angeles while hanging out of a plane's cockpit with his 46-pound camera.
The 3DS doesn't have the mobile 3-D gaming market cornered, especially not if Hasbro's new My3D goggles have anything to say about it. And, oh yes, they have worlds to say. This iPhone accessory is a simple and affordable upgrade to the third dimension, and we can't say enough about how much sheer, silly-looking fun it is.
If you thought Watson’s “Jeopardy” victory over mankind was painful, check this out. A manufacturing robot wipes the floor with us humans in the popular iPhone game “1to50.”
The Adept Quattro robot takes just 6.6 seconds to complete the game, which requires that you press the numbers 1 through 50 in succession. This is harder than you think, like playing a less complicated, faster version of Sudoku. Quattro now tops the leaderboards, obviously.
By Andrew RosenblumPosted 02.21.2011 at 10:37 am 2 Comments
Gambling just to win silver coins can get boring. Instead, play for a perfectly crafted cocktail. The BarBot was built by a team from the hacker collective NYC Resistor as part of a hacking competition co-sponsored by the videocontent company VIMBY and the carmaker Scion. The group started by buying a decommissioned slot machine from Japan on Craigslist. They added graphics to give it a Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas theme, figuring that would be the perfect way to tie together gambling and booze.
This time every year, PopSci spends a couple of enjoyable days scouting out the blinkingest, fastest, smartest, most glee-inducing new toys around. Toys, though, ain't just kids' stuff. Here are a dozen new tech-savvy toys even grown-ups can love.
They said it couldn’t be done, but Oskar van Deventer—a longtime puzzle maker living in the Netherlands—created it anyhow: a 17-by-17-by-17 tile Rubik’s cube that, as far as we know, is an unofficial world record for the world’s largest and most complex Rubik’s puzzle.
Remember Watson? We're currently at IBM's offices watching the world's best Jeopardy-bot take on Ken Jennings, the winningest human to play the game. Follow @PopSci on Twitter right now for the live blow-by-blow, and stay tuned for a full report later today.