The Week in Review: Cloaks and Killers

| 4 Dec 2010 02:00

In this week's edition, a court case goes surprisingly well for a console modder, and Google saves an innocent man mistakenly labelled as a murderer.


The Sofa Came Alive and Took Him

The weird and wonderful things that people are dreaming up to do with Kinect keep on coming. The latest hack comes from a Japanese coder called Takayuki Fukatsu, who created a Kinect cloaking device, allowing users to appear invisible. It only works on the screen, of course, so you're not going to be sneaking up on anyone but the most inattentive people, but as fun Kinect curiosities go, this is a pretty good one. Hit the link for a video. (Link)


Console Mod Trial Falls Apart

The case against 28-year-old Matthew Crippen, who faced ten years in jail for modding consoles, was dropped this week. It seems that following a severe dressing down by the judge over some of their actions - and the questionable legality thereof - the prosecution decided to drop the case, rather than try and tough it out. This is good news for Crippen, who walked away from the court a free man, but it's unclear how this will influence future cases. (Link)


Air Force Lashes PS3s Together, Builds Supercomputer

The US Air Force has put the finishing touches in what it calls the "Condor Cluster" - a supercomputer built out of more than 1,700 PlayStation 3 consoles. While the cluster isn't quite as powerful as a traditional supercomputer, it's both cheaper and "greener," using only a tenth of the power a regular system might. Sony's removal of the Other OS feature from new PS3s may have significant ramifications for the cluster in the future, however,making the consoles all but impossible to replace if they break. (Link)


Man Discovers Bogus Murder Charge Via Google

A misplaced "e" resulted in student Zachary Garcia's picture appearing on the evening news in Polk County, Florida in connection with a murder conviction. Garcia was completely unaware of this until he Googled himself one day and, much to his surprise and dismay, discovered that he was mistakenly a wanted man. The mistake has since been corrected, but Garcia said that he was shocked that someone could get something so important, so wrong. (Link)


Korean Government Not Looking to StarCraft for Military Strategy

The long standoff between North and South Korea got even more tense last week, as a North Korean shell landed in South Korea territory, killing four people. Thirteen minutes later, the South Korea's responded with several test shots, although supposedly none of them landed on North Korean soil. When asked why the South Korean response had been so delayed, former defense minister Kim Tae-Young said that the situation wasn't like a game of StarCraft, and had to be treated with great care. (Link)

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