Thursday, March 25, 2010
Monday, March 22, 2010
Friday, March 19, 2010
Thursday, March 18, 2010
Cell phone radiation. Some consider it a heath-hazard of paramount importance. Others couldn't care less. Whichever camp you're in, there's some perverse satisfaction in clicking through CNET's countdown to see which is the most mind-melting gadget on the market.
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Researchers have discovered that increasing production of a protein called RGS-14 could significantly boost visual memory. They are currently investigating the exact effects on humans, but all I can think is: Photographic memory in pill form.
Sure, we don't really know how the human brain would be affected, but there are certainly great results with mice already:
Mice with the RGS-14 boost could remember objects they had seen for up to two months. Ordinarily the same mice would only be able to remember these objects for about an hour.
The only trouble if similar effects occur in humans and if the magic memory pill of my dreams could be created is that there would have to be a counterpart for forgetting. Because sometimes there are things you really don't want to remember all too well or all too long.
I wonder if their are side affects to taking too many. But it is a pretty cool pill.
Friday, March 12, 2010
Google and China's dirty laundry has been airing in public since mid-January when Google refused to continue censoring search results in the country. A resolution could be nearing though, with Google rumored to be pulling censorship this month.
Their clash of values has been well-publicized, with Google halting the release of certain Android phones and even canceling a developer event over there. Eric Schmidt from Google warned that "something will happen soon," with the Wall Street Journal claiming sources have tipped them off that they may stop censoring search results this month.
Li Yizhong, a Minister of Industry and Information Technology in China, responded with "if you don't respect Chinese laws, you are unfriendly and irresponsible, and the consequences will be on you" when asked about how China will retaliate if Google stayed true to its word.
However, the rather boring (for spectators, at least) conclusion might just be for Google to work with individual agencies and sectors within China, censoring and un-censoring as they see fit. [WSJ via Reuters]
NO CENSORSHIP!!! YAY!
Thursday, March 11, 2010
This may be a concept, but I want someone to actually make it for any present or future tablet out there: An optional foldable keyboard that acts as phone handset. This is how the it works:
The keyboard is physically independent from the tablet itself, just a peripheral device that you can carry around folded in your pocket. However, it doesn't have any independent functionality. It can only work while connected wirelessly to the tablet. And that's the beauty of it: I can imagine myself carrying the iPad 3G on my backpack, ready to receive calls, and then this cellphone-keyboard in my pocket. In fact, if you add a full screen to its outer shell, it could even act as a secondary display for the tablet.
THIS IS AWESOME!
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
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I spoke to Imagination Technologies—maker of the PowerVR chip that powers smartphones like the iPhone, Droid and many others—and they said, definitively, that you'll have graphics comparable to the PlayStation 3 in 3 years.
They know this because these are the chips they're designing right now. The way the development process works for phones is that Imagination comes up with a chip, which they license, and that works its way through development cycles and people like Apple or HTC, which then incorporate them into their phones, which they in turn have to productize and bring to market. The whole thing takes three years. But in three years, says Imagination, you're going to have a PS3 in your pocket. And that's not just running at the 480x340 resolution that most phones have now, that's PS3-esque graphics on 720p output via HDMI to a TV. Hell, some phones in three years will have a 720p display native.
But there are going to be some interesting things between now and then. Imagination is still working on support for the products out now—the chips in the iPhones and the Droids and the Nokias that use PowerVR. The two most interesting things are Flash acceleration in hardware and OpenCL support, which enables GPGPU computing.
I love the graphic concepts.
Monday, March 8, 2010
While PlayStation still hasn't confirmed whether its motion controller will be called the Arc, the rumor mill has gone one step further this week with a forum-poster claiming it'll work alongside a Wii-like nunchuk.
GDC is kicking off over in San Francisco this week, so if ever there was a venue to announce a new add-on—or even confirmation of the name—that would be it.
The forum-poster at NeoGAF, by the name of Ichinisan, reckons the pictures he saw of the nunchuk included an analog stick, plus X and O buttons, along with L1 and L2 buttons under the D-Pad. The wand-shaped Arc meanwhile apparently has "one very big button on top" (no word if s/he meant the big glowing globe, or something else), and X, O, triangle and square buttons. The trigger is the 'T' command, according to this mysterious poster—who could very well be full of shit, as he's just a junior member of the forums. He does comment that "it's actually long, not like the Wii Nunchuk"—which measures 22.9 x 17.8 x 5.7cm. [NeoGAF via VG247 via TechRadar]
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Friday, March 5, 2010
At the moment, our choice of lighting is fairly committal. We drill holes in our ceilings for permanent placements of bulbs. But LEDs open all sorts of other possibilities. It's not hard to imagine a ceiling covered in RGB LEDs, like Seo Dong-Hun's Draw the Lights concept. Equipped with a few sensors, a laser (or IR) pen could "paint" an array of light, allowing you to customize your entire living space in a manner not unlike a Philips LivingColors lamp...only a lot more immersive. [Red Dot via Yanko Design]
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
Publisher Activision announced today new "strategic plans" for the Call of Duty franchise, announcing a new developer for the shooter franchise and confirming the departure of key Infinity Ward staffers.
Activision announced it will form a "dedicated [Call of Duty] business unit that will bring together its various new brand initiatives with focused, dedicated resources around the world." It plans to expand the Call of Duty brand "with the same focus seen in its Blizzard Entertainment business unit" placing a focus on "high-margin digital online content and further the brand as the leading action entertainment franchise in new geographies, new genres and with new digital business models."
As previously announced, Activision will release a new Call of Duty game from series co-developer Treyarch, responsible for Call of Duty 3 and Call of Duty: World At War, this fall. Developer Infinity Ward is still scheduled to release two downloadable map packs for Modern Warfare 2 this year.
In 2011, Activision will release another new game in the Call of Duty series from an unspecified developer. It also announced plans for another Call of Duty-based title from developer Sledgehammer Games, the recently formed studio lead by Dead Space creative leads Glen Schofield and Michael Condrey. The Sledgehammer-helmed title will "extend the franchise into the action-adventure genre."
The previously mentioned Call of Duty business unit will be led by Philip Earl, who currently runs Activision Publishing's Asia Pacific region. Activision Publishing's Steve Pearce, chief technology officer, and Steve Ackrich, head of production, will lead Infinity Ward on an interim basis. Former studios heads Jason West and Vince Zampella are no longer with Infinity Ward, officially.
"Activision doesn't comment on HR matters related to its studios," said reps when asked for comment about the departures and allegations of insubordination. The two former Infinity Ward heads are said to have butted heads with their publisher creatively over the direction of the Call of Duty franchise.
Activision Publishing also announced that the company is "in discussions with a select number of partners to bring the franchise to Asia, one of the fastest growing regions for online multiplayer games in the world."