Thursday, December 29, 2005

Nintendo DS

Ah, the Nintendo DS . . . I really am confused about this device, on paper it seems almost perfect, but in practice it's just dull and uninteresting. I've played about 6 games and only Mario Cart came anywhere close to being a game that I would be even half interested in playing. I just cannot understand why the DS is proving more popular than the PSP — I've played the PSP on a number of occasions (a guy at work has one) and it's very much more compelling than the DS. Both Ridge Racer and Wipeout Pure are so much more enjoyable than anything on the DS. The screens on the DS are quite frankly, poor, they are dull and hard to see in anything other than perfect conditions. Whereas the PSP screen is gorgeous and nearly always rich and colourful.

I guess ultimately public opinion will decide which machine is best. I think that if Sony could get the price down to £99 (I have no idea how they would even begin to make that possible!) then they could wipe the floor with the DS. I certainly hope that this the case, I think that Nintendo's current ethos regarding graphics is ridiculous and will ultimately be their undoing. Graphics are extremely important, video games are a new art form and the palette available to this artwork needs to continue to expand. What Nintendo are saying is this; pencil and paper is all you need to create the best artwork ever! This is no more true than saying that very basic 3D structures are all that's needed to create the best game ever. Nintendo — The level of thinking that has got you thus far will not get you to the next level! I just hope that the Revolution will offer a better gaming platform than the DS.

Monday, December 19, 2005

RapidWeaver - A Powerful New Website Creation Tool For Everyone

Check it out and download it at:
RapidWeaver - A Powerful New Website Creation Tool For Everyone

Get tips on how best to use it at:
Screencasts Online

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

AUDI R10 - 5.5-litre Bi-Turbo Diesel Le Mans Car

Wow! This car looks pretty sweet & sounds even better! 5.5 litres of V12 diesel power. 650hp and an absolute ton of torque! Once you read the article remember to check out the video.
AUDI R10 - 5.5-litre Bi-Turbo Diesel Le Mans Car

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Boy's Nose Reattached After Being Removed From Dog's Stomach

Doctor's in The Czech Republic successfully reattached an 11-year old boy's nose after it was bitten off by a vicious dog. Imagine the smell of that nose!

read more | digg story

Monday, December 12, 2005

Smart Car Crash Test - Google Video

How SMART is the SMART when you hit a wall at 70mph?

Smart - Google Video

Review: Sharp 903 (5 Stars)

On the 17th of September 2004, I blogged this . . .

"If there's one area of technology that's really on the move right now its Mobile Phone Photography. I read recently that Qualcomm (great company) are to introduce a 6 megapixel chip-set next year, 6 MEGA PIXELS!!!'s just crazy, well not crazy, but almost completely unexpected on a mobile phone. Of course there is no way that a 6 megapixel phone camera is going to produce the same results as a 6 megapixel digital SLR, but still the results should easily surpass your average digital camera. Makes me wonder where is this all going to end. At what point will your average 'mobile phone Joe' decide that they're happy with the picture resolution. Here's my prediction for the next 2 years. Average mobile phone camera resolution will reach around the 4 megapixel mark at the very end of next year, then in 2006 we will see a real push for much better video (and sound) recording. It will be interesting to see what people decide to do with all these photos and videos.
Put them on their blogs I suspect!"

Then on the 23rd of May 2005, this . . .

"My Nokia 6630 is now my only still camera. Yeah yeah it’s 1.3MP and the lens is tiny but you know what? I don’t really care. Photoshop gives me the power to fix some of the problems and circumvent many of the others. The picture above is just as good as any I've taken with the Nikon 5MP camera. I always have my phone with me, hence I always have my camera with me. Phones of 2006 will surely complete the transition. Will the iPod be the next device to be consumed by the phone? It's looks as if T.V. will be by the end of this year!"

Well it's the very end of 2005 and I now have a new Sharp 903 (Vodafone) phone. It's has all the features that you might expect of a good digital camera at a resolution of 3.2 mega pixels, that's just 800,000 pixels short of my predicted 4 million. As a phone the Sharp is fast and smooth, both in terms of the physical handling and the user interface. As a camera, so far it has proved to be extraordinarily capable, even in low light situations. Opening the screen and flipping it around before flipping it back against the body transforms it in perfectly usable camera. The screen is 320x240 and very bright, that's a better screen then most digital cameras. I've yet to test the photo quality in anger but the scenes that I have tried so far have been reproduced almost perfectly. I'm working on a new website at the moment, the minute I've finished it I will include some full res sample pictures from the Sharp 903.

It would be very hard not to love this phone, perhaps the size might put small handed people off, but for most this might just be all the phone and handy camera you need.

Review: K2 Kickboard (5 Stars)

The coolest scooter ever. The K2 Kickboard is a flexible cross between a skateboard and scooter made from aluminum, carbon and wood. It's smooth and fast and attracts more attention than I had hoped for! You get the speed of running with the effort of walking. I'd not ridden a scooter since I was about 9 years old, so I was pretty nervous at the prospect. Fortunately the ride experience of the K2 is super smooth. A great product, nicely designed and matchlessly engineered.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Locust Star Wars Experiment

Dr. Claire Rind of Newcastle University has been awarded an IG Nobel prize for her experiments involving a study of Locust brain cells. The experiment involved monitoring the Locust's brain while it watched various highlights of Star Wars.

Great Stuff!!
Science Photo Library | Search results

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Watch out for the W32/Sober-Z virus!

The Sober virus accounted for 42.9% of virus infections in November according to Sophos. It's a nasty virus that emails itself to all your contacts and then opens your pc to hackers. How can you avoid infecting your PC?

1) Run Anti-Virus software and keep it updated daily.
2) Get in the habit of not opening email attachments especially .zip, .exe or .scr files.
3) Switch to MacOS X. There are no viruses on the Mac.

More Info from Sophos:
Sophos virus analysis: W32/Sober-Z

Paper Mac

Paper Mac
Originally uploaded by Looking Glass.
I wonder if we'll see one of these with an Intel chip at Mac World Expo!?

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

TV Show - The Computer Chronicles - Circa 1984

This is a superb piece of computer history. I love when the presenter asks Trip Hawkins (then of Electronic Arts) if video games are fad. Check it out, it's well worth a look:

Internet Archive: The Computer Chronicles

Sennheiser PX 100

I love my Sennys! Sennheiser is perhaps the most respected and well regarded headset producer in the world. Their high end sets are awesome - but I can't afford the ridiculous money they charge for those things.

However, I wanted quality on the cheap when it came to purchasing some headphones for use 'on the road' - or in my case 'on the cycle track.' And 'on the plane.' And 'on the train.' OK, you get the idea.

It shocks me how many people stick with the lousy sets that come with their portable audio devices. Does one really think that anything more than a few pennies of that £200 you just shelled out on a shiny new mp3 player went towards the free headphones it was supplied with? I read in one review of the Gmini400 (my player) that the headphones supplied were good. Well, I gave them one try - and then promptly threw them in the bin.

And so my search began. Of course, in the world of Google, searching is pretty easy. Here are a few links: The Sennheiser Site, with the usual ad blurb. Or try reading this excellent review from some guy down under.

I think I paid £30 for mine. I now see them retailed for around £25. At that price, they are an absolute bargain. In gadget terms simply amazing value for money. I really enjoy the music I listen to on the go now, instead of feeling like I'm missing out on so much of what I should be hearing. This morning my playlist brought up a Jeff Buckley track that had almost constant mid-range bass - I guess from a bass guitar. With cheap junk headphones, half of that track would have completely passed me by.

So in conclusion, if you're looking for a cheap pair of headphones that will not let you down, and may even exceed your expecations, try the Sennheiser PX 100! (Alternatively, you could try some of Koss' similarly priced offerings. There's not a lot to choose between the Sennys and the Kosssss').

PS - If you watch the BBC, they are currently running a spot for Radio 3 that features these headphones.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Apple iBooks with Intel chips in January?

According to Think Secret the answer is yes. This is no surprise to me at all. Laptop sales passed desktop sales this year and that's a trend that's continuing. At the same time Apple are stuck with laptops running stable but rather elderly G4 chips. These chips don't get close to the latest Pentium-M laptops. Since the Apple Intel announcement I've always been sure that the iBook and Mac Mini would be the first Macs to have Intel chips.

We'll have to wait and see but one thing is for sure, an iBook running a Pentium-M chip will be a really sweet bit of kit.

Think Secret - EXCLUSIVE: Apple Planning Intel-Ready iBook Debut for January

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Windows Vista

Read my brief thoughts on Windows Vista, which I saw in action yesterday, over at my website.

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