Saturday, December 1, 2007

Xbox 360 fall dashboard update details revealed

Xbox 360 live updatesStarting December 4, Xbox 360 owners will be able to download the latest dashboard update from Microsoft. While we stated earlier in the month that this update would allow users to download original Xbox titles, this update will also add various additional features to the console's interface. Since dashboard updates are only released bi-yearly, they are usually packed with a hefty amount of changes and this fall update is no different:

  • Xbox LIVE Arcade hits: Best-selling Xbox LIVE Arcade games like Marble Blast Ultra and Lumines LIVE will be available at permanently discounted prices.
  • New video features: Support for full-screen video previews and, more importantly, support for the DivX video codec (version 5.0 and higher).
  • Inside Xbox: A direct newsfeed from Microsoft outlining up-to-the-minute information regarding Xbox LIVE and the Marketplace.
  • Enhanced parental controls: New features include a timer that can limit the amount of time a child can play per day or week.
  • Enhanced online profile: Allows members to append more information about themselves and limit who can see it on Xbox LIVE.
  • Enchanced friends list access: Gamers can now see the friends list of other members of Xbox LIVE.
  • Improved navigation: Game Store and Video Store buttons will be added to the interface, further simplifying navigation.


Google IntraNet Named Moma - Watch It

Google Intranet MomaDespite the fact that the name is a complete mystery even to many of the employees that are working on it, Google has created a unique intranet for their workers to take part in during the day.

Moma, the intranet portal designed by Google, is a space designed with a simple goal in mind. Moma seeks to accurately manage the information found by Google and make said information comprehensible and useful to those internet users that rely on Google for their search queries. Available to office workers employed by Google, the connection to the Google intranet comes installed as a standard feature on laptops handed out to employees working for the company. However, the employee is required to provide account credentials in order to successfully authenticate their sign-in.

Moma has been said to go back as far as 2005, but the beginning versions were not very aesthetic. Though it was priceless to those who were hungry specifically for data, Moma at this time was messy to sift through and aesthetically challenged. The inside of Google, Moma allows those employees using it to find specific information, as well as information pertinent to specific employees, meeting room availability, maps of buildings and much more.

Published by Google in their Enterprise Blog, a screenshot of Moma in action shows the functionality available through Moma. While there is a “Universal Search” that can be utilized, there are also ways to narrow down the search. Some of these search categories that allow specification include “Tech”, “Official” and “Community” results.


Apple 3G iPhone- To be unveiled in 2008

On 28th Nov, Apple announced that in 2008 they will be unveiling a more faster iPhone. This new iPhone will be going for more than the regular price of $399 USD. Jobs plans to sell 10 million iPhones worldwide in 2008, which would give Cupertino, California-based Apple 1% of the mobile-phone market.

Apple 3G IphoneApple Inc. will introduce a version of the iPhone next year that can download from the Internet at a faster rate, AT&T Inc. Chief Executive Officer Randall Stephenson said.

The device will operate on third-generation wireless networks, Stephenson said today at a meeting of the Churchill Club in Santa Clara, California. San Antonio-based AT&T is the exclusive carrier for the iPhone in the U.S.

“You’ll have it next year,” Stephenson said in response to a question about when the 3G iPhone would debut. He said he didn’t know how much more the new version will cost than the existing model, which sells for $399. Apple Chief Executive Officer Steve Jobs “will dictate what the price of the phone is,” he said.

Jobs plans to sell 10 million iPhones worldwide in 2008, which would give Cupertino, California-based Apple 1% of the mobile-phone market. Apple had sold 1.4 million handsets through the end of September.

The prospect of a new handset may make some shoppers put off buying an iPhone this year, Gene Munster, an analyst with Piper Jaffray & Co. in Minneapolis, said in an e-mail. The number of shoppers who delay a purchase won’t be “enough to make a difference,” he said. Munster has advised buying Apple shares since June 2004.

The device, which combines features of an iPod music player with a mobile handset, can download videos from Google Inc.’s YouTube and find driving directions over a wireless connection. Apple spokeswoman Natalie Kerris declined to comment.


Friday, November 30, 2007

Xbox 360: Reviews Of Some Great games for holiday Season

Microsoft xbox-360 game reviewShopping for gamers can always be a bit difficult if the shopper is not familiar with the available platform games and the specific tastes of the individual. However, with this helpful guide, shoppers can deal with to wrangle up a great holiday gift for any Xbox 360 gamer on their list, getting by knowing only the basics about the types of games the individual gift recipient enjoys.

When shopping for Xbox 360 players, it is essential to look at what has happened this year (2007) with Microsoft, since this will help to determine what games are available, how sought after specific games are or have been, and what games are exclusive to the Xbox 360.

After 2 years, Microsoft has made a number of strides with the Xbox 360 console. Not only outselling PS3 games in Japan, but also managing to make a profit for the first time, gamers of the Xbox 360 platform is likely to love game gifts this season.

Halo 3 and Grand Theft Auto IV are some great action games that are doing well with the Xbox 360. Not only that, but Microsoft has managed to nab exclusive rights to the latest installment of the Grand Theft Auto series. If your gift recipient is one who appreciates tactical maneuvers or car chases and action, these are going to be some potential gifts to consider.

Other games that left Sony to partner up with the Xbox team include Ace Combat 6, Final Fantasy XI and the to-be-released games Resident Evil 5 and Devil May Cry 4. If you are looking to buy any of these games, it is important to be aware that the only platform they will be available on is the Xbox 360.


Google Gadgets- Mini application is now cross-platform

Google Gadgets is the mini-application created and toted by Google offering a wide range of content to their users. Quick access to items such as news feeds and individualized to-do lists, Google Gadgets have quickly become a great innovation that individuals rely on in their day-to-day life activities.

Google gadgets pictureNow, using Google Gadgets has become even easier for Mac and PC users. Mac users can now easily run their Google Gadgets along with their Apple Widgets in Dashboard. Running these applications side by side allows users to have the same items on their Mac, iGoogle pages and the ever-helpful Google Desktop Sidebar. This helps users to create a centralized and exceptionally efficient Dashboard area on their computers. For example, some aspects that can be capitalized upon from the Dashboard with the Gadgets include YouTube, the video site owned by Google, Virtual Flower Pot and the Weather Globe, which is a unique and interesting 3-D weather sphere that appears in the Dashboard to show users different weather conditions.

As developers produce one particular gadget to work with both Mac’s and PC’s, the advantages are many. With just one simple click, users are now able to install upwards of hundreds of Google Gadgets. Better still, these can be run in the Dashboard of Mac computers and will also have the potential to allow individuals utilizing the Google Gadgets to enhance their own personal web sites.


Science/Tech Toys For Kids

Kids love to play with the usual plastic junk as much as any child obsessed with colorful, shiny objects. I've grown weary of giving them stuff that won't teach them anything and will just end up at Goodwill (or a landfill) in six months' time.

This year I set out to find some gifts that would at best teach them something about science or technology or, at worst, at least get them inspired and interested in learning a little more about science. Here's what they liked best.

Roboquad - This quadruped robot from Wowwee (which offers a number of fun Wowwee quadruped robotrobo-companions) was the biggest hit with both kids. You can use a remote to order him around the house, step by step (or dance, which the kids like to see at least 10 times a day), or put him in a semi-autonomous mode to blip and beep and explore on his own. He even has LED eyes to light up dark closets. Older kids can program the robot to follow a sequence of instructions. Yeah, he gets stuck in the corner sometimes, but don't we all? $90

Bladerunner III
- It's a pint-sized helicopter which you can fly in your house. Nothing was better at quieting a screaming toddler than picking up the Bladerunner and having it land on his mom's head, then lecturing him about Leonardo da Vinci. Be warned: Kids will have to be content to watch, as the controls are extremely difficult to master. I'm also sure it will break in relatively short order, as crashes are all too common. $50

Ice shattering mammoth dig
Ice Shattering Mammoth Dig - A huge hit with the kids. You freeze a miniature mammoth skeleton in the included tray, then they whack at it with plastic chisels and warm water to "excavate" the bones. Once the work is done, it goes together like a puzzle. If you want to get kids excited about archeology, it's this, or Indiana Jones. Be prepared for a wet mess, though. $20

Rainbow In My Room
- No, it doesn't do much: It puts a rainbow in your room. My daughter loves it nonetheless, and even though it doesn't apply a real prism to create its colors (colored LEDs mimic a rainbow instead), it has let me discuss light with her more scientifically. Like she cares... she just wants a rainbow in her room! $30

Digital Speed Sensing Baseball - Why play ball with a standard baseball when you can use this one, which has a speed sensor built in. I have no way of knowing if it's very accurate (other people's reviews are mixed), but it does at least offer something new instead of the usual game of catch. $25

R2-D2 robot toy
R2-D2 Interactive Droid - I was hoping this miniature R2 unit would get higher marks, but adults liked him more than the kids. Unlike Roboquad, R2-D2 is voice activated, responding and reacting to 30 phrases. My 5-year-old just didn't have the patience to master the required phrasing, though, and R2 didn't like it when two kids just sat there yelling at him. $120.


Google to join 700MHz auction party today

The deadline for declaring intent to bid on that sweet, sweet 700MHz spectrum in the US is December 3rd. According to the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), Google will announce their intent, today. Hear that Verizon? All your legal posturing and lobbying to block the Open Access (only to about-face with talk of your own openness) have seemingly been for naught. Now it's time to put up or shut up in what's anticipated to be a very costly bidding war for the prime "C" block swath in January.


Thursday, November 29, 2007

Microsoft-powered robot makes its debut

It's taken a little while, but it seems that the first robot based on Microsoft's Robotics Studio package is now available for sale, although it's far from a consumer bot. Running a hefty $5,345, the so-called "e-nuvo WALK" robot from Japan's ZMP (makers of the e-nuvo WHEEL, as well) measures 14 inches tall and is apparently intended mainly for research and education although, as you can see above, it also seems to be a well-built candidate for the next RoboCup.

Microsoft debut biped-robotAccording to the AP, those in Japan can place their orders for the robot now, but they'll have to wait until sometime in January before they actually gets their hands on one.


Mobile phone subscriptions hit 3.3 billion

3.3 billion mobile phone subscriptionsJust last month, we heard that there were some 2.68 billion mobile accounts currently active in the world, but a new study by Informa has originate that there are actually 3.3 billion subscriptions. This number is somewhat significant considering that it's around half of the world's population, but alas, not half of all earthlings actually own a cellphone.

Researchers found that 59 countries had mobile penetration over 100%, suggesting that some individuals actually accounted for numerous mobile subscriptions. Sure, the figures here could be picked apart in a myriad ways, but why not just raise your handset to commemorate hitting the big three point three?


Iomega eGo Portable Hard Drive: Slim, sexy, strong storage

Iomega sexy portable 160GB hard driveIf you are memory conscious and either needs to replace your external storage or want to invest in a great solution, the Iomega eGo Portable Hard Drive is an elegant storage solution. It's DropGuard feature also makes it surprisingly durable for the tough traveler. Transfer data and large stereo/audio and photo files back and forth to all your networked destinations. Sexy and slim, it’s heft of 160GB capacity holds up to 640,000 photos, over 2,900 hours of music and 240 hours of video.

The nitty gritty specs:
* Requires no external power supply.
* Includes a free EMC Retrospect HD backup software license.
* USB 2.0/1.1 compatible (transfer rates up to 480Mbits/s depending on your processor and OS).
* Length 0.75 x Width 3.5 x Height 5.25 Weight - 0.48 pounds.

It's the "little red corvette" of storage solutions.

Price: $119 at Amazon.


80GB Hard Drive For Autos By Toshiba

Toshiba 80GB Hard Drive
As a response to many companies and end users installing hard drives into cars for portable entertainment systems, Toshiba's introducing the MK8050 hard drive that has increased shock tolerance and vibration dampening. The disk has a cushion of air around the head to stop scratching, which causes data loss, swearing and begging. Expect to see it in GPS units and do-it-yourselfer kits next March. [Toshiba Storage]


Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Nokia N96 Mobile Phone Looks

Nokia N96 Mobile Phone - Everyone is saying - Hey, what a cool phone

Nokia N96 mobile phone has some renders of what could possible be (but probably isn't) the Nokia N96. These renders confirm a 3.2-inch, 16 million color touch-screen display, a dual-sliding QWERTY keyboard, and a one-way sliding dialpad keyboard. There's also a 6-megapixel camera on board, with 3G, Wi-Fi, GPS and Bluetooth 2.0.

Nokia N96 phone concept
What's really cool about this rendering is the dual-sliding keyboard—the major thing that's missing from the current Nokia N95 models. (Notice it works upside down? Guess there's theoretically an accelerometer in there for direction sensing.)


Comparison Between Nokia N82 V/S Nokia N95 - Mobile Phone Gazette

How do you follow up a success like the Nokia N95? Well, one way to do it is to follow the path of the Nokia N95 8GB and give it more memory and a larger screen. If you wanted to go further, then you'd probably dream up something even more superlative than the N95 and call it the Nokia N96. So, the Nokia N82 is a surprise, because it's not really what we would imagine a successor to the N95 to be like.

The very first thing that strikes you about the Nokia N82 is just how ordinary it looks. Where the N95 was frankly a bit mad with its two-way slider, the N82 is a straightforward monoblock design with an uncluttered keypad and large QVGA display.

Pretty much everything from the original N95 has been directly ported over to the N82. There's a five megapixel camera with Xenon flash, autofocus and a Carl Zeiss lens, 3G support with HSDPA, WiFi, microSD expandable memory (with 2GB in the sales package), A-GPS (Assisted GPS), a video calling camera, FM radio and stereo Bluetooth.

Symbian Nokia N82
This is a Symbian S60 smartphone, so it comes with a web browser, email client, document viewer, advanced multimedia player and the N82 also has a set of personal information management (PIM) applications. Nokia Maps is preinstalled for basic GPS use, although expect to pay a fee for more advanced mapping functions. Video capture is an impressive 640x480 pixels at 30 frames per second.

Because this is based on the N95, you can anticipate everything to work well (yes, some of the early N95s were buggy, but owners can easily update their phone's firmware now). The camera quality should be excellent, and that's generally down to good optics rather than raw megapixels.

One nice new feature is an iPhone-style sensor that changes the screen orientation when the phone is rotated.

There are a couple of drawbacks. The uncluttered look of the Nokia N82 means that there are no dedicated multimedia keys, and the display is smaller at 2.4" in size, compared to 2.6" on the N95 (and 2.8" on the N95 8GB). We anticipate that the newer Nokia N95 8GB will continue to be sold alongside the N82 as the N95 8GB is somewhat more highly specified.

The model name is a bit of a giveaway - Nokia are positioning the N82 in a slightly lower product range along with the new N81. This leaves the N95 8GB and Nokia E90 as the flagship devices in Nokia's lineup.

Perhaps the Nokia N82 is a little disappointing in some respects. If you already own a Nokia N95 then there's no real reason to change your handset. However, if you're in the market for a quality 3G phone with a first rate camera, then the Nokia N82 is going to be very hard to beat.

Nokia say that the N82 is available now from selected retailers at an unsubsidised cost of around €450 (or approximately £300).


Tuesday, November 27, 2007

A truly green Christmas tree lights up NYC

Green Christmas Tree
A great change is gonna come to the 76-year-old tree lighting tradition at Rockefeller Center. CNN reports that the 84-foot-tall Norway spruce will be illuminated with 30,000 multicolored light-emitting diodes (LEDs), strung on five miles of wire.

These energy-efficient LEDs replace the incandescent bulbs used in the past, reducing the holiday display's electricity utilization from 3,510 to 1,297 kilowatt hours per day. Translated in terms for the rest of us the daily savings equals the amount of electricity consumed by a 2,000-square-foot house in a month.

To compliment the green effort, the owners of Rockefeller Center, Tishman Speyer, have taken the opportunity to show off a new 365-panel solar energy array that will generate electricity on the roof of one of the complex's buildings. It's the leading privately owned solar roof in Manhattan.

Travelers and community members alike can see the illuminated Christmas tree daily from 5:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. through the first week of January.


Strawberry Christmas cake

USB christmas strawberry cake
It's a four-port USB hub in the shape of a heavily frosted mini Christmas cake (4.7" x 4.7" x 5.1") decorated with removable 1GB USB strawberries (and this is adorable). How cute is that? If it didn't carry a price that would cause even Santa to do a double-take, I wouldn't mind seeing one in my stocking.


Most searchable USB powered gadgets

USB Photo Christmas Bulbs Make Your Tree Hang Low
Capture Santa’s attention with these USB photo bulb Christmas ornaments. The bulb uses an LCD display and can store, on average, about 50 photos. Stop Santa in his tracks with either still pictures or tell him a story with the slide show feature.

USB enabled christmas photo bulb
USB Musical Santa Drummer - March to Your Own Beat
Each year Christmas prep seems to get a little earlier. Here is the first post for this years Christmas season, the USB musical Santa Drummer.

Musical Santa Drummer
USB Blender Alarm Clock Blends Plastic At Tone
Well, we don’t get it either. The USB blender from Brando spins up when the alarm goes off. One could argue the plastic balls inside the blender make for a shocking alarm clock sound, but then you have to explain the odd looking blender in your bedroom. I doubt anyone would put this on their desk, unless it really could blend a happy hour drink.

USB enabled blender alarm clock
Whack It Is Classic Now Whack It With USB
To digress back to middle school days has never been easier than with the USB Whack It arcade game. Or maybe Halo and Doom3 are just over done with technology and some good-old-fashion mole banging is required.

As with future cell phones the Whack It is powered via USB so don’t expect any download-able high scores or on-line gaming forum for stiff competition…just power.

Whack Arcade Game
Octopus Shaped Webcam Oddly Named Lilli & Oscar
So Lilli is the four legged webcam and Oscar is the 4 port USB hub. Lilli keeps an eye on Oscar with a 1.3 Mega Pixel lens.

octopus shaped webcam- lilli and oscar
Brando USB Microscope: If We Don’t Have It, You Don’t Need It
Brando is filling in their spectrum of product offerings to include both low-end and high-end. From the seasonal trinket like USB Christmas trees and USB Plasma Balls to higher end products like quality USB solar chargers and today; USB Microscope, Brando is building their brand.

Brando USB Microscope
Fun Christmas Patterns on A-Data Flash Drive
A-Data is getting into the Christmas spirit with their limited edition PD3-X’mas flash drive. If looking for a great office Christmas gift or just looking to get your geeky friend into the holiday spirit the PD3-X’mas should be kept in mind. The flash storage comes with 5 colorful panels including Santa, sleigh and reindeer, a decorated Christmas tree, a stocking - stuffed with presents - and friendly snowman.

Christmas Pattern Data Flash Drive


Hot Christmas gadgets: Nintendo Wii, sat nav and iPods

Christmas, of course, comes earlier every year. For retailers it starts earlier than most as they try to identify the year’s 'must have' gifts. In order to give them a bit of a hand, some predictions for what HITWISE think about this year’s hot gadgets, entertainment, toys and fashions.

Search term analysis provides great insight into people's habits and desires, so we analysed the top 2,000 search terms that sent traffic to a Hitwise Custom Category consisting of the top 100 online retail websites in the UK during the four weeks ending 22nd September 2007. Gadgets are up first, and our definition encompasses a range of consumer electronics products including mobile phones, computers and peripherals, games consoles, in car entertainment and navigation systems, and audio-visual equipment.

Nintendo Wii is the most searched for gaming console in the UK, ranking as the sixth most popular gadget heading into Christmas, ahead of the Xbox 360 at number 7 and the Nintendo DS at number 8. There were 5 times as many searches for the Nintendo Wii as the Sony Playstation 3, which did not make the top 10 gadget list.

Top gadgets by share of searches-

Gadgets search sharesMobile phones are the most popular gadgets in the UK, capturing 46% of all searches, followed by computers, iPods, satellite navigation systems and high definition televisions. The success for the TomTom brand of satellite navigation systems continues with the number of searches for 'tomtom' double that for the generic term 'sat nav'. Searches for 'external hard drive' have increased by 15% year on year, reflecting a desire among UK consumers to back up their precious collections of digital music, photos and videos.

The Nokia N95 multimedia phone captures almost one in ten searches for mobile phone models in the UK, making it the most popular handset. It is followed closely by the stylish Nokia 6300, with 8.7% of searches, and the Samsung G600 5 mega pixel camera phone, with 8.5%.

Top mobile phone models by share of searches-

Top mobile phone search shares

The top mobile phone manufacturer by share of UK Internet searches is Nokia, which receives 35% of searches across the top 5 brands, followed by Sony Ericsson with 29% and Samsung with 24%. Motorola is at number four with a 6% share, followed by LG with 5%.

There are 14 times as many searches for the Apple iPod as for all the other MP3 players combined. Two thirds of searches are for the generic iPod, while one in five searchers is looking specifically for the iPod Nano, which has seen searches increase by 67% year on year.

Most searched for gadget brands-

UK top searched gadget brandsThe new iPod Touch and the UK release of the iPhone were announced too late to have a significant impact on the retail search data, but there is a massive amount of internet buzz about both products. For example, the volume of searches for ‘iPhone’ sending traffic to News and Media websites has increased 5 fold over the last month. With Apple the most searched for gadget brand in the UK, it seems likely that both products will find eager fans amongst British consumers. Dell is the second most searched for brand, receiving almost four times as many searches as its nearest rival HP.


Monday, November 26, 2007

Acer - Ferrari 5000 Notebook

Acer Ferrari 5000 Notebook
This Acer laptop is made with AMD Turion Mobile Technology. This Official Licensed Product comes with:-

  • a 160GB hard drive
  • 2GB DDR2 667 SDRAM
  • Intergrated Acer OrbiCam camera
  • Bluetooth
  • plus a 5-in-1 card reader.

Presently this gadget is going for $2,499. User comments are most welcome.


Sputnik-esque Satellite Lamp - A part of space in your room

Sputnik-esque Satellite LampThere appeared one more gadget that can decorate your apartment and create cosiness for the people staying there. Satellite Lamp is a new fresh idea for your interior.

24 red, green and blued LED lights were created to add more individuality and originality to the design of your apartment. The lamp perfectly fits children's rooms, especially boys' rooms. At first, you can put this lamp as a night light. It will help your kids to feel themselves safe and sound and feel their parents near them.

Secondly, boys will definitely appreciate the gadget at its true value. Thanks to its design, the lamp looks like a cosmic satellite. It can be a perfect addition to their interior. They will feel themselves cosmonauts in space among planets, stars and satellites. Its soft light guarantees to your kids sweet dreams about the universe, planets and different journeys.

The Satellite Lamp has eight different "dazzling display options". That means you can choose the most suitable mode according to the case.

On the one hand, the lamp can work like a firework, but on the other hand, its light calms down and makes feel safe at night.

All in all, the gadget is really great and cool. Do you need an impressive and amazing present for a kid for winter holidays? Here it is! I think that this Satellite Lamp is an interesting thing that will decorate your room and will make you feel comfortable there.


Sunday, November 25, 2007

Guitar modded to integrate laptop with music visualizer

guitar modded laptop with music visualizer
Old laptops are a geek modder's best friend: this particular example is one of the better mods we've seen to incorporate an old lappie, with a guy called Ben sticking his old machine behind the strings of an electric guitar. He then linked up the sound produced by the guitar to a visualizer in the laptop, allowing it to pump some psychedelic-looking sound waves out to onlookers. Beats the usual sticker decorations, dontchafink?