Cheaper PS3 not just a smaller Hard-drive

June 12, 2006 at 1:58 pm | Posted in Hardware, Technology, Video Games | Leave a comment

As you may know, Sony have announced two prices for their Playstation 3 console, $829AUD for the 20GB version and $999AUD for the 60GB version.  A lot to pay for a game console, but that’s for another discussion.  What Sony hasn’t been advertising is the other features which the cheaper PS3 will lack over the more expensive variant.  The 20GB version lacks support for Memory sticks, SD and Compact Flash cards, has no built in wi-fi and will have the HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface) output removed.  So, what, you ask?  I don’t use memory sticks, I can settle for using a network cable instead of wireless, I don’t need a 60GB hard drive.  But the lack of HDMI support is the real big one which is going to cripple the cheaper system.

HDMI is required to run the PS3 at its highest resolution, 1080p (1920×1080 resolution).  Without an HDMI output, the cheaper PS3 will also be incompatible with the soon to be introduced copy protection system, HDCP (High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection).  So now, if I want a PS3 I have to pay $999 to get all of the standard features.  Great.  Makes me glad I’m a Nintendo fanboy :P.

Touch nanosensor zOmg.

June 11, 2006 at 10:29 pm | Posted in Science, Technology | Leave a comment

Scientists have developed a high resolution touch nanosensor… A thing that can sense things.

Made of incredibly thin layers of Gold (Au) and Cadmium Sulfide (CdS), seperated by equally thin layers of insulation, these nanosensors basically conform to the shape of the surface they're on, accurate to about 10 microns (10 millionths of a metre). An electrical current is then applied to the sensor, which makes it produce light, then, by the concentration of light or current in each area, the feel of the surface can be ascertained, which can be translated into a high resolution image of the surface. This could have application in cancer surgery, for example, when the surgeon does not want to cut too far, in order to avoid unnecessary damage to organs, but wants to completely get rid of the cancer. This nanosensor could be used to feel whether cancer cells are present.

Thanks to the chemical construction of the nanosensor, it is strong enough to hold together, but weak enough to be easily adjustable. It is also self-assembling at room temperature. Impressive.

The past is the future (of batteries)!

June 9, 2006 at 11:46 pm | Posted in General, Technology | Leave a comment

A team of researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology are redeveloping the capacitor to be better in most every way than the standard battery.  This new capacitor could be charged in seconds rather than hours, and would last much longer than standard batteries.  Problems with capacitors in the past have been due to their storage capacity being proportional to surface area.  This has been overcome by covering the electrodes in the battery with millions of tiny nanotubes, thereby increasing the surface area.  The article refers to a bath towel soaking up more water than a bed sheet due to it’s greater overall surface area.  A prototype is expected within the next few months.

Blogging through Performancing Firefox extension

June 9, 2006 at 9:36 pm | Posted in General, Technology | 1 Comment

Hi peeps, I recently downloaded a Firefox extension called Performancing through which I can post blog entries, how awesome is that?  Anyways I’m just testing it out right now, I don’t even need to log into wordpress.com!  Anyway’s here’s the link if anyone’s interested.

Performancing.com | Helping Bloggers Succeed

Security hole found it Symantec Antivirus v10.x

May 26, 2006 at 4:52 pm | Posted in General, Technology | Leave a comment

A huge security flaw has been found in Symantec Antivirus version 10.x (aka Norton Antivirus) which, if exploited, would allow teh h4x0rz (hackers) to take complete control of the target computer “without any user action”. How do you protect your machine from teh ‘sploitz? By deleting Symantec Antivirus, how do you like that for irony.

Apparently this gaping hole hasn’t been exploited yet… “Great, let’s advertise this unexploited security hole instead of reporting it to Symantec to get it fixed and see what happens” yes, lets. Lets indeed. I’ll be taking bets on how long until someone takes advantage of this.

If you are using any version of Symantec Antivirus, I would advise you to delete it and get a better antivirus program, like McAfee or even AVG Free (what I use), because Symantec is generally not a very good antivirus program. Of course, if you have your heart set on Symantec and are using v10.x I would advise that you at the very least uninstall it until a patch to fix this hole is released. If you’re using an earlier version it shouldn’t matter, as it appears this hole is only in v10. Great work Symantec.

Samsung releases PC with NAND flash based Solid State Drive

May 24, 2006 at 10:16 pm | Posted in Hardware, Technology | Leave a comment

What did I just say? That headline might not have meant much to you, but it’s representative of a step forward in mainstream data storage. Basically, Samsung are releasing a PC with a flash based 32GB Solid State Drive instead of a Hard Disk Drive… Yeh ok that’s pretty much what the headline said. Regardless, SSDs are faster, with a read time of 53MB/s (300% faster than HDD), 28MB/s write time (150% of HDD) and twice the shock resistance of Hard Drives (no moving parts = win). They’re also completely silent, compared to around 30dB produced by an average laptop.

This is the first time this type of data storage has been used in a PC. Read about it here.

Well, it’s official…

May 15, 2006 at 5:19 pm | Posted in General, Technology, Video Games | Leave a comment

Nintendo stole the show this year at E3. If you need proof, take a look at these videos from the show. The morning rush – guess where everyone’s headed. That’s right, everyone, every single person in that video was running, not walking, to the Nintendo booth. At the end you can see someone from Sony getting frustrated because noone was interested in PS3. At least now I know why they felt they needed to steal Nintendo’s idea (in case you don’t know, Sony announced a week or two ago that they’ve put a motion sensor in their controllers…).

If that’s not enough, check out this video of the line-up to play Wii for, what, two minutes maybe? In case you can’t be bothered clicking the link or are on dialup or something, I’ll just explain that the video is a walk from the start to the end of the lineup and goes for four and a half minutes. Apparently at one point the lineup took four hours to get through.

Looks like Nintendo’s back.

A gaming wheel with a full six-speed gearbox?

May 15, 2006 at 5:02 pm | Posted in Technology, Video Games | 3 Comments

You read that right. Logitech are releasing a racing wheel for PC, the Logitech G25 with a full six-speed manual gearbox and clutch pedal.

It’s the most advanced gaming wheel ever made, you can even heel-and-toe downshift with it. Of course, it comes at a price… US$300. Apparently it’s also compatible with PS2. I assume you plug it in through USB, so here’s hoping it’ll be compatible with 360 as well, not that I have one, but it’d be cool. Forza Motorsport 2, I’m looking in your direction.

By the way, I was going to post this yesterday, but for some reason wordpress.com wasn’t letting me log in… I suppose it doesn’t really matter, noone reads this thing anyway 😛

Well, it’s that time of year again

May 10, 2006 at 9:17 pm | Posted in Technology, Video Games | 2 Comments

For those of you who don’t know, E3, the Electronics Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles just started. It’s pretty much the biggest video games expo in the world, unfortunately it’s only open to the press, but a lot of the stuff that’s shown there (considering that a lot of it is actually trailers and screenshots) is available online anyway. Its the place were heaps of games are announced and shown every year, and this year’s no different. Particularly impressive, to me, is the Nintendo Wii, formerly known as Revolution. In case you don’t know by now, in which case you should be slapped particularly hard around the face, the Wii is Nintendo’s new console. What makes it especially different is the controller, which has 3 dimensional motion sensing, meaning it senses movements left, right, up, down, forwards, backwards and even twists. It was announced a few months ago, but now some games have finally been announced, showing off what the system’s really capable of. If you’re interested, visit the Nintendo Wii Homepage to find out all about it.

It really is looking to be incredibly fun, and the next big thing in console gaming, in my opinion. ExciteTruck, Super Mario Galaxy, Wario Ware: Smooth Moves, Metroid Prime 3: Corruption, Wii Sports, all of the titles announced so far look incredibly fun and I’m interested to see how they turn out.

Oh, by the way, I’ve decided that Jake is the biggest Nintendo Flameboy that I know. Whether or not you know who he is, he hates Nintendo for no good reason and keeps finding bad things with their products, which are actually good things in most cases… Anyway, I just had to get that off my chest. Ignore him if he posts rubbish on here; make up your own decision about it, and everything, for that matter :P.

Edit: wow – Flameboy Jake just decided that the Wii “looks alright”. Progress, people, progress. 😛

Pandora

May 3, 2006 at 2:05 am | Posted in Music, Technology | 6 Comments

I recently discovered a web service called Pandora. It’s currently the best way of discovering new music that I know of. How it works is, you type in the name of a band you like and it streams music in a similar style, by an assortment of artists. I’m just playing around with it now, so check it out for yourself and see what you think.

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