October 28, 2006

Final Fantasy X - To Zanarkand (Piano Collections)

Our very own Arogan shows us his piano chops. - Discuss

October 18, 2006

World of Warcraft Destroys Lives

Luckily for me, I was able to beat the World of Warcraft addiction after 3 months. Some people aren't so lucky. - Link

Shining Apple Business

Apple just reported their quarterly results ending in September. The company sold an amazing 8.7 million iPods vs. 6.5 million a year ago. Mac computers had its best quarter in history with 1.6 million units sold. Notebooks were especially hot with 56% unit growth. Desktops only came in at 4% unit growth.

Yahoo Releases Internet Explorer 7

I don't how long this will last, but Yahoo has released their own customized version of the Internet Explorer 7 browser before Microsoft did. Yes you read that right. Strange world.

October 16, 2006

TheAngryIntern is Angry about Microsoft's Vista Licensing Policy

"The first user of the software may reassign the license to another device one time. If you reassign the license, that other device becomes the "licensed device," reads the license for Windows Vista Home Basic, Home Premium, Ultimate, and Business. In other words, once a retail copy of Vista is installed on a PC, it can be moved to another system only once. - Infoweek

I'm sorry, but this kinda pisses me off. It royally screws the Enthusiast crowd, like me, who tend to upgrade quite frequently as the technology changes. What are you guys' opinions on this? - Discuss

Retailer Console Margins

An anonymous CompUSA employee has posted what the retailer makes on various consoles. For the Xbox 360 Premium it is 3.9%, Xbox 360 Core 2.6%, and the Nintendo Wii is 5%. Nintendo is giving a higher profit margin to its retail partners, however if you actually do the math, selling an Xbox 360 gives you a higher absolute profit. - Source

October 15, 2006

Vista Upgrade Coupons Start October 26th

According to this article, most PC makers are going to offer Vista upgrade coupons starting on October 26th. Hardware companies hope this will let consumers buy now vs. waiting for Vista's consumer release early next year.

For instance, customers who buy PCs equipped with Windows XP Pro, Windows XP Pro Tablet PC Edition and Windows XP Pro x64 Edition are entitled to a free upgrade to Vista, sources said. Customers will be responsible for fulfillment costs.

Not all of the coupons will be for free upgrades. Customers who buy systems running Windows XP Home Edition can upgrade to Vista Home Basic Edition for a flat $49 fee and to the higher-end Windows Vista Home Premium Edition for a cost of $79.

The Windows Vista Technology Upgrade Program runs from Oct. 26, 2006, through March 15, 2007. Distributors are expected to have the new SKUs in house for system builders by Oct. 15.

October 12, 2006

Activision to Sell Games Via Steam

Following Majesco's lead, Activision has decided it wants to sell some old games on Valve's Steam digital distribution service. The list includes Call of Duty 2, Gun, Call of Duty, and Call of Duty United Offensive. Thanks to forcing most Half-Life 2 and Counterstrike gamers to use it, Steam now has 10 million customers. It's a great distribution channel because it doesn't require paying the retail store, packaging and CD media costs. The downside is you have to pay Valve a cut. The upside is a lot of these old games aren't selling much in the store anyway.

PC Best Selling Games for September 24-30

World of Warcraft is back on top with the WWII strategy game Company of Heroes a close second. Company of Heroes is a great game, if you're a RTS fan go and buy it immediately. Even if you aren't an RTS fan, you should at least try the demo.

1. World of Warcraft
2. Company of Heroes
3. The Sims 2: Glamour Life Stuff
4. The Sims 2
5. Lego Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy
6. SimCity 4: Deluxe Edition
7. Cars: Radiator Springs Adventure
8. Sims 2: Open for Business
9. Star Wars: Empire at War
10. Tiger Woods PGA Tour 06
Source: NPD

Treo 680 Specs and Details

Palm revealed the Treo 680 smart phone today. It has a 320x320 color screen, 64MB of memory, SD slot, and Bluetooth. Palm plans to sell it through 20 different carriers around the world, which will finally work because it is based on the GSM/GPRS/EDGE standard. Pricing is expected to be around $199 as the low-end model in the product lineup. I hope Palm is working on a RIMM Pearl or Motorola RAZR like device. The design and the archaic Palm OS is getting old. I mean it's basically the same device as my old Treo 600 from years ago. And no, selling in multiple ugly colors doesn't do it.

October 11, 2006

Playstation 3 $100 Cheaper than Expected?

Amazon has posted prices for the Playstation 3 that are $100 lower than what Sony announced earlier this year. Is this a simple typo or a pre-release of a marketing move by Sony to add fuel to the launch hype? According to the page, the low-end 20GB model will be $399 and the high-end model with Wi-Fi, flash card reader, and silver trim will be $499. Update: Amazon corrected the pricing to $499 and $599. Bastards!

Bank of America Offers Free Online Trades

Bank of America announced today it will offer 30 free trades a month for any customer that has more than $25,000 in deposits. This is is a game changer for the online brokerage industry. As many as one-third of the banks 50 million customers may be eligible. The company is initially offering this to its customers in the Northeast, but plans to roll it out to the rest of the country by February of 2007. Executives at E*Trade, Ameritrade, Schwab, and Fidelity are probably feeling like the mom and pop store did when Wal-mart came to town.

Sprint Raises SMS Fees

Spring has raised the fee for outgoing SMS text messages from 10c to 15c. Most wireless companies charge 10c. Data rates for non-unlimited data users has also gone up from 2c to 3c per kilobyte. Sprint Nextel hasn't been doing so great lately, so their answer is to raise prices. The good news is since this change is significant, Sprint users can get out of their contracts without paying the nasty early termination fees. Don't get too angry though, Sprint's unlimited data rate plans are still generally cheaper than their arch-nemesis Verizon. - Source

How to Ink a Comic Strip in Photoshop

Penny Arcade shows how to ink a drawing into the computer using Photoshop CS. Cool stuff for you art-types. Now only if I could draw or start a multi-billion dollar internet startup in 19 months to sell to Google, I would be happy.

Microsoft Flight Sim is Close to Real Life in Detail

It's amazing how far games how come in matching real life. The detail, color, and accuracy of Microsoft's Flight Simulator X is stunning. Although real life does have a better frame-rate. :) - Link

October 10, 2006

YouTube Founders Thank Users

Watch Chad and Steve thank their users for making them filthy rich. They both look pretty dorky. Filthy rich dorky though. Listen them to say the most compelling part of this deal is giving users better service and functionality. Yeah right! They are literally laughing in glee and giddy at the end of the video. Full of crap.

Gamestop Game Download Service

Gamestop has started a digital game downloading service. Feeling the pressure from Valve's STEAM and the upcoming service from Electronic Arts, the largest independent videogame retailer is striking back. The games selection is about 1000 titles of mostly budget and casual games. There is a handful of recent titles like Civilization IV. Unfortunately it doesn't look like the download version are any cheaper than their retail box counterparts.

October 09, 2006

Nvidia 8800GTX Specs

The new G80 series will launch in mid-November with the 8800GTX as its flagship.

-GPU will be clocked at 575mhz
-full DirectX 10 support with shader 4.0
-768MB of GDDR3 memory at 900 mhz
-128 unified shaders at 1350 mhz
-fill rate of 38.4 billion pixels/sec
-HDCP compliant with dual DVI and HDTV connectors - Source

Blackberry 8800 Specs

The latest and greatest Blackberry is slated to launch in Spring of 2007.

-full QWERTY keyboard
-106x60x15.5mm dimensions
-320x240 pixel display
-1.3 megapixel camera with 5x zoom and flash
-mini SD slot
-64 megabytes of internal memory
-Quad-band GSM with EDGE
-WiFi b/g and Bluetooth 2.0 (Source)

Google Buys YouTube for $1.65 Billion

Google has announced it is buying YouTube for $1.65 billion in stock. Let's talk about the big winners. The 3 founders will probably come away with about $200 million each, which isn't bad for 19 months of work. The 67 employees will also probably do fine. Sequoia Capital, which also funded Google btw, put in $11.5 million in two rounds (11/05 and 4/06). With a 30% stake, the VC firm will come out with a $483.5 million profit for less than a year of investing. Not too shabby indeed. Skype, YouTube, and the upcoming Facebook buy-out shows that the internet gold rush is alive and kicking. At what other period in history can entreprenuers literally make billions for less than 2 years of work? What a country!

October 07, 2006

MySpace is Older than You Think

According to comScore Media Metrix, 50% of MySpace users are 35 years or older. Only 30% of their users are under 25. MySpace had 56 million unique U.S. visitors in August. Facebook had 15 million, Xanga had 8 million, and Friendster had 1 million.

South Park World of Warcraft Episode

South Park WoW
Uploaded by SolTek

This is hilarious. So many inside jokes, I was on the floor laughing. [Discuss]

Battlefield 2142 Demo

The latest in the line of multi-player warfare mayhem is out. Link

Google in Talks to Buy Youtube for $1.6 Billion

The 29 year old and 28 year old co-founders started YouTube in February 2005. Less than two years laters, they are in serious discussion to sell their online video site for $1.6 billion. YouTube serves up 100 million videos daily and has 46% market share in the online video market as of this month. The company has 67 employees and was backed by Sequoia Capital with $11.5 million in venture capital. Yes these are the same guys that backed Google. Talk about a crazy return on investment in less than 2 years. Source