I'm Delta Taph (Real Name: David Wilkinson), and this is my mini-blog! I'm a 12-year old ProBlogger from Manchester, in England.
23rd December 2006
I've been busying myself getting ready for Christmas! Not long left now. I've also written a few posts for Profy which I'll post about here.
14th December 2006
Today I was on BBC Radio Manchester and the BBC website. That was really cool! I may also be doing a feature on sometime around Christmas. No word on timings or anything yet, but it sounds great! I felt it was easier to do than the Five Live interview last week, despite this one actually being live! It was great when the weather lady off TV came in. Kind of a shock too! But she's very nice, just like on TV. She told me I was 'brilliant'. Not complaining! =D
13th December 2006
I've just been busy gearing up for tomorrow morning's interview. I've got my notes and all written. I've been listening to Eamonn's shows, and he's really quite funny.
Are you a frequent flier? Fancy a change from Heathrow to New York and back again? Well, if you have 2,000,000 frequent fliers tickets from all those boring business trips, why not go to space? If Space isn't your things, you could always go to New York from London for 90,000 tickets. Alan Watts, a 51-year old electrician from Middlesex, England, was contacted by Virgin and asked if he'd like to go to space, and that's just what he's done. When contacted by the team behind the Virgin Galactic SpaceShip2, Mr Watts apparently thought that it was 'a prank phone call'. When interviewed, Mr Watts said 'This will be the most thrilling experience of my life. The closest I've ever been to space was on the Space Mountain ride in Florida'. Mr Watts will be amongst the first people to fly on Virgin's new passenger aircraft which launches in 2009. The $100,000 journey is the equivelant of flying to the US from Heathrow 1st class 40 times.
The world's first fully recyclable roadster has been entered into the LA Auto Show's Design Challenge. The roadster, dubbed 'Recy' is made entirely out of wood, alloys, glass and metal. As good as it looks, I've not been struck down by a thunderbolt from the sky yelling at me 'But this car now!', and in general that's the way most of the press are taking it. It's an impressive idea, yes, but how much would something like this cost? And in the event of a crash, wouldn't the wood just squash you? What are the airbags going to be made out of... Metal!?!? It was a good idea like I said, but I think that Mercedes Benz have lost it here.
For the first time ever, an external USB HD-DVD drive is being made available to the public. It's a power hungry beast though, and requires at least a single core Pentium 4 3.2Ghz processor or an AMD 64 X2 2.2Ghz to run properly with HD-DVD continuous playback. My laptop should do this nicely, but Sony will probably be releasing some 'accident' which means Sony PCs can't play HD-DVDs or something stupid like that. The HP HD100 requires either an HDMI cable or an HDCP compliant DVI-D cable if you want to use it's output on external sources. The HD-DVD Rom drive failed in testing to burn DVDs aswell, which was quite a big dissapointment. The HD100 is due by the end of the year, and goes to show that when HP aren't hiring private detectives to snoop on equally as nosy journalists, or busy taking over leading gaming PC manufactures, then they can produce some decent stuff. No price is available yet, but expect it to be anywhere in the region of £250 ($500) - £600 ($1200). Rather vague, I know, but it's the best guess we've got.
After many reports that buyers of Sony's BWU-100A finding that the software provided doesn't actually work and companies still not quite grasping the fact that people won't buy products that don't work, Sony have now released some software for their BWU-100A Blu-Ray drive that should hopefully allow it to now play Blu-Ray commercial discs, which afterall, is what you bought it for isn't it? That was one long sentence. But at least this new software seems to work, providing you have a compatible HDCP compliant graphics card (something I'm very much against, but the world seems to love). Cyberlink have also released an update for LG's Blu-Ray drives aswell, so now all of you (yes, all 5 of you), will now have fully-functionable drives (hopefully). But people, this is Sony. Take everything with a pinch of salt. HD-DVD seems to be faring better again in the HD war, but you all know I'd say that anyway, because I've been back HD-DVD since the start. But seriously, who needs a gazillion gigabytes of storage on a single disc? The only advantage, would be to slap your whole Lord Of The Rings collection onto it.
Popular amongst many top computer enthusiasts magazines, websites and clans, the internationally famous Stanford University run program, Folding@Home has now got a revmap so it can harness the power of your GPU too! This is extremely good news for both those folders with powerful Radeon X19500XTXs and the University. Hopefully using this technology, the process of folding will be greatly sped up. To give you some example of how fast the increase will be, look at these figures. Intel Core 2 Duo = 25 Gigaflops. ATI Radeon X1900XTX = 375 Gigaflops. And as Vijay Pande rightly says, this is '20 to 40 times more power'. The people over at Stanford University have been very busy recently optimizing the algorithms in the GPU software, which is forecasted to give up to "10 to 15 times" more speed on top of the already amazing GPU performance figures. Currently, only the Radeon X1900 line works, next to have support added will be the X1950 and then the old X1800. No exact date on the release of support for the X1950/1800 but we're hoping it will be some time soon. And again, the world is showing that ATI just is better than Nvidia. You starting to agree with me now?
At Globa-Tech, we're now officialy partners with S.E.O.N.I in exchange for their great advertising campaigns. Hopefully this will bring many new visitors to Globa-Tech, and I hope you'll enjoy your stay. In return for their outstanding services, we'll be displaying the banner you see on the left and linking to S.E.O.N.I as a thankyou.
In other site related news, the guys over at OkWii.com obviously read my site, as they've linked to it here! TheGadgetBlog.com have actually stolen one of our articles entirely! With my permission though, of course. They've also had the courtesy to link back to us at the end. Here's the link to TheGadgetBlog.com's article.
This is great news for the site, but to tell you the truth, I had no idea how many of you were reading it! I knew I was getting a few thousand a week, but this is great! Shame I can't make any money of AdSense though. Nevermind though!
The PP01 is perfect for those of you who want to complete a customized house. Having already seen customized fridges and TVs, the PP01 makes a pleasant change. The PP01 can pick up standard FM Radio and DAB (Digital Radio) and resembles nothing more than a brightly coloured Nintendo DS Lite when closed. The flat, in-built speakers (residing behind the picture) will strike you down with awe. They manage to deliver outstanding quality sound behind a lovely photo finnish. The batteries last easily for 18 hours of continuous playback, and new reports suggest that 20 hours is even possible. Kudos to the team behind this radio from Intempo. You've really done an outstanding job here.
This is just a concept, but Ben-Q seem to be on the right lines here after their Black Box concept was greeted with great enthusiasm in the mobile community. Skashphone, Ubergizmo and many others have already written their own takes on the concept, all with a similar message. 'We love this phone.' And that being about the only thing they can agree on. The black will be a nice touch for the style conscious amongst you and business minded alike. Featuring a touch screen (as pictured), the Black Box clearly has many features. Video playback, contacts list, camera capability, calculator, texting (on a touchscreen? This will be interesting!), phone calls, timer, clock, battery life reader are just a few features that purportedly are bouncing around with the Black Box. If it's ever released, of course more things will be available, so don't worry. That said, research shows that 70% of Brits don't know 50% of the features in their gadgets. That's a rather shameful figure, for a supposedly developing nation. Ben-Q might be facing trouble of their own launching this phone anyway, after Ben-Q Mobile in Germany today announced that they were bankrupt. A great start to a great concept. Stay tuned for more on the upcoming Black Box.
This is a godsend for all of you who hate converting files on to your PSP and find it a right pain. Now, with the Neuros MPEG-4 Video Recorder 2, this is made easy. The £90 ($140) device comes with an open-source piece of software, 'The Core Pocket Media Player' for easy playing your newly converted videos on Windows Mobile/Windows CE/Palm OS devices. The NVR2 really is good. You can enjoy high-quality video (WQVGA - 368x208) on your PC and great quality music videos (QVGA - 320x240) on your beloved iPod. For the PSP, just insert your memory card into one of the provided slots and off you go! No PC required. For the iPod, a little more work is required. Providing that you have a sutable card reader on your PC and iTunes installed, this shouldn't be that tricky. Just drag the files off the card and into iTunes! Ripping movies from DVDs is simple. Hook up the NVR2 to one of the line-out ports on your DVD player, insert a memory card into the NVR2 and use the NVR2's on-screen menu to begin recording. For playback on the PSP, just take out the memory stick and insert it into the PSP, and your all set! I told you it was simple. I'm giving the NVR2 a 9 out of 10. A very good product all round. Available from Amazon or ThinkGeek.
Creative on a stick. Or should I have phrased it, creative is a stick? These brilliantly thought up USB Sticks are great looking and will make your boss laugh, because you promised to 'Bring in that work on a USB stick.' I doubt your boss would have thought you meant it so literally. The USB Sticks from Oooms show innovation at it's best. Measuring 2cm wide, by 2cm thick and standing proudly at 10cm tall, the USB sticks do the job nicely. Coming in sizes of 256MB, 512MB and 1GB, they're not the biggest, but there's no denying that they look great! The sticks ship in a nicely presented white gift box and prices range from €45 for the 256MB model, €60 for the 512MB stick, and €70 for the 1GB gizmo. If you're looking for best value for money, the 1GB is the obvious option, and is just enough to cater for the average persons needs. Check out these nifty logs over at their product page.
I'm a big fan of small, compact gadgets. But isn't this going a bit too far? This new phone, the Xun Chi 138 is without a doubt, the world's smallest phone. Measuring 670mm and wighing less than 55 grams, the 138 can be seen online here. Barely bigger than a battery and smaller than a bluetooth headset, the phone has no room for buttons so instead has a cool touchscreen and stylus. The phone has an impressive (for it's size) 1.3 megapixel camera and MP3 player built-in. It's a great design and the pictures are great! I'm hoping to see this phone in action soon, but reports suggest that this phone might not ever make it out of Asia. Pitty. I know of some guys in jail who could do with some phones. Perhaps they should've waited. Then they wouldn't have had to shove their phones up their butts then, and wouldn't have been publicy humiliated worldwide. If this phone ever does go English though, be guaranteed that we'll be bringing you one of the first reviews out there.
No word on pricing or a released date yet for anywhere in the world. Looks like a great phone. It's be ashame if it never made it.
This amazing piece of kit has come up completely out of the blue. There are some things that you could just never get rid of and this mad little device is one of them. It was a bit of a shock when it arrived this morning, as I had absolutely no idea what the thing was at all. But thanks to the instruction booklet I quickly worked it out. You didn't guess it, so don't pretend you did. It was a Desktop Music Composer. It turned out it was the winner ofthe Oppenheim Toy Award, and after trying it out myself, I can whole heartedly agree with that title. How does this work? Well, it's so simple, a baby could do it. This is often an expression used when things are fairly easy, but when I say this, I mean this. It's rather amazing really. Basically, you pick up these different coloured, different shaped things and then you start messing about with them, plopping them onto the white surface. When they're on the surface, the composer will create one of 1159 different sounds and lighting effects. It might be soothing, cosmic, deep base, keyboard, strings, or percussion. The cuboid can be programmed with up to five seconds of sound. The base unit can attatch to any device that has a mini-jack audio output. This includes iPods and lets you thouroughly mash up your favourite tune. Adjust the tempo, the pitch of a podcast perhaps, or make a piece echo scarily. It's completely up to you. The music is accompanied with some very nice lights which seem to be synced to keep in time. It's a bargain, the Desktop Music Composer, costing only $60 (£30) from Hammacher Schlemmer. See for yourself.
Apple are still filing their patents thick and fast. So are Microsoft, but Apple's are just so much more interesting. Apple has been granted tonnes of patents by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office recently, including one for a 'computing device with dynamic ornamental appearance.' Aka. a colour changing device.
The patent in question, number 7,113,196 is for a 'computing device with dynamic ornamental appearance.' It pertains to electronic devices capable of dynamically changing their ornamental or decorative appearance. In other words, it's like a changable iPod case, except forget sleeves, the device change colour itself! At one point, it was rumored that Apple was working on an iMac (or some sort of Mac) that could actually change colors at the user’s wish. This patent apparently involves such a device, meaning that the possibilty of a colour changing Mac should not be completely ruled out. Of course, this might just be to do with ambient lighting on an LCD screen. Who knows. Here’s an abstract from the highly interesting patent. 'The electronic devices generally include an illuminable housing. The illuminable housing, which includes at least one wall configured for the passage of light, is configured to enclose, cover and protect a light arrangement as well as functional components of the electronic device. The light arrangement, which generally includes one or more light sources, is configured to produce light for transmission through the light passing wall(s) of the illuminable housing. The transmitted light illuminates the wall(s) thus giving the wall a new appearance. That is, the transmitted light effectively alters the ornamental or decorative appearance of the electronic device. In most cases, the light is controlled so as to produce a light effect having specific characteristics or attributes. As such, the electronic device may be configured to provide additional feedback to the user of the electronic device and to give users the ability to personalize or change the look of their electronic device on an on-going basis. That is, a housing of the electronic device is active rather than passive, i.e., the housing has the ability to adapt and change. For example, the light may be used to exhibit a housing behavior that reflects the desires or moods of the user, that reflects inputs or outputs for the electronic device, or that reacts to tasks or events associated with operation of the electronic device.' This patent was first filed ages back on February 13, 2002. Its inventor is Duncan Kerr.
Info Rings. Are they the future? I'll let you decide, so first of all, I'll explain what they are. Info Rings are ordinary rings, except in them, they store data about the wearer. Birthday, hometown, friends, pets, hobbies, blogs, or whatever you want people to know about you. When people shake hands, these Info Rings will exchange data from one to the other, letting you 'friend' know what you want them to know about you. These things are so much better than ID cards and business cards. These rings look good, are smart and are would be alot easier to take around with you than a card. Cards get lost. Rings? Well, the worst that can happen is they'll fall down the plug hole. This is still a concept, but has been greeted with much enthusiasm for those who know about it. I'm all for it. This could most certainly be the future. You tell me what you think.
Is the Vaio C really just a Vaio Colour? Well, no. It's not. Don't think Sony is getting weak in it's laptop line by launching Blush Pink, Spring Green, Seashell White, Expresso Black and Urban Grey themed laptops. The white is beautiful. Trust me, I've seen a concept model. The black is also stunning. It's a deep, real black, not like them greyish looking Xbox 360 Fake Black photos we saw. The grey is nice, kind of silvery really, the green is also nice and compliments the Windows XP Olive Green Theme well. The pink is... Well, pink. Not something I'd want, but my sister tells me that she'd love one, if she could afford it. That said, it's a great value notebook, costing only $1350 (£680). What makes the laptop worth it though, is the fact that in manages to pack quite a hefty punch with it's Intel Core Duo 1.66Ghz Processor. Sporting only a 13.3" screen and not very souped up graphics capabilities, I wasn't impressed with gaming possibilitiies. Come on Sony! You can do better. The laptops supposedly hit the market in October, but with Sony's recent massive recall of batteries, delays are imminent.
WHAT THE HELL!?!?!? This is just wrong. Voodoo has been snapped up by HP for an undisclosed sum of cash. We're guessing it's a hell of a lot. This is almost an exact mirror of what happened when Alienware were bought by Dell. That didn't lead to good things for the game world other than Dell continuing to extend it's XPS gaming line of desktops. Could HP thinking about launching gaming PCs? We hope not. We'd love Voodoo, possibly our favourite custom-built PC manufacturer to keep on going as long as they can. They do quality cases, cutting, stenciling, etching, modding etc. all to a great standard. It would be a shame if they adopted HP's generally lousy tactics. This is a shock to the gaming world that will no doubt take a few days to sink in. I'm very peeved off, I hope we learn to cope with inevitable corporate takeovers for future.
Well... After joining the other 5 manufacturers who've issued recalls, Sony have made a HUGE announcement which affects the machine I'm typing on now. Ars Technica reports. 'Sony has finally bitten the bullet and issued a worldwide recall of all Sony-manufactured lithium-ion batteries used in notebook computers. Earlier in the day, Lenovo/IBM joined the ranks of Dell, Apple, and Toshiba in issuing a recall for all Sony batteries that ship with their notebooks. The Tokyo-based electronics manufacturer says that the recall is to address concerns regarding "recent overheating incidents," and that they are working with the Consumer Product Safety Commission to formulate a plan for the recall. They cite microscopic metal particles that enter the battery during the manufacturing process as the reason for the battery failures. The particles, they say, come into contact with other parts of the battery cell, causing the battery to short-circuit. Sony claims that these batteries would normally just power off, but in "rare cases" may overheat and cause flames. Indeed, flames have been the result of many Sony battery malfunctions in the news lately, most recently from a Lenovo ThinkPad bursting into flames at a Los Angeles airport just last week. Such dramatic incidents happening in airports or—even worse—in-flight have passengers and airlines getting antsy, with three airlines now putting wide restrictions on laptop use due to the recalls. Virgin Atlantic recently eased their restrictions on Dell and Apple laptops to just those whose batteries fit the list.' This is scary stuff in scary times. I'm not sending in my battery... NEVER! They shall not take my pride and joy from me... Never! Ever!
These baby's are probably the reason that Bill Gates never made it through university. At least it would have been if he'd been connected to the internet back then. He's about 90-something now, isn't he? Anyway, as I was saying, these tastebud-tingling sensations are so addictive that the whole jar can be gone without you registering what you're doing. Possibly one of the nicest mint flavoured caffeine sweets available, Rocket Chocolate never ceases to keep you alert and watchful of your surrounding. Perfect for staying up all night and working out why your ship's Hyperdrive seems to have failed you whilst your in the middle of a Klingon war zone. Each individually wrapped rocket contains 150mg of caffeine! 50 mints in a pack. $25. Get them from ThinkGeek now!
Well, that makes 5. Apple, Panasonic, Toshiba, Dell and now Lenovo/IBM. Remember how we reported that a IBM laptop exploded at an airport? Well, this is the cause for the recall. Better safe than sorry I suppose. Anyway, after the other days article about the laptop on fire, with two whole seconds of video footage, you should be afraid. I have nothing to say on the recall other than 'In your face IBM!' and that being about it. Hopefully the problem will be sorted out soon, and I'm glad to see that it's wiped the smirk of Lenovo's faces. If you're concerned your bettery might be affected by the 526,000 strong recall, you should contact your supplier and the Lenovo website for more info.
For bloggers, being slim and fit isn't exactly a top priority. I however do sports regulary to keep healthy, and was delighted to hear about the Geek-a-cycle from Slimgeek.com. This will hopefully encourage many of you to start exercising. Although this product is undeniably weird, it might be cool enough to sneak into some pro-bloggers workplaces (aka. Their desk/bed/table) It wouldn't fit under mine anyway, but as I said, I get enough exercise. This could be a godsend or a nightmare for many bloggers who all seem divided on this issue. SHould we be allowed to stuff our faces with caffeine-high products and mints all day or should we cycle? I'd love to try the cycling option, but I'm not willing to spend $350 for something that might only prove to annoy me.
FP3. I didn't understand it for a minute, then the cornyness dawned upon me. Horrified, I turned to write this post. Fisherprice have launched a 128MB $70 MP3 player named the FP3 (Fisher Price 3 - that's the corny bit I only just got). With rather simple, huge control buttons (as pictured) the FP3 player is quarely aimed at mouronic two year olds. Supposedly 'shock-proof' we highly doubt it will live up to the durability of the Samsung YP-K5. That was 'druability' in a nutshell - check it out here to see what I mean by that! Anyhow, the FP3 has a mini-LCD which does nothing useful, and a has a built-in volume limiting thingy for parents who can't stand any more 'barney the purple dinosaur and his 121 friends climed up a mountain last summers eve who met a big green dinosaur' junk. No kid in their right mind would want to be seen walking round with this gadget. Good-grief, NO! Trust me, I'd know... Trust Fisher Price. Pft! Yeah! Don't buy this... Please. These people give us all a bad name. MP3's should not be abused in this manner. Truly disgraceful.
If you're a bartender, be expecting your redundancy letter any day. The fabulous Richard from Gizmodo has got round to taking some great footage of the electronic bartender that can whip up a tequila better than a human (apparently). I wonder if it can salt the rim of my Margarita? See the video for yourself and decide if your going to tip off your local barman too.
And that's that. Rather impressive. Thanks again to Richard from Gizmodo.
There's a billiantly informative article over at GWN. The article consists of a whole load of pictures of Nintendo's new Nunchuck controller that will be used in conjunction with the Nintendo Wii. Nintendo also confirmed earlier this week that the Opera browser used on the Nintendo Wii would remain free until June 2007. The Press Release stated that, 'From July 2007, users can purchase the Opera browser using Wii points. Wii points are credits users can buy that allow them to add new games or the Opera browser to their Wii consoles. The number of Wii points required to purchase Opera has not yet been announced. With support for Flash and AJAX-based content such as Google maps, Wii users will benefit from a feature-rich Internet experience that is uniquely customized for the Wii. Opera for Wii boasts the same complete standards support as the Opera 9 Desktop browser, and includes the added functionality of “Zoom” and “Bookmarks”. The Wii remote control will also be an integral part of browsing, allowing users to intuitively control the Web with their Wii remotes.'
We've had some uber stylish fridges, some rather nice microwaves and even some phones which would look the part in your kitchen. Complete that feeling with this unique, magnetised, knife holding piece of art. Not strictly technology, no, but I thought you ought to be aware that if you were planning on buying the afformentioned, then this would look good too. It comes in red or black and comes with the five knives pictured. This includes a very sharp 8" bread knife and anoth 8" chef knife. There's also a well crafted 3.5" pearer, a 5" general purpose knife and an 8" carver. Works a treat cutting up that fat, plump turkey on Christmas day! Highly reccomended, even if it isn't technology. Get it from our favourite store ever, ThinkGeek, here.
Bluetooth is in, and for once, the 'in thing' is actually useful. Make the most of it by buying these great Fossil Bluetooth Watches! The four watches available range in price from $200 to $382 and will be available sometime in October (Except MBW-100 which is sometime in Q4). The top-end model has caller ID, music controls and comes in two colours. Stainless steel is standard on the high-end model, but black will be available for a limited period (the MBW-100 being the top-end model). The watch has a small OLED screen and just screams James Bond at passers by, without making you look like a tux-wearing, gun-wielding dare devil. The MBW-100 is jointly made by Sony Erricson aswell, so nothing can be going wrong there. Unless of course, they decide to start using some rather explosive batteries.
Asus has once again confirmed it's multi-format presence in the next-gen format war. After previously developing a rather hopeful looking Blu-Ray 5.25" drive for computers, they are now launching their Asus W2P Series laptops which will feature HD-DVD drives. Although not the first of their kind (having previously seen Acer and Toshiba launch HD-DVD laptops), this will go down well with many consumers, with Asus being one of the biggest names in laptop manufacturing. The laptop itself measures 395mm x 290mm x 35mm and weighs in at 3.3kg, meaning that it's not exactly the portable king of the world, but it's features make up for this. Sporting an Intel Core 2 Duo, an HDMI port, 2GB DDR2 533Mhz (Shame it couldn't have been better. Would have been nice to see a 1066Mhz model!) and a Mobility Radeon X1700 Graphics Chip, the PC would make a very good Media Centre PC. No word on pricing yet, but from what we've seen, expect the fans to be fairly noisy.
The latest iTunes launch, aside from fixing lots of bugs, has brought with it a fresh torent of rumours, mainly from the iPhone fanbase. It seems that either Apple is planning on launching their iPhone soon, or that some iTunes supporting mobile phone will be coming out sometime in the neat future. When disecting the code, the following lines are of particular interest to iPhone dreamers. '"4301.022" = " ^0 was not copied because the video format is not supported by the mobile phone ^1 ."; "4301.043" = "Are you sure you want to manually manage music and videos on your mobile phone? You will need to manually eject your mobile phone before it can be disconnected safely."; "4301.045" = "Are you sure you do not want to manually manage music and videos on your mobile phone? All existing content on the mobile phone ^1 will be replaced with content from your iTunes library.";' So as you can see, it's no wonder that people are getting giddy. Apple always make red herrings though, so don't get your hopes up.
There is are no words to describe the goings on at X06 today other than wild and feverish. Everyone is trying to get their say, and companies, journalists and developers alike are fighting for the limelight. For starters, Ensemble Studios are making a Halo RTS (Not Halo 3, that's still Bungie.) Peter Jackson (Wingnut Interactive... What the hell of a name is that?) is to be making a new Halo game (Not the RTS or Halo 3), and that the Halo film is making positive progress. It will be interesting to see if the now 5 Halo games + the film will end up clashing with their storylines, or if Microsoft and Bungie will be making sure that they all stay true to the plot or not.
Also, the HD-DVD Drive has been officialy, (And we mean officialy 100% now!) confirmed to be priced at $200 in the US. This doesn't mean that we'll be getting it at £100 though. But, the HD-DVD player comes with the Universal Remote and a copy of Peter Jackson's King Kong on HD-DVD. Think this is part of the same deal? It is. Life is so unfair! Good news for the 360 fanbase too! (This news will kill Sony fanboys though!) GTA IV: Episodes is to be a 360 exclusive along with Splinter Cell: Convicted and the long anticipated game BioShock is to be available on PC and Xbox 360 only. What's Sony got? Nothing, other than Metal Gear Solid 4. But some exclusive GTA content will get many gamers writhing in their seats. Seems like we now know who Rockstar is backing with their succesful Table Tennis launch for the 360 too! So, good news for 360 owners like myself! With Fable 2, Viva Pinata, Lost Planet, Alan Wake, Fifa '07, Forza Motorsports 2, Mass Effect, Fusion Frenzy and all these great sounding Halo titles lined up, it looks like we're in for quite a treating!
EDIT: After writing this article, I was inspired to go on and complete Halo 2 in legendary mode... again. I'm not rubbish gamer. Don't mess with the best, because you'll be messing with me. If anyone would like to challenge me on Xbox Live, feel free. I'll whoop you any day of the week.
Well... I'd be lying if I said that I didn't find this interesting. The new Buffalo Skype Certified keyboard looks like something that wouldn't look out of place on an intergalactic shuttle from something like the 'Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy'. What a classic remake. The dolphins singing at the beggining is brilliant! But this isn't a film reviews blog... Sorry. I'm straying from the point faster than ever.
Anyway, as I was saying, the new Buffalo Skype Certified keyboard has a neat looking built-in phone on the right hand side. Only if it wasn't corded, I would have already ordered one. Shame really, what with Bluetooth not exactly costing millions now-a-days aswell. Well at least the built-in speakers make up for this. The fact that it will only set you back $60 is great aswell. Still, I like wireless, and I'm sticking with the previously mentioned Kinsington Skype Desktop Loudspeaker Thing. That was even better, even if it did cost a bit more and I can't remeber the name. But I'm certainly not going to be buying a wired keyboard any time soon with all the great ones out there. Still, if you're short on desk space and don't mind the clutter of wires, this could be a great addition to your study or office.
I like pillows. I like iPods. So shouldn't there be an iPillow or something? Well thanks to the guys and gals over at KlearGear, now you too can have your very own iPod pillow. Measuring 16" and resembling nothing more than an iPod emblazened marshmallow, the iPillow packs in some nifty integrated speakers and has full MP3/CD Player/Computer compatibilty. Now you can lie in bed and listen to your iPod all night long. Only £9 ($18) too from KlearGear now! What a steal. I've ordered one! What did you expect me to do? Wait and listen to you guys ranting about how great they are?
Without further ado, let me wish Google a very happy 8th birthday! As you may, or may not know, this week is Google's birthday, so it's fitting that they should get a mention. Google plays a major part in day-to-day life, whether you use it directly or not. For example, you wouldn't even be reading this now if Google didn't exist, because Blogger is owned by... Google! To celebrate the occasion, if you visit the Google homepage, for today only, you'll notice a slightly different logo. A cake with five candles, some sprinkles and a cherry on top replaces the first 'O'. I think Google deserves a very happy birthday. Don't you? Afterall they give to us, they even provide incomes for alot of people. I make a bit of money myself, even if it is only 20 cent a day.
EDIT: It appears that Weblogs Inc. isn't always the place to go for 'accurate' news. They're claiming that it's Google's 7th birthday, not eight! Nevermind. 12 year olds often out smart big companies, mainly because they're not in such a rush to get the job done and write more posts.
The Chrysler Sebring has alot of fancy features. At the moment, I have personal reasons to hate this company, but when I see things like this, I can't help but love them! The Sebring in particular, with all of the fancy new things it incorporates. The latest addition to this already jam-packed full car is the cup-holder system. Rather than just leave your drink sitting there, on a summers day, you can chill your coke, or on a winters morning, warm up your coffee. With all of these snazzy features, the Sebring is aimed primarily at the busy businessman who uses his car regulary, but wants a fancy piece of kit too. The Sebring certianly delivers if these cool features are anything to go by.
The Black Xbox 360 rumours fail to cease, but at least we can silence a few of them in this latest post. The image above, which caused arguments and rumours in so many forums about it's validity has been confirmed by a Microsoft employee to be not a prototype, but just a developers version of the console, from before it's initial release. Just like that green Nintendo Wii dev kit that I showed you, it's unlikely ever to be made into mass-production. That's not to say Microsoft aren't preparing the launch of a black 360, with the end of x06 tomorrow, we'll know soon enough.
Logitech has released their second generation of cordless 3.5mm jack headphones. The Logitech FreePulse headphones weigh in at a minute 60 grams and sport Enhanced Bluetooth 2.0 Data Rate Wireless Technology! Both of these things are major plus points and the base clearly benefits from the new bluetooth technology, becoming much more realistic and powerful. An impressive 10 meter range means that I can still be chatting on Skype half way accross the room, whilst I can be doing what I like, tidying my room or preparing an essay. With an RRP of $100, the Logitech FreePulse should launch in Europe and the US next month.
More laptops catching fire left right and center, but one man wasn't prepared to let his data go down with him. The moment the man saw smoke spilling from the underneath of his computer, he quickly flipped it upside down and ripped out the battery pack. Making contact with his hand, the flaming battery must have burnt him fairly badly considering the man hurled the battery pack out of the nearest window, leaving it to explode in the middle of his company carpark. From the picture above, you can see that the laptop must have reached a high enough temperature to have succesfuly melt away at the interior of the computer. Here at Globa-Tech, we highly reccomend that you DO NOT attempt to remove a flaming battery, but at the end of the days, it's your typing fingers, not mine. This whole firey battery shirade has been going on for ages now, I'm just hoping that the ordeal will end soon. It can't be that long before a house is burnt down, can it? Click here for an amazing MP4 of what this happened once this laptop's battery had flown out the window. Rather horrific, I think you'd agree. Video and news via The Register.
We reported yesterday that it was quite likely that Sony wouldd be selling some of their games as high as $85 or even $100. But today, Sonystyle shunned these comments by stating quite clearly that the retail price for top games such as Call Of Duty 3 would be $60. The full list can be viewed here. Just goes to show that not all rumours are right, but you probably guessed that after all of the things that were to supposed to show up at the 'Showime!' event which never did. But, that's the world of technology. Unpredictable as ever! Activision also backed Sony today, claiming that they intended to retail their games at $60 too. Other developers may even go lower suggest some sources, but this is unconfirmed.
Voice Recognition (VR) is all the rage, and is possibly Microsoft's biggest and most important trump card in their upcoming Windows Vista Operating System. But Daewoo obviously think that VR is great too, with their new microwave. The microwave has a 95% accuracy and get's better at VR the more you talk to it. This would be a great addition to your uber modern kitchen, assuming you could afford it. No prices have been announced, but it would be foolish to expect it to be anything less than what you'd be willing to pay. Wouldn't it just be quicker and easier to press them little buttons anyway? I suppose it's useful if you're watching a film in the room adjacent. You could stick in the popcorn, sit back down and yell at your kitchen appliance '3 minutes, medium setting' and off it would chug. When it's finished, all you'd have to do would be yell 'Open the door' and walk over there. But on both occasions, if you're there anyway, what really is the point? Still, a great sounding product that I can't wait to get my hands on. Available early sometime in '07.
We've seen water cooled cases, water cooled GPUs (aka. Radeon X1900XTX Toxic - Benchmark Thrasher) and so many water cooled products recently, that we've started to take them for granted. But I feel I must give the Thai Bangkok airport some credit for what they've pulled out the bag here. A world-class airport with no air conditiong? You must be joking! Nope... But they've taken water-cooling to a whole new level, replacing traditional air conditioning with fancy new water-cooled floors which keep the temperature at a steady 70 degrees farenheight all the time. The option is alot more eco-friendly than air-conditioning thanks to the Co-Generation Plant system in place. So if you plan to fly to Bankkik any time soon, make sure it's the rather spectacular Suvarnabhumi airport. It opens later this week.
The new Bendi Backlit Keyboard, available from Gadget Box for $54 is a bargain and a super piece of kit. Even if the feel of the keys isn't great, the fact that you can roll it up and shove it in your pocket is undeniably cool, especially with the bright blue backlit keys. The lighting is powerful, if not a bit too much so, but at least it relieves your eyes from straining too much in dark conditions. Made from silicone and highly waterproof, this keyboard combines many great things in one affordable package. All in all, a brilliant keyboard, but the blue lighting can get slightly overpowering after a bit of entensive typing. Get it from Gadget Box here.
If you're concerned about the threat of bird-flu, then you will be delighted to hear about Panasonic's new Bird-Flu killer. Just like an ordinary air filter (or so it seems), Panasonic's new Super-Alleru Buster Technology will be there! The world's next supposed 'wildfire-spreading, murderous pandemic', is not going to bleed all of humanity to death afterall (well obviously not bleed, but you get my point). The new technology can be applied to materials aswell as air filters and it is believed that this may be one of the medical breakthroughs of the century. If the technology goes into mass-production, being applied to clothing and such, then 99.999% of harmful diseases could be stopped in their tracks. SARs, Bird-Flu, the lot. All thanks to Panasonic for removing those nasty evil pathogenes from our already highly polluted air.
Onion Goggles are a novel idea from Broadway Pan Handler that supposedly keep your eyes tear free through the terrible chopping ordeal. I can't confirm personally whether or not these work, but scattered around are some glowing reviews of these 100% unfashionable goggles. If you're a cook, and aren't bothered about not making it into the World's best dressed, then these goggles are a must for you (assuming you like onions, which I don't). The goggles cost $20 and ship with a case to keep them clean and scratch free. Ideal if you've had enough from holding matches in your teeth while chopping, another way of avoiding watery eyes. With all that great stuff out of the way with and finished with, I feel I must make an urgent warning that at all costs must you make sure that you wear these in the privacy of your own home, not at your local cooking competition.
The Shots Licquor Console from J.PMeulendijks is the perfect modern (if not slightly pricy) way to hold your top ten favourite licquor or wine bottles. Not strictly technology related, but this drinks holder is most definitely an eye-catcher, that could quite easily rest an iPod stereo and mobile phone dock on top of it, without looking out of place in a geeks home. Apparently, this is also a rather novel way to store magazines, so I could quite easily stick the ten latest issues of Computing.co.uk in this stand without any problems. But that would only be if I was willing to shell out €800 ($1000 or £500). And quite frankly, no matter how useful and good looking this piece of furniture is, at the end of the day, it's not technology, so you shouldn't be spending this much on it. If it had a built-in weather station, or something cool like that, then I could understand, but as it can't make me a coffee, it can't show the weather, I can't play games on it and no LCD is in sight, no self-respecting geek would actually pay $1k for this. The console is coated in an industrial standard 'No-Scratch, No-Chip' gloss, so at least it won't break the day after you get it. Exclusively available at nu.
Apple. They're in the news again. Today they've been sueing people left right and center for using the word 'pod'. Podcasts, ProfitPods, TightPods, Japanesse sleeping pods, or generally any brand with the word 'pod' in. But that's not what I'm blogging about. What I'm blogging about is a rather new, nifty Musicmug. The Musicmug looks like any other mug at first glance. But before you pour your tea or cofee in, make sure that you look in the bottom at the rather well concealed charger. The music partially vents at the bottom while playing, but some reverberates inside the mug, giving a soft, toned down effect, not the echoing blurry playback you'd expect. The mug is an extremely clever speaker thingy, drawing power from the iPod itself. This means that you'll find your iPod running out slightly faster than usual, but it's a price that has to be paid for wireless playback. Still, it can't be much worse than having your headphones on at full blast. Can it? The mug has a clever sponge base, as to avoid scratches, and doesn't just support iPods. Any MP3 player that has a 3.5mm stereo jack will work, so long as it fits inside the mug. But how many MP3s are bigger than a full-size iPod? I can't think of that many. The Musicmug will be available in Japan for 3990 Yen. This is about $35 or £17.50. So it costs about the same as a couple of Frapuchinos. Not bad for this inoative little gadget.
Well, with the PS3s price coming down to $429 from the previously stated $515 and HDMI becoming standard on the lower-end model, Sony will be making a loss from selling their consoles. But, with the price they're charging for the games, they'll quickly earn that. It has been suggested by Sony that games will cost anything between $84 and $100! This is a rather large incresase over the Xbox 360's games like Rockstar's Table Tennis which is costing here, in the UK, a measley £15 from HMV. Sony claims that the high pricing will lead to quality games and is due to 'higher than expected development costs'. But this won't be a nice bonus for buyers of Gran Turismo HD, who'll have to buy their cars and tracks separately aswell now, will it? Sony fanboys are overlooking all these negative things and concentrating on the good points. But, then again, what's a fanboy for?
Forget those pictures that I was about to post of the new PS3 interface, a nice tipster has just alerted me of this following video. I should have noticed this when I went on yesterday and noticed the Black Xbox 360. Darvitt! Anyways, here it is. A three-minute PS3 interface video. It's not half as good as the Xbox 360s. Well, you might beg to differ.
And there you have it. Sony's rather cheap to make rip-off version of the PSP. Did I just say that? Sorry. I meant to say that it was 'Gamespot shares their insightful views about Sony's brand new, previously unseen UI'. But that would just be lying now, wouldn't it?
Yesterday it was a Super Mario cake, but to keep in line with the festivities, here's a quick little snippit of a guy playing two guitars to the theme of Super Mario. This is great for Nintendo. Free advertising without even asking! I could do with that!
How talented can you get? This guy is in other videos too. He really has a talent going. Check out his website for more.
If the Ferrari Fiorano 599 with the iPod dock wasn't enough, then perhaps the new Chrysler Sebring Sedan 2007 will do your musical taste buds justice. Featuring an LCD with a music downloads option, you can rip your favourite CD direct to your car! The download will then be stored onto the 20GB HDD. The MyGIG system can hold up to 1600 songs, eight photos and an address book. The system can also store 3D maps and has real-time traffic information via the Sirius Satellite Radio. Costing a whopping $1700, you'd find yourself better off getting an 80GB iPod and a top of the range GPS system. Still, a lovely idea. The only people I can see buying this though are car enthusiasts and very rich businessmen.
Today, Kinsington launched their new Skype friendly desktop loudspeaker. A great product for me, as I need to speak to people hands free, while I'm typing my blog for instance. So I can talk easily and be publishing articles as I do it. Great! So I tried out the newly launched Kinsington Vo300 for myself. My verdict, superb! With a great little LCD, I can scroll through my calls history, my saved numbers, or just manually type in a number. A great idea, presented in a great way. Costing only £50 ($95), the Vo300 Skype speakerphone is a bargain. Connect it via USB like the instructions say, and launch Skype to see how well it works for yourself. If hands-free/headset-free isn't your thing, then it's not much wasted. If you never try it though, you won't know what a great gadget you're missing. Essential for any Skype user.
This is without a doubt, the biggest scoop of the week. On several pages on popular website 'Gamespot', Best Buy adverts are showing up with black Xbox 360s on them. This is quite a revelation and strays away from all of what we've heard previously about Microsoft's marketing techniques. The 360 depicted could just be a case mod, or a photoshopped image, but it's still a breakthrough that a company such as Best Buy should show an image in an advert. Perhaps they just wanted clicks. I doubt we'll know, at least for a while anyway.
Airport security officials recently arrested a high school teacher when she attempted to board a passenger flight while carrying a Geometry box with slide rule, protractor, etc. Lee Hopkins calls the teacher a member of the 'Al-Gebra' movement charged for carrying weapons of maths instruction. Brilliant analogy. Now with every other item ranging from shaving razors to hair gels to toothpaste tubes banned from carrying inside the airplane and the ever changing airport security rules, have you ever imagined what the life of an airport screener would be like? Airport Security, an online Flash video game, gives you a virtual chance to play the role of ground security agent who frisk you and your hand-baggage before giving you entry to the airport boarding area. You are faced with a long queue of airline passengers and have to use the mouse to remove prohibited items from passengers and their luggage before sending them through the gate. And if you are not quick enough, the queue starts building up and so does the temper of the waiting passengers. Sourced from Labnol.
If you've been following the Google/Belgium conflict like myself, then you'd know that Belgium courts threatened Google with €500,000 fines per day that they didn't post a new court ruling on their Search, News and Images pages on Google.Be. So, rather than pay a hefty fine, Google let the Belgium people deface their website. Just check it out yourself, or look at the screenshot above.
Firefox 2 Beta 2 is out, and from the looks of things, Firefox 2 is good to go. As far as ourselves and Gadgetell can tell, new features include:
An inferface update & built-in phishing protection.
Enhanced search engine management and search suggestions for Google, Yahoo! and Answers.com.
Improvements to tabbed browsing, including the ability to re-open recently closed tabs.
Firefox will resume from where you left off after a system crash or browser restart.
Better support for previewing and subscribing to Web feeds.
Inline spell checking in Web forms.
The ability to create bookmarks with “Live Titles” for Web sites that offer microsummaries.
New Add-ons manager that simplifies management of extensions and themes.
So, all in all, very good and happy news for the FF community and developers alike. Download version 1.5 now by clicking on the button in our sidebar! When FF2 is released, we'll let you know. Just click the button in the sidebar then like last time to download. Firefox really is safer than IE, honest. I've never got a virus whilst using FF, but have on more than one occasion using IE. Come to think of it, the people who I know who've had viruses have all used IE. After instructing them to use FF, none of them have had any problems. Funny that.
This may not sound terribly geekish or useful, but a new chopping board design by Jess Giffin and Tim Termeer is really quite the thing. Everyone on the block is talking about it, and they have good reason. This board has an in-built scale that can be seen on the picture, so you can be chopping away and then have a peak to see how much you have before throwing it in to your pan. This technology is really cutting edge, but it's a shame it doesn't come in black. Then again, they'd probably charge more. The board measures 10" x 15" and could be seen displayed at kitchen exhibitions worldwide. If this doesn't quite take your fancy, perhaps cake would.
That's right. I'm talking about cake on a technology website. I think I can be excused, taking into account that the cake is based on a video game. A Super Marrio Wedding cake infact. According to one of the wedding guests, the cake tasted rather 'Dense and suggary. Very candy-like, but not too sweet.' A good description! Click here to see for yourself. Now I want one of these for my Birthday!
Having just noticed that this will be my second post in two days to mention Italian car manufacturers, I won't drone on. Acer has long been rolling out their Ferrari branded laptops, but now Asus has teamed up with Lamborghini to create their VX1 laptop. With a Lambo logo stuck onto the case and a nice paintwork finish, the laptop doesn't actually look that bad. If you have a need for speed, and the Ferrari notebook just doesn't cut to the chase, then drive on over to Asus. The VX1 might not please Jeremy Clarkson (Lamborghini loving, computer killing Top-Gear presenter), but hopefully he won't be getting out his rocket launcher, but to those of us who like powerful machines, then this might do you fine. Packing in a Core 2 Duo T2500 processor clocked at 2.0Ghz and a whopping 512MB Nvidia GeForce Go 7400 VX GPU, this PC can race through graphics intesive benchmarks better than the Ferrari, but not hald as well as specially built gaming laptops. Still, decent graphics, a decent battery life and a slim case. The Intel 945P chipset works idealy with Core 2 and the other components, and in testing we didn't notice any significant problems. The laptop has 2GB DDR2 RAM, a multi-format type DVD-RAM RW and a rather shabbly 160GB IDE HDD. The built-in modem is hardly spectacular either, but what were you expecting? Four USB2 ports, multiple multi-format memory card readers and plenty of extra connectivity options make this laptop a nice choice.
IAD (Internet Addiction Disorder) has been around since 1995 according to scientists. How many people come by the disorder is unknown, but I for one am a sufferer, as is Seshi (Partially). Symptoms include:
A need for an ever increasing amount of time on the internet to achieve satisfaction or a dissatisfaction with the continued use of the same amount of time on the internet.
Two or more withdrawal symptoms developing within days, weeks, or up to a month after a reduction or cessation of internet use. These include distress or impairment of social, personal, or occupational functioning such that there is psychological or psychomotor agitation such as anxiety, restlessness, irritability, trembling, tremors, voluntary or involuntary typing movements of the fingers, obsessive thinking, fantasies, or dreams about the internet.
Internet engagement to relieve or avoid withdrawal symptoms.
Internet often accessed more often or for longer periods of time than was intended.
A significant amount of time is spent in activities related to internet use (for example, internet surfing).
Important social, occupational, or recreational activities eliminated or reduced due to internet use.
Risk of loss of a significant relationship, job, educational, or career opportunity due to excessive internet use.
Internet engagement used as a way of escaping problems or relieving feelings of guilt, helplessness, anxiety, or depression.
Concealing from or lying to family members about the extent of internet use.
Internet user driven to financial difficulty due to incurring unaffordable internet fees.
Thanks to The Register for pointing out that half of my visitors have IAD.
Yesterday was the web's official global celebration day. BBC News reports here. 'People around the world are coming together on Friday to celebrate the world wide web. Susan Crawford, the founder of OneWebDay, said she wanted people to reflect on how the web had changed their lives. The day will be marked with events taking place around the world, together with online activities. The organisers are planning to create what they hope will be the largest global online photo collaboration. Web users are being asked to tag their pictures with OneWebDay and upload them to photo-sharing sites Webshots and Flickr, to create global photo albums. The organisers are also encouraging people to post entries to their blogs on Friday which reflect on how the web has changed their lives.'
If you're a snowboarder and love to listen to music whilst flying down high peaks at 80mph, this hat is for you. Made by Audex, this ordinace padded hat has an in-built receiver and headphones, meaning that you can be asking your mum to pack you some sandwiches so they can be ready by the time you get to the bottom of the mountain. Bluetooth is great, so why not stick it in a hat? Nice idea, but not exactly the most stylish thing around. Still, I'd wear it. And if like me, you're disappointed that Apple and angelpoise charge you more for black versions of their prodcucts, you'll be glad to hear that you can pick up the black hat for the same amount as the white one. This is essential as dark colours absorb more heat, and at -20 celcius, you need all of the warmth you can get. Pick one up here, from the Motorola Motostore now for $180.
It's official, there are now photos available that prove the existence of Sony's Silver Concept PSP before it was removed from the line-up at Sony's Tokyo Gameshow. What does this mean now though? Will Sony not be releasing it? It would seem rather odd for them to not do so, as we've already got pictures of a Silver PSP cam, which may I add, is named 'PSP-j15003'. How sexy is that name? But to the point, why did Sony only briefly show the Silver PSP when the others (Blue, Red, Yellow and Camofluage) remain on display the whole time? Maybe we'll never know, but there are rumours that the Sony battery in it exploded. Highly unlikely of course, but with Sony, you can never be sure. So how many colours is that now anyway? Silver, Red, Blue, Yellow, Camoflauge, Pink and original black. That's at least 7. Surely they'll be running out of colours soon!