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September 30th, 2011
11:28 PM ET

Digital face-swapping

Anyone who's seen the Mission: Impossible films will remember seeing characters rip life-like masks off their faces to reveal Tom Cruise underneath.

Now a Spanish coder has figured out a way to put someone else's face on your own through the power of software alone - no mask required.

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Filed under: General • Technology • Viral Videos
August 26th, 2011
08:51 PM ET

Can Apple stay sweet beyond Jobs?

 
Getty Images

 

It's hard to imagine Apple without the iconic turtleneck-clad figure of Steve Jobs at the helm. It's a future that will soon be upon us.

I've spent the last day crossing Silicon Valley, balancing my iPhone and iPad, trying to get as clear a picture as possible as to what Apple will be like under Tim Cook. And the answer is: it won't change much ... at first.

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July 11th, 2011
10:13 AM ET

Yao Ming's lost legacy

He entered the NBA with a promise like few others. Yao Ming brought a rare combination of talent and the ability to unlock a massive new market for the sport. Nine years later, reports say Yao is set to retire. And despite his best efforts, the sad truth is his career wasn’t what it could have been.

Yao could have been the NBA’s next great center. The NBA has a long history of dominant big men leading their teams to the title, from George Mikan in the 50s, to Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabaar, Hakeem Olajuwon, and Shaquille O’Neal. Yao was drafted at the height of Shaq's dominance in 2002, but he had the tools to take him on.

Shaq’s strength and weight made him an unstoppable force in front of the basket. But Yao’s ability to shoot from further out forced Shaq to leave his comfort zone and chase him; physically moving a seven foot tall obstacle from the hoop. And Yao was a full four inches taller. In their eagerly awaited first meeting, Yao demonstrated his height advantage by blocking Shaq twice in the first few minutes. The Rockets won that game, and Yao had arrived.

But success didn’t quite follow.
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Filed under: China • General • Sport
June 14th, 2011
11:20 PM ET

Is 'Duke Nukem' worth the wait?

It took 14 long years, but gamers can finally get their hands on 'Duke Nukem Forever'.

For those born after 1996, it's the sequel to 'Duke Nukem 3D', a raunchy, violent, but critically acclaimed and popular first-person shooter. It followed 'Doom', but took the genre to another level; instead of a generic Martian base, it's set in Los Angeles. Instead of brown, dreary corridors, you could interact with everything from toilets to pool tables to strippers. And instead of a faceless, mute space marine, it starred Duke Nukem: A man who looked like the result of throwing every 80s action movie star into a blender, with a set of one-liners ripped from all of them.

So when developer 3D Realms announced in 1997 that a sequel was on the way, fans rejoiced and waited eagerly.

And waited.

And waited.

14 long years later, 'Duke Nukem Forever' is finally available. But is it worth the wait? FULL POST

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Filed under: Games • General • Personal musings
June 6th, 2011
11:44 PM ET

Apple's iCloud: A bold step, but not far enough

When Apple boss Steve Jobs took the wraps off iCloud, the company's new cloud services, he gave us a glimpse at the future of computing.

(Confused by cloud computing? Watch News Stream's handy explainer right here!)

What is iCloud? It's a system for storing various bits of your data online, and pushing all that data to all your devices so that they are always in sync. For example, let's say you create a document on your Mac. Without needing to hit "Save", iCloud will automatically save a copy of it online, and push it out so you can edit that same document on your iPhone or iPad.

Apple calls iCloud a breakthrough. Jobs says it's the culmination of a decade-long effort to kill the desktop file system.

It's certainly a bold step forward. But is it bold enough? FULL POST

June 5th, 2011
08:07 PM ET

Roger Federer and the quest to be the best

In sport, there is always a burning desire to know: Who’s the greatest of all time? The answer, unfortunately, is never that easy.

It is almost impossible to compare teams and players from one era to another. Still, we try: Could World Cup winners Spain beat Pelé’s Brazil? Is Tiger Woods better than Jack Nicklaus? Never mind that sports evolve considerably down the years; rules change, equipment changes, and we change. Humans are in general bigger, faster and stronger than they used to be.

Even when eras do overlap and we get the match-up we want, time and age do not always cooperate. Witness the long-awaited fight between Lennox Lewis and Mike Tyson. Lewis was at the peak of his powers; Tyson was far from the fighter known in his prime as “The Baddest Man on the Planet.” Lewis knocked him out but could he knock out a young Tyson?

And then there's the case of Roger Federer. FULL POST

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Filed under: General • Personal musings • Sport
May 21st, 2011
12:06 AM ET

Chinese PC game takes aim at American soldiers

The headlines say it all:

"Chinese video game targets American troops"

"Watch China kill American soldiers in new video game"

It sounds outrageous. But is it really? FULL POST

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Filed under: China • Games • General • Personal musings
May 13th, 2011
11:05 PM ET

Top Gun Day

I'm not sure what's harder to believe: That "Top Gun" is 25 years old, or that there's a whole day dedicated to the movie.

Either way, being the 80s movie buffs that we are, News Stream just had to join in the fun and celebrate Top Gun Day... which we did with a little help from our good friends at iReport. And aviator sunglasses.

Why "Top Gun"?

There's something about that movie that's struck a chord with people that makes it memorable 25 years on. It's hard to say it's a great film - but it's inspired so many to send us a ton of great iReports.

It is intensely cheesy. And yet it is incredibly enjoyable. It's extremely clichéd, but also eminently quotable.

It simultaneously panders to both sexes: Men get gratuitous shots of fighter jets set to rock music; women get that volleyball scene.

And while most movies have one iconic song associated with them, Top Gun has four: Danger Zone, Take My Breath Away, You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin', and Great Balls of Fire. (And I'm not including the theme!)

There is something strangely compelling about Top Gun that endures to this day, proving that it's always a good time to buzz the tower.

May 10th, 2011
11:59 PM ET

Microsoft buys Skype: What now?

Microsoft is buying Skype. One of the world's biggest software companies now owns the leading name in online telephony and video conferencing. It's the biggest acquisition in Microsoft's long and storied history.

So, um... what now?

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May 9th, 2011
11:41 PM ET

From 3-D to 2-D

I can't think of many things that inspire as wide a range of reactions as 3-D films.

I know people who love seeing movies in 3-D. I know people who can't watch 3-D without getting headaches. I know people who've seen "Avatar" multiple times (which may explain why it made more money than any movie ever). And I know people who get upset about the idea of seemingly every big blockbuster being converted into 3-D.

Those people may get a kick out of this: Glasses that turn 3-D movies into 2-D.

I tried Hank's glasses while watching "Thor." And, well... they work. The question is, would I ever use them again? FULL POST

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