July 31, 2005

mobiBLU 1GB Cube MP3 Player Specs

Walmart is already selling the mobiBLU 1GB Cube Mp3 player. It is the smallest MP3 player in the world at 1 inch cube dimension. For $130 you get an MP3 player, FM radio, FM/Voice Recorder, Clock Disply, Sleep Timer, and USB 2.0 PC connectivity. Sounds like an iPod Shuffle killer to me.

Free Mac Games from the Past

Check out Mac Garden for free abandonware games from the past. A great site.

Australia Bans Grand Theft Auto San Andreas

The hot coffee fall-out still boils. Bad Rockstar, bad rockstar.

"Revocation of a classification means the computer game cannot be legally sold, hired, advertised or exhibited in Australia from the date the decision is made," a statement said. "Businesses that sell or hire computer games should remove existing stocks of this game from their shelves immediately," said Des Clark, director of the government-funded classification board.

Mars Ice Lake Found

BBC - A giant patch of frozen water has been pictured nestled within an unnamed impact crater on Mars. The photographs were taken by the High Resolution Stereo Camera on board Mars Express, the European Space Agency probe which is exploring the planet.

GeForce 7800 GTX Review

Tech Report - The GeForce 7800 GTX is a considerable performance advance over its predecessor, the 6800 Ultra. It's markedly faster in terms of pixel shader power, texel fill rate, and vertex throughput. The 7800 GTX is easily the fastest graphics card on the market now, dethroning the Radeon X850 XT Platinum Edition. More importantly, the GeForce 7800 GTX makes high-dynamic-range rendering run at acceptable speeds in games like Far Cry and Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory, so the performance gains bring tangible benefits by making tasty new forms of eye candy possible in real time. And if you pair up a couple of 7800 GTXs in SLI, you can get nearly twice the peak rendering power. Some of those benchmark scores are still making my head spin. The fact that the card comes with a quiet, single-slot cooler only sweetens the deal.

$800 Game PC Buyer's Guide

Extremetech - With this system, we're quite happy with the performance we were able to achieve at such a low price point. The system's performance is only half the story, though. The real value of this system is actually that it's ready for the future. The modern motherboard will be good for another couple years of CPU upgrades, including dual-core Athlon 64 X2 CPUs. By making the leap to PCI Express, we're set for video card upgrades for the foreseeable future.

TiVo Is Vulnerable To Impending DirecTV Transition

Forbes - The research firm said DirecTV could begin to transition its TiVo base to new technology, starting with shipments of the first non-TiVo digital video recorders in August or September. "We believe such a DirecTV D-Day would rattle investor confidence, since DirecTV drives more than 70% of current TiVo subscriber growth," J.P. Morgan said.

Macrovision Buys Trymedia

It's amazing to me how a company like Macrovision can even exist? Anyone with half a brain in computer smarts knows how to defeat Macrovision DVD copy protection software.

acquisition of market leader Trymedia Systems in a $34 million deal which is expected to complete this week. The deal will see Trymedia, which operates the world's largest distribution network for downloadable products on the PC thanks to its ActiveMARK suite of security and e-commerce products, becoming a part of a new games business unit.

Sony PSP Video iPod Service

Sony's Video iPod service launches in Japan.

Initially, around 100 free downloads will be available, including trailers and independent movies, but the company plans to introduce content ranging from TV episodes to movies and music videos in paid-for format shortly. Each download will clock in at around 256Mb for a 30 minute segment, and pricing details have not yet been announced. Users will be able to brows the Portable TV site directly from their PSPs thanks to today's addition of a web browser function to the hardware.

July 30, 2005

Gamepark GPX2 Specs Announced

Forget the Sony PSP. If you want to play retro games and movies, the Gamepark GPX2 may be the system for you. Slated to come out later this year, this handheld is open-source, uses Linux, has a 320x240 screen, and have amazing battery life of 8 hours for video and 14 hours for audio. The best part is the predecessor (GP32) was known for playing old retro games and the GPX2 won't disappoint. One of the big features is it can play MAME, SNES, Genesis, and PC Engine games through emulation.

Product name: GPX2-F100
CPU Dual CPU Cores
ARM920T: Host processor
ARM940T: Video Coprocessor
NAND Flash Memory: 64MB
Dimension: 143.6mm* 82.9mm*34mm
Storage: SD Card
Connection Type: USB 2.0 high speed
O/S: Linux
Power supply: 2AA
Display: 3.5" TFT LCD
Resolution: 320*240(QVGA)
Video file: MPEG, MPEG4, Dvix 3.11,4x,5x, XVID, WMV Playback
Audio file: MP3,OGG,WMA
Battery Life Video: Approx. 8 hours
Audio: Approx. 14hours

July 28, 2005

God of War Hollywood Movie

One of the best games of the year is going to the big screen. Don't get your hopes up yet, videogame movies have been known to be pretty horrible.

Universal Pictures has bought the rights to create a film adaptation of Sony Computer Entertainment's critically acclaimed PlayStation 2 action-adventure, God of War, according to trade magazine Variety. The Hollywood trade publication has reported Batman Begins producer, Charles Roven, has been slated to produce the film, along with Alex Gartner of Mosiac Media. There are currently no writers, directors or cast lined up at this early stage.

Tapwave Zodiac is Dead

Another Palm OS device bites the dust. Tapwave has announced they are going under. Tough look to all those people that spent $200-400 on Zodiac handhelds. Doh!

We are sorry to inform you that the Zodiac business was discontinued and service and support are no longer available as of July 25th 2005. We thank you for your past interest and support and apologize for any inconvenience that this may have caused. If you have an outstanding claim with the company, Ueker and Associates will be contacting you shortly.

Playstation 3 Will be Expensive

Ken Kutaragi keeps going out there saying how expensive the PS3 is going to be and how people won't be able to afford it. Is this some weird marketing or something?

Company president Ken Kutaragi meandered along to continue with his solemn warnings that the PlayStation 3 will not be a cheap console, even going so far as to say that "…the PS3 can't be offered at a price that's targeted towards households."

July 27, 2005

Hillary vs. Xbox: Game Over

This guy writes exactly what I want to tell Hillary Clinton:

Senator, would your probe of video games also take a look at the substantial benefits they can provide?

Dear Sen. Clinton:

I'm writing to commend you for calling for a $90-million study on the effects of video games on children, and in particular the courageous stand you have taken in recent weeks against the notorious "Grand Theft Auto" series.

I'd like to draw your attention to another game whose nonstop violence and hostility has captured the attention of millions of kids — a game that instills aggressive thoughts in the minds of its players, some of whom have gone on to commit real-world acts of violence and sexual assault after playing.

I'm talking, of course, about high school football. [More]

I know a congressional investigation into football won't play so well with those crucial swing voters, but it makes about as much sense as an investigation into the pressing issue that is Xbox and PlayStation 2.

Your current concern is over explicit sex in "Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas." Yet there's not much to investigate, is there? It should get rated appropriately, and that's that. But there's more to your proposed study: You want to examine how video games shape children's values and cognitive development.

Kids have always played games. A hundred years ago they were playing stickball and kick the can; now they're playing "World of Warcraft," "Halo 2" and "Madden 2005." And parents have to drag their kids away from the games to get them to do their algebra homework, but parents have been dragging kids away from whatever the kids were into since the dawn of civilization.

So any sensible investigation into video games must ask the "compared to what" question. If the alternative to playing "Halo 2" is reading "The Portrait of a Lady," then of course "The Portrait of a Lady" is better for you. But it's not as though kids have been reading Henry James for 100 years and then suddenly dropped him for Pokemon.

Another key question: Of all the games that kids play, which ones require the most mental exertion? Parents can play this at home: Try a few rounds of Monopoly or Go Fish with your kids, and see who wins. I suspect most families will find that it's a relatively even match. Then sit down and try to play "Halo 2" with the kids. You'll be lucky if you survive 10 minutes.

The great secret of today's video games that has been lost in the moral panic over "Grand Theft Auto" is how difficult the games have become. That difficulty is not merely a question of hand-eye coordination; most of today's games force kids to learn complex rule systems, master challenging new interfaces, follow dozens of shifting variables in real time and prioritize between multiple objectives.

In short, precisely the sorts of skills that they're going to need in the digital workplace of tomorrow.

Consider this one fascinating trend among teenagers: They're spending less time watching professional sports and more time simulating those sports on Xbox or PlayStation. Now, which activity challenges the mind more — sitting around rooting for the Packers, or managing an entire football franchise through a season of "Madden 2005": calling plays, setting lineups, trading players and negotiating contracts? Which challenges the mind more — zoning out to the lives of fictional characters on a televised soap opera, or actively managing the lives of dozens of virtual characters in a game such as "The Sims"?

On to the issue of aggression, and what causes it in kids, especially teenage boys. Congress should be interested in the facts: The last 10 years have seen the release of many popular violent games, including "Quake" and "Grand Theft Auto"; that period has also seen the most dramatic drop in violent crime in recent memory. According to Duke University's Child Well-Being Index, today's kids are less violent than kids have been at any time since the study began in 1975. Perhaps, Sen. Clinton, your investigation should explore the theory that violent games function as a safety valve, letting children explore their natural aggression without acting it out in the real world.

Many juvenile crimes — such as the carjacking that is so central to "Grand Theft Auto" — are conventionally described as "thrill-seeking" crimes. Isn't it possible that kids no longer need real-world environments to get those thrills, now that the games simulate them so vividly? The national carjacking rate has dropped substantially since "Grand Theft Auto" came out. Isn't it conceivable that the would-be carjackers are now getting their thrills on the screen instead of the street?

Crime statistics are not the only sign that today's gaming generation is doing much better than the generation raised during the last cultural panic — over rock 'n' roll. Math SAT scores have never been higher; verbal scores have been climbing steadily for the last five years; nearly every indicator in the Department of Education study known as the Nation's Report Card is higher now than when the study was implemented in 1971.

By almost every measure, the kids are all right.

Of course, I admit that there's one charge against video games that is a slam dunk. Kids don't get physical exercise when they play a video game, and indeed the rise in obesity among younger people is a serious issue. But, of course, you don't get exercise from doing homework either. - LA Times

July 26, 2005

Motorola "Q" Announced - The Real RAZRberry RIMM Blackberry Killer

Motorola announced their RAZRberry Blackberry killer today. It sure looks nice and has great specs.

The Thinnest, Lightest, Coolest QWERTY on the Planet

SCHAUMBURG, Ill. -- 25 July 2005 – The first no-compromises QWERTY is here: the new Q from Motorola. Smart, powerful, and devastatingly good-looking, the Moto Q is the ultimate power player. The world’s thinnest, lightest QWERTY phone is a seamless fusion of QWERTY and phone — delivering a fully-loaded package of email, voice, and entertainment in one amazingly rich but thin device. Like its cousin the RAZR, the Q’s superior voice quality makes it a stand out from the competition. [More]

Boasting flexible mobile email featuring Microsoft’s Windows Mobile software, advanced cellular phone technology, rich multimedia capabilities and an easy-to-use one-handed navigation thumbwheel, the Moto Q is unique. An all-in-one handheld designed to deliver true seamless connectivity, the Q will help mobile professionals improve productivity through the power of seamless mobility.

“Wickedly cool — when’s the last time you heard those words used to describe a QWERTY device?” said Ron Garriques, president mobile devices business, Motorola. “Probably never. At least until now. With the Moto Q, we’ve combined the best voice, data and design technology in one ultra-thin, intelligent, hard-working, and incredibly must-have device. Today’s office space has the potential to be any place you want it to be with Q.”

Truly Flexible Email
The uber-intelligent Q leverages Microsoft’s familiar and trusted Windows Mobile software and is one of the first devices to operate on the latest release, Windows Mobile 5.0. Motorola Q delivers scalable and cost-effective mobile messaging support out of the box with Exchange 2003, and is also optimized for a variety of third party email solutions that enable an even broader set of corporate email capabilities. This provides a cost-effective alternative for businesses looking to leverage their existing infrastructure, training and support systems, while reducing the need for additional IT investment.

RAZR-Sharp Looks & Entertainment
Fifty percent thinner than its top competitors, the lightweight Q features Motorola’s renown RAZR-thin design including electro-luminescent keys and a compact “antenna-inside” shape. Moto Q also hosts a large, vibrant, color screen, ‘Net surfing capabilities, a 1.3 mega pixel camera with flash to help you take advantage of any downtime with fun, entertainment options. No need to grab another device on the weekend when you can leverage digital video and audio capabilities, along with cool new Bluetooth®-enabled accessories like RAZRWIRE eyewear, to balance work and play.

Best Phone Experience
But great email and good looks aren’t enough. True productivity demands superior voice quality too — something not always found in QWERTY devices. Leveraging Motorola’s expertise in RF technology, the new Moto Q delivers the best phone experience you can get on a QWERTY. Featuring a high-quality speakerphone perfect for conference calls, voice-activated dialing, and Bluetooth functionality the Q enables hands-free multi-tasking for today’s busy work environment.

Pricing and Availability
The Moto Q is expected to be available in Q1 2006. For additional details regarding pricing and availability, please contact your local Motorola representative.

July 25, 2005

Congress Approve FTC Investigation of Grand Theft Auto

Just after 7 pm on Capitol Hill today, the House of Representatives voted 355 to 21 to support a Federal Trade Commission inquiry into Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. The purpose of the probe will be to determine if take-Two Interactive and its publishing subsidiary Rockstar Games deceived the voluntary Entertainment Software Ratings Board when it submitted Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. - Gamespot

How Craigslist Has Changed New York?

“Erotic services” providers, reality-TV casting agents, Eames lovers—all have plenty of reasons to celebrate the site’s fifth anniversary. - NYOnline

Yahoo Acquires Konfabulator

'Yahoo! Inc. on Monday will announce the acquisition of Konfabulator, a Macintosh and Windows application that allows users to run mini files known as Widgets on their desktop -- the same model used by Apple for its Dashboard application. Yahoo! company executives said they would also be giving Konfabulator away for free, completely doing away with the US$19.95 currently charged for the product.' - MacWorld

GTA Hot Coffee Perspective

What's okay in GTA (the series) for seventeen year olds:

Assault with a deadly weapon.
Vehicular homicide/manslaughter
Grand theft auto (duh)
Sex with prostitutes (tastefully hidden!)
Drug trafficking

What's not okay in GTA (the series) for seventeen year olds:

Consentual softcore sex between two adults, one of which is fully clothed.

What's okay in Sims (the series) for thirteen year olds:

Removing a ladder from a pool to induce drowning.
Locking someone in a room until they die from exhaustion.
Intentionally getting sims to wet/soil themselves.
Voyeurism (Sims taking showers)
Tricking people into setting themselves on fire in a kitchen.

What's not okay in Sims (mostly 2) for thirteen year olds:

Consentual implied sex between two adults, nudity mosaic'd out and they basically play under the sheets making monkey and dog noises. - GGA

Xbox 360 Title Release List Japan

'The Xbox Summit event in Japan has revealed a strong list of titles for the Xbox 360 in the territory, with 40 games being shown off including a large number from Japanese developers as well as key overseas titles.' - GI

ASUS CT-479 Pentium M Socket Adapter Review

'Asus has decided to do something about that requirement in rather inventive fashion. The CT-479 is an adapter card that plugs into the processor socket of certain Asus Socket 478 motherboards and converts them to a Socket 479 configuration capable of accepting a Pentium M. This adapter neatly solves both the price and performance issues, the latter by supplying a dual-channel memory configuration unavailable in the Intel 855GME laptop chipset.' - Tech Report

July 24, 2005

Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-H1 Review

'I really liked using the DSC-H1 and enjoyed the resulting images. The optical image stabilization did a nice job eliminating the blur from slower shutter speeds and extremely zoomed telephoto images, where any bit of handshake rears its ugly head in your prints. Having the ability to zoom such a long focal length is a real plus.' - Designtechnica

Sony PSP Browser Demo

The net capabilities of the PSP have already been explored in small doses with the clever WipEout Browser hack, but it will be the PSP version 2.00 update due next week in Japan that really delivers on the promises of this system's online integration. Included in the newest system update is a full-blown browser for PSP, which you can use to connect to a compatible hotspot and get online to check the net and do what you need to do while on the go. - IGN

Sony PSP Genesis Emulator with Sound

The latest Genesis emulator v0.17 with sound has been released for the Sony PSP.

- 6 button joystick support
- zip support (using Ruka's unziplib)
- fixed a bug in save states (current saves won't work - if you really,
really want your old save I could consider writing a converter... ).
- user definable controls
- optimized the sound code a bit (more games run faster now).
- games list is now sorted
- implemented new ui
- user skins support for ui
- return to current game support
- frameskip options (note, if you have manual frameskip and the
game cant keep up, the sound will obviously be jumpy if u dont
have auto frameskip on)
- vsync option
- multiple save slots per game
- experimental 50Hz conversion
- added 266Mhz CPU speed setting
- other miscellaneous fixes and features

Dijjer P2P Browser Downloading?

Does Dijjer work? It says it's a P2P technology that works like BittTorrent and spreads out the bandwidth costs among people that are downloading. Might be a killer solution for podcasters who can't afford the hosting costs.

Dijjer solves this problem. What distinguishes it from similar P2P tools (like Bittorrent) is how easy it is to use for publishers and users.

20th Anniversary of the Commodore Amiga

We just passed the 20th Anniversary of the launch of the Commodore Amiga. It still remains my favorite tech gadget of all time. So far ahead of its competition, the OS, the multi-tasking, the user interface, the animation, the sound, the graphics, and the games. Peer-less. Read this great history of the Amiga right here.

Top 10 Tech We Miss

CNET listed the top 10 technologies they miss. I would like to add the Commodore Amiga and Atari Lynx to the list. Although I have to admit, buying drinks and magazines from Kozmo.com was pretty cool back in the day.

Nvidia SLI Antialiasing

By evaluating our in-game screenshots and formulating an opinion based on real-world 3D gameplay while using NVIDIA’s SLI 8X and SLI 16X AA modes, we can finally say, “NVIDIA has the upper hand in Antialiasing quality.” It has been quite a while since we could honestly make that kind of statement. NVIDIA also currently gives gamers more Antialiasing options than the competition. - HardOCP

Gateway 9310XL PC System Review

It should be noted here that Gateway is very close to having built a truly exceptional PC. Their hardware choices were on the mark, and I was very impressed with the system’s stability and performance. The only issues I believe are holding this system back are the OS installation, insuring the latest drivers are installed, and changing their disaster recovery method. - HardOCP

Orkut Used for Drug Networkers

More than half of Orkut's 7 million members are from Brazil. How random is that?

Brazilian police arrested 10 people on Thursday accused of selling drugs using Google's international social networking site Orkut, which is hugely popular in the Latin American country.

July 23, 2005

Value Gaming System Buyer's Guide

The latest and greatest Sharky $1000 Value Gaming rig.

We managed to slide a few upgrades into the July edition, most notably the nForce4 PCI Express motherboard, GeForce 6600GT 128-MB PCIe card, and 1-GB PC3200 DDR module on the AMD side, while the Intel system remained pretty well unchanged. It may follow this format in the coming months, as it looks like a processor upgrade may be long time off for AMD, with an Intel CPU upgrade being far more likely.

How to Make a Paper Camera?

Back in the days of Communism, people made paper pinhole cameras to pass the time. Neat stuff. Forget digital, this is the analogest of the anolog.

The design was significantly improved by sticking on a thin piece of metal with a hole, rather than making the hole in the paper, as described in the instructions. I didn't follow this suggestion, however, since I wanted to experience the real magic of Dirkon photography.

Sims 2 in the Cross Hairs - "Worse than GTA Hot Coffee"

The people that brought down Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas for the cartoon sex mini-game now have their sights on Sims 2 from Electronic Arts. What next Halo 2? Doom? Why is nudity and sex that much worse than violence anyway? I mean there is plenty of nudity on Rated R movies. No?

In a manifesto sent today to press outlets, Thompson focuses on dismantling the Entertainment Software Ratings Board and exposing what he calls the industry's "latest dirty little secret." The secret's out now, and it involves nude sims. In the statement, Thompson says, "Sims 2, the latest version of the Sims video game franchise ... contains, according to video game news sites, full frontal nudity, including nipples, penises, labia, and pubic hair."

July 22, 2005

Visa Kicks CardSystems

Remember that stupid company that compromised tens of millions of credit card numbers because it kept the information on their computers when it should of be deleted? Well Visa decided to kick them off their system. Everyone of their customers should do the same, so other companies realize they better take security seriously.

CardSystems has not corrected, and cannot at this point correct, the failure to provide proper data security for those accounts," said Tim Murphy, Visa's senior vice president for operations in a memorandum sent to several banks. "Visa USA has decided that CardSystems should not continue to participate as an agent in the Visa system.

Why are Movie Theater Revenues Declining?

This blogger nails this issue on the head. I couldn't of said it better myself.

1) Social factors eroding theater environment (talking, cell phones, babies crying, etc.);
2) Sacrificing long term relationships with theater-goers for the increase in short term profitability (commercials, no ushers, etc.);
3) Higher quality experience elsewhere (Home theater);
4) Declining quality of mainstream movies;
5) Easily available Long Tail content alternatives (Netflix, Amazon).

Mac OS X Gaining Share in the Business World

Jupiter Research says Apple OS X is taking share from Windows, Unix, and Linux in the business community. You get the stability of Unix, the pretty user interface of a mainstream desktop OS, and none of the security, virus, and spyware problems of Windows. Go Mac OS X, go!

The report found that in businesses with 250 employees or more, 17 percent of the employees were running Mac OS X on their desktop computer at work. In Businesses that had 10,000 or more employees, 21 percent of employees used Mac OS X on their desktop work computer.

Sony Ships More than 5 Million PSPs

Sony has shipped more than 5 million PSPs world-wide. 11.2 million games have been shipped out of a catalogue of 48 games. 4.3 million UMD movies have shipped including the 1 million Spiderman 2s bundled with US PSPs. Sony plans to raise production from 3 million to 5 million UMDs a month. How come I don't have a Sony PSP yet? Oh wait, Nintendo DS has better games.

Sony Computer Entertainment has announced that 5.07 million PSP consoles have been shipped around the globe so far, with more than half of that number being sold to North America.

Battlefield 2 Tour of Duty Announced

Now this sounds pretty cool, but who has multiple blocks of 10 hours straight every week to play videogames? Either your unemployed or very rich, most gamers are neither.

Battlefield 2 Tour of Duty, is a unique community which will allow players to experience Battlefield 2 as never before. Featuring multiple ten-hour battles every week (of which members can attend as many or as little as they like) the Tour of Duty offers members a hierarchically-structured environment replete with cool features.

Microsoft Names Longhorn Vista

Microsoft named their next operating system Vista. I guess it isn't that bad, they could of done worse. The only problem is when are they going freaking release this thing? This OS has been delayed more times than anything in recent memory.

It enables a new level of confidence in your PC and in your ability to get the most out of it. It introduces clear ways to organize and use information the way you want to use it. It seamlessly connects you to information, people, and devices that help you get the most out of life.

Fujitsu Lifebook P1510 Specs and Pictures

Fujitsu Lifebook P1510 specs and pictures. Looks like it's one sexy machine.

Review of the LifeBook P1510, a PC with a touch sensitive swivel screen (same type as the LS800 for the seize), a Pentium M753 at 1.2Ghz, 512Mb of RAM and a 60Gb HDD... all in a 232x167x35mm and 0.99kg package. We have to admit that we're quite hardcore TabletPC users here at Akihabara News and we are usually PRO SLATE (without keyboard), but the LifeBook P1510 is very tempting and offers a far greater solution than the one presented by Motion.

Forget Google Earth, Try Google Moon

Shoot for the moon with Googe Maps imagery of the moon's surface. Incredible detail of every crater, nook, and cranny.

100 Megabit Broadband Coming in 2006

Can you imagine 100 megabit broadband? Let me wipe the drool off my chin.

Broadband Internet access via TV cables can reach 100 Megabits per second as early as next year, 50 times faster than the average broadband speeds now offered to cable TV homes, a Finnish firm said on Wednesday.

Grand Theft Auto San Andreas Re-Rated and Pulled Off Shelves

Most retailers including Best Buy and Circuit City pulled Grand Theft Auto San Andreas off their shelves today as the ESRB re-rated the game to the Adults-Only rating. Take-Two basically admitted the sex scene content was in the code of not only the PC version, but the Xbox and PS2 console versions.

"There is sex content in the disc," Take-Two spokesman Jim Ankner told The Associated Press. "The editing and finalization of any game is a complicated task and it's not uncommon for unused and unfinished content to remain on the disc."

Firefox 2.0/3.0 Roadmap

Firefox laid out their roadmap for future versions. The next big thing is a new Gecko rendering engine v1.5 coming in September.

We are planning for a Firefox 2.0 and 3.0, but will divide the planned work over (at this point) three major Milestones, 1.5 (September 2005), 2.0 (unscheduled) and 3.0 (unscheduled). All major development work will be done on the Mozilla trunk, and these releases will coincide with Gecko version revs.

Sony PSP Online Browsing Upgrade and Video iPod

Wow, Sony is making a move on Apple by launching the ability to download TV programs and supporting an official web browser. Who needs a video iPod now? Moreover Sony is going to launch a white PSP. Blah!

Sony Computer Entertainment will release a system software update for its PlayStation Portable (PSP) next week that will add several new functions to the handheld gaming device, including browse the Internet and download TV programs.. Chief among the additions to version 2.0 of the software will be a Web browser. Accessible from the PSP's main menu, the browser supports HTML 4.01 and will allow access to most Web sites.

World of Warcraft Hits 3.5 Million Users

Someone needs to open a World of Warcraft addiction center. It's the bane of productivity growth world-wide.

Blizzard's World of Warcraft is now officially the largest MMOG in the world, with the title boasting some 3.5 million paying subscribers worldwide - including 1.5 million in China, where the game only launched in early June.

Xbox Live Hits 2 Million Users

Along with hitting 2 million users, Microsoft is saying the transition to Xbox 360 will be totally seamless.

The company says that Xbox 360 buyers can expect to play Perfect Dark Zero, Project Gotham Racing 3, Madden NFL 06, Dead or Alive 4 and Call of Duty 2 online soon after release.

July 20, 2005

IGN 2005 Top 100 Games of All Time

I love Top 100 Games of All Time lists. I love the fact that recent over-hyped games that you'll forget in 2 years are always prominently listed near the top.

HP to Cut 14,500 Jobs

CEOs get paid tens of millions. Hard-working employees as usual get the shaft.

Striving for Dell Inc.'s efficiency and IBM Corp.'s breadth, Hewlett-Packard Co. said Tuesday it will cut 14,500 jobs and overhaul its retirement plan in a move that all but buries the legendary company-employee bond known as the "HP Way."

Motorola RAZRWire by Oakley Official Sunglasses

Motorazr has all the specs on the new RAZRWire by Oakley - The all new RazrWire’s will feature a light design weighing in at less than 20 grams, They will support Bluetooth 1.2 for higher call quality as well Bluetooth 1.1, and the best part over 400 hours of talk time and 100 hours of standby time (according to Motorola). Because the RazrWire uses Bluetooth you will be able to use your phone up to 30 feet away from your phone. The RazrWire is expected to be available third quarter of 2005.

Creative Labs Gigaworks Progamer G500 Review

GDHardware has the review scoop - If Creative could work with its channel partners and get the price below the $200 dollar mark, we’d give it much higher marks in this review. It’s a great-sounding game/DVD system but just isn’t priced well in our opinion.

MMORPG Business Model Wars

With a new business model of no subscriptions fees, NCSoft's Richard Garriott explains how they are going to make more money.

It’s impressed the reviewers and it’s topped the sales charts. But Guild Wars has an awesome task to perform. “We have to sell at least five times more copies than a subscriber-based online game in order to get to about the same level of profitability,” says Garriott, matter of factly.

July 18, 2005

FirstAdopter.com Show Episode 4 Podcast

This show covers the following topics:

Apple Video iPods, Hauppauge WinTV-PVR500MCE PC PVR PCI card Impressions, Sage TV, Beyond TV, GBPVR PC PVR software Impressions, Blizzard Starcraft for Nintendo DS, IBM OS/2 Dead, Battlestar Galactica, EA cellphone games

Download the MP3 Podcast

Blizzard Considering Starcraft and Diablo for DS

Good god that would be awesome to be playing multi-player Starcraft wirelessly on my Nintendo DS. Unfortunately it looks like they haven't started developing the ports as of yet, so it's going to be a while.

The latest Blizzard Insider newsletter enquires as to whether readers would be interested in purchasing Nintendo DS or Sony PSP versions of Diablo II, providing a wireless multiplayer mode was included. The newsletter also asks if there's a demand for Starcraft on the DS

Bill Gates Promises Video iPod Success

LA Times has Mr. Gates of the evil empire Microsoft spouting - ' Whichever way it shakes out, Gates vows not to play the victim in "Son of iPod." After learning a hard lesson in the digital music business, "we're really having to work more closely with partners in the hardware industry and content industry, to really think through the whole end-to-end experience and make it better," Gates said. "That's where we've done our mea culpa. We are fixing that.'

Everything You Need to Know about Podcasting

Everything you need to know about podcasting is on PodcastFavorites.net, including the fact that the FirstAdopter.com Show has made his list of favorite podcasts.

FirstAdopter.com podcast ...added on 2005-06-25 Geek news and reviews. No pointless, self-referential babbling. Good pace. Very informative.

I need to remind myself to be more pointless and do some self-referential babbling on the next podcast.

Verizon and Sprint to Team Up on MMS

Wireless Week writes - MMS interoperability among U.S. operators continues to gain steam. As of midnight, Sprint and Verizon Wireless customers with cameraphones can now share picture and video messages with each other. Prior to having MMS interoperability, customers could only send photos from their handset to an e-mail address or from handset to handset, but only among same-carrier subscribers. According to Verizon spokesman Jeffrey Nelson, MMS interoperability between all the major U.S. operators likely will be completed within the next month or so. "This is a very important development for the entire industry," he says. "This is important for our customers and for the adoption of MMS."

Verizon and Sprint to Sell EA Games

Electronic Arts has signed a deal with Verizon and Sprint to publish their cellphone games on their networks. This is a nail in the side of the leading cellphone game player, JAMDAT.

"It indicates a potential for increasing competition against JAMDAT," said Moors & Cabot analyst Jason Willey. He said the Electronic Arts deals were not surprising but may have dampened recent rumors that the company might buy JAMDAT.

Disney Content on Apple Video iPod

B2Day has the scoop: "Steve Jobs has spoken with Disney President and soon-to-be CEO Bob Iger about ways to license various Disney content for a video iPod, according to an internal Disney email I have obtained. That could include anything from clips from ESPN and ABC News to short cartoons."

Battlefied 2 Patch v1.02

Get v1.02 so you can uninstall it again like v1.01: "HOTFIX for BF2 v1.01 Now Available! The hotfix for Battlefield 2 v1.01 is now available for download. This update replaces v1.01 and fixes the said memory leak. Along with this update, we’ve made available an updated unranked server file for Win32 and an updated unranked server file for Linux."

A Kid Gets in Trouble for Xbox 360 Photo Leak

This kid got his step-father in deep trouble: "Now the kid is begging to get the thread deleted (maybe he found out what an NDA is), but the cat is already out of the bag. Apparently his step dad just started working for Microsoft under the title of Regulatory Compliance Manager, and is currently hardware testing the Xbox 360. The wires coming out the top are for such testing. The hardware is apparently complete, and although there were no 360 games to test, he gave Halo 2 a spin in backwards compatibility. He is claiming the power supply is external, and is enourmous. He also raved about the user interface/dashboard and the feel of the controller (and this coming from an admitted PlayStation fan, so it must be good)."

EA to Sell Half-Life 2 for Valve

EA and Valve have teamed up: "Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: ERTS - News), the world's leading interactive entertainment company and Valve®, the award-winning studio behind the blockbuster franchises Half-Life® and Counter-Strike(TM), today announced that the two companies have entered a multi-year agreement to deliver a collection of Valve games to players worldwide. The first two games to be released under this agreement are Half-Life 2: Game of the Year and Counter-Strike: Source(TM) for PC, both launching this fall. In addition, Half-Life 2 for the Xbox® video game system from Microsoft, currently in development at Valve and targeted for release in October, will be published and distributed worldwide by EA."

Palm Cuts Prices on Three Handhelds

Brighthand has the scoop: "Palm, Inc. has cut $50 from the price of two of its handhelds, and is offering a $50 rebate on one of its newest models. The Tungsten T5 $400 to $350. Zire 72 from $300 to $250. Tungsten E2 with $50 rebate."

IBM to Stop Selling OS/2

News.com covers the demise of OS/2: "IBM, which made the announcement this week, said it will discontinue OS/2 products by Dec. 23 and withdraw standard support for OS/2-related products as of Dec. 31, 2006. Support for OS/2 will only be available under a service contract after 2006. "We're making official what has been going on for quite some time," said Steve Eisenstadt, an IBM spokesman. "We haven't released a new version of OS/2 in nine years."

iTunes Tops 500 Million Songs Sold

News.com writes - Music downloads from Apple Computer's iTunes Music Store topped 500 million, the company said Monday. Amy Greer of Lafayette, Ind., purchased Faith Hill's "Mississippi Girl" as the 500 millionth song sold from the online music store. The milestone download has won her 10 iPods, a gift card for 10,000 songs and an all-paid trip for four to a concert by Coldplay, which is on a world tour.

Apple Video iPod

According to MSNBC, Apple has talks to major recording companies about licensing music video content for the video iPod.

The videos, which could go on sale as early as September, would likely cost $1.99 each on iTunes according to the newspaper, with the possibility of a discount if consumers buy a music video and a song at the same time.

July 17, 2005

Link Roundup

Harry Potter and Half-Blood Prince Pirated (books on a screen aren't so great though)

Japanese PSP Porn Reviewed (Porn once again is a vanguard of new tech)

2005 WSOP Wrap-up (I wish I could make $7.5 million playing poker)

IGN Interviews Natalie Portnam (IGN a heavy hitter now?)

NY Times on Battlestar Galactica (the new season just started, go forth and see it)

Microsoft MMPORG Deal with Marvel
(Microsoft 360 City of Heros?)

EA Pushes Godfather out to 2006
(Making a GTA clone is not so easy right EA?)

July 16, 2005

Link Roundup

OLED Keyboard (drool drool)

Pocket PC vs. Palm (the showdown continues)

Rare Making DS Games (Microsoft supports Nintendo?)

ESRB Looking at GTA Sex
(GTA controversy? Say it ain't so)

Hillary Clinton Hates Sex (GTA sex)

PS3 No Router
(PS3 will not do everything)

Creative Zen Vision Video iPod
(Apple where are you?)

Moto RAZR Review (the real slim shady)

Virgin Mobile 3rd Pay Plan
($30 per month)

July 07, 2005

Link Roundup

Google Invests in Broadband over Power Lines (light me up Google)

Xbox 360 Preview Interview (let's bash PS3 why don't we)

Scobleizer Interviews Microsoft CEO (he was nervous, egads)

Nvidia G70 has Many Clocks (clock speeds like time is all relative)

Seagate 160GB HD for $40 (after rebate, but worth it. I got one)

1up Editor Stands up for Videogame Violence (you go boy!)

Wikipedia Entry on the London Bombings
(internet is amazing)

Top 10 Films by Various Directors (worth the gander)

Mariopedia (all you want to know about the Mario universe. Goomba!)

July 06, 2005

Man Charged With Stealing Wi-Fi Signal

This is pretty insane if all he was doing was surfing the web. In that case you probably could charge half of America for stealing Wi-Fi signals at some point in their lives. We'll see however if there are any other ulterior motives like hacking into the guy's computer or something.

Benjamin Smith III, 41, faces a pretrial hearing this month following his April arrest on charges of unauthorized access to a computer network, a third-degree felony. Police say Smith admitted using the Wi-Fi signal from the home of Richard Dinon, who had noticed Smith sitting in an SUV outside Dinon's house using a laptop computer.

Sony Executive Bragging about PS3 being Overpriced

Sony Computer Entertainment CEO, Ken Kutaragi, the father of the Playstation, has been quoted that he wants the Playstation 3 to have a sky-high price tag as it will create demand for it. Are you kidding me? Yeah, I'm sure kids are thinking, "Gee, I want to work more hours to buy a PS3 because it's going to be so worth it!"

A too expensive PS3 is like handing the next-generation console winner keys to Microsoft.

Speaking to Japanese economic website Toyo Keizai, he stated that Sony’s aim for PS3 is “for consumers to think to themselves 'I will work more hours to buy one'. We want people to feel that they want it, irrespective of anything else." Surely a pretty fat hint that PS3 could launch with an unprecedented price.

Link Roundup

Great Time to be an entreprenuer
(hardware cheap, software free, what's not to like?)

Podcasting to grow 10 fold (my bandwidth grew 10X off iTunes 4.9, go figure)

Steve Jobs calls iPod death family (what a nice guy)

AOL and Plaxo Unite (v-Cards in AOL IM? I just want IM!)

Extremetech reviews Antec Sonata II Case (I hear it's not much of an upgrade)

Avis + DirectTV + Hummer (I bet it costs an arm and a leg)

Target Digital Music Store (give up people, iTunes will still rule the kingdom)

LG Signs with PalmSource (Treo knock-offs anyone?)

Disney Mobile Cellphone Service (uses the Sprint network like Virgin)

$99 PC PVR Device USB 2.0 (dirt cheap for all-in-one PVR solution)

Mp3 Cellphones are Coming (they still suck)

A Brief History of NeXT (following Steve Jobs)

AMD to Cut dual-core Sempron Prices (still not as cheap as Intel)

Battlefield 2 1.01 Patch is Out (server browser upgrade anyone?)

MMO Gold Sweat Shops (buy that gold online, think about slave labor at 56c/hr)

ATI Gave $4.4M to Valve for Half-Life 2 (interesting deal)

Man Convicted for Chipping Xbox (sold pirated games pre-loaded onto the hard-drive)

July 05, 2005

Van Gogh Starry Night Mosaic (210,000 pictures in 1.5 gigapixel image)

World of Warcraft Coke Commerical in China (they get addicted to WOW now)

Lord of the Bings (one bing to rule them all)

July 04, 2005

FirstAdopter.com Show Episode 3 Podcast

This show covers the following topics:

-News Commentary: 2/4 GB Shuffles, new iPods, iTunes Phone, iTunes 4.9 Podcasting, Google Video, Motorola RAZRBerry Leak
-Reader Q&A: Best Sony PSP Release Site, Apple Gaining Marketshare
-Rendition Call for Help: Help me with my Tivo sound problem
-Hanaho's Arcade MAME Joystick Hotrod SE Review
-Site of the Week: Steve Jobs Commencement Speech, Google Earth

Download the MP3 Podcast

July 03, 2005

eCost selling Nintendo DS for 33% off (wow $99 after rebate)

Time's 50 Coolest Websites (kind of a random list)

The Legal $1 DVD Business (I got to get myself to some 99c stores)

BBC Beethoven Downloads (for a limited time you can download Symphony 6-9 for free)

Commencement Address by Steve Jobs

Delivered on June 12, 2005.

I am honored to be with you today at your commencement from one of
the finest universities in the world. I never graduated from
college. Truth be told, this is the closest I've ever gotten to a
college graduation.

Today I want to tell you three stories from my life. That's it. No
big deal. Just three stories.

The first story is about connecting the dots.

I dropped out of Reed College after the first 6 months, but then
stayed around as a drop-in for another 18 months or so before I
really quit. So why did I drop out?

It started before I was born. My biological mother was a young,
unwed college graduate student, and she decided to put me up for
adoption. She felt very strongly that I should be adopted by college
graduates, so everything was all set for me to be adopted at birth
by a lawyer and his wife. Except that when I popped out they decided
at the last minute that they really wanted a girl.

So my parents, who were on a waiting list, got a call in the middle
of the night asking: "We have an unexpected baby boy; do you want
him?" They said: "Of course."

My biological mother later found out that my mother had never
graduated from college and that my father had never graduated from
high school. She refused to sign the final adoption papers. She only
relented a few months later when my parents promised that I would
someday go to college. [Read More]

And 17 years later I did go to college. But I naively chose a
college that was almost as expensive as Stanford, and all of my
working-class parents' savings were being spent on my college
tuition. After six months, I couldn't see the value in it. I had no
idea what I wanted to do with my life and no idea how college was
going to help me figure it out. And here I was spending all of the
money my parents had saved their entire life. So I decided to drop
out and trust that it would all work out OK. It was pretty scary at
the time, but looking back it was one of the best decisions I ever
made. The minute I dropped out I could stop taking the required
classes that didn't interest me, and begin dropping in on the ones
that looked interesting.

It wasn't all romantic. I didn't have a dorm room, so I slept on the
floor in friends' rooms, I returned coke bottles for the 5˘ deposits
to buy food with, and I would walk the 7 miles across town every
Sunday night to get one good meal a week at the Hare Krishna temple.
I loved it. And much of what I stumbled into by following my
curiosity and intuition turned out to be priceless later on. Let me
give you one example:

Reed College at that time offered perhaps the best calligraphy
instruction in the country. Throughout the campus, every poster,
every label on every drawer, was beautifully hand calligraphed.
Because I had dropped out and didn't have to take the normal
classes, I decided to take a calligraphy class to learn how to do
this. I learned about serif and san serif typefaces, about varying
the amount of space between different letter combinations, about
what makes great typography great. It was beautiful, historical,
artistically subtle in a way that science can't capture, and I found
it fascinating.

None of this had even a hope of any practical application in my
life. But ten years later, when we were designing the first
Macintosh computer, it all came back to me. And we designed it all
into the Mac. It was the first computer with beautiful typography.
If I had never dropped in on that single course in college, the Mac
would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced
fonts. And since Windows just copied the Mac, it's likely that no
personal computer would have them. If I had never dropped out, I
would have never dropped in on this calligraphy class, and personal
computers might not have the wonderful typography that they do. Of
course it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I
was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards ten
years later.

Again, you can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only
connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots
will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something -
your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never
let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.

My second story is about love and loss.

I was lucky - I found what I loved to do early in life. Woz and I
started Apple in my parent's garage when I was 20. We worked hard,
and in 10 years Apple had grown from just the two of us, in a
garage, into a $2 billion company with over 4000 employees. We had
just released our finest creation - the Macintosh - a year earlier,
and I had just turned 30. And then I got fired.

How can you get fired from a company you started?

Well, as Apple grew we hired someone who I thought was very talented
to run the company with me, and for the first year or so things went
well. But then our visions of the future began to diverge and
eventually we had a falling out. When we did, our Board of Directors
sided with him. So at 30 I was out. And very publicly out. What had
been the focus of my entire adult life was gone, and it was

I really didn't know what to do for a few months. I felt that I had
let the previous generation of entrepreneurs down - that I had
dropped the baton as it was being passed to me. I met with David
Packard and Bob Noyce and tried to apologize for screwing up so
badly. I was a very public failure, and I even thought about running
away from the valley. But something slowly began to dawn on me - I
still loved what I did. The turn of events at Apple had not changed
that one bit. I had been rejected, but I was still in love. And so I
decided to start over.

I didn't see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from
Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The
heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being
a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter
one of the most creative periods of my life.

During the next five years, I started a company named NeXT, another
company named Pixar, and fell in love with an amazing woman who
would become my wife.

Pixar went on to create the worlds first computer animated feature
film, Toy Story, and is now the most successful animation studio in
the world. In a remarkable turn of events, Apple bought NeXT, I
retuned to Apple, and the technology we developed at NeXT is at the
heart of Apple's current renaissance.

And Laurene and I have a wonderful family together.

I'm pretty sure none of this would have happened if I hadn't been
fired from Apple. It was awful tasting medicine, but I guess the
patient needed it.

Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don't lose faith.
I'm convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I
loved what I did. You've got to find what you love. And that is as
true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to
fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly
satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way
to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it
yet, keep looking. Don't settle. As with all matters of the heart,
you'll know when you find it.

And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as
the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it.

Don't settle.

My third story is about death.

When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: "If you live
each day as if it was your last, someday you'll most certainly be
right." It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33
years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked
myself: "If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do
what I am about to do today?" And whenever the answer has been "No"
for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.

Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've
ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because
almost everything - all external expectations, all pride, all fear
of embarrassment or failure - these things just fall away in the
face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering
that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap
of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There
is no reason not to follow your heart.

About a year ago I was diagnosed with cancer. I had a scan at 7:30
in the morning, and it clearly showed a tumor on my pancreas. I
didn't even know what a pancreas was. The doctors told me this was
almost certainly a type of cancer that is incurable, and that I
should expect to live no longer than three to six months. My doctor
advised me to go home and get my affairs in order, which is doctor's
code for prepare to die. It means to try to tell your kids
everything you thought you'd have the next 10 years to tell them in
just a few months. It means to make sure everything is buttoned up
so that it will be as easy as possible for your family. It means to
say your goodbyes.

I lived with that diagnosis all day. Later that evening I had a
biopsy, where they stuck an endoscope down my throat, through my
stomach and into my intestines, put a needle into my pancreas and
got a few cells from the tumor. I was sedated, but my wife, who was
there, told me that when they viewed the cells under a microscope
the doctors started crying because it turned out to be a very rare
form of pancreatic cancer that is curable with surgery. I had the
surgery and I'm fine now.

This was the closest I've been to facing death, and I hope it's the
closest I get for a few more decades. Having lived through it, I can
now say this to you with a bit more certainty than when death was a
useful but purely intellectual concept: No one wants to die. Even
people who want to go to heaven don't want to die to get there. And
yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped
it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the
single best invention of Life. It is Life's change agent. It clears
out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but
someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and
be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.

Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life.
Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of
other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of other's opinions
drown out your own inner voice. And, most important, have the
courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already
know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

When I was young, there was an amazing publication called The Whole
Earth Catalog, which was one of the bibles of my generation. It was
created by a fellow named Stewart Brand not far from here in Menlo
Park, and he brought it to life with his poetic touch.

This was in the late 1960's, before personal computers and desktop
publishing, so it was all made with typewriters, scissors, and
Polaroid cameras. It was sort of like Google in paperback form, 35
years before Google came along: it was idealistic, and overflowing
with neat tools and great notions.

Stewart and his team put out several issues of The Whole Earth
Catalog, and then when it had run its course, they put out a final
issue. It was the mid-1970s, and I was your age. On the back cover
of their final issue was a photograph of an early morning country
road, the kind you might find yourself hitchhiking on if you were so
adventurous. Beneath it were the words: "Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish."
It was their farewell message as they signed off. Stay Hungry. Stay
Foolish. And I have always wished that for myself. And now, as you
graduate to begin anew, I wish that for you.

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish. Thank you all very much. [Discuss]

July 02, 2005

2GB and 4GB iPod Shuffles and 8GB Mini (coming soon)

Solaris 10 and Sun Dual Core Fire V40z Review
(one step up from Linux box)

Hackers get Lumines working off Memory Stick (no sound though)

Nintendo Revolution Might be Launched After PS3 (oh oh someone lied)

Sony Shuffle Competitor Review (good but no cigar)

BCG Podcast Research Report (strategy consulting at work)

Xbox 360 Graphics Screenshot (yes it really does look that good)

NYTimes on the Treo 650 (kind of a late for a review no?)

Broadband provider marketshare chart (Comcast is number 1, egads)

Antec P180 PC Case Review (I hear quiet is good)

iTunes Phone Coming (Bweek says so)

Yahoo My Web 2.0 Search (social searching)

Microsoft to Buy Gator (evil co + evil spyware, fun)

Google Video Copyright Violations (this was bound to happen)