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Alex Furlin

Google Glass officially marks arrival of the future

Google debuts new augmented-reality glasses

Google Glass, the venerable search company’s newest innovation, is probably the coolest thing ever. Remember those glasses from I Am Legend that recorded video directly from Will Smith’s point of view? Well, those are a reality now. Google Glass, a new high-tech pair of glasses developed by Google, act as a reality augmentation device. Basically, this means that Google has developed the world’s first “smart glasses”.

There’s a small camera that can take photos and videos via voice command, it’s loaded with Google Translate (just ask it to say something in a different language and Google Glass complies), it can display – IN YOUR VISION – a realtime clock, weather apps, videochat, Google web and image search, even Google Maps, all from your eyesight. It just floats there in the upper-right hand corner of your vision. The world is your screen.

As of now, the only way to get your hands on a Google Glass is to impress Google with a tweet branded with the #ifihadglass hashtag, followed by an explanation of what you would do with Google Glass in under 50 characters. Seem tough? Even if Google selects your tweet as impressive enough, Google Glass will still set you back $1,500, and you can only pick up a pair at Google’s offices in Los Angeles, San Francisco, or New York. So get tweeting.

Check out the official video depicting the many uses of Google Glass and try not to be like “wow”:

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PS4 announced, is basically just a Wii U

Sony’s new console is pretty much a big ripoff

Sony announced the arrival of the PS4 today, the official follow-up to the company’s Play Staion 3. The PS4 is heavily focused on streaming games and social networking, the company said in its press conference, which means faster download times, an integrated video sharing feature, and the ability to start a game before its download is finished. 

But the big new feature of the PS4 is its integration with the PS Vita, which essentially acts as touch-screen controller for the console. If this sounds familiar, it’s because this is exactly what the Wii U is. The Wii U’s central controller, the Game Pad, is a large touch screen with buttons on either side. The PS Vita, Sony’s successor to the PSP, will be used in this fashion as a controller for the PS4, demonstrating Sony’s deft hand at copying ideas that already exist. 

The console does have its own new controller as well, not relying entirely on the PS Vita. The new DualShock 4 controller is similar to the old controllers of the past, but with a small touch-sensitive pad in between the analog sticks. It’s not a touch screen per se, which differentiates it from the Wii U in that it’s less advanced, but more akin to a trackpad on a laptop. It makes the controller look really ugly though.

Rumors in the gaming community have focused on a speculated price of $429 and a release date around Christmas 2013, though nothing is confirmed from the company. 

Chris Kyle, the deadliest sniper in military history, gunned to death

Mentally ill veteran wound up killing the most lethal Navy SEAL ever

Chris Kyle, the most decorated Navy SEAL in American history, with a confirmed 160 kills out of an alleged 255 kills, was shot to death earlier this week by a mentally disturbed veteran Kyle was attempting to help. Post-trauamatic stress disorder is common amongst veterans, and this time it manifested in tragedy. Chris Kyle, 38 at the time of his death, had survived over 4 tours of duty in Iraq before calling it quits in order to spend time with his two sons, aged 8 and 6. 

The alleged perpetrator of Chris Kyle’s murder is veteran Eddie Ray Routh, whom Kyle took to a shooting range on February 2nd. Routh turned his weapon on Chris Kyle and companion Chad Littlefield before fleeing the range. Over 7,000 people turned out for the two-hour service commemorating Chris Kyle’s life and achievements in the military. The funeral procession will span over 200 miles, from a Dallas suburb to Austin, to be buried by his wife and sons.

It’s another chilling reminder at the dangerous proliferation of firearms in this country. At this fragile time in the ongoing gun control debate, the fact that the most lethal sniper of all time was taken down by a few bullets serves as a harsh reminder that nobody is truly safe. At this instance, in a shooting range, the good guy with the gun didn’t stop the bad guy with the gun. 

Idiot Congressman calls for Obama impeachment, compares him to Saddam Hussein

Rep. Steve Stockman stupidly calls for impeachment over gun-related executive order

Once again furthering the image of Congress as a collective idiot haven, Texas Representative Steve Stockman called for an impeachment movement against President Barack Obama should he exercise his legal, constitutionally-granted power of executive order to tighten gun control, likening Obama to Saddam Hussein. Obama is set to unveil his new gun control policies later this week.

Stockman wants Obama impeached he feels that House Republicans are “pushed around” by the White House. If we can set aside the fact that this makes no sense, Stockman goes on to say that there are many options to essentially circumvent any ounce of power Obama can wield, and impeachment is one of them.

“He is even using children,” Stockman said. “It reminds me of Saddam Hussein when you use kids.”

The children Stockman referred to are the 20+ grade-schoolers murdered at Sandy Hook elementary, so it’s hard to see how you wouldn’t use that as a great example to promote gun control. But to Stockman, wanting to prevent future child murders by using an example is equivalent to being Saddam Hussein, an impeachable offense.

Stockman says that the threat of impeachment will “defend the Constitution”, even though Obama is dong literally nothing outside of his consitutionally-granted powers, and he’s just being a dangerously reactive partisan tool. Impeach this guy instead.

Solomon Islands struck by tsunami

8.0 magnitude earthquake sent tsunami straight for their shores

The Solomon Islands were the epicenter of another devastating beneath-the-sea earthquake that sent an unstoppable tsunami rocketing toward their shores. The earthquake was quickly rated as an 8.0 magnitude in scale, and officials say at least four people have lost their lives to the ensuing tsunami. So far, at least 100 homes on the edge community of Lata were totally devastated by the waves of destruction. Water and power outages remain a significant problem for those lucky enough to have survived. 

A majority of the residents of the Solomon Islands were relocated to higher ground in central Lata, and though the tsunami as subsided, water is still at knee-deep levels throughout the Solomon Islands. One reason the earthquake was particularly damaging wasn’t its magnitude, but rather its depth. Since the earthquake just outside the Solomon Islands was shallow, giving it significantly more power and damage potential than a deep-sea earthquake.

Thousands of residents of New Zealand had been swimming in the sea at the beach, totally oblivious to the tsunami potential they could have faced had the earthquake been caused by a horiztonal shift in the plates, rather than the vertical shift that occured.

I mean, you get the story. Earthquake = Tsunami = Large humanitarian crisis. Donate to help out the struggling families over there, would you?

Boy Scouts of America rethinks anti-gay policy

Organization may lax conservative membership policies

The Boy Scouts of America have signaled a willingness to end their anti-gay membership rule after countless protests and criticisms. Finally. The motion could be approved by the Boy Scouts’ national executive board as soon as next week, which would represent another large step forward for the LGBTQ community. Chad Griffin, head of the Human Rights Campaign – a major ally in the gay community – had this to say: “The pulse of equality is strong in America, and today it beats a bit faster with news that the Boy Scouts may finally put an end to its long history of discrimination.”

To be clear – the proposed change by the Boy Scouts doesn’t totally open the floodgates for LGBTQ membership. Rather, what would happen, as outlined by the Boy Scouts on Monday, is that religious and civic groups that sponsor the Scouts will be able to decide themselves whether sexual orientation plays a role in membership consideration – meaning that some groups could still choose to discriminate if they so wish. But it’s a step forward in any case. 

The Boy Scouts drew the most opposition to the possible policy change from Southern Baptist leaders – the Scouts’ largest sponsors – who obsoletely consider homosexuality to be a sin. In a perfect world, their opinion wouldn’t matter, but since 2000, when anti-Boy Scout protests began to start in earnest in response to their discriminatory practices, the Southern Baptists have leveraged their position of power to their ideological benefit. 

Frank Ocean wants Chris Brown to face punishment for brawl

Frank Ocean (good guy) wants legal action against Chris Brown (bad guy)

Frank Ocean, seemingly everyone’s favorite rapper these days, publically expressed his wish that Chris Brown, everyone’s least favorite rapper, be prosecuted for the brawl he engaged with him last Sunday. Brown, who is still serving 5 years probation for beating another beloved member of the hip hop community, his ex-girlfriend Rihanna, would have his probation revoked if he were prosecuted, meaning that jailtime is a very real possibility for the bad rapper/terrible human being.

Frank Ocean hasn’t filed any charges yet relating to the Sunday brawl, but is “desirious of prosecution”, in the words of L.A. County Sheriff’s spokesman Steve Whitmore. The incident in question took place last Sunday, in which Frank Ocean claims he was jumped by “Chris and a couple guys”, resulting in a cut finger. Authorities responded to calls about a fight involving six men, and cited witnesses who reported that Chris Brown threw the first punches at Frank Ocean.

The incident does nothing to rehabilitate Chris Brown’s awful image in the public eye, though assaulting Frank Ocean, one of the industries hottest and most well-liked stars, is a definite step further into the public relations hole. Chris Brown is feeling the weight of his increasingly idiotic decisions, and he expressed it by Instagramming a picture of Jesus Christ with the caption “how I feel today”. Dude, come on. Are you serious. No.

Frank Ocean and Chris Brown are both nominated for Best Urban Contemporary Album in this year’s Grammy Awards, and Frank Ocean will probably win because he’s a good human being and has acutal musical talent. Ocean’s album “Channel Orange”, was a critical success and a commercial success, while Chris Brown’s album doesn’t even justify mention in this article because he’s such a despicable person. 

Rick Ross survives drive-by shooting

Rapper shot at while celebrating 37th birthday

Rick Ross survived an apparent drive-by shooting attempt while celebrating his 37th birthday in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. As Rick Ross was leaving the restaurant The Floridian Diner and getting into his Rolls Royce, shots were fired from an as-of-yet unidentified gunman. Witnesses went on record hearing at least 10 rapid-fire shots in the drive-by shooting. “I was sound asleep and I heard boom-boom-boom and I ran out and said, ‘Did you hear that?'” Carol Touchstone, a nearby business owner, reported to the Miami Herald.

While Ross survived the shooting – every single bullet miraculously missed him – he did crash his Rolls Royce into an apartment building while evading the shooting attempt. Rick Ross’ passenger – a 28 year old fashion designer named Shateria L Moragne-el – was also unharmed by the shooting attempt, and though either have yet to comment publically on the incident, they have spoken with the proper authorities. The unidentified gunman in question fled the scene before police showed up.

While a scary incident for sure, one that reinforces America’s dangerous relationship with private weapons and hip-hop’s ongoing image struggle with gang violence, it is a relief that the story ends without death. Rick Ross could have easily become the next Tupac or Biggie, but thankfully it looks like we won’t be needing 100 black coffins for the famous rapper. Ross’s most recent full-length album, “God Forgives, I Don’t”, is Grammy-nominated for Best Rap Album of 2013, and the rapper will live to see whether or not he claims the top prize. The album topped the US charts last summer and reached No 8 in the UK.

J.J. Abrams Directing Star Wars Episode VII

‘Lost’ creator at the helm of new Star Wars flick

J.J. Abrams, creator of ‘Lost’ and director of the highly-acclaimed Star Trek reboot and ‘Super 8’, was announced as the director of Star Wars Episode VII earlier today. After Disney bought Lucasfilm for $4 billion and announced a new sequel trilogy to the original Star Wars films, speculation over the director absored the Internet.

Well, the wait is over. J.J. Abrams, sci-fi wunderkind, has been selected to take up the directors helm after beating out Ben Affleck for the job. Episode VII, which will hit theaters in 2015, will come a decade after the last Star Wars film, ‘Revenge of the Sith’, hit the big screen. The screenplay for the new Star Wars film is being developed by Oscar-winner Michael Ardnt, who previously wrote ‘Little Miss Sunshine’ and ‘Toy Story 3’.

J.J. Abrams’ selection came after intense lobbying on his behalf by superproducer Kathleen Kennedy and Steven Speilberg. “It’s a done deal with J.J.”, a source close to Disney was reported as saying. J.J. Abrams’ next feature, ‘Star Trek Into Darkness’, hits theaters this May. 

Giovanna Plowman sucks bloody tampon in search of fame

Video of the teen sucking her own used tampon disgusting, sad

Giovanna Plowman, a teenager desperate for fame on the internet, may have stumbled upon infamy when she uploaded a video to her Facebook and YouTube accounts of her removing her bloody tampon and sucking on it. Yeah, ugh. Just. Man oh man. It has been debated whether Giovanna Plowman’s video is legitimate or if it’s an elaborate hoax. Some have speculated that the tampon in the video was dabbed in ketchup or tomato soup. Let’s hope they are right.

The video in question has since been deleted from Facebook and YouTube for terms of agreement violations, but the viral spread has already begun. Numerous fake twitter accounts claiming to be Giovanna Plowman have already popped up, some topping over 70,000 followers in under a week. Whether the video is legitimate or not, Giovanna Plowman seems to have gotten her wish for internet fame. For sucking a tampon. This is what it has come to. Come on.

One has to question whether the means in this case justify the ends. Giovanna Plowman certainly thinks so. On her facebook page earlier this week, Giovanna Plowman posted a status reading, “OMG! SO I JUST FOUND OUT IM GOING TO BE ON TOSH.O!!! one of daniel tosh’s agents got ahold of me and said they would love to have me and my video on there show! This is amazing. Like i never thought it would get this big. And of course ill be going.” Great. This story has a happy ending, for her at least. Not for her viewers (or parents).

It has been rumored that the outcry and bullying directed at Giovanna Plowman stemming from the video has caused the young teen to commit suicide, but no sources can confirm or deny this. The water has yet to be cleared so pave way for what is the true Giovanna Plowman story, but whatever it is, it’s dark, it’s gross, and it’s bloody.

Giovanna Plowman’s infamous tampon-sucking video (NSFW) can be found HERE.