February 28, 2004

Vonage Internet Phone Service

According to Walter Mossberg of the Wall Street Journal, internet phone companies are finally coming into their own to replace the local phone companies like Verizon and SBC. Finally technology that starts to break us free from local phone monopolies with their horrible service and crazy land-line prices. I've been testing the Vonage service, and I'm impressed. Setup is simple. Just plug in a small black adapter box between your phone and your Internet connection or PC. I used my same old telephone, and the quality of calls was normal. There are a few downsides, but overall, the service worked as advertised and is very good. Do you agree or disagree? What are your thoughts? Comment on the discussion forum. [Discussion]

February 27, 2004

Ninja Gaiden Preview

Shacknews previews Ninja Gaiden for X-box, the widely anticipated continuation of the classic NES series. If there’s one thing Team Ninja can do, it’s amazing visuals. Ninja Gaiden is one of the slickest and smoothest games on Xbox. The characters are extremely well modeled and animated, proving that Team Ninja are the authority on, well, ninjas… and Xtreme volleyball girls. The environments are also well done, but definitely a notch below the incredibly detailed, but smaller environments found in Dead or Alive 3. There are also little things that contribute to the slick presentation, such as camera shake and blur during Ryu’s stronger attacks. Bioware Developer Interview Firingsquad interviews developers at Bioware, the acclaimed game studio responsible for hits such as Neverwinter Nights and Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. Our two core values are quality in our products and quality in our workplace. We try our best make the best video games in the world, each one better than the last, and also try very hard to make a great place for our talented staff to work, so that they feel like they can make a career at BioWare. They’ve been very loyal (we had no one leave during the entire year of 2003) and our turnover rate over the past ten years is only about 3 percent per year, annualized. [Discussion]

February 26, 2004

Gaming While Drunk Column: On being a Collector by Robert Keenan

So I’m sitting here in front of my computer contemplating the new column while sipping a Maker’s and Coke. You didn’t think it was just a clever name, did you?

It’s come to my attention that I’ve moved past being a game player and into the realm of the game COLLECTOR. I exhibit all the warning signs: games still in shrinkwrap, a laundry list of games that I haven’t finished, and to top it all off while going through my games I found titles I don’t even remember buying. It’s getting sick.

I’m like a hawk, I can’t pass by a gaming store because I know if I do it’ll be the one day they have a mint (non greatest hits!) copy of Symphony of the Night in stock. Its not even about the game, it’s the thrill of the hunt. There’s nothing like finding some rare gem hidden behind dusty copies of Madden 2002. My girlfriend has put a stop to my nightly Ebay meanderings because there’s always an auction with a game to fill a spot in my collection and lord knows I’ll bid. It’s horrible.

How did it get this bad? I’ve talked to enough people who collect instead of play, and we all have a lot in common. It starts slow. You are a hardcore game player, you beat every game you get, and then you buy another one. Then you start buying games before you beat the last one. Then a big release date comes up and you buy three games at once. Then you start thinking of your old PSone collection and start to rebuild it. Before you know it BAM! The cold hard face of addiction.

How bad is it? Yesterday I played Teleroboxer on my Virtual Boy. I’m very sorry I did it, and even sorrier that I had to tell you.

I think mostly its wish fulfillment. Back in the peak of my gaming in High School we didn’t have a lot of money, so we only got a few games a year. Of course even if we were able by some miracle to save up the fifty bucks for a new game we had to judge just how far away our birthday or Christmas was, to make sure we had something on the horizon. When we got a game we played it ALL THE TIME. We had the time and no other games coming for a while, so we didn’t stop until you got every item and memorized every level. Strategy guides were for chumps.

Now that I’m older (wiser? Ha!) I have a lot more spending money and a lot less time. So I’m able to buy many of the shiny new games on the shelf as soon as they come out as well as picking up the more collectible titles just for the stack. I’m entranced by the new games, so of course sometimes when release dates overlap I’ll have two or more games I’m working on. Gamefaqs.com has become my friend, since now I get impatient when sitting stuck at a puzzle for more than an hour or so. I simply don’t have the time, too many games to go through!

Right now I’m working Beyond Good and Evil (excellent, by the way), Fatal Frame 2 (one of the best series no one is playing) and Bond: Everything or Nothing. I’m trying very hard to get through these games before Ninja Gaiden comes out on the 3rd. I already know I won’t. I already know that I’m going to buy Ninja Gaiden when it comes out, and I really want the free promotional wall scroll that comes with it. Why? Because I’ve turned into a damned collector. What’s even worse is that I’ll hit Ebay after I get the Xbox Ninja Gaiden to look for the original NES titles (with boxes and instructions of course).

I’m sick, and need help.

-Written by Robert Keenan

Do you agree or disagree? What are your thoughts? Comment on the discussion forum.


[Back to the Front Page]

Next Xbox Ditching Hard Drive?

With this new contract with M-Systems, a flash memory products company, it's increasingly likely the next version of X-box will not have a hard drive. Microsoft is looking for areas to cut costs since they lost so much money with the current configuration. It's ironic though because the next generation of consoles with its focus on online gaming probably would of benefited a lot from a hard-drive. Flash memory maker M-Systems announced on Wednesday that it has signed a contract to provide storage products for future versions of the Xbox, bolstering speculation that Microsoft may ditch the game console's hard drive. Professor of iPod Wired writes about an author who is writing a book on the social behaviors of iPod users. His thesis is iPods offer a way to "control" your life. Interesting stuff. People use (the iPod) as an alarm clock, and when they listen to it at night, they like the fact it can turn itself off. It's how people like to use music. I don't think Apple did much research into how people would use their players, but they got most of it right. For example, a lot of people use it to go to work, for commuting. I found that they use the same music on a regular basis. They will often play the same half-dozen tunes for three months, and each part of the journey has its own tune. It gives them control of the journey, the timing of the journey and the space they are moving through. It's a generalization, but the main use (of the iPod) is control. People like to be in control. They are controlling their space, their time and their interaction ... and they're having a good time. That can't be understated -- it gives them a lot of pleasure. Do you agree or disagree? What are your thoughts? Comment on the discussion forum. [Discussion] Link Roundup - PalmInfoCenter has a instructive article for new Sony Clie PDA users on how to get most out of their devices. - Sharp is coming out with a 19" LCD monitor with 16ms low response time perfect for games and DVD movies. - Forbes 2004 Top 20 Richest Billionaires article is out. Bill Gates is still #1 with Warren Buffett nipping at his heels. - Anandtech's weekly recommended mid-range system guide. I don't know why they love AMD so much. Every AMD system I ever built tended to be much more of a hassle and crashed more vs. Intel.

February 25, 2004

Top 10 Gaming Consoles that Failed

GameSpy has a top ten list of gaming consoles that never succeeded. From Virtua Boy, Jaguar, and Saturn, how many on this list have you bought? Sony PSP Delayed Sony told its partners that the PSP gaming handheld will not launch this Christmas in the United States. However it is still slated for a 2004 launch in Japan. It will be interesting to see how many of the new whiz-bang features will make the final release of this Gameboy competitor. Sony has informed publishers, developers and retailers that while it still plans to launch its handheld gaming and entertainment device in Japan this holiday season, the PSP will not hit shelves in North America or Europe until calendar year 2005. "The reason we pushed it out here is we wanted to be sure there's a reasonable amount of software titles to launch with hardware," said Teresa Weaver, a spokesperson for Sony Computer Entertainment. The system will ship globally before the end of Sony's fiscal year (which ends in March 2005). Do you agree or disagree? What are your thoughts? Comment on the discussion forum. [Discussion]

February 24, 2004

iPod Minis are on Fire

iPodLounge is reporting on how quickly the iPod Mini is selling out. Looks like sales are white hot. iPodlounge senior editor, Jeremy Horwitz is standing in line (about 45 people so far at 5:55 pm PT) at the Apple Store Costa Mesa in California waiting to purchase a Blue iPod mini. Apple will release the minis for purchase at 6 pm, nationwide. Jeremy reports that there are a large quantity of silver iPod minis on hand while there are far less gold colored minis. One reader in Chicago is reporting that he "called the Chicago Apple Store, who said they had the minis in stock but could not actually sell them until 6pm CST. They did, however, say I could reserve one. Update: An Apple Store rep informed iPodlounge of how many of each colored unit was on hand for the release. Approxiamately 75-125 of Silver, 20 each of Blue and Pink, and 4 units each of Gold and Green. All figures are estimates. They expect to sell out of iPod minis tonight. Mini-Laptops Flipstart.com is marketing new mini-laptops that run full versions of Windows in a small 1 lb. package. This machine fills the gap between high powered PDAs and sub-notebooks. Microsoft® Windows® XP Home/Professional operating system Dimensions: 5.8" x 4" x 1" (148mm x 101mm x 26mm) Weighs 1lb (450g) 1 GHz processor 256MB system RAM 30GB internal hard drive 3D graphics w/ 8MB video RAM Full-function, QWERTY thumb keyboard w/ hotkeys for commonly used commands 5.6" HDTV-quality display (1024 x 600) Lithium-ion Polymer battery (2-6 hours battery life*) Integrated 802.11b (11 Mbps) /g (54 Mbps) Wi-Fi USB 2.0 port Internal microphone/speaker with headphones and ear bud jacks Integrated 1.3MP digital camera Do you agree or disagree? What are your thoughts? Comment on the discussion forum. [Discussion]

February 23, 2004

Nokia Admits N-Gage is a Dud

Stop the presses! Nokia admits that N-Gage has been a bomb sales-wise. Now there is a shocker. Ever since we saw the clueless N-Gage heads at least year's E3 show, where there were more Nokia people manning the booth than actual conference attendees, we knew something was amiss. Don't count Nokia out, big goliaths like them and Microsoft have a habit of striking back with their 2.0 or 3.0 version of their products. In a strategy probably aimed at burying the bad news before releasing the good, Nokia's CEO, Jorma Ollila, has admitted that the N-Gage is bombing. Ollila's insisting that its first games machine has to be given until November 2005 before it can be judged a failure. Do you agree or disagree? What are your thoughts? Comment on the discussion forum. [Discussion]

February 22, 2004

Google Going Straight at Yahoo

Yahoo basically created Google by supporting their search technology. Now it looks like Google is going straight at the heart (NYTimes reg needed) of Yahoo's base by the rumored offering of free email. Google News, Froogle, search, toolbar and free email? Sounds a lot like Yahoo, no? They were right. Google has become not only a verb but also a profitable company with a reported $1 billion in sales. It is expected to be the hottest initial public offering this year. And now Google is preparing to offer a free e-mail service, people close to the company said, in a bid for Yahoo's most important source of loyal customers. Do you agree or disagree? What are your thoughts? Comment on the discussion forum. [Discussion]

February 21, 2004

iPod Mini Review by Shaftblake

Kudos to member ShaftBlake for his iPod Mini review. He posted some sweet pictures also. As for the size vs. price issue, I can say it was very much worth it. If you look at the market for 4 Gig mp3 players, you will find that the iPod Mini is a great deal. Its not meant to compete with the 15 Gig iPod. And personally, I only have a little more than 3.5 Gigs of music on my computer. And only 3 Gigs of that I want on my iPod Mini. So it suits me just fine. After using my iPod Mini for a day, that “new” feeling hasn’t faded. I’m still excited about using it next week while I’m on campus at school. It should help me pass the time between classes. Do you agree or disagree? What are your thoughts? Comment on the discussion forum. [Discussion]

LCDs Smackdown of CRTs

For the first time, LCD monitors will out-sell bulky CRTs in 2004. I recently switched from a Sony 19" CRT Trinitron to a Dell 2001FP LCD 20" monitor. There is no looking back, gaming at 1600X1200 and the totally flat display is pure heaven. For the first time, global shipments of liquid crystal displays in 2004 will surpass those of cathode ray tube (CRT) units, market research firm IDC said Thursday. The driving force behind the switchover: a surplus of LCD units from Asian gear makers. The demand for LCD monitors is going up as manufacturers of desktops, notebooks and television sets make the switch from the venerable CRT design. According to an earlier study by iSuppli, worldwide revenue for LCD panels is expected to reach $47 billion in 2004, up 32 percent from last year. [Discussion] Link Roundup - Pictures of the Mini convertible. - A gallery of iPod Mini pictures.

February 20, 2004

Space Warfare

U.S. government is looking out into space for the next evolution of military technology with weapons such as space lasers and hypervelocity rod bundles. Critics complain that it's a waste of money and that it will encourage another "arms race" with China. Michael Kucharek, a spokesman for the U.S. Air Force Space Command, said $66.4 million is being spent on a research project to "deny, disrupt and degrade adversary space-based surveillance and reconnaissance systems." He said another $79 million is funding efforts to build a "constellation of optical sensing satellites to track and identify space forces." "As we look to the future, space is where our adversaries are looking to cut us off," Kucharek said. "We know from the attempted jamming of our GPS (global positioning system, which relies on satellites) during OIF (Operation Iraqi Freedom) that our enemies are going to try to deny us from using space." Link Roundup - Anandtech reviews the Samsung 213T LCD 21" monitor. - Dell customer service experiences growing pains. - About.com lists their top 10 smartphone picks. - Motorola smartphone pictures leaked. [Discussion]

February 19, 2004

Link Roundup

- Washingtonpost (reg needed) writes about how Japan is addicted to cell-phones. - NY Times (reg needed) covers the development of the Tivo remote. - Microsoft about to offer new features with X-box LIVE. - Apple explains why the iPod Mini costs so much.

February 18, 2004

Yahoo Dumps Google

Back during the birth of the internet, Netscape linked to Yahoo on its homepage, not knowing "the portal" would be the next "big thing." Of course you know what happened, Yahoo became the center of the universe. History repeated itself, when Yahoo started using the search technology of a little known startup called "Google". Little did Yahoo know that search itself would be the next "big thing", especially in terms of revenue and advertising. Now Yahoo is dropping Google, the startup that is now king is own it's own. "Yahoo dropped Google as the default search technology provider for its U.S.-based sites late Tuesday, signaling the beginning of the end for the Web's most high-profile marriage of convenience." Pepsi iTunes Giveaway Hack Someone found out how you can figure out which Pepsis have the free iTunes song giveaway prize without opening the bottle. "The secret is the angle. I've found it to be 25 degrees, but that's really no use when you're out in the field. Just tilt it until it seems about that, and look up towards it (hold it above your head). With luck, you should be able to see under the cap... It's easiest to read "again" and tag the losers because there are no random letters involved. You can spot a word like again from a mile away. If you don't see again and you have given the bottle a twist (to check from all angles), make a purchase. If not, hit the shelf." [Discussion] Link Roundup - Politicians raising money with ads on blogs.

February 17, 2004

Orkut Review by Rendition

If you asked web surfers what’s the hottest “in-thing” that is all the rage on the net? Chances are social networking sites would be near the top of the list. Ever since Friendster started the latest wave, the internet is now flooded with “me-too” sites like Tribe.net, LinkedIn, and now Google’s Orkut.

Orkut is the brainchild of Orkut Buyukkokten, a user interface engineer, at the mother of all search engine companies. The story goes that Orkut was a independent project that Mr. Buyukkokten (try saying that ten times) created in the “one day a week” that Google allocates for pet-projects. Of course if the “pet-project” is successful, the company will own all the intellectual property and technology.

Orkut borrows many of the same basic ideas from Friendster and its predecessors. One must recall that networking sites aren’t really the “new, new thing.” In fact, Amazon.com bought PlanetAll back in the bubble days that had the same basic foundation of sharing contact information, basic biographies, and expanding your network through your contact’s network.

Orkut’s contact search screen and user interface with photo thumbnails is practically a carbon copy of Friendster, which itself used many ideas from other online dating sites. The site also has Friendster’s testimonial feature, where one can write a short piece lauding their friend’s personality or achievements.

Then what differentiates Orkut you may ask? As a Friendster user, the first thing you notice is the speed. Leveraging daddy Google’s network infrastructure is a good thing, so when you actually click on something it works within a second. Friendster on the other hand is famous for being so slow that you literally can brew yourself a cup of coffee as the screen refreshes each time you click a link.

Orkut also has two killer features called “karma ratings” and communities. The “karma ratings” let contacts rate the “coolness” and “attractiveness” of their friends using a number of ice cubes and hearts as the currency. The site also lets one mark secret crushes on people in their network. If both sides designate a crush on each other, Orkut let’s them know they like each other.
Communities are networks setup by Orkut members around a topic of interest. For example, Miata owners can congregate in the Miata community and send messages to one another. Gillette employees can congregate in the Gillette community and share the latest gossip. Already hundreds of community networks have sprouted up and are hubs of message board activity.

Perhaps the best feature thus far is the quality of the people in the Orkut network. It seems virtually the whole Google company is on the site with their high IQs and wits. Since the site is “invitation only”, friends of smart interesting people, tend to be, well, smart and interesting.

Orkut is expanding like a weed, week by week. It’s only a matter of time before it assimilates us all. Remember Google supposedly offered to buy Friendster a few months back, I bet Mr. Friendster is at least thinking about whether he should of sold out then.

Overall Score: 9 out 10

February 16, 2004

Column: Tonight we drink and discuss James Bond by Robert Keenan

If you’re not playing the new Xbox and PS2 demo for Bond: Everything or Nothing, you really should be.

The shooting segments are pretty meh, fun and nice to look at but nothing too special. The motorcycle sequence though is a complete rush, and while still linear there’s enough split paths to make exploration worth it. The interesting thing about this demo though is the start up screen, a short video of Shannon Elizabeth wearing a slinky dress and doing dirty things to a gun while Bond music blares in the background.

While entrancing, the interesting thing about this scene is that the lovely Shannon is not in the new Bond movie. Hell, for at least another year there won’t BE a Bond movie. So what gives?

The game also stars Heidi Klum and Willem Dafoe, neither of which have anything to do with Bond other than this game. It may be the highest amount of star power in a video game ever.

There’s been voice actors in games before, sometimes famous ones, but this is the first time Hollywood talent has been signed to do voice and likeness just for a game with no movie deal attached. In other news, Onimusha 3 is going to have Jean Reno as a character. The developers themselves stress the amount of work they went to get Reno’s walk and mannerisms perfect. They didn’t just want a likeness, they wanted him as an actor in the game, bringing his own brand of bad ass-ness to the game (rent the Professional if you haven’t seen it, it’s worth your time).

Hollywood and the video game industry have been flirting for years, and after the crash of Silliwood (remember all those horrible FMV games?) this may be the two industries getting snuggly again. But what does having a name actor bring to the table? Are we going to see a virtual Scarface, with new mo-cap and voice from Pacino? What gives?

One of the nice things about games is that without having to use actors or sets the development team can create any fantasy they want. I was against the idea of big name actors doing games at first, but I have to admit Dafoe and Elizabeth do add a touch of class to the game, and I hear time and time again around various stores that people didn’t know that so and so was going to be in the new Bond film. The fact that the action and caliber of polish this game has on it makes it seem not so much a licensed product, but an actual offshoot of the Bond franchise, as important as the new film to Bond fans. Will we see more studios hiring big name talent for their games? Maybe, but we must also realize that few devs have the money that EA does to go after the names big enough to make a difference in sales.

I’m not holding my breath one way or another, but I would point out to Silicon Knights that Natalie Portman would make a GREAT Alexandra Roivas in a new Eternal Darkness game. I’m just saying.

See you next week, and until then keep gaming. I’ll see you in the forums!

-Written by Robert Keenan


[Back to the Front Page]

Jobs on Longhorn

I agree with Jobs. The PC guys have always just sat on their hands and had other companies innovate for them. In their defense, why spend the money when you can copy other people's best ideas for a fraction of the cost? Look at the past few operating system release screenshots and compare them to Apple a few years back? Look at Dell's Music DJ MP3 player and compare it to iPod? The list goes on and on. "No, because there's hardly anybody investing a lot of energy in engineering on the Wintel platform outside of Microsoft and Intel, right? Dell doesn't spend much on engineering. Gateway probably spends zero. These guys don't engineer anything anymore. What you're really asking is, can we out innovate Microsoft? And I would give you a resounding yes. I think we are, in almost every category of software that we're in. ... Way more now [than in the past]" Do you agree or disagree? What are your thoughts? Comment on the discussion forum. Link Roundup - The Kerry girl now denies all the allegations. - The John Kerry scandal gets more legs. - Inquirer thinks Intel will launch a 4-way die desktop Pentium M CPU. - Washington Post asks, "What's after Google?" [Discussion]

February 15, 2004

Dell Gamer Laptop Preview

Anandtech previews the new Dell Inspiron XPS, gamer laptop. I don't know if there is a big market for this, who really needs a 9lb laptop except for LAN gaming fan-boys? Even then, it's better to have a small Shuttle cube to go to gamer meets due to performance advantages. "Basically, it looks like an Inspiron 8600 on an elevated platform. The 15.4" WUXGA screen we saw on the beta system was stunning and more brilliant than the 8600, which quite frankly was already a great system to begin with... We have high expectations, so stay tuned."

February 12, 2004

Dell Launches Notebook for Gamers

The lucrative gamer niche PC market is now under attack from the big boys. Dell first did a decent desktop gamer PC last year, now we see the notebook version. If I was Alienware and Voodoo, I'd be a little bit worried. "Dell, which introduced a desktop computer for gamers, said that its first notebook computer specifically designed for gamers runs on a Pentium 4 or Pentium 4 Extreme microprocessor from Intel Corp. and has a top graphics card from ATI Technologies Inc." Link Roundup - Verisign Sitefinder a threat to the internet? - Simpsons Movie a possibility. - BitTorrent creator gets hired by Valve, maker of Half-life. - John Kerry if these rumors are true is going to get Monica-ed. - Don't get caught in this iPod eBay pyramid scheme. - Unreal Tournament 2004 demo is available here. [Discussion]

February 11, 2004

Comcast Bids for Mickey Mouse

Comcast, the largest cable company, made a $66 billion bid for Disney this morning. Perhaps the only way to get rid of Eisner is to buy him out. First there was Katzenberg (head of Disney animation when they made Lion King) who went off to form Dreamworks animation studios, John Lasseter who went off to Pixar to make classics like Toy Story, Disney family leaving the board of directors, and then breakup of the Pixar/Disney partnership. Eisner needs to go, no-one wants to work with this guy. "The proposal comes after private conversations earlier this week, in which Disney Chief Executive Officer Michael Eisner rejected Comcast's request to begin merger negotiations, the cable company said. As a result, Comcast said it was bringing its offer to Disney’s board of directors into the public eye." Link Roundup - Norah Jones interviewed on NPR about her second album. Be sure to catch her 13 minute audio interview, she's as adorable in normal conversation as she is with her music. - Microsoft using sex toys in Japan to sell X-box. - Why HDTV is bad for porn. - Don't click on that Osama AOL IM link! [Discussion]

February 10, 2004

Article: Google is Out-Microsofting Microsoft

It’s fascinating to compare different types of technology companies. One can divide them into two camps: the ones that innovate by improving the past and the ones that plain copy poorly, but use their might to succeed.

On one hand you have the Googles, the Sonys, the Apples, the Amigas, the BeOses of the world, and the other you have Microsofts and Yahoos. For the purpose of this article, let’s focus on Microsoft, Apple, and Google.

Microsoft copied many of the key ideas of the graphical user interface from Apple and Xerox, however the actual implementation was worse in execution than its predecessors. Windows 3.1 crashed constantly and wasn’t intuitive in daily use. You can make similar analogies with Excel vs. Lotus 123, PowerPoint vs. Freelance, and Word vs. Wordperfect.

We can also never forget “plug’n play” or rather “plug’n pray” for USB peripherals on Windows 95 and Windows 98. The most impressive feature of Windows XP was how digital cameras and USB compact flash drives actually worked when you plugged them in. Compare this to Apple which had an easy-to-use GUI and had peripherals that simply worked the first time.

Let’s take a look at Google. This company knows how to take a basic, known concept and improve upon it dramatically using their smarts. They took basic search technology and improved it with better algorithms based on link relevancy. Google Ads is the fastest growing revenue producer on the net. In many ways, Google copied Overture’s idea of text ads from relevant search results. However by leveraging Google’s reach and innovating by using content sites to host “automatically relevant” text banner ads next to any content, Google went above and beyond what Overture had done. The list can go on and on: GoogleNews, Google Toolbar, etc.

The latest craze is the Google affiliated social network started by an engineer named Orkut. If you look at the search page on Orkut, it’s almost a carbon copy of Friendster with boxes for age, activities, and characteristics. The differentiations are how Orkut actually works at a usable speed and the implementation of some killer features such as communities forums and the friend “karma” ratings.

The “karma” ratings let friends designate secret crushes on people in their network. If both sides designate a crush on each other, Orkut let’s them know they like each other. Simply brilliant execution like this is how Google truly innovates on the shoulders of others. Google knows how to do what Microsoft dreams to do, even Bill Gates complimented Google’s innovation and IQ quotient in interviews.

On the side-note, it’s amusing to see the various testimonials on Orkut written by the Google co-founders and Orkut himself. One co-founder accuses Orkut of creating the site “just to gain new friends.” Orkut himself has “dating women” as an objective for himself on his profile.

Star Wars DVDs

Hell freezes over. Star Wars movies coming out on DVD. I guess George Lucas finally decided he needed a new mansion. Lucasfilm arrived at the September 21st date to gain maximum exposure during the holiday season: "We sold about 17 million VHS 'Star Wars' units during two fall release periods in '95 and '97," he explained. "With that in mind, we designed our release strategy to pick the best release date that had the most gentle sales curve decline on home video." Don't you love how the studios continue to milk these movies from geeks and freaks like us. I mean how many of you have the VHS versions that will jump on these DVDs? Just like the theater version AND extrended version of LOTR movies. Link Roundup - Audioholics goes in the pros and cons of various display technologies. Good read. - Tech-Report reviews Mad Dog Entertainer sound card. - Inquirer inquires about why Microsoft is using PowerPC chip in Xbox2. - PalmSource launches new names for their OSes. What innovation! - The fastest tabbed browser on the market. Firefox! Sounds like the old Clint Eastwood fighter jet movie. - Read how PC guru Anand is doing in Mac G5-land with these two blog entries. [Discussion]

February 09, 2004

OLED Displays Coming Soon

Digi-times says Sony will be out with OLED display PDAs this spring. OLED screens have faster response times, lower power consumption, and less space requirements over traditional LCDs, so we can look forward to larger screens and better battery life in our gadgets very soon. Link Roundup - Nvidia is claiming the NV40 will be 4Xs faster in Doom3 and 7Xs faster in Half-life 2. These guys are of course known for never exaggerating. *cough* - Nokia buying more Symbian shares from Psion. - Tech-Report reviews Antec's Sonata PC case. - Google searches are releasing private information like Social Security #s. [Discussion]