The 1st Question - 16 Feb 2010 - Questions

1) Advertising research found that very few people are satisfied with the amount of family-oriented programming, and most parents would go out of their way to find better. In a marriage made in Family Moment heaven, which is aptly enough the campaign title, two huge companies teamed up to produce "Secrets of The Mountain," a movie set to debut on NBC in April. Name one or both of the two household names who are launching a marketing in-store and digital initiative designed to promote family entertainment options, including a family game night - which of course The 1st Question hopes to be a part of.

2) This toy might ruin your life, but I sure wish I had it when I was a kid. Soon your every move can be captured pre-loaded with three apps including night vision! Kids can park the remote-controlled vehicle in a strategic location and lie in wait for unsuspecting family members. When the motion alarm app is downloaded the camera can be used as a sensor and they can also capture the person's photo, trigger the alarm and set off an audio alert Like "BUSTED!!" The vehicle will then automatically return to the driver before it can be seized by the enemy, the parents. It is to be released in October of this year, so you have until then to buy it. Name this toy?

3) It is a six-legged robot and was recently a star at The Emotibot exhibit running at the London Science Museum, as it has remarkable software that allows it to interact with human beings in an emotionally expressive way. If aggressively confronted, it backs away but If a person hold's it's gaze for a few seconds, their picture is uploaded to its website. Prototypes were used in the making of two Harry Potter films; they co-starred as Hagrid's pets. It is a six-legged robot invented by Matt Denton. What is its name?

4) It is an online publication with a low-tech name though it is focused on anything but. Founded in 1996 by Dr. Thomas Pabst it is owned by the Bestofmedia Group company, one of the top three online publishers for technology in the world. It provides articles, and a lot more on high tech. The site features coverage on CPUs, motherboards, and computer peripherals. Pooky learned how to build an LED nightlight from it, though I don't think she used the "Build your Own computer" section. Its readers are top of the line tekkies too and it’s published in several languages. What is the name of it? 

5) The ability to speak one language and have it instantly translated is a dream of tourists the world over, especially anyone visiting France. This company has something to help us in the works; they are building on their text translation software, which covers 52 languages, and on their voice recognition software. Progress in machine translation and voice recognition will make this happen sooner than later. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy had the babel fish, heck even the original Star Trek series featured a universal translator. What company might very well have a translator phone soon?

6) This new building material would be right at home in any Shire, featuring mushroom tissue that will eagerly devour pasteurized wood chips. As the fungus digests and transforms, it solidifies into a mass of interlocking cells, slowly becoming denser and taking form, like plaster or cement, mushrooms can be cast into almost any shape. Mushrooms digest cellulose and transform it into chitin, the same material that insect shells are made from. The skin itself is incredibly hard, shatter resistant, and can handle enormous amounts of compression. PS it is also nontoxic, fireproof and mold-resistant. What is the name of this architecture that forms with fungus?

7) They zap mosquitos don't they? Assembled technology used in printers, digital cameras and projectors can now shoot down mosquitoes by the hundreds in mid-flight. This was demonstrated at a TED talk by the way. After hundreds of mosquitoes were released into a glass tank, a laser tracked their movements and slowly shot them down anywhere between 50 to 100 mosquitoes per second. The laser detection is so precise that it can specify the gender. The company's head Nathan Myhrvold credits a 2008 brainstorming session on killing malaria-bearing mosquitoes with the idea for a 'Star Wars-style' anti mosquito weapon. What is the name of his enterprise that at least does not kill ideas? 

8) Many magazines in the 19th century published series about that mythic time known as "the Future" germinating the genre which would become science fiction. This was published in 1898 intending to be a sequel to "Fighters from Mars”, where it's hero travels. His inventions include the first dis-integrator ray and this was perhaps the first space opera, although then the term did not yet exist. The book contains some notable "firsts" in science fiction: alien abductions, spacesuits (called "air-tight suits"), aliens building the Pyramids, space battles and oxygen pills. Written by Garrett P. Serviss what was it called?

9) Last year's winner was The Automist a major advance in home safety basically, a sprinkler system delivered through the faucet in your kitchen. The world's most prestigious student competition and though not a recruiting exercise, many entrants have gone on to work for its founder, while many others have quickly established new design practices as a result. What is the name of this award which is currently accepting entries?

10) More data, faster computers Moores law and the need for more bandwidth has rendered conventional wires impractical at higher frequencies. A possible solution is to use optics not just for sending data, but also to store information and perform calculations. But for this to have a future, researchers will need to find a cheap and effective way to integrate optical and electronic components onto silicon chips. Disproving previous beliefs in the matter, MIT researchers have demonstrated the first laser built, from this, which can perform optical communications... This substance can be manipulated to work. What is “this” which has been discovered to be "optics-friendly", possibly advancing our digital age?

11) Imagine being able to check your email on any blank wall, simply by drawing an @ sign in the air with your finger or just put your thumbs and forefingers creating a picture frame, and snap. The inventor who presented at TEDIndia in 2009 was given last year’s Invention Award by Popular Science. The latest prototype of 6th sense is a small camera which acts as a digital eye and projector combination (about the size of a cigarette pack) worn around the neck of the user. An accompanying smartphone handles the connection to the internet. You can turn any surface around you into an interactive one, it is a wearable, gesture-driven computing platform that can continually augment the physical world with digital information. Who is behind this?

12) When giants collide! Facebook is clearly leading the pack in the mobile Internet race. Google likes to compete with a very clear, elephant in the room presence. And so, the first salvo has been fired in the brewing war between Google and Facebook for social media dominance. Google has unleashed this real time, privacy killing, real time sharing, Picasa filling, conversation enabling and mega new user alert blaring service. It hasn't debuted to the best of press, unlike what its name indicates. What is it called?

13) The Economist described his influence 5 years ago and it still holds true but more so now-because he has become a major celebrity among geeks worldwide, who read his blog religiously. And Impressively, he has also succeeded where small armies of more conventional public-relations types have been failing. He is a legend, he is a measurable unit on twitter, an ego blogger and a genius- he helped his mother build mac computers starting at age 11. He launched and is the greatest technical evangelist there is. Who is in the top 5 of The 1st Question's most wanted?

14) The game, created originally in 1860 simulates a person's travels through his or her life, from college to retirement, with jobs, marriages and children (or not) along the way. Life was the first game created by Milton Bradley, and like many from the 19th century, such as the The Mansion of Happiness, it had a strong moral message. Essentially a modified checkerboard, The Game of Life version in 1963 had some differences with the original, and it was advertised as a "A Full 3-D Action Game." Sounds familiar, but the original version however did not include dice, to discourage any notions of gambling but instead used a six-sided top called what?

15) In 1957, a market researcher claimed that quickly flashing messages on a movie screen, influenced people to purchase more food and drinks thus coining the term, subliminal advertising. 5 years later he admitted to lying, the story itself being a marketing ploy. However, before the confession, his claims led to a public outcry of conspiracy theories, so the practice of subliminal advertising was banned. In 2007, to mark the 50th anniversary of the original experiment, it was recreated. As part of a "Hypnosis, subconscious triggers and branding" presentation for marketers, 1,400 delegates were exposed to 30 subliminal cuts over a 90 second period. When asked to choose one of two fictitious brands, 81% of the delegates picked the brand suggested in the flash. Who was the original Subliminal man, the market researcher who started it all?

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