Word on the street is that Microsoft plans on finally releasing the first service pack for Windows Vista - that’s right, the long-awaited Windows Vista SP1 will be yours for the downloading in 24 hours. You’ll have to download it manually.
In a month’s time, on April 18, Vista SP1 will be added to the automatic update system. So the more casual bunch who rely on Windows Update for all their security needs will all come in under a second wave of installations. Here’s hoping for less crashing, better performance, and all that other good stuff. We’ve been waiting for this for over a year.
Speaking of which, those Vista price drops will also be going into effect this week. If you go ahead and install SP1, hit us up and let us know how it went in the comments.
Read More | Computer World
After hitting you with the Japan and European launch dates for Mario Kart Wii, we are happy to bring you the news that the game launches here in North American on April 27th. That’s just a mere six weeks away before we can get our hands on all that racing wheel (Wii-l?) goodness. Just a reminder, Mario Kart Wii ships with the Wii Wheel, which is a plastic steering wheel that the Wii Remote can snap right in to, for a more intuitive driving experience.
“Mario Kart Wii transforms one of our most popular franchises into a race that every member of the family can join,” said Cammie Dunaway, Nintendo of America’s executive vice president of Sales & Marketing. “Driving with the Wii Wheel could not be more natural, and this is one place where speeding is encouraged.”
If you prefer not using the add-on, you will be pleased to know that the game works just fine with the Wii Remote all by its lonesome, as well as with the Nunchuk, Classic Controller, and even the Gamecube controller. Similar to Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Nintendo went out of their way to ensure that gamers would be completely comfortable, regardless of their preferred style of play.
Just when we’ve just gotten into Brawl, we are already awaiting our next Wii game purchase. I mean, 16 new courses, 16 classic courses, 10 battle courses, and motorbikes? Who’s with us?
A few weeks ago, we reported that sources revealed to us that Flash on the iPhone was coming soon. At the time, we felt very strongly that the reasons we stated were sound and accurate. Then, a few days ago, Steve Jobs stated that Flash wouldn’t be coming to the iPhone because it was “too slow to be useful” and that Flash Lite was “not capable of being used with the web.”
So we started getting comments on our last entry, like this one, saying that we were wrong. The iPhone 1.1.4 release came and went, as did the iPhone SDK announcement. Nothing from Apple regarding Flash, until Jobs said it was a no go. So we went back to our source, who was - and still is - 100% convinced that these are just stall tactics.
Apple has officially announced the iPhone SDK, and it is amazing. In fact, the SDK gives third-party developers access to the exact same tools, APIs, and Cocoa Touch framework that Apple has been using to design their own iPhone apps. This includes features like location-aware applications, hardware-accelerated 3D graphics, the 3-axis accelerometer, and complete access to the media features available on the iPhone. The SDK is built right in to Xcode, which includes an iPhone emulator, called iPhone Simulator. This let’s you test your applications without having to load them onto an actual iPhone, where you might end up with a bricked device. When you are ready to test on your actual phone, it is simple to send your app over to the iPhone for real-world testing.
Exciting, right? If you want to give it a shot, the SDK toolset is available for all to download - free of charge. You won’t be able to send your apps to your iPhone unless you are selected to participate in the iPhone 2.0 firmware update beta program, but hey, that’s what iPhone Simulator is for.
Read More | iPhone SDK
Over the past day, we’ve been putting Apple‘s Time Capsule through its paces, and so far, we like what we see. We will be updating you with some impressions in a future post, but for now, we figured we’d hit you with another one of our unboxing galleries. We have a good 18 shots of Apple’s backup NAS wireless router that works hand-in-hand with Time Machine in all of its glory over in our Time Capsule unboxing gallery. Check it out.
Also, if you are interested, here is a Time Capsule vs. Airport Extreme size comparison gallery.
Read More | Time Capsule unboxing gallery
Gallery: Apple Time Capsule unboxing gallery
So, Windows Vista has been around now for a good thirteen months, and in that time, it has seen much criticism. If you’ve been on the fence about switching or upgrading to Vista, we are sure that Microsoft is hoping that their upcoming price drop will be enough to get you to make the move. The new pricing details will be as follows:
- Windows Vista Ultimate: $320, down from $400
- WIndows Vista Ultimate Upgrade: $220, down from $260
- Windows Vista Home Premium: $130, down from $160
The price drops are expected to coincide with the shipment of the first major update to Vista, Service Pack 1.
Read More | Reuters
We knew that Microsoft Research had something pretty amazing up its sleeve after talking to a few people at the company, in addition to having dinner with Robert Scoble, who told us that what he saw brought him to tears. As it turns out, it is the WorldWide Telescope that had people in awe. After watching Roy Gould introduce the software in the above video during TED, we have to say, we agree. Think of the WorldWide Telescope as the equivalent to the full-featured version of Google Earth - except that the WorldWide Telescope software is free, and instead of looking at the earth in extreme detail, you get to peruse the cosmos instead. I mean, watch the video to see how truly mind-blowing this technology really is. Look for it to be available for download this Spring for the Windows platform. No word on how beefy a machine you will need to run it as smoothly as it worked in the demo - but here’s hoping that everyone who downloads the WorldWide Telescope will be able to enjoy the same experience seen here.
Amidst all the excitement about the new Apple announcements yesterday (Penryn Macbooks and MacBook Pros, plus iPhone 1.1.4 firmware), many were left wondering just where the heck the promised iPhone SDK had gone. After all, we’d been promised by Steve Jobs himself that it would appear in late February. As it turns out, Apple will be holding another of their Town Hall-type events on March 6, which will specifically deal with both the iPhone SDK as well as “some exciting new enterprise features.” On the invitation itself, you see a Software Update sign, an SDK sign, and an Enterprise sign. Yeah, fairly vague, we know. Still, it is a promising sign. Now we just wait for March 6.
Looks like we have new iPhone firmware as well this morning! In addition to refreshing their MacBook and MacBook Pro lines to Penryn processors, Apple has also released the new iPhone 1.1.4 firmware. Go ahead and check for a new update after connecting your iPhone to iTunes. Of course, if you are
unlocked, you may want to wait for a bit while everything gets figured out. Apple is saying this release is all about bug fixes - but we are hoping there is also some iPhone SDK magic in there somewhere.
EDIT: Okay, if you are jailbroken, go ahead and update. ZiPhone still works, and will jailbreak the just-released 1.1.4 firmware update…although the developer recommends waiting until he can fully test. Your call.
Have you ever wanted to play your Wii without having to have that pesky Wiimote in your hand? Reactrix hopes that their WAVEscape product might come close to providing that experience. We got a look at it during CES.
The WAVEscape contains a camera that can track the motion of multiple people, distinguishing each person individually. Everyone can use “natural” motion to interact with different things on the screen, including games.
Now, we aren’t sure when, if ever, the WAVEscape technology will be available in the home. It is more designed as a cool diversion that can be used commercially. It’s all about the “engaging advertising experience” - you know, punch the panda and maybe get a coupon?
WAVEscape is the brainchild of Reactriz and TYZX. They plan on having over 100 of these out and about by the end of the year.
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