So, you know that follow-up to Windows Vista that Microsoft has been working on for the past couple of years? They’ve been calling it Windows 7 for a while now, but we just thought that was going to be its codename. As it turns out, Microsoft just announced a few hours ago that Windows 7 is the official name of the next version of their operating system. Why not go with another cutesy name like Windows ME, XP, or Vista? Well, they say this is the seventh release of Windows, and that it “just makes sense.” Well, we guess it does. If you’ll be at WinHEC or PDC, you can plan on getting Windows 7 pre-beta code from Microsoft to play with.
Read More | Windows Vista Team Blog
Netflix has been charging new members a $1 monthly fee, in addition to the price of their standard monthly rate, for the pleasure of renting Blu-ray discs, while those who have been members of the service for a long while have had no such increase to deal with. Well, as of November 5th, Netflix will make the $1 fee mandatory for all members. If you don’t want to rent Blu-ray discs, you are fine, no change in price - but if you, like us, are all about the 1080p, lossless surround sound goodness, then I think you’ll find that paying one extra dollar isn’t really so bad. Seriously, it could have been a lot worse.
Read More | Netflix Blog
At the Tokyo Game Show, Microsoft finally let everyone in on the date that their current Xbox experience would be ending, and the New Xbox Experience would be, er, beginning. We knew it would be coming in the fall, but the firm date is November 19th. We hope you’re ready to spend hours working on that perfect Avatar, because we are going to so own you in 1 vs. 100, despite having never seen it on television. The New Xbox Experience will go live for all Xbox 360 gamers across the world at the same time - no staggered launch here, folks. We must admit, we’re looking forward to it.
Apple has just announced that their next event will be taking place this coming Tuesday (read: five days from today), confirming rumors that October 14th would be the day that new notebooks would be unveiled. The company sent invitations to select media this morning, with a graphic of a notebook featuring the sub-heading “The spotlight turns to notebooks.” So, what should you expect to see? Well, if the rumor mill is correct, we’ll see updates across the board in the MacBook and MacBook Pro lines, including a new manufacturing process that sees the notebook casing carved out of a single block of aluminum. There are also rumblings of a true netbook from Apple as well, possibly launching in the $800 range.
So, as we’ve already reported, Nintendo has announced the DSi, a spiffy new iteration of the DS franchise. There’s the larger screens, smaller profile, music playback, SD card slot…But what’s got everybody in a kerfuffle about it is the 3MP camera embedded in the system, both on the top and between the screens. The burning question now is what exactly Nintendo plans to do with the system, and how they’re going to integrate the features. So, if you want some uninformed opinion about the possibilities and future of the DSi, kindly hit the jump.
One of the main reasons we switch from Blockbuster Online to Netflix here at our home is the Netflix Watch Instantly functionality that is set to come to the Xbox 360 with the New Xbox Experience Fall dashboard update. However, if you don’t have a 360, or you just want more variety in your Watch Instantly lifestyle, you’ll be pleased to know that the functionality is finally gonna hit OS X by the end of this year, after being available only on Windows for almost two years. By our estimation, that means sometime in the next three months, and that excites us. Apparently, the holdup was based the fact that the DRM used on Windows boxes wasn’t compatible with OS X, and since Apple doesn’t license out their FairPlay DRM to third-parties, Netflix had to roll their own. From Netflix:
And, for all of you Mac users (of which I am one) we’ve been busy working getting a solution that will allow you to watch instantly on your Mac. So hang in there - we’ll have something for you by the end of the year.
Good news all around.
Read More | Netflix Blog
Last week we talked about rumors of a new Nintendo DS, and this morning, those rumors proved to be true. Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata announced the Nintendo DSi at the company’s Fall presentation over in Japan, calling it a “third platform” for the company (where have we heard that before?). It looks fairly similar the the current DS Lite that we all know and love, but there are a few changes that make this one a worthy upgrade. First, it’s about 12% thinner, as it has given up its GBA slot. The screens are a bit larger, each being 3.25-inches in size. One of the bigger changes, though, is that the DSi features two cameras. You have one 3 megapixel camera on the outside of the unit, as well a front-facing camera on the inside so that you can take images of yourself.
The Nintendo DSi also has an SD card slot along with internal storage. You can save your photos right to the card, then put that card in your Wii to pull it up in the Photo Channel. Nintendo is even launching the DSi Shop, an online destination for purchasing DSi software, similar to the Wii Shop. You use Nintendo Points, and content will be priced at 200, 500, or 800 points. 1000 points will be included with the purchase of the DSi. The unit will come in either white or black for the time being, and goes on sale in Japan on November 1 at ¥18,900 ($178).
Read More | Nintendo DSi product page
This morning, Apple finally answered the call of iPhone developers the world over when they finally put an end to the iPhone NDA nonsense. For those not in the know, the problem here was that developers couldn’t talk about the development process of their apps, even after they were released and publicly available in the App Store. This put an unnecessary burden on developers, many of whom thought that it was hindering the development of great apps, as developers couldn’t even talk to each other about the apps that they had released, techniques used, and lessons learned, without breaking the NDA. As of today, the NDA no longer stands on applications that have been released. The NDA still remains on software that is still unreleased, but still, this is a big win in the iPhone dev world.
You can check out the release from Apple after the break.
Read More | iPhone NDA dropped
We’ve all marveled at super slow-motion footage on shows like MythBusters or on sites like CSU’s slow-motion archive, and longed to shoot slow-motion footage of our own. Until earlier this year, however, the equipment to do so was horrendously expensive. Fortunately, Casio announced a revolutionary new consumer camera at the 2008 CES in January called the Exilim Pro EX-F1. It boasts video capture of up to 1200 frames per second (where normal video is around 30 frames per second) and at resolutions up to 1080i HD (though not at the same time).
We recently got our hands on an EX-F1 and we must say, we are impressed. Read on for the full in-depth review, including sample pictures and videos.
Right on the heels of the iPhone 2.1 release that seems to cure just about all our iPhone-related woes (although, honestly, some are still there,) Apple has just released iPhone 2.2 into beta, and seeded it to their iPhone devs. Officially, we are talking about iPhone OS 2.2 beta 1, and as such, we have no timetable or anything as to when this will actually hit the masses. But still, it’s nice to know that it’s coming, right? What would you like to see addressed in iPhone 2.2?