If you’re a gamer, you know that Sony’s Playstation Portable has an incredible amount of uses: UMD movies, music player, photo viewer,
internet access, and, oh yeah, video games. Well, instructors at Holyhead Secondary School in Birmingham, England are about to test a new use: teaching aid. Over the past 2 months, Holyhead teachers have been learning how to create podcasts, download media, upload pupils’ schoolwork, and more with the PSP. Lorna Diprose, whose departure from Sony Marketing to teach French at Holyhead led to this test run, feels the PSP is “...just like a mini-computer…you can use it to tailor-make lessons for pupils who need support or stretching.” The PSPs start their new job right after Easter break and will last until the end of the school year.
It’s finally official. After rumors as far back as last August, Sony Company Entertainment America has announced a price drop on its PSP, from $199.99 to $169.99 in honor of it’s second anniversary of existence. The company claims that 25 million units were sold worldwide in 2006, with over a million being bought in December alone.
SCEA also says that “Daxter” and “The Syphon Filter: Dark Mirror” will soon be available for the game system at a MSRP of $19.99, as part of its “greatest hits” collection. Future titles will include “God of War,” “SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs,” and “Ratchet and Clank.”
Read More | Sony
Since we last reported how to prepare for Daylight Savings Time, Gary Beach, publisher of CIO Magazine, said there were very few problems. But we are not quite out of the DST woods yet. There may still be a mini-Y2K this Sunday night, when those who didn’t upgrade may find themselves off-kilter. If you have an older computer or other electronic device, keep a close watch, for it may still change by an hour. If you are starting to get a bit panicky, contact the manufacturer of your device, and don’t say we didn’t warn you.
Read More | USA Today
Paul Notzold has created TXTual Healing with large speech bubbles projected on flat surfaces such as walls outside an art gallery. They are arranged near windows and doors and participants are encouraged to SMS dialogue with the bubbles after they receive a flyer with a cell phone number and instructions. It is even possible to direct responses to specific ones with the users’ own bubbles.
Going one step further, there are also images inside the gallery such as “One of You Will Betray Me,” which allows the audience to create dialogue on an image of The Last Supper. Currently on display at the Contemporary Museum of Baltimore, check out this demo, then contact Mr. Notzol for his future travel schedule.
Read More | Paul Notzold
We get a little teary-eyed when we reminisce to “back in the day”—when it was all about the Sony Walkman (and those orange earpuffs!) for portable music listening. Apparently Sony is also tired of its old-school status, as it has just introduced the NW-A800, it’s new MP3/video Walkman. The slim device sports a 2” color screen, and supports MPEG-4 video files. You can easily download video to the NW-A800, using it’s drag ‘n’ drop feature. And one of the player’s best features is its battery life: up to 30 hours for music and 8 hours for video…take that, iPod! Plus, if your own video and music collection isn’t enough, visit the Sony Connect download site to buy some more. The NW-A800 will be available in Europe in April, in sizes ranging from 2GB to 8GB, which frankly, we think is a little small. The price for the 8GB will be £199, approximately $400 USD. Hopefully the prices will be less when the NW-A800 arrives in the US.
Read More | Sony
We have just discovered ShoZu, a free service that allows you to send and receive audio and video without the aid of a computer. Subscribe to the Zucasts you like, i.e. music videos, pod casts, or celebrity photos, push a button, and there it is. No endless menus or Internet connection needed. Currently there are 24 cell phone companies compatible with ShoZu and they claim more models are being added daily. Although the service is free, you will have to check with your network provider to see if you can get a flat rate fee, since this has the potential of being quite pricey.
Read More | ShoZu
Congress decided to pass a measure to begin daylight saving time three weeks earlier, thinking that the longer the day, the less energy consumption. Now some scientists are thinking that because many of our electronic gadgets will not know this, they may have mini-meltdowns and we will experience a minor Y2K. You can either freak out about this piece of information (if you are one of those who did before the first scare,) or calm down, get yourself a shot of tequila, and see what experts suggest you do to prepare:
- If you have a fairly recent computer with Windows Vista, Windows XP Service Pack 2, or Apple’s OS X, you can probably breath a sigh of relief since it will either know it or has already received an online software patch. If your computer is older, don’t forget to change its clock Saturday night and again in April.
- If you own a Blackberry or similar handheld device, you may need an update. Check the company’s website for information.
- Most cell phones receive time signals from service providers, and most of the major ones have updated their systems. Contact yours if you think there may be a problem.
- Check your Tivo or preset VCR to make sure that your programs make the adjustment. You don’t want to be taping the latest episode of “Lost” and find out that you have accidentally recorded “According to Jim.”
Daylight-savings time would ordinarily have begun on the first Sunday in April. Instead, it’ll begin this weekend.
Read More | ABC News
What’s better than a game of Pacman? A game of Ms. Pacman, of course. The Namco classic is celebrating its 25th anniversary and will soon be available from the iTunes store for your iPod. Last fall the original was released, and we are thinking that Apple is making yet another attempt to compete with the PSP which, with a modicum of hacking, already boasts the ability to carry many of the classic games, such as those produced by Atari. Find Ms. Pacman at the iTunes store at the decently inexpensive price of $5.99.
Moixa has already produced an award winning USB connector for charging regular batteries. Now they have unveiled one for cell phones, Blackberries, and other personal devices that will not only save you a few bucks but will also help save the planet. This is truly a gift for those of us who have a tendency to run our cell phone down to empty before we remember we actually have to recharge it occasionally. Contact Moixa for price and future availability or to be put on their product launch alert list.
Read More | Moixa
With all the cell phones and smartphones out there flaunting the latest innovations, choosing the right one can be a daunting process. Research in Motion just made that decision even harder (or perhaps easier depending on your view) when it introduced the new BlackBerry 8800 at the 3GSM World Congress, a showcase for state-of-the-art wireless devices. While targeted toward the corporate crowd, the 8800—the slimmest corporate Blackberry yet—includes such consumer-friendly features as a media player that supports MP3 and AAC audio as well as MPEG-4 and H.263 encoded video files, and a microSD slot for music and video storage. The smartphone also contains a QWERTY keyboard, trackball, GPS software and Bluetooth capability.
The 8800 is a quad-band GSM/GPRS and supports EDGE - but oddly enough, leaves out HSDPA. That means that while the phone is slick, you won’t be doing any broadband surfing or downloading. It also has a built-in GPS chip, which means it can give you directions and support other location-based applications right out of the box.
The BlackBerry 8800 will be available this month, with pricing yet to be announced.
Read More | BlackBerry 8800 Product Page
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