August 30, 2005

Microsoft Buys VOIP Company

After the release of Google Talk, Microsoft quickly responded by buying Teleo today. Teleo is a company based in San Francisco that focuses on VOIP technology. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed, although the company is known to have only 25 employees and was founded in 2003. Microsoft plans to integrate the VOIP technology to beef up MSN Messenger's capabilities. Furthermore the company will offer a "call the local business" feature for local web searches through the consumer's PC.

With the advent of Google Talk, Skype, MSN, and Yahoo Messenger, it sure doesn't look likely any VOIP vendor will make any money soon. Vonage's pending IPO may start another wave of revenue and no profit business models made famous by the dot.coms in the late 1990s.

EA to Offer Videogame Downloading and Valve Finds Xbox 360 a Pain

In the latest Computer Gaming World magazine, there are some tidbits on Valve. Supposedly the Gabe Newell, the head of Valve, finds the Xbox 360 a pain because they can't rely on everyone having a hard-drive due to the 2 SKU launch. Also it reveals that EA is working on a Steam clone to offer downloading games as a future option to customers. That can't be good for videogame retailers.

The biggest bit in there however is that EA intends to follow in Valve’s footsteps with the Steam content delivery system. Valve head honcho also said that Windows Vista will not make videogame development any easier and said that the Xbox 360 is a pain because developers 'can't rely on a hard drive'.

August 29, 2005

Link Roundup

Mac OS Through the Years (screenshot timeline of the Mac OS)
Amiga Emulation Guide (Amiga 500 ruled the 80s)
World of Warcraft Hits 1M in North America (wowser)
Compactflash Roundup Review (which 1GB card rules the land)
Coffee as Health Food (it fights cancer)
Verizon FIOS Installation Story (detailed)
Hurricane Katrina Satellite Photo (bird's eye view)

August 28, 2005

Linux HTPC How-to Guide - PC PVRs

Here's a comprehensive guide to building a Linux-based PC PVR / HTPC.

The purpose of the Linux HTPC Howto is to help make building your own media computer (AKA HTPC) easier and to help you do it right the first time. The guide takes all the complicated details (made simple) of every area you need to know for things such as hardware, software, copy protection, connections, displays, inputs, and much more so you the user know the what's, why's and how's yourself

Nintendo Gameboy Micro Reviews

The reviews are out and generally they are positive except for the $100 price-tag.

The graphics appeared much crisper and I had no trouble keeping up with the action on the small screen, it didn’t feel cramped at all. Again, this was only after about five minutes of game play, so my feelings may change in the next week or two. - Kotaku

The GB Micro's chief feature is its incredible size, but the thing that we find almost more impressive is its screen. Vastly superior to the GBA SP screen, the brightness on this tiny doodad is even brighter than the Nintendo DS, and approaching the luminance of the PSP. (You can even crank up the brightness way past the default setting.) Although it was a little too foggy today in San Francisco to test it properly, the GB Micro didn't seem to wash out in sunlight. The system does seem to have a somewhat strict sweet spot in its viewing angle, shifting colors if you hold it at the wrong angle as LCDs tend to do, but it is only a slight shift unless you are drastically off-angle (and being this small, it's hard to view it that far off-axis and still play.) - IGN

How to Make BitTorrent Faster and Speedup Downloads

This is primarily for Linksys routers, but it may work for many others. I can confirm this works like a charm, my average download speeds are up 10X since I tried these settings.

1) Go to in your browser.
2) Use admin for your password to login.
3) Go to Port Range Forwarding section.
4) Put in the port range 6881-6889 for Torrent files
5) Check both protocol boxes TCP and UDP and then the Enable setting.
6) Put the forward address as your internal IP address (Start -> Run and type in ipconfig to find yours)
7) Enter all your changes and you are good to go.

August 27, 2005

30 Billion Windows OS Crashes a Year

John C. Dvorak used Bill Gates' own data to calculate that Windows crashes 30 billion times a year. Can you imagine what the equals in lost productivity?

Gates said that 5 percent of Windows machines crash, on average, twice daily. Put another way, this means that 10 percent of Windows machines crash every day, or any given machine will crash about three times a month. Since Bill is a math junkie, I have to assume this number is real and based on something other than a phone survey. Those reports seem like the obvious source.

Sirius Announces Wearable Satellite Radio

"Sirius Satellite Radio has announced the debut of its first wearable satellite radio, the Sirius S50, which allows users to capture and store up to 50 hours of Sirius content, or a mix of Sirius programming and MP3/WMA files, enabling listening on the go. The Sirius S50 is scheduled to be available at retail this October.

The Sirius S50 measures just 1.9 by 3.9 inches and 0.7 inches thick, and includes a full color display, sleek black exterior and voice-assisted channel navigation.

When attached to a home dock, car dock or executive docking station, the Sirius S50 provides easy access to live content, and captures and stores both scheduled and unscheduled Sirius programming. This feature allows users to listen to Sirius' unique programming anywhere.

The Sirius S50 stores content in a variety of formats for listening on the go, including "My Sirius Channels," "My Sirius Songs," "Scheduled Record," and "My Playlists." - PhysOrg

August 25, 2005

Benq DW1640 DVD Burner Review by Arogan

New Egg Product Link - about the usual $50

This is my new favorite burner.

- firmware and utilities
- solid burn.
- i've flashed with the latest firmware BSKB (easy windows based flash)
- Install qsuite. This is a pretty nifty collection of utilities that does a ton of stuff including book type setttings, overspeed, and solid burn. I noticed on my 1620 my Fuji TY would burn at 16x but the 1640 would only burn at 8x. I believe it's because the 1620 has overspeed on by default and the 1640 has it off. Just use qsuite and turn overspeed on, and now I'm happily burning everything at 16X. It's nice to have the option.
- fast quality burns. I've only burned 3 so far but scans look clean.
- Does get warmer than the NEC.
- NO riplock. I've ripped a dvd at over 13X. This is faster than my dedicated liteon dvd reader.

Solid burn, built in overspeed (no hacked firmware needed), no riplock. What more could you want. [Discuss]

Wikipedia HIts 700,000 Articles

The best encyclopedia in the world has passed 700,000 articles. Congrats to Wikipedia. You rock.

$500 Myth TV PVR Box Project

Some guy is building a PC PVR system for $500. Here are his goals:

1.) Build the fastest, most stable, most brand-name, best looking, $500 PC I can muster.
2.) Hardware testing phase (nope, way too lazy)
3.) Super tune a stage 1 gentoo install.
4.) Compile a million small things, optimize, optimize, optimize.
5.) Edit some files, load some modules, press some buttons.
6.) Plug into TV, get some nachos, wait for chicks to beat down door.

Doom Movie Trailer

The trailer for Doom is out from Universal Studios. The movie comes out on October 21st. Is it me or do the special effects in Doom 3 look better than this movie? It looks pretty weak.

Vonage IPO Coming Soon

According to sources, Vonage plans to IPO and raise $600 million. The company may also explore a potential merger instead of an IPO. The leader bankers are Deutsche Bank, Citigroup, and UBS.

Vonage Holdings Corp. , the largest provider of phone services over the Internet to retail customers, is planning to file for an initial public offering to raise between $400 million and $600 million, according to sources familiar with the matter. Edison, N.J.-based Vonage is expected to file an offering memorandum with the Securities and Exchange Commission within the next six weeks, sources said. The company declined to comment.

TIvo Conference Call Tidbits

* TiVo finally broke even, and made a small profit after 7 years of losses. They are hopeful that the following quarters will continue the trend and show increasing profits instead of losses

* There are teams of TiVo and Comcast engineers working on a combo TiVo/Comcast unit that is set for release sometime in 2006. They referenced this several times as a big future subscriber growth path.

* TiVo is moving to a cellphone plan business model (something I've heard suggested since TiVo was released) where you get a TiVo for practically free if you sign a long-term service contract of a year or two. They believe a major sticking point with new customers is the cost of the box.

* TiVo's goals for the next year or so is to drive for more subscriptions and start working with advertising within the TiVo service, which they believe could be profitable once their subscriber base grows.

* It costs TiVo about $200 to acquire each new customer.

* They spent a significant amount of time comparing themselves to Sirius Radio, which has half of TiVo's subscriber base at a similar monthly subscription price, but Sirius has a $9 billion marketcap while TiVo's is only around $500 million. It sounded like a bit of sour grapes on the part of TiVo executives. :)

* While DirecTV is moving away from TiVo to the NDS R15 box, they are ordering up loads of R10 combo DirecTV/TiVo units for their existing promotions. DirecTV is still using the TiVo to drive new subscriptions even though their own product is coming soon, and this was a bit perplexing for TiVo execs.

* They are in dicussions with multiple cable operators, trying to use free TiVos as a way to lure new cable customers away from satellite. They talked about the Cebridge deal and a new Cablevision deal and said more deals are in the works. - PVRBlog

No PS2 Price Cut this Christmas

Well with retailers gouging consumers with $700 Xbox 360 forced bundles, I don't think Sony has to worry too much.

Sony is not planning to drop the price of its PlayStation 2 in the coming months in order to compete with Microsoft's new console, the Xbox 360. The head of Sony Computer Entertainment in the UK, Ray Maguire, told the BBC News website there would no price cut before Christmas.

Chinese Government to limit Online Gaming to 3 Hours at a Time

I can't believe they are actually going to go through with this 3 hours at a time limitation for Chinese online games. Surreal that the system will actually punish users for playing more than 3 hours by hurting the in-game character.

The Chinese Government unveiled a new system Tuesday to prevent individuals from playing online games for more than three consecutive hours, which must be installed for every online game in the country. "This timing mechanism can prevent young people from becoming addicted to online games," Kou Xiaowei, Deputy Director of the Audiovisual and Internet Publication Department of the General Administration of Press and Publication (GAPP), said during a press conference.

August 24, 2005

Disney Hated Toy Story

Disney executive almost nipped Toy Story in the bud before it was even released. Those geniuses! Pixar would eventually leave Disney animation in the dust and do over $3 billion in revenue and win over 16 Academy awards. They really like me, they really like me!

But Monday, as Pixar celebrated the 10th anniversary of "Toy Story,'' its debut film, the creative minds behind the studio for the first time told the real story of how they almost lost the picture. Not only did the big-money folks at Disney who bankrolled the film not understand the vision of "Toy Story,'' they hated it so much they shut down production.

Disney, which was bankrolling the project, peppered the young animators with notes and suggestions. The story was too juvenile, the higher-ups said, and the characters had to be edgier. Afraid to trust themselves, Lasseter and his crew tried to follow all the directions. It was, nearly everyone agrees, a train wreck. Disney hated the movie and the idea -- and shut it down.

Military Working on Star Wars Laser

Another expensive military project we don't need when there are body armor and bullets shortages on the ground in Iraq.

A U.S. Pentagon invention could make air combat resemble a battle scene from the movie 'Star Wars' with a laser so small it can fit on a fighter jet, yet powerful enough to knock down an enemy missile in flight. The High Energy Laser Area Defense System (HELLADS), being designed by the Pentagon's central research and development agency, will weigh just 750 kg (1,650 lb) and measures the size of a large fridge. = Jerks

Subject: Your Order(s)
Date: August 24, 2005 7:59:21 PM EDT

Hello from

We regret to inform you that an error caused "Nintendogs - Chihuahua"
to be displayed at an incorrect price.

In accordance with our posted policies on pricing, we are unable to
offer this item for the incorrectly posted price. Therefore, we have
cancelled your order for this item. At any given time, despite our
best efforts, a small number of the millions of items on our site may
be mispriced. We do, however, verify prices as part of our shipping
procedures. If we discover that an item's correct price is higher than
our stated price, we will, at our discretion, either contact you for
instructions before shipping or cancel your order and notify you of
such cancellation. This policy is posted in the Help section and is
accessible through numerous other areas of our web site.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

We value your business and hope that you will give us a chance to
serve you again in the future.


Customer Service Department

Intel Launches new VIIV Brand for Media Center PCs

Intel is going to market the VIIV brand for media center PCs. Now Intell will help computer makers advertise the PVR functionality of PCs - recording and playing back TV shows.

The Santa Clara, Calif.-based chip giant is expected to unfurl a new branding campaign on Wednesday aimed at making it easier for home consumers to identify PCs geared for recording TV shows or playing music. The campaign will revolve around PCs with the VIIV sticker. The VIIV sticker, similar in function to the Centrino sticker found on Intel-powered mobile notebooks, will essentially inform consumers that the processor, chipset and software found on a particular PC have been tested together and can perform distinct tasks, such as recording TV shows, without much of a hitch, according to sources.

Toshiba Quits DVD Talks with Sony

It's a official, we're going to have another useless video format war like Beta vs. VHS.

Japanese electronic maker Toshiba has given up on negotiations with a rival camp led by Sony Corp (NYSE:SNE - news). to agree on a unified format for next-generation DVDs, a media report said late Tuesday. Toshiba Corp. leads a group of companies that support the HD DVD format and has been in talks with a Sony-led bloc, which backs the Blu-ray format.

Sony PSP 2.0 Firmware is Out

You should download this quick, so you can browse the web on your Sony PSP. BTW, it will kill the ability to run homebrew software and emulators off your memory stick. Egads.

The version 2.0 firmware is available for download now by users of North American PSPs, and patches a number of security holes as well as adding web browsing functions, wireless picture sharing, desktop backgrounds and new supported media formats. Crucially, the update closes the loophole in earlier versions of the software which allowed users to copy pirated games to memory sticks and play them from there, as well as playing emulators and other homebrew applications.

Google Talk Instant Messenger

The much awaited Google Talk instant messenger was launched today. I tried it and what is my review? "Eh!" It's very rudimentary and simple with not many features at all. The best part is it doesn't have annoying ads like AOL. However it doesn't have a lot of features either. Group chat? Nope. Emotion icons? Nope. But as we know from the past, this is just version 1.0 beta for Google. They will add more stuff in the future.

August 23, 2005

Yahoo and Verizon with $14.95 DSL Offering

Can you say AOL is dead? 50% of users still use dial-up, but now with DSL for $14.95 a month, why not switch? Verizon and SBC are trying to lock in users onto their system before they switch to cable modems and VOIP phone service.

Verizon Communications is launching its co-branded Yahoo portal this week along with a new, lower-speed DSL service for $14.95 a month. Verizon also announced on Tuesday that it would offer a new consumer DSL service for $14.95 with a download speed of 768kbps and upload speed of 128kbps. The new service, which is available to customers using Yahoo's, Verizon's or MSN's portal, is available only to customers signing a one-year contract. And where the company is building Fios, its fiber-to-the-home network, Verizon offers that service in three distinct tiers: 5mbps download/2mbps upload for $39.95; 15mbps download/2mbps upload for $49.95; and 30mbps download/5mbps upload for $199.95.

Nintendogs Selling Out like Grand Theft Auto

Is Nintendogs the new Grand Theft Auto? Go figure. [Discuss]

Intel Launches to CPU Design to Come Out in 2006

Looks like Intel is focusing design efforts on the Pentium M model. It's strange to have companies more worried about performance per watt than raw speed.

Intel Corp. showed off three microprocessors Tuesday based on a next-generation technology that tries to maximize performance and power efficiency while minimizing electricity bills. The new chips, expected to become available in the second half of 2006, are partly based on the design in the Pentium M -- the processor component of the company's popular Centrino technology for notebook computers. It also will share some features with the Pentium 4 underlying architecture.

Metroid Prime Hunters Delayed to 2006

Nintendo is known for delays, but fans are still disappointed that Metroid Prime Hunters for the DS has been pushed out to next year, just like Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. The company risks looking old generation as by that time Xbox 360 and PS3 may be in full swing.

Halo Movie in 2007

According to Variety, Fox and Universal finalized their deal with Microsoft. Microsoft will get paid $5 million and 10% of gross receipts. The script was approved and is written by Alex Garland. The movie is slated to open in 2007. All hail the Master Chief.

August 22, 2005

Nintendo Videgame Release Date List

Nintendo Will Unleash a Pack of 170 New Games This Fall and an Earth-Shaking Accessory

REDMOND, Wash., Aug. 22 /PRNewswire/ -- Today's launch of Nintendogs(TM)
marks the end of the summer doldrums and the beginning of the "dog days" of
summer. The three versions of the cool puppy simulation, made exclusively for
Nintendo DS(TM), hit stores today and herald the beginning of a hit parade of
games for all three of Nintendo's video game systems through the end of the

Game Boy(R) Micro ships to stores on Sept. 19 at an MSRP of just $99.99,
multiple Mario(TM) sports titles are on their way for Nintendo GameCube(TM)
and Nintendo DS now has a MSRP of $129.99, with an earth-shaking new Nintendo
DS Rumble Pak(TM) on its way for Metroid(R) Prime Pinball. But it's the
Nintendogs pups that will serve as the lead dogs.

"You can only let sleeping dogs lie for so long, and these Nintendogs are
ready to play," says George Harrison, Nintendo of America's senior vice
president of marketing and corporate communications. "Nintendo players will
be howling with delight all the way through the holidays with Nintendogs and
the depth and breadth of games available on all Nintendo systems."
Nintendo fans clearly will have plenty of titles to choose from. Between
now and the end of the year, players will play soccer, tennis and baseball
with Mario, explore a mystery in Trace Memory(TM) and fight battles in both
Battalion Wars(TM) and Advance Wars(R): Dual Strike. On Oct. 24, Metroid
Prime Pinball will come bundled with the new DS Rumble Pak accessory. The DS
Rumble Pak fits into the Game Boy(R) Advance slot of the DS and lets players
feel all the rolling, bumping and tilting that are the hallmarks of great
pinball games. In total, nearly 170 games are on their way for Nintendo
systems. Here's a list of games currently scheduled to launch for Nintendo
platforms through the holidays. [Read More]

Note that titles and dates are subject to

Nintendo DS:
Aug. 22: Advance Wars: Dual Strike from Nintendo
Aug. 22: Nintendogs from Nintendo
Aug. 23: Pac n' Roll from Namco
August: Yu-Gi-Oh! Nightmare Troubadour from Konami
Sept. 19: Tak: The Great Juju Challenge from THQ
Sept. 26: Trace Memory from Nintendo
September: Lunar Dragon Song from Ubisoft
September: Ultimate Spider-Man from Activision
Oct. 17: Scooby-Doo! Unmasked from THQ
Oct. 24: Metroid Prime Pinball from Nintendo
Oct. 24: Real Time Conflict: Shogun Empires from Namco
October: Marvel Nemesis: Rise of the Imperfects from Electronic Arts
October: Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney from Capcom
October: Texas Hold 'Em from Majesco
October: Trauma Center: Under the Knife from Atlus
Nov. 1: SeaWorld: Shamu's Big Adventure from Activision
Nov. 1: The Incredibles: Rise of the Underminer from THQ
Nov. 7: SpongeBob SquarePants: The Yellow Avenger from THQ
Nov. 9: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire from Electronic Arts
Nov. 14: Mario Kart DS from Nintendo
Nov. 28: Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time from Nintendo
November: Disney's Kim Possible: Kimmunicator from Buena Vista Games
November: Dragon Ball Z: Supersonic Warriors 2 from Atari
November: King Kong from Ubisoft
November: Mega Man Battle Network 5: Double Team from Capcom
November: Need for Speed: Most Wanted from Electronic Arts
November: Pac-Man World 3 from Namco
November: SBK: Snowboard Kids DS from Atlus
November: Sonic Rush from Sega
November: The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe from Buena Vista Games
November: Viewtiful Joe Double Trouble from Capcom
Dec. 5: Animal Crossing from Nintendo
December: Golden Nugget Casino from Majesco
December: Ultimate Card Games from Telegames
Fall: ATV: Quad Frenzy from Majesco
Fall: Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow from Konami
Fall: Dig Dug Digging Strike from Namco
Fall: Dragon Booster from Konami
Fall: Frogger: Helmet Chaos from Konami
Fall: Shrek SuperSlam from Activision
Fall: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 3: Mutant Nightmare from Konami
Fall: The Sims 2 from Electronic Arts
Fall: Tony Hawk (working title) from Activision
Fall: Zoo Tycoon from THQ
Q4: Blades of Thunder 2 from Summitsoft
Q4: Mini RC Rally from Summitsoft
Q4: Texas Hold 'Em Poker Pack from Summitsoft
January: Age of Empires: The Age of Kings from Majesco
January: Bust-A-Move from Majesco
January: Guilty Gear Dust Strikers from Majesco
Q1 2006: Dynasty Warriors (working title) from Koei
Q1 2006: Metroid Prime Hunters from Nintendo
Q1 2006: Ultimate Brain Games from Telegames
Early 2006: Nicktoons Unite! from THQ

Game Boy Advance/Game Boy Micro:
Aug. 29: Dynasty Warriors Advance from Nintendo
Aug. 30: Namco Museum 50th Anniversary from Namco
August: Gumby vs. the Astrobots from Namco
August: Lizzie McGuire 3: Homecoming Havoc from Buena Vista Games
August: Shaman King: Master of Spirits 2 from Konami
Sept. 6: One Piece from Bandai
Sept. 6: Power Rangers: Space Patrol Delta from THQ
Sept. 6: Rebelstar Tactical Command from Namco
Sept. 12: Scooby-Doo! Unmasked from THQ
Sept. 13: Lego Bionicle: Maze of Shadows from THQ
Sept. 19: DK: King of Swing from Nintendo
Sept. 19: Tak: The Great Juju Challenge from THQ
Sept. 22: Whac-A-Mole from Activision
September: Disney's Cinderella: Magical Dreams from Buena Vista Games
September: Rayman Classics from Ubisoft
September: The Berenstain Bears and the Spooky Old Tree from Namco
September: Ultimate Arcade Games from Telegames
September: Ultimate Spider-Man from Activision
Q3: Barbie and the Magic of Pegasus from Vivendi
Q3: Barbie SuperPack from Vivendi
Oct. 4: Bratz: Rock Angelz from THQ
Oct. 4: everGirl ... your way to play! from THQ
Oct. 4: Ford Racing 3 from Destination
Oct. 4: SRS: Street Racing Syndicate from Destination
Oct. 17: Fairly OddParents: Clash with the Anti-World from THQ
Oct. 18: Chicken Shoot 1 from Destination
Oct. 18: Snood 2: On Vacation from Destination
Oct. 18: TY 3 -- The Tasmanian Tiger from Activision
Oct. 26: Nicktoons Unite! from THQ
October: Backyard Skateboarding 2006 from Atari
October: Disney's Chicken Little from Buena Vista Games
October: Driv3r from Atari
October: Duel Masters: Shadow of the Code from Atari
October: Gunstar Super Heroes from Sega
October: Mega Man Zero 4 from Capcom
October: Teen Titans from Majesco
October: Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas: The Pumpkin King from Buena Vista Games
October: Ultimate Puzzle Games from Telegames
October: Zatch Bell! from Bandai
Nov. 1: SeaWorld: Shamu's Big Adventure from Activision
Nov. 1: The Incredibles: Rise of the Underminer from THQ
Nov. 7: Donkey Kong Country 3 from Nintendo
Nov. 8: Chicken Shoot 2 from Destination
Nov. 8: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire from Electronic Arts
November: Atomic Betty from Namco
November: Disney's The Proud Family from Buena Vista Games
November: King Kong from Ubisoft
November: Need for Speed: Most Wanted from Electronic Arts
November: The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe from Buena Vista Games
November: Totally Spies from Atari
November: Trollz: Hair Affair from Ubisoft
Dec. 5: Dr. Mario / Puzzle League from Nintendo
Dec. 5: Mario Tennis: Power Tour from Nintendo
Fall: Shrek SuperSlam from Activision
Fall: SpongeBob SquarePants: Lights, Camera, PANTS! from THQ
Fall: The Sims 2 from Electronic Arts
Fall: Tony Hawk (working title) from Activision
Fall: Winx Club from Konami
Holiday 2005: Backyard Football 2006 from Atari
Q4: Ed, Edd and Eddy: The MisEdventures from Midway

Nintendo GameCube:
Aug. 23: The Incredible Hulk 3: Ultimate Destruction from Vivendi
Aug. 29: Mario Superstar Baseball from Nintendo
Aug. 29: WWE Day of Reckoning 2 from THQ
Aug. 30: Namco Museum 50th Anniversary from Namco
Sept. 6: One Piece Grand Battle from Bandai
Sept. 12: Scooby Doo! Unmasked from THQ
Sept. 19: Battalion Wars from Nintendo
Sept. 19: Tak: The Great Juju Challenge from THQ
Sept. 26: NBA Live '06 from Electronic Arts
Sept. 30: Cabela's Outdoor Adventures 2006 from Activision
September: Marvel Nemesis: Rise of the Imperfects from Electronic Arts
September: Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Lockdown from Ubisoft
September: Ultimate Spider-Man from Activision
Oct. 3: Pokemon XD: Gale of Darkness from Nintendo
Oct. 4: Bratz: Rock Angelz from THQ
Oct. 17: Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance from Nintendo
Oct. 18: Greg Hastings' Tournament Paintball MAX'D from Activision
Oct. 18: TY 3 -- The Tasmanian Tiger from Activision
Oct. 19: SpongeBob SquarePants: Lights, Camera, PANTS! from THQ
Oct. 24: Dance Dance Revolution: Mario Mix from Nintendo
Oct. 26: Nicktoons Unite! from THQ
October: Disney's Chicken Little from Buena Vista Games
October: Zatch Bell from Bandai
Nov. 1: Cabela's Dangerous Hunts from Activision
Nov. 1: SeaWorld: Shamu's Big Adventure from Activision
Nov. 1: The Incredibles: Rise of the Underminer from THQ
Nov. 7: Mario Party 7 from Nintendo
Nov. 8: American Chopper Full Throttle from Activision
Nov. 8: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire from Electronic Arts
November: Karaoke Revolution Party from Konami
November: King Kong from Ubisoft
November: Mega Man X Collection from Capcom
November: Need for Speed: Most Wanted from Electronic Arts
November: Pac-Man World 3 from Namco
November: Shadow the Hedgehog from Sega
November: The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe
from Buena Vista Games
November: Viewtiful Joe Red Hot Rumble from Capcom
Dec. 5: Super Mario Strikers from Nintendo
Fall: Call of Duty: Big Red One from Activision
Fall: Frogger: Ancient Shadow from Konami
Fall: James Bond: From Russia With Love from Electronic Arts
Fall: Shrek SuperSlam from Activision
Fall: Spartan: Total Warrior from Sega
Fall: SSX On Tour from Electronic Arts
Fall: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 3: Mutant Nightmare from Konami
Fall: The Sims 2 from Electronic Arts
Fall: Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2006 from Electronic Arts
Fall: Tony Hawk's American Wasteland from Activision
Fall: X-Men Legends II: Rise of the Apocalypse from Activision
Q4: Ed, Edd and Eddy: The MisEdventures from Midway
Q4: Midway Arcade Treasures 3 from Midway
February: Teen Titans from Majesco
TBD: True Crime: New Crime New City from Activision

The worldwide leader and innovator in the creation of interactive
entertainment, Nintendo Co., Ltd., of Kyoto, Japan, manufactures and markets
hardware and software for its popular home and portable video game systems.
Each year, hundreds of all-new titles for the best-selling Game Boy(R) Advance
SP, Nintendo DS(TM) and Nintendo GameCube(TM) systems extend Nintendo's vast
game library and continue the tradition of delivering a rich, diverse mix of
quality video games for players of all ages. Since the release of its first
home video game system in 1983, Nintendo has sold more than 2 billion video
games and more than 353 million hardware units globally, creating enduring
industry icons such as Mario(TM) and Donkey Kong(R) and launching popular
culture franchise phenomena such as Metroid(R), Zelda(TM) and Pokemon(R). A
wholly owned subsidiary, Nintendo of America Inc., based in Redmond, Wash.,
serves as headquarters for Nintendo's operations in the Western Hemisphere.

Supermodel Photoshopping

Ever wonder why girls in the magazines look so good? Check out these before and after photos, just hover your cursor over the picture to see what it looked liked before Photoshopping. Amazing isn't it?

HP iPaq HW6515 Review

Reviews are trickling out for the new HP iPaq mobile messenger and they are generally pretty positive.

Surprisingly, the hw6515 operates on the Windows Mobile 2003 Second Edition, and is said to be incompatible with the new (better and more energy-efficient) Windows Mobile 5.0. With its 312MHz Intel PXA270 processor, we experienced some lag when multitasking between several programs, especially when the GPS receiver was activated. In additional, the iPaq's underpowered 1,200mAh Lithium-ion battery made it good for running only one day on normal usage.

August 21, 2005

Nintendo Revolution Controller Kudos

The maker of the Black and White, Fable, The Movies, and Populous, the gaming legend Peter Molyneux of Lionhead Studios was asked about the Revolution's controller at a recent gaming convention. He said:

"There is a line at the end of the book 'Game Over' and it is: 'Never underestimate Nintendo'. That is all I can say about the controller."

Never count Nintendo out. Even I doubted the big N after the Nintendo DS was first released, now I'm a believer and salivate for Nintendogs.

iPod Mini with 4GB of Flash on its Way

It's readily apparent now that a 4GB flash memory version of the iPod Mini is on its way. This lets iPod users have a screen and the durability of flash vs. hard-drives, which means you can jog with it and not worry about breakage even if you drop it.

With demand for its popular iPod music player booming, Apple Computer Inc. plans to buy as much as 40 percent of the NAND flash output of Samsung Electronics Co. in the second half of this year, according to market research firm iSuppi Corp. (El Segundo, Calif.).

As Apple moves from a hard disk-based iPod to a flash-based iPod Mini player at the 4-GByte capacity, the switch could leave other NAND customers scrambling for supply, the market research company said.

In a report issued Friday (Aug. 19th), iSuppli memory analyst Nam Hyung Kim said sources told him that Samsung has offered Apple “extremely low prices on its Nand parts” in order to convince Apple to switch from HDD storage to NAND memory for the 4-GByte-density iPod.

Nintendogs for $14.99 Pre-order

Get the Nintendo smash hit for only $14.99 if you pre-order today from Target. That's over 57% off. Perfect for your young kid or wife who never played videogames before.

August 20, 2005

The Nintendo Strategy

A former Nintendo PR employee nails why Nintendo does what they do. Makes total sense now. I think. Thanks Chittagong for you thoughts.

The post he wrote follows:

Nintendo's new strategy - why we shouldn't hope for "PSP killers" and "PS3 killers" #1 Nintendo is taking a completely different strategic path from the competition. In fact, I believe Dyack is genuine here:

Q: The official PR line of why your company and Nintendo discontinued your relationship was "business is business", is that all there really is to it?

Dyack: You know, I spoke with Matt from IGN about it, but at the end of the day, Nintendo is going down a strategic path where we believe they want to make smaller, simpler games. But Silicon Knights is not built for smaller, simpler games. We love those guys but as much as we tried to come to a half-way point to make a Silicon Knights game that fits within a strategy that Nintendo wants, we just really couldn’t do it. So it’s really strategic differences. The industry is massive, so we both could be right, but at the end of the day, we have to take the company in directions that we think will be successful for us, and that is the bottom line. So it’s pretty straight forward.

Many would love to see Nintendo create a kick ass Game Boy with a PSP quality screen and super processor, and a full next generation home entertainment system that would beat PS3. This isn't the path of profitability for Nintendo, however - I believe.

They might be on the wrong path for fanboys wishing to see them humiliate Sony on traditional turf, but they are on the correct path for the shareholders.

My interpretation of Nintendo's strategic thinking is:

Nintendo has realized that in the high-spec hardware race the
- margins on hardware are incredibly small to negative
- first-party games are huge, 10-20M USD risks every time
- taking in account HW margin and 1st party risk, lifetime platform profitability will be achieved only by market leader
- Nintendo hasn't got in traditional terms an edge on Sony, so why waste cash trying like MS

With two resourceful companies fighting for number one spot, the market profitability will be destroyed. The following means will be used:
- Hardware pricing below profitability
- Cuts in third-party margins
- Excessive marketing campaigns

Nintendo DS is a manifestation of Nintendo's thinking - an affordable device that plays simple yet fun games, with low-spec components and day one profitability on HW.

Nintendo's development and 2nd party management resources are very limited but extremely talented. Nintendo can maximize the benefit of them by using them to do a multitude of smaller projects. Nintendo DS software (in Japan) has shown the most astounding shift we've seen in 10 years towards entirely new types of content - simpler, shorter, more accessible titles. Key examples of very recent franchises are:
- Elektroplankton
- Nintendogs
- Brain Training for Adults
- Made in Wario
- Polarium
- Daikasso! Band Brothers
- Another Code
- Simple DS

Nintendo realizes that within the people who buy simple and fun devices there is some, albeit limited, appreciation for deeper and more immersive games. Hence, Nintendo keeps on bringing out a limited amount of big scale blockbusters, such as Zelda and Metroid.

Nintendo has been experimenting on online distribution and DRM with iQue for some while. These learnings will be leveraged on Revolution and the back catalog.

Everything we know about Revolution shows that it follows the DS example of innovating through simpler games and intuitive controls. Key factors for Revolution are
- Day 1 profitability on hardware due to lower spec components
- Deliver bare acceptable minimum to minimize cost, as with no HD
- Innovate on interface to create new types of games, the "revolution"
- Very easily accessible hardware that is easy to fire up for short gaming sessions

Nintendo's rhetoric has been for a long time that "games have become too complex" and "gamers have gotten bored". They key here, I believe, is that Nintendo believes that it cannot have a competitive edge on complex games in a big scale - their development pipeline doesn't scale to 10-20 games per year, nor does their 2nd party management capability.

The conclusions I would make at this point is that

- Expect difference between Revolution and PS3 / Xbox 360 reflect difference between PSP and DS
- Nintendo will not be doing high end multimedia devices
- Nintendo will not be doing "PSP killers" or "PS3 killers"
- Nintendo will do simple and affordable devices
- Microsoft and Sony will compete traditional market to zero profitability
- Nintendo will make a lot of money

The only things I can quite fit into my theory are

- online gaming
- Play-Yan and DVD compatibility
Source: Gaming Age Forum

Quake 3 1.32 Souce Code

For you aspiring 3D first person shooter programmers, here's the source code of Quake 3. iD software has always be on the fore front of helping us learn how to program better.

August 17, 2005

Microsoft Sets Xbox 360 Pricing

Widely rumored now finally confirmed. Microsoft is going to release two SKUs of the Xbox 360. The first one will cost $399.99 and come with 20GB hard-drive, wireless controller, headset, and remote control. The second one will cost $299.99 and come with a wired controller, but no hard-drive. Also the lower SKU will not be HD ready out of the box.

Pricing for accessories is $50 for wireless controller, $100 for 20GB hard-drive (rip-off), $20 for head-set, and $20 for custom face plates. Basically Microsoft is saying you probably should pay $400 for their next gen console, unless you like getting ripped off later.

August 15, 2005

Another ATI Delay

Next generation graphic cards from ATI were delayed again. Now they are looking at a September/October launch. Is it me or does this remeind you have Nvidia's NV30 launch disaster?

ATI’s CEO, Dave Orton, saying that they had initially hoped for an early summer release but it will now be late summer, it is blatantly obvious that it has been delayed. In a recent investors Q&A session ATI’s Senior Vice President of the PC Business Unit, Rick Bergman, on the subject of R520 said "We had hoped to have that product in the June timeframe, but unfortunately due to a variety of design issues it has moved out to the September / October timeframe for launch". This is more or less in-line with the late summer launch previously mentioned by Dave Orton.

July NPD Sales Down 9%

July videogame sales were down 9% year over year. Surprises on the upside was the Halo 2 multi-player pack which sold over 100,000 units.

July sales dropped nine per cent to $317 million - which also represents a fall of some 18 per cent from the previous month - and underperformed the estimates of most analysts by a few percentage points. The best selling title in the period was EA's NCAA Football 2006, which sold over 950,000 units and led a nine per cent rise in EA's sell-through for the month, while other games selling well during the month included Activision's Fantastic Four, THQ's Destroy All Humans and Nintendo's Pokemon Emerald.

John Carmack Loves Xbox 360

The leader of iD software is always good for quality content during his speeches at Quakecon. This year he extols the virtues of Xbox 360 saying has recently moved his primary development efforts to the console.

The quintessential PC game programmer then dropped a bit of a bombshell by announcing that he had recently moved his primary development efforts over to the Xbox 360, and that he expected to continue development there for the next six months—although the PC version of id Software's next game will still be released first. One of his reasons for the move to Xbox 360 for development, Carmack said, was the headache of driver issues on the PC platform.

Flickr for Videos

The site of this week is YouTube, which is basically a Flickr for videos. The resolution of the videos that are hosted isn't that great, but it's enough to get the general gist of the video across to the user. Bandwidth costs must still be killer.

August 14, 2005

The Big O Advertising Campaign and the Exotic Dancer

I've always wondered about's TV advertising campaign "the Big O". It was pretty racy, now we know why. If this site is accurate, the marketing department is run by an ex-exotic dancer. Who would of thunk it?

Is the Stormy Simon who is a Senior Vice President of woman described by Patrick Byrne as “our secret weapon” and “my chief of staff”--the same "Stormy Simon" who was described in court documents (from a murder trial in which she was a witness) as “an exotic dancer”?

So in this latest round of high-stakes poker by Doctor Patrick Byrne, you can put your money on the CEO who apparently entrusted his company’s marketing campaign to a former “exotic dancer.”

August 13, 2005

Microsoft to Get iPod Royalty?

Microsoft may get a royalty for every Apple iPod sold due to patent wars. I hate patent wars, especially when companies just try to patent everything just to protect themselves.

Apple Computer may be forced to pay royalties to Microsoft for every iPod it sells after it emerged that Bill Gates's software giant beat Steve Jobs' firm in the race to file a crucial patent on technology used in the popular portable music players. The total bill could run into hundreds of millions of dollars.

Creative Zen Vision Review

The Creative Zen Vision was hyped to be the video iPod hardware we all wanted. It looks like it was not meant to be as the device has trouble with fast action animation and does NOT play movies at the high resolution mode of 640x480. That's too bad. The MP3 sound quality and picture slideshow features are good, but you're not buying this for that.

The Creative Zen Vision is a very nice all-around portable media option. Music playback is awesome, some of the best you'll find anywhere. The video playback is decent, though we'd have liked to have seen 640x480 support. The TV-output is great and a major plus for anyone who wants to make use of it. Add in FM radio support, microphone recording and whatever else and the thing is definitely feature-packed.

Geeks Smell and New World of Warcraft Game

CNN says geeks smell a LOT at gaming conferences. Also Blizzard is slated to announce a WOW game or expansions at their Blizzcon conference.

"We're going to be showing off a new product we haven't announced yet," said Wang. (And for those thinking it's the long-rumored unveiling of "Diablo 3" or "Starcraft 2," get ready for a letdown. Wang said the announcement will be linked to "World of Warcraft".)

Nintendogs Good for You?

Nintendo is going out there say their new Nintendogs virtual dog simulator for the Nintendo DS is good for people.

The DS based "game" has caused a bit of a stir in Japan and is due to hit the UK on October 7th. Relationship psychologist Susan Quilliam claims that the virtual puppy can not only help develop our attention spans and motor skills, but also improves our ability to solve problems and think creatively.

Quilliam found that the game teaches us how to bond and provides us with a sense of nurture and responsibility. But it can also have emotional effects, helping to raise self-esteem and develop strategic thinking. This is supported by research to coincide with the report, which reveals that nearly half of parents believe that owning a pet can teach the owner about a variety of emotions.

Nvidia GeForce 7800GT Review

ATI you have been served. Nvidia once again hits a homer with their new GT product.

As for the competition from ATI, well, realistically, it hasn't been introduced yet. The current Radeon lineup remains quite good, but it can't keep pace with the 7800 GT, let alone the GTX. We're still waiting for ATI's CrossFire dual-graphics platform to arrive, and perhaps some next-generation cards not long after that. Until that happens, the GeForce 7800 GT is clearly the card to have at the $400-ish price point.

August 11, 2005

Google CEO Uses Yahoo Email Address.. Still

If there is one lucky son of a gun in the world, it's Eric Schmidt. After driving Novell into the ground, he was hired by the Google co-founders to be their CEO. Why would the all powerful most hyped hottest IPO company of all-time the "do no evil" Google! hire someone who's main corporate experience was getting destroyed by Microsoft?

Speculation has it when the Google co-founders were looking for a CEO, they made the stipulation they still wanted complete control of the company. Of course any CEO worth its salt turned them down. I mean who wants to be a CEO who has no control and is a babysitter puppet figurehead? Which leaves us with Eric hitting the jackpot. Fortunately for Mr. Lucky Jackpot, his Google holdings at recent stock prices went over $4 billion in value.

Which leads us to this latest adventure in the world of Eric-dom. If you go to his homepage at, you will notice two things. First is the gall and pretention of using the Wall St. Journal cartoon of himself as his homepage picture. As if to say, look at me, I'm so important the Wall Street Journal, the capitalist journal of our time, has a cartoon of me.

Second you notice he is still using his frakking (Battlestar Galactica talk) Yahoo email address. Yes the Google CEO has his Yahoo email address on his homepage MONTHS after the release of Google's GMail product. Third, even though he loves Yahoo email you will notice the address on the bottom is Google's headquarters. Not smart. Yes he's richer than 6 billion people in the world, but still it's not too smart.

Yeah, I know what you're thinking. There is no way this is legit. Thanks to the wonders of the internet, I can go back using

Look at on May 1st, 2001. You will see a normal picture of himself on top at Networld+Interop conference and his Novell email address on the bottom. Unless some hacker was able to go back in time 4 years to create this spoofed website, I think it's pretty obvious Mr. Billionaire is the man behind this caper.

Just in case the current goes down (which I fully expect to happen within a day when Google finds out about this), you can check the archived site of September 18th, 2004 which has the same homepage as today's site.

For a "do no evil company", Mr Schmidt recently has lashed out against CNET for Google-ing his name and publishing an article. Google is now banishing CNET reporters as an organization for one year in retribution. Warning to Google, if you give me retribution and magically lower my AdSense revenue, I'll just switch to Yahoo. I'll go hooting and hollering for all the world to hear, so please don't hurt me. I promise to play nice to the "do no evil" company which is all powerful as has access to all my personal and private information.
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August 09, 2005

Kissing Hillary Clinton's Butt

So what do you when a Senator who wants to be President lashes out at your industry, calling for massive investigations that's going to cost tens of millions of dollars of our tax money? Host a fund-raiser for her, of course!

You can't make this crap up. I mean who cares about the health care crisis in this country? The housing bubble? Americans falling behind in the sciences and disastrous education system? When *oh my god* they might be scarred by Hot Coffee mod showing 2 crude animated cartoon looking characters having simulated sex in Grand Theft Auto?? The humanity!

Never mind the fact you actually have to go out of your way to download a patch to see the thing. Of course the kids who know how to patch games have no clue how to download porn and visit those kind of websites. No that would be too hard.

The videogames industry looks set to intensify its political lobbying activities in the USA, with ESA president Doug Lowenstein and EA's head of music Steve Schnur to co-host a fundraiser for outspoken industry critic Hillary Clinton. Lowenstein and Schnur are listed as co-hosts of a $1,000 per plate breakfast with the New York senator

Top 22 Games of All-time

Netjak has their top 22 games of all time list. These lists are always fun to read and debate. Sure is interesting to see Civilization at the bottom and Castlevania as #1, but to each his own.

August 08, 2005

Dell XPS 600 Nvidia SLI

Cnet - Due out in a few weeks, Dell's XPS 600 will have two PCI-Express x16 slots, each designed for Nvidia's latest GeForce 7800 GTX graphics card. The two cards link together to think as one. Starting at $3,099 with a Pentium 4 single core processor, Dell's XPS 600 will automatically ship with Windows XP Home and come with a 160GB hard drive, dual 16X DVD-ROM and 48X CD-RW drives and 512MB of advanced computer memory.

August 07, 2005

ATI Crossfire in September

Don't hold your breath.

available and we learned that ATI plans to have it ready sometime in September. You can take that as official information as it comes from an ATI official. The demo ran fine, and the system had two boards, connected with external cables so it is the real stuff.

Chinese Government is Weird

Let me get this straight. You ban online gaming for kids under 18, but you're gong to invest $1.8 billion in the industry?

The Chinese government has announced plans to spend 15 billion Yuan (around $1.8 billion) on encouraging the growth of its online game development industry - but strict new rules threaten to restrict access for under 18s.

Gizmondo Not Delayed?

Don't hold your breath, initial reviews from Max PC say it's a piece of crap anyway.

"We're moving the release date, which is why there hasn't been anything promotion-wise yet," said the representative. "The new release date is now October for the North American Gizmondo launch. More details will be released next week. There will be a launch event, but at present it's not been decided where or when."

Creative Zen Vision

Who need Apple Video iPods? Creative has their answer with the Zen Vision. 30GB of storage space, FM radio & recorder, Personal Organizer, Mp3 player, and movie player. 3.7 inch 640x480 resolution screen with 262,144 colors.

August 02, 2005

Xbox 360 for $299, $60 Games

Thanks to our good friends at Walmart, the Xbox 360 price was leaked. It will go for $299.99 and the games will be $59.99. Not too shabby, it could of been a lot worse.

Yahoo to Launch Blog Ad Network

Maybe they will pay more than Google. Price war!

Yahoo is planning to launch on Wednesday an ad network for small Web publishers intended to strengthen its hand against rival Google, a source familiar with the plan

Apple Mighty Mouse (2-button) Review

The world has come to an end. Apple actually released a two-button mouse.

Apple seems to have improved the mouse tracking speed! W00t! This to me is a serious reason to buy this mouse - I've had to install custom software for the other mice I've used to get a decent mouse speed, but I've got the settings not at full-speed and it's a nice comfortable acceleration. Maybe this isn't the case (something else might be going on instead) but I can see a noticable improvement over Apple's one-button mouse. All in all, if you're the type of person that always throws the included Apple mice into a corner and buys a two-button mouse instead, but don't like sullying up your beautiful Mac with third party hardware, this is the mouse to have. It looks awfully nice next to my Mac mini, I have to say.

Sony PSP Firmware 2.0 Coming August 12th

Firmware 2.0 with its Internet browser, enhanced audio/video playback, and photo sharing will be released on August 12th in the USA.

On August 12, gamers can update their PSPs by using the Network Update feature while connected to a wireless Internet connection, or download the file from the PSP Web site to their PCs (the Japanese version is 15.9MB) and transfer it to their handhelds.

Playstation 3 Details

This sucks, it looks like the PS3 won't come out here in the USA till later 2006 and most games will only support 720p resolution.

With gaming being an obvious part of Sony's format, PSM states most titles will run at a standard 720p visual resolution for High Definition TVs (HDTV). Although it still supports 1080i and 1080p high-definition modes, it's known that a majority of HDTVs do not yet support such a scale yet. Further to this, Sony wishes to allow players to drop the resolution to 480p (progressive scan) or 480i (the standard regular TVs currently use), if they so wish, leaving an option for users who do not have HDTVs. Sony's PlayStation 3 will be released in Japan next spring, with a launch in the West following later in 2006

August 01, 2005

ScummVM Emulator for Nintendo DS

With this ScummVM DS emulator, you can play the LucasArts classics like Secret of Monkey Island, Sam and Max, and Full Throttle on your Nintendo DS.

Radioshack Dumps Verizon for Cingular

Radioshack signed up a 10 year deal with Cingular and dumped "Can you hear me now?" Verizon. Radioshack has 5000 stores selling wireless phones.

In addition to creating the 10-year pact with Cingular, RadioShack extended its partnership with Sprint (NYSE: FON - news) for another 11 years. Cingular and Sprint will support RadioShack's efforts to expand retail distribution outside of the company's stores.

Taxing Internet Porn

Why do I get a feeling that these Democratic Senators are probably big porno hogs themselves? Someone please check the cookies on their computers.

A group of Democratic senators last week introduced a bill that would slap a 25 percent tax on Internet pornography sites to pay for a trust fund to "protect" children online.