Somewhere deep inside of all of us lies the desire to create masterpieces of the finest culinary quality, to flambé and purée the most delectable ingredients into something of edible grandeur.

Unfortunately, only a select few are ever able to rise to the ranks of chef superstardom, which ultimately culminates with an appearance on Iron Chef America, the Food Network’s premiere TV show featuring some of the world’s most skilled kitchen masters competeing against one another to see who can come up with the most creative use for the ice cream machine.

But I digress.

Maybe we’ll never know how Comedy Central could run a show like “BattleBots” and not have it be the greatest thing ever. Lucky for us, the concept is getting another shot at life thanks to the fine folks at ESPN 2 and ESPNU. The new show format will have an increased emphasis on the behind-the-scenes nerdmergencies in the “pits” when the bots need tweaking or full on repairs. They’re also going to do away with the annoying wedgebots (similar in principle to this Microsoft bot up above, just more annoying), beef up the arena hazards and add a new experimental class for featuring other bot types competing in what are hopefully equally destructive forms. The show was going to start up in June, but is being held back a bit while the 150 or so participating college teams prep entries, and the mayhem is now slated to begin in November.

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Didn’t get a chance to go to BlizzCon? Found that trip to Anaheim, California just a little too expensive? Tough luck, man. The 2008 Blizzard Entertainment Worldwide Invitational will be held in France.

If you happen to live in or near France, you’ll get a chance to watch tournaments (though the actual players are invite-only) and play the latest builds of StarCraft II and World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King.

Either way, there is sure to be a deluge of new news and media from the event, which takes place on June 28 and 29 in Paris.

Still thinking about getting an iPhone, but the price scares you? Here’s your chance to get in for $150 less than retail. Not sure you want AT&T? Well now’s your chance to get a cheap iPhone that doesn’t need to be used on AT&T.

AT&T is selling off refurbished iPhones online that don’t require activation or a contract. You’re free to unlock it and run it on T-Mobile if you so desire.

The refurb phone will run you $249 and is the 8GB model.

An editorial piece in the March issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry says compulsive internet use which can include “excessive gaming, sexual pre-occupations and e-mail/text messaging” should be classified as a mental illness, under the parameters of addiction.

Similar to addicts of other behaviors or substances, users experience cravings, withdrawal, and tolerance which only lead to more of a dependence on the activity and increased hours on the interwebs. Some users even neglect basic human needs like eating or sleeping.Dr. Jerald Block, a psychiatrist at the Oregon Health and Science University in Portland says about 86% of internet addicts have some other additional mental illness but unless a psychiatrist is looking for it, they could easily miss the internet component.

A lot of iPhone dev types have known about the SBMobileScreenshotr preference for a very long time. What we didn’t know was how to make it do anything. The software programming site RipDev solved the mystery.

After setting the preference in /var/mobile/Library/Preferences/com.apple.springboard.plist, just restart Springboard and use the following super-secret key combination: Hold down the Home key and toggle the mute switch. Your screen flashes white, a screen shot appears on your camera roll. How did they figure this out? Given the relative unlikelihood of coming across this key combination by chance, I’m guessing they might have had some human direction. Or maybe they’re just really really good at disassembling code.

If you’d rather not edit your property lists directly, add http://repository.ripdev.com as an Installer repository and install Apple Screenshot Enabler.

Here’s a nice bit of information. Many iTunes customers bought season passes to television shows in iTunes that never aired as a result of the recent writers’ strike. As of this writing, Apple has begun addressing their concerns.

In an email that has been delivered to some customers, Apple describes how customer plans will be extended into the next season, or refunds will be issued:

“We will make all additional episodes which are broadcast during the 2007-08 season available to you as we receive them. If the season does end up with fewer episodes, you will receive a partial refund to make up for the difference.”

In keeping with the 2008 tradition of Tuesday morning updates, Apple released Safari 3.1 today for both OS X and Windows — marking the transition out of beta status for the Windows build. At 143MB (for the Leopard version, at least), there’s a lot of changes, including

  • Improved JavaScript performance
  • Standards support, including CSS 3 web fonts, HTML 5 video and audio elements, and SVG advanced text
  • Developer benefits like editing CSS in the Web Inspector
  • Caps lock alert in password fields (Yay!)

The California Assembly, apparently facing an $8 billion deficit, has introduced a bill that would apply sales taxes to “media downloads,” namely the music sales going through iTunes (which, as we’ve reported, is challenging even retailer giant Walmart for music sales numbers). But it seems as though (since new taxes require a 2/3 majority in California) they’re going about it in a pretty weird way.

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