8/16/2005

Nintendo cuts price of DS video game device

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Nintendo Co. Ltd. on Tuesday said it cut the U.S. price of its Nintendo DS portable video game device by 13 percent to about $130 from about $150.

The price cut, effective August 21, comes nine months after the launch of the pocket-sized device, which opens like a clamshell and has two screens, including one that responds to touch.

Nintendo said the price cut comes ahead of the August 22 U.S. release of “Nintendogs,” a video game that allows the player to mimic ownership of a puppy and is already selling well in Japan.

Source: Reuters

Bid your name into a Grisham novel

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

A group of American authors has decided auction names of characters in their forthcoming novels, in a bid to raise funds for the First Amendment Project.

Using eBay, the authors will auction the character names using the auction portal’s charity listings, Giving Works. People can submit bids on behalf of their own name or any other name they choose during the auction series, which is scheduled to run between Sept. 1 and 25. The money raised will be donated to the FAP, a nonprofit organization promoting freedom of information and expression.

The idea for the auction came from Neil Gaiman, who recently sold off the name of a cruise liner in his upcoming novel, “Anansi Boys,” for $35,000 on eBay. The proceeds were donated to the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund.

Source: News.com

Google Released Blogger For Word Toolbar

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Many were using Microsoft Word to post to their blog since Word helps you with spelling and grammar.
That got the Blogger team thinking about how to help Word users to become bloggers. Thus came to be a new Blogger toolbar for Word.

Now you can use Blogger right within Microsoft® Word. Just download and install the Blogger for Word add-in and a Blogger toolbar will be added to Word allowing you to: Publish to your blog, Save drafts and Edit posts.

Download Blogger for Word Toolbar

G4 Tackles Sex In Videogames - Special Report

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

G4, the videogame lifestyle network, is taking on the hot-button issue of sex in videogames in an all-new, one-hour television special, “Sex In Games: A G4 Special Report.” The announcement was made today by Peter M. Green, SVP of Programming & Production, G4.

“Sex In Games: A G4 Special Report,” which premieres August 23 at 11:00 PM ET/PT on G4, provides objective insight about how sexuality is used in games and how it is continually evolving. Examples include the early XXX efforts on the first Atari console as well as the current controversial “Hot Coffee” content in today’s “Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.”

“Sex In Games: A G4 Special Report” includes interviews with industry experts such as Joe Minton (Developer, Playboy: The Mansion) and Chuck Osborn (PC Gamer Magazine), revealing how sexy games got their start and just how far today’s developers are willing to push the envelope. Other guests include, Hugh Hefner (Playboy Magazine), Anatole Brown (Executive Editor, Tips & Tricks Magazine), Brenda Brathwaite (Senior Designer on Playboy: The Mansion, Cyberlore Studios), Chris Charla (Executive Producer, Foundation 9 Entertainment), Tom Smith (Design Director on Leisure Suit Larry: Magna Cum Laude, High Voltage Games).

Feds Call For Crackdown On Credit Report Deception

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

A subset of a major credit reporting company, which allegedly promised free reports but then billed customers $79.95 for a “credit monitoring service,” agreed to settle charges of deceptive marketing practices.

The Federal Trade Commission had alleged that ConsumerInfo.com, which also runs a site called FreeCreditReport.com, deceived customers about the free credit reports and later failed to distinguish its services from a government-sanctioned site designed specifically for such services. Experian Consumer Direct, ConsumerInfo’s parent company, is one of the “big three” credit reporting agencies that last year helped to set up that government-sanctioned site at AnnualCreditReport.com.

The terms of the settlement, filed Monday in the U.S. District Court of the Central District of California, prohibit ConsumerInfo from making misleading claims about its products in the future and give specific instructions on how disclaimers should be displayed on its site and advertisements. ConsumerInfo must also continue providing refunds to qualified customers and hand the FTC $950,000 in “ill-gotten” revenue, which may go to “consumer education,” the agency said in a press release.

Source: News.com

Microsoft tries to calm nerves over RSS

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

A Microsoft executive who set in motion a small storm in cyberspace over the future of RSS has moved to try and calm the situation.

Mike Torres, the lead program manager of Microsoft’s blogging platform, MSN Spaces, set out on Tuesday to convince bloggers and programmers alike that Microsoft had no evil intentions towards RSS and was not spreading FUD in an effort to stall the development of RSS.

“Despite the fact that the media thinks Microsoft doesn’t like RSS… the reality is most of us love it, myself included.,” wrote Torres in a posting to his blog, Torres Talks. “Don’t believe the hype.”

Torres, though, argues that it is wrong to accuse Microsoft of breaking with a prevailing standard since there is no real standard there, citing Mozilla’s use of the term “Live Bookmarks” in Firefox, and Google’s use of “Feeds”, among others

Source: ZDNet

Delay for .xxx ‘net sex’ domain

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

The plan for a virtual red light district through the creation of a .xxx net domain name has hit delays after concern from government officials.

An official from President George Bush’s administration has asked for the brakes be put on the planned domain name until its impact is studied more.

The domain was given the go-ahead by Icann (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) in June.

But some are concerned that it would encourage more porn on the net.

The domain name was expected to get final approval by the net’s supervisory body, Icann (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers), on Tuesday.

Source: BBC

XBox 360 Production On Schedule

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Microsoft announced today that Celestica, Flextronics and Wistron will produce the Xbox 360. The Xbox 360 remains on track for a global launch this holiday season in North America, Europe and Japan.

Source: xbox360news.com

Google to Offer Free Wi-Fi?

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Business 2.0 reports on the possibility of Google building a national broadband network and giving Wi-Fi access to everyone in America. From the article: ‘So once the GoogleNet is built, how would consumers connect for free access? One of the cheapest ways would be for Google to blanket major cities with Wi-Fi, and evidence gathered by Business 2.0 suggests that the company may be trying to do just that. In April it launched a Google-sponsored Wi-Fi hotspot in San Francisco’s Union Square shopping district, built by a local startup called Feeva. Feeva is reportedly readying more free hotspots in California, Florida, New York, and Washington, and it’s possible that Google may be involved.

Source: Slashdot

Apple patches OS X security flaws

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Apple has posted its latest Mac OS X security update, which addresses a number of potential vulnerabilities in the operating system.

Included among the patches are repairs to AppKit which prevent malicious users exploiting buffer overflows with carefully crafted .rtf and .doc files, executing malware stored within those files or allowing the coder to add extra user accounts to the system.

Source: The Register

Amazon A9 takes it to the streets

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Amazon.com is merging photographs and maps in a new location-based search service that will allow users to take virtual tours of more than 22 U.S. cities.

The company’s A9 search subsidiary is expected on Tuesday to launch a beta of its new A9.com Maps service, which lets users see street-level photos of addresses as well as get map-based driving directions.

The service integrates into one interface interactive maps with A9’s Block View technology. The Block View technology offers series of photos of both sides of streets taken by roving picture-snapping trucks equipped with digital cameras and global positioning system receivers. The photos, of which there are about 35 million, are currently used in Amazon’s Yellow Pages search to show snapshots of businesses alongside addresses and phone numbers for merchant searches.

The new A9.com Maps service allows users to easily get driving directions by clicking on starting and destination points on the map and shows photos of locations corresponding to points on the map clicked with the cursor. Instead of having to type in addresses, users can click on a point on the map and the corresponding address will pop up.

Source: News.com

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