Sabtu, 11 Oktober 2008

Microsoft turns to Seinfeld to combat Get a Mac ads

Microsoft turns to Seinfeld to combat Get a Mac adsWhether you’re a Mac fan or not, I think we all get a chuckle out of the “Get a Mac” ads. And they must have converted many PC users. Now Microsoft is looking to give as good as they get, recruiting Jerry Seinfeld and of course Bill Gates to show you how magical Vista is. It’s a $300 million campaign that has $10 million set aside for “key celebrity pitchmen”.

The ads apparently focus on “Windows, Not Walls,” talking about the need to “break down barriers that prevent people and ideas from connecting.” It will no doubt involve the Mojave Experiment too, which is Microsofts version of candid camera, where Microsoft made unsuspecting users(Prejudiced against Vista) test a new product that was in fact Vista. They’ve got Seinfeld, why not get Kramer and George in on it too?

Casio G-Shock G8100A-5 is slightly steampunk

Casio G-Shock G8100A-5 is slightly steampunkThe Casio G-Shock G8100A-5 is a watch with typical modern features, while at the same time sporting a vague ‘antique’ design. Obviously Casio doesn’t want to miss out on the steampunk market. It’s got a bronze colored aluminum face and perforated resin band and a price tag of $99.

Even though this watch is only barely steampunk, it has a bunch of features like, auto dual electroluminescent backlights with ‘afterglow’, world time with 29 time zones and automatic daylight savings adjustments, 2 multi-function alarms, snooze alarm, timer that can countdown 1 minute to 24 hours, stopwatch, and it’s shock and water resistant to 200 meters. Not a bad watch if you want to look only slightly steampunk.

Nixon R1G1 dial watch

Nixon R1G1 dial watchNixon Watches has unveiled their latest collection of analog watches, the fashionably and retro R1G1. The analog dial watch features a set of four mechanical hands to keep track of the time and date. Two hands rotate around the middle of the dial, one for seconds and the other for minutes. A pair of gauges that look like speedometers show the current hour and the day of the month. The R1G1 is available now in several different colors from $150-$200.

Whizzwatch: Control R2-D2 with your watch

Whizzwatch: Control R2-D2 with your watchThe R2-D2 Whizzwatch while not heavy on style, lets you control a miniature version of R2-D2 with a special wristwatch IR transmitter. R2 is attached to it’s strap. Just unclip the little droid, put him on your desk and watch him go. The watch supposedly has a variety of digital readouts, and you can switch between 12/24 hour displays. It costs about $36. My concern with this watch would be running into some dude with a Jawa watch. If the two should fight, your little droid might end up in a Jawa sandcrawler.

Turntable Watch from Tokidoki is retro cool

Turntable Watch from Tokidoki is retro cool

It doesn’t get more 80’s then this. The Tokidoki company has come up with this nice looking watch that outdoes the turntable watch we told you about many months ago.

It ups the retro pop feel with vibrant colors and a nice 80s style. It makes me feel like cranking some Huey Lewis and the News while messing around on my hoverboard. The vinyl face rotates as each second ticks by. The time is displayed on the left side, looking like a radio dial. Stainless steel with leather strap. My geek mind is convinced that if you wear something this outrageously retro, Doc Brown will show up in his DeLorean. Which is why I’m getting one.

Sequiam Biometrics Biovault 2.0 safe

Sequiam Biometrics Biovault 2.0 safe

Here’s another device you can give the finger too. For security reasons of course. Much like the Master Lock smartTOUCH garage door opener we covered earlier. The Sequiam Biometrics BioVault 2.0 is a safe that needs your finger to open it and get to the valuables inside. It recognizes your fingerprint and opens at your command. You can program it to open for others too, if you grant them access. The safe can accommodate up to 50 users.

You can store your gold inside, jewelry, even your precious and expensive gadgets, but it’s really designed to store guns safely and is endorsed by the NRA. It makes sense to store guns in a safe like this as it would apparently open quickly, but keep them safely locked away from kids. The price is $399.95.

Jumat, 10 Oktober 2008

Maxtor & Sentry Group create fire resistant drives

Fire resistant hard drives

Information is a precious and delicate thing. Which is why we humans have a hard candy shell wrapped around our brain. If our gooey info-centers were just exposed on top of our heads, we would be in big trouble. And it’s not like you can back up grey matter.

Luckily hard drives can be backed up, though truthfully not very many people actually do it. Let’s say you back up all of that precious data onto an external hard drive. Good job! You are now on the road to information safety. But wait…What if your house burns down? Or you get flooded? Nothing you can do about those acts of God right? Wrong. Thanks to Maxtor teaming up with Sentry Group, you can now have a drive that is both fire resistant and waterproof. These drives can withstand 1550F degrees for about a half hour as well as spend up to a day submerged in water.

Kodak unveils HD media player for home theatre

Kodak Theatre HD Player

Kodak surfaced today in the set-top box, media player space by unveiling its take on such a device. It is called the Kodak Theatre HD Player and pricing is said to be around $300.

The Kodak Theatre HD Player, like similar products, is designed to bring digital media content from your PC and other sources to your home media room. It offers high resolution as a viewing option, with still images shown at a 16:9 Aspect Ratio and videos at 720p. Connectivity is either wired or wireless.

Rogue watch from Tokyoflash

Rogue watch from TokyoflashHere’s Tokyoflash’s newest hard to read and futuristic timepiece for those who love these hard-to-read-watches. With the LCD interface, the time can be read at a glance but it can also be illuminated with sci-fi green LEDs, so that when you touch the button, it resembles a glowing radar screen. It sports a solid stainless steel strap which can be adjusted.

So how do you read this one? The outer ring dots are the minutes, every fifth dot being slightly smaller to distinguish five minutes. The ring of large blocks represents rough minutes, the position of the gap indicating approximate minutes. The inner ring of blocks represents hours, the position of the gap in the ring showing the current hour as on a clock face. It will set you back $154.

Diesel 5-face watch for travelers

Diesel 5-face watch for travelersFrequent travelers will likely appreciate this 5-face watch from Diesel, but to me it just looks like a lot of work. It sports five faces to handle different time zones, hence the name. You’ll have the time for LA, NY, London, Paris, and Tokyo, so anytime you visit those places you’ll have the time.

The only problem with this watch is that you might actually want to go somewhere else and know the time. In that event Diesel also has a smaller watch of the same type that lets you memorize which face corresponds to which place, instead of having them labeled. With five watch faces, another concern would be that each face must be really small or the whole watch too large. It will cost you $550 for the larger silver watch or $495 for the smaller unlabeled watch.

Iomega device bridges USB, home entertainment gap

Iomega ScreenPlay TV Link

Iomega recently popped out a new multimedia device which lets you play media files through attached USB storage media. It is called the Iomega ScreenPlay TV Link and you’ll find it pricing around $100.

The Iomega ScreenPlay TV Link, unlike most other Iomega products, lacks any internal storage of its own. It rather acts as a device bridge between your home entertainment equipment and USB storage media containing compatible digital music, photos and videos. It offers a USB port for attaching compatible storage devices as well as A/V connection options like HDMI and composite.

Steampunk watch gobbles up entire wrist

Steampunk watch gobbles up entire wristThis Steampunk creation is pretty cool. There’s just so much of it that you have no wrist left and it looks like it would give you carpal tunnel syndrome and make one arm look like a weight lifter while the other is thin and geek-like. Sure is a lot of leather work around the metal flip-open watch.

It does have a certain authentic antique look about it. And I can’t tell you what the whole finger strap is about because my translation skills aren’t up to it. My guess is that you wear this while riding your bicycle and when you see a pretty lady, you activate a bell with your finger that dings, letting the Victorian hottie know that you noticed. Then one day they’ll invent the bicycle bell and your wrist can be free.

Kamis, 09 Oktober 2008

Sony E-series Walkman with color changes

Sony E Series Walkman with interchangeable shells for more custom looksSony has a new add-on to the E-series of Walkman media players with three new models that can swap out the outer shell to give each player a more custom look. Around twenty different looks actually ranging from some solid colors to different patterns and you can get more than one to make sure it coordinates with the days ensemble.

The new DAP stick comes in three different models that vary in capacities: NW-E026F (4GB), the NW-E025F (2GB) and the NW-E023F (1GB). They measure 81.9×22.1×13.8mm and also feature a direct USB plug built-in that lets you drag and drop files right on the player with no additional cables needed. The players can support ATRAC, MP3, WMA and AAC as well as tuning in some local FM radio.

Sony brings A820, A720 and S710F Walkmans stateside

Sony NWZ-A820 series Walkman video and audio playerSony’s dropping some new, smooth looking Walkmans our way this week led by the NWZ-A820 which features audio and video playback with a 2.4-inch QVGA display at 30 fps, includes EX earbuds and 36 hours of battery life for audio playback, 10 for video. It comes in capacities of 4GB, 8GB and 16GB, is compatible with Windows Media and supports MP3, AAC, WMA, L-PCM formats for audio and h.264/MPEG4 for video. Sony has also added Bluetooth into the mix along with their noise canceling technology.

Sony’s NWZ-A720 series has looks a specs very much like the A820 series but it loses the wireless Bluetooth. Sony also has a NWZ-A820K model that will not only come with the earbuds but also includes a set of wireless Bluetooth headphones to take advantage of the no-wires connectivity.

Lazer Trip Wire

Lazer Trip Wire to protect your areaWith these Lazer Trip Wires you can set up an invisible perimeter to alert your of any unwanted invasions of your “space”. The devices don’t actually use real laser beams (hence the spelling ‘lazer’), but use infrared beams to create an invisible trip wire that sets off an alarm when anyone crosses it.

The kit comes with three devices, one main and two secondary units that each send and detect a beam. You can set up two that point at each other or all three or more to create a perimeter. Each …

Chinavision shows off HD wireless media center enclosure

Chinavision CVSBN-6000 HD Wireless Media Center

From overseas comes a new HD wireless media center enclosure - all you need do is add a hard drive. It is called the Chinavision CVSBN-6000 HD Wireless Media Center and there is no pricing information available as of yet.

The Chinavision CVSBN-6000 HD Wireless Media Center is designed to provide 1080p output to your television, making it similar to other products in the media center world. What it does do which is cool is allow for up to 500GB of hard drive storage while also supporting a wide variety of audio and video file formats. It is also 802.11 wireless, allowing for wireless access to media on your PC.

Jules Verne called, he wants his watch back

Jules Verne called, he wants his watch backIf you love Steampunk, then you’ll love Haruo Suekichi’s creations. He’s has lost count on just how many pieces he has created, but an estimate is around 6000-7000. They are made primarily with brass and leather and each is unique. They go well with bowler hats and canes, handlebar mustaches, and frilly shirts. If Haruo Suekichi lived during Jules Verne’s time, he would have made watches for him. Haruo Suekichi has been at it for 13 years and now he’s showing an interest in creating antique fountain pens to go with the rest of your Victorian theme.

Hello Kitty G68 Shake Phone

Hello Kitty Shake!

So Hello Kitteh has jsut upgraded their line to include a shake enabled phone. With the way accelerometers are being used prevalently in the industry to do all sorts of things, shaking your phone to change tracks is definitely one of the main uses, present in the new G68 Hello Kitty phone. Other phone manufacturers also use the accelerometer for turning the phone to silent mode by turning it over.

This G68 Hello Kitty comes with Bluetooth, a touch screen and stylus, MP3 player and 100% cuteness.

[photo c/o Shiny Shiny]

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Rabu, 08 Oktober 2008

Microsoft announces Equipt subscription service

Microsoft EquiptMicrosoft has made no secret that it likes the idea of subscription based software. A subscription service has often been rumored to be a potential distribution method for all sorts of Microsoft software from productivity applications to operating systems.

The first product to come to market from Microsoft as a subscription service was announced today and is called Microsoft Equipt. The Equipt service will cost users $69.99 per year and includes a combination of Microsoft Windows Live OneCare and Microsoft Office Home and Student.

Quiksilver Ray watch is eco-friendly

Quiksilver Ray watch is eco-friendlyWell known surfing apparel company Quiksilver has a new watch called The Ray. It should last for many years since it’s an analog watch boasting a 27-jewel movement. The display unusual, making it different and attractive to many. You’ll either love it or hate it.

Another bonus for stylish hippies is that it leaves a minimal carbon footprint on the environment rather then a huge bigfoot print. It’s even shipped in eco-friendly packaging via sea instead of air, which reduces CO2 emissions. It’s a limited edition, with only be 1,000 available throughout the world, so be prepared to pay big money.

Sonos adds new wireless music hardware

Sonos ZonePlayer 120

The wireless mult-room music system developers over at Sonos are releasing some new players to update their line of products. These are the Sonos ZonePlayer 120 and ZonePlayer 90, priced at around $500 and $350, respectively.

The Sonos ZonePlayer 120 offers up what the manufacturer says are “advances in power supply design, digital amplifier engineering, industrial design, and mechanical engineering.” These all amounts to what is perhaps the best ZonePlayer to date. The ZonePlayer 90, meanwhile, is more of a basic unit.

Sony Ericsson does up ladies’ Bluetooth watches

Sony Ericsson MBW-200

Sony Ericsson launched this week its first collection of Bluetooth watches for women. Looking not geeky at all, you’ll find the MBW-200 range of watches available in select global markets by the end of the year.

The MBW-200 watches offer what Sony Ericsson describes as “three different sophisticated designs to match your personality.” They were designed in conjunction with Fossil and are labeled the Sparkling Allure, Contemporary Elegance and Evening Classic Editions.

Sony Ericsson W350i: Sex and the City edition

Sony Ericsson W350i: Sex and the City editionTo celebrate the success of the movie, and solely to appeal to the ladies, Sony Ericsson has announced the W350i, Sex and the City edition. It’s a limited edition white W350i that comes with a memory stick preloaded with the movie’s soundtrack, three wallpapers, and the video song, “Labels or Love” by Fergie.

Other specs are the same like the 1.9 inch high-res screen, 1.3 Megapixel camera, GPRS and dedicated music controls on the flap. It won’t make you Sarah Jessica Parker, or any of the other women on the show, but maybe it will give you some fashion cred with your fellow ladies.

NOKIA Mobile Phone : Nokia should teach others how to answer difficult “iPhone related” questions

Heard this from Rico over at the Gadget Blog in his recent trip to Singapore for the 5800 XpressMusic launch…. and here are my conclusions to what really took place!

So Nokia launched their new 5800 XpressMusic phone, which by some comparison is similar to the iPhone because of its touch screen. Of course, with the iPhone being the phone to beat, journalists can’t help but ask and compare this little beauty to the iPhone. You can’t blame them. It’s part of a story angle for human interest.

Nokia 5800 XpressMusic

So all things come in context if you read this post first. Read it? OK great.

It is good that product managers are very aware of the competition. But marketing is marketing - they should only mention the “other phone that begins with an i” if a journalist asks a question pertaining to that during a press conference. Otherwise, I don’t see a need to passively promote your competitor’s products.

So a journo did ask about the iPhone and guess what the Nokia product manager said?

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Selasa, 07 Oktober 2008

Microsoft adds new features to all Zunes with free update

Zune UpdateOdds are that most people shopping for a MP3 player are going to end up opting for an iPod of one model or another. Some folks out there will look for alternatives to Apple’s offerings though for one reason or another. Microsoft’s line of Zune players may be just the ticket for music fans looking for Apple alternatives.

Microsoft’s latest update for all Zune players is now available. The update adds some nice new features including free Wi-Fi access to the Zune Marketplace from Wayport hotspots in more than 9800 McDonald’s restaurants around the country.

New D-Link media player streams Web video to TVs

D-Link DPG-1200 PC to TV media player We first brought you word of the D-Link PC-on-TV Player back during CES in January. D-Link has now announced availability of this media player, pricing the DPG-1200 at around $240.

The D-Link DPG-1200 lets you stream Web-based content normally available through your PC to your television instead. It connects to a TV through several different types of video outputs and uses Wi-Fi to connect to the home network. It includes a remote control for navigation of content.

BenQ S6: First Atom-powered Mobile Internet Device

BenQ S6: First Atom-powered Mobile Internet DeviceDesktops are quickly becoming a thing of the past. When you have an Intel Atom powered UMPC with an 800MHz processor, you really don’t need much more. The BenQ S6 is compact, and powerful. It’s a Mobile Internet Device with 512MB memory and a 2GB SSD, featuring Bluetooth 2.0, Wi-Fi and HSDPA. It also sports a stylus-enabled 4.8inch WVGA touchscreen, built-in G-sensor, mini USB and microSD slot. It even comes with cool “free-surf” user interface. Great for the traveler who needs a powerful device. The BenQ S6 retails for $629.

Swatch 007 Villain collection watches

Swatch 007 Villain collection watchesThere’s good news and there’s bad news. The bad news is that these watches haven’t been in Q’s workshop and outfitted with weapons. The good news is that these 007 Villain watches from Swatch look pretty damn cool. Perfect for any villain looking to cause mayhem on a global scale.

You can get 19 different watches from the collection, all based on classic Bond movies like Quantum Of Solace, The Spy Who Loved Me, Live And Let Die, A View To A Kill, Goldfinger and Casino Royale and others. They cost anywhere from $60 to $235. I guess you can always have weapons and gadgets put in after you purchase them. You might as well take over the world in style. Meanwhile the villains from Austin Powers get no respect. Where are their watches?

Beware the pink tank: It shoots hot dogs

pink tank: It shoots hot dogs30 year-old Philadelphia guy Vin Marshall and nine of his friends built this 2,000-pound replica tank from junkyard parts, complete with a functioning pneumatic cannon that fires hot dogs. Believe it or not it moves using pedal power. It has enough room to fit hardware for six peddlers and yield about 1.5 horsepower.

Problem is that’s not enough to move tank treads, so they decided to use wheels instead. Then they gave it bicycle-like gearing to get more power from less exertion. When parade day arrived it all worked out and they were able to move along at 15 mph with a full load. It cost about $3000 to build. Why pink? I have no idea. Maybe because it fits the whole hot dog theme. I didn’t see any specs on how many dogs per minute it fires, but just the fact that it does it is impressive. Check out a video below.

Oyster card hack details revealed

Oyster card on Tube map, Getty
The Oyster card is used on London's travel network.

Details of how to hack one of the world's most popular smartcards have been published online.

The research by Professor Bart Jacobs and colleagues at Radboud University in Holland reveals a weakness in the widely used Mifare Classic RFID chip.

This is used in building entry systems and is embedded in the Oyster card used on London's transport network.

Publication of the research was delayed by legal action taken by the chip's manufacturer.

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Senin, 06 Oktober 2008

Yamaha gets wood with new iPod docks

Yamaha gets wood with new iPod docksGot wood? Yamaha does. Yamaha Japan announced the TSX-120 and TSX-130 iPod docks, both with a soft wood finish. The TSX-130 seen above comes with USB connectors and a CD-drive which supports playback and recording. Shared features on these units include an amplifier output of 15W × 2ch, 2 x eight cms speakers, frequency response of 60Hz ~ 20kHz, FM tuner and remote control.

Sure, nothing new here, but look, wood! They may match your style and even if they don’t, they’re bound to match that Atari you have lying around.These should hit Japanese stores in early December if you want one for X-mas. The TSX-120 will sell for about$ 300, while the TSX-130 will be about $ 400.

NOKIA Mobile Phone : Nokia 5800 XpressMusic gets official

Nokia 5800 XpressMusic gets officialNokia’s sexy 5800 XpressMusic is official. If you’ve been waiting, and I know you have, the phone will be shipping this quarter, available in black, red or blue, and will cost an affordable $392 unlocked, with an 8GB memory card. It will be powered by the S60 5th Edition operating system. Some features include a 3.2-inch 640 x 360 touchscreen, 3.2 megapixel autofocus camera with Carl Zeiss optics, Dual LED flash, GPS, and Wi-Fi. It’s all set to go up against the iPhone.

Human Skull USB drive is bone-headed

Human Skull USB drive is bone-headedSo you’re looking for a gift for your uncle Fester, but a normal run of the mill flash drive just won’t cut it. You need something more specific, something morbid, something dead and void of flesh, not to mention separated from it’s body. This 2GB USB 2.0 compliant flash memory shaped like a human skull might be just the thing. For a normal user, it might look odd to have a skull sticking out of a USB socket, unless it’s Halloween, but with your family it will fit right in with the cobwebs and coffins. Only $19. Maybe give it a little wig or something.

Limited edition cat motorcycle purrs, loudly

Limited edition cat motorcycle purrs, loudlyThere’s not a ton of information on this cat-themed motorcycle, but we can tell you that it’s powered by a 1200cc Buell 97 S3 Thunderbolt engine. We also believe it’s supposed to be a Jaguar, the cat body being fiberglass finished in ultra-high-gloss ebony polyurethane lacquer. The air intakes and exhaust system of course had to be custom-engineered to go along with the cat body.

They will definitely see you coming on this bike. That is, if you have any money left for gas after shelling out almost $600,000. It would be a perfect bike for say, Catwoman in the next Dark Knight movie.

Zippo virtual lighter app for iPhone

Zippo App for iPhoneOne thing that has been a concert going tradition as long at power ballads have been around is holding your cigarette lighter above your head with the flame going. This can be a problem if you want to partake in the tradition but don’t smoke. Zippo has just the thing for non-smokers who want to participate.

Zippo and software firm Moderati have launched a new App for the iPhone that is available free on the Apple App Store. The application is called the Virtual Zippo Lighter and will work on the iPhone and iPod touch.

NOKIA Mobile Phone : Fido unveils pink Nokia 3500

Fido unveils pink Nokia 3500The Nokia 3500 is now available in pink from Fido, even though it doesn’t look all that pink. Not really that big of a deal. The pink is limited to the direction pad and keypad which light up. The pinkified Nokia 3500 will cost the same as the regular version of the 3500: $15 a month with a 3-year contract, $90 for a 2-year contract, $100 standalone phone. Probably a good phone for those girls who want to be all Sex in the City.

It features a 2 megapixel camera, music player and built-in FM radio, Bluetooth connectivity, tri-band GSM support and a microSD memory card slot. Also has Handsfree speaker, Voice commands, calendar, to-do list, notes, countdown timer, stopwatch and calculator. Just a bit of pink. Nothing to see here. Move along.

Acer unveils four new Aspire Gemstone laptops

Acer unveils Aspire 8930, 6930, 5735 & 4730 Gemstone laptopsI picked up an Acer Gemstone 6920 awhile back and it’s an awesome and powerful laptop. Those who are wanting to get in on the Gemstone action and haven’t yet now have four new models to look at. The high-end Aspire 8930 sports a 18.4-inch HD CineCrystal display, 2.53GHz Core 2 Duo T9400 CPU, 4GB of DDR3 RAM, NVIDIA’s GeForce 9700M GT, optional Blu-ray drive, WiFi, 320GB 7,200RPM SATA drive and starts at $1,699.99.

The 6930 features a 16-inch WXGA LCD and as you might expect, less few less options for $699.99. Then there’s the 5735 with a Pentium T3200, 15.6-inch WXGA display, and 2GB of RAM for $549.99. Last but not least is the 14.1-inch 4730, which also starts at $549.99. All are available now.

Beer-filled USB flash drive to break in case of emergency

Beer-filled USB flash drive to break in case of emergencyYou know, I don’t know what this says about us as a society, but for some reason this gadget truly exists. What we have here is an authentic beer-filled USB flash drive that even features 3D “optional customizable floating objects” inside. With this liquid storage device you can celebrate your love of beer by always having some with you.

And if things ever get too dry and you find yourself in need of a hit, I’m sure you could break it and get just enough booze to wet your beak. Though I wouldn’t recommend it, you don’t wanna choke on those “optional customizable floating objects”. Storage size ranges from 128 MB to 8GB. You might also want to be careful that you don’t crack it and feed your laptop beer.

Midnight Mexico Minigod speakers

Midnight Mexico Minigod speakersWe told you about the Minigod speakers awhile back. They’re an excellent way to worship sound and should you have a spare virgin or two lying about, they will gladly accept sacrifices. Not that you can actually find a virgin. More likely you’ll have to get yourself a small volcano to complete the theme. Marka27 is back with some new Minigod speakers. A limited edition of the Midnight Mexico Minigod speaker.

These are 2 inches taller then the originals at 17 inches tall. The MG2 will cost you $119.95 and even comes with a bonus mix CD by DJ Plan B. Your Minigod even sports an external AC adapter port so you can play music without batteries. They come in a limited edition of only 200, so get ‘em fast.

Dead Space goes gold

Dead Space PS3 Obsidian SuitVideo games are at the top of many holiday wish lists and the holiday season will be here before you know it. One of the most anticipated video games of the holiday season on the PC, PS3, and Xbox is Dead Space from EA.

EA has announced that Dead Space has already gone gold. The game will ship on October 14 for the PS3 and Xbox with PC gamers getting their version on October 20. EA is offering nothing special for PC gamers, but console owners who buy in the first two weeks will be given a special suit.

Hackers prepare supermarket sweep

Reformed hacker Jacques Erasmus of security firm Prevx explains the scam

Self-checkout systems in UK supermarkets are being targeted by hi-tech criminals with stolen credit card details.

A BBC investigation has unearthed a plan hatching online to loot US bank accounts via the checkout systems.

Fake credit cards loaded with details from the accounts will be used to get cash or buy high value goods.

The supermarkets targeted said there was little chance the fraudsters would make significant gains with their plan.

With the help of computer security experts the BBC found a discussion on a card fraud website in which hi-tech thieves debated the best way to strip money from the US accounts.

The thieves claim to have comprehensive details of US credit and debit cards passed to them from an American gang who tapped phone lines between cash machines and banks.

'Cashing out'

Dollars in wallet, Eyewire
The funds being laundered have been pilfered from US bank accounts

The gang plans to copy card details onto the magnetic stripes of fake cards and then use them in UK stores. In the discussion on the card site those co-ordinating the fraud say they are seeking places to "cash out", meaning strip funds from the bank accounts using fake cards.

In the forum they are asking for information about Asda and Tesco stores in which it is possible to use self-service systems that mules could visit with the fake cards to get at the cash.

The fraudsters are looking for self-service systems to avoid contact with store staff who may spot the fake cards.

Over the period of a month from mid-August the ringleader claims he will have details from 2300 cards to handle.

In the forum he declares: "Its (sic) shopping spree guys help me out and I will take care of you."

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Pantech C610 mobile phone for AT&T announced

Pantech C610 Clamshell PhoneAs the holidays grow nearer, we will see more and more handsets that are new announced in an attempt to grab the holiday dollars of shoppers. Most of the handsets will be exclusive to one provider or another. Pantech and AT&T announced their newest mobile phone today called the C610.

The handset is a flip-phone that offers a multiple multimedia features including GPS and 3G network access. Pantech says that the design of the handset emphasizes fashion and function. It looks rather plain to me, but is decent looking.

Didiom placeshifting application for iTunes

Didiom Placeshifting ApplicaitonApple’s iTunes store is hands down the most popular place to buy music around. Many people have tons of tracks in iTunes and teh ability to listen to those tracks on a wide variety of mobile phones while on the move would be a great thing for most music fans.

Didiom has announced that its placeshifting application for iTunes is in beta. The application allows iTunes users to stream music from iTunes on their PC to a mobile phone wirelessly. The software works with both BlackBerry and Windows Mobile devices.

Mahjong USB flash drive

Mahjong USB flash driveMahjong tiles can be considered an art form, just like the game and now you can get in on the action with a Mahjong USB flash drive. It’s called the MahjongDisk and it’s a handcrafted USB flash drive made to look like three Mahjong tiles stacked together.

Thing is at $400 you might as well just make your own. The $400 drive is constructed from wood and available in 8GB or 16GB capacities. The Lan-Xue model will retail for another $100 compare to the Li-Shui, and both use materials found in classic Chinese furniture. Read and write speeds have been rated at 18MB/s and 15MB/s. The price includes getting them engraved with whatever you like, with something like, “I paid $400 and all I got was this lousy USB flash drive”.

Samungs lets Verizon Sway to new mobile

Samsung Sway

Verizon Wireless today unveiled a new slim slider phone designed for them by Samsung. It is called the Samsung Sway and you’ll find it pricing around $70 after rebate and contract.

The Samsung Sway offers your typical array of media and lifestyle features to make it more than just a mobile. It includes being a MP3 player which can be loaded with music via a USB cable, a 2.0-megapixel digital camera with video recording and digital zoom and Bluetooth support.

Boost Mobile offering flip Motorola i776

Motorola i776

Boost Mobile unveiled today it latest mobile phone from Motorola. It is the old school looking i776, which you’ll find pricing around $100.

The Motorola i776 is Boost’s smallest flip phone with a digital camera (VGA). It comes compatible with Boost’s walkie-talkie service and is also GPS enabled.

Firefox Mobile coming in a few weeks?

Firefox Mobile coming in a few weeks?Mozilla CEO, John Lilly has hinted in an Interview that we may be seeing Firefox Mobile in a few weeks time. If the reports are true, we may see an alpha version of Firefox Mobile very soon. An excerpt from the interview:

“We want to make sure that the Web on mobile is more like the Web than what the mobile industry offers today, which is closed, separate networks and not a very good information-getting experience for the user. The first thing is to bring Firefox to mobile devices. We’re working on that, and we’ll see some alphas in a few weeks.”

Hello Kitty USB webcam sees all

Hello Kitty USB webcam sees allHello Kitty fans can now be spied on by the dreaded pink menace. This USB web camera is no doubt exactly what you’ve been looking for. It will silently watch and make sure that your room is full of other Hello Kitty merchandise, whether you are a 14 year old girl or a 40 something man with issues. It’s compatible with Windows Vista/XP/2000 and features a 640×480 resolution at 15 frames per second.

The price is $86 and this webcam won’t just steal your heart, but it will steal your pink cat-loving soul. Listen, I’ve tried to tell you before, this cat is taking over the world and making life look like a little girl’s room for everyone. And that ain’t right. We must rise up and fight. I have to go now. My cat is watching and I don’t want to be reported to Hello Kitty HQ.

IntelliTunes is a jukebox for your wall

IntelliTunes is a jukebox for your wallFor those of you who like to have a home that is more bar then dwelling, consider this device instead of a jukebox. It will go great with your round pool table. The IntelliTunes Digital Jukebox. It features two screens and mounts on your wall. It doesn’t just play CDs.

It will also network with your computer so that you can play all of the music you have stored on it by remote control. On top of that, it sports a visualization screen for animations to play along with the music. Consider it a Mega iPod. What we’re talking about here is a built-in UltraHiFi 360 watt 2 channel amplifier and full windows XP functionality, wireless internet, online radio streaming, DVD drive and iPod/MP3 support all in one unit on your wall. Sweet.