Rival company talks smack about OnLive

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If you’re a gamer, you have no doubt heard by now about OnLive. It’s the new service that will stream high end video games to your PC, computer or TV without expensive graphics cards or consoles. But while all the attention has been focused on OnLive, another player is making its move and talking smack.

Gaikai, also announced at GDC, is another streaming service that Legendary game creator Dave Perry says it will blow the socks off OnLive.

” . . . they’re never going to be able to beat us on this.” Perry told GamesIndustry.biz

Perry who working to get Gaikai off the ground says his service won’t require any download at all, while OnLive’s service will require a one MB download. Apparently this is a big deal. Since there is no download, game video  can be encoded in real time.

“I would be concerned if I was them, I would be very concerned, because they’ve placed their bet on the table and committed to it now.” said Perry.

So why haven’t we heard much about Gaikai? The company was going to wait for E3 to make the formal announcement, but since OnLive came out of the gaming closet Gaikai felt it had to follow suit.

Gaikai claims it is already testing out the service on games like World of Warcraft and Eve Online. The company also says it will launch its service BEFORE OnLive later this year.

Let the battle heat up! We can’t wait to check out both services at E3 this year in June.

Cook stew while you drive

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Tired of eating at drive-thrus while you’re on the road? Now you can eat like you do at home, with RoadPro’s 12-Volt Slow Cooker.

Here’s a quote from the Road Trucker website:

Throw in some meat and add your favorite vegetables at home, plug your 12-Volt Crock Pot into your 12-Volt light adaptor and you’ll have a nutritious meal ready at the end of the day.

The RoadPro Slow Cooker heats to 150 degrees (the same as a regular slow cooker) in about an hour and then maintains that temperature throughout the day.

Road trucker also carries a 12 volt pizza cooker, freezer and fridge for your vehicle. Kitchens are so over rated!

Internet traffic drops in Sweden by 33% in one day

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Get this! On the day Sweden enacts its new anti-piracy law, internet traffic drops 33%. Hmmmm what does that tell ya?

The drop was measured by Netnod, a Swedish web tracking firm. Netnod discovered traffic fell from 120GB/s to 80GB/s on the day the law went into effect.

People have good reason to be concerned. Sweden’s new IPRED law, allows copyright holders to quickly obtain the identity of major pirates and prosecute them directly through the courts, without going through the police.

Christian Engstrom, vice-chairman of the Swedish Pirate Party, told the BBC the drop in traffic was a direct result of the new law, but that it would only be a temporary fall.

“Today, there is a very drastic reduction in Internet traffic. But experience from other countries suggests that while file-sharing drops on the day a law is passed, it starts climbing again…One of the reasons is that it takes people a few weeks to figure out how to change their security settings so that they can share files anonymously,” said Engstrom

An interesting note to point out…popular BitTorrent sharing site, The Pirate Bay, happens to be based in Sweden.

Own a piece of Jurrasic Park

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How cool is this! Someone has posted a full size replica of the Velociraptor from Jurassic Park on eBay! This beauty is made of high quality poly urethane resin that has been painted and sealed. It measures 28 inches from the nose to base of the mount.  The dinosaur is mounted to a wooden base that can be put  up on a wall like a trophy animal. Imagine bringing this home to the kids! Talk about nightmares!

Click here for a link to the auction

I would kill for a tea right now…

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I’ve always been a coffee kind of guy, but after stumbling upon this gadget I may just have to switch to that “other” beverage.

The Sharky tea-infuser is a wild way to steep your tea. Place your tea leaves inside the device and sit back and enjoy the process. Waiting for your tea has never been this much fun. You can use any tea you wish but read tea will of course give the best results.

Sharky was one of the winners of a design competition held by DesignBoom. Hopefully this will actually go into production and hit the market soon!

Review: 80's Brick Phone

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Who can forget the eighties! Crimped hair, acid wash jeans, Jelly bracelets. Most of those fads have come and gone..thankfully. Yet a few seem to come back into style. But who saw this one coming! Those big bulky cell phones…theeeey’rrrre baaaaack!

Analog Hero, a company based out of Minnesota, has brought the 80’s Brick Phone back to life. This unlocked cell phone will work on any North American GSM network. All you have to do is pop your SIM card into it and turn it on. Now you’re ready to turn some heads!

Design

The phone is basically a replica of a Motorola phone. The case is brand new and re-branded as a “Motelona” phone, but the software itself is by Motorola (can you smell a lawsuit coming?). It’s not new software by any means. It’s about 5 years old…maybe even older. If you’ve had a Motorola phone within the last 10 years you will instantly recognize the user interface. It’s okay…not stellar, but does the job.

The handset is fairly light, surprising since those old phones were real clunkers! Most of the weight comes from the battery itself. Yes, it’s still the old bar design. In fact to recharge it you have to use an old school cradle. As for buttons, they are all back lit so you can use this phone in poorly lit areas.

Functions

There are a few things you can do on this phone that you couldn’t do back when “Charles” was in charge. A texting feature has been added. This is no Blackberry folks! Texting takes time and patience. Yes predictive texting is there but it doesn’t compare to today’s smartphones.  After playing around with it for awhile you kind of get the hang of it. While I personally prefer a QWERTY keyboard this is usable…just time consuming.

You can also listen to MP3’s, and watch videos. Video quality is far from great. But hey, what can you expect on a 1 inch by 1 inch screen. As for basic functions, they are all there. Phonebook, calendar, ring tones, calculator, alarm clock. A web browser is built-in but it’s practically useless.

I have to say one of the best features is the ring tones. Since the phone is built overseas, you get some crazy songs! Some of them are laugh out loud, others a bit creepy. I had a number of friends record these tones through software on their iPhone so they could use them too. Priceless!

Bottom line

I will admit it is kind of fun to carry this brick of a phone around. You get a lot of funny looks. But the novelty does wear off after a while. It is big and bulky, and does not fit into your pocket. The features on the phone are also dated. Texting is cumbersome and video quality is poor. But at the same time you have to remember, this phone isn’t meant to be top of the line. It is a retro phone, made to turn heads. And it does a great job at that. If you’re a child of the 80’s but just can’t bring yourself to break out the spandex, feather your hair or grow a mullet…you might want to grab this!

The Good:

A real head turner!

Unlocked to work on GSM networks

New features added to an old phone

Awesome foreign ring tones

Cheap – $99

The Bad:

Software is dated

Texting is cumbersome

Video Quality Poor

Big and Bulky (But that’s the point!)

Apple fixes flaws in new iPhone OS

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There’s no denying Apple had the right idea when it launched the iPhone. In the past 2 years it has sold more than 17 million units! Not too shabby. But the device itself has received its share of criticism, mainly with what’s been missing in its operating system. Well Apple has addressed the issues, and added even more functionality with OS 3.0

Cut, copy and Paste

Believe it or not, this feature will finally be available! This was a major complaint from many iPhone users. The function will allow the user to not only copy text across various applications but photos as well. Of course all of this done, with a touch and drag of the finger.

MMS

Everyone else was doing it, why couldn’t we? Yes iPhone users have been left out in the dark when it came to sending MMS, but no more! Apple will be adding this capability into the latest operating system. Apple says MMS will enable iPhone 3G users to “send and receive photos, contacts, audio files and locations with the Messages app. Sorry original iPhone owners…no MMS for you.

Spotlight

Spotlight is basically a search feature. From the main screen, if the users flicks to the left the Spotlight window will pop up. From this screen you can search contacts, mail metadata (not message content), calendars and  media.

Push

This was a long time coming! Although it was announced last year Apple quickly pulled back on the reigns. Apple says so many applications were developed for their phone and developers had so many more ideas for Push that it had no choice but to “rearchitect” the system. Well the time has come for Push.

Apps

With the huge success of The App Store, there was obviously a heavy focus on the application development end of things. It was stated that the SDK (Software Development Kit) for the new 3.0 software will allow a variety of diverse developers to get there applications out to the consumer via The App Store. Some of these include magazine/newspaper subscriptions, EBooks, and in game purchases.

Accessories

The new iPhone 3.0 will also enable accessory developers (ex: speakers, FM Transmitters, etc) to build custom applications that will talk directly to the accessories. Other areas of development were in the medical applications field, maps, location-based services and Bluetooth.

This really just scratches the surface of what 3.0 has to offer. All together there are more than 100 new features in the new operating system. Those who game on the iPhone can now challenge others with the addition of peer-to-peer connectivity. Developers can also embed Google Maps into their applications. So much in store! Too bad we have to wait until summer for the new software. Free for iPhone users, $9.95 for those with an iPod Touch.

Apple eyes up gaming?

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Rumours are swirling. Could Apple be getting into the gaming market? The company has filed a set of patents for a Wii-style wireless controller, and it looks as though it’s for Apple TV.

Apple proposes a variety of uses for the wand including “zoom operations, a keyboard application, an image application, an illustration application, and a media application.” So where do the games come in? Well the patents do make one reference to games. Yes count them…one. It basically covers Apple’s butt in case it does decide to pursue games. But the one mention is enough to get the cult members talking.

One thing you can’t ignore is Nintendo. What’s to stop them from coming after Apple claiming patent infringement. You can bet folks over at the big N are watching this one closely.

What do you think? Could games really fly on Apple TV? Would it boost its popularity? Games on the iPhone are gaining momentum. Hey, who saw the talking Shuffle coming? You never know, this just may be the next trick up Apple’s sleeve.

Great White North nets NHL branded Storms

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It’s no secret Canadians love their hockey Eh! Well apparently RIM (Research in Motion) thinks they love it so much they’re willing to shell out some cash for a NHL edition of the Blackberry Storm!

The package will include an NHL-themed skin for a team of their choice, plus a Storm loaded with NHL extras. How much? Canucks will be plucking down $249.95 CAD on a 3-year term. That’s $50 more than a normal version of the same phone.

Can’t read the fine print in the photo? Here is the lowdown:

249.95* 3yr term (699.95 no term)

3G BLACKBERRY STORM 9530 SMARTPHONE

Bonus: preloaded NHL SD card with behind the scenes videos and career highlights.

GPS Nav

Touch screen qwerty keyboard that clicks as you type

HD like picture quality that changes from portrait to landscape

Live TV, radio, video, email, internet,3.2 megapixel camera and more

Works around the world

Free NHL Skin

And to encourage people to subscribe to the Unlimited NHL Service, Bell ir running a contest. The prize includes:

Round trip airfare for two to an NHL Stanley cup final team city

2 nights accommodation

2 tickets to a NHL Stanley cup final game

$500 dollars Canadian spending money

So, any Canadians willing to pay the extra cash to cheer on their team loud and proud? It will be interesting to see if RIM announces a similar offer in the U.S.

Me gustaría que mi vida fuera un Tumblr

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Mi laptop está tan lento que al parecer hay que rezarle a Dios que trabaje. Se queda pegado al comenzar, se demora al correr dos programas, al guardar un archivo, es terrible. Es una joda brutal que me tiene tonto. Sé que es porque estoy usando Windows Vista, el sistema operativo más lento desde la creacion de los computadores. Sé que es lento, pero el PC es de ripley y la licencia es original, así que no debo cambiarme. Busqué algunos manuales para mejorarlo y que ande un poquito más rápido, pero todos son para arreglar windows 7 y no hay casi ninguna cosa de Windows Vista. Creo que tendré que borrar todo y pasarme al lado pirata , mi billetera no es tan potente como para invertir en la licencia legitima.

Ahora que menciono Internet, debo comentar que estoy hasta la coronilla de tener que usar antivirus. Primero porque los anti virus gratis no son los mejores, son versiones de prueba. Segundo porque ralentizan el PC, y tercero porque no te protegen de todos los virus. De todos modos tampoco voy a usar Linux, es asqueroso para alguien que trabaja, así que ademas de bajarme un anvirus gratuito no hay mucho que sea posible hacer para evitar que se roben mis datos.

No se puede estar del amor a la web

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Mi netbook anda tan lento que al parecer hay que rogarle a Jesus que trabaje. Se pega al iniciar, se pega al abrir los programas, al salvar un archivo, en todo. Es una joda muy grande que me tiene tonto. Sé que es porque estoy usando Windows Vista, el sistema operativo más penca desde la invención de los computadores. Tengo claro que es pajero, pero el PC es de falabella y la licencia es original, así que no debo cambiarme. Busqué tutoriales para arreglarlo y que ande un poco más rápido, pero la totalidad son para arreglar windows 7 y no hay casi ninguna cosa de Windows Vista. Supongo que voy a tener que borrar todo y pasarme al lado pirata de la fuerza, mi billetera no es tan potente como para pagar la licencia legitima.

Ahora que hablo de Internet, de igual forma como en los noticieros la mayor parte de lo que enseñan son asaltos y homicidios, cada día hay más malware y otros tipos de estafas en Internet. Sin embargo ya no son virus que molestan, que eliminan archivos o modifican el registro. Son virus que se roban los datos del correo y de la tarjeta y después se los venden a un scammer ruso que se roba todo tu dinero y al banco le da lo mismo. Opino que lo más sano es buscar un antivirus y spywares gratis, no creo que valga la pena pagar por uno y navegando con cuidado no más.

2 Eyes On Panasonic's Twin-Lens 3D Video Camera

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Billing it as the world’s first integrated twin lens full-HD 3D camera recorder, Panasonic’s solution to your 3D HD woes comes at a price. But it might not be as much as you might think for a professional-grade 3D HD camera.

Shooting in 3D takes 2 lenses, one for each eyeball in your head (in most cases). We’ve seen some smaller production outfits that mount two cameras to a baseplate in a cheap way to create the same effect, but Pansonic’s solution is efficient and intuitive. Having both lenses mounted in the head also allows Panasonic the ability to equip it with what they’re calling convergence-point adjustment. When you break it down, that means that you can control the way that the 2 lenses travel along the X and Y-axis, meaning that when you shoot your footage in 3D, you can actually adjust the depth of the 3D layering. You can adjust the perspective of the camera to put more emphasis on your subject or take it away, giving you more options when filming and less to do in post production.

Panasonic is also touting the fact that the camera is utilizing a solid-state memory system for recording the 3D media. That translates to SD/SDHC cards. They wouldn’t talk about file sizes at the booth, but we’re having a hard time wrapping our head around media files that are going to be in the GBs per minute of footage shot (probably more) versus how much room is available on your cards.

At a price point of $21,000.00 USD it’s a little out of reach for most home movie enthusiasts, but for the budding filmmaker with a little venture capital burning a hole in his or her pocket, this could be a great way to leap early into a market that seems to be embraced by everyone here at CES. The camera is supposed to hit movie sets in the fall of this year, so if you get it for Christmas, you could get those nut-sack videos of your buddy in 3D by New Years.

Jewel-Encrusted Gold PC on Display at CES

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Admit it: you’ve been itching to drop $30,000 on a hand-crafted home theatre PC made of gold, brass and 3,500 pieces of Swarovski crystal. It may only be available in Korea now, but Moneual’s 701 is poised to come to America this year.

Proudly displayed under a plastic case, the Moneual 701 is quite a functional home entertainment computer including Intel Duo Core E7500 processor, touch screen display, HDMI output, Blu-ray drive, 500GB hard drive, Wi-Fi, and Windows 7 operating system. Just plug that puppy up to a massive HD TV and prepare to consume conspicuously.

OK, so the 701 might just be a little excessive. It’s really just the bling version of Moneual’s line of home theatre PCs that have a similar hardward sans gold and crystal. Depending on the hardware you choose, an HTPC from Moneual can run you between $1,000 or $3,000.

3D Scanner to Make Life Easier for eBayers

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Ebay users rejoice! You’ll soon have a new gadget to help you hock your porcelain figures and knickknacks online. Check out this 3D scanner from Vuzix.

The Real-View 360 3D Scanner is made up of two cameras and a turntable. As the turntable spins, the cameras begin snapping pictures of the object. One photo is snapped every 3.6 degrees. The end result? A crisp 3D model.

Vuzix says the device could be used by programmers, but eBayers will most likely make up most of the customer base initially as it will allow sellers to provide 3D images of rare and valuable items highlighting fine details.

The 3D scanner will hit the market in the second quarter of 2010 for around $500. But you’ll be able to see it in action long before then as Vuzix tells us the producers of CSI have already requested to have it used in the lab on the show.

Hands On: Vuzix Wrap 920AR Video Eyewear

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We got to sit down with some pretty cool augmented reality glasses at the Vuzix booth at CES. The idea behind the demo was showing off the head tracking and VR capabilities of the glasses, which you’ll see in our brief video above.

The stereo-camera glasses boast dual 752 x 480 image at 60 fps, one for each eye, and the image looks fine while keeping your head completely still. But once you start moving your field of view even slightly, the framerate takes a huge hit, making it almost impossible to see what you’re doing. In our demo, you slip on the glasses and focus your vision on the cardboard card in your hands. The glasses overlay a graphic onto the board and tracks graphic positioning using the unique characters (which looked like little space invaders to me) imprinted on the card.

So the deal with the game is pretty low tech… get the marble out of the maze. By changing the position of the card, the glasses (running through a PC) detect your movement and even add gravity, allowing the marble to roll just as it would in real life. There were a few obstacles to overcome in getting the ball out of the maze, and overall the demo really did a good job of making you think you were playing with a toy. At the end you could even dump out the contents of the box by turning the card over. Nice little touches like this makes me think we could be seeing a broader adoption of this technology in the future. It seems as if we’ll be wearing glasses for everything in the next few years.

The Vuzix Wrap 920AR Video Eyewear is going to retail in Q2 of this year for $799.00 USD.

A Round Squishy Mouse

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It’s hard to be innovative with a mouse. The mouse shape still has to fit your hand and the number of buttons has to be reasonable. The Jelfin Mouse has two buttons and a scroll, but its spherical shape is enveloped by a comfy gel cover.

For those of you who worry about the mouse transmitting germs with its cover, the gel cover can be removed and washed with plain soap and water. Or a separate gel cover can be bought for every user.

Nick Pajic, CEO of Jelfin Mouse, says the round shape fits naturally in people’s hands.

The mouse connects via USB and a wireless version will be available in March. You don’t need to download any drivers and it’s compatible with Windows, Mac, and Linux.

The Jelfin Mouse retails online at Amazon for $34.95. The mouse is also cleared for sale in Canada and Europe.

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