If you are totally addicted to the Bejeweled original or its second edition, EA Mobile and PopCap Games are planning to introduce updated versions of the game later this year. They will have enhanced graphics and audio effects, and will allow for multi-player access in North America. According to their data, the puzzle game has been a top-10 seller since EA purchased the title in 2001. Originally developed for Internet play, the title has been expanded to include cell phones, PDAs, PMPs, in-flight systems, and video game consoles. Just don’t let us catch you playing Bejeweled when you are stuck in rush hour or we might want to challenge you to a showdown.
Read More | PopCap
Google has announced that it will be paying $3.1 billion to purchase DoubleClick, giving them even more status as king of the Internet. The New York based company provides corporate banners in richer graphics, which is currently about half of all online marketing. At this point, Yahoo has been the forerunner in that field. This means that instead of seeing boring old Google text ads that want us to spend our money when searching around the Web, we will be able to view garish ones that will probably be twice as irritating. It also allows us to look forward to their future expansion into print, radio, video, mobile and television ad markets. Happy, happy, joy, joy.
Read More | Reuters
In order to promote the launch of their new video game “Burnout Dominator,” Electronic Arts has teamed up with AOL to offer an online poll asking what music gives people road rage. At present, over 1,700 voters have responded with tracks such as Bruce Springsteen’s “Born to Run,” Meatloaf’s “Bat out of Hell,” and Feeder’s “Buck Rogers.” The game is available for PS2 and PSP for $39.99. We don’t know why the Hoff’s “Jump In My Car” didn’t make the top ten because, quite frankly, that pushes us over the edge.
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
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