Real-Life Hoverboard Seeks Funding on Kickstarter

Posted by Sean D Knight on: October 22nd, 2014 | Computers, General, Hendo Hover, Hendo Hoverboard, Hoverboards, News, Technology


Hendo HoverboardThe hoverboard is finally becoming a reality

Ever since seeing Marty McFly use a hoverboard to escape Biff and his goons in Back to the Future Part II, many people have been wondering when this device would ever become a reality. There is even a countdown for the date when Marty arrived in “the future” to remind everyone when the movie predicted hoverboards would be a thing. Well, now it appears that the hoverboard can become a reality thanks to a Kickstarter project for the Hendo Hoverboard.

Developed by Hendo Hover, the company is seeking $250,000 in funding that will go towards mass production, finishing touches, and the building of specialized “hoverparks” where people will be able to ride them. Yet while the hoverboard uses magnets, it doesn’t rely on placing one magnet over another to create a stable static equilibrium (which is impossible to do). Instead, Hendo relies on Lenz’s law.

“Lenz’s law explains how eddy currents are created when magnets are moved relative to a conductive material,” the company explains. “These eddy currents in turn create an opposing magnetic field in the conductor.  Our core technology, which we call Magnetic Field Architecture (MFA™), focuses this field more efficiently.”

The result of this technology is that the Hendo Hoverboard is capable of hovering about an inch off of the ground. But there are some caveats. For example, it requires a specialized surface that will work with its hover engines. Without a surface that is a non-ferromagnetic conductor, the hoverboard will just be a large and expensive paperweight. And there is the other problem for Kickstarter backers who want to own the device. It will cost $10,000 for a working product and, even then, there are only 10 Hendo Hoverboards up for grabs (which are all gone). 

However, the company says this is just the beginning for, not only the hoverboard, but various uses of its MFA technology. 

“The Hendo Hoverboard is a first-step product, a precursor to the broader implementation of the world-changing technology of MFA,” Hendo explains. “It enables a new generation of lift and motion technology that will change the way we view transportation. Additional applications for MFA technology are virtually limitless – from business, to industry, to healthcare, and beyond.”

As of the posting of this article, the Kickstarter project has 735 and received $188,257 in funds with 54 days to go. And feel free to check out the Kickstarter Page for more information about the Hendo Hoverboard and the reward tiers that are available. 

Will you buy a hoverboard when it has an affordable price tag for general consumers?

Follow Sean on Google+, Twitter, and Facebook

Continue reading

The City State: Albany’s Top 40

Posted by The Editors on: October 22nd, 2014 | Albany, General, News, Power List, slideshow

The 40 people profiled here run the state in Albany – whether you have heard of them or not.

Continue reading

Range Rover Long Wheelbase Spy Photos Hint at High-Performance SVR Model

Posted by Jason Siu on: October 22nd, 2014 | Auto, General

Range Rover Long Wheelbase Spy Photos Hint at High-Performance SVR Model Range Rover Long Wheelbase Spy Photos Hint at High-Performance SVR Model
Is Jaguar Land Rover‘s Special Vehicle Operations division preparing a high-performance Range Rover LWB model? The British automaker has been spied testing a Range Rover long-wheelbase model sporting a quad-exhaust setup, hinting that the company is squeezing its 5.0-liter supercharged V8 engine under the hood packing 550 hp. SEE ALSO: Land Rover Will Stay True to… more

Continue reading

Game Pulled from Steam after Developer Tweets Gabe Newell Death Threat

Posted by Sean D Knight on: October 22nd, 2014 | Code Avarice, Computers, Gabe Newell, General, Mike Maulbeck, News, Paranautical Activity, Technology, Valve


Paranautical ActivityDeveloper Mike Maulbeck announces resignation shortly after

It is not often that Valve will pull a game from its digital distribution platform Steam. However, Paranautical Activity was removed from Steam after Code Avarice co-owner Mike Maulbeck posted an angry tweet saying that he was going to kill Valve co-founder Gabe Newell.

Maulbeck had posted a series of spiteful tweets at Valve following a posting error on Valve’s part that labeled Paranautical Activity as Early Access when it was, in fact, a finished product. Upon noticing the error Maulbeck, believing that this would “greatly cripple sales and confuse customers,” took to Twitter and called Valve “incompetent,” referred to Steam as an “awful fucking monopoly,” and then said in a deleted tweet, “I am going to kill gabe newell[sic]. He is going to die.”

In response, Valve removed the fast-paced, roguelike FPS shooter from Steam and contacted the developer to inform Maulbeck that it would be closing down his Steam admin account and severing ties with the developer. 

“I have since obviously replied to them saying that I didn’t mean what I said and pleaded that they consider the monopoly they have on the PC market before totally writing us off,” Maulbeck said in an email he wrote to Polygon, “But let’s be real. If they took the game off the store, they’re fuckin sure about their decision. There’s probably nothing to be done.”

Since then, Mike Maulbeck went on to announce that he has left Code Avarice in a post on the developer’s website that states, “I’m really, deeply sorry that my short sighted, hot tempered actions resulted in not only my own dreams and aspirations being destroyed, but those of the entire team I worked with. I’m sorry that my statements made Valve and/or Gabe uncomfortable and upset (rightfully so).”

Maulbeck went on to say that he has sold his half to Code Avarice co-owner Travis Pfenning and given up all rights on CA and its IPs. 

Paranautical Activity Screenshot

However, this isn’t the first time that Maulbeck has directed harsh words and criticism towards Valve and its Steam platform. Back in June 2013, both he and Pfenning criticized Valve when Paranautical Activity was rejected for publication. The reason for its rejection was that Code Avarice had signed a deal with Adult Swim after creating a Greenlight page first; a practice that Valve prohibited. In response to the rejection, both developers went on to say that Steam had a “monopoly on the market,” that “the indie community is being ignored” by Valve, and then went on to criticize other games that had been published on Steam. 

While Paranautical Activity is no longer available on Steam, its Project Greenlight page is still active. 

What do you think of this situation and was Valve justified in pulling the game from Steam? Sound off in the comments below!

Follow Sean on Google+, Twitter, and Facebook

Continue reading

Legendary Watergate editor Ben Bradlee dies at 93

Posted by Margaret Myers on: October 21st, 2014 | ben bradlee, General, News, Obituaries, obituary, the washington post
Ben Bradlee was executive editor of The Washington Post from 1968–1991. He died Tuesday at the age of 93. Photo courtesy of The Washington Post

Ben Bradlee was executive editor of The Washington Post from 1968–1991 and oversaw the paper’s famous Watergate reporting. He died Tuesday at the age of 93. Photo courtesy of The Washington Post

Ben Bradlee, the former executive editor of The Washington Post who led the paper during its legendary Watergate coverage, died Tuesday at his home in Washington, D.C., the newspaper reported. He had been suffering from Alzheimer’s and dementia. He was 93.

Ben Bradlee oversaw the publication of 400 stories about the Watergate scandal subsequently bringing down the Nixon Presidency. Photo courtesy of The Washington Post

Ben Bradlee oversaw the publication of 400 stories about the Watergate scandal subsequently bringing down the Nixon Presidency. Photo courtesy of The Washington Post

Bradlee ran the Post from 1968 to 1991 overseeing the investigation into the Watergate scandal and the publishing of the Pentagon Papers. The Washington Post won 23 Pulitzer Prizes under his tenure, including one for its Watergate reporting, establishing it as one of the best newspapers in the country.

When Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward, then two young reporters, first approached Bradlee about a burglary in the Watergate complex the details were murky, but he was certain there was a story:

“Probably the first or second day, really,” Bradlee told the Academy of Achievement about when he first thought Watergate was a big story. “It was strange. You had a lot of Cuban or Spanish-speaking guys in masks and rubber gloves, with walkie-talkies, arrested in the Democratic National Committee Headquarters at two in the morning. What the hell were they in there for? What were they doing?”

So he supported Woodward and Bernstein as they began pursuing leads and took direction from an anonymous source known as “Deep Throat.” They were young reporters, though, without sources on the record. PBS NewsHour’s Jim Lehrer asked Bradlee in 2005 how he knew they were right.

“Because nobody told me they were wrong and nobody could prove they were wrong; they weren’t wrong,” said Bradlee.

The Wshington Post's Ben Bradlee in the composing room looking at A1 of the first edition, headlined "Nixon Resigns." Photo by David R. Legge/The Washington Post via Getty Images

The Washington Post’s Ben Bradlee in the composing room looking at A1 of the first edition, headlined “Nixon Resigns.” Photo by David R. Legge/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Together they published 400 stories about Watergate over two years and nine months. President Richard Nixon subsequently resigned and The Washington Post won the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service in 1973. When asked what his emotions were when President Nixon resigned, Bradlee said, “That we had really done a really good job. That the difficulties they put up to prevent the trust from coming out have been overcome. That really is what we’re all about.”

Woodward and Bernstein wrote a book, “All the President’s Men,” about their investigation which was then turned into an Academy Award winning film. Jason Robards portrayed Ben Bradlee in the film version, a role that won him an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. Below is the film scene where Bradlee (Robards) tells Bernstein (Dustin Hoffman) and Woodward (Robert Redford) about his own experience reporting on J. Edgar Hoover and that he trusts them to run with their story:

In 1971 The New York Times received a copy of what is known as the Pentagon Papers, a study of the political and military history of the United States in Vietnam. The Times began printing the study, but was quickly stopped by a judge order. Ben Bradlee then received portions of the study from Daniel Ellsberg, a former military analyst who leaked the Papers. With the permission of publisher Katharine Graham, Bradlee had the Post begin publishing their own series of articles about the Pentagon Papers. The Post was also asked to stop publishing the information, but refused. Alongside The New York Times, Bradlee took the case to the Supreme Court who ruled in favor of the papers.

“You don’t think of journalists automatically as patriots, one. You don’t think of them as real authorities in the question of what is classified and what isn’t, and what is a threat to the United States and what isn’t. But in fact at that time, we were,” said Bradlee in his interview with the Academy of Achievement. “We were more expert that a lot of the government witnesses who testified against us…most of us had served in World War II and had quite fancy security clearances. So we did, and there was no threat to the national security, and information, truth, is not a threat to security, and we believed that.”

Ben Bradlee and Publisher Katharine Graham in 1971 after winning a Supreme Court ruling allowing continued publication of the Pentagon Papers. Photo courtesy of The Washington Post

Ben Bradlee and Publisher Katharine Graham in 1971 after winning a Supreme Court ruling allowing continued publication of the Pentagon Papers. Photo courtesy of The Washington Post

Bradlee was born in Boston in 1921 and attended Harvard. He graduated a year early to enlist in the U.S. Navy in 1942. He spent four years at sea during World War II, fighting in more than a dozen Pacific Ocean battles, a service he always took great pride in. In 1984, Bradlee received a letter from a reader questioning the Post’s patriotism after publishing information about a satellite payload over protests from Reagan Administration officials. In response to the reader Bradlee wrote:

Dear Asshole:

I suspect I did more for my country in the war than you did. I spent four years in destroyers in the Pacific Ocean. My theater ribbon has 10 battle stars in it.

That’s just for starters.

When he returned from World War II he became a reporter for a newspaper he helped start in New Hampshire. After a brief stint as the press attache for the American embassy in Paris, he began reporting for Newsweek. While at Newsweek Bradlee developed a strong relationship with then young Sen. John F. Kennedy who lived near him in Washington, D.C. He became managing editor of The Washington Post in 1965 and executive editor in 1968.

He was married three times. In 1978 he married Sally Quinn, a fellow journalist at The Washington Post. Together they have one son, Quinn Bradlee, born in 1982 with Velocardiofacial syndrome.

Quinn first spoke publicly about her husband’s failing health to C-SPAN founder Brian Lamb during an interview taped on Sept. 18. She emphasized that Bradlee remained happy despite his ailments. “Ben has never been depressed a day in his life,” Quinn said to Lamb. “I’ve been with him 41 years and I’ve never seen him depressed, and he’s just very happy … He’s very aware of being taken care of and fussed over and he appreciates that … He’s totally content.”

Bradlee is survived by wife and their son as well as by three children from his previous marriages: Ben Bradlee Jr., Dominic Bradlee and Marina Bradlee.

In November 2013 President Obama awarded Ben Bradlee the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award in the United States. When presenting the medal Obama said, “Since joining the Washington Post 65 years ago, he transformed that newspaper into one of the finest in the world. With Ben in charge the Post unleashed a new era of investigative journalism holding America’s leaders accountable and reminding us our freedom as a nation rests on the freedom of the press.”

Obama also recited a poem Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan wrote for Bradlee when he retired from the Post:

Oh rare Ben Bradlee
his reign has ceased
but his nation stands
its strength increased

In 2006 Bradlee sat down with PBS NewsHour’s Jim Lehrer to discuss his career and journalism for a PBS documentary, “Free Speech.” Lehrer asked Bradlee about being hopeful in an occupation often seen as cynical and pessimistic.

“Yes, I mean, it changes your life, the pursuit of truth,” said Bradlee. “And at least, if you know that you have tried to find the truth and gone past the first apparent truth towards the real truth, it’s very exciting.”

The post Legendary Watergate editor Ben Bradlee dies at 93 appeared first on PBS NewsHour.

Continue reading

Best Free Hardware Monitoring Tools


Apps that regulate your rig’s internals

Making sure your rig’s temperatures, hardware, and clock speeds are running correctly is a good way to monitor your PC’s health. We always recommend stress-testing your shiny-new rig, or checking your hardware if you experience any stability issues that occur out of the blue. We’ve gathered up a list of the best free utilities you can use to make sure you have a healthy PC.

Know of any other free monitoring tools? Let us know in the comments section below!

CPU-Z:

CPU-Z

CPU-Z tells you what’s going on with your CPU by giving you readouts of your Core Speed, Multiplier, Bus Speed, and your different cache levels. It also tells you the make and model of your motherboard and video card, along with your RAM speed and capacity. 

We recommend using this tool if you have a preconfigured system from an OEM like Lenovo, HP, or Dell and need to find out your motherboard’s model number (if it isn’t printed on the board). The tool can also be used to monitor your CPU’s voltage, so it’s overclocker friendly.

GPU-Z:

GPU-Z

GPU-Z gives you detailed readouts of your GPU’s clock speeds and memory size. You can use this tool to make sure that your video card is running at PCIe 3.0, as some boards run in 2.0 instead of 3.0 by default. You’ll look at the Bus Interface box to check out your video card’s PCIe configuration.

Furmark:

Furmark

Got GPU problems? Furmark is a fantastic tool if you’re getting blue screens during games and want to find out if your video card is the culprit. The utility gives your GPU a workload to max-out your video card. You’ll also see a temperature read from it, so you can see if your card is running hot.

FRAPS:

FRAPS

Getting weird frame rate issues after freshly installing BF4 or Assassins Creed Black Flag? FRAPS will give you readouts of your real-time frame rate in-game, so you can see when and where you rig is starting to stutter. We like using this utility when a game is running poorly, so we can keep an eye on our frame rate during gameplay. We also use this tool to capture average frame rates of games that don’t come with benchmarking tools like BF4, Far Cry 3, and Crysis 3.


 

Core Temp:

Core Temp

Unlike other utilities in this round-up of free apps, Core Temp tells you the individual temperatures of each of your CPU’s cores. We use this tool to make sure our processor isn’t running too hot. Core Temp also tells you the TDP, voltage, and power consumption of your  CPU.

AMD Catalyst Control Center: 

AMD Catalyst Control Center

AMD video card users can use AMD’s Catalyst Control center to monitor their video card’s performance. You’ll be able to change your GPU’s core and memory clock speeds by using AMD’s Overdrive utility, which is found in the performance tab of AMD’s Catalyst driver. You can also adjust your video card’s fan speed here.

Prime 95: 

Prime 95

Prime 95 puts your CPU through its paces by giving it a workload that will max-out your processor’s cores. We suggest using this utility if you’re having blue screen errors or freezing issues to make sure that your CPU isn’t the offender behind those infuriating messages. 

3DMark: 

3DMark

3DMark is great for benchmarking your system’s overall performance, and the free demo version also shows you where your rig stacks up with other systems that have similar hardware. The paid version lets you run the Extreme benchmarks, which run in 1080p instead of the demo’s 720p default.

Rainmeter:

Rainmeter

Rainmeter is a simple widget that displays your CPU and RAM usage and also tells you how full your hard drive and/or SSD are.   

EVGA Precision X: 

EVGA Precision X

Precision X is made by EVGA exclusively for Nvidia video cards. The tool allows you to check out your GPU clock speed and temperatures, and adjust your fan speeds, too. You can also overclock your GPU with the sliders, seen above. This tool displays your GPU’s load, which we find quite handy.

Continue reading

Mercedes Sells Off Tesla Shares

Posted by Jason Siu on: October 21st, 2014 | Auto, General

Mercedes Sells Off Tesla Shares Mercedes Sells Off Tesla Shares
Mercedes has sold off its stake in Tesla. Mercedes parent company Daimler AG has sold its 3.9-percent share of the American electric automaker, which generated about $780 million in cash. In a statement, Daimler said that the cooperation between the two companies would not be affected and that Mercedes would continue to purchase powertrain components… more

Continue reading

A Living Wall of Oysters Will Soon Protect Staten Island From Storms

Posted by dispatches on: October 21st, 2014 | After Sandy, General, Living Breakwaters, News, Staten Island, Superstorm Sandy

Staten Island will soon have a $60 million living buffer zone, made from concrete and oysters, to keep the water out.

Continue reading

Trial Date Bumped Back for Michael Grimm — But He Could Face Two Trials

Posted by jjorgensen2014 on: October 21st, 2014 | Brooklyn Federal Court, General, Loretta Lynch, Michael Grimm, News, Preet Bharara

A judge delayed the start of Congressman Michael Grimm’s trial until February — but it might not be the only trial Mr. Grimm is facing.

Continue reading

Petition takes aim at Toys ‘R’ Us over ‘Breaking Bad’ toy sales

Posted by Justin Scuiletti on: October 21st, 2014 | Breaking Bad, General, News, petition, Toys `R Us
Toys R Us' decision to sell action figures based on the television series "Breaking Bad" has made the retail chain the target of a petition that aims to stop sales of the toys.

Toys “R” Us’ decision to sell action figures based on the television series “Breaking Bad” has made the retail chain the target of a petition that aims to stop sales of the toys.

It has been more than a year since “Breaking Bad” ended its run on television, but Walter White has now taken up residence on the shelves within Toys “R” Us stores — a decision that prompted a Florida parent to take action against the chain.

Susan Schrivjer of Fort Myers, Florida, says that while “Breaking Bad” — a five-season television series depicting the journey of a high school chemistry teacher-turned-drug kingpin — is “compelling viewing for adults,” she believes Toys “R” Us’ decision to stock action figures based on the series — complete with weapons and drug-related accessories — is against the store’s “family focused atmosphere.”

“Toys ‘R’ Us is well known around the world for their vast selection of toys for children of all ages,” Schrivjer, wrote on a petition page on Change.org under the name Susan Myers. “However their decision to sell a Breaking Bad doll, complete with a detachable sack of cash and a bag of meth, alongside children’s toys is a dangerous deviation from their family friendly values.”

The petition, to date, has more than 8,000 supporters.

Toys “R” Us, in a statement to a Florida Fox affiliate, responded to the petition, saying the action figures “are carried in very limited quantities and the product packaging clearly notes that the items are intended for ages 15 and up.” They added that “items from this TV series are located in the adult action figure area” of the stores.

Actor Bryan Cranston, who portrayed meth cook Walter White in the series, tweeted Monday in reply to the controversy.

“Florida mom petitions against Toys ‘R Us over Breaking Bad action figures.” I’m so mad, I’m burning my Florida Mom action figure in protest

— Bryan Cranston (@BryanCranston) October 20, 2014

The post Petition takes aim at Toys ‘R’ Us over ‘Breaking Bad’ toy sales appeared first on PBS NewsHour.

Continue reading