How 3-D TV Works

Enjoy eye-popping effects without leaving your couch

The 3-D thrill that swept movie theaters last year is now headed for your living room. In the wake of a new Blu-ray standard for high-definition 3-D, Panasonic, Sony and Samsung are all releasing home-theater setups that can display 3-D movies in full high-def glory. Using a combo of 3-D-capable Blu-ray players, TVs and, yes, glasses, the systems are able to deliver separate, full-screen, 1080p pictures to each eye. The technique they use creates a picture as vivid as in a movie theater without requiring a major overhaul of TV technology.

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All The 'Future of Movies' Talk Is For Real

Avatar 3-D: The view, it's incredible!  Fox
Like many of you, I saw Avatar this weekend. And even though the fairly positive early reviews had tempered my skepticism, I still had doubts as to whether I would enjoy Avatar's almost entirely synthetic, effects-driven, Papyrus-loving world. Despite this, as a devotee of all things futuristic, I was going to give it a shot. And now, unlike John, who wasn't quite as moved, I'm poised to embrace our 3-D harbinger of the future of movies. Here's why.

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Avatar Review: We Have the Technology. Now What?

Avatar:  Fox
It’s an intriguing paradox--the success of a film as technologically elaborate and ambitious as James Cameron’s Avatar will come down to a simple question: Will audiences marvel at the movie’s groundbreaking production methods enough to forgive Cameron's curious choice to frame everything on a script that is, almost above all else, obsessed with the evils of technology in the wrong hands?

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Liquavista's E-Paper Plays Full-Color Movies

Electrowetting digital paper combines high contrast with a multi-touch screen

E-readers such as Amazon's Kindle DX, Sony's Daily Edition, and Barnes & Noble's multi-touch hybrid might want to start trembling. A new e-paper from Liquivista promises to allow video-playing and digital note-taking on a multi-touch, color screen.

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Disney Sees Future of Media as Format-Independent

The entertainment giant's "Keychest" technology aims to shift media ownership beyond physical possession

A digital revolution in past years has gradually unlocked movies and television shows from their traditional formats. Now Disney wants to take things a step further and update the idea of media ownership. Their plan would give owners an access code that allows them to view their entertainment on any number of platforms and gadgets.

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The Power Loader Is Real

Still no word about the xenomorphs, though

For everyone out there who's been fighting aliens with a flamethrower, but now needs something with a little more kick, you're in luck. Panasonic has taken a break from hawking TVs and camcorder to build the power loader from Aliens.

Designed by Panasonic subsidiary Activelink, the "Dual Arm Amplification Robot" weighs 500 pounds, and allows the user to lift 220 pounds with the flick of a wrist. That's not quite enough to bench press an alien queen, but then again, it's still in the design phase.

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Learn How to Do Anything with Netflix for DIY Nerds

From lock-picking to building veggie-oil cars, Smartflix gets you up to speed

Almost four years ago I swapped out my fancy lad IT job in New York City for a 100 percent DIY lifestyle in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico. The only problem was that I didn't have any building skills. Fortunately, I came across an advertisement for Smartflix: A DVD-rental service sorta like Netflix except all the videos are how-tos. The library covers everything from how to silkscreen a t-shirt to building energy efficient homes. At only $10 per disc rental (a few are more) and over 6,200 titles this service saved my DIY life. Follow the jump to check out my favorite titles.

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Presenting: The Nominees for the Sci-Tech Oscars

Imocap image courtesy Animation Weekly News

Much like puberty and Ramadan, the movie awards season begins earlier and earlier each year. But this year, the nerds get to fire the opening salvo. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (emphasis on the "Sciences") has released its short list of nominees for the Science and Technical Oscars. The list includes some of the best known names in computer animation and special effects, like Pixar and Industrial Light and Magic, as well as some less famous companies that have been quietly changing the process of filmmaking.

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"Quantum Quest" Brings Cassini to the Big Screen (Starring William Shatner as Every Star in the Universe)

Harry Kloor may be the world’s most well-rounded nerd. He is the only person to have earned doctorates in physics and chemistry simultaneously, and he has penned episodes of Star Trek: Voyager. And when NASA asked him for help in improving its image with young people, he drew on both of those experiences. The best way to get kids enthused about outer space, Kloor figured, was to hide their medicine in a bucket of popcorn. Next February, Quantum Quest, a star-studded CGI space adventure that pairs animated protons with real footage from NASA spacecraft, hits theaters. “Many of NASA’s scientists were inspired by Star Trek and Star Wars,” he says. “I want to inspire that kind of passion.” We caught up with Kloor to find out why kids will go nuts for quarks.

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Doing Mach 2.0 In An Open Cockpit

Feel the breeze in your hair

The spectacular picture above was (reportedly) shot high above the set of a movie. Producers for an unknown movie paid a couple of Russian pilots to fly their SU-35UB jet at speeds past Mach 2.0... without a canopy! After the flight, the pilot said, "While on this speed I even managed to pull out my fingers in glove for an inch or two outside - it became heated very fast because of immense friction force plane undergoes with the air."

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Get Your Autobots Here: General Motors to Offer Bumblebee Camaro

For $995, Chevrolet will turn your 2010 Camaro into a movie star. Just don't expect sci-fi performance as well

Like many, I prefer my cars with few adornments -- aside from an air-freshener tree if the dog's on board. Most often, cosmetic packages cost too much for what you get -- a couple stripes here, a few shiny dashboard panels there -- and tend to revel in the kind of lily-gilding enjoyed by Housewives of Insert-Name-of-Well-Heeled-American-Suburb-Here. But fans of the Transformers movies may think differently about Chevrolet's new package, which will turn a stock Camaro into the heroic Autobot called Bumblebee. Of course, the Transformers edition Camaro won't do much to ward off evil Decepticons stalking your garage, nor will it add much to the stock Camaro's performance.

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Crowd-Sourced Star Wars Remake Gives 472 Geeks Their 15 Seconds of Fame

The Star Wars Uncut project is remaking A New Hope by commissioning 472 15-second scene re-shoots through the video site Vimeo

Not long from now, in a galaxy that looks surprisingly similar to your garage, you might be the director and star of a scene from Star Wars. And thankfully, George Lucas isn't involved in any way.

The site Star Wars: Uncut has decided to crowd-source a remake of the film by chopping it up into 15-second increments. Using the social video site Vimeo, people can sign up to download one of 472 15-second chunks of Star Wars: A New Hope and re-film it however they choose. Once complete, all 472 Vimeo clips will be stitched together in sequence to re-create the entire film. The results are already rolling in, and they're awesome.

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Transforming the Humble Vacuum Cleaner

Dyson’s quirky vacuum cleaner designs have always created a talking point. So much so that they were used in the new Transformers movie

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen is likely to be one of the biggest movies of the year. And what’s not to like? Technology, science, robots, great special effects… well, really, just having Transformers in it makes it amazingly cool. For those who have been reading Popular Science magazine (and who wouldn’t, it’s awesome if we do say so ourselves), you would have noticed the Dyson Award features we have been running, highlighting the extraordinary talent of young, up and coming, Aussie designers and inventors.

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Depiction vs. Reality: The Air Force Hardware of Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

If you're seeing Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen tonight, prepare yourself for a parade of hardcore military hardware unlike any you've ever seen. As was the case with the first Transformers film, the U.S. Air Force Entertainment Liaison Office played a significant role in assisting with and supervising the placement of military gear.

But what happens when the F-22 Raptor--a weapons system in jeopardy of being canceled entirely--plays a central role in the film, while unmanned drones are flying nearly constant missions over Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan? We talked to the USAF Entertainment Liaison Office to find out.

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The Future of TV: Hulu Comes to the Desktop

A new "lean back viewing experience" for Windows and Mac frees Hulu from the confines of your Web browser

Hulu has been deemed the way forward for television on the Web since it started serving on-demand episodes on a little over a year ago. But now, a new desktop app brings us all closer to the what-we-want (and only what-we-want), when-we-want-it future of Internet TV.

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