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October 2007 Archives

War should be heard not seen

By Peter Nowak, CBCNews.ca

Continuing with the science-fiction theme of the week... the British military is on the verge of becoming the real-world equivalent of Star Trek's Romulans by introducing cloaking devices on their tanks. The vehicles use cameras and projectors to display background scenery on their armour, making them blend in with their surroundings.

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Return of the X-Files

By Peter Nowak, CBCNews.ca

Where are Mulder and Scully when you need them? NASA agreed over the weekend to go back and search its archives for information about a UFO incident in 1965 in Pennsylvania as a result of a journalist's lawsuit. New York-based Leslie Kean sued the space agency four years ago for information pertaining to the crash, saying the public had a right to know. It now looks like a judge agrees with Kean.

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Nora Young: Virtual worlds for totally wired teens

By Nora Young, CBC Radio - Spark

There's a lot of buzz in mainstream media about virtual worlds for adults, such as Second Life. But while socializing with an avatar is still a novelty for many North American adults, virtual worlds for kids and tweens are booming.

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Song of the humpback whale returns to Blackfish Sound

By Eve Savory, CBCNews.ca

With all the reports about warming seas and a diminishing food web, you'd think there wouldn't be much for the ocean’s creatures to cheer about.

But you wouldn’t know it from the song a humpback whale sang a few days ago in Blackfish Sound, off the northeast coast of Vancouver Island.

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Do Facebook and BlackBerry mix?

By Peter Nowak, CBCNews.ca

Research In Motion Ltd. today announced it was adding Facebook to BlackBerry, prompting an initial reaction of "huh?!?" from some observers (myself included). After all, despite RIM designing more consumer-friendly BlackBerry devices in an effort to tap the general public market, its gizmos are still primarily the domain of business users. Facebook, on the other hand, is often thought of as the domain of kids and teens. It seems like an incongruent fit.

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It's like Mad Max, without the need for oil

by Paul Jay, CBC News.ca

Teams from the Netherlands and Japan lead after three days of competition at the 2007 Panasonic World Solar Challenge, a road race in Australia for 41 solar-powered cars.

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DVD format war heats up on consoles

By Peter Nowak, CBCNews.ca

It looks like the next-generation DVD war is finally getting cranked up a notch, which is good because conflict can only bring resolution -- and this is one fight that consumers are eagerly awaiting an end to. And as many pundits suspected, video game consoles are increasingly becoming the chief battleground in this skirmish.

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What are Canadians really keen on? Ask Google

by Paul Jay, CBCNews.ca

What Canadian city is the most iPhone crazy? Which video game console has really captured interest across the country? These are questions we think about here. And while the Google Trends Labs tool doesn't provide the definitive answers to these questions, it does provide some interesting metrics that hint at where Canadians' interests lie.

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Microsoft applies for brain scanner patent

by Paul Jay, CBCNews.ca

The New Scientist and Ars Technica, among others, offer details of Microsoft Corp.'s latest patent application: a process to read the brain functions of computer users.

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Seven hours of Halo

By Peter Nowak, CBCNews.ca

I finished Halo 3 this weekend and can safely report it is an excellent game. However, I also started the game this weekend and can similarly confirm a fear I had well before beginning -- it is also a very short game. On normal difficulty, the single-player campaign took me about seven hours to complete, which seems way too short.

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How much is music worth?

By Peter Nowak, CBCNews.ca

The latest experiment in digital music begins today, with British rockers Radiohead trying out a "pay-what-you-want" model with their new album In Rainbows. The band has cut record labels out of the equation and made the album available for download through a website. Fans have essentially been told that what they choose to pay for the album is "up to you," although they do have to pay a minimal processing fee.

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William Gibson and the 'Real World Web'

By Nora Young

Gartner, Inc. released its annual technology trend report on Tuesday. Among the top 10 "strategic" technologies is what they're dubbing the 'real world web,' meaning "places where information from the web is applied to the particular location, activity or context in the real world. It is intended to augment the reality that a user faces, not to replace it as in virtual worlds."

It's a potentially powerful emerging technology, but what shape will it take?

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U.S. spectrum moves deserve attention

By Peter Nowak, CBCNews.ca

It's an exciting time for those following news on wireless spectrum -- and let's face it, who isn't eating up this sexy topic? But seriously, the North American wireless industry is on the cusp of major change and there are new developments almost daily. The latest is that AT&T, the largest U.S. telecommunications company, is buying a large chunk of wireless airwave licences from a company called Aloha Partners, which seems to specialize in... well... owning spectrum. The $2.5 billion U.S. acquisition of the spectrum, in the 700 megahertz range, will allow AT&T to expand its reach in many of the biggest U.S. cities.

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Holt Renfrew denies iPhone rumour

by Paul Jay, CBCNews.ca

The latest iPhone-coming-to-Canada rumour comes from an unlikely source: According to digitaljournal.com, an "insider" from Holt Renfrew said the luxury retailer would begin carrying a Canadian version of the iPhone later in October for $799.

This seems strange, particularly since the telecommunications company expected to act as a carrier for the iPhone - Rogers - had made no formal announcement, nor had Apple Inc.

It also appears to be untrue, according to Holt Renfrew spokesperson Janet Eger.

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Important alert! Banks don't email you for info

by Paul Jay, CBCNews.ca

There's another phishing e-mail making the rounds, this one targeting Bank of Montreal customers with a tempting offer to catch an internet scammer in the act.

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Mr. Sulu can't steer clear of this asteroid

by Paul Jay, CBCNews.ca

An asteroid has been named after George Takei, the actor best known for his role as Mr. Sulu in the original Star Trek television series.

As the Associated Press reports, an asteroid in the belt between Mars and Jupiter has been renamed 7307 Takei.

"I am now a heavenly body," Takei, 70, joked Tuesday.

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One more level?

by Paul Jay, CBCNews.ca

For some couples, video games can be a divisive issue, particularly if one of the spouses is spending more time than the other fighting hordes of orcs and dark elves. In the lexicon of trend watching , the spouses on the outside looking in are called "gamer widows."

If this is you, tech humour site BBSpot has posted a funny flow chart to organize your priorities.

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