Review: Google+, Reinvigorating the Social Scene

Google+ is Google's latest venture into social networking. With innovative features like Circles and Hangouts, Google+ ought to be considered a veritable contender in the social networking scene.

The term “social networking” typically elicits thoughts of the behemoth that is Facebook—with a surplus of 750 million users, Facebook is undoubtedly the king of the social realm. A challenger to Facebook’s throne, however, has emerged in the form of Google+. Equipped with multiple unique features and packaged in a sleek interface, Google’s service has entered the social scene well-armed. read more »

Photo Essay: Synopsys and California State Science Fairs

As I learned recently, working madly like a scientist can be grueling—toiling from 9:00 A.M. to 5:00 A.M. is not a particularly healthy experience. Yet, there’s something exhilarating about those science-filled, sleep-deprived and, consequently, dopamine-fueled nights.

This year marked my entrance into the sphere of science competitions, as I entered the Synopsys Championship and California State Science Fair with my partner Hemanth Kini. Our project, “Plotting Muon Pathways as a Source of Randomness,” aimed to generate truly random numbers by tracking the positions of muons in a cloud chamber. You can read about the nitty-gritty details in our abstract, or you can simply watch the photo essay below. Or you can do both.

[fgallery id=1 w=630 h=550 t=0 title=”From my Garage to LA: A Tale of Science Fairs”]

Check back later for a more detailed post describing our project.

Preview: Cr-48 Chrome OS Notebook

The Cr-48 showcases Google's Chrome OS, an operating system designed around cloud computing. Chrome OS may be ahead of its time, as cloud computing remains in its nascent stages.

‘Twas a dreary evening, and dozens of developers were dozing off while a dull fellow droned on about HTML5. Yet all of a sudden, a single sentence from a previously inconspicuous Google representative brought a spark to the attendees’ eyes (including those of my father): “Free Chrome OS Laptops!”

With that anecdotal tidbit established, it’s time to take a look at Google’s Chrome OS Laptop, the Cr-48. The Cr-48 is a pre-beta pilot intended to showcase Google’s Chrome OS, an operating system built for those that dwell in the web. Google’s idea of a cloud-centric laptop is novel, but its bare-bones simplification may alienate potential consumers. read more »

LimeWire is Dead, but Piracy Lives On

Federal judge Kimba Wood issued a permanent injunction on LimeWire in an Oct. 26 case. The music industry, however, ought to adopt a different approach to discourage piracy. Photo by Akshay Agrawal.

The lime has been squeezed, pulped, and tossed. LimeWire cannot be juiced any longer.

On Oct. 26, federal judge Kimba Wood of New York’s southern district court issued a permanent injunction on LimeWire that directs the company to stop supporting its software, primarily on the grounds that the company encouraged copyright infringement. While LimeWire did harass the music industry, eradicating the company’s software outright will not achieve the Recording Industry Association of America’s goal of curbing piracy. Technology is constantly changing and evolving to meet the needs of the people. If the music industry wants to survive, it needs to do the same. read more »

Treyarch Fulfills its Duty with ‘Black Ops’

"Black Ops", although flawed, refines the "Call of Duty" formula

What started as a cherished gem of PC gaming has now exploded into an international phenomenon—Activision’s “Call of Duty” is easily the biggest title in modern gaming. With the release of each installment, fans’ expectations of the franchise increased almost exponentially.

Each title in the series is alternately created by game companies Infinity Ward and Treyarch. In the past, fans have not been too receptive of Treyarch’s attempts at crafting CoD games. Nonetheless, gamers’ enthusiasm for “Call of Duty: Black Ops,” developed by Activision-owned Treyarch, has mounted to unprecedented levels.

With its engrossing campaign, balanced multi-player, and attention to detail, Treyarch’s “Black Ops” is the best “Call of Duty” game on the market. read more »

NBA 2K11: A Legendary Game for a Legendary Athlete

Jordan makes a triumphant return in NBA 2K11, the best basketball simulator on the market.

Michael Jordan stands in a hallway, preparing himself for Game 1 of the 1991 NBA Finals. Energizing music booms in the background; the audience waits, restless with anticipation. Jordan turns his head and faces the camera.

“Are you ready?” he says.

Jordan jogs onto the court. The crowd roars thunderously as the commentator’s sonorous voice echoes over the speakers, and an electrifying energy pervades the entire stadium. With a seamless transition, the game begins and you’re playing as Jordan and the Bulls. read more »

Same Site, New Look

I tinkered with the site's CSS and played with Photoshop to inject some style into the web page. On the left is the site's old format, and on the right is the present format.

Blogging is not synonymous with writing; the word “blog” denotes much more than solely written English. Granted, a blog’s foundation is it’s content; however, blogs also need style.

As obvious as that may sound, I only came to this realization  a few days back. read more »

My Tower of Video Games is Taller than I am

Just in case any of you were wondering about my gaming qualifications. The tower measured 7'4'' high. Note: my stack did not include my N64 nor GameBoy games due to safety issues.

My gaming hobby towers above nearly everything else in my life—quite literally. Last Friday, I assembled a 7’4” stack of my too-many-to-count video games. In order to possess such a large collection of video games, I had to start collecting them at an early age. read more »

Halo Reaches New Heights

These Spartans will accompany you on Reach's captivating campaign. Photo taken from Bungie.

It all started in 2001, when Bungie Studios’ “Halo: Combat Evolved” revolutionized the console first-person shooter market and created an enormous virtual community dedicated to all things Halo. But Bungie wasn’t content to stop there—they went on to release three more blockbuster games within the series. “Halo: Reach” is Bungie’s final Halo title; clearly, they wanted to go out with a bang. read more »

Microsoft dances to Thriller, proclaims death of Blackberry and iPhone (with video!)

Pictures were taken by a Microsoft employee, from an Android phone...ironic much?

Microsoft’s release to market (RTM) status of Windows Phone 7 has thrown the company into a euphoric frenzy. In order to celebrate, Microsoft held a funeral procession for the Blackberry and iPhone (where was Android?), complete with floats, Darth Vader on a motorcycle and people employees dancing to Thriller. Picture and videos after the break. read more »