From Ars Technica: EA: The Old Republic has lost nearly 25% of its subscribers since March

It looks like the analysts were right in their suspicions that EA and Bioware’s The Old Republic MMO is already losing subscribers just a few months after its late 2011 launch. In an earnings report issued today, EA announced that the game currently has 1.3 million active subscribers, down nearly 25 percent from the 1.7 million active subscribers reported in March.

from Ars Technica

From Ars Technica: Google guilty of infringement in Oracle trial; future legal headaches loom

In what could be a major blow to Android, Google’s mobile operating system, a San Francisco jury issued a verdict today that the company broke copyright laws when it used Java APIs to design the system. The ruling is a partial victory for Oracle, which accused Google of violating copyright law.

But the jury couldn’t reach agreement on a second issue—whether Google had a valid “fair use” defense when it used the APIs. Google has asked for a mistrial based on the incomplete verdict, and that issue will be briefed later this week.


from Ars Technica

From Engadget: Amtrak readies conductors to trade in their hole punchers for iPhones

Amtrak readies conductors to trade in their hole punchers for iPhones

Pilots aren’t the only ones updating their workflows with modern technology. Amtrak conductors have been getting schooled on how to use iPhones to scan passenger tickets on select routes since November — forcing hole punches to collect dust on a lonely shelf at the station. By the latter part of this summer, 1,700 conductors will be using the aforementioned smartphones on the outfit’s trains throughout the US which allows them to track passengers with more ease than manual ticketing. The $7.5 million system affords passengers the choice of printing the tickets or loading a bar code on their smartphone of choice before getting the iPhone’s scan. Inside the dedicated app, riders can book and modify reservations easily without having to worry with a refund from an agent first. There’s only one small hiccup: currently Amtrak’s app is only available for iPhones. But, the government-owned corporation says that an Android release is in the hopper and should see daylight this fall. For now, non-iOS users must load their tickets though a mobile site in order to save a tree or two.


from Engadget

From Popular Science – New Technology, Science News, The Future Now: South Korea Targets Smuggled Capsules of Human Flesh

What the…?!  Really?!!!  And don’t try to just stop at blaming the crazy Chinese folks… blame also the ones that create the demand… the Koreans in this case!!

Unmarked Pills No telling what’s in there. Psychonaught via Wikimedia

South Korea is saying this morning that its customs officials are stepping up their inspections targeting smuggled capsules that contain the powdered flesh of dead human babies. How’s that for something to wash down with your third cup of coffee this morning?

The capsules originate in northeastern China, probably in Jilin province, which shares a border with North Korea. Since August, South Korean authorities have thwarted 35 smuggling attempts accounting for 17,450 capsules containing the powdered flesh of human babies whose bodies were “chopped into small pieces and dried on stoves before being turned into powder,” the Associated Press reports.

It’s uncertain where exactly the babies are coming from or who is making the capsules, but it is known that some people consider such pills to be a panacea for a range of physical ailments. Real science tells us that they are actually chock full of potentially harmful bacteria. Plus, they are made from human babies. We can’t stress that enough.

Remarkably, no one has been arrested. The smugglers caught with the capsules–which have mostly been marked as stamina boosters–have denied knowing that they were anything other than energy supplements. And because they aren’t meant for resale–those caught with the capsules have claimed they are either private stock or for non-commercial distribution to family and friends–no economic crime has technically been committed.

South Korean officials have confiscated all of the capsules, however, and while no illnesses have been reported from ingesting the capsules, customs agents are stepping up their targeting of these unsettling pills. Chinese officials have also launched an investigation into the origins of the capsules.


from Popular Science – New Technology, Science News, The Future Now

From The UberReview: One Wheel Electric Micro-Cycle Requires Less Than 1.21 Jiggawatts

Straight out of an 80′s flick comes the RYNO Micro-Cycle: A one-wheeled, electric motorcycle that is set to revolutionize the scooter industry.  You may have thought you wanted a Vespa to get around the overpriced metropolis you live and work in, but with the Micro-Cycle you look less like a pretentious European, and more like a Terminator-style Matrix villain.   The brainchild of RYNO Motors, this badass unicycle is powered by a zero-pollutant electric motor that allows you to travel at speeds of up to 15 mph.  Unlike an actual unicycle, the bike was built to maintain it’s balance by housing the entire power plant in the hub of the giant tire.  At only 125 lbs., the Micro-Cycle is ultra portable and perfect for wheeling in and out of your $4000, 350 square foot studio, or carrying up a few flights of stairs if you actually are a Terminator-style Matrix villain ™. I know what you’re thinking: “Concept, right?”  Wrong.  The futuristic half-hog is set for release later this year, and should start at around $4200, which still leaves you enough money left over to afford a few things made of black leather, and a sawed-off shotgun.



from The UberReview