University of Canterbury's researcher Christopher Bartneck has made an obvious discovery: Lego minifigs are not as happy now as they were 25 years ago, when all their iconic, cleanly designed faces were happy. Now they are mostly a mess—including facial expressions of anger, doubt, sadness or fear.
I hate the minifigs with different expressions. Not only they are terrible drawings, but their faces have an inescapable meaning. They are angry or fearful or doubtful or sad or whatever other human expression they try to portrait. There's no way around that—they are fixed, they can't be changed. They can't be mentally erased. An angry minifig will always be an angry minifig. Poor minifig—cheer up, you stupid little thing.
On the other hand, the classic face allowed kids to imagine anything they wanted. It didn't matter the face was always "smiling" because, by being common to all minifigs, it was perceived as the generic, neutral state. It was an icon for "face goes here, imagine anything you want." And so we did—or at least I did! The classic minifig face is beautifully simple, devoid of any noise—it's an extremely powerful design. So powerful that it became the popular icon that it is today.
Warner Brothers—a company all too keen to leap on anybody infringing its copyright—is being sued for unauthorized use of the Nyan Cat meme. Oops.
Ars Technica reports that Warner Brothers is facing a legal battle because the Nyan Cat and Keyboard Cat memes were used in a video game called Scribblenauts, published by WB Games. The two memes features as characters on the Nintendo DS game.
While the two viral videos were made by separate parties, their creators teamed up to sue Warner Brothers and 5th Cell, the developers of the game. They argue that the accused "have used 'Nyan Cat' and 'Keyboard Cat,' even identifying them by name, to promote and market their games, all without plaintiffs' permission and without any compensation to plaintiffs."
Two months after the Apple iTunes App Store banned “Phone Story,” a game that exposed the ugly side of smartphone production, a new app and an online calculator reveal how much of a user’s lifestyle runs on forced labor...
Not every person that calls themselves a Nerd or a Geek has been an outcast. We weren’t all the last one picked for the team in gym or the only one without a date to the big dance. We didn’t all wear thick black glasses held together with tape, or play video games, or read comics, or play DnD. But, for most of us, there has been a moment when we didn’t quite fit in with everyone else.
It might have happened during a show of enthusiasm for something we love. Plenty of people like Star Wars, but get too excited, chatter too much about how you and your friends cheered when the opening credits rolled, and you’ve outed yourself as a geek. Adults will give you a funny look then quickly check themselves (as you check your enthusiasm) and move on to a safer topic. Kids, well, we all know how unkind kids can be to one another.
I’ve learned to ignore the funny look when it’s cast in my direction. Go ahead and laugh as I wax poetic about the Millennium Falcon or the crush I had on Dirk Benedict when he was Starbuck on Battlestar Galactica. Roll your eyes when I say my favorite toys were action figures, especially the Spock with a little button on his back that made his fingers split into the Vulcan greeting.
The Diplomatic District of Kabul, Afghanistan is under attackright now. Reports are that the area—including the US Embassy— is taking heavy RPG fire. But what is an RPG, exactly?
RPG stands for Rocket-Propelled Grenade Launcher…
RPGs are weapons primarily intended to combat tanks. They consist of a warheads attached to rocket motors, which are ignited and discharged from a launcher tube. They're also effective against armored personnel carriers, aircraft (if you've got particularly good aim), and basically anything that's too well-protected for dinky little bullets...
The glorious 25 May is once again upon us, towels are being folded correctly and thousands of voices are suddenly crying out in pain as they discover another little tweak to a certain film that was first released 35 years ago today. If that isn’t enough for you to celebrate, today is also once again Geek Pride Day. Last year IT recruitment agency Modis commissioned a survey of 1,000 Americans on their opinions around the term geek, and they’ve run it again this year to see how things have changed...
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