Xbox 360 Project Natal

Posted by: pctutorials  :  Category: Gaming

 

Remember the post about the Rumored Microsoft 3d Wii Killer? Well Microsoft unveiled it at the E3 2009 convention. If the videos are anything to go by, we're all in for a treat. Unlike the Wii, Project Natal uses an infrared 3D depth map camera for full body motion capture so you don't need any controllers what so ever.

One of the most interesting videos though was the demo codenamed "Milo". I'm not sure really how to describe it, but Milo computer character that can detect your emotions/voice and communicate with you. Amazing. However, assuming the video wasn't scripted it, there will be so many possibilities. For example, A.I. for co-op would be dramatically improved since the character could understand your commands.

Anyway, check out the videos, its good stuff and something to look forward to.

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Liquid Cooled PC in-desk design

Posted by: pctutorials  :  Category: Case Mods

I'll admit, I'm not really into water cooled PC's since I don't know much about them. But when I saw this mod, I was gobsmacked. Using an acrylic-top desk laser cut, combined with an aluminum frame, they created thier computer desk. Looks goods, runs cool AND save's floorspace, this is a winner and I'd be very interested in attempting such a similar mod myself (if I had the funds ;) ). You can check out the rest of the article over at popularmechanics.com     

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49-port USB hub… Sweet

Posted by: pctutorials  :  Category: Hardware

 I didn't know one of these things existed. So, this should count up for all your loose USB sticks hanging around, bluetooth dongle, cup warmer, fan, external hard disk, webcam … the list could go on. Though its still unpratical for its size, I reckon you could come up a with a nice RAID solid state hard array using USB sticks. What would you do with it? 

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Gold nanotubes boost DVD storage

Posted by: pctutorials  :  Category: Hardware

 

Australia researchers have unveiled a new type of disc that stores 10,000 times more data than current DVDs and could be on the market within a decade.

The discs store 1.6 terabytes of data, eclipsing the capacity of current DVD and Blu-ray discs which hold up to 50 gigabytes.

The researchers, from Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne, have published their breakthrough in the journal Nature.

A standard DVD recorder uses light of a single wavelength to 'burn' data onto the surface of the disc.

The team at Swinburne found that by adding gold nanorods to the disc they were able to increase its capacity.

The nanorods react to light according to their shape. This allowed the researchers to record information using light of different wavelengths, or colours, on the same location on the disc.

The researchers also used polarisation – the angle of the light's electric field – to record data.

"The polarisation can be rotated 360 degrees," says paper co-author Dr James Chon.

"So for example, we were able to record at zero degree polarisation. Then on top of that, we were able to record another layer of information at 90 degrees polarisation, without them interfering with each other."

Multiple layers

Professor Min Gu, director of the Centre for Micro-Photonics at Swinburne, who was also involved in the research, says current DVD and CD technology only uses a small fraction of the disc, essentially recording in 2D.

He believes the use of multiple wavelengths and polarisation will allow future DVD recorders to use a greater volume of the disc.

"We have created a new recording device that can respond to different colour and different polarisation," says Professor Gu. "By using these properties we can use more of the disc."

In their paper, the researchers were able to record three layers of information, using three different wavelengths and two polarisations.

Since publication, the authors have recorded 10 layers, and they believe it is possible to record 100 layers onto a single disc.

Beyond home entertainment, the discs could be used to store large medical files such as MRI scans, as well as financial, military and security records.

[via <a xhref="http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/05/21/2577021.htm">ABC News</a>

Well if this becomes available on a retail level, it'll destroy blu-ray for sure. Excellent :D !

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Winfox Adds Jump Lists to Firefox on Windows 7

Posted by: pctutorials  :  Category: Windows

 

Windows only: Jump Lists are one of the best new features in Windows 7, and since Firefox still doesn't take advantage of them, a small utility called Winfox adds the feature for you.

Using the utility is simple enough—just pin Winfox to your taskbar and you'll have a new Firefox icon with an enhanced context menu—you can open new tabs, view your most frequently visited pages, pin items by simply dragging and dropping, and the items even display the favicon of the page. It's one of those features that most likely will be included into future versions of Firefox, but for now it might be just what you're looking for.

[via LifeHacker.com]

 Sweet, Windows 7 looks promising. Shortcuts make life so much easier.

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DIY Laptop Stand: Cardboard Style

Posted by: pctutorials  :  Category: Case Mods, How To

Man was I amazed when I saw this: 

 

GreenUpgrader has managed to create an usable and cheap laptop stand. I know it doesn't look a million dollars but hey, it will certainly increase airflow to the Laptop and will provide better screen position. Head over to GreenUpgrader to print out the template yourself and give it go. The how-to article is easy to follow and has plenty of pictures to go with it. My laptop is out for repairs at the moment and does weigh a fair bit. With a few modification, I might just have myself a cheap, effective and usable cardboard laptop stand.  ;) Have fun!

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Rumored Microsoft 3D Wii killer

Posted by: pctutorials  :  Category: Gaming

 Xbox 360 Wii Killer

The rumors, leaked images, and speculation are only going to get worse as we move closer to E3, and now it's Microsoft's turn to bear the scrutiny of the gaming press. A report making the rounds, along with a "leaked" photo from Engadget, seems to show a type of sensor bar that will allow gamers to control their games using only their body. You don't have to hold any hardware, there is interaction with both video and sound, and the system is able to focus on the player and ignore the rest of the movement in the room. How likely is this rumor? Very. In fact, we think we already saw and demoed the technology… last year.

Microsoft is making it clear that the company will have big things in store for E3. “Microsoft is gearing up for a big presence at E3 which will completely transform how people think about home entertainment," Don Mattrick, senior vice president for the Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft, said in a statement at the beginning of the month. European executive David Gosen also hinted that E3 this year would be "gaming changing." It seems that people are comfortable with big promises, on the record.

So what fits the description of the technology according to the leak? At CES last year we met with a company called 3DV that showed off a small Web-camera-like device that was able to detect movement and interaction in 3D space. We even played a boxing game that worked very, very well. Even more impressive was the ability to control media functions with gestures. You could swipe your way through your movies, interact with pictures, change channels, all with a small camera and your arms. Imagine a Microsoft Surface—without the Surface.

In my years of covering games I've sat through literally hundreds of briefings and tech demos at trade shows, and what impressed me about 3DV was how real the technology was. Most companies are all show and no go at trade shows, but 3DV had a camera I could pick up and look at. They had a game I could play, as well as demos of the user interface functions. It was all there, and it was all working. "We're going to be launching comfortably in the sub-$100 area," Tomer Barel, VP of Marketing and Product Management for 3DV, told us.

The 3DV camera does everything the new Microsoft rumor suggests. So is there a connection? Of course there is. In February, Reuters started talking about reports that Microsoft was buying the company, and chief among the uses for the company's ZCam were gaming and teleconferencing applications. Sound familiar?
benbox.jpg

Every feature discussed in the Engadget report—every single one—we saw in action in January 2008, by a company that Microsoft was reported to be in talks to buy, using sub-$100 technology that was mature more than 15 months ago.

If Microsoft is going to be showing its own version of the ZCam hardware, it could be bringing motion control that, in our time spent with it, felt even better than Nintendo's. The difference is that this technology works without having to hold any peripherals, with the power of the 360 bringing high-resolution graphics and surround sound, and at a good price. You could use the hardware to pause your streaming Netflix movies, or browse the music on your 360's hard drive. The features of the ZCam brought to the 360 simply makes sense.

Or the original leak and rumor were just that, and we may be spinning our wheels. After contacting Microsoft we received the expected lack of comment. Still, the possibilities here are more than enough to get excited by.

Source:Arstechnica

As they say: "If you can't beat them, join em." Can't say I wouldn't mind it.

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BluWiki Sues Apple

Posted by: pctutorials  :  Category: Internet

Here’s a high-tech twist on the ‘man bites dog’ story. Having launched many legal actions against Web sites and bloggers in the past in order to protect details on its products, is now being sued by the operator of a Wiki site dedicated to iTunes workarounds.

It started when a group of users of the BluWiki site began swapping notes on how to get their iPods and iPhones working with software other than Apple’s own iTunes, such as the popular WinAmp and open-source Songbird.

Apple’s lawyers contacted OdioWorks, which runs the BluWiki site, with one of their boilerplate take-down letters demanding the content be removed citing alleged breaches of copyright infringement and violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. OdioWorks complied, and then kick-started legal action against Apple to retract its threat and allow the non-commercial wiki site to restore the threads.

“I take the free speech rights of BluWiki users seriously” said Sam Odio, owner of OdioWorks.  “Companies like Apple should not be able to censor online discussions by making baseless legal threats against services like BluWiki that host the discussions.”

The suit has been filed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), with staff attorney Fred von Lohmann claiming that “Apple’s legal threats against BluWiki are about censorship, not about protecting their legitimate copyright interests.”

“Wikis and other community sites are home to many vibrant discussions among hobbyists and tinkerers. It’s legal to engage in reverse engineering in order to create a competing product, it’s legal to talk about reverse engineering, and it’s legal for a public wiki to host those discussions.”

Source: APC MAG

Serves them right. What goes around comes around.

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