Personalized dining app tells you where to eat, drink

Ness, the app that claims to know where you should eat, is expanding to other services. Just as Ness now offers users personalized recommendations on restaurants, the app will be able to tell users which bars and nightlife scenes may fit them, or where they should take their next vacation.

Ness combines artificial intelligence with and information gathered from a user's actions and social media feeds like Facebook and Foursquare to create a "taste profile" that is added to over time. It's kind of like Siri meets Yelp. The theory is the more Ness learns, the … Read more

Oxford making scientific search for Yeti, Nessie

There are those who believe that Yetis exist, most especially Georgians.

All too often when these claims are investigated, though, they turn up a gorilla costume and a couple of rogues.

However, someone is finally bringing scientific credibility to the search not only for Yetis, but also the Loch Ness Monster and, for all I know, unicorns.

Oxford University's Wolfson College has decided to invite every human being in the world to send in samples of animals that appear to be something of a mystery. … Read more

YouTube plays host to Canadian Loch Ness Monster

We here at CNET love a good monster sighting almost as much as we love a good iPhone 5 rumor.

Earlier this year, a 24-year-old kayaker by the name of Tom Pickles used his cell phone cam to snap what he claimed was a picture of "Bownessie," the lesser-known, English cousin of Scotland's headline-hogging Loch Ness Monster.

Now a Canadian man has video that he says could prove the existence of "Ogopogo," another member of (Loch) Nessie's ever-larger extended family of marine mischief makers.… Read more

iPhone app Ness knows what you like to eat

Are you ready to try another recommender app? Even if you've been burned by less-than-stellar automatic recommendations in the past, free restaurant recommender app Ness is worth a shot. The iOS app, from Silicon Valley startup Ness Computing, boasts serious technology put together by an impressive team of engineers, all in the service of giving you tips on where to grab a bite.

Ness learns over time and builds a "taste profile" of you. The more it learns, the better the recommendations, a la Pandora. Facebook and Foursquare recommendations and check-ins from friends all show up on the Ness search results page.

The app makes recommendations by crunching together your taste profile, your similarity to other people, recommendations from friends, and overall popularity ratings.

The company's Likeness Engine gives you a Likeness Score from 0 to 100 for each restaurant. I'm glad they're producing fine-grained ratings. Five stars, even with half stars, have never felt adequate.

You can also filter the results. Choose "Hide Places I've Rated" to make sure new restaurants show up at the top of your search results. And choose "No Big Chains" to stick to local businesses. Of course, if you and your friends are foodies, the chains shouldn't show up in your search results anyway, right?… Read more

Cell phone cam nabs Loch Ness Monster's cousin

editor's notebook You'd think with all the cell phone cameras out there snapping away at every inch of the planet, quaint little mysteries like Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster would be cleared up in a, um, flash.

Well, perhaps that'll turn out to be the case. According to the U.K.'s Telegraph newspaper, a kayaking IT professional recently used his mobile device to grab a photo of "Bownessie," the less-famous, English cousin of Scotland's spotlight-hogging Loch Ness Monster. The grainy snap shows four humplike shapes breaking the surface of a misty-looking body … Read more

BOL 1052: An actual piece of horse

I'm not sure why I mentioned an actual piece of horse, but it had to do with trojan horses and mysterious laptops showing up at Governor's offices around the US. We also help you get hooked up with Snow Leopard compatibility and warn you against a couple of scary government initiatives.

Subscribe with iTunes (audio) Subscribe with iTunes (video) Subscribe with RSS (audio) Subscribe with RSS (video) EPISODE 1052

Snow Leopard Application Incompatibilities Compiled

Snow Leopard’s malware protection only … Read more

Loch Ness Monster surfaces on Google Earth?

Stop the presses: According to the U.K.'s Daily Mail, a security guard was hunting around on Google Earth and spotted a mysterious object that he believes is the storied Loch Ness Monster.

The most shocking part of the report: The fact that it took this long for anyone to claim that Google Earth has found something funny swimming around in Loch Ness. I mean, hello, people. Google Earth has been feeding us tasty satellite maps for over four years now. If Google Street View can surface multiple puking drunks and streakers, you'd think that a massive sea … Read more

O Mother, where art thou?

Super Smash Bros. Brawl launched last week, and according to Nintendo it's already sold over 1.4 million copies. It features the biggest roster to date in the series, with major additions such as Solid Snake and Sonic the Hedgehog. It also includes Lucas, a psionically powered child with abilities comparable to series veteran Ness.

Ness comes from Earthbound, a Super Nintendo role-playing game that has become a cult classic because of its quirky sense of humor and simple, cartoony art style. Earthbound was originally launched in Japan as Mother 2, the sequel to an NES RPG called Mother … Read more

Nessie video: Now we have a positive ID

Experts may take years to examine and analyze the latest purported video of the Loch Ness Monster, henceforth known as "Nessie." But our crack analytic team, to wit CNET editor Lori Grunin, has identified the camcorder used to take that footage.

Lori took a look at the Scottish TV video of the cameraman and his sighting. After examining the video of the camcorder, she tells us it's an antique Sony DCR-TRV130E (an old Digital 8 model). At any rate, the camcorder is far more modern than the legends of Nessie, which go back more than 2,500 … Read more