lockout

Cross The Streams: The World’s End Will Assimilate You

Here’s what’s new in streaming sci-fi!

Ghostbusters

Ghostbusters: 30 Things You Might Not Know About The Classic Comedy

It’s headed back into theaters, for one thing!

0

The Walking Dead’s Governor Would Love To Return To Doctor Who

TimeLords

British actor David Morrissey is currently bringing The Walking Dead’s villainous Governor to life on AMC, but genre fans might recall that he put in some time on another fan favorite a few years ago. He appeared in the 2008 Doctor Who Christmas special, entitled “The Next Doctor,” as “Jackson Lake,” a man who was convinced that he was an incarnation of the Doctor, much to the chagrin of then-current Tenth Doctor, played by David Tennant. And while his dance card is certainly filled these days, he’d still love to return to Doctor Who in some capacity in the future.

Speaking to Den of Geek, Morrissey reminisced about his experiences on Doctor Who, and how eager he would be for a return trip to then TARDIS:

I would absolutely love to do it again. I had such a ball doing it. [Doctor Who writer] Mark Gatiss says, you know, there’s nothing more blissful for him to write than ‘Interior TARDIS: Day’ or whatever on the top of one of his scripts, it’s living the dream. And for me, when I went down and worked on it, I thought ‘This is great’, it’s a really well-run show, people take it very seriously but you have fun on it. And l loved that character, I really loved Jackson Lake, I thought he was a really interesting man, he was in some sort of trauma himself and the Doctor liberates him from that…

3

NASA Beams The Mona Lisa Into Space By Laser, Possibly Synced To A Pink Floyd Album

Mona

Remember that guy Leonardo Da Vinci, that old Italian hack that painted religious people and sorta came up with helicopters and all that? I mean, I’m sure he was a cool guy and all — he’s named after a Ninja Turtle, for one — but he used oil paint to produce his “classics.” I mean, how archaic can you get? That’s like saying I walked to my mailbox using a Homo Habilis’ feet. This is 2013. We use lasers for that shit. (Note: I was just joshing up there.)

The elusive smile of the Mona Lisa, arguably Da Vinci’s most famous work, has been beamed by laser to NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), a spacecraft that has been going around the Moon since 2009, mapping things and waiting to assist in future lunar excursions. The Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer will be the source of that next excursion, and the successful laseriffic communication between land and space “sets the stage for the Lunar Laser Communications Demonstration, a high data rate laser-communication-demonstration that will be a central feature” of that mission, said researcher Richard Vondrak of the LRO.

If you thought fax machines were magic when they came out, this is even more amazing. The Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, MD, is where the Next Generation Satellite Laser Ranging station is located. From there, a series of laser signals were sent 240,000 miles to the LRO, which was optimal since it’s followed not only by radio signals but by laser as well. The Mona Lisa was mapped out into pixels and separated into sections that were 150 x 200 pixels each, and were then pulsed out via laser, using a timed system resembling Morse code that adjusted the image’s shading. Once that was complete, the image was sent back to earth using radio signals, and there she was, looking as pristine as something you would get from a fax machine. While that sounds slightly disparaging, it isn’t meant to. Lasers sent a message across that wasn’t, “Hey, look at me, I’m making myself laugh by pointing a laser where someone’s nipple would be if they weren’t wearing a shirt.”

4

Fallout Video Game Series May Get TV Spinoff

Fallout

From the moment the original 1997 game invited us to wander the wastes of a snarky, darkly hysterical apocalypse, the Fallout series has been a fan favorite for its mixture of eccentric characters, retrofuturism, and a general sense that the end of the world doesn’t have to be the end of the world. The series got a shot in the arm when Bethesda Game Studios released the excellent Fallout 3, which changed up the gameplay but stayed true to everything that made the earlier games work so well. There’s still no word when the inevitable Fallout 4 will be officially announced, but fans of the series may have something unexpected to look forward to: a Fallout TV series.

The folks at IGN noticed that Bethesda had recently filed a trademark application for “an on-going television program set in a post-nuclear apocalyptic world.” That certainly sounds like a Fallout series. And if Fallout 4 is going to release sometime in the next few years, most likely once the next Xbox and PlayStation models are out, it would make good business sense to have both the show and the new game help cross-promote each other.

Also worth noting is that Fallout 3 voice actor Erik Todd Dellums tweeted the following last week:

1

This Robot Will Clean Your Windows Before Taking Over The World

I don’t need an infomercial’s incessant problem-listing to know that cleaning windows can be a son of a bitch. Depending on the height and location, some windows are just begging to be left as grimy portals that are lucky to get a hose spray every now and again. I don’t understand who needs to see in or out of that part of the attic anyway.

Taking away the toil and sweat of what used to be normal window-washing is the Winbot 7, which will use its “Don’t Call It a Vertical Roomba” technology to wash your windows while you divert your attention to other things. (Like possibly waiting for the Winbot 7 to finish one window so you can manually lift it and place it on the next window.) The device sticks to the window using a dual-suction system while it maps its way between your window panes. The actual cleaning is accomplished with a wet pad wiping up the endless amount of fingerprints, while a squeegee pushes aside excess moisture so a cloth can wipe the glass dry, leaving it spotlessly clean.

2

NYPD Aims To Foil Pharmacy Robberies With GPS-Tracking Pill Bottles

Pills pouring from a medication bottle

I’m not going to sit here and lie to you, readers, even though I’m completely unprovoked and no one really asked. I’ve taken my share of prescription medications, and with only a few trips to the dentist and doctor under my belt, the means in which I’d acquired them was rarely legitimate. But I never stole any. Except for the ones I skimmed off my dad, rest his soul. And I’d have to assume at least one of the people I bought them from had stolen them in the first place. So maybe it could be considered theft. But I never got caught red-handed! Except for when one of the side effects made my hands turn red.

The New York Police Department, as a way of combating a rash of violent pharmacy robberies in the last year, has implemented the use of decoy pill bottles embedded with GPS tracking chips. The bottles, which are weighted and designed to rattle when shaken, immediately emit their tracking signal once they’re removed from a special base. It’s hoped the thieves will not inventory their stash immediately, which would allow police officers the time to pinpoint a location and plan their approach. The default plan is probably just to point a gun at the person and yell, “Give me back those fucking pills!”

0

Oculus Rift Virtual Reality System Will Showcase Team Fortress 2 Port At GDC 2013

Oculus

The Oculus Rift, brainchild of Palmer Luckey, sounds like something made by Thor’s Hammer, but it is actually the future, or rather the present, of virtual reality. Yes, that virtual reality, for years predicted and hoped to be the apex of video gaming, beyond a host of other applicable uses in our lives. It had been rattling around in the rumor bin for a while, sopping up over $2.4 million dollars from a Kickstarter fun, and the public finally got their hands on it at last weeks’s Consumer Electronic Show (CES). The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, which is startling for such a complicated piece of gear.

Though development kits won’t be sent to game developers until March 2013 — which puts consumer versions later in the year — the trendsetters at Valve Software will beat everyone to the punch when they unveil the Oculus Rift-optimized Team Fortress 2, the popular first-person shooter, at this years Game Developers Conference from March 25-29, 2013. Two presentations will accompany the gameplay. Joe Ludwig of Valve will be hosting “What We Learned Porting Team Fortress 2 to Virtual Reality,” and Michael Abrash, also of Valve, will present “Why Virtual Reality Is Hard.” Both will go a long way in providing future developers insight on how the process works, which will hopefully negate some of the trial-by-error effects of working with a new kind of technology.