alexbgreat writes "What do you think is the best set of head-mounted loudspeakers for the money, with a cost of less than $50? Here are some featuresthat would be stupendous to have (in descending order of importance): noise isolation (not cancellation), flat/near flat response (I need to be able to hear bass, but I don't need my eardrums blown out), long-term comfort (earbuds usually hurt for me), and durability. Over-ear is preferred to anything on- or in-ear. Boom mics are permissible, as I may well use it as a broadcast intercom headset." If you have experience using headphones from different price ranges, feel free to share that as well.
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Last week you got a chance to ask the team behind Space Command about their project and all things sci-fi. Marc Zicree, Doug Drexler, David Raiklen, and Neil Johnson were nice enough to put down the blasters and answer a handful of your best questions. David even answered one of his own! Read below to see what they had to say.
New submitter toxygen01 writes "Neal Stephenson, sci-fi writer mostly known for his books Snowcrash and Cryptonomicon, takes on revolutionizing virtual sword fighting with help of crowdfunding. Inspired by the little-known fictional universe of 'Mongoliad,' an interactive book he is collaborating on, his company is trying to develop hardware (low-latency motion controller) and software for realistic medieval sword fighting. From what is promised, it will try to be open for other developers by having API and SDK available for further modding." Very few Kickstarter drives have a steel longsword as one of the rewards for investing.
MojoKid writes "Despite television being a rather tough nut to crack, Intel is apparently hoping that its upcoming set-top box and subscription service will be its golden ticket to delivering more Intel processors to the living room. The service would be a sort of specialized virtual cable subscription that would combine a bundle of channels with on demand content. So what's Intel's killer feature that distinguishes it from the vast and powerful competition? Granular ratings that result in targeted ads. Intel is promising technology in a set-top box that can distinguish who is watching, potentially allowing Intel to target advertising. The technology could potentially identify if the viewer is an adult or a child, male or female, and so on, through interactive features and face recognition technology."
stevegee58 writes "After 25 years on the air, Tom and Ray Magliozzi (aka Click and Clack, The Tappet Brothers) are calling it quits in September. With their nerdy humor, explosive laughter and geek cred (both MIT alums) Tom and Ray will be sorely missed by the average NPR-listening Slashdotter." How many garages have names as cool as "Hacker's Haven"? I've long thought that someone should assemble a compilation featuring nothing but hours of their laughter. (Which will be available for sampling, since they will continue to play archived material for a long time yet.)
TheGift73 sends this excerpt from TorrentFreak: "With nearly 4 million downloads per episode, the HBO hit series Game of Thrones is the most pirated TV-show of the season. Worldwide hype combined with restricted availability are the key ingredients for the staggering number of unauthorized downloads. How I Met Your Mother and The Big Bang Theory complete the top three, albeit with significantly fewer downloads than the chart topper. ... While there are many reasons for people to download TV-shows through BitTorrent, airing delays and HBO's choice not to make it widely available online are two of the top reasons."
dsinc was the first to note, but an anonymous reader writes "Ray Bradbury, author of Fahrenheit 451, the dystopian novel about the logical conclusion of many trends in modern society, and many other works that have inspired fans of speculative fiction for decades, has died at the age of 91 in Los Angeles, California, Tuesday night, June 5th, 2012. No details on how he died were released, but I suspect it may have had something to do with the Earth orbiting the sun over 90 times since he was born. I guess we'll have to wait to be sure."
An anonymous reader writes "The IFPI, the global recording industry association, recently released its Recording Industry in Numbers 2012, which provides detailed sales data from countries around the world. While CRIA talks about 'rebuilding the marketplace,' the industry's own data indicates that Canada already stands among the global leaders in digital music sales. Michael Geist digs into the data and finds that Canadians purchased more single track downloads than Germany or Japan, and more than double the sales in France, despite the fact that each of those countries has far larger populations. In fact, Canadian sales were larger than all the sales from Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Finland, France, Greece, Ireland, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, and Sweden combined. Not only is the Canadian digital market far larger than virtually every European market, it continues to grow faster than the U.S. digital music market as well. In fact, the Canadian digital music market has grown faster than the U.S. market for the past six consecutive years."
MojoKid writes "When it comes to Star Wars, the gaming industry has a long history of cranking out titles of uncertain quality. For every brilliant title like Knights of the Old Republic, we've seen several clunkers and a few outright failures like Republic Heroes. LucasArts demonstrated a new Star Wars game at E3 this week, Star Wars: 1313 and despite the brand's uneven history, folks are cautiously optimistic. The 1313 moniker refers to a specific level of Coruscant which is a haven for criminals, bounty hunters, and crime lords. You take on the role of a bounty hunter looking for information on an unspecified criminal conspiracy who descends to 1313 in search of data. This will likely be the first Star Wars game to be rated 'M' for mature, and it focuses on the seedy underbelly of the universe."
Hugh Pickens writes "A scenic mountain village in Austria called Hallstatt has been copied, down to the statues, by a Chinese developer. Residents of the original Hallstatt attended Saturday's opening in China for the high-end residential project, but were still miffed about how the company did it. 'They should have asked the owners of the hotel and the other buildings if we agree with the idea to rebuild Hallstatt in China, and they did not,' says hotel owner Monika Wenger. People in Hallstatt first learned a year ago of the plan when a Chinese guest at Wenger's hotel who was involved with the project inadvertently spilled the beans. Minmetals staff had been taking photos and gathering data while mingling with tourists, raising suspicions among villagers. The original village is a centuries-old village of 900 and a UNESCO heritage site that survives on tourism. The copycat is a $940 million housing estate that thrives on China's new rich. In a country famous for pirated products, the replica Hallstatt sets a new standard. 'The moment I stepped into here, I felt I was in Europe,' says 22-year-old Zhu Bin, a Huizhou resident. 'The security guards wear nice costumes. All the houses are built in European style.' This isn't the first time a Chinese firm has used a European place as inspiration. The Chinese city of Anting, some 30 kilometers from Shanghai, created a district designed to accommodate 20,000 residents called 'German Town Anting' and in 2005 Chengdu British Town was modeled on the English town of Dorchester."
Marc Zicree, Doug Drexler, David Raiklen, and Neil Johnson are the guys behind the fastest funded film project ever on Kickstarter, Space Command. The project will feature a number of Star Trek vets behind the camera and a number of Trek actors are also involved, including Armin Shimerman, George Takei, Ethan Phillips and Robert Picardo. The team has graciously agreed to take some time from trying to make a crowd-funded movie, building spaceships, and exploring alien worlds to answer your questions. Ask as many as you like but please confine your questions to one per post.
theodp writes "In a move that evokes memories of Steve Ballmer's initial pooh-poohing of the iPhone threat, DirecTV Chairman Michael White downplayed the Apple TV hype, expressing doubts that 'Apple's interface will be so much better than DirecTVs' that people will be willing to pay for an extra box. So, will White's statement — 'It's hard to see (it) obsoleting our technology' — come back to haunt him?"
eldavojohn writes "The title of this hard-hitting piece of journalism reads 'Powerful 'Flame' cyberweapon tied to popular Angry Birds game,' and opens with, 'The most sophisticated and powerful cyberweapon uncovered to date was written in the LUA computer language, cyber security experts tell Fox News — the same one used to make the incredibly popular Angry Birds game.' The rest of the details that are actually pertinent to the story follow that important message. The graphic for this story? Perhaps a map of Iran, or the LUA logo, or maybe the stereotyped evil hacker in a ski mask? Nope, all Angry Birds. Describing LUA as 'Gamer Code,' Fox for some reason (popularity?) selects Angry Birds from an insanely long list in their article implying guilt-by-shared-development-language. I'm not sure if explaining machine language to them would alleviate the perceived problem or cause them to burn their desktops in the streets and launch a new crusade to protect the children."
silentbrad writes "The CBC reports, 'Money can't buy love — but if you want some great tunes playing at your wedding, it's going to cost you. The Copyright Board of Canada has certified new tariffs that apply to recorded music used at live events including conventions, karaoke bars, ice shows, fairs and, yes, weddings. The fees will be collected by a not-for-profit called Re:Sound. While the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada (otherwise known as SOCAN) already collects money from many of these events for the songwriters, Re:Sound will represent the record labels and performers who contributed to the music. .. For weddings, receptions, conventions, assemblies and fashion shows, the fee is $9.25 per day if fewer than 100 people are present and goes up to $39.33 for crowds of more than 500 people. If there's dancing, the fees double. Karaoke bars will pay between $86.06 and $124 annually depending on how many days per week they permit the amateur crooning. And parades, meanwhile, will be charged $4.39 for each float with recorded music participating in the parade, subject to a minimum fee of $32.55 per day.'"
VVrath writes "Following Tuesday's story about MuseScore releasing its open source recording of the Goldberg Variations, the Musopen project has released ProTools files from its open source recording project. The final edited recordings are still being worked on but it seems we're living in very interesting times regarding open source classical music."