10 Stories

Meet the Virtual Customs Agent

Avatar will expedite pre-approved travelers crossing the border

(Newser) - It may seem like something out of Minority Report, but the US Customs and Border Patrol's newest agent is expected to make life easier for those who regularly cross the border between Nogales, Arizona, and Mexico. The nameless agent is a computer avatar, but he's bilingual, able to... More »

Please God, Let This Be the Last Airbender

Reviews epically bad for M. Night Shyamalan's would-be epic

(Newser) - If you believe the critics, the Last Airbender isn't just bad, it's epically bad. At this writing, the movie's hovering at 5% on Rotten Tomatoes . Ready for some vicious quotes? I knew you were:
  • The Last Airbender is an agonizing experience in every category I can think of and
... More »

Web Game Turns Celeb Orphans Into Accessories

It's all in fun, says My Minx founder, but parents' groups disagree

(Newser) - An online fashion game is under fire for allowing players to buy a chic accessory for their avatars: the adopted children of celebrities. My Minx , a “dress-up game for style icons,” now includes an “adoption clinic” where players can acquire web versions of, say, Angelina Jolie’s... More »

China Renames Mountain After Avatar

Hunan province gets its own 'Avatar Hallelujah Mountain'

(Newser) - Avatar fandom has reached new heights: China changed the name of one of its mountains to “Avatar Hallelujah Mountain” in an official ceremony yesterday. The mountain formerly known as “Southern Sky Column” is in a southern province, and the government claims it inspired Avatar’s floating “Hallelujah... More »

Ditch Your Trashy Avatar

Businesses who use virtual worlds need 3-D dress codes

(Newser) - With businesses increasingly making use of virtual worlds like Second Life for long-distance training and conferences, it’s important for employees to show a little discretion with their choice of avatar, warns a report from tech advisory firm Gartner. “Because 3-D environments add the visual dimension, they will need... More »

Film Sneak Peeks Thrill Comic-Con Fans

(Newser) - Some 125,000 giddy comic book fans converged on the San Diego Convention Center over the weekend to jockey for a spot at the film portion Comic-Con to get tantalizing sneak peeks at upcoming movies and hear insiders rave about projects. USA Today reports a few of the tantalizing tidbits... More »

Disabled Identify With Heroes at Comic-Con

'You have legs, you can become a warrior,' says fan at SD convention

(Newser) - It’s no accident that some of Comic-Con's most popular heroes are X-Men’s wheelchair-bound professor and Daredevil’s blind avenger. Many of the San Diego convention’s 125,000 guests say they relate to the struggles of their favorite superheroes, the Los Angeles Times reports. “You feel like... More »

Forbidden City Opens Its Doors—to Virtual Eunuchs

Second Life-style game allows tourists to enter Chinese palace complex

(Newser) - It's now possible to visit one of Beijing's premier tourist sights without having to worry about bad air quality or hard-to-get visas, Reuters reports. A new computer game allows users to experience the Qing emperor's Forbidden City complex as member of his court, embodying any character from soldier to eunuch—... More »

Your Pal in Second Life May Be a Robot

Researchers use virtual world to test AI creations

(Newser) - Scientists are creating virtual robots in a virtual world with the hope of simulating real people. Got it? Second Life is prime testing ground for artificial intelligence because it allows experts to exert more control over their creations. “It’s a very inexpensive way to test out our technologies... More »

Spain Opens Second Life Clinic for Teens

Virtual doctor's office welcomes those who hate the real thing

(Newser) - Spanish health officials are opening a virtual clinic in the popular online world Second Life, where they plan to advise teens who are too shy to consult flesh-and-blood doctors, the Guardian reports. It will appear as a consultation room for now, but officials hope to expand the service and eventually... More »

10 Stories