G4TV Founder / CEO fired

Charles Hirschhorn, founder and CEO of G4TV, has been replaced. Hirschhorn is best known for leading the acquisition and transformation of the geek-Mecca “TechTV” television channel. Under his leadership, TechTV was dismantled and rebuilt as part of the video game-centric “G4TV”. Since then, G4TV’s ratings have declined steadily, and the channel’s tech-savvy viewers have disappeared.

The G4/TechTV merger also resulted in the unceremonious termination or resignation of popular tech-geek personalities from “TechTV” including Yoshi DeHerra, Dan Huard, Leo Laporte, and Patrick Norton. TechTV’s flagship show, “The Screen Savers”, was retooled toward a much younger audience with the majority of hardcore tech content removed. Eventually popular tech guru, Kevin Rose, also resigned to pursue more tech-centric ventures like founding the Revision3 IPTV network and “digg.com” technology news site.

While the American version of the channel has changed radically, “G4TechTV Canada” strived to maintain its specialty audience. By directly enlisting Leo Laporte, one of TechTV’s most seasoned broadcasters, it revived the very popular “Call for Help” tech-help show. Since then, “Call for Help 2.0” has been picked up by the “How-To” network in Australia. In a surprising reversal, Laporte recently announced a return of “Call for Help” to G4TV at the end of August, but outside of the prime-time slots.

Rose is hopeful that Hirschhorn’s departure signals a return to technology broadcasting for G4TV. “Will the new CEO add more tech programming? Time will tell,” he says in his blog. Meanwhile, disgruntled “TechTV” fans are cheering the move by the channel’s owner, Comcast.

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PDC 2005 – “Bill Gates goes to college” video

“Microsoft also screened a video at PDC of Gates playing the role of a programmer in a spoof based on the 2004 cult movie ‘Napoleon Dynamite’. The video showed the film’s celebrated anti-hero reporting to work as a programmer for the world’s largest software maker, according to Reuters.

“In a face-off between the two nerd icons, Jon Heder, the actor who plays Napoleon Dynamite, beats Gates in a slapping match to become the head of the software giant.

“Gates is shown recruiting Heder’s fictional character, after which they are seen together in ill-fitting brown suits on Microsoft’s campus in Redmond, Wash., Reuters said.”

Click HERE or HERE to see the movie.

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World’s first “Mech Warrior” becomes reality

“Japanese robotics and machineries manufacturer Sakakibara-Kikai has developed the world’s first bi-pedal exoskeleton, bringing the battlemechs and cyborg technology found in sci-fi movies and novels into reality. This mechanatron is similar to those found in movies such as the Imperial Scout Walker (AT-ST) found in Star Wars. Previously, there was a similar mechanatron also created in Japan by Tmsuk called Enryu. Although Enryu is much faster than Land Walker, it uses caterpillar-like tracks rather than legs to move.”

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21st century science: the urine-powered battery

“Those scientists are at it again… they’ve already done a number on number two and now they’re looking out for number one. They’ve developed a paper-thin battery that’s actually powered by urine. Intuitively, the battery is being used in test kits for diseases such as diabetes, such that the urine that’s being analyzed is able to provide the electricity needed to power the kit. Bril! The battery is made from a layer of copper chloride-steeped paper sandwiched between layers of magnesium and copper, and it’s coming to a test kit near you.”

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Using Drupal with digg.com

Did you know that you can use digg’s integrated blogging with Drupal’s open source content management system (CMS)? This functionality allows you to post a digg.com story directly to your blog without having to repost or copy/paste. WordPress and Drupal use the same blogging API, so set up digg’s blogging configuration as though you were a WordPress user.

1. Navigate to the digg account edit page – http://digg.com/accountedit/username (replace username with your own digg.com username)
2. In the “blog preferences” frame:
– Select “WordPress” for your “type of blog”.
– For the “blog username”, enter your Drupal user ID.
– For the “blog password”, enter your Drupal password.
– For the “url of blog”, enter the URL of your web site like so – “http://www.yourwebsite.com”. Make sure that you type out the full URL with “http://” or it won’t work.
3. Find a digg.com story that you want to highlight in your blog. Click “blog this” on the story, and follow the simple instructions.

Hope you like it. If you do, feel free to digg it.