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Video: Dunder Mifflin’s Office Remade As A Counter Strike Source Map

Posted: 25 Jan 2012 04:15 AM PST


Long before the advent of such games as Minecraft, virtual worlds were coded primarily as first person shooter maps. You could play Half-Life deathmatch in a super-sized kitchen, Counter Strike on a World War II battlefield and so on. Map making was an artform. But it’s clearly not dead.

The story goes that this CSS mapper starter building the map in 2009. Since then he’s logged over 500 hours of crafting every detail but he’s not done. In fact he’s looking for someone to complete his masterpiece. Perhaps he’s like me and just bored with the series now that Michael Scott followed his love to Colorado. Who knows, anyway, the map is impressive as is, although I’m not sure if it has the same playability as the original cs_office. Unless of course the map includes Dwight’s weapon caches and super heated door knobs.

Japan’s NICT Creates Quantum Dots To Boost Optic Fiber Bandwidth By 7-10 Times, Shoot High-Res Pictures Of Molecules (Video)

Posted: 25 Jan 2012 01:02 AM PST

nict quantum dots

A team of researchers at the Photonic Network Research Institute of Japan’s National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT) has developed a new light source technology that might pave the way to some pretty spectacular applications in the future.

The core piece of the technology are “high-quality” quantum dots, tiny nano particles, that boast higher stability and optical frequency than those created the conventional way.

By using the so-called “Sandwiched sub-nano separator structure”, NICT says their quantum dots can be utilized in optical frequency bands that are about 70 Thz wide, which is about seven times wider than the 10Thz of conventional frequency bands currently offer.

NICT also says that because this new wavelength band can permeate human skin, their technology could also be used in bio-imaging, for example to shoot high-resolution photos of new molecules in cells.

NICT explains their light source technology:

Usually when you fabricate quantum dots, you grow crystalline quantum dot particles, in nanometer size, on the semiconductor surface. But this time, we’ve formed a very thin layer, less than one nanometer thick, between the surface and the dots. By adding just this nanometer layer, we’ve be able to form high-quality quantum dots, without aggregation structures, at very high density.

This video, shot by Diginfo TV in Tokyo, provides more insight (in English):

Daily Crunch: Apples & Eggs

Posted: 25 Jan 2012 01:00 AM PST

Tim Cook: Apple TV IS Still A Hobby, But I Couldn’t Live Without It

Posted: 24 Jan 2012 02:45 PM PST


Apple TV is still a hobby. The word comes from Apple’s Chief, Tim Cook who nevertheless championed the company’s current offering. He stated that Apple sold more than 2.8 million Apple TV units last fiscal year with 1.4 million moved within Q1 2012 (a new record for the device).

"Our Apple TV product is doing quite well… but in the scheme of things, we still classify Apple TV as a hobby. We continue to add things to it. If you're using the latest one — I don't know about you, but I can't live without it. Other than that, no comment." said Cook.

Apple HDTV speculation has run wild the last few years. It’s been said that the late Steve Jobs wanted a proper Apple TV but HDTVs have notoriously low-margin devices — Apple doesn’t make products they can’t make money on. That said, connected TVs seem to be the next big thing in the consumer space. Samsung made a huge splash at CES 2012 with their 4th generation platform. Previous Apple HDTV rumors place Apple launching two models sometime in the middle of 2012. But, as of right now, it’s still a hobby.

Full Circle: Boxee Brings OTA HDTV And Basic Cable To The Boxee Box

Posted: 24 Jan 2012 06:00 AM PST

Boxee Live TV (1 of 1)

Boxee just reinvented the box. The Boxee Box is no longer just a media streamer, thanks to the just-released Boxee Live TV. The little USB ATSC tuner integrates OTA HDTV and basic cable seamlessly into the Boxee Box’s menu system, and I found it’s as wonderful as it sounds. The little box is now the cord cutter’s best friend (if it wasn’t already).

Setup is easy. Connect an antenna or cable line to the dongle and then plug it into one of the Boxee Box’s two USB ports. From there, just select Live TV from the main menu to start watching after an initial channel scan. There’s even a basic content guide like that on most cable boxes.

The Live TV dongle ships with a small, passive antenna (pictured top), which managed to pull in just two ATSC stations in my area. The ancient aerial antenna on my roof pulled in eleven. But that’s to be expected; the dongle is simply an ATSC tuner. Like any over-the-air tuner, the bigger the antenna, the better the reception you will receive.

But the tuner isn’t just for OTA TV. It also pulls basic cable stations, too. Some cable providers provide a basic channel lineup with cable modem service for little or no cost. These stations (there are usually between 10-25) can be picked up with any TV tuner including Boxee’s Live TV dongle. Other companies pipe a full complement of unencrypted stations including HD stations through their wires that will work, too. Your mileage will very.

The tuner works as advertised but there are still several features missing for the Boxee Box to be the ultimate cord cutting device. For one, DVR functionality would be killer if, say, the Boxee Box could schedule and record live TV to a local or network drive. The Boxee team says they’re looking into the feasibility of a DVR so it could be in the works. The content guide could also use a little work. Right now, it’s just a list of stations on the left side of the screen. Boxee should look to TiVo and others to build a more complete guide.

As with the rest of Boxee, the app is social. Users can share what they’re watching on Twitter, Tumblr and Facebook.

The bottom line is Boxee Live TV works. Plug in the dongle to bring live, somewhat traditional content to the Boxee Box. It’s that simple. Sure, most HDTVs already have a ATSC tuner built-in but using it is often a hassle. Boxee Live TV is as easy as the rest of the media stream. The Boxee Box was already the best device to rid oneself from the chains of subscription TV. Now it’s just that much better.

Boxee Live TV will ship this week for $49.99. It’s a tough sell to those that use a Boxee Box for a cable TV supplement, not a full replacement (like me). However, it’s a no-brainer for Boxee Box owners without any other form of pay TV.