I can remember when Napster was the only game in town. These days, thanks to Roxio's aquisition, it's relaunching itself as a subscription-based music service, in the face of some very stiff competition. Here's the deal: For $10 a month you get unlimited access to more than 750,000 songs that you can play only on your computer. This model provides a better profit margin for Napster, which doesn't have proprietary music players to support its business, ala Apple. That's looking to change soon however, with this Fall's upcoming launch of Napster To Go, which will allow users to transfer their songs to other compatible music players, for an additional $5 a month.
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A few years ago, in anticipation of the PlayStation 2 launch, Sony released the PSone. It was a regular Playstation, just mini-sized. It was a great move, as it allowed Sony to continue selling the old hardware while early adopters opted to pick up the newer, sleeker PlayStation 2. So what exactly is the PStwo? Well, it is just a much smaller version of the current PlayStation 2. About 30% smaller. Despite it's size, don't expect a price drop. All signs point to the console remaining at $149.99 USD. Oh, and the GTA: San Andreas delay? That was so that the game would launch on the same day as the PStwo. Good thinking on Rockstar's part.
Now if only Microsoft could think of a way to shrink down the enormous XBOX.
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Looks like plane companies are doing all they can to distinguish themselves and draw in new customers. Can you imagine sending SMS messages and making phone calls with your own cell phone while in flight? Using a small onboard base station, European planemaker Airbus has been able to route calls via a satellite to the ground and its terrestrial telephone networks. We wonder if this explains those weird plane designs we've seen: Check out the Airbus Swan Maxi, and also the Super Transporter.
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Many years ago, the entertainment industry tried to do away with VCR's citing that it was illegal to make unauthorized copies of their material. Courts decided that there were many legal advantages to the technology, despite the fact that few might abuse it. They let it stick. Betamax gaded away because the VHS standard beat it out, however, the court decision stands to this day. The Betamax ruling is the only thing that protects your right to own a VCR, tape recorder, CD-burner, DVD-burner, iPod, or TiVo.
With the recent Induce Act, lobbyists are trying to get the Betamax decision overturned, which would create a huge liability for any business that makes products which can copy sound or video. It would give the entertainment industry the power to essentially veto new technology. Want to help keep our precious tech moving forward? Check out savebetamax.org.
Two exciting PlayStation 2 games were revealed by Sony of Japan last week. The first was what a lot of Sony fans have been waiting for: a semi-direct sequel to ICO. While previous news stories had christened the game NICO, the actual name of the game will be Wanda and the Colossus. At this point not much has been revealed about the title, besides the fact that the same development team behind ICO is making the game and it will share much of the same style as a result. You can go to the website devoted to the game here. (caution: the site is in Japanese)
The second game is titled Genji, which is being developed by the former Capcom developer of Street Fighter 2 fame, Yoshiki Okamoto. He left Capcom to create a separate company (named Game Republic) and this game is the result. Set in an alternative Japanese history in the year 1159, very little has been revealed as far as gameplay. You can go the website devoted to this game here.
Hopefully in the near future (the Tokyo Game Show, perhaps?), more will be revealed about these Sony-published games.
There's a new shareware application that will display a full-screen thumboard in lieu of the standard system keyboard on your T3. Considering how the T3 screen is expandable, this should be a pretty comfortable option. Thumboard is compatible with all Palm OS applications which use a standard text field. It also provides visual and audio feedback for every key press, along with automatic repetition and "hold" for the keys that use it most frequently (such as backspace, delete, directional pad). The keyboard can be accessed or hidden with just a hardware button press. You can download Thumboard here. The shareware application costs $14.95 USD to register and includes free updates for a year.
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