Friday, February 15, 2008

10 Ways to Saturate Your Home With LED Tackiness

Beautiful LEDsLEDs are popping up in all sorts of home products these days. Now I'm no interior designer, but I know that lighting can really make or break a space. With that in mind, here are 10 ways that anyone can utilize LEDs in their home (plus one way to outfit your wardrobe). And by anyone I mean people with eccentric tastes that don't mind blinding headaches and pissing off their neighbors.

Beautiful Moonlight LEDsSource-

How would you change the Apple TV (take 2)?

Apple tv 2.0 updatesYeah, the Apple TV (take 2) update took a bit longer than promised to actually arrive on the scene, but now that it's available for existing ATV owners to chew on, we're interested in hearing from its toughest critics. Rumors of Apple finally enabling some sort of HD movie / television show download service had been making the rounds for what seemed like ages, and after months of waiting for a move to be made, take 2 made its debut under the shadow of the MacBook Air.

Aside from finally offering up 1080p support and giving users the ability to rent HD flicks (though only some with Dolby Digital 5.1), the v2.0 upgrade changed up the look and added in Flickr integration. How would you like to see things tweaked for take 3?


Street Fighter 4 Hits Japan today

Official debut of Street Fighter in JapanCapcom officially unveiled Street Fighter 4 in Japan today, at the AOU (All Nippon Amusement Machine Operator's Union) fair. Check out the Live images.

Official debut image of Street FighterWhile Capcom presented a lot of nice other games, we focus our attention on the new Street Fighter IV arcade version, and the game is stunning by its beauty but also by its gameplay.


Killdeadpixel- Fix Stuck Pixels on Your Monitor

Fix pixels with KilldeadpixelFix stuck pixels on your LCD monitor with web site Killdeadpixel. Like previously mentioned JScreenFix, Killdeadpixel unsticks pixels by displaying a quickly changing, high-contrast graphic over the pixel—but Killdeadpixel does it with a neat little draggable graphic, so you can just place the unobtrusive graphic over your stuck pixel and let it do its work.

Despite the site's name (which is a misnomer), a stuck pixel is normally stuck showing red, green, blue, or a combination of those colors, and that is what this site can help with. A dead pixel, on the other hand, will display only black. Luckily dead pixels can be fixed with another method.


World's Largest Solar Farm- A Billion Trees Died to Build It

World's largest solar farmA solar farm has opened in Spain that consists of 120,000 solar panels over 100 hectares (247 acres). It also has a peak capacity of 20 megawatts and it can power up to 20,000 homes—making it the world's largest solar farm to date. The farm is expected to generate an estimated annual income of $28 million and reduce CO2 emissions by about 42,000 tons a year.

Ironically, a huge amount of trees were probably mowed down to get this thing up and running, but local agencies insist that "high environmental criteria" were maintained in the construction of the plant. Plus, they built it in Jumilla, a wine-producing region.


Thursday, February 14, 2008

Wii 2 and Xbox the Third hitting in 2010?

Next gen- 2010 gamesThose pesky analysts are at it again, and this time it's serious: Evan Wilson of Pacific Crest Securities says we can expect a sequel to the Wii in 2010, to be followed by a new Xbox later that year. Obviously it's something on the minds of all three of the gaming hardware giants -- in fact, Gizmondo probably has 2010 in its sights as well -- but there's really no telling at this point how accurate this rumor is. What we have heard are some conjectures before now that Nintendo has a shorter life cycle in mind for its graphics-impaired Wii. Also, Microsoft obviously made a huge bet this generation on hitting a year before the competition, and has done alright for itself in the process, so Microsoft might be looking for a repeat.

There's no rumor yet on Sony's PS4 plans, but while the company has its hands full at the moment with its purported 2008 comeback, we're sure they're keeping this all in mind. Wilson also predicts a new Nintendo DS and PSP in 2010, meaning any way you slice it youre're going need a second mortgage.


U.S. Game Industry Pulled In $1.1 Billion In January

Girls playing gamesThe NPD Group has estimated that January's take in the United States, factoring in hardware, software and accessory sales was an impressive $1.18 billion. While that may actually be down 6% from the previous year, keep in mind that, according to NPD, January 2008 was a 4-week month with January 2007 a 5-weeker. NPD analyst Anita Frazier explains "To accurately assess the performance of the market you must take that extra week into account.

At the top-line, on an average sales per week basis, January 2007 was actually up nearly 18% as compared to last year, and the big winner was console software which was up nearly 50% when compared on a level playing field to last year."

Frazier points to big console sales numbers in December having an effect across the board, blaming inventory shortages as a possible culprit in "softer than expected sales."

Here's the total figures:
  • Total Game Sales - $1.18 billion (-6%)
  • Hardware Sales - $377.8 million (-25%)
  • Software Sales - $610.6 million (+11%)
  • Accessory Sales - $191 million (-4%)
  • Total Video Games Sales Per Week - $294.8 million (+18%)

Pentagon to shoot down renegade spy satellite

Spy Satellite snapshotThe US government has finally put together a plan to avoid the civilization-decimating disaster that would have resulted from its impact with Earth: they're gonna blow it up. That's right -- US officials have confirmed that they're going to use modified SM-3 missiles fired from a cruiser and destroyer off the Northwest coast of Hawaii to take the thing out.

The weapons have additional fuel and new software which will allow them to reach the object in orbit, thus blasting it to smithereens. The resulting impact will leave nothing but "space junk," which will endlessly pollute the galaxy until we're wiped out by a reverse "Big Bang" or doomsday device.


Speed Racer vs. Batmobile Zoomdown: 2008 Toy Comparison

Batman vs speedracer carsWe've got Mattel's entire line of Batman and Speed Racer cars for 2008, and we hope the movies are as geekgasmic as the toys. The Batman lineup punches all of my little fanboy buttons—not only the entire squadron from The Dark Knight, but the two best Batmobiles ever: from the animated series AND Adam Batwest. Speed Racer's got the Mach 5, its sleeker, zippier successor the Mach 6, plus a battle bus! Check out every one in detail after the jump, then tell us who has the most wonderful toys.


Customize Your Mac's Logon Screen

Reader Ace writes in with a nifty customization that will set your Mac apart from the rest. Find a desktop wallpaper image (Social Wallpapering's a good bet), save it to your desktop as background.jpg, and in the Terminal type:
sudo cp background.jpg /System/Library/CoreServices/DefaultDesktop.jpg
You'll have to enter your password to complete the operation, and when you do, next time you log off, your logon screen will have your new custom background.


Artist Builds Full-Sized F1 Car Using 956,000 Matchsticks

F1 using 956000 matchsticks carMichael Arndt decided that buying a real Formula 1 car was too expensive, so he spent 6-years building a Mercedes-McLaren replica using 956,000 matchsticks.

The car can even be taken apart for easy transportation, which is good since at some point Arndt might want to leave his parent's house


Nokia launches user created "Yamake" games on N-Gage

Yamake game imageStraight outta Espoo comes Nokia's Yamake (a mashup for "you make the game") for their N-Gage platform. With it, Nokia says players can "create their own games" from a range of "mini games" by adding user generated text, pictures, sound clips and movies. Games can then be shared via the N-Gage Arena and via MMS between N-Gage compatible S60 devices.

The press release specifically mentions the creation of mini games "such as" pictures puzzles and quizzes -- so no, we're not looking at user generated, 3D first person shooters upon initial release. In fact, without any images or video to accompany the press release, Yamake sounds more like a user customization platform than game creation platform.


Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Microsoft Surface Model is Also an American Gladiators Contestant

Has it really been that long since we've had a Weird Combo of the Day? Well, it's back, and we've got an especially weird Weird Combo of the Day for you today. Do you remember Monica, the woman that's in all the press photos and web videos for Microsoft's Surface table? Turns out she's a contestant on American Gladiators as well.


Kaai and Soraa already working up Blu-ray successor?

Simmer down -- it's not like you haven't seen advancements in blue laser technology before, and even though the current format war may still be raging when either's successor rolls into town, Kaai and Soraa are already looking to the future. Reportedly, Khosla Ventures has invested in both of the aforementioned firms, and while company representatives aren't disclosing much at the moment, we do know that the duo is exploring ways to "exploit gallium nitride, which is also the basis for existing blue LEDs and blue lasers."

Apparently, they'd like to concoct suitable replacements for conventional LEDs in the lighting market and make a showing in the optical data storage arena, too. But seriously, with 200GB Blu-ray discs, who needs to worry about the next best thing?


Microsoft VP: "I personally got burnt" by Vista Capable stickers

Those "Vista Capable" stickers certainly caused consumers a lot of confusion, and it looks like they even tripped up some senior Microsoft execs. According to internal MS emails introduced as evidence in the ongoing lawsuit over the program, several MS managers expressed concern that they were misleading people, with the VP of Windows product management saying "I PERSONALLY got burnt... I now have a $2,100 email machine" and Jim Allchin saying MS had "really botched" the program, and that it "had to do a better job with our customers." Of course, the main reason for all the confusion is the multiple editions of Vista that run with different capabilities depending on your hardware, but that's a subtle point to make with a sticker -- or, as one Microsoft employee admitted in an email, "Even a piece of junk will qualify" as Vista Capable. That's some pretty damning stuff, but the case isn't anywhere near resolution yet -- the judge has yet to decide whether to certify it as a class action, which looks like it'll depend on a technical reading of what exactly Microsoft was advertising throughout the Vista Capable program.

We'll know in 10 days, when the judge has said she'll issue a ruling -- we'd imagine the plaintiffs' legal team has plenty more of these emails in store if the case goes through.


Police Take Down Dangerous Perp Armed With a Philips MP3 Player

Circuit city mp3 playerMechanic Darren Nixon recently got a rude awakening when he was arrested at gunpoint because a bystander and a team of British police both mistook his 4GB Phillps MP3 player for a pistol. Amazingly enough, the ordeal was not cleared up with a simple "It's an MP3 player stupid"—in fact, Nixon was taken back to HQ, swabbed for DNA, fingerprinted, and thrown into a cell based on suspicion.

Naturally, the whole ordeal has left Nixon shaken and disillusioned with his local police force.


Give up: 77.3m Symbian phones shipped in 2007

Nokia N95 symbian phoneMicrosoft and Apple, you may have had some fancy smartphone sales this year in your cute little American way, but globally there's no question who's the real leader in this segment: the Symbian OS shipped on 77.3 million units in 2007. That's a 50% growth over 2006 sales, with over 141 different phone models from eight licensees. If the new hotness from Nokia this year at MWC is any indication, those numbers aren't going to go away very soon, but Sony Ericsson's adoption of Windows Mobile for its flagship XPERIA X1 certainly spells a modicum of trouble for Symbian land.

Of course, there are many more low-end Symbian smartphones than there are cheap Windows Mobile phones, and Apple's iPhone is still a premium product , but the line is becoming increasingly blurred.


RIM affirms that BlackBerry services are down -- again

Blackberry services are again downBlackBerry addicts everywhere have reason to panic this afternoon, as their beloved network is indeed experiencing technical difficulties -- and it's certainly not the first time that this has happened in the past year. Reportedly, an e-mail sent by RIM support account manager Bryan Simpson affirmed that a "critical severity outage" had taken place. The message went on to say that it was acting as an "emergency notification regarding the current BlackBerry Infrastructure outage," that was (is) affecting enterprise subscribers and "users of the Americas network."


Netflix coming to Xbox 360 and PS3?

According to a blogged up blog post on the interblogs, a Netflix survey that's supposedly been making the rounds suggests that the service may be coming to both the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. If you believe what Seanbajuice has to say, the survey asked, "If as part of your Netflix membership you could instantly watch movies and TV episodes on your TV with your PS/3 or XBOX 360, how likely would you/anyone in your household be to do that?" The survey then goes on to state that both the PS3 and the 360 will be able to play streaming media by using a "special Netflix disc." Here's the kicker: there won't be any extra fees besides the $3 charge for the disc. Of course, nothing is mentioned about how the PS3 will handle the Microsoft-based DRM, and while the whole thing sounds too good to be true, there have been rumblings about this recently.


Monday, February 11, 2008

PSP Concept is Slick, Slidey Goodness

This fan-made PSP concept design is pretty much the coolest thing ever. It's got a big beautiful screen and an iPhone-like home button on the front, but when it's slid open it reveals all the necessary buttons for gaming bliss.


Terra Soft offering up 80GB PS3s with Yellow Dog Linux 6.0 pre-installed

PS3 with yellow dogsEarly last year, we polled the grand audience and found out just what you liked (and disliked) about Yellow Dog Linux 5.0 for PS3. Fast forward 13 months, and those still waiting on the sidelines have yet another option for jumping in. As of now, Terra Soft Solutions is offering up Sony's 80GB PlayStation 3 with YDL 6.0 pre-installed for $549.95, and yes, that includes the DVDs containing the OS.


Nokia N78- In European and North American flavors

Nokia N78 snapshotThe revamped Nseries lineup is coming fast and furious since the launch of the N81 and N82 late last year, and the latest candybar to get the updated industrial design is the N78, a midrange handset (by Nseries standards, anyway) with an integrated FM transmitter setting it apart from the crowd. Another notable feature is its picture geotagging capability, made possible by the 3.2 megapixel autofocus camera paired with integrated AGPS.

Nokia N78 snapshot demoOther than that, it's pretty much your average S60 Third Edition Feature Pack 2 piece with Bluetooth and WiFi, though it's the very first Nseries model to be announced in both European and North American 3G versions simultaneously -- and if that's not progress, we don't know what is. Look for it to start stocking shelves next quarter for €350 (about $507).


Sunday, February 10, 2008

World's Largest Pool

World's largest pool demoSo you've seen pictures, now check out this video preview of the world's largest pool -- located in Chile. Just to recap, this monstrosity holds 66-million gallons of salt water and cost a whopping $1.5-billion to build.

Check out the video also.


HTC P3470 Smartphone with GPS, Edge in Europe at WMC 2008

HTC ScreenshotEurope is getting first dibbs at the P3470, the new Windows Mobile 6 phone from HTC. Boasting GPS, the P3470 comes with TomTom pre-installed, and 350 minutes of talk time, but there's one ru-roh: no 3G or wi-fi.

Key features:
* Size: 108 x 58.3 x 15.7 mm
* Weight: 122 g
* Connectivity: GSM/GPRS/EDGE: 850/900/1800/1900 MHz
* Operating system: Windows Mobile 6(R) Professional
* Display: 2.8-inch QVGA flat touch screen
* Camera: 2 megapixel with macro focus
* Internal memory: 256 MB flash, 128 MB RAM
* Removable memory: microSDTM slot
* Bluetooth: 2.0 with EDR
* GPS: GPS Enabled
* Interface: HTC ExtUSBTM (mini-USB and audio jack in one; USB 2.0 Full-Speed)
* Battery: 1100 mAh
* Talk time: GSM: up to 350 minutes
* Standby time: GSM: up to 240 hours
* Chipset: TI OMAP 850, 200MHz

Cellphone provider Orange will be launching the P3470 in Europe next month in the UK, France, Spain and the Netherlands, for 449€, or $652.