Archive for October, 2006

WoW: The Burning Crusade Delayed

WoW: The Burning Crusade Delayed

In a very rare move for Blizzard Entertainment, the brains behind World of Warcraft, we've been given a solid release date for the MMORPG's long-awaited expansion, The Burning Crusade. In a very common move for Blizzard, they've also delayed said expansion to allow for more beta testing and refinement, meaning that users will need to wait until January before embarking on the long, treacherous journey to Level 70. On the plus side, delays from Blizzard usually indicate the desire to make sure that the forthcoming product is as bug-free as possible, and I'd much rather wait a few more months than need to deal with a series of irritating bugs and half-completed features; the griffon paths are annoyance enough. To see the official announcement, hit the jump!

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Microsoft to Design Xbox 3 CPU

Microsoft to Design Xbox 3 CPU

In the gaming world right now, IBM is king. Its processors, come November, will be powering all three next-generation consoles, meaning that you'll inevitably end up on a POWER-based machine at some point. This won't be the case with the next generation of machines, as Microsoft has decided to make the Xbox "720" a completely in-house operation, designing and manufacturing the CPU on its own. This would be a first for Microsoft, as they've never designed a chip from the ground up before. It remains to be seen how well these design sessions go (and how much cash Microsoft is willing to sink into gaming); with any luck, it'll turn out better than Vista did.

[via GamePro]

Finally, someone talking sense about Zune WiFi

Finally, someone talking sense about Zune WiFi

If you've been following the ups and downs of Microsoft's WiFi-enabled Zune PMP then you might be as jaded with the whole thing as I am.  So far, Microsoft seem to be determined to lock-down tracks with a three-plays-and-you're-out DRM model that pretty much takes everyone's current concept of music sharing and spanks it into crapness. 

The Zune team could do far, far worse than to read Jim Thompson's column over at TechBlog.  He outlines a system where, rather than users actively sending individual files between their friends, the Zune instead becomes both a mobile music server and a new-sounds "hunter gatherer".  Zune owners establish a list of their own personal shares - still within the Microsoft DRM, of course - and the availability of these is broadcast wherever there is another Zune in range.  Got a spare moment?  Whip out your Zune and see if there's anyone sharing anything you like the sound of.  Or alternatively, set your Zune to "gather" and get home each day with a sackful of new music to tempt you, that the PMP has downloaded automatically.

I agree with Jim, now that could actually turn the chubby PMP into an iPod-killer.

How should Zune sharing work? [TechBlog]

Sony launches new portable CD player; few care

Sony launches new portable CD player; few care

With all the furore over Sony's exploding batteries, much-delayed and expensive PS3, aggressive hunting-down of import favourite Lik-Sang.com, does this pretty boring portable CD player indicate that they've regressed to some sort of mid-nineties quivering state?  Unlikely, but should you be in the market for an mp3-compatible CD Walkman that comes in lovely shiny silver, weighs 210g and is 32.7mm thick, I guess that means the D-NE241 is for you.

Everyone else will probably be content with their mp3 players, that don't need Sony's fancy G-Protection system to stop them from skipping when moved.

Sony [via Akihabara News]

OpenPandora frees personalised music from the browser

OpenPandora frees personalised music from the browser

Master of all that is Mobile Tech, jk, flags up OpenPandora, a standalone version of the popular streaming music site Pandora.  Taking feedback from listeners as to whether or not they like the current track, Pandora generates a personalised playlist that grows more and more individualised to your own musical tastes.  Now OpenPandora minimises the software to a tray icon, complete with keyboard shortcuts, mini player and integration with Last.fm, Xfire and Microsoft Messenger.

Windows only, the software is donationware, so if you enjoy it you really should consider funding its development.

OpenPandora [via jkontherun]

Google Launches Custom Search Engine Tool

Google Launches Custom Search Engine Tool

This takes the DIY trend to a whole new level. With the release of a new feature called Google Co-op, the power to create personalized search engines that address specific topics, search only certain sites and match the style of your blog or webpage is here. I tried creating my own "tech & gadget" search engine this morning, and through using the idiot-proof wizard to supply keywords and preferred website information, my search queries cleary yielded more accurate results. Though not quite as exciting as the Google Maps for Mobiles update earlier this month, Google Co-op has a ridiculous variety of applications and will be a great tool for the tech-savvy and everday user alike.

                     Create Your Own Search Engine

More screenshots and word from the Google developers after the jump... Continue Reading...

MacBook Pro Joins the Mile High Club

MacBook Pro Joins the Mile High Club

After overhearing many a new Apple user gripe about their battery dying out on that red-eye to L.A., I would think that the release of their airline power adapter for Macbook and Macbook Pro would have garnered more fanfare. Perhaps its that, for $59, the new adapter neither actually charges your notebook nor works in a car. Plus, you have to check with your airline to ensure they have compatible ports before you fly. Another overly-priced, under-convenient product from Apple- and not even IGo has the solution to this one.

Read the over-excited press release after the jump...

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Gorenje Smart Table has a cold heart

Gorenje Smart Table has a cold heart

I'm all for convergence.  Phone and GPS?  Yes please.  Watch with built-in TV and hairdryer?  Gimme gimme gimme.  Table and refrigerator?  Um, okay?  Smart-furniture designers Gorenje have obviously decided that warm drinks are the scourge of dinnertimes, hence a table that has a cooled centre compartment that rises at the touch of a (remote control) button. 

 

Available Summer 2007, each table is bespoke and can be made in a variety of materials - glass, wood, stone, maybe even cheese. 

Gorenje [via Trendir]

Sony’s Bravia range bolstered… by a cellphone

Sony’s Bravia range bolstered… by a cellphone

Now either this new DoCoMo Sony cellphone is a whole lot bigger than the typical Japanese handsets we're used to envying, or despite its Bravia branding it's a whole lot smaller than the company's range of glorious TVs.  I'm thinking the latter, although the huge QVGA screen does use the same Reality MAX technology that's stuffed into Sony HD offerings. 

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