Warspying, RadioShark, Downloading Websites

Episode #2754


Top O’ the Show
Tomorrow may very well be “the most important election of our lifetime,” and iTunes is doing its part to help you make an informed decision with free political downloads, including speeches and debates. Read Kevin’s blog entry on this act of good citizenship.

Meanwhile, Kevin and Alex continued their personal accrual of gadgets last weekend. Alex purchased his first camera phone, the LG VX6100 (it has a built-in lens cap!), while Kevin picked up a cleverly designed wireless notebook optical mouse from Microsoft. Both were very proud of their new purchases.

Finally, Alex told the tale of a high school friend of his who had worked his way up from night-shift help desk at Mythic Entertainment (Dark Age of Camelot) to one of its content producers. He’s currently working on Imperator Online, an alternate-future MMO in which the Roman Empire never fell. Check it out at imperatoronline.com.

Visiting the Kingdom of Loathing
Nobody who plays Kingdom of Loathing loathes it, to the best of our knowledge. It’s a highly addictive massive multiplayer online RPG that more or less parodies MMORPGs. The text- and doodle-based web game has upwards of 150,000 registered users who advance their characters to new silly levels by eating and drinking. Creator Zack Johnson started it mostly just for the heck of it, only to be surprised by its popularity. Now he works on it full-time, giving people their daily K of L fix.

“You never know what you’re going to get,” he said, explaining that its attraction is not unlike playing the slots. “A variable reward schedule will keep you coming back.”

Come back here tomorrow for our web-exclusive interview with Zack. In the meantime, learn more about Kingdom of Loathing at: Kingdomofloathing.com

RadioSharking Because You Can
Chi-Lan Lieu dropped by with her favorite new gadget, the RadioShark from Griffin Technology ($69). “It acts like a TiVo for your radio,” she said. It’s an AM/FM receiver that plugs into your PC, and can be programmed to record your favorite shows just like a PVR. Chi Lan warned that the antenna is a tad weak, and she felt the software may be buggy (she experienced recording problems when her computer went to sleep), but that it’s a nifty gadget. Read her article about the RadioShark here.

Cool It, Buster!
Got a spare heat sink and perhaps a 12-volt Peltier junction laying around? Then you can keep your drink cool without being forced to use highly inefficient ice like Yoshi. Here are some how-to instructions from Popular Science.

Hollywood Warspying
Kevin introduced a new project of his: Warspying in the Hollywood area. Warspying is basically driving around and finding wireless video streams, typically sent by X-10 cameras that don’t use encryption. Thus, you can actually see video that people don’t bother to protect. On his first attempt, Kevin captured some rather static-filled transmissions, but he’s planning on modding his X-10 base station for better reception. Stay tuned for future updates. Until then, here are some tips on Warspying from the TechTV Vault.

TSS Live Calls
Call #1: Joey from Marin County, Calif. loves his super-hero comics. Now he’d like to play some super-hero games. What are some good titles?

“It’s good that you’re getting into super-hero games now, because they’re getting better,” said Alex. “They used to be horrible.”

The guys recommended:

City of Heroes

Marvel vs. Capcom 2

Spider-Man 2

X-Men Legends

Sarah's Download of the Day: HTTRACK
Copy entire websites to view offline!

Sarah’s Web Tips
Find cool Google functions at www.google.com/help.

Grab the latest game updates at www.fileshack.com, www.filefront.com, www.3dgamers.com




Kingdom of Loathing
Ten Minutes with Zack Johnson

The creator of "Kingdom of Loathing" talks about his RPG parody.

The Great White RadioShark

Record AM/FM radio to your PC's hard drive with this handy gadget.