Multiplayer jetpack space game

Globetrotters Free is a free, simple iPad arcade game with same-screen multiplayer for up to four people. The product of a 48-hour indie "game jam," this space-themed, diamond-collecting game is a "free gift" from the developers behind the inventive desktop arcade-puzzler And Yet It Moves.

You can play Globetrotters solo, but it's most fun with multiplayer: up to four people can join in, one on each corner of the device. Each player controls an astronaut (red, yellow, blue, or green) using just one thrust button. The trick is timing your thrusts while your astronaut slowly … Read more

Crave 24: Camaro bacon probe (podcast)

This week, we take a look at a concept that's movie-worthy, but perhaps not entirely realistic for actual life use. Also on the menu: a crazy stunt involving a personal flying machine, a freaky-looking flying robot probe that inspires countless minutes of Star Wars prattling (much to Jasmine's chagrin), and a super sweet-looking speaker with a jaw-dropping price tag. Plus, the Nano gets turned into a watch, and a computer gets turned into a bitchin' Camaro. Finally, we satisfy some fattening cravings with bacon soda, cupcake burgers, and adult chocolate milk (or, "This is why you're drunk").

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LA spending $1 billion on jetpacks? Er, no

Fox News is sometimes criticized for floating wayward ideas.

This criticism is unfair and unbalanced. The station understands its viewers better than any other and offers them a fine and subtle mixture of both fear and reassurance.

However, perhaps Fox News' "Fox and Friends" allowed its enthusiasm this week to fly a little too high. For the station reported that the city of LA had invested $1 billion in a jetpack called the Martin. The suggestion was that LA's police, paramedics, and fire department were in grave need of such a flying gizmo. This is entirely understandable, given LA's quite hopeless traffic situation.

Though "Fox and Friends" co-host Brian Kilmeade did offer words of caution: "You gotta make up some rules because you're going to have jetpacks flying into choppers," I have to report that the Fox report is rather untrue.

For LAPD chief Charlie Beck told the Los Angeles Times: "We certainly haven't bought any jetpacks. We haven't bought [squad] cars for two years."

While trying to muzzle my disappointment with the LAPD for such obvious technological myopia, I am grateful to Gawker for attempting to discover where Fox News might have done its flying sourcing.… Read more

Buzz Out Loud 1322: Ballmer gets fitted for a Santa suit (podcast)

Windows 7 slate by Christmas? Seriously? FLO TV really didn't, your iPhone could be our new set top box, Panasonic takes another run at gaming, WebOS could be moving into a mansion, and you've finally got your jet pack, alright? Now stop whining.

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Firefox's Jetpack extensions get 2010 goal

Mozilla had to restart an effort to overhaul Firefox's extension technology, but the Jetpack reboot is steadily coming together.

Mozilla has released five beta versions of the Jetpack Software Developer Kit, a package that puts a friendly face on Firefox's inner workings so that extensions can do things such as open new tabs, add menu items, and modify Web pages. And the latest schedule was announced this week: its goal is to release Jetpack 1.0 by the end of 2010.

"We've been working on the SDK for almost a year now (and the Jetpack project … Read more

Take Picnik for a picnic with Mozilla's Jetpack

Web-based image editor Picnik, which is now a part of Google, has long been the built-in editor for Yahoo's Flickr photo-hosting service. And if you've found yourself wishing it was just as simple to edit other images around the Web, you're in luck. A relatively new Firefox extension called "Instant Image Edit with Picnik" lets you edit any image on any site, using Picnik--all with little more than a right-click.

The extension was built using a new part of Mozilla's Jetpack API, which lets developers add items to the contextual menu of a user'… Read more

Martin Jetpack gives you turbines, lets you fly

Since I was young, I've dreamed of being a pilot. I'm still nowhere close to that shining goal as age slowly creeps up on me.

My next target is to cough up $90,000, which again is a near-impossible ambition as I am a poorly paid scribe. At least I can write about it. Humpf.

The Martin Jetpack by New Zealand's Martin Aircraft is the closest thing to bringing my childhood fantasies to life. If I place an order now and put down a 10 percent deposit, it could be mine in 12 months. The problem is … Read more

Elements of Firefox overhaul arrive for testing

Mozilla, faced with new competitive pressures, has begun work on three separate, significant changes to Firefox.

First is a new JavaScript engine that--with a transfusion from the project behind Apple's Safari--should run Web-based programs at least 30 percent faster. Second is a new graphics engine for Windows that will take advantage of hardware acceleration for graphics and text. And third is a programming tool to help bring to fruition a new system for Firefox add-ons.

Mozilla made notable gains against the dominant Internet Explorer since Firefox's launch five years ago, but for much of that time, Microsoft's … Read more

Mozilla pushes back Firefox 3.6, 4.0 deadlines

Mozilla won't make a 2009 deadline for releasing Firefox 3.6 and is giving itself more time to complete a major update, version 4.0.

The organization behind the open-source Web browser had predicted a final release of Firefox 3.6 in December 2009, but the Mozilla Web site now includes "ship Firefox 3.6" as a goal for the first quarter of 2010.

In addition, Firefox 4.0, which had been due in 2010, now is "aimed at late 2010 or early 2011," with a beta due in the summer of 2010, according to Mozilla.

Schedule delays are common in the software world, but browser development is furious these days with the arrival of Google's Chrome into the market, Apple helping to expand the frontiers of what the browser can do, Opera trying to dramatically speed up JavaScript execution and display performance, and Microsoft getting more ambitious again with Internet Explorer. "We've always been more quality-driven than time-driven, but we understand timing in the market matters to our users and our competitiveness," said Mike Shaver, Mozilla's vice president of engineering, in an October interview. … Read more

Google set to promote Chrome extensions

Google is on the verge of launching a Web site to showcase its extensions to customize what its browser can do.

The company's latest developer preview edition, Chrome, promotes the feature on its opening screen and its new-tab page. "New! Google Chrome now has extensions and bookmark sync," the page reads, offering a link to a site that's not public yet, (Bookmark sync is already available.)

Extensions and support for Mac OS X and Linux are the headline features of Chrome 4.0. It's available as … Read more