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The 404 1,116: Where we keep up the good work (podcast)

Leaked from today's 404 episode:

- Microsoft squares off with new logo.

- Scientists discover that music memories are stored in a different part of the brain than the rest.

- Buzzfeed interviews a Google employee whose job required vetting thousands of terrible images a day.

Bathroom break video: Ghostbusters theme on eight floppy drives.

Video voice mail: Matt from Colorado Springs deserves a trucker hat.

Episode 1,116 Subscribe in iTunes (audio) | Subscribe in iTunes (video) | Subscribe in RSS Audio | Subscribe in RSS Video  

Verizon intros prepaid plans for smartphone, Jetpack hot spot

Starting May 1, Verizon is offering a new prepaid cell phone plan...starting with a single phone.

The Android -based Samsung Illusion will be the first (and right now, only) phone eligible for Big Red's $80 prepaid plan, a monthly bundle that includes unlimited talk and text, and 1GB of mobile data.

You can pick up the Samsung Illusion online or at Verizon stores for $169.99, and in a few weeks from Best Buy, RadioShack, Target, and Walmart.

Verizon isn't stopping at smartphones. It's also introducing prepaid plans for the Jetpack 4G LTE Mobile Hotspot MiFi 4510L. … Read more

Tokyoflash optical illusion watch will make your eyes cross

Remember those Magic Eye posters that were popular back in the '90s? You know, the ones where you'd focus your eyes on a 2D image and then boom, out of nowhere, a 3D image would appear? Well, that's the inspiration behind a new watch by Tokyoflash.

The Kisai Optical Illusion watch is the latest geeky accessory from Tokyoflash, and at first glance, the face of the watch just looks like a dizzying maze of lines. But of course, there's more than meets the eye.

As with the Magic Eye images, after staring at the display for a bit, you should be able to make out the hour and minutes presented in digit form. Tokyoflash says the time will be easy to see once you've trained your eyes, but if that's not the case, you can simply tap the touch screen to reveal the time. … Read more

Walking on walls in Paris

Argentinian artist Leandro Erlich is a master of deception.

His creation, a mirrored building facade called Bâtiment (Building), gives visitors to the Le 104 gallery in Paris an experience that may be about as close to the skyscraping antics of Spider-Man as any of them will ever get. … Read more

Samsung Illusion review: It does the job

Verizon is doing two things: ballooning its collection of superpremium smartphones, and shrinking its feature phone and flip phone offerings. That leaves the carrier channeling budget-keepers toward middle-of-the-road smartphones, like the Samsung Illusion.

For $79.99, you get Android 2.3 Gingerbread, a 3.2-megapixel camera, and a 1GHz single-core processor, plus all of Google's services and Verizon's V Cast apps. It's a decent smartphone, thanks to hardware that can mostly hold up and software that's by now standard. The Illusion is pure utility; just don't expect to be wowed.

Watch the review, see the photos, and read all the pros and cons in the full Samsung Illusion review.… Read more

Verizon's Samsung Illusion appears Nov. 23

A mirage no more, the Samsung Illusion is now officially on the records.

Whispers of Verizon's more midlevel Illusion first reached our ears in September, when a spoiler image briefly appeared on Flickr. Back then, we knew few details, other than its Android character.

Now we know that it runs on a 1GHz Samsung Hummingbird processor, has a 3-megapixel camera, and a curved glass display, likely similar to the Samsung Galaxy Nexus and the Nexus S.

It runs Android 2.3 Gingerbread and has the Swype virtual keyboard onboard. The microSD card slot holds cards up to 32GB, and the phone comes with 2GB to get you started. It's 3G-only.… Read more

Samsung spoiler 'proves' its Illusion real

There were whispers about the upcoming Samsung Illusion for Verizon, but a slip-up last week demonstrates that the phone is most definitely real, according to Electronista.

Apparently, it was an ill-timed Flickr image that cut through Samsung and Verizon's customary smoke and mirrors to reveal an image of an Android handset for Verizon, and confirmation that this is in fact the speculated-about SCH-I110.

Related stories • Verizon's Android plans for 2011 leaked • Full review: Samsung Convoy 2 • Full review: Samsung Droid Charge

The Illusion, also once known as the Viper, is expected to arrive on September 29, running Android 2.3 Gingerbread. It's also said to have an HVGA touch screen (320x480-pixel resolution), a 3-megapixel or 5-megapixel camera, processing speeds of up to a 1GHz (but maybe as low as 800MHz,) and 3G data speeds.

Although the original Flickr image in question has since been made private, Electronista grabbed the screenshot pictured here. In addition to that, the photo's URL still names the collection "Samsung tomorrow."

Sorry, Samsung, but it seems that no sleight of hand can shove the rabbit back into the hat.… Read more

A1 3D CG Free

Art of Illusion, a free, Java-based, open-source 3D graphics suite from Peter Eastman, is powerful and flexible enough for pro users, but its ample explanations, tutorials, wizards, and other assistance actually make it possible for beginners to learn the basics of 3D modeling just by using it.

Art of Illusion's user interface is based on Java Swing, so it's almost completely customizable. The default layout consists of four view windows displaying selectable front, back, and side views as well as a camera perspective; a sidebar containing the Objects List and Objects Property Panel; and a set of tool … Read more

Gravity-defying balls channel M.C. Escher

If you think your eyes have played tricks on you before, check out this video. It shows four little wooden balls that seem to defy gravity by rolling uphill on four slopes built of cardboard. The balls seem drawn to the slopes' peaks, as if by magnetism. That's why this bizarre creation, by Kokichi Sugihara of the Meiji Institute for Advanced Study of Mathematical Sciences in Kawasaki, Japan, won the 2010 Best Visual Illusion of the Year Contest.

The illusion is entitled "Impossible Motion: Magnet-like Slopes." When turned around, it becomes apparent that the slopes are actually … Read more

New proof of life on Mars? Sadly, no

A stunning new image taken by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter creates an optical illusion. The image might look like rows of trees on the Martian surface. But in actuality, they are probably veins of basaltic sand along sand dunes, Candy Hansen, a member of the MRO team, told the Chicago Sun-Times.

This isn't the first time images from the Red Planet have piqued the public's interest. Images released last year appeared to show forests of trees; in 2008, NASA released an image that appeared to be a person sitting on a rock but turned out to be … Read more