On Gear Live: Apple announces HBO Now standalone service, exclusive to Apple TV at launch

Motorola A630 Pretty much everyone has a cell phone these days, right?  Some have cameras, some have Internet and email access, some play mp3’s, and some can even be used to watch TV segments.  Heck, some even have the capability to do all of the above.  Phones these days can do nearly anything, so why not store your credit or debit card information on the phone, so you don’t even need to take your wallet when you leave the house?  The process is quite simple, and it’s already in use in Japan.

At the simplest level, all that’s needed is to embed phones with a short-range radio chip to beam credit card information to a terminal at a store register. It’s not unlike the wireless system used to pay tolls on many highways or the SpeedPass key chain wand used to buy gas at Exxon Mobile Corp. pumps.

Mastercard International has already been testing out this technology, which they call PayPass,  since 2003, and they may even conduct a market trial sometime next year.

Read More | USA Today


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Pac-Man 25One of the most popular video games in the world turns 25 this month.  Pac-Man, along with ghostly rivals Blinky, Pinky, Inky, and Clyde, is celebrating a quarter century on the pop culture map by offering a special edition 25th anniversary arcade machine. You can also expect to find Pac-Mania 3D, Pac-Man World 3, Pac-Pix and Pac-Man Pinball in stores.  The games are of course being released by Namco which sold nearly 300,000 units of the original arcade game between 1980-1987.

It all began in Japan, when Toru Iwatani, a young designer at Namco, caught inspiration from a pizza that was missing a slice. Puck-Man, as it was originally called, was born. Because of obvious similarities to a certain four-letter profanity, “Puck” became “Pac” when it debuted in the U.S. in 1980.

Read More | USA Today


Playfeed columnist Jake Metcalf made an appearance on The Chris Pirillo Show last week, talking about games and technology with Chris and his callers. If you haven’t caught the show, I definitely recommend you checking it out. Jake did a great job helping out, as well as defending the Nintendo Gamecube. In fact, add the show to your podcasting client. I may get the opportunity to be on the show myself sometime in the near future, as the last time I was invited, I was on my way to new York City.


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Playfeed columnist Jake Metcalf made an appearance on The Chris Pirillo Show last week, talking about games and technology with Chris and his callers. If you haven’t caught the show, I definitely recommend you checking it out. Jake did a great job helping out, as well as defending the Nintendo Gamecube. Big ups.


DiscHub ReviewOne of the greatest innovations to come to the computing market in years just got a bit better! A little over a year ago DiscHub launched their fantastic disc management system. DiscHub just launched the second version of their product and I have had the pleasure of reviewing the improvements. Check out the full review after the jump.

Click to continue reading DiscHub Version 2.0 Review


Google Pay Service Those of you who don’t like PayPal should be pretty happy to hear this news- the Wall Street Journal reported online Friday that search engine giant Google is planning to roll out it’s own payment proccesor sometime later this year.  This could be bad news to PayPal owner eBay, since the payment processor accounted for 23% of eBay’s revenue in the first quarter of this year.  Google could pose a major financial threat to one of it’s biggest advertisers, but that might not be such a bad thing.

Expanding into online payments might make Google less dependent on advertising, which accounted for nearly all of its first-quarter revenue of $1.26 billion. The merchants who run auctions on eBay are major buyers of Google’s ads, which appear alongside search results.

Read More | USA Today


Musical Porch Swing

When I was younger, I always wanted to have porch swing.  I also wanted a xylophone.  I got the xylophone, but my parents weren’t willing to get me the porch swing, so you can imagine my delight when I came upon the Musical Porch Swing from Musical Furnishings.  At first glance, it appears to be no more than a regular cedar swing, but make no mistake, each piece of the swing is hand tuned.  Each swing also come with a pair of mallets and a songbook to get you started.  While this is a high quality piece of home furniture, the price is also high at $1,000 USD.  The company also makes coffee tables, chests, and childrens’ furniture as well.

Prior to these offerings, a person would have to purchase two separate items at a substantially higher cost and still not achieve the space conservation, ease of access, and novelty that of our products offer. Whole sections of musical instrument classifications are waiting to be explored and incorporated into the home setting.

Read More | Musical Furnishings via I4U


Internet TeleportingTwo computer scientists at Carnegie Mellon University in Pennsylvania think that within a human generation we may have the ability to replicate any 3D object out of a material made of small synthetic “atoms”, giving us the ablity to “teleport” over the internet.  Professors Todd Mowry and Seth Goldstein first came up with the idea from a process known as claymation, an animation process that uses clay figures and manipulation to produce an images of realistic movement.

Cameras would capture the movement of an object or person and then this data would be fed to the atoms, which would then assemble themselves to make up an exact likeness of the object.  ‘When you watch something created by claymation, it is a real object and it looks like its moving itself. That’s something like the idea we’re doing… in our case, the idea is that you have computation in the ‘clay’, as though the clay can move itself.

Read More | BBC


Google Vase SpeakerGoogle is is just about everywhere these days with their search engine and Gmail. Why not give them even more real estate using your desk? Check out the Google Icon Vase Speaker. On sale now at the Google Store for $30.75, the dark metallic blue speaker hooks up easily enough through your USB port.

Many computer speakers have a rather grim look and too many wires, so consider this sound alternative: a single 2-way surround sound speaker with innovative audio lens technology, a tweeter tuned for clarity. The speaker is powered by a single USB plug (no adapter required), and the clever on/off knob at the top emits an orange LED glow when it’s on.

Read More | Red Ferret


BittyBot

Most of us already have an iPod and iTunes so we can listen to our favorite songs on-the-go, but those of you who use OS X Tiger and have a Skype account with SkypeOut, can now hear your favorite songs on your cell phone.  Using a script called DittyBot, Mac users will now be able to email a song request and have the song sent to their phone in about a minute.

You send a text message from your mobile phone to your POP email account. Your text message should contain the keywords of a song title (and possibly an artist name) that you want to hear. DittyBot finds that email (he checks Mail every 45 seconds) and copies the song name into a text file. The song name is then copied into iTunes and a playlist is created from your search. Next, DittyBot loads Skype (the Internet telephony app) and begins calling your mobile phone. Your mobile phone rings and when you pick it up, you should hear your song start playing in all its compressed glory. DittyBot will play your selection to you over your phone until you hang up. Mind you, this all should happen within 1 minute of sending your song request (depending on the speed of your POP server). Sometimes it’s even quicker!

DittyBot is an Apple Automator Workflow and there is a pretty good amount of setup involved, so make sure you pay close attention to the directions.

Read More |Plastic Bugs


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