This week’s DVD release list is highlighted by the absolutely brilliant Ray, which comes in the normal flavor as well as a Limited 2-Disc Special Edition. If you haven’t seen this one yet, do yourself a favor and give this one a rent at the very least. I am gonna wait for it to be available on HD PPV. Of course, if you are more in the mood for something that will make you feel like tearing your eyes out, go for The Grudge for its spookiness - or Mulan II for its, um, ungoodness. Here are the rest of the week’s releases:
Ray (Widescreen Edition) ~ Taylor Hackford
Charmed - The Complete First Season ~ Les Sheldon
Wonderfalls - The Complete Series ~ Katie Finneran
Shall We Dance (Widescreen Edition) ~ Richard Gere
Ray (Limited 2-Disc Special Edition) ~ Taylor Hackford
Mulan II ~ Lynne Southerland
Frasier - The Complete Fourth Season ~ Kelsey Grammer
I Love Lucy - The Complete Third Season ~ Lucille Ball
The Grudge ~ Sarah Michelle Gellar
Oz - The Complete Fourth Season ~ Lee Tergesen
We’re pretty fond of WowWee’s Robosapien which was introduced this past year. We figured it was only a matter of time before we saw an updated model shown here, “cleverly” named Robosapien V2. This taller model, due out in December for $200, will feature the ability to pick up, drop and throw objects, bend over and twist from side to side, sit, lie down and stand up. It also comes equipped with an infra-red radar vision, and blue LED lights to detect obstacles, track movements and take objects that are handed to him. It will even be able to control two additional products due out next year, the Roboraptor ($100) and the Robopet ($70), due in August and October 2005 respectively.
Read More | Gadget Madness
Many expected a PowerBook G5 announcement at MacWorld - but that didn’t happen. Then people expected it would come any day, but that didn’t happen either. Finally, today, Apple announced an update to their PowerBook line - but the G5 processor remains out of the equation. Instead, what differentiates the new PowerBooks from the older models are increased processor speeds on (up to 1.67GHz on the 15 and 17-inch models, and up tp 1.5GHz on the 12-inch), and the availability of 100GB drives on the 15 and 17-inch models. You also have the option of adding an 8x SuperDrives to any of the new PowerBooks. Lastly, the ATI Radeon card has been bumped up from 64MB to 128MB, and the notebooks now support Bluetooth 2.0. While that is a mouthful, we would still have preferred a G5 processor to be thrown in.
Read More | Apple PowerBook
It took them long enough, but TiVo has finally released an SDK which will allow developers to program web services and other applications for TiVo DVR’s over a network. The basic JavaHMO is an example of a program that is written to give the TiVo more functionality, but was a labor intensive project since there was no SDK at the time of its development. The first kit available to developers includes three applications - a weather module, an RSS reader, and some sort of game. Time will tell if this will be another one of those “too little, too late” deals, as Microsoft’s Windows Media Center 2005, Comcast, and others have been gaining on TiVo with much success.
Read More | The Motley Fool
This one’s for those folks who can’t afford a new NVidia card every 3 months. For a fraction of the price, you and up to three friends can take part in a board game recreation of last year’s scare-fest from id Software. Included in the game are 6 custom dice, 66 plastic miniatures (HellKnights, Zombies, Marines, etc), a rule book, and a scenario guide. I bet most scenarios involve you being in a claustrophobic boiler room, unable to hold a gun and a flashlight at the same time.
Read More | Fantasy Flight Games
Do you like the design of the Mac mini, but don’t like Apple’s software? Why not just make your own version of Apple’s latest innovation. Kevin Rose, G4 Tech TV TSS host, took a Mac Mini case, ripped it apart, and made it a PC Mini by replacing the Apple motherboard with a yet to be released Nano-ITX board. Now if only someone would make a 2Ghz+ mini system.
Read More | Kevin Rose
Opera Software will be releasing its newest Internet browser at the end of next month. This latest version talks back to the user. It also accepts voice commands. This version will have many features other than “speaking” the text on a web page for people with vision problems. This browser will also have the ability to magnify text up to 10 times, (no more fine print?) Even though this browser has many features to help visually impaired users, the company says that these features are not just for visually impaired users. Their goal is to take a first step in making human-computer interaction more natural. A nice feature is that, unlike most voice recognition software, Opera does not have to be “trained” in order to recognize the user’s voice. As technology improves, we are seeing steps in making computers smaller, more portable, with less wires, and now more interactive.
Read More | BBC News
Miniature computers, often referred to as Small Form Factor, or SFF, computers, are cropping up everywhere in the industry. With the recent release of the Mac Mini, consumers are also taking a look at other manufacturers to see what the offerings are. Dell and HP have both offered SFF computers in the past, with mixed results. Many are hoping that the Apple Mac Mini will generate industry buzz and get consumers more interested in the applications of a small computer. I know that I have wanted a small computer for some time, but have actually considered building my own. The parts are out there, and if the revolution takes off, prices will start to become more competitive. So if you need a computer to go in the living room or to sit on an already crowded desk, take a look at SFF computers.
Read More | News. com
There are a lot of misconceptions about the Macintosh, but one misconception that has persisted is the myth that Macs are incapable of using multi-button mice. And those who know this myth is false still complain about Apple not shipping computers with two button mice. Gear Live cub reporter XIcarus wanted to share a bit of background on what many believe to be Apple’s stubborness to conform.
Apple supports multi-button mice. Right out of the box. Furthermore, this is not a ‘new feature’ of OS X. Support for contextual menus (the primary use for the two button mouse) have been around since OS 8.6, which is now more than seven years old. Let me repeat, Apple supports multi-button mice. Even if you use a one button mouse, you can still access contextual menu through ‘control-clicking’ (Hold down the control key when you click the mouse button).
In a Q and A session John Connors, Senior Vice President & Chief Financial Officer of Microsoft, said the following:
“In terms on the next Xbox, we haven’t announced a release. I think the next period when Robbie and the team will talk about that is at E3 in Los Angeles in May. They’re hard at work on it, but it doesn’t have a summer announce.”
We already know that J Allard will deliver the keynote address at this year’s conference. If we know Microsoft, a top level executive or Bill Gates himself will unveil any news about its next generation technology. Taking that into account, we can be almost 90% sure on some sort of announcement or demonstration at May’s game conference. This year’s E3 will be, without a doubt, one of the best in its history. Sony and Nintendo have already confirmed that they will have demonstrations of their upcoming consoles on the show. The question that remains is will the Xbox successor see a Q4 2005 launch, as EA has led us to believe?
Read More | Team Xbox