What are they drinking? Text message sent using...vodka

When hearing that scientists in Canada and the UK have sorted out how to spray molecules of vodka to send a generic message a few meters through open space, one should be forgiven for concluding that said scientists were helping themselves to a bit of the ol' liquor cabinet in the process.

Not necessarily so. The first text to be literally (as opposed to the countless that have been figuratively) fueled by alcohol could prove to be a major step forward in the world of molecular communication, with a range of applications in environments where electromagnetic waves don't work … Read more

Knytt Underground for Mac 1.0 Review

Although the number of games available for Mac trails the number of Windows games, there are still plenty of options. But Knytt Underground for Mac's dated graphics and slow gameplay make it a poor one.

Knytt Underground for Mac offers a free trial version with a 60-minute time limit. The full version is available for $7.99. Installation requires the separate download of a Mac game store, which added time to the setup. Once the store was installed, the game downloaded into it quickly. After starting up, the game has no menus to speak of and immediately starts with … Read more

The 404 1,221: Where it's the fungus that kills us (podcast)

Leaked from today's 404 episode:

- The Valve Steam Box is coming.

- How HBO will tackle "Game of Thrones" piracy.

- The Last of Us has a unique plotline with clicking mushroom people.… Read more

If London were a circuit board

Wanna get from South Kensington to Piccadilly on the London underground? According to artist Yuri Suzuki 's Tube Map Radio, you'll just need to pass the capacitor and get off at the resistor.

Using an electronic circuit board, Suzuki created a radio that looks like a map of the London underground. He even strategically placed components to reflect London locales -- a speaker volume knob sits at the site of the famed Speaker's Corner, for example, and a power battery gets placement near the Battersea Power Station on the south bank of the River Thames. … Read more

Google Street View goes cave-diving in Japan

Sit behind the computer too much and you might find yourself wanting to see more natural wonders. Well, Google Japan found a new way for people to explore the world, one cave at a time.

The search giant sent several photography crews to shoot long exposures of several popular underground (natural and man-made) formations in Japan. The two areas include the centuries-old Okubo-mabu mineshaft (part of Iwami Ginzan) and massive Akiyoshi-do limestone cavern, available for viewing via the Street View interface. Click on the gallery below; 360-degree views of silver, stalactites, and stalagmites await your eyeballs...

(Via AV Watch)

Cell phone service comes to some NYC subway stations

New Yorkers will finally be able to use their cell phones in subway stations--as long as their commute takes them through one neighborhood in Manhattan.

The New York Times reported yesterday that cellular service will come to four stations starting Tuesday. AT&T and T-Mobile customers will be able to make phone calls, send text messages, and browse the Internet on their phone underground--something that's virtually impossible today. The deployment is extremely limited: only four stations in the Chelsea neighborhood on the west side of Manhattan.

The initial launch, which acts as a pilot program for a wider … Read more

Ooh, ahh: Weather Underground goes full-screen

Weather service Weather Underground has a new trick up its sleeve: it can now show you the weather on a full-screen Google Map. The company is aptly calling it Fullscreenweather.com.

Fullscreenweather works just like Google Maps, meaning you can use your mouse wheel to zoom in and out, as well as use it to drag around the surface. It also includes quick toggles to change the terrain type, as well as what weather layer you're looking at--like temperature, precipitation, and cloud cover.

The company says it's been designed especially for touch-screen devices, including the Apple's upcoming … Read more

The 404 Podcast 468: Where we take a RIDE with Tony Hawk

CNET's The 404 Podcast is very proud to welcome Tony Hawk to the studio today! The man who rode skateboarding to mainstream success sits down with us for a chat about his expansive video game franchise, skateboarding being added to the Olympics, and, of course, his newest game, Tony Hawk: RIDE.

All of us have been huge fans of the Tony Hawk video game franchise since the first Tony Hawk Pro Skater, but his latest game, Tony Hawk: RIDE, brings a new level of entertainment to the series with a physical skateboard equipped with a contoured base, infrared sensors, and four smart motion sensors that help you push, turn, lean, and pull off unbelievable tricks within the virtual environments. Tony tells us all about the creation of the board and the prototype decks that didn't make the cut. He also explains the motivation behind making the switch to a physical board instead of the hand-held controller that propelled the original games into instant classics, making comparisons to the Wii Fit Balance Board to show how much extra work went into the dual accelerometers.

After getting the full scoop about the game (in stores tomorrow for $120), we're all very excited to see him in action with a live in-studio demo on an Xbox 360. Tony shows us how the accelerometers pick up the movement of your feet on the board and how to grab the nose by simply bending over and reaching toward the front of the board. After he goes through some of the basic moves, he hands the board over to me to give it a shot. Obviously, Tony Hawk himself is a hard act to follow, but I think I pulled off a few tricks before face-planting onto the concrete. Be sure to check out the video for all the action.

After the break, we talk to Tony a bit more about the game and how influential the series has been on bringing the sport to mainstream popularity, the eclectic music choices in the soundtrack, and some of the active characters you can choose. And, of course, we have to get Tony's take on the future of skateboarding and whether or not the sport will ever go the way of snowboarding to make it as an official event at the Olympics.

There's a whole lot more to talk about with Tony, a few Calls From the Public, and some insightful questions from the chat room, so be sure to listen or watch the entire episode for the full scoop. Much thanks to Tony for coming on the show and keep listening for a chance to win a copy of the game!

EPISODE 468 Subscribe in iTunes audio | Suscribe to iTunes (video) | Subscribe in RSS Audio | Subscribe in RSS VideoRead more

Symantec tool calculates your data's value to thieves

It's no secret that criminals are stealing credit card and bank account data and selling it underground. But most people would find it shocking to learn just how little their sensitive personal information costs.

Symantec on Thursday is launching its Norton Online Risk Calculator, a tool that people can use to see how much their online information is worth on the black market. The tool also offers a risk rating based on demographics, online activity, and estimated value of online information.

I tried the tool when I was initially briefed on it a few months ago and was surveyed … Read more

Turn to these sites if the weather is bad

The weather over the past few days has been awful across the U.S. Just as I was thinking that spring had finally sprung, another six inches of snow fell and, once again, I was forced to head outside and start shoveling.

Only this time, I didn't even know the storm was coming. I hadn't visited my typical weather destinations on the Web and I hadn't checked out my mobile apps. It was, for the lack of a better term, a perfect storm. So when I woke up yesterday morning and saw just how much snow had … Read more