It turns out that the Lego "Breaking Bad" video game parody wasn't too far off from reality. Citizen Brick has released a Lego Superlab Playset with minifigs and a detailed meth lab. As you've probably gathered by now, this isn't an official Lego release.
The set contains more than 500 pieces, including three custom minifigs. You get a scowling Walter White, Gustavo Fring, and Mike Ehrmantraut. You'll have to provide your own Jesse Pinkman. The set costs $250 and requires an extra 2-3 weeks for delivery because of the complexity.… Read more
Mom said to reach for the stars, right? Now you can.
By donating surplus processing power from their Android devices, so-called citizen scientists are joining researchers at IBM's World Community Grid and the Einstein@Home project who hope to speed up the work they are currently doing on AIDS and pulsars.
Volunteer computing has traditionally leaned on the excess power of desktops and laptops. But as smartphones and tablets become more powerful and energy efficient, not to mention numerous, it makes sense to tap into the burgeoning power source.
Anyone interested in participating needs a device using Android 2.… Read more
What if the Arab Spring, or Hurricane Sandy had been Vined?
Much has been made over the years about how Twitter is one of the world's most important new tools for reporting breaking news. But with the launch of Vine, has Twitter now expanded its control over citizen journalism to video?
Until now, most of the conversation about Vine has been around the service's ability to capture life's quirky moments, or as a way to create interesting (and sometimes artistic) stop-motion video. And of course, everyone knows that there's plenty of porn to be found.
Today, … Read more
Four years from now, the government will still be partisan, public agencies will still operate out of public view, and citizens will still be excluded from participating in the decisions made by their representatives at all levels of government.
But just maybe, when the 45th president takes the oath of office in January 2017, political factions will be more willing to compromise for the good of everyone, agencies at all levels of government will be more transparent, and our elected and appointed representatives will be more willing to listen to and act upon our opinions and ideas about the challenges … Read more
As timepieces become more of a fashion accessory than a necessity, established watchmakers such as Citizen find themselves in a bit of an evolutionary pickle: "How do we remain relevant?"
Perhaps the answer to that question falls upon the company's new line of watches called Proximity. The watches offer low-power Bluetooth 4.0 functionality and a partner app (inconspicuously named Citizen Eco-Drive Proximity) that only works with the iPhone 4S or iPhone 5. Sorry about that Android and Windows Phone. … Read more
Public Citizen, which called eBay's new user agreement "underhanded," takes issue with a section in eBay's policy that details how eBay and users' will handle legal disputes. In the agreement (scroll down to the section about legal disputes), eBay says that all claims that arise against eBay should be "resolved exclusively through final and binding arbitration," … Read more
With news this week that Denise Rich, ex-wife of a renowned tax-dodger, is renouncing her U.S. citizenship and thereby avoiding taxes, we decided to take a look at other successful citizens who became ex-pats in order to avoid filing a 1040. Apparently it's getting more common as the IRS cracks down on undeclared and untaxed foreign holdings.
AUSTIN, Texas--Former U.S. vice president Al Gore and Facebook's founding president Sean Parker argued passionately today that online communities must use the powerful tools at their disposal to save American democracy.
At South by Southwest (SXSW) here, Gore and Parker took the stage to tell an adoring crowd of several thousand that though they should be proud of the mass Internet activism that derailed the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), there is still a huge amount of work to be done if Americans want to keep special interests from perpetually forcing their agendas down society's throat.
Fortunately, … Read more
If you have a good mind for puzzles and are a whiz at video games, your may have a calling in science.
Researchers at the University of Washington have devised a video game that lets citizen scientists take a stab at decoding the shape of proteins. The graphical game called Foldit challenges players to predict protein structures and ultimately design their own using a three-dimensional construction tool.
"You could imagine where you come home in the evening and you can either stay up all night playing Halo or be designing an HIV vaccine with people around the world. Which … Read more