In today's Remainders: Empires. Apple tends to theirs at their annual shareholders meeting; Verizon reinforces their cellular empire for Spring Break action; and the Galactic Empire's graphic design team faces off with Ole Miss's new rebel mascot. And more!
It's a Mascot!
Ole Miss has been without a mascot since 2003, when its Colonel Reb was deemed offensive. A campus-wide vote was initiated to determine the new one, and the University has gravitated towards a Rebel of a different nature: Admiral Ackbar! Star Wars fans shouldn't get too excited; the Associated Student Body President said that the campaign is only "comic relief." Too bad, the thought of Red Squadron-replica football helmets running around on ESPN had me pretty excited. [Washington Post]
We All Live In An Autonomous Submarine
Today PopSci shares a report on Gulper, an autonomous submarine that can plan its own experiments. "Cool," you say, but in reality it's not quite as exciting as it sounds—Gulper basically just makes small decisions within the confines of a preprogrammed task to get things done more efficiently. Submarines have been zipping around on their own for a while now, so it's gonna take a little bit more autonomy to impress us. [PopSci]
The "Fancy Alpha" offers you the chance to disguise your unsightly HDTV antenna...as an unsightly picture frame. When there are so many striking, well-designed antennas on the market, why bother? [CrunchGear]
Spring Break Service
Pass the beer bong to Verizon—today the carrier sent out a press release confirming that their Florida network is ready for the Spring Break sexting onslaught:
When droves of college students from around the country hit Florida's spring break hot spots this year, they can count on the Verizon Wireless 3G network to handle their millions of voice calls, text and picture messages, downloads and more to stay in touch with friends at the next beach party or family back home.
Apparently service wasn't quite up to snuff last spring break, so in the meantime they spent $240 million on improving the network. Sign of the times if there ever was one. [
All over the world, pockets of the environmentally-friendly are partying like the end of Return of the Jedi. What's the cause for all the celebration? The shuttering of Hummer, of course. The brand, which has long been the most visible signal of everything wrong with our gas-guzzling SUV automotive culture, was supposed to be sold to a Chinese company but the deal fell apart. Eco-friendly and Ewoks alike: cheer on. [CNN]
For a while it seemed like the powers that be had agreed to let this Spotify thing happen, but a recent study is sure to make the Brothers Warner and their big-wig cousins raise an eyebrow. It found that on-demand streaming music sites, like Spotify, decreased paid downloads 13 percent. That's bad enough, but when you look at it in the context of streaming internet radio's influence on paid downloads—it can boost them up to 41%—Spotify's future with the big labels looks even dimmer. [CNET]
Apple's annual shareholder meeting was today, and it didn't generate much in the way of explosive news. Here's what was discussed: Apple is sitting on a gigantic pile of cash, something to the tune of $40 billion (this we knew); Apple plans to build 25 stores in China (this we didn't); some people are pushing for a more environmentally-friendly Apple (a greener Apple, if you will); and one shareholder thinks there should be women on the board (Tipper Gore was suggested). I told you it wasn't explosive. [Brainstrom Tech]
Artist Cliff Chang created some adverts for the Galactic Empire in the style of World War II propaganda posters, and, as you can see, they are quite wonderful. I'm sure Palpatine had pro-Empire posters up in every spaceport, but I can't imagine the Empire's graphic design team had a style this impressive. [New Launches]