Thanks to a Toshiba Corporation announcement today, it seems that we are near the point where we can say goodbye to the wait time for recharging lithium-ion batteries. Toshiba’s new battery can recharge 80% of the battery’s capacity in one minute, 60 times faster than a conventional lithium-ion battery. According to the announcement, we have new nano-material technology to thank for this much much needed improvement. Now if someone can only make the batteries last longer, we’ll all be in digital heaven that much more quickly.
Read More | Toshiba
Okay, so a year or so ago Microsoft was ordered to remove Windows Media Player from all Windows XP operating systems they intended on selling in the European Union by way of an order in an antitrust suit. Originally, Microsoft wanted to call the unbundled version"Windows XP Reduced Media Edition”. The EU didn’t like that, because they thought it would mislead consumers and slow sales. Well, that meant it was time for Microsoft to put the old thinking cap back on, and they came up with a doozy. The final name of the stripped down OS will be “Windows XP Home Edition N” and “Windows XP Professional Edition N”. The “N” stands for “not with media player.” Awesome.
Read More | Seattle Post-Intelligencer
If those dead pixels on your PSP have your frustrated, Sony has stepped up and said that they will replace any PSP that has two or more dead pixels. They request that you give the unit a try for a couple of weeks to see if it still bothers you. If so, contact them and they will hook you up with a new one. While replacing units with two or more dead pixels is a nice gesture, Nintendo replaces DS units that have only one dead pixel. That’s customer service.
Read More | Gamespot
This week’s DVD release list is a steal of a list! Topping this week’s list is After the Sunset starring Pierce Brosnan, Salma Hayek, Woody Harrelson, and Don Cheadle. The story of a big heist involving the game of cat-and-mouse between the FBI and some thieves just wanting to relax and enjoy their money is one you shouldn’t miss. If the story line of “big heist” movies doesn’t entice you, perhaps something like Orgazmo will. Whoa, slow down – it isn’t what you think it is! Okay well maybe it is in a way. South Park co-creator Trey Parker stars and directs the film about an innocent Mormon kid who gets sucked into the adult-movie industry and becomes a sensation as the porno superhero Orgazmo. If you enjoy South Park then you are sure to enjoy this one.
After the Sunset ~ New Line Home Entertainment
Orgazmo: Unrated Special Edition ~ Universal Pictures
Closer ~ Sony Pictures Entertainment
Apollo 13: Anniversary Edition ~ Universal Pictures
Vera Drake ~ Warner Home Video
Murder, She Wrote - The Complete First Season ~ Universal Pictures
Astro Boy: The Complete Series ~ Sony Home Entertainment
Bungie finally shed some light on the rumors about a possible Halo 2 multiplayer expansion pack. There will definitely be an expansion pack which will include nine new multiplayer maps, scheduled will be available on June 28th. Seems like a long time from now, however Xbox Live users will be able to download the maps sooner than that. Starting in late April the first four maps will be available for download. Here’s the twist though – two will be free and the other two will be available for purchase. How much is not clear, but we can probably expect to pay $4.99 for the pack (much like the rest of downloadable packs). The remaining five maps will be made available on Xbox Live the day the retail pack is made available (June 28th). For all those of you that actually have patience, ALL the maps will be available for free by late summer. Here’s a quick list of the first four maps:
- CONTAINMENT - A massive, mostly outdoor, and somewhat symmetrical environment set in the frozen tundra near Sentinel Wall, on Delta Halo.
- WARLOCK - Set in the rain-soaked ruins of an ancient Forerunner structure, nobody knows if Warlock is a temple, a castle or even a dwelling.
- TURF - The surrounding streets and evacuated buildings of Old Mombasa make it a dangerous warren, with potential assassins lurking in every shadow and around every corner.
- SANCTUARY - A walled grotto defines the center point of this Forerunner habitat, from which aqueducts span out, like the hands of a clock.
These maps look and sound amazing. I know I can’t wait to do some major slaughtering on these maps.
Read More | Bungie
If you have yet to jump on the portable audio bandwagon, this may be the time to do so if you were waiting for a unique MP3 player. Audiotronic has a one-of-a-kind player line which they call iCool. The products range from embossed face plates, to aroma scented units. Now get this - you too can take a sniff of your Marijuana MP3 player whenever you please. Not sure what kind of effect this will have if you are trying to get through airport security (you might have to make a run for it if you see a big guy with some latex gloves coming toward you). The MP3 player line does not come with impressive storage capacity, as the units range from a whopping 16 MB all the way up to 256MB. They run for about 10 hours on a tiny AAA battery and are upgradeable through an SD/MMC slot. The iCool also comes with a built-in voice recorder, 96x24px blue-backlit LCD and has support for MP3/WAV/WMA.
If you have ever wanted to star in a feature film, but didn’t feel like auditioning or paying thousands for acting lessons, here comes the next best thing. Over in Nagakute, Japan at the Aichi Expo, a theater allows audience members to have their faces scanned before the film starts. The faces are then superimposed onto the animated characters in the movie, in which the audience members become the stars. It is said that the film quality is equal to that of Shrek or Toy Story. Very cool.
Read More | Times Online UK
Amazon has put up a preorder page for Apple’s next OS X update, Tiger. Looking at the product page, you will notice that there is no release date listed, but we expect you will have it in your hands sometime in April, possibly May. The features of the Tiger OS are said to be very close to what Microsoft plans to bring to the table in Longhorn.
Read More | Amazon Pre-Order
Over the weekend word got out that a TiVo add-on for the HME (Home Media Engine) has been released. According to eHome Upgrade, this “must have” add-on is actually quite limited with its initial functions. It reportedly allows users to log-in and read their Bloglines feed subscriptions through the TiVo interface. This sounds great, but it doesn’t seem to work all that well. The feeds aren’t sorted in any particular order, folders in your Bloglines feeds are completely ignored ,and the screen title positioning is bad.
Read More | eHomeUpgrade
Sony has been ordered by the US court to pay up $90 million in damages and halt Playstation and Playstation 2 sales in the US due to patent infringement.
SCE said it will continue US sales of the products ordered to be halted, which include PlayStation and PlayStation 2 consoles, two game controllers and 47 software titles, as the court order will not go into effect before until Sony’s appeal. Sony will also be paying compulsory license fees to Immersion, the company who filed suit, an SCE spokeswoman said.
Immersion, a California-based developer of tactile feedback technology, claimed Sony Computer Entertainment infringed on its technologies that make a game controller vibrate in sync with actions in games.
Read More | CNN International