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Hands-on with the August 11 Xbox 360 Dashboard Update

Xbox Avatar Accessories

This morning, hooked us up with an early preview of the next Dashboard Update. We were able to get a look at the new features (which no longer require a PC,) the Avatar Marketplace, Game Ratings, Games on Demand, and more. While more coveted features like Twitter, Facebook, Last.fm, and Zune Marketplace won’t be landing until the fall, the update is still a solid one. Here are our thoughts on the next update, which lands on your Xbox 360 on August 11 (or sooner if you apply for early access!)

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Puerto Rican Cuisine Done Right: La Isla Restaurant Review

La IslaOver the years, my husband and I have eaten at a lot of restaurants, I hesitate to say hundreds because it makes it sound like I never cook at home, but I would not be surprised if it were true. We love food. From shopping for quality ingredients, to preparation, and execution of a great dish. It is all so fascinating, not to mention delicious if said recipe turns out as it was intended. So in order to share my love or hate for a particular restaurant, I will be reviewing these establishments now and then so that the everyday person can go in knowing what to expect and what to order and what not to order should you walk away in disgust.

Today, I will be writing about one of my favorite restaurants in the Seattle area, La Isla, located in Ballard. It is not the easiest place to get to as far as easy freeway access, but so worth the drive. I love Puerto Rican food, as my husband does, and we don’t have any other restaurants in this area, for that matter anywhere in this region that we have heard of that offers the dishes that one must have to call themselves an authentic Puerto Rican restaurant. Why is that I wonder? I hope many more will open in this area following in the footsteps of La Isla, but they will have big shoes to fill.

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LEGO Rock Band hands-on

Posted by Alex Lifschitz Categories: E3, Music, PlayStation 3, Reviews, Xbox 360,

Lego Rock Band

God, what a lonely-looking stand they had this game set up on. Look at that. Really?

When it comes down to brass tacks, at least to me, and go together like peanut butter and chitin. After being revealed to discerning eyes during Dan Teasdale’s GDC talk, the game has garnered some attention from puzzled, clueless journos like myself. LEGO Rock Band is a game for the little’uns, principally, tooled to a younger age demographic and given a fresh coat of paint to keep the drooling cretins jamming away on modern pop hits. So if you’re coming in looking for some Pantera, you’ll be disappointed. But I digress.

Hit the jump for some impressions of LEGO: Rock Band.

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Early Reviews for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

As you were busy previewing HBO’s behind-the-scenes look at Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, others were gathering their thoughts about the entire film.

The Warner Bros. film debuts on July 15. Here are some of the early reviews for the series’ sixth installment:

Variety:  “Dazzlingly well made and perhaps deliberately less fanciful than the previous entries, this one is played in a mode closer to palpable life-or-death drama than any of the others and is quite effective as such.”

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Movie Review: Public Enemies

Public Enemies

What better holiday weekend cinematic fare than having guns, explosions, and the incredible acting skill of Johnny Depp?  Right?  Well, you’ll get all of the aforementioned in , however, all three do not make this movie as great as you would like. Public Enemies is a story about notorious bank robber, John DIllinger (Depp) and his love for Billie Frechette played by Academy Award winner Marion Cotillard and the impossibility of that love, all things considered.  Dillinger was Public Enemy number one to the United States, but also other crime syndicates, considering the heat his actions brought to the forefront.

Overall, the movie is only okay, but at times it seemed a bit too slow and if you’re the type that gets nauseous with shaky camera scenes, be forewarned.  Understand, this is a Michael Mann-directed film, so there will be a lot of pore-revealing close-ups, which actually humanizes the actors, and handheld type shots.  The acting is good, particularly from Depp, Cotillard, and , who does a way better job than he did in The Dark Knight.  In any case, the problem with the movie is that it didn’t strike a good mix between the love story and the bad deeds of Dillinger or establish certain characters and why we should care for them.

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Consumer Reports: iPhone 3GS is Best

iPhone 3GSConsumer Reports says that Apple’s new is still at the top of the smartphone heap in terms of multimedia, browsing, battery life, display, and navigation. The with WebOS, Samung Omnia, and BlackBerry Storm were close behind, however. The Pre scored higher in messaging and multitasking. CR also claims that Verizon seems to be the carrier that most believe to be the best when surveyed, but that’s no big surprise.

Read More | Consumer Reports

HP Pavilion dv2 12.1-inch laptop review

HP dv2 review

The Pavilion dv2 Entertainment PC aims to fit into the gap between full-featured notebook, and ultra-portable netbook. In fact, depending on your needs, the dv2 could be the best of both worlds. It’s very thin, weighing just under four pounds, and packs an AMD Athlon Neo processor with 4GB RAM, Vista Home Premium 64-bit, a widescreen 12.1-inch LED-backlit display, 320GB hard drive, HDMI out, quad-mode Wi-Fi with 802.11n support, and a 5:1 media card reader. Even better? Since we are talking about full-featured notebooks, the dv2 even has an external Blu-ray drive. We’ve got our full review thoughts on the device, after the jump.

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Bleeding Edge TV 311: Hauppauge HD PVR 1212 review

We got our hands on the Hauppauge HD PVR 1212 personal video recorder, and we bring you a review of this unit in this episode. The Hauppage HD PVR 1212 connects to your peripherals using component cable, and then goes out to your display over component as well. It captures the video output live, and records it to a computer, which will then let you edit that video. It is fantastic at recording video game sessions in full HD resolution, as we demonstrate in the video. Take a look, and if you want one, you can pick up the Hauppauge HD PVR 1212 on Amazon.


Review - Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

Megan FoxI’ve been waiting for this. I’ve always been a Transformers fan, the original movie from 1986 is one of my favorites. When Michael Bay was announced as the director for the first film, I was skeptical. Then I saw it and found it to be an enjoyable romp, but wanted something more. Revenge of the Fallen gives me that something more. As in more robots, more action, and of course more Megan Fox. I really liked how Bay and the writers picked and chose aspects from Classic G1, the Japanese “Masterforce” series, the Dreamwave comics, and Armada to flesh out the story as well as Easter eggs to search for. is exactly what you expect it to be; a big, loud, action packed popcorn flick that takes itself seriously enough that it doesn’t treat the material as a joke, while at the same time not attempting to recreate “War and Peace” with giant robots.

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E3 2009 Idle Speculation: Bayonetta

Posted by Alex Lifschitz Categories:

Bayonetta

Bayonetta had been making a few waves even before rolled around this year, what with the tight fitting clothing and the guns in the shoes. But at the conference, the game ended up being the critical darling of many of the journalists that waited patiently in line to play the demo. It’s unusual for a new IP to make such headway on its own merits, but Bayonetta managed to prove itself to us in the best way possible.

Also, breasts. Let’s get that out of the way.

Hit the jump for our breakdown of Bayonetta.

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