Comic-Con fandemonium!

CBS recently crossed into a new fan frontier with its first-ever booth and extensive presence at Comic-Con. For the uninitiated, Comic-Con is a wildly popular comic-book convention that's been drawing huge crowds for decades. In recent years, the four-day consumer event in San Diego has broadened its offering to also include horror, sci-fi, movies, television, and online entertainment.

People from everywhere flock to see the coolest comics and costumes, to sample movie and TV previews, to snag exclusive giveaways, and to get a glimpse of their favorite stars. Attendees are passionate entertainment lovers in the truest sense: they spend … Read more

News.com Daily Podcast: Better living through green chemistry

The new iPhone and an editor's dilemma; the new Netflix Player flies off the shelves; and MIT predicts which technologies will jump-start the economy. Listen now: Download today's podcast

A growing number of chemists are working to keep toxins out of our landfills. At the CSI Clean Technology conference taking place this week in Boston, a representative from the Environmental Protection Agency says small changes in the chemicals used in products have prevented at least 200 million pounds per year of hazardous substances from entering the market. CNET News.com intern Holly Jackson speaks with reporter Martin LaMonica … Read more

The re-keying deadbolt that 'learns'

If you're the hopelessly paranoid sort who identifies with Mel Gibson's character in Conspiracy Theory, a New York cabbie who barricades himself at home with a phalanx of deadbolts, you'll love the KwikSet Smartkey. The secret to this formidable piece of security is its "un-bumpable" technology, a "side locking bar" that bypasses the traditional pins-and-tumblers system that just seems too easy to pick if you've watched enough CSI episodes. (Wikipedia has more on this.) If that's not enough peace of mind for you, there's an option to self-program any key … Read more

'The Office', 'CSI', and 'Ugly Betty' get it

Along with being entertained, what can we learn from them?

Over the years, and long before the Web entered into the mix, people have become very attached to their programs. While the networks may, and perhaps still do, have some trepidation about copyright issues and online file sharing, they've also realized that the Web gives them even more opportunities to get in front of their audiences.

The networks and shows aren't limited to the 30 or 60 minutes a week any more. The Web provides a 24-7 connection, and thanks to mobile access, nearly unlimited potential. But just like any other business, success on the Web isn't guaranteed. Let's take a look at three examples across the three major broadcast networks.… Read more

Asbestos suspected in 'CSI' fingerprint kit

Kids who want to play CSI can use a kit that shows how to dust for fingerprints, blowing away excess powder in the process. The play dust, however, contains enough asbestos to trigger cancer later in life, according to the nonprofit Environmental Working Group, which tracks toxic ingredients in consumer products.

The powder was found to contain as much as 7 percent of tremolite, one the most fatal forms of asbestos. One-time exposure has been linked with developing lung disease and mesothelioma years or decades later. The toxicant was found in six of eight samples tested by the Asbestos Disease … Read more

New 'Second Life' viewer adopted by CBS' 'CSI'

SAN JOSE, Calif.--The Virtual World conference got off to a quick start this morning when The Electric Sheep Company, a leading developer of corporate projects in Second Life, announced that it has released a new viewer for the popular digital 3D social environment.

The idea behind the new technology, which is called OnRez, is that it would allow Second Life residents to use the virtual world through a Web browser-like system. It would also make it easy to buy all kinds of in-world products through the OnRez shopping system, which has been around for some time.

One thing that … Read more

DNA testing in a briefcase

At this rate, we'll all be doing our own CSI-style investigations as technology becomes increasingly mainstream. The latest example is a "briefcase DNA analysis system" that can reportedly do a complete test at crime scenes in 25 minutes, as opposed to typical lab time of one day to a week.

The system, developed by Japan's NEC and Aida Engineering, combines several functions in one device and dramatically speeds the heating and cooling processes required for DNA testing. "The compact unit can be used to: (1) take cell samples, (2) extract the DNA, (3) perform polymerase … Read more

'FRED': a CSI detective's best friend

First, we admit to some potential bias here: We're not huge fans of CSI, in whatever location--Miami, New York, Vegas, Walla Walla--so perhaps we're missing something here. Still, we can't help but think that this product is an indication that some people might be getting a wee obsessed with the whole forensics craze. (The fact that forensics can constitute a craze is disturbing enough as it is.)

Digital Intelligence's "Forensic Recovery of Evidence Device," or FRED to its friends, and its related "On Location" equipment are designed to accompany you to the … Read more

When your skull is the best speaker

Are we the only ones who get freaked out by the idea of having soundwaves shooting through our bones? Apparently so, judging by the number of products on the market that do just that.

The latest skeleton-rattling device comes from China, where a company called Temco just released a "bone conduction" Bluetooth headset that forgoes the usual earpieces and sends your tunes via vibrations directly through your skull, Akihabara News reports. But it looks kind of clunky, especially considering that it apparently doesn't have a built-in MP3 player as similar products do. And what good are these … Read more