All The [NERD] Rage: Week of September 10 – 16, 2011

by Jeff Silvey

It’s Friday! That means it’s time for another episode of All The [NERD] Rage, a lightning-round style review of the top nerd stories of the week. These are stories the Muggles may have missed. It’s time to catch up, so we’d better get started.

  • Minority Report is Real!
    First we got Kinect on the Xbox 360, with its Minority Report-style user interface. Now there is a police force doing actual pre-crime. The police department in Santa Cruz, California has begun to use what they call “predictive policing,” and so far they have made five arrests using this technique. They use mathematical algorithms to predict when and where certain crimes will happen. The system was developed by real-life NUMB3RS guy George Mohler. The assistant professor of mathematics fed eight years of data into his program. “The overall model is based on the belief that crime is not random, so with enough data points you could predict where and when it will happen.”
    [Source: TPM Idea Lab]

  • Microsoft Helps to Terminate Flash
    People criticized Steve Jobs when Apple refused to provide Flash support for both the iPhone and the iPad. His reasoning was that Flash was on its way out. Some thought he was crazy, but it looks like he was right all along. Microsoft has announced the “Metro” version of Internet Explorer 10 will not support plug-ins. This will go into effect with the release of Windows 8 in 2012. Sorry Adobe, Flash is falling by the wayside as new Web standards in HTML5 take over how we see Internet video. But the question needs to be asked: Does anybody really still use Internet Explorer?
    [Source: CNET]

  • TV & Movie News
    The great science fiction writer Harlan Ellison has filed a lawsuit against Fox claiming that the upcoming movie In Time is too similar to his own story Repent, Harlequin! Said the Ticktockman. He describes Repent, Harlequin as “one of the most famous and widely published science fiction short stories of all time.” According to The Hollywood Reporter, the suit claims that both stories are about a …”dystopian corporate future in which everyone is allotted a specific amount of time to live.” He is seeking to stop the release of the film, which stars Justin Timberlake and Olivia Wilde. Previously, Ellison won a suit stating that The Terminator was too similar to episodes of The Outer Limits he had written. The credits were then changed to add the addendum “with acknowledgement to the works of Harlan Ellison.”


    CBS has some interesting new shows on the horizon. A pilot script for Sherlock Holmes is being developed by Medium and Tru Calling‘s Rob Doherty. CBS wants to offer their own take on the famous character, despite the brilliant new version on the BBC run by Steven Moffat. He offered the following tweet in response: “Dear CBS. A modern day Sherlock Holmes? Where, oh where, did you get THAT idea. We’ll be watching!” CBS is also developing a series based on the science fiction film Source Code. The show will be produced by Mark Gordon of Grey’s Anatomy, who also produced the movie.


    Ghostbusters 3 rumors have surfaced again. In what turns out to be “what could’ve been cool” news, it can now be confirmed that John Hodgman will not be appearing in the film. There was a rumor that the comedian and Daily Show correspondent would be playing the son of the Harold Ramis character, Egon. Alas, Hodgman stated via Twitter that this was all a no-go. Since it also appears that Bill Murray will not be in the film, we have to ask, who will?

    [Source: Blastr]

  • Gaming News
    Here in the states, we get our yearly video game nerdgasm via E3. But there are, of course other gaming conferences held around the world- and one of them is going on right now. The Tokyo Game Show is rocking Asia, and the big stories right now are: Konami is touting the Metal Gear Solid HD Collection. The Hideo Kojima opus will be available for both the PlayStation 3 and XBox 360 later this year. Also, the PlayStation Vita is causing quite a stir . Sony showed off new features for the handheld device, including using the Vita with the PS3.


    Portal is free! Steam is offering the game free of charge until September 20. Available on PC and Mac, the game is a must have. With no violence or gunplay, this is a real thinking person’s game.  If you haven’t played it before, you owe it to yourself to see what all the shouting is about.


    Sony is causing controversy once again. There are new PlayStation Network Terms of Service, and it appears the focus is on preventing class action lawsuits from users. The TOS specifically state that by agreeing to it, you agree to settle any legal disputes with Sony individually, instead of as a class action. There is a way to opt out, but they don’t make it easy. You have only 30 days to state to Sony that you opt out of the agreement once you’ve logged on, and you have to notify them via MAIL.
    [Source: Shacknews]

  • Celebs Use the Force to “Stand Up To Cancer”
    “In celebration of the September launch of Star Wars: The Complete Saga on Blu-ray, Lucasfilm is collaborating with Stand Up To Cancer to Use The Force For Good.” To raise awareness for cancer research, celebrities made a hilarious tribute video lampooning famous scenes from the sci-fi epic. Aziz Ansari, Zach Galifianakis, Bill Hader, Ed Helms, Ken Jeong,  Seth Rogen, Andy Samberg and Emma Stone all appear. So go to the site below and have a laugh. While you’re there, check out the new Stand Up To Cancer line of Star Wars t-shirts. You can also make donations through the website.
    [Source: Stand Up To Cancer]

  • Wilco Crowdsources Footage For Their New Tour
    The band is asking for fan footage through Vimeo. (If you’ve never seen it, Vimeo is just like YouTube.) Each stop on the new tour will have its own backdrop, including footage provided by fans. Videos can be uploaded to the “Wilco Fan Video Project,” where the band will be looking for “footage of settings and places that really say something about the area, its people and/or history, geography, whatever.” The tour began Sept. 13 in Indianapolis, Ind. and the band will be playing shows across North America until Oct. 5.
    [Source: Mashable]
Well, that about does it for this week in nerddom. If you think I’ve missed anything, feel free to add more Nerd Rage in the comments below.
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