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Monday, November 3, 2008

Sen. McCain and Gov. Palin (Fey) address the Nation on QVC

Bruce Campbell's My Name Is Bruce Trailer!

by Alex Billington

My Name Is Bruce Trailer

This is a very long-time in the making - the last official trailer for Bruce Campbell's self-titled horror movie epic - My Name Is Bruce! The film is currently touring the US right now (see the schedule here) and will most likely be coming to your own local town soon, so don't miss it. If you need any incentive to go see it - this trailer is it! My Name Is Bruce stars Bruce Campbell as himself - a self-obsessed B-movie star who is coaxed by a group of fanboys to fight a real undead monster in a small rural town in Oregon. This looks absolutely ridiculously fun, much more so than Man with the Screaming Brain, and I can't wait to see it!

Watch the trailer for My Name Is Bruce:

You can also watch the My Name Is Bruce trailer in High Definition on Apple

My Name Is Bruce is direct by "The Chin" himself, Bruce Campbell, who has directed a few odd indie films previously, most notably Man with the Screaming Brain. The script was written by "Smallville" and "Battlestar Galactica" writer Mark Verheiden. The film was produced by Dark Horse Entertainment and is theoretically being distributed by Lionsgate, although there is no actual release date. Instead, Bruce Campbell is touring around the US himself showing the film himself - see the full schedule here.

My Name Is Bruce Poster

Culpepper agrees to deal with Lions

The Minnesota Vikings Dante Culpepper walks off the field following the Vikings 21-18 loss to the Washington Redskins on Sunday January 2, 2005 at Fed Ex Field in Landover, Maryland. (UPI Photo/Mark Goldman)
The Minnesota Vikings Dante Culpepper walks off the field following the Vikings 21-18 loss to the Washington Redskins on Sunday January 2, 2005 at Fed Ex Field in Landover, Maryland. (UPI Photo/Mark Goldman)

DETROIT, Nov. 2 (UPI) -- Free-agent quarterback Daunte Culpepper has reached a deal with the winless Detroit Lions but has yet to sign a contract, Coach Rod Marinelli said Sunday.

While some news organizations reported Saturday that Culpepper had signed a two-year deal, Marinelli indicated that was premature.

"We have agreed to terms on a contract with Daunte Culpepper, pending completion of a non-orthopedic physical," Marinelli said. "We still need to work out final details. He is not signed yet."

The 31-year-old Culpepper, a nine-year NFL veteran, last played for the Oakland Raiders in 2007.

Culpepper broke into the NFL with the Minnesota Vikings, who drafted him in the first round in 1999. He has thrown 142 touchdown passes in the NFL. He spent 2006 with Miami.

Jacques Piccard, Scientist Who Explored the Deep Seas, Dies at 86

GENEVA (AP) — Jacques Piccard, a scientist and underwater explorer who plunged deeper beneath the ocean than any other man, died Saturday, his son’s company said. He was 86.

Pierre Andrieu/A.F.P. — Getty Images

Jacques Piccard in 2001.

Mr. Piccard died at his Lake Geneva home in Switzerland, according to the company, Solar Impulse.

Exploration ran in the Piccard family. Mr. Piccard’s father, Auguste, a physicist, was the first man to take a balloon into the stratosphere. His son, Bertrand, was the first man to fly a balloon nonstop around the world.

Jacques Piccard helped his father invent the bathyscaphe, a vessel that allows people to descend to great depths. On Jan. 23, 1960, he and Lt. Don Walsh of the United States Navy took the vessel, named the Trieste, into the Mariana Trench in the Pacific to a depth of 35,800 feet, nearly seven miles below sea level. It remains the deepest human dive ever.

“By far the most interesting find was the fish that came floating by our porthole,” Mr. Piccard said. “We were astounded to find higher marine life forms down there at all.”

Solar Impulse said the discovery of living organisms at such a depth played a crucial role in the prohibition of nuclear waste dumping in ocean trenches.

After the dive, Mr. Piccard continued to research the deep seas and worked for NASA.

He also built four mid-depth submarines, mesoscaphes, including the first tourist submarine. During the Swiss National Exhibition in 1964, he took 33,000 passengers into the depths of Lake Geneva.

Born in Brussels in 1922, Mr. Piccard was 9 when his father took his balloon into the stratosphere. He studied in Switzerland and worked as a university economics teacher, but abandoned teaching to help his father design the bathyscaphe.

Information about his survivors was not immediately available.

In April 1999, when Bertrand Piccard completed a round-the-world balloon trip with a Briton, Brian Jones, his team drew on Jacques’s experiences in the Gulf Stream to work out how best to use the jet stream to speed the balloon around the world.

They also made use of some of the ideas used by Auguste Piccard in his pioneering flights, including the notion of only partly inflating the balloon at takeoff to allow for the expansion of the gases at higher altitudes, and the use of an airtight capsule.

In a statement on Saturday, Bertrand Piccard said his father “passed on to me a sense of curiosity, a desire to mistrust dogmas and common assumptions, a belief in free will, and confidence in the face of the unknown.”

The 7 Most Impressive (And Depressing) Geek Collections

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It's no surprise that some people spend retarded amounts of money on their hobbies, and who are we to judge? Maybe video games are more fun on a 108-inch TV.

But then there are the obsessive collectors who, due to some compulsion and/or desire to take their minds off how their lives turned out, spend their lives collecting shit that is both pointless and, worse, no fun.

Boxed Transformer Collection

Once Cracked is elected President (and it's only a matter of time) we will pass a law: "Transformers shall be confiscated from anyone who keeps them in sealed boxes and given to kids who'll actually play with them." It's because of you Scrooges that we still can't afford a Devastator, despite having carefully maintained our immature impulses all the way through growing up (at considerable personal cost).


A classic example of the soon-to-be-felony is a Mr. Lindgren's eighty grand testament to miserliness, an entire wasted childhood of over 270 prime Transformer toys kept in an attic in dust-proof packing.

Mr. Lindgren unfortunately passed away and his late wife displayed her care and respect for the most important things in his life by auctioning them on eBay. It had apparently sold for a million dollars, and she and her boyfriend (half her age) were already celebrating before a phone call to the "buyer" confirmed that people won't actually pay Bond villian-levels of money for an attic full of plastic. Unless they're five-years old, which the "buyer" was. And like most five-year olds, he didn't even know what a "million dollars" actually was. That's karma, friends.

"Yes, I would like to buy all the transformers."

The couple re-listed the collection on eBay, rather optimistically including a "Buy It Now" option for $1 million - presumably in the hopes that the next five-year old to visit the site would have a bigger allowance.

Every Super Soaker Ever

Every Super Soaker ever made, over two hundred of them, make this man the envy of all the water-pistol collectors in the world, a group who meet every morning in his bathroom mirror because he's the only one.

No Guinness world record attempt, no underground market on which to sell the things for outrageous prices. Just one guy who looked at his life, realized the best thing in it was that had he owned more cheap liquid-projecting plastics than the average human being, and decided to run with it.

Many of the soakers are still boxed, and if there's anything in the world so tragically unfun as an untouched water pistol, we don't know of it (okay, maybe cancer).

But cancer is much less embarrassing.

Sure, it appears to be a horrific waste of time and effort. But maybe he's stockpiling watery weapons in case the aliens from Signs take another shot at us.


Belle, aka "Pika BelleChu" to her friends (or handlers, most likely) collected over eight thousand Pokemons. And while we know the whole "collect 'em all" aspect is the point of Pokemon, Belle kind of missed it: they're all the same one.

Yes, she has eight thousand Pikachus (Pikachii?). While we can't legally say that overexposure to Pokemon drives people insane, she did change her name to Pika BelleChu and start dressing up as an electric yellow rat in public.

She also dresses up as "PokeWomon Princesses", fusions of Disney characters and Pokecrap meaning that, holy shit, this person has actually turned herself into fanfiction.

PokeWomon Princess: Like a real Princess, except you have no power and no one will ever want to marry you.

She also owns an official Pikachu car and turns up at childrens' events, which we guess works if you're a girl. If a dude with a house full of toys dressed up as Pokemon and turned up at childrens' birthday parties with his "special car," we're thinking the cops would be tackling his ass within seconds.

Many, Many Dice

The largest collection of dice in the world is the work of Kevin Cook, a man who apparently needs to generate a random integer for every citizen of the Virgin Islands at a moment's notice. His collection is exactly twenty-five thousand one hundred and sixty six dice but growing fast - over two hundred have been added since we started writing this article, meaning that he collects new dice faster than we can come up with jokes about them and possibly locking us in a mocker/mockee arms race until we run out of gags or he rolls a natural one. His website is also constantly updated despite appearing to be frozen in time in the late 90s (aka "The Spinning .gif Era").

He's spent over five years photographing the collection for Guinness World Records, which he appears to be stalking. He archives every letter he sends them with detailed logs of how long it took them to respond. For god's sake guys, let him in! He's one dice-related head-injury away from becoming a Batman villain. So if you don't want to feel the wrong end of his DiceCannon while he crows "Looks like you should have rolled for Initiative!" from the top of this D20-mobile, give him the record already.

"So long, Batman, have a dice day."

Non-Videogame Videogame Crap

What's better than collecting video games? Why, collecting all the crap video companies pump out that you can't even play! Brett Martin has collected over ten thousand pieces of cheap tie-in merchandise, despite being (at the time of interview) unemployed. A career would only take time away from his dozens of Legend of Zelda thermoses, dammit!

He is hoping to get a video game testing position, though we worry that he may think this involves scooting plush Mario dolls around a table. He also has set up a website to sell his collection, which we suspect translates as, "The wife says I have to move out of my parents' house and get a job, which totally sucks."

You may wish to look around the Video Game Memorabilia Museum to either be amazed or poke fun, but be warned: a man who's paid money to permanently archive the Donkey Kong Crystal Coconut is not to be trifled with.

A Barbie Collection Worth More Than Your House

If there's one thing the internet proves, it's that men will pay to look at women. Even six-inch high fake women with featureless plastic instead of genitals - hell, that's probably a fetish by now - and in 2006 people from around the world gathered to spend over 170,000 dollars on a vast collection of them.

The collection was carefully assembled over 40 years by a Dutch fashion designer "for her daughter." The daughter's wonderful doll collection was then sealed in a series of plastic cases where the girl could presumably never touch them without fear of severe and swift retribution.

"Does this look like a toy to you?"

During the Christies auction, one anonymous bidder spent five thousand dollars on a Barbie in a zebra-skin bikini - and you can bet if we spent the price of two flights around the world on hundred grams of polyurethane, we'd want to remain anonymous too.

Insanely Huge Star Wars Collection

Rob Foster has more Storm Troopers than the actual Empire did, as well as every other Force-related chunk of plastic every pumped out to profit from the (once) good name of the trilogy.

The collection has almost three thousand original Star Wars models - his favorite is the scantily clad fat Gargan slave girl. Only 25 were ever made, and when you see it, you'll know why.

The collection lives in the bedroom used by him and his girlfriend, which is both an impressive level of understanding in a modern couple and possible proof that she doesn't exist. If she does, it can't be easy for him. Keeping your end up in bed under the judging gaze of a dozen Hutts can't be easy. Unless he's thinking of that Gargan.

The end of TV: Boxee + Apple TV + Hulu

by Stefan Neagu

The Tux Geek got beta invites to Boxee and so can you.

[Update: We got more invites and we're sending them on a first come - first serve basis. Big thanks to Boxee and Andrew Kippen from StageTwoConsulting.]

header The end of TV: Boxee + Apple TV + Hulu

People want to do much more with their iPhone then Steve Job allows. So they jailbreak it. The same goes for the Apple TV. While it is a great and relatively cheap media center, it has restrictions, just like the iPhone. Wouldn’t it be nice to play xvid videos, stream shows from Hulu, listen to LastFm, Twitter the name of the movie you are currently watching or see what music your friends are listening to on your big screen TV connected to an Apple TV? Well, you can do that with Boxee!

screenshot22 The end of TV: Boxee + Apple TV + Hulu

Boxee is an open source media center, with social networking features, currently in an invite-only alpha stage. It is a fork of XBMC, a media center initially designed for the Xbox, but then ported to run on all major platforms. Boxee runs on Linux, Mac, and soon Windows. You can put it on your AppleTV with a grandma-simple “hack“, with no adverse effects.

What does it do?

As other media center software, Boxee allows you to browse and play media files (movies, music, photos) from local hard-disks or DVD drive and can stream music and videos from the internet or other computers in the network (SMB/SAMBA shares). It supports 1080p HD and it reads virtually any type of media, except DRM-ed files.

Boxee scans your default media folders and downloads the related metadata and artwork for your music and video files. Unfortunately, it doesn’t import your iTunes or iPhoto libraries - a big loss for Mac users.

When playing a song you can choose to see the lyrics (especially useful for a karaoke night) or display information about the band or artist.

Internet Streaming

Boxee seamlessly integrates with online video, music and photo websites and can actually download public torrent movies. You can also configure media feeds for your favourite podcasts on the Boxee website or choose one from the built-in Podcasts directory.

  • Video : CBS, CNN, Comedy Central, Hulu, Movie Trailers, MySpaceTV, Next New Networks, ON networks, Revision3, YouTube.
  • Music: Jamendo,, NPR, SHOUTcast, BBC.
  • Photos: Flickr, Picasa.

internet videos

Social Features

Boxee wants to turn the TV in to “a social media center”. To achieve that, it gives the users the ability to rate and recommend content to their friends. The dashboard displays friends’ recommendations and the media they’ve recently watched or listened to, facilitating the discovery of new quality content.

friends recomandations

On Boxee’s website you can set up your Twitter, FriendFeed or Tumbler account to be updated with the current playing media or media you recommended.

social-thumb The end of TV: Boxee + Apple TV + Hulu


Boxee is not the first nor the last to bring to the table all the features mentioned earlier. The utility of a media center software is given by how fast and how easy you can get to the media files you want.

Boxee has a very clean and slick interface, and after little time to get used to, the menu is a breeze to navigate, especially if you have an Apple remote. It has no manual so you must figure out how to use the keyboard or the remote, but it’s pretty intuitive.

One key feature of the interface is the sliding panels approach for showing the menu. It uses the screen real estate very efficiently and in terms of usability it may be one of the best solutions for media center software I’ve seen.


What’s the catch?

None! Boxee is and will remain free. The business model is not yet established, but it should be based on content referrals or advertising. Being in Alpha it is buggy and crashes from time to time.

End of cable TV?

Well not really. But more and more people watch videos online, in detriment of traditional TV. And now, with media boxes that can stream content from sites like Hulu, for many of us there aren’t many reasons left in favour of cable TV.

First-Ever Beatles Video Game Due in '09

An Update:

Photo: Getty

As predicted yesterday, MTV, Harmonix and the Beatles’ Apple Corps. LTD. announced today that they will partner to create a video game based on the music of the Beatles, slated for release before the end of 2009. Representatives from the three companies said that the game — which was conceived with input from Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Yoko Ono and Olivia Harrison — will aim to feature the entire Beatles catalog and will offer an “experiential journey” off the band. This is the first time the Beatles music has been presented in an interactive, video game format. “This game will take you on a journey from the Beatles first album Please Please Me until the last album at Abbey Road,” said Apple Corps CEO Jeff Jones. “It will span samples of the whole catalogue all the way through.” The three companies would not clarify whether Beatles content would be available for Rock Band or whether the game would feature avatars of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr. “The project is a fun idea which broadens the appeal of the Beatles and their music,” McCartney said in a statement. “I like people having the opportunity to get to know the music from the inside out.” The acquisition of the video game rights to the Beatles catalog is a major, scale-tipping coup for Harmonix and MTV Games as they fight for music video game dominance over the like-minded Guitar Hero.

50 websites you'll wonder how you lived without — When it comes to the Internet, we're creatures of habit. This means that we use only a handful of favourite sites, leaving the rest of the Internet unvisited. Let's put that right. By the time you've finished reading, we promise that your list of bookmarked sites will have ballooned and you'll be getting more from your surfing.

click here for the article: 50 websites you'll wonder how you lived without

A Moving Skyscraper for N.Y.?

Each of the floors of the Dynamic Tower rotates independently, giving the building different shapes throughout the day. (Dynamic Architecture/ David Fisher)

Would you like to see a building twisting itself into different shapes night and day on the New York skyline? Would you like to live in an apartment with a view that rotates 360 degrees? It may be a little hard at the moment to arrange financing for such tower — or any other new skyscraper in Manhattan — but the architect David Fisher is looking for a place to build it here someday.

He’s already designed such an edifice in Dubai called the Dynamic Tower, billed as the “world’s first building in motion.” Dr. Fisher, an architect based in Florence, he told me that he hopes groundbreaking for the Dubai tower will occur “within a matter of weeks,” and said that the problems in the credit market haven’t affected the project.

The tower is supposed to generate enough electricity to supply the power needs for itself as well as buildings nearby. The electricity will come from horizontal wind turbines tucked away between each of its 80 floors, and from solar photovoltaic cells on the roof each story. As the individual floors move, about 20 percent of each roof is expected to be exposed to the sun at any time of the day.

Dr. Fisher, who’s working on another of these towers for Moscow, was in town this week to discuss plans for New York. Where might it go? “We are currently looking at a few sites,” he told me. “It should be a place from where the view is attractive and also where people can stand and watch the building changing its shape.”

Any suggestions for him? Any predictions on how well those turbines and photovoltaic cells will work? And would you pay a premium to live in a room with a moving view?

Bowler Dies After Rolling Perfect Game

(Oct. 31) - A Michigan bowler achieved his lifelong dream of rolling a perfect 300 game, then collapsed and died, a local television station reported Friday.

Don Doane, 62, suffered an apparent heart attack minutes after his great triumph at the Ravenna Bowl in Ravenna, Mich., WZZM reported. His teammates said they believed the pressure of bowling 12 straight strikes was just too much for his heart.

Just moments before, he had been high-fiving teammates.
"Don just collapsed," bowling alley owner Jim Nutt told the television station. "At first we thought he had just fainted."

Doane had been a member of the Nutt Farm bowling team at Ravenna Bowl for 45 years.
"It was like a book, a final chapter," teammate Todd Place told WZZM. "He threw his 300 game with his of his friends, gave each other high-fives and it's like the story ended. He died with a smile on his face."

"Quantum of Solace is the best James Bond film in a decade!"

Daniel Craig in Quantum of Solace (review)
Screen Rant’s Niall Browne reviews Quantum of Solace

As a life long James Bond fan I always look forward to new adventures from the super-spy. My very first cinematic memory is watching Roger Moore’s final outing as Bond in A View To A Kill, and my teenage years and early twenties were filled with Pierce Brosnan’s daring-do.

When the Broccoli family ditched Brosnan in favor of the younger, more rugged Daniel Craig I was a bit annoyed (to say the least). Although I was a tad skeptical that Daniel Craig had what it took to slip into the tuxedo, I will admit that I was more worried about EON’s idea to reboot Bond for the Bourne generation. Over the years the character of James Bond has been constantly reinvented, without having to start all over again.

In my opinion Casino Royale was an adequate beginning for a harsher and more realistic Bond, but its bloated running time; generic soundtrack and tacked-on finale left me hoping that the next film in the series would deliver the type of James Bond film that I wanted.

So… how does Quantum of Solace measure up?

It surpasses its predecessor in almost every way and delivers the best Bond film in over a decade.

Shorter and more action packed, Quantum of Solace is a James Bond film for the new millennium. Unlike Brosnan’s swan song Die Another Day, the CGI is limited, and unlike Casino Royale the film doesn’t try to be too hip and trendy. From the pulsating opening car chase - you know that you are watching Bond, and like the older movies in the series you feel that it is the end of another adventure (it is) and not a piece of grandstanding from the second unit and stunt departments.

Picking up mere minutes after Royale’s climax the film hits the ground running (literally) and delivers action sequence after action sequence. Don’t worry though, unlike many action movies today this doesn’t feel like sensory overload - just damn good entertainment.

The plot is simple: Bond wants to discover more about the mysterious Quantum organization following his capture of Mr White. He also wants to get revenge for the death of his one true love Vesper from the previous film. Jet-setting across the Atlantic he finds that rogue environmentalist Mr Greene (Mathieu Amalric) has an affiliation with the evil group and whilst tailing Greene he meets Camille - a beautiful but deadly killer who wants revenge on one of Greene’s associates.

It feels like Marc Forster went into directing Quantum of Solace with a checklist of greatest hits from other Bond movies: car chase - check; boat chase - check; roof top chase - check. There are a couple more I could add but I don’t want to spoil the film - in any case you can bet they’re in there. What’s miraculous is that it all feels fresh and very real.

Forster also manages to bring back Bond’s weapon of choice - the Walther PPK for the first time in years. There’s even a death of a character that harkens back to Goldfinger. It’s all classic Bond, but it all feels relevant, despite what Mike Myers says.

Click to continue reading “Quantum of Solace Review.”

Chase Cutlery Is Excited To Be A Champion

At the conclusion of today’s parade, the World Fucking Champion Philadelphia Phillies were introduced one-by-one to the raucous Citizens Bank Park faithful. One of the last players to step to the podium was the usually mild-mannered All-Star second baseman, Chase Utley…

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the greatest World Series speech in the history of sports. Kids, make sure to cover your ears. If you’re in the office, turn the volume down a smidgen.


Giant bat thrives after near extinction

MSN Tracking Image

Once a delicacy on African island, it's now protected and thriving

Image: Pemba flying fox
The Pemba flying fox has a wingspan that can reach 5 and 1/2 feet.

A fruit bat with a wingspan of more than five feet has made a spectacular return from the brink of extinction, a conservation group said Friday.

The Pemba flying fox, a native of Pemba island off Tanzania in Africa, was reduced to just a few specimens as recently as 1989 and listed as critically endangered, said Fauna & Flora International.

"Less than twenty years ago this bat looked set to disappear off the face of the planet forever," said Joy Juma of FFI's East Africa Program. "At one time roast bat was a very common dish on Pemba. Now people value the bats for different reasons."

Pemba flying foxes were hunted and eaten widely throughout the island. By the 1990s, 95 percent of the bat's forest habitat was destroyed, FFI said.

Recovery efforts included creating two new forest reserves and reducing hunting by raising local awareness of the need for conservation and the possibility of ecotourism around the bat.

The new survey shows the bat's numbers have "soared" to at least 22,000 individuals and possibly as many as 35,600.

"Today, Pemba flying foxes are much loved by islanders," FFI stated, "with local people helping to protect the bat through community-led 'Pemba flying fox clubs'."

The species is no longer listed as critically endangered and has been downgraded to "vulnerable" on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List for threatened species.

Heidi Klum's Halloween Costume is Really Scary — Holy crap that's some real effort for a Halloween costume. She's probably doing Kali, a Hindu goddess associated with death and destruction.

Amnesty: Rape girl, 13, killed for adultery

MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) -- A 13-year-old girl who said she had been raped was stoned to death in Somalia after being accused of adultery by Islamic militants, a human rights group said.

Dozens of men stoned Aisha Ibrahim Duhulow to death Oct. 27 in a stadium packed with 1,000 spectators in the southern port city of Kismayo, Amnesty International and Somali media reported, citing witnesses. The Islamic militia in charge of Kismayo had accused her of adultery after she reported that three men had raped her, the rights group said.

Initial local media reports said Duhulow was 23, but her father told Amnesty International she was 13. Some of the Somali journalists who first reported the killing later told Amnesty International that they had reported she was 23 based upon her physical appearance.

Calls to Somali government officials and the local administration in Kismayo rang unanswered Saturday.

"This child suffered a horrendous death at the behest of the armed opposition groups who currently control Kismayo," David Copeman, Amnesty International's Somalia campaigner, said in a statement Friday.

Somalia is among the world's most violent and impoverished countries. The nation of some 8 million people has not had a functioning government since warlords overthrew a dictator in 1991 then turned on each other.

A quarter of Somali children die before age 5; nearly every public institution has collapsed. Fighting is a daily occurrence, with violent deaths reported nearly every day.

Islamic militants with ties to al-Qaida have been battling the government and its Ethiopian allies since their combined forces pushed the Islamists from the capital in December 2006. Within weeks of being driven out, the Islamists launched an insurgency that has killed thousands of civilians.

In recent months, the militants appear to be gaining strength. The group has taken over the port of Kismayo, Somalia's third-largest city, and dismantled pro-government roadblocks. They also effectively closed the Mogadishu airport by threatening to attack any plane using it.

Windows 7 pre-beta hits BitTorrent

The pre-beta version of Microsoft's Windows 7 operating system released to developers at the Professional Developers Conference has already made it onto prominent BitTorrent sites, where thousands of enthusiasts around the world are currently downloading it.

Well-known BitTorrent sites such as The Pirate Bay and Mininova were at the time of publication Friday hosting multiple downloads of the newly aired operating system--both the 32-bit and 64-bit versions.

On The Pirate Bay, one copy of the 32-bit build had more than one thousand people uploading it, and almost 7,000 people on the way to downloading it. The 64-bit version was less popular, with the earliest copy available on the site having only around 100 people hosting a copy and around a thousand still downloading it.

Windows Live Messenger

Enthusiasts downloading the pre-beta version of Windows 7 will notice that instead of being greeted by Vista's Welcome Center, users are taken to a Windows Live Messenger sign-in page.

(Credit: Robert Vamosi/CNET Networks; Microsoft)

There were complaints that the version offered wasn't the latest build, but instead the stable one given the delegates and therefore didn't have the revised taskbar. Complaints also abounded about how slow the download was considering the lack of people seeding the file.

The most popular link for the 32-bit version of Windows 7 on Mininova had a similar number of people downloading and uploading the file as that on The Pirate Bay, although the 64-bit version on this site was a rare breed with only one copy boasting 30 seeds and around 150 leechers.

Some people weren't excited. "There is nothing (sic) new in it," wrote one commenter. "I wouldn't recommend this to download. Waste of time. Happy with Vista."

Others called for a reality check. "Seriously people. This was just a PRE-beta release that was given out at a trade show so writers would write about the new version. This SHOULD NOT be downloaded with the intent of using it as an everyday system. It is just so writers could get a feel for what was to come."

Businesses might wonder what the new operating system will mean for their business. "I was in Redmond three weeks ago and had a sneak peek," said Peter Menadue, who holds the role of global director of solutions and technology, Microsoft solutions business within systems integrator Dimension Data.

"I think they've done a stellar job. Sinofsky's a genius," he added, referring to Microsoft's Steven Sinofsky, senior vice president of the Windows and Windows Live engineering group.

He said that what didn't come out in the press coverage about Windows 7 were all the bits of the operating system that would be interesting to enterprise, with aspects like application security, data security, and application deployment getting a facelift.

The support for virtualization was something Menadue flagged as being of interest to business, as well as Microsoft's pledge to maintain application and driver compatibility with Vista.

Dimension Data will get the M3 code for Windows 7 before the end of the year, which will allow it to start an early deployment program internally.

Menadue said there had been a lot of interest in the operating system because there had been much less information than there was on previous releases, with Microsoft carefully controlling what reached the press, but added that with the current climate, companies were focused "on the here and now."

These comments were echoed by Jo Sweeney, adviser at analyst firm Intelligent Business Research Services. "What tends to happen (in times like these) is that IT professionals get much more focused on proving and not improving," he said. "People will (move to) Windows 7 because if they can put greater management features into it, it will solve some of the problems of desktop computing."

More than 80 percent of IT costs go into the day-to-day running of IT, Sweeney said--keeping all the PCs running, making sure everyone has the right patches--and Microsoft's dynamic IT strategy, in which Windows 7 is a part, will make that easier by allowing the separation of applications and user profiles from the operating system. This will allow anyone anywhere on the network to access their profile.

People doing best-practice desktop management will already have realized those improvements, Sweeney said, with Microsoft's direction being a reaction to the market, although he admitted it was a good one. "How do they execute?" he asked. "Question mark."

Suzanne Tindal reported for ZDNet Australia.

Release name is Microsoft.Windows.7.32Bit.Build.6801.DVD-WinBeta. I'm downloading it right now :D You can get it from ...

World's first truly blue roses go on display in Japan

By Lizzie Smith

They are the stuff of legend - signifying mystery and traditionally believed to be able to grant the owner youth.

For years breeders have crossed different colours of roses in an effort to create the impossible. But rose petals lack the enzyme needed to create a blue pigment and the breeders always failed.

Now for the first time, thanks to genetic engineering, blue roses finally exist.

The stuff of legend: Blue roses have gone on display in Japan and will be on sale next year

The stuff of legend: Blue roses have gone on display in Japan and will be on sale next year

The very first truly blue roses have gone on display in Japan and will be on sale to the public next year.

After 13 years of research the Japanese Suntory company have finally perfected the mythical flower.

Working with the Australian company Florigene the researchers took the delphinidin gene, which creates the blue colour, from a petunia. They then inserted it into a mauve rose called the Cardinal de Richelieu.

The resultant flower was a dark burgundy colour due to an excess of the blue pigment cyanidin.

After using RNAi technology to reduce this the final blue rose was today unveiled at the annual Flower Expo held at Makuhari Messe in Chiba, Japan.

Genetically engineered: The flowers have a gene from a petunia inserted in them

Genetically engineered: The flowers have a gene from a petunia inserted in them

Top 10 Car Chase Scenes

Eagle Eye director D.J. Caruso chooses his 10 favorite car chase scenes of all time.

By Chuck Tannert of MSN autos
Chase Scene (© Paramount Pictures) Click to see more pictures

Actress Michelle Monaghan pilots a 2009 Porsche Cayenne Turbo through the streets of Chicago in Eagle Eye.

A spectacular car chase can turn a run-of-the-mill action adventure-flick into an instant classic, revered by moviegoing gearheads around the globe. Filmmaker D.J. Caruso, director of the blockbuster Eagle Eye starring Shia LaBeouf and Michelle Monaghan, is a true student of these classic high-speed pursuits. “We used scenes captured by John Frankenheimer (French Connection II, Ronin), Peter Yates (Bullitt) and others as models for the action in Eagle Eye,” says Caruso. Curious about which films he found most influential, we asked the director to come up with a list of his top 10 favorite car chase scenes.

For an insider's look at modern-day car chases, read an interview with Eagle Eye director D.J. Caruso about the art of motorized mayhem.

The French Connection (1971)
In pursuit of a drug suspect, grubby New York detective Popeye Doyle (Gene Hackman) appropriates a civilian car and chases an elevated subway train, barreling beneath the tracks at 90 mph.
YouTube Video Clip of The French Connection

Bullitt (1968)
Steve McQueen steers a Mustang fastback through what many consider to the standard-setter for all car chase scenes. Hard-boiled cop Frank Bullitt (McQueen) races the bad guys' Dodge Charger up and down the streets of San Francisco at speeds up to 110 mph in a sequence that helped earn the movie an Oscar for its innovative editing.
YouTube Video Clip of Bullitt

Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)
In his attempts to babysit impetuous John Connor (Edward Furlong), The Terminator (Arnold Schwarzenegger) must avoid having his motorcycle run over by an 18-wheeler piloted by the metal-melding T-1000 (Robert Patrick).
YouTube Video Clip of Terminator 2: Judgment Day

Ronin (1998)
This multi-car chase through the narrow, steep streets of Nice, France, in this Robert De Niro spy thriller is one-upped only by the sheer lunacy of an against-the-traffic pursuit through tunnels under the Seine in Paris.
YouTube Video Clip of Ronin

Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (1981)
A band of punk-biker pirates pursues a tribal convoy, led by Mel Gibson's Mad Max, that's escorting a precious fuel tanker to safety. Fighters clad in studded leather spar atop moving cars, motorcycles and trucks, picking each other off with shotguns and crossbows.
YouTube Video Clip of Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior

The Blues Brothers (1980)
Jake Blues (John Belushi) and his brother Elwood (Dan Aykroyd) leave a 106-mile path of destruction as they speed toward downtown Chicago in the Bluesmobile (a converted Dodge Monaco police cruiser).
YouTube Video Clip of The Blues Brothers

Dirty Mary Crazy Larry (1974)
Obsessive sheriff (Vic Morrow) in a Bell Helicopter pursues a ’69 Dodge Charger driven by bad guys. The chase takes them through a citrus orchard and ends with the Charger colliding with a locomotive.
YouTube Video Clip of Dirty Mary Crazy Larry

Vanishing Point (1971)
The movie opens with Kowalski (Barry Newman) in a white 1970 Dodge Challenger sparring with the California Highway Patrol. And the excitement keeps building, crossing median strips while just missing cross traffic, sliding along dirt roads, and running at what are obviously true high speeds.
YouTube Video Clip of Vanishing Point

Gone in 60 Seconds (1974)
A South American drug lord pays Maindrian Pace (Toby Halicki) $400,000 to steal 48 specific cars for him, and all but one — a 1973 Ford Mustang Mach 1 with a code name of "Eleanor" — are successfully stolen by Pace and his associates. The film is famous for having wrecked and destroyed 93 cars in a 40-minute car chase scene.
YouTube Video Clip of Gone in 60 Seconds

To Live and Die in L.A. (1985)
As the life of a Secret Service agent (played by CSI star and legit car enthusiast William Petersen) slides into anarchy, he takes greater and greater chances with his own life and the lives of those around him, including pursuit with Petersen piloting a Chevrolet the wrong way down the freeway.
YouTube Video Clip of To Live and Die in L.A.

Space station trash plunging to Earth

MSN Tracking Image

Tank of toxic ammonia coolant thrown from station more than a year ago

By Tariq Malik
Senior editor

NASA astronaut Clayton Anderson, an Expedition 15 flight engineer, tosses a hefty unneeded ammonia tank the size of a refrigerator ovebboard from the space station during a July 23, 2007 spacewalk. The tank is expected to reenter Earth's atmosphere on Nov. 2, 2008.

A piece of space station trash the size of a refrigerator is poised to plunge through the Earth's atmosphere late Sunday, more than a year after an astronaut tossed it overboard.

NASA and the U.S. Space Surveillance Network are tracking the object — a 1,400-pound (635-kilogram) tank of toxic ammonia coolant thrown from the international space station — to make sure it does not endanger people on Earth. Exactly where the tank will inevitably fall is currently unknown, though it is expected to re-enter Earth's atmosphere Sunday afternoon or later that evening, NASA officials said.

"This has got a very low likelihood that anybody will be impacted by it," said Mike Suffredini, NASA's space station program manager, in an interview. "But still, it is a large object and pieces will enter and we just need to be cautious."

NASA astronaut Clayton Anderson threw the ammonia tank from the tip of the space station's Canadian-built robotic arm during a July 23, 2007, spacewalk. He tossed away an unneeded video camera stand overboard as well, but that 212-pound (96-kilogram) item burned up harmlessly in the atmosphere early this year, Suffredini said.

NASA expects up to 15 pieces of the tank to survive the searing hot temperatures of re-entry, ranging in size from about 1.4 ounces (40 grams) to nearly 40 pounds (17.5 kilograms).

If they reach all the way to land, the largest pieces could slam into the Earth's surface at about 100 mph (161 kilometers per hour). But a splashdown at sea is also possible, as the planet is two-thirds ocean.

"If anybody found a piece of anything on the ground Monday morning, I would hope they wouldn't get too close to it," Suffredini said.

Known as the Early Ammonia Servicer, or EAS, the coolant tank is the largest piece of orbital trash ever tossed overboard by hand from the space station. Larger unmanned Russian and European cargo ships are routinely destroyed in the Earth's atmosphere over the Pacific Ocean after their space station deliveries, but those disposals are controlled and preplanned.

The recent destruction of the European Space Agency's Jules Verne cargo ship was eagerly observed by scientists hoping to glean new information on how objects behave as they enter Earth's atmosphere. Observers aboard two chase planes caught photographs and video of the double-decker bus-sized spacecraft's demise, but no such campaign is possible with the returning ammonia tank.

The last object to re-enter Earth's atmosphere with prior notice was a small asteroid the size of a kitchen table that exploded in midair as it flew over Africa on Oct. 7.

It's taken more than year for the ammonia tank to slowly slip down toward Earth due to atmospheric drag. During its time aboard the station, the tank served as a coolant reservoir to boost the outpost's cooling system in the event of leaks. Upgrades to the station last year made the tank obsolete, and engineers were concerned that its structural integrity would not withstand a ride back to Earth aboard a NASA space shuttle.

Instead, they tossed it overboard, or "jettisoned" it in NASA parlance.

Suffredini said that while astronauts have accidentally lost a tool or two during spacewalks, the planned jettison of larger items is done with the utmost care to ensure the trash doesn't hit the station or any other spacecraft as it circles the Earth. Engineers also make sure the risk to people on Earth is low, as well.

"As a matter of course, we don't throw things overboard haphazardly," Suffredini said. "We have a policy that has certain criteria we have to meet before you can throw something overboard."

In the event the tank re-enters over land, NASA advised members of the public to contact their local authorities, or the U.S. Department of State via diplomatic channels if outside the U.S., if they believe they've found its remains.