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Metal Gear Solid PS3 is heading stateside

Posted in PS3 by Darrin Olson on April 11th, 2008

Sony Playstation 3 Metal Gear Solid 4 console coming to the U.S.When we heard news that Sony and Konami where launching a Metal Gear Solid 4 PS3 in Japan we of course wanted one but new that this was probably one of those cool, Japan-only things that we would never actually see here in the U.S. But, as it turns out Sony is going to be launching this gun metal colored PS3 console in the United States.

Unfortunately it sounds like this release will be a very limited edition in the U.S., so we probably still won’t get our hands on one but at least now there’s a better chance. The MGS4 PS3 along with its matching DualShock 3 controller has a U.S. launch date of June 12 and will come bundled with the game and the standard 80GB PS3.

Flickr adds video to photo-sharing site

Posted in Services by Darrin Olson on April 9th, 2008

Flickr adds video sharing to its popular photo sharing web siteFlickr announced on Tuesday that it is has added video sharing to its popular photo-sharing online community. The new video sharing feature allows any pro members of the Flickr community to upload and share video clips with others using the same scope restrictions currently available for photo sharing.

The video clips can be taken with just about any device and can be up to 90 seconds in length or have a maximum size of 150MB. Even though only pro members can upload the video, all visitors will be able to view them depending on the share level given to the video. Flicker currently has about 42 million monthly visitors to the popular photo sharing site and hosts around 2 billion photos from around the world. Adding video content is a logical next step in further growing the sites popularity and may entice many people to upload videos with some sharing restrictions which might not have done with sites like YouTube where they are almost instantly public. The site will also have the ability to tag and geotag the videos and the ability to upload straight from a camera phone.

Yahoo standing tall against Microsoft threats

Posted in News by Darrin Olson on April 8th, 2008

Yahoo again rejects Microsofts offer and threats to buyout the companyYahoo CEO Jerry Yang on Monday shot back a letter in response to Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer’s 3-week ultimatum for Yahoo to come to negotiations with a firm message that Yahoo has not changed their tune in regards to Microsoft taking over the search engine. Ballmer’s letter had spelled out plans for a proxy contest to unseat the exist Yahoo board of directors and that continued delays could reduce the $44.6 billion offer which would mean less for shareholders.

“Our board’s view of your proposal has not changed,” said Yang along with Chairman Roy Bostock. “We continue to believe that your proposal is not in the best interests of Yahoo and our shareholders.”

Instead of going through the negotiations Yahoo has chosen to beat their exclamation points into swords and fight back against Microsoft. Yang continued in the letter stating that the offer and proxy contest would not be in the best interest of Yahoo and certainly not part of a friendly transaction as Microsoft first proposed.

Google launches App Engine web application host

Posted in Google by Darrin Olson on April 8th, 2008

Google App Engine launched to host applications for freeGoogle has announced the launch of App Engine, a new tool allowing developers to create web applications that can be hosted on a Google’s own infrastructure. The idea of making a hosted development environment isn’t necessarily new as Salesforce has had the Appexchange platform for some time now, along with a few others companies offering similar services. One of the major things that makes Google’s App Engine stand out from the rest however is that it’s free.

The App Engine platform is launching as a “preview release” with all the expected features of the service not quite complete yet. It’s also going to be available only to the first 10,000 developers that sign up, which at the point of this writing appears to be already full. (You can get on a wait list, though).

Microsoft gives Yahoo 3 weeks to accept, or else

Posted in News by Darrin Olson on April 7th, 2008

Microsoft gives Yahoo 3 week deadline to accept an offer.Microsoft issued another letter to the Yahoo board of directors on Saturday with a deadline of 3 weeks for the company to accept the previous $44.6 billion takeover offer that Microsoft proposed in the beginning of February. Despite some recent talks between the two companies, an agreement has not been made and Microsoft is starting to lean heavy on the search engine firm’s board by threatening to go straight to the shareholders if necessary.

“If we have not concluded an agreement within the next three weeks, we will be compelled to take our case directly to your shareholders, including the initiation of a proxy contest to elect an alternative slate of directors for the Yahoo! board,” the letter read. “The substantial premium reflected in our initial proposal anticipated a friendly transaction with you. If we are forced to take an offer directly to your shareholders, that action will have an undesirable impact on the value of your company from our perspective which will be reflected in the terms of our proposal.”, stated Steve Ballmer’s letter to Yahoo.

T-Mobile Germany cuts iPhone price to 99 euros

Posted in iPhone by Darrin Olson on April 6th, 2008

T-Mobile Deutsche Telekom in Germany cuts iPhone price to 99 eurosIn anticipation of a new iPhone model coming to Germany, T-Mobile has drastically slashed the price of the existing 8GB model from €399 to just €99 for German customers. This lower price equates to approximately $155 USD, where the 8GB iPhone is currently going for $399 with a 2 year contract in the United States.

The €99 iPhone is being offered for a limited time from April 7 through June 30 and comes with a 2 year plan for 89 euros a month. The 16GB model price appears to remain untouched with a price of €499. Apple has been rumored to have a new, faster 3G version of the iPhone in the works and this promotion may be a way to unload some of the older models prior to the launch. Alternatively it could also just be a promotion for Apple and T-Mobile to unload some of their inventory due to poor sales of the iPhone in the area due to the heavy competition of mobile handsets that are 3G enabled.

Australia gets an edited version of GTA IV

Posted in Games by Darrin Olson on April 6th, 2008

Grand Theft Auto IV edited version goes to AustraliaRockstar has an edited version of Grand Theft Auto IV to release in Australia this month in order to obtain a MA15+ for the game with the Office of Film and Literature Classification (OFLC). This may not come as a big surprise to those in Australia, but that doesn’t make it any less frustrating.

To make it even worse, Rockstar has not only confirmed that Australia will be getting a censored version of the game, but they have chosen not to divulge what parts of the game have been cut to obtain approval from the Australian game classification system – our guess is the hookers, again. This is no doubt done to leave the benefit of the doubt with consumers that parts of the games they like most will still be there.

Windows XP Home to stick around for ULCPCs

Posted in Windows XP by Darrin Olson on April 4th, 2008

Windows XP Home to get 2 year extension for low cost PCsMicrosoft has announced that the plan for the general end of shipping Windows XP has been extended a couple of years, at least for the Windows XP Home edition. The latest plan for the end of most sales of XP was dated on June 30, 2008 but the advent of a new market of ultra low cost PCs (ULCPCs) has made Microsoft change there tune on forcing everyone onto the new Vista system.

Microsoft has just released Windows Vista SP1 which is usually a good milestone for those looking at upgrading to the next version of Windows, and is a point at which Microsoft helps push them along, but in the case of these UPCPCs, the Vista OS is just to big and expensive. The OLPC (supposed $100) XO laptop is one such machine that could still take advantage of the XP OS but would be forced to stick with Linux or look elsewhere if XP were phased out.

Google Docs offline starting today

Posted in Google by Darrin Olson on March 31st, 2008

Google Docs offline access availableGoogle today has announced the roll out of a much anticipated feature for the online Google Docs – bringing them offline. Starting today a select group of individuals that have Google Gears will be able to save their online Google documents and have them available offline as well.

The online Google tools currently provide a great convenience with things like Gmail, calendars and online documents with centrally located storage that can be accessed from almost any browser with an internet connection. One of the downsides is that as soon as the internet connection is lost, so are the documents, email, etc. With this new feature, the documents will still be available through the browser when the internet connection is lost and it will continue to save changes, syncing up with the online storage the next time a connection is available.

Phase change memory from Numonyx within sight

Posted in Memory by Darrin Olson on March 31st, 2008

Numonyx Phase Change Memory (PCM) could be coming yet this yearAccording to an announcement by Numonyx CEO Brian Harrison, the company is expecting to have phase change memory (PCM) commercially available and start shipping this year. PCM is a new type of memory that would be in competition with Flash memory and has been in the works for decades but has yet to see commercialization.

Numonyx is a joint venture between STMicroelectronics and Intel and appears to be the first to announce a real-sounding time line for this type of memory. A number of companies have been working on phase change memory including an announcement from IBM in late 2006. Harrison says they are shipping samples now and will have the new memory widely commercially available in the next year or two.

Geek weekend-fun ideas

Posted in Humor by Darrin Olson on March 28th, 2008

Weekend Geeky fun suggestionsThe week’s about over and PopTherapy has put out a few good ideas to occupy your time in between napping, eating and gaming this weekend. They’ve posted a few somewhat-constructive projects that will keep your hands and mind occupied on something new for at least a few hours with things like fast power tools, solving old puzzles and some DIY ways to even further enhance your home gaming experience. Check it out:

Geek Therapy

Swann notebook-based DIY surveillance system

Posted in Security by Darrin Olson on March 28th, 2008

Swann Communications notebook based DVR Guardian surveillance systemSwann Communications has been putting out security peripherals for about ten years now and on Thursday announced the release of their latest surveillance convenience tool with the USB 2.0 DVR Guardian. This device can connect to a standard notebook computer via USB and allow it to perform as a quad-monitor surveillance system.

The Guardian can not only monitor and display the video from 1-4 cameras, but can also be set to record from the inputs direct to the local hard drive. DVR-like capabilities allow you to set it to record at specific times of the day or for a set duration upon sensing any motion in its view. The software will then let you control and monitor remotely. Combine this with its ability to send out an email when motion is detected and you can catch would-be thieves in the act.

Photoshop Express now online and free

Posted in Software by Darrin Olson on March 27th, 2008

Adobe Photoshop Express now online and freeAdobe announced on Thursday the beta launch of Adobe Phtotoshop Express, an free online tool for editing, storing and sharing images without the need for any installations or downloads. The Express version of Photoshop is of course a pared-down of the full-blown version of Photoshop, but Adobe hopes it will get more people interested in editing their photos and familiar with the tool, and in turn then sell more copies of Photoshop C3 for the normal $600-$900.

The new tool isn’t completely without any downloads or installations since it does require the Flash player 9 to run, but will then run on any browser with the plugin including Windows, Macs and Linux machines. Adobe is also offering 2GB of free storage with the free Photoshop Express account.

AMD’s triple-core Phenom chips are now shipping

Posted in Processors by Darrin Olson on March 27th, 2008

AMD’s triple core Phenom chips are now shippingAs promised back in September, AMD announced on Thursday that it has started shipping its new Phenom processors with triple cores. These processors are the first on the market that use 3 cores on a single silicon die instead of the more traditional 2 or 4 core chips.

The design of the Phenom X3 8400 (2.1GHz) and Phenom X3 8600 (2.3GHZ) chips are essential the same as AMD’s quad cores with one of the cores removed. This configuration allows for new pricing of the chips in between dual cores and quad cores, where rival Intel does not currently have a competitive product.

Subsonic Wii Fit Accessories lead the Wii Fit launch

Posted in Wii by Darrin Olson on March 26th, 2008

Subsonic accessories for the Wii Fit gameThe Wii Fit hasn’t even hit shelves yet but you can bet that just like the Wii controllers you are going to start seeing loads of stuff trying to pry in and get its share of your gaming dollar. The first one we’ve seen so far is this set from Subsonic.

This accessory kit for the Wii Fit board includes a rechargeable battery pack, silicon mats to cover the board so you don’t slip on your own sweat, a bag to carry your Wii Fit board around in and a “special” spray and dust cloth to keep the thing clean when your done.