Friday, September 30, 2005

Electric Outlet Broadband?

TOKYO (AP) - The common electric socket will serve as your home's connection to broadband with a new chip developed by Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. - doing away with all the Ethernet cables or the hassle of hooking up to a wireless network device. Products are still being developed, but gadgets embedded with the chip from the Japanese manufacturer of Panasonic products can hook up to a broadband network by plugging into the common electrical outlet, company officials said Thursday.

That's because the Osaka-based company has come up with technology to use electric wiring in the home to relay not just electricity but also data. The technology has been around for some time - including in the United States - but Matsushita's system is unique in that it delivers fast-speed broadband information at up to 170 megabits per second, which is faster than Ethernet. The advantage is that the lowly electric socket is everywhere. Right now, a broadband outlet still isn't usually available in every room, even in homes that have broadband connections. In the future home envisioned by Matsushita, people will be able to download and watch high-definition movies in any room of the house that has an outlet.

Attach a special device made by Matsushita into a socket and all you have to do is plug your TV or other gadgets into a socket for instant connection to broadband, which allows for faster transmission of online information than dial-up telephone connections. Matsushita hopes to eventually sell refrigerators, TVs and other products with the chip already installed. A network-connected refrigerator may allow users to connect from a mobile phone or laptop to check whether you're low on eggs, for example. Or you may want to turn gadgets off or on, such as your washing machine or air-conditioner, from outside the home.

But for now, an adaptor when plugged into an outlet will allow gadgets with Ethernet connections - even those without the Matsushita chip - to receive broadband. Matsushita official Tomiya Miyazaki said that even homes with optical fiber connections don't have broadband outlets in every room, and people are tired of setting up gadgets with their home wireless LAN device. "Our goal is to have every gadget plugged in this way so that people don't have to even think about connecting it to broadband," he said. Samples of the technology are being made available to companies, including other Japanese electronics makers, that may wish to use it for their products, Matsushita officials said. A demonstration of the technology will be on show at the CEATEC exhibition that showcases electronic technology, opening near Tokyo next month.

Acceptance of the technology is more likely in Europe and the United States because of stricter regulations over power line use in Japan, according to Matsushita. The company is in talks with the Japanese government to have regulations eased.

Cingular readies BlackBerry software on Nokia 9300

(IDG NEWS SERVICE) - Cingular Wireless LLC in November will let subscribers use Research In Motion Ltd.'s (RIM) BlackBerry software on a non-BlackBerry device for the first time, the mobile operator announced this week at the CTIA Wireless IT & Entertainment show in San Francisco. The BlackBerry Connect software will be available on the Nokia Corp. 9300, a flip-open handset with a QWERTY keyboard, Cingular said in a statement. BlackBerry Connect is software that RIM is beginning to license to third parties for use on non-RIM devices. RIM's BlackBerry, one of the first handhelds to have a keyboard, has become a familiar sight as business users rely on it for real-time e-mail on the road. Cingular said it will be the first U.S. operator to offer BlackBerry Connect.

Enterprises will be able to use BlackBerry Connect with the BlackBerry Enterprise Server, and individuals and small businesses can use it to access Internet service provider and Web-based e-mail accounts through BlackBerry Internet Service, according to Cingular. Customers could also use the individual and enterprise BlackBerry services at the same time. Cingular, with a national Global System for Mobile Communications/General Packet Radio Service network and faster infrastructure in many locations, is the largest mobile operator in the U.S., with more than 50 million subscribers. The 9300 will use Cingular's national Enhanced Data Rates for GSM Evolution network where available.

RIM isn't about to give up on the hardware business, however. At the Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association event on Tuesday, it announced a deal with Intel Corp. to use that company's upcoming mobile processor, code-named Hermon, in a phone to be launched in the fourth quarter (see "CTIA: RIM to use Intel's Hermon mobile chip"). However, RIM is up against emerging competitors, notably Good Technology Inc., that make mobile e-mail software for many different devices. Sprint Nextel Corp., the nation's third-largest operator, plans to roll out BlackBerry Connect on Palm OS devices next year, Eric Martin, manager of business device marketing, said in an interview at CTIA.

The company is responding to customer requests, he said. Sprint currently offers Palm Inc. Treo handhelds running Palm OS. "Not everyone is sold on the legacy RIM form factor," Martin said.

PDAs expected to change healthcare in future

Personal digital assistants (PDAs) could change the way healthcare is delivered in the future by providing doctors with easy access to patient data and the latest information on treatment.
Palm pilots and other hand-held computers were originally designed as personal organizers but they are becoming increasingly popular with doctors, medical students and even patients to improve the quality of care and safety.

"The most commonly used clinical application is drug reference, so far. But it has gone beyond just looking up drugs and dosages and running interaction checks," Dr Daniel Baumgart, of the Charite Medical School of the Humboldt University in Berlin, Germany, said in an interview.
PDAs with bar code scanners already exist which allow doctors to scan a patient's barcode bracelet to access their record, current medications and medication history, according to Baumgart.

"You could improve or make sure the patient gets the right drug, at the right time and at the right dose," said Baumgart who reviewed the role of the technology in medicine in a report in The Lancet medical journal. The devices could also allow doctors to access medical information from virtually anywhere due to the extended bandwidth of cellular telephone networks or high speed wireless institutional networks in hospitals. This would eliminate the need to find a find a patient's chart, X-ray or a computer to get to electronic information.

They could also allow doctors to collect data or to take photographs of patient injuries or ailments for documentation, teaching purposes and to improve care. "Future PDAs may evolve into true expert systems that access information from many sources simultaneously, match it with the patient's current medical record and past medical history, apply prediction rules, calculate clinical equations and integrate it into an overall information package to help the doctor make a sound, evidence-based decision," he added. "This might be the future, but that needs to be developed," said Baumgart.

PDAs won't replace mainframe or desktop work stations but they will give doctors additional means to access information from anywhere. "The future of information exchange is digital and wireless," he added.

Memory Stick Micro

Sony and SanDisk today announced Memory Stick Micro, yet another new ultra-small memory card format. The new format will compete with microSD (formerly TransFlash) and MMCmicro (formerly S-Card), which are all roughly similar in size and capability, yet incompatible. "Memory Stick Micro" media is approximately one-quarter the size of "Memory Stick PRO Duo" media, yet only about 1.2 mm thick. Users will be able to insert Memory Stick Micro into an adapter for exchanging data to a Memory Stick PRO compatible product. The format is aimed at "extremely compact multimedia mobile phones".

Full Story...

Thursday, September 29, 2005

The Cult of Red Vs. Blue

From Tom' s Hardware

The world of entertainment has lately been full of remakes, remixes and rehashes. The ultimate remix, though, is the genre called machinima--which is the art of using video games as an acting platform to produce original content. The most popular and one of the earliest products of this art form is the series called Red Vs. Blue, created by a gaggle of funnymen out of Texas. By creating comedy from the game Halo, Red Vs. Blue has become a pop culture phenomenon that appeals to gamers and every day folks alike. It is a hilarious reinvention that actually works.

In the spirit of reinvention, Red Vs. Blue was a show that grew out of a whole other Website entirely. At first, the gang who went on to create Red Vs. Blue, who go under the company name Rooster Teeth Productions, had a whole other site going, Geoff Ramsey, one of the show's producers, says the site was their rather bald-faced attempt at getting game companies to send them free games to review.

"And our genius plan was to review them drunk," Ramsey said. "We thought it would appeal to the alcoholics in our audiences, which we felt were burgeoning up." The game companies weren't laughing, and they "incurred the wrath" of several. "Believe it or not, companies like Nintendo don't necessarily want to be associated with a drunk Donkey Kong," Ramsey said.

Yet a seed was planted within drunkgamers that would soon flourish. Burnie Burns, the chief writer and director of Red Vs. Blue, wrote a lot of game reviews for drunkgamers and he was their XBox guy. At the time, Halo was the only game available for the XBox, so Burnie would record games, and put them online to teach people new tricks and strategies (it was actually the only serious section of drunkgamers). Then Burnie realized he could add voice-overs to the videos to make them funny.

"It slowly just kind of built into 'Hey we can build some kind of linear serial based story out of a video game,'" Ramsey said.

NEXT: The Early Days

The intelligent design of the Family Guy

I can't get enough of The Family Guy. I have no idea why it never made it big the first time around, but Fox has started with new episodes and here is an interview with its creator Seth McFarlane.

Gameboy Micro TV Spot

Nintendo has created a 30-second television spot to air tonight in selected markets. You don't have to switch on your TV, we've got it right here.
The Gameboy Micro's been out already in Japan, and it launched today in North America, retailing for $99.99.

Starting with a girl who discovers a pink Micro, the commercial seems to invite casual gamers and plays up the whimsical, stylish aspects of the handheld. It suggests crossover appeal to different types of people while maintaining a cool, unaggressive hipness.

What do you think? Does seeing this ad convince you to pay $100 bucks for the Micro?

Watch the Video.

Here is another Micro website with a nice flash presentation.

Pioneer's 500 GB Video recorder DVR-DT90

Pioneer Japan has launched two digital recorders "DVR-DT90/DT70" the DT-90 has a 500 Gb HDD and DT70 250 GB HDD. It is the world's first recorder to use single sided 2 layer DVD - R DL to VR mode video recording. Using the "PC k tie reservation" recording details can be send via Email or Mobile Phone. It supports playback of DVD-RAM and DVD+R/RW discs. Dubbing is done at a very high speed a 60 minute program is dubbed in approximately 40 seconds. The DT90 measures 420 x 94 x 363 mm, weighs 6.9 Kg and costs $ 1320, the DT70 measures 420 x 94 x 363 mm, weighs 6.2 Kg and costs $ 1050.

HD-DVD + Blu-Ray Still Possible

Talks have reportedly fallen through between Sony and Toshiba about creating a unified next-generation media format out of Blu-ray and HD-DVD, but Toshiba hasn't given up on a last-minute compromise being reached - but Sony only had until the end of the year to step up and make it happen.

The Japan Times attended a Toshiba product release press conference, where Yoshihide Fujii, president and CEO of Toshiba's Digital Media Network Company, shed some light on the complicated situation. "We have no intention of giving up on creating a single format," he says.
At least someone is making sense. The potential problems of competing next-generation media formats are disastrous; neither format could be adopted due to consumer confusion, both could find niches due to studio division but ultimately stall the adoption of either, etc., etc.!

The recent delay of HD-DVD into early next year, though, seems to have provided this reprieve, but Fujii says the reason talks between Sony and Toshiba failed before fell squarely in the Blu-ray camp's inability to convince Toshiba of the disc's structure. If that can happen now, Fujii does say he'll remain "flexible" about a compromise.

The tides could be shifting in this area yet again, and it could also be a sign from Toshiba admitting the Blu-ray's potential for grabbing the market is too great to ignore. If talks start up between the two companies, you'll hear it first.

GTA team working on new Xbox 360 title

Rumours are flying around that the team who brought you Grand Theft Auto is now working on a new game for the Xbox 360 called "Riot Act." Set to be unveiled in the debut issue of Famitsu Xbox 360, the game could prove very exciting indeed, given that the GTA team will be working with new and advanced hardware.

Halo 3 gets US launch date

Good news for Halo fans, the next installment, Halo 3, looks set to be with us in May 2006. The game has been listed pre-order in the US for $59.99, but there is no actual confirmed or agreed on date in May. Some say it is the 15th of May, whereas others go for the 30th. The suggested launch date would imply that Microsoft is planning on scuppering some of Sony’s wind when it comes to launch the 3, also tipped for a Spring launch. If that is the case, it would certainly make for an interesting show down as one of the world’s most popular console games goes up against one of the world most awaited games consoles.

Intel chips to power RIM's new BlackBerry

(Reuters) - Intel Corp.will supply the chips powering future models of Research In Motion Ltd.'s Blackberry mobile e-mail device, the two firms said on Tuesday. The long-rumored partnership will see RIM use an Intel processor, codenamed "Hermon," for its next-generation BlackBerry, which will run on high-speed Enhanced Data Rates for Global Evolution (EDGE) networks.

EDGE is a mobile network standard that lets users connect to the Internet and send and receive data with broadband-like speed.The two companies said they will also work together to "drive new wireless technologies and handset features." Rumors of a RIM/Intel partnership first arose in July and one report in August boosted RIM's stock by about 5 percent.

RIM Co-Chief Executive Mike Lazaridis said the next-generation BlackBerry will boast increased browser speeds and should help the company push into new markets. He said the new platform will also appeal to application developers. "They really want to use the BlackBerry far beyond e-mail," he said in phone interview from a wireless convention in San Francisco. "They want to be able to interact with more complex information, they want more data on the device and to be able to access it faster. So I think it was a natural step for us to go to a more powerful platform."

RIM decided to go with Intel's technology partly because it will not compromise battery life, a key requirement of the BlackBerry's design, he said. Known for its distinctive thumb-operated keyboard, the original BlackBerry helped RIM carve out a lucrative niche by popularizing wireless e-mailing with corporate users.

'ELECTRON OUT SOON?' Continued ...

Sony Ericsson Simplifies Bluetooth Bonding

Sony Ericsson today previewed a new technology that will simplify the process of pairing a Bluetooth headset to a mobile phone. Auto pairing reduces bonding to a simple yes / no question. If the headset is on and in proximity of a discoverable Bluetooth enabled handset, the phone will simply display a message asking if it should pair with the headset. The two will then set up the connection without any further input. Initially the feature will be available exclusively on a revised Sony Ericsson HBH 610 headset (HBH 610a) - available in the fourth quarter - and will only work with Sony Ericsson Bluetooth phones.

Full Story...

Call to Arms, Female soldiers from around the world

Female soldiers in action. Here is a nice collection of pics from around the world. Some of them are pretty damn hot.

Check it out

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Gun Metal Gray Matter

The loud electronic blast of the alarm clock acts as a starting pistol for the brain.

The moment consciousness is reached, a wave of ideas, theories, and solutions to problems that were not asked to be solved come flooding in too fast to block the oncoming headache.

Too much information to process, too many possible outcomes, just push this one off and maybe get the next one.

But the next one comes, with another right behind it and another behind it and so on.

Traveling through a fast and narrow pipeline, the thoughts race for a position.

After a while it begins to hurt, not being able to control the hordes of ideas that battle for exit or resolution.

The only way to halt the storms that rage inside the mind is to try and distract it.

Numbing one's self by letting someone else take the lead, the TV holds the minds patient.

Sleep comes from sheer exhaustion after what is left finally gives in to the body.

The mind begins building up strength for the next time on the track.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Armed Dolphins

It may be the oddest tale to emerge from the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Armed dolphins, trained by the US military to shoot terrorists and pinpoint spies underwater, may be missing in the Gulf of Mexico.
Experts who have studied the US navy's cetacean training exercises claim the 36 mammals could be carrying 'toxic dart' guns. Divers and surfers risk attack, they claim, from a species considered to be among the planet's smartest. The US navy admits it has been training dolphins for military purposes, but has refused to confirm that any are missing.

Read the story

I read this a few times, just to make sure I understood. I'm not sure if this is real or not but it sure is odd.

Monday, September 26, 2005


European Commission has just announced an agreement whereby English will be the official language of the European Union rather than German, which was the other possibility.

As part of the negotiations, the British Government conceded that English spelling had some room for improvement and has accepted a 5- year phase-in plan that would become known as "Euro-English".

In the first year, "s" will replace the soft "c". Sertainly, this will make the sivil servants jump with joy.

The hard "c" will be dropped in favour of "k". This should klear up konfusion, and keyboards kan have one less letter.

There will be growing publik enthusiasm in the sekond year when the troublesome "ph" will be replaced with "f". This will make words like fotograf 20% shorter.

In the 3rd year, publik akseptanse of the new spelling kan be expekted to reach the stage where more komplikated changes are possible.

Governments will enkourage the removal of double letters which have always ben a deterent to akurate speling.

Also, al wil agre that the horibl mes of the silent "e" in the languag is disgrasful and it should go away.

By the 4th yer people wil be reseptiv to steps such as replasing "th" with "z" and "w" with "v".

During ze fifz yer, ze unesesary "o" kan be dropd from vords kontaining "ou" and after ziz fifz yer, ve vil hav a reil sensi bl riten styl.

Zer vil be no mor trubl or difikultis and evrivun vil find it ezi tu understand ech oza. Ze drem of a united urop vil finali kum tru.

Und efter ze fifz yer, ve vil al be speking German like zey vunted in ze forst plas.

24 meg broadband!!

Today in the UK, Be is starting up its 24 megs for £24 a month unbundling (LLU) broadband ISP service. Available currently only in certain parts of London, the service underwent trial over the last couple of weeks, with reports of users achieving speeds of 18.5 meg on average. In a statement Be boss Dana Pressman said that the ISP was "simply better value than any other broadband service from any other provider". Be costs £24 a month and also requires an upfront connection fee of £24. Pricing details and availability can be found on Be's web site

Are holograms in your storage future?

SEPTEMBER 26, 2005 (NETWORK WORLD) - Imagine storing 20,000 X-ray images on a disk the size of a credit card. That's one grand promise stirring up the buzz over holographic storage for the enterprise.

Hal Weiss, a systems engineer at Baptist Memorial Healthcare in Memphis, is one user following the holographic storage buzz. Weiss sees holographic storage as a means to handle the increasing amount of data -- medical images and X-rays -- that he must archive to meet Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act requirements.

Read more...ComputerWorld

World's slimmest and lightest cellphone - the VK2000.

How small is too small?

Small Korean cell phone manufacturer VK has pushed the boundaries of thin and small cell phone design, kickstarted by Motorola with its now-classic RAZR and followed up with efforts from NEC and Samsung. The VK2000 is the undisputed king of the slim and light category at 8.8mm thick at 48g in weight. It will be released in China this week, followed by a Korean launch in December.

Check it out.

Friday, September 23, 2005

The Toughbook

More Panasonic Toughbooks are ready to hit the shelves for all you butterfingers and adventure seekers out there. The CF-29 and CF-18 both have brighter displays and LCDs with Anti Reflection technology—which let you use the notebooks in direct sunlight. An SD slot was also added, which seems like a pretty weird thing to be omitted in the first place. The CF-29 has a larger, 13.3” display while the CF-18 has a 10.4-inch display that rotates. Both have 60GB hard drive, 8 hours battery life and integrated WiFi. Looks like a Japan-only product for now.

New Line of brighter Panasonic toughbooks

A look at the Xbox 360 Dashboard

Game Trailers .com has an interview with Jerry Johnson about the Xbox 360 dashboard.

You can watch the video here

Click on “Feature: Xbox 360 Close-up Episode 2: The Dashboard and Gamercard” on the right column

NEC Turns Almost Any Cameraphone Into A Scanner

A new software application from NEC and the Nara Institute of Science and Technology in Japan can turn cameraphones into text scanners. Although cameraphones in Japan already can scan businesscards and small bits of text and use OCR to convert that to editable text, this new application is capable of scanning a whole page. The program only requires a cameraphone with as little as 1 Megapixel to be held about 8 inches from the page to scan. In under 5 seconds it takes 20 to 35 snapshots of the page, and tiles them together - even adjusting for the curve of the page if it is not flat. Once the image is complete, OCR is then a quick process. The designers say they do not plan to release the software for about 3 years.

Full Story...

Top 10 best and worst products

From the Furby to Windows ME, CNET lays down the top ten worst prodcucts of the decade.

And from Google to Napster, here is CNET's top ten best products.

Battle robots could join dogs on S.Korea border

SEOUL (Reuters) - Armed, six-legged robots may one day work alongside man's best friend on the southern side of the Korean DMZ. South Korea will spend 33.4 billion won ($32 million) over the next five years to develop the robots for the heavily fortified demilitarized zone that divides the peninsula, the Communications Ministry said in a statement on Friday.

South Korea envisages the robots performing roles on the battlefield now done by dogs, such as sniffing for explosives and catching intruders, the ministry said. The robots will stand knee-high to the average adult, mounted on wheels for road missions or on as many as eight legs to get them over uneven terrain, it said. Equipped with firearms, they will be able to carry out combat missions via remote control.

South Korea's Defense Ministry announced plans this month to reduce the number of its troops in uniform by about 25 percent over 15 years and develop more high-tech weapons systems. North Korea maintains most of its 1.2-million-strong army near its border with the South. The two Koreas are technically still at war because the 1950-1953 Korean War ended in an armistice and not a peace treaty.

Texas Instruments Makes Cameraphones Brighter

Texas Instruments has announced two new chips that will make LED flashes brighter. The chips increase the brightness of LED flashes by increasing the power supplied to the LEDs. One chip increases the power to 800 milliamps while the other increases it to 1 amp. The increased power output is converted into more light. TI has said the chips will be available for manufacturers to build into their handsets within 4 to 6 weeks.

Full Story...

Homemade Sentry Gun

How cool is this! These guys made one hell of a sentry gun.

Check it out here.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Is time standing still?

Here it is late September and it is still hitting 95 degrees during the day. What is going on? I need cooler temps.

Summer wasn't bad. It wasn't great either. Fall seems to be on hold at the moment. Before I know it Christmas will be here and another year will come and go.

It's funny how time seems to stop and the next thing you know, 5 years have gone by and you're sitting in what appears to be the same place you started.

Sent wirelessly via BlackBerry from T-Mobile.

FS1 Hi-Fi Earphones

From the Apple Expo in Paris XtremeMac has announced its new FS1 High Definition Earphones. The poweful little in-ear phones are the result of a partnership with Future Sonics, the leading manufacturer—and creator—of the personal monitors that you see tucked in the ears of, well, every music act that can afford them. Where other non-pro headphones use amarture-type drivers, like in hearing aids, the FS1 uses a dynamic transducer and some other patented technologies. These earphones promise to reduce outside noise, and produce natural tone and full bass even at low volumes—one area where Apple’s earbuds really tank. And if these approach the professional-grade (and considerably more expensive) units from Future Sonics, then it’s quite a bargain at $149.95.

FS1 High Definition Earphones

U3 Preps PC on a USB

More “smart” products coming your way. U3 LLC is readying its new USB drives, based on a “smart computing platform,” allowing you to basically carry around your entire PC on a USB drive—independent of any other storage device, and not tied to any specific computer. Vendors such as SanDisk and Verbatim are looking to supply the hardware, and software companies including AOL and Mozilla are planning to announce products that “run directly off the USB smart drives.” The system software on the drive takes up 6MB of storage and loads 30 seconds after you plug it in. Yowza!

U3, partners add intelligence to USB drives [InfoWorld]

USB Dongle Makes VOIP Calls

More USB news than you can shake a Memory Stick at this morning. The latest is this announcement from Korea-based Ubistar. If you’ve been dying to double up on your tech, this USB memory stick also work as a VoIP phone. You supply the microphone and earpiece, and everything else is ready to roll. Even the PC phone dialing software comes pre-loaded on these sticks. They range from 64 megabytes to 1GB and you can pick from colors like Green, Pink and Silver. And, snap, you can also use this device to send MMS, SMS and e-mail.

USB memorystick that doubles as a VoIP phone [Phoneyworld]

Wooden VJ Hardware: Livid Tactic m2

This is the kind of thing that makes VJ’s hearts beat a little faster. The Livid Tactic m2 is a control surface for VJ software, with built-in video preview, crossfader, knobs and faders for controlling effects, buttons for triggering clips, and even a built-in LCD screen. This sort of thing used to be ultra-pricey, but the updated model is now $900 including software. And no white plastic.

Livid’s New VJ Hardware/Software Combo

Monday, September 19, 2005

Not my Bike!

Ok, one has to consume many beverages (liquid nuts) before trying this. Leaving the bar, after the bachelor party I decided to hop on this bike, put on the helmet, pose for the camera, then run like hell to the Lex. Just to think, I was a so close to some big burly biker walking out and kicking my ass. Oh well, it was worth getting this pic.

The man who drank too much

What a way to end one's Bachleor party, end up passed out with Celtic symbols over your face. I have to say, he hung in like a champ. Poor thing never knew what hit em. But hey, that's what you get when you go toe to toe with me on drinking!

On a serious note. Congratulations to Steven and Michelle. May you have a lifetime of happiness, and thanks for making me feel like a part of the family. Good luck guys, and if I can offer any words of wisdom (of which I am full of), feel free to give me a call.

Health care industry could save $81B a year with e-records

(COMPUTERWORLD) - Digitizing medical records in the U.S. could save the health care industry as much as $81 billion a year and help medical practitioners avoid mistakes, according to a study released last week by the Rand Corp.

The study found that electronic medical records systems save money by reducing redundant care, speeding patient treatment and improving safety.

"Our findings strongly suggest that it is time for the government and others who pay for health care to aggressively promote health information technology," said Richard Hillestad, a RAND senior management scientist who led the two-year study.

Would you like to know more?

Google Earth threatens democracy

The recent news that South Korea is to take the US to task over Google Earth images which expose its military installations to close Commie scrutiny has provoked a mini stampede of other peace-loving nations eager to protect their assets from prying eyes.

Thailand, which says it may ask Google to "block images of important state buildings vulnerable to attack". Armed forces spokeschap Major General Weerasak Manee-in told Reuters: "We are looking for possible restrictions on these detailed pictures, especially state buildings. I think pictures of tourist attractions should do, not crucial places which could threaten national security."

Would you like to know more?

Friday, September 16, 2005

TerraTec USB TV Tuner

Stuck in an airport with CNN yammering on and on in the background? Well, pop in the TerraTech USB TV Tuner and pick up reruns of Everybody Loves Raymond. The TerraTec is a self-contained tuner with software for watching TV on your PC. Interestingly enough, you can also record live video through the tuner and it also pics up digital signals, which I suspect are a bit more prevalent overseas than here.

Overall, looks like a great way to add live TV to a laptop sans breakout boxes and other heavy junk. Pricing is set at about $200.

TerraTec launch USB key TV tuner

Toshiba Demonstrates Fuel-Cell mp3 Player

Although only in development, Toshiba showed off this new tech, designed to give either 100mW or 300mW power output for upwards of 60 hours on a single cell. In this case, mp3 player can refer to any small electronic device, from cell phones to portable DVD players to. . maybe even laptops. Fuel Cell technology uses liquid fuel, in this case Methanol, mixed with water, to produce power. Toshiba has developed a passive system that gets over some of hurdles associated with fuel cell tech, such as needing a very diluted mix and large tanks. These cells use nearly pure methanol, and the smaller of them can supposedly give 35 hours of media playtime on a minuscule 3.5mL of liquid.

This is a neat idea, and having an mp3 player that could last for 3 days in my palm is certainly amazing, but I would wonder how many people would want the hassle of actually having to “fill up” their mp3 player as opposed to plugging it in to a wall somewhere. Might make a great outdoors style thing, though.

Paris Hilton Hacker pleads guilty

Remember this one? The kid from Massachusetts who did a hack that got him access to the personal information of Paris Hilton, including her photos, e-mails and contact information, and then spread the stuff on the Net? Well, the teenager pled guilty last week in federal court to a series of crimes that included this stunt, as well as other offences including bomb threats to high schools in Florida and Massachusetts. The hack of Miss Hilton’s Sidekick mobile device provided the teenager with semi-nude photos of her as well as phone numbers of her friends and associates. Hopefully it was worth it.

The teenager will serve 11 months in a juvenile facility, followed by 2 years of supervised release. He'd best stock up on reading material: during both his detention and parole, he'll be barred from owning or using "any computer, cell phone or other electronic equipment capable of accessing the Internet."

He Man does 4-non-blondes

We all watched He Man growing up, but never like this. Animation has come a long way, but our sense of humor is still the same. I'm really glad they found a way for Skeletor to be part of this.

Man, he sure did have a stupid haircut!

Watch the video.

Nintendo Revolution Controller Revealed

The Revolution Controller Basics: What The Hell Is It?

The controller for Nintendo's upcoming Revolution home console system is a cordless remote-control-like device designed to be used with only one hand. Two small sensors placed near the TV and a chip inside the controller track its position and orientation, allowing the player to manipulate the action on screen by physically moving the controller itself. For example, you could slash an in-game sword by actually swinging the controller from side to side, turn a race car just by twisting your wrist, or aim your gun in a shooter by pointing the controller where you want to fire.

Would you like to know more?

GameBoy Micro sells well in Japan

The GameBoy Micro has been launched in Japan, and is seemingly doing extremely well there. The console is available in five versions: silver, purple, black and blue versions, along with a limited edition design based on the classic Famicom console. The Micro is selling at 12,000 yen, or about £60 by the current exchange rate, and is due for launch in the US on September 19th, and in Europe November 4th.

RIM Electron

Their new gadget, super gadget nicknamed the “Electron,” is on its way. The form of the new gadget will be the same, but the Electron will support EDGE, EVDO GSM and CDMA technologies, plus it will include integrated GPS. Also known more formally as the 8700, it has 64MB of memory, a faster processor and hopefully, “better native attachment support and speakerphone capability.” We’re also hoping for a backlit color display.

Blackberry ‘Electron’ details appear on web

Sony's M2

A lot of digicam freaks have been waiting for the M2 to drop and finally, it’s out. So what’s the big deal? It’s got a sexy aluminum case. As for still shots, it does 5.1MP which isn’t bad at all, and has a PocketAlbum mode which allows you to store 1,100 VGA-quality stills on the internal memory. It packs a 2.5 inch LCD for viewing and there’s a video mode like every other camera out there. The Sony Cyber-shot M2 will be available throughout Europe in November.

Sony Cyber-shot M2

Sprint Testing Alternate Wireless Broadband Technology

Samsung today announced that Sprint Nextel will conduct trials using their WiBro gear. WiBro (Wireless Broadband) is a high speed wireless data standard developed in South Korea. It is capable of data speeds up to 1 Mbps, which is faster than many DSL connections, even when the subscriber is moving at speeds up to 50 mph. Though developed in Korea, WiBro is based on the international WiMax technology and will be fully compatible with the WiMax standards. Sprint Nextel have been considering a number of high speed wireless options including WiMax and Flash OFDM in addition to WiBro.

Full Story...

Microsoft patents the double-click

Microsoft has cause to celebrate, since it has been granted a patent on the double-click! Yes, just when you thought that these patents should not get any sillier, now Microsoft owns the rights to double clicking. Patent number 6,727,830 was granted to Microsoft on April 27. An abstract of the application says: "A method and system are provided for extending the functionality of application buttons on a limited resource computing device. Alternative application functions are launched based on the length of time an application button is pressed. A default function for an application is launched if the button is pressed for a short, i.e., normal, period of time. "An alternative function of the application is launched if the button is pressed for a long, (e.g., at least one second), period of time. Still another function can be launched if the application button is pressed multiple times within a short period of time, e.g., double click."

VW uses USB

The center armrest is not just for stashing jewel cases and weapons any longer: Volkswagen is putting a USB port in there too. The car stereo will recognize the memory device once you plug it in, and display up to six music folders. And then the controls work just as they would for a CD. The space inside the armrest is meant for a memory stick, but there is no reason you can’t plug any old MP3 player (with an adapter) in there as well—the only problem being the number of folders that can be displayed on the stereo window. This feature will be available as an alternative to the regular CD player in the Golf, Golf Plus and Toureg starting this December, and other models come next year.

R/C Truck Disposes Toxic Office Waste

Lifting hazardous waste at the office is now simple with the Rechargeable R/C Tiny Engineering Car. Simply charge up this small toy and maneuver it toward the material in question. Whether it’s the overflowing ashtray of your office mate, rotting old sandwiches on your desk, or even the keg of toxic waste that this toy comes with, you’ll have lots of fun pretending you’re a teamster. At only $20, this handy forklift can also double as a dumbwaiter for those too lazy to pick up after themselves at the dinner table. New from the Brando toy store!

Brando is now selling Toys

Microsoft to replace menu bar with feature docks

Microsoft plans to ditch the menu and icon bar and move to what Microsoft calls "ribbon" - docks providing more transparent access to the functionality of software. This new navigation bar consists of a tabbed command bar, which will open "galleries" in the location of today's icon bar. The aim of this change is to better provide a visual representation of the kinds of formatting choices users can make without needing to set a number of individual elements to achieve it. Basically, if you want a configuration change – say, margins to be wide or narrow or short or tall, you can pick out what you want from a gallery as opposed to configuring several items in a dialog box. Microsoft believes that this will revolutionise the way we use software.

More here.

360 for Thanksgiving

The latest launch date rumor for the Xbox 360 is November 25. Yep, that’s the big Black Friday when over-fed consumers everywhere try to burn off Thanksgiving dinner calories by going berserk at malls nationwide. Which probably means this console will sell out faster than you can say Master Chief. Apparently Microsoft delayed the launch date so that developers could work on their titles a little bit more (people in the know were originally guessing a release date of Nov. 18 or earlier). Well whatever the reason, be prepared to pre-order, get up pretty early, or arrive armed—otherwise you can just forget about seeing that XBox 360 package underneath that tree.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Tablet PCs

Since the introduction of the laptop, people have started to become more and more concerned with mobility. Tablet PC’s fundamentally change the way you use a computer, at work, at home, and on the go. The new Tablet PC’s offer true mobility. Mobility means being able to use your tablet wherever you are and in any situation… around a conference tablet, in a meeting, walking, standing still, even on a desk! Tablet PC's have proved to be a viable resource for business and personal use.

Current uses of the Tablet PC:

Education: Chicago's Brookfield Zoo wanted to broaden the reach of its CONNECTIONS program, which helps students build on classroom learning by conducting field research and other activities at the zoo. Over one thousand students with disabilities often have difficulty participating in programs that involve animal observations and data collection on paper. The zoo teamed up with Quilogy to design a solution for use on Motion Computing Tablet PCs running Microsoft Windows XP Tablet PC Edition. The solution employs built-in accessibility features of Windows XP to enable students who have visual, hearing, or physical disabilities to participate. The students' data is stored in the zoo's database and made available later for in-depth study in the classroom. The solution fosters independence, enhances the zoo's curricula, and serves as a model for using technology to improve the quality of education.

Read the rest of the story.

Financial Services: Nationwide Insurance, Tablet PCs help Nationwide Insurance resolve claims quickly and accurately. Everybody benefits when a field adjuster from Nationwide Insurance, one of the world's largest insurance and financial services companies, resolves a claim on-site. Customers receive their check immediately, and Nationwide obtains more accurate estimates, reducing the time and expense needed to resolve each claim. Though completing claims on-site has been a goal at Nationwide for many years, the difficulty of collecting and processing information in the field often prevented on-site resolution. Now, with Tablet PCs running Microsoft Windows XP Tablet PC Edition, Nationwide's adjusters travel to a claim site with all the tools they need to record the incident information and process the claim. Using Tablet PCs, adjusters input information directly into their estimation programs while inspecting damaged items. As a result, they have been able to increase the number of claims completed on-site by as much as 15 percent

Read the rest of the story.

Healthcare: Clinics cuts costs and improve patient care, with mobile, paperless record keeping. Three medical clinics needed a comprehensive, mobile, and physician-friendly practice management solution to eliminate paper-based medical charts and electronically link processes such as patient scheduling, note transcription, prescription writing, and insurance claim submission. Bienville Orthopedic Specialists, Middlesex Cardiology, and Granite Medical represent the growing number of practices turning to a solution powered by Amicore software and Microsoft Windows XP Tablet PC Edition running on Tablet PC hardware. This integrated, mobile system is increasing the quality of medical record keeping, maximizing reimbursement, and enhancing the entire patient encounter. These clinics have accelerated their cash flow and are saving tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars through significant reductions in office supplies and the near elimination of transcription fees.

Read the rest of the story.

For more Case Studies from Microsoft Click Here.

With wireless integration and high mobility the Tablet PC could have a huge impact on today's technology driven society.

Take a look at some Tablet PC's from InfoCater

Crazy Ebay Item

It's offered to your attention the "space pants" for macaque small monkey to wear it during the experimental space flight. This pants has been used for animals (monkeys) experiments in 1950-s - 1960-s in the USSR Institute of Biomedical Problems (IMBP, Moscow). The monkey's "space pants" are designed with many clasps to fit bigger or smaller monkey.

Gillette ups the ante, unveils 5-blade razor

Fusion is market leader's answer to rival Schick's 4-blade Quattro

Gillette Co. Wednesday unveiled its newest shaving system, a five-bladed razor called Fusion with a trimmer on the back of the cartridge aimed at the 50 percent of men who have mustaches and beards.

Fusion is Gillette's latest product geared at maintaining the company's leading share of the world's razor and blade market.
It has one more blade than the Quattro sold by rival Schick, a unit of Energizer Holdings Inc., plus a trimming blade on the back of the pivoting cartridge for shaping facial hair, trimming sideburns and shaving under the nose.

You have got to be kidding me.....Has anyone used the Schick Quattro? Its so large you can't even get close aound your nose or ears for your sideburns. Yeah so the new Fusion has a "trimmer" that suppose to cover under the nose, but who wants it trimmed, I don't want stubble under my nose. I think they needed to quit at 3 blades.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Sony claims that Blu-ray will blow HD DVD out of the water

Sony claims that Blu-ray will blow HD DVD out of the water, due in part to the delay of the first HD DVD players next year and also to the fact that PlayStation 3 will be Blu-ray based.

Speaking to, Benjamin Feingold, president of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (SPHE), made the prediction that within a year HD DVD would have no choice but to surrender, largely thanks to the inclusion of Blu-ray players in every PlayStation 3.

Don’t underestimate the impact that PS3 having Blu-ray could potentially have – when the PlayStation 2 first appeared DVD was fairly minor, and the now successful nature of the format is at least partially down to the inclusion of DVD on PS2. Could we see the same scenario with Blu-ray and the PS3? One thing is certain: thanks to the PS3, movie studios will quickly gain a sizable Blu-ray player userbase as more and more PS2 owners flock to the next-gen console. "It's clear to me that a year from now everyone will be putting out Blu-ray, whether they've announced or not, because once there are a few million playback devices it's a revenue stream they cannot and will not ignore," said Feingold. However, with manufacturing costs for HD DVD discs seemingly far lower than for Blu-ray, that format also boasts some strength too. Blu-ray offers higher capacity storage than HD DVD – but do we really need all of this space?

Sony Combines Studios Worldwide

All of the company's teams now under one banner.

Starting September 1, Sony Computer Entertainment made the decision to collectively call its game development studios from North America, Europe and Japan Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studios.
We have no idea why they decided to announce the details almost two weeks after they actually put the decision into effect, but hey, that's Sony for you. Why rush?

Part of the goal of bringing the studios under the SCE WWS banner is to encourage the development of future global franchises among the company's developers. Phil Harrison, executive VP of Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, will head up SCE WWS, and personally oversee overall development across the world.

Much of the overall strategy seems to aim at the long term. "As SCE enters its second decade, we need to challenge to reinforce our games development power and create new entertainment experiences that will bring out the best of the technology in platforms such as PSP, PlayStation 3 and beyond," said Ken Kutaragi, SCEI president and CEO.

Expect to see Sony pushing more franchises with the intent of global popularity, rather than domination of a single territory, moving forward. Then again, isn't that the strategy of every company?

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

20 Things They Don't Want You to Know

Psssst! Wanna know a secret? How about a whole bunch of them? Sadly, the Colonel's Secret Recipe and Dick Cheney's Secure Undisclosed Location remain shrouded in mystery, but I'm going to spill the beans about a bunch of things that technology companies would rather you didn't know. These insider tips will help you cut through hype when you shop, save money when you buy, and get the most out of products you already own.

Take these for example. You never have to pay full price, extended warranties rarely pay for themselves, and the big sites do have customer service numbers.

Check it out.

Alienware’s CE-IV digital audio players

Alienware’s new line of CE-IV digital audio players give you easy access to all your favorite songs in MP3 and WMA formats anywhere and anytime. Each CE-IV player:

Is available with your choice of either 512MB or 1GB of built-in memory.

Represents the first digital audio player in the United States to feature SRS WOW HD™, which provides a treble control for a cleaner, crisper listening experience of high frequency sounds. WOW HD also features improved TruBass technology, providing an even richer, more superior bass sound enhancement to digitally compressed music, even through the smallest of ear buds!

Includes Digital Rights Management (DRM) technology so you can easily download and listen to songs from the top online music download sites.
Provides an SD™/MMC memory expansion slot that allows you to pack even more music into the player.

Lets you listen to your favorite stations at the push of a button with a digital tune FM stereo radio with station presets.

Features a graphic LCD display with ID3 compatibility that shows artist and track info.

Makes great music sound even better thanks to a multi-preset EQ.
Stylishly showcases unique design elements such as Alienware’s alien head logo with glowing eyes.

Is sleek and lightweight, measuring 3.1 x 2 x 0.7 inches and weighing in at just 1.3 ounces.

Is packaged with special Alienware noise-reduction earbuds that filter out unwanted background noise and let you crank up the music without disrupting those around you.

Will be available with a fully integrated HUB Docking Sound System. The HUB is loaded with a bottom-firing subwoofer and variable bass control and gives you the flexibility to connect virtually any audio device.Learn more about the Alienware HUB

Sunday, September 11, 2005


Taken from *~*FIRE*~*

the prison for which I've encased myself
to safe keep my heart from break

the distance between making a move and staying put
the difference between taking a chance and letting it ride
the opposite of joy and happiness
the synonym of death.

the hell we ourselves create
to safe guard against shit we don't even know about.
fearing the darkness
when sometimes it's the light that's the evil
fearing the closeness
when our hears and core of our beings long to be close
and that longing so strong that it suffocates
strangling all that was meant to be shared
making it become stale
and stiff with anticipation
because there's hope the cycle will end.


A day of emotion

Today has been a tough one for me personally. The tragic death of an old friend brings thoughts of how long it has been since we have talked. It's a part of life; after graduation you gradually but inevitably lose contact with some of the best people ever in your life. As I looked at him lying in that casket, I felt shocked, the whole time I felt as if I was actually going to see him and get to talk to him again. Seeing his family for the first time in many years made me feel guilty.

Why do we let ourselves get so busy with our own life that we forget about the ones that hold a special place in our lives. And for what....I live a mediocre live, everything I have to look forward to is average. An average middle management job, an average income, an average life. What is so important in our lives that we choose not to take the time to stay in touch with those who are important to you.

It also sends me through a terrible what if situation in my head. What if everything I am working for right now is for nothing.

We all have dreams and hopes, but at what point do you start thinking about things logically and say "Ok, what if this never comes to fruition, have I wasted all this time, if so then what?"

I no longer know where I stand and getting answers is harder than one might think.

In Memory of Scotty Laney

Scotty Laney was an old freind of mine from high school. He was murdered last week by two of his own friends. He was a good person with a big heart and a personality that drew people to him. We were teammates in football and partners in weightlifting for many years.

My thoughts and prayers go out to his family. May God help them deal with this tragedy and lift up their hearts and take them into his arms, heal their pain and fill this void in their lives.

I say a special prayer to God, that Scotty was one of your children and he has a special place in heaven.

Scotty, you will be in our hearts and memories, and you will be missed.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Nintendo launches mobile division

Nintendo is diving headfirst into the now massive mobile content business by offering up its properties for use as mobile phone content.

Read more... (The Inquirer)

2GB Walkman Flash Players

Despite having the same invisible OLED display, the flash Walkman doesn’t pack quite the same ‘wow’ factor as the hard drive model. There are three sizes, 512 MB, 1GB and 2GB. There is a built-in FM tuner, clock and jog dial. Sony is boasting 50 hours of play time (at 132 kbps in power save mode, ha!). Comes in violet, silver, blue, pink and limited edition gold for a few more pieces of silver. The price is crazy expensive: The 512MB is $199 (vs. 2GB iPod nano for $199) and the 2GB is $290 (vs. 4GB nano for $249). But this is based on Japanese Yen equivalency and I expect Sony will want to be more competitive with the nano in the U.S.

READ MORE: Digital, Entertainment, Sony, Walkman, portable

The Pod Replaces Tripods (And has Nothing to do with iPod, Thank God)

From Gizmodo

"One of the worst hassles about having a tripod is that you have to carry it around everywhere. I don’t know about you, but I don’t have too much space in my messenger bag for a decent-sized tripod. The Pod, from the tripod experts at Bogen, aims to solve that by providing a simple and stable camera support without the use of a tripod. It looks like a tiny beanbag at first, but attach any camera or camcorder to its universal locking bolt, and you have an instant tripod replacement. It contains plastic beans, is Velcro-sealed, water-resistant, and has a non-slip base for additional stability when positioning the camera. And since it’s only 5 x 2 inches, I could probably slip it in my bag, no problem. Now I can finally take a non-blurry evening shot with my dinky little camera. They come in yellow, red, and blue, and currently sell for $21 each."

The Pod [Bogen Imaging]

Sony’s 10.3 Megapix Cyber-shot

This digital not-quite-SLR packs a whopping 10.3 megapixels, has a 35mm-equivalence ZEISS zoom (24mm-120mm) lens. And what’s the sticker price on this beauty? Just $1,000. Integrated live previews while shooting make it less likely that you will miss the moment (or whine about slow refresh rates). And the 2-inch LCD screen is foldable, which means this SLR can boldly reach angles where no SLR has gone before. Shutter lag is .0075 seconds—darn impressive.

Product Page [Sony]


Due to the outbreak of comment spam I am invoked to use the verification process. I hope you all understand. Please accept this as a security measure on my part on not a deturant for comments. Thanks

U.S. women love iPod, hate Xbox

The poll released Wednesday by listed the electronics most favored by women as well as the gadgets they would gladly do without.

Apple's ubiquitous iPod was considered the hottest item on the market by 25 percent of the respondents. It was followed by high-definition television, GPS navigation devices and TiVo.

The poll released Wednesday by listed the electronics most favored by women as well as the gadgets they would gladly do without. Apple's ubiquitous iPod was considered the hottest item on the market by 25 percent of the respondents. It was followed by high-definition television, GPS navigation devices and TiVo.

Thumbs were turned down on the Xbox and similar game terminals when it came to devices owned by boyfriends or husbands. The man's personal computer was not far behind. A separate poll of mothers found that U.S. kids were demanding cell phones, high-speed Internet service and iPods.

iPod nano

Take everything you love about iPod and shrink it. Now shrink it again. With 2GB (500 songs) and 4GB (1,000 songs) models starting at $199, the pencil-thin iPod nano packs the entire iPod experience into an impossibly small design. So small, it will take your music places you never dreamed of.

Man survives snooze under moving train

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Even a freight train rumbling over a Russian man's head failed to spoil his peaceful slumber between the tracks, Interfax news agency reported Monday.

The engineer saw somebody on the line and braked sharply. Rescuers tried to pull the drunken sleeper from underneath the carriages, but failed, and the train had to continue driving to free him.

"The young man lying between the rails did not wake up ... which apparently saved his life," said railway policeman Vladimir Slaby.

German torches house to kill spiders

BERLIN (Reuters) - A German woman laid waste to her family home by setting fire to it as she tried to kill spiders in a garage with a can of hairspray and a cigarette lighter.

Police in the western town of Zuelpich said that when the aerosol failed to finish them off, the 34-year-old woman tried to burn them with the lighter. However, this set the area she had just sprayed on fire and the blaze spread to a hedge.

"It was a series of unfortunate events which led to the damage," a police spokesman said on Thursday."

She tried to put the fire out with a garden hose, but couldn't. Instead her semi-detached house next to the hedge caught fire. It's now uninhabitable."Fire-fighters managed to extinguish the blaze and save the neighbouring house, which sustained broken windows and some charring. The spokesman estimated the total cost of the damage at well over 100,000 euros (68,000 pounds). No one was hurt.

"The family have had to look for somewhere else to stay," he said. "The spiders are gone though -- that problem was solved."

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Get this

For the last several days, I have noticed a private number on my caller ID with no message on the my voice mail. I figured it was a telemarketer but they always called during the day while I was at work, until last night. Around 6:00 pm the phone rang and it was that private number. I am usually a little hostile with these calls because most of the time it's a recording anyway.

So anyway a man says that because I have been a loyal client to my bank and have kept my account open for over 1 year, that I qualify for $400 worth of gift certificates and vouchers for $100 worth of free gas. Now I'm no fool, so I know it's a ploy but I wanted to hear their method.

This guy was smooth and asked seemingly unimportant questions but each question was getting him closer to my personal checking account. So I played along and when he finally asked ME to verify which bank I am using, I gave him a name of a bank (not mine) I called it SunTrust. I'm not even sure if there is such a bank, but like I said I wanted to hear how this guy was going to try to pull this con off. He then asked for "security purposes" could I give him my mothers maiden name and after that he asked in which city I was born. After giving him all of this information he then asked "for security purpose say my routing number backwards". This was a hard thing to fake I had to quickly think of something. After that he said to be looking for my package in the mail.

I can only imagine how many people are getting tricked into providing someone with this kind of information thinking that they are getting rewarded. It's a shame.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Over 13000 Hits!

Thanks to all of you who take the time to read my mindless rambles.

Gamers looking at up to $700 for Xbox 360 equipment

Westlake Village (CA) - Sure, Microsoft announced that its new game console will be priced as low as $299. But very few serious gamers will choose to go with such a system. The ultimate gaming experience will carry a price tag much closer to $700.

Some time has passed since Microsoft announced its two-pronged attack on the console-gaming market, and the wounds caused by an expected price increase have begun to heal. Shortly after the announcement of the Xbox 360's tiered-pricing structure - $299 for the entry-level system, $399 for the harddrive decked-out version - the Internet was on fire with angry gamers complaining about exorbitant prices and greedy, evil corporations.

Let's have a closer look what this money is going to buy.

Option 1 is the Xbox 360 core system which is promised to hit store shelves for $299. The package will include the Xbox 360 console, a wired controller, a detachable faceplate, Xbox Live silver membership and standard AV cables. Add $100 and you will get in addition to the basic package a detachable harddrive with 20 GByte capacity, a wireless controller, a wireless Xbox Live headset, high-definition AV cables, an Ethernet cable, and a remote control.

You don't have to be a marketing whiz to figure out that Microsoft will announce from the highest mountain that Xbox 360 can be yours for only $299. Technically, this is true. You could buy the Xbox 360 Core system and a game, hook it up, and play until the cows come home. Given the pricing structure of the core system as well as accessories, many gamers are likely to utterly ignore the core system's existence.

The complexity of today's games require storage capabilities for a game console - which will run an extra $40 for a 64 MByte memory card for the basic Xbox 360, or an extra $100 for a 20 GByte harddrive. While required memory already eats up half of the savings compared to the $400 system, the higher-end model comes adds some more value, if you are planning to do more than basic gaming. The wireless controller typically runs for $50, a headset for $20, hi-def AV cables for $40, the Ethernet cable for $12, and a media remote control for $30. In this respect, your basic system will cost you not $300, but $400 - without games.

Game stores already have begun offering pre-orders for the Xbox 360 and $400 systems are likely to be scarce in the first few weeks after launch. Similar to the Xbox launch in 2001, gamers will run into bundle offers which comes with added accessories, some games and - as a result - an artificially inflated price. For example Electronics Boutique advertises its "Ultimate Bundle" for $700, which includes the $400 system package, an extra wireless controller (totaling 2), a play and charge kit for the controllers, a rechargeable battery, as well as the games as well as Perfect Dark Zero Limited Edition, Dead or Alive 4, Kameo: Elements of Power, and Project Gotham Racing 3. There is also a $600 bundle that comes with the ($300) core system bundle, the same four games, an extra wired controller, and a memory unit. This package alleviates the problem of not being able to save your games, but rumor has it that the harddrive is a necessity for backwards compatibility. The same types of bundles are likely to surface on other etailer websites as well.

Entry-level fees of $600 and $700 are likely to anger gamers even more than the initial $300 and $400 of the basic console systems. But in times when high-end graphic cards typically run in the $500 range, require some work for hardware and driver installation, even $700 for a decked out Xbox 360 could be considered a good deal.

Sony "unlikely" to offer two versions of PS3

A Sony game studios VP has criticised Microsoft for planning to put two versions of the new Xbox 360 console on the market, claiming the decision will merely "create confusion" for consumers.

Speaking at the European Game Developers' Conference in London today, when asked if Sony might follow in the Redwood giant's footsteps the executive replied: "Unlikely." Read teh complete story here.

The hard drive is the new bling.

Here is another animation from Hitachi.

The new bling.

T-Mobile USA Launches EDGE, Finally

If you’re a T-Mobile customer with an EDGE-capable device, you may have already experienced the strange sensation of speed IMing over the past few days. T-Mobile has finally launched EDGE services (that’s the super-speedy upgrade to GPRS) across 90% of its GPRS-enabled network, and is currently not charging anything extra for it. That’s right, if you already have an existing T-Mobile data plan, and you have an EDGE-enabled device, you’ll just keep on paying the same rate you always have. But before you go scrambling to sign that additional year’s contract, note that T-Mobile has said they will begin looking at EDGE-specific pricing in the future, which may or may not raise the pricing on higher speed services. Let’s hope not though, because what with Cingular’s EDGE and Verizon’s EV-DO already in full-swing, they had better come up with a good pricing deal in order to stay competitive.

RCR Wireless News via PhoneScoop]

World of Warcraft subscribers reach 4 million

It seems that most often when a massively multiplayer online role-playing game makes headlines, the news is bad. Last week, Turbine Entertainment announced that Asheron's Call 2 was being taken offline. Last month, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment sold off the Matrix Online to Sony Online Entertainment following lackluster sales. (SOE has since cut the number of servers supporting the game by two thirds.)

However, for one MMORPG, World of Warcraft, the news is good--very good. Today, the company's developer and publisher, VU Games-owned Blizzard Entertainment, announced that the best-selling fantasy title has reached even greater heights of popularity. According to the company, there are now four million "paying customers" who log onto the MMORPG worldwide - one million in the US and Canada alone.

Read more... (Gamespot)

Get perpendicular

Here is a flash animation describing new storage technology from Hitachi. And no, it's not a dry tech talk but it's a very funny musical!

Very School House Rockish

A CNN weatherman loses his cool while covering Hurricane Katrina...

This guy needs to switch to decaf.

Check this out.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Time for a change

Do you ever feel the need for change in your life? Now is one of those times. I am not sure where the change is that I need to make, but it is evident that something has got to change.

I am but a simple man, but I feel the need to grow, to move forward. Now is the time to make a move, to change my life for the better.

Don't get me wrong. I love what I have now, but something is lacking. I know what I want to do. Now is not the time for such a change. However, I can't help but to wonder what it would do to my life.
Sent wirelessly via BlackBerry from T-Mobile.

Thursday, September 01, 2005


Why on God's green Earth do I have Alice Cooper's song "Poison" in my head? I am serious. I have been singing this song in my head for at least a week. And for some strange reason, I have had a craving for some Montley Crue????

Dont ask me, I was born in 1980 so I shouldn't have such a desire, but it is there.