Playing the market: When video games and stocks collide

It's early on a Saturday morning, and after careful preparations, I'm ready to become a multimillionaire.

I'm selling turnips, and the shop in my town is buying them for about four times what most people paid earlier in the week. As a cherry on top, I've opened my town up to a group of Internet strangers who hope to cash in on the pricing anomaly, and who I really hope won't destroy everything I've built in the process.

Naturally, this isn't a real town, but one inside Nintendo's Animal Crossing, a simulation … Read more

Crave Ep. 140: Lightning strikes, and charges, a phone

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This week on Crave, we get a quick lesson on how Google's Project Loon Internet-broadcasting balloons will ride wind currents in the stratosphere. One of the largest nuclear reactors in the world is shut down by jellyfish. And watch a cell phone get charged with a bolt of (artificial) lightning. All that and a few more odds and ends on the latest episode of Crave. Read more

Bosses respond to the dancing YouTube quitter

It's a strange serendipity that this morning I was talking, from my sofa, to a class at the University of Missouri Journalism School.

Highly engaged and polite, they were too. (How will they ever make it as journalists?)

During a conversation about philosophy, technology, and dancing, they brought up an alumna, Marina Shifrin. Some seemed undecided exactly how proud of her they should be.

Shifrin, you cannot have forgotten, is the writer who quit a Taiwanese animation company by posting a YouTube video that has now been viewed by millions.

Next Media Animation decided that it would offer a jigging retort, which is also something of a jiggling retort.… Read more

Industrial robots star in projection-mapping video

Industrial robots are inherently bad ass. But when programmed as part of a work of art, they become magical.

With a nod to Arthur C. Clarke, San Francisco design and engineering firm Bot & Dolly understands this concept well. It spent two years working on "Box," a five-minute film that explores the nexus of man, machine, and art.

The video employs projection-mapping techniques, a human actor, and several large robotic arms to spectacular effect. … Read more

Review: Animal Ludo - Fly Chess is cute but lacks direction

Animal Ludo combines farm animals and fun, colorful themes with a very popular free game, but unfortunately is not quite polished enough. The game, itself, works fine but the small graphics, hard-to-see game board, and lack of direction for those who have not played before can be frustrating in an app that seems designed to appeal to children.

When you open Animal Ludo, you can start playing immediately by tapping the "Play" button. There are no other options here other than checking Game Center integration. Once you've started, you can select whether a player will be human … Read more

Goodbye, Kitty: Iran to send Persian cat into space?

I am not sure that animals really want to be sent into space.

They seem all too comfortable down here.

Yet ever since the days that the Russians wanted to show that theirs was bigger than anyone else's, there's been a twisted fascination with the idea of animals in the outer darkness.… Read more

Canadian man thwarts polar bear attack with cell phone

Mobile phones are amazing tools -- and sometimes even life savers.

That's what a Canadian man learned over the weekend when he apparently used his cell phone to stop a polar bear attack in Churchill, Manitoba.

Garett Kolsun was walking home alone early Saturday morning when he found himself face to face with a 400-pound polar bear. It cornered him and sank its teeth into his hip. Kolsun seemed doomed until he whipped out his cell phone. … Read more

Watch a girl age decades, almost imperceptibly, in minutes

Yesterday I saw a photo of myself from 16 years ago. I was struck by how the years -- and all that hair -- seem to have slipped away so quickly. It feels like I'll wake up tomorrow and it'll be 2030.

By then, of course, we'll be uploading our minds to our immortal robot clones. But for now, age keeps coming back to haunt us like an annoying Adobe Flash update.

That's why a new video from filmmaker Anthony Cerniello is so striking. It shows a girl slowly and almost imperceptibly aging decades in about four minutes. … Read more

Rounding up CNET's pictorial coverage of Dragon Con

ATLANTA -- Over Labor Day weekend, Georgia hosted one of the premiere geek conventions around, known as Dragon Con.

The event, now in its 26th year, stretched over five convention-size hotels in downtown Atlanta and brought in more than 50,000 people to celebrate every walk of geek culture, from video games to comic books, anime, and more. There were countless discussion panels, plus vendors, art, and cosplay, lots and lots of cosplay. … Read more

The 404 1,330: Where all your base are still belong to us (podcast)

Leaked from today's 404 episode:

- Police: 8-year-old shoots, kills elderly caregiver after playing video game.

- Xbox 360, 3DS lead disappointing July for game business.

- New York Videogame Critics Circle.

- Check out Harold's book, "All Your Base Are Belong to Us: How Fifty Years of Videogames Conquered Pop Culture."

- Follow Harold on Twitter.… Read more