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Monthly Archives: November 2008

A Bit of Inspiration: Handicapped Hardcore Gamer’s Extreme Controller Modifications

Your typical videogame controller modification is usually for looks, style or function. But rarely are they ever for necessity. However, dedicated gamer KitsuneYume of the PlayStation boards had no choice but to modify his controllers. He has Duchennes Muscular Dystrophy (One of nine types of muscular dystrophy, a group of genetic, degenerative diseases primarily affecting voluntary muscles). His condition leaves him unable to use a regular hand-held game controller. Inspired by some of the hottest upcoming games, KitsuneYume made things work by working with an engineer to devise an adaptive controller to help him get his game on. From his posts on the PlayStation message boards:
One day I was looking at a trailer for Final Fantasy 13, Killzone 2 and Mirrors Edge. I was like... I have to definitely play FF13 because I love it with all... --

Gmail Gains Voice & Video Chat

Gmail's budding reputation as a communication hub for more than just e-mail received a major endorsement today with the addition of voice and video chat. Google launched the feature today and will roll it out to users around the world over the next couple of days. Gmail's new voice and video features work in modern browsers that support the latest version of its web app, namely Firefox 2.0+, Safari 3.0, IE7, and Google Chrome. Google Apps users will also get this feature as it rolls out, but Gmail voice and video conversations are only supported on Mac OS X, Windows XP, and Windows Vista via a Gmail voice and video chat plug-in that must be installed. Sorry, students, Internet café nomads, and cubicle warriors everywhere, but you may have to beg your admins for this new... --

iPod and Wikipedia… How They Got Their Names

Don't you ever wonder where branding names come from?  Ten years ago the terms iPod and Wikipedia wouldn't have had meaning or association.  Today they are known around the world.  Here are a couple of background stories to what are now infamous products.   They may seem so logical to us now, but took great ingenuity to get there. iPod According to CIO.com, during Apple's MP3 player development, Steve Jobs spoke of Apple's strategy: the Mac as a hub to other gadgets.  Vinnie Chieco, a freelance copywriter Apple hired to help manme the gadget before its debut in 2001, fixed on that idea.  he brainstormed hubs of all kinds, eventually coming tot he concept of a spaceship.  You could leave it, but you'd have to return to refuel.  the stark plastick front of the prototype inspired the final connection:... --

Cyber criminals target Facebook users

According to an article published Monday in the Sydney Morning Herald, Facebook has been infiltrated by Nigerian scammers and other cyber criminals who use compromised accounts to con users out of cash.  Please be careful. Now that even non-tech savvy internet users know not to respond to, or click on links in, emails from strangers, online thieves have turned to social networks and are finding it is easier to trick people when posing as their friends.  On Friday, Sydneysider Karina Wells received a Facebook message from one of her friends, Adrian, saying he was stranded in Lagos, Nigeria, and needed her to lend him $500 for a ticket home. Adrian used relatively good English but, after chatting further, words such as "cell" instead of "mobile phone" tipped Wells off that she was not talking to her friend but... --

BBC News Reports: Study shows how spammers cash in

Spammers are turning a profit despite only getting one response for every 12.5m e-mails they send, finds a study. By hijacking a working spam network, US researchers have uncovered some of the economics of being a junk mailer. The analysis suggests that such a tiny response rate means a big spam operation can turn over millions of pounds in profit every year. It also suggests that spammers may be susceptible to attacks that make it more costly to send junk mail. The spam study was carried out in early 2008 by computer scientists from University of California, Berkeley and UC, San Diego (UCSD). For their month-long study the seven-strong team of computer scientists infiltrated the Storm network that uses hijacked home computers as relays for junk mail. At its height Storm was believed to have more than one... --

The Black Berry Storm is Coming Soon

 According to the Verizon website, whether traveling to Europe for an international conference or to Asia for a business meeting, the BlackBerry® Storm™ from Verizon Wireless will give globetrotters the freedom of reliable global connectivity in a single, stylish handset. With the launch of the BlackBerry Storm, customers can use the world’s first “clickable” touch-screen BlackBerry smartphone to connect to their offices and homes in more than 200 destinations for voice and more than 150 destinations for data worldwide. The BlackBerry Storm allows for roaming in South America and Japan and also provides 3G data speeds on select international networks, giving customers high-speed connectivity when they are abroad. Verizon Wireless customers traveling for business or pleasure in both the U.S. and abroad can use GlobalEmail on their BlackBerry Storms to access corporate e-mail attachments as well... --

AT&T to acquire Wi-Fi network provider Wayport

AT&T announced plans on Thursday to acquire Wi-Fi network provider Wayport in an estimated $275 million cash deal. The acquisition expands the AT&T Wi-Fi footprint to nearly 20,000 domestic hotspots, takes the company's global Wi-Fi presence to more than 80,000 locations, and creates thousands of new ways for customers worldwide to stay in touch. Millions of AT&T customers — plus millions of other consumers needing to connect on the go — will benefit from access to new hotspot locations served by Wayport. Wayport hotspots are in key locations, including select Wyndham, Marriott Vacation Club and Four Seasons hotels; HealthSouth and Sun Healthcare locations; plus McDonald's restaurants. this service will be free only to customers of certain plans. "We're seeing exponential growth of Wi-Fi-enabled devices, such as smartphones, combined with a continued dependency on 24-7, anytime, anywhere Internet access... --

Microsoft Launches BizSpark to Help New Companies

Microsoft has launched a broad new effort, known as Microsoft BizSpark, to help entrepreneurs and startups get off the ground using Microsoft tools and technology. The BizSpark effort, announced Nov. 5, is a global program to do just what the name suggests—help spark new companies to enter the business world. Dan'l Lewin, corporate vice president of strategic and emerging business development at Microsoft, said with BizSpark Microsoft will be providing entrepreneurs with access to Microsoft technology, support and visibility. BizSpark provides startups and entrepreneurs with fast and easy access to current full-featured Microsoft development tools and production licenses of server products with no upfront costs and minimal requirements. "We will provide access to our software with no upfront costs whatsoever—qualified through a set of network partners," Lewin said. The software available to the BizSpark participants include Microsoft's Visual... --

Google Ends It’s Advertising Deal with Yahoo!

In a move that’s not terribly surprising, Google announced via blog post today that it is scrapping its search advertising deal with Yahoo. Google’s decision puts Yahoo’s search business back in play and may bring Microsoft back into the picture.  In separate statements, and the Department of Justice responded. The DOJ noted that it would file an antitrust lawsuit if Google and Yahoo went forward with a deal. Yahoo had planned to use Google’s ads if the monetization rates were better than its own. According to David Drummond, Google’s Chief Legal Officer the headaches just didn’t make sense.
After four months of review, including discussions of various possible changes to the agreement, it’s clear that government regulators and some advertisers continue to have concerns about the agreement. Pressing ahead risked not only a protracted legal battle... --

Firefox Reaches 20% Marketshare for the First Time Ever

The good folks at Mozilla are trumpeting a new report by global analytics service Net Applications that documented a 20% global market share for two out of four weeks in October. It's a new high bar of popularity for the 2nd most popular browser in the world. Firefox is safe, standards compliant, extensible...and not made by Microsoft. That's what most people like about it and the number of fans is growing. As a non-default browser on Windows computers, Firefox use can also be used as a proxy for measuring increasing sophistication of aggregate web users. There are certainly sophisticated web users who use Internet Explorer, however. We know that because 27% of ReadWriteWeb readers came to the site using IE last month. That makes it the second most popular browser among its readers after Firefox at 55%.  Their readers came... --

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