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Sunday, December 31, 2006

XXX-Madden gag spoils kid's Xmas

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mahoney with the soiled goodsOn Christmas morning, little Kolton Mahoney tore away the wrapping paper on Uncle Dan's gift, ecstatic to find a copy of Madden 07. But it wasn't the familiar "It's in the game" mantra that greeted Kolton upon loading the game into the tray of his Xbox 360. Instead, an explicit image danced before his naked eyes.

Confused, distraught, and perhaps overwhelmingly excited, Kolton ran to mommy and daddy, who quickly passed the concern over to the Internet Crimes Against Child ren Task Force. "It wasn't a pretty scene," recounted Kolton's father.

So far, the task force has been unable to track down the culprit of this cruel gag. The soiled Madden was apparently purchased by Uncle Dan on Dec. 2 from Circuit City. The disc is embossed with an official label and came factory-sealed in a standard game case.

[Thanks, Chronos_777]
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Girlfriend's gift to boyfriend: Mario Bros hoodie

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Flickr user "Sabellachan" made this sweet hoodie for her boyfriend for consumermas, then shot him in the back with her new D80 as he strolled down Palo Alto streets. Nice work on both counts.

For fun and insight into our editorial process here at Joystiq, we share with you rejected headlines for this post:

  • Mushrooms, they're the new Viagra
  • Mushrooms, "We're here to pump [clap] you up!"
  • Bigger mushrooms make him. An existential dilemma solved by fungus.
  • What's black, white, red, and worn all over?
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No 'Silver Bullet' for IT/Business Alignment

There is no "silver bullet" for enhancing IT/business alignment. Rather, it requires attention to several areas, including governance and communication between the two cultures.

Visit IT Business Edge for the No 'Silver Bullet' for IT/Business Alignment interview.


I/O Data Vista Approved Tuners Announced

The beginning of whats to be the staple amongst couch surfing Vista users... [more]

No Longer "Made in Taiwan"

Innovation over simple contract manufacturing is the key to Taiwan's economic future, or demise... [more]

Game Tunnel: Independent games of the year

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Independent games site Game Tunnel released their game of the year winners for the independent market in 2006. Up until recently independent games have been relegated to a niche PC market, but Xbox Live -- and we hope similar services in the future -- will allow t hese games to shine out of their word-of-mouth marketing worlds.

We spoke with Russell Carroll, editor-in-chief at Game Tunnel, about the differences between Game Tunnel's awards and the Independent Games Festival awards given out in March, which had nominations announced earlier this month. Carroll says that unfinished games are allowed to enter the IGF competition, where Game Tunnel will only consider the finished product. For example, Oasis won the IGF in 2003 and won Game Tunnel's award in 2005 when it was actually released.

Game Tunnel chooses their winner by a combination of monthly panels, reviews, Game Tunnel staff opinion and Carroll gets the final call. Carroll says, "It's not a perfect mathematical equation, but in the end we're happy with the results and think that they are games that can immediately be appreciated for being indie ... you can see that heart in the games." Most of the games are available to download and demo from the Game Tunnel website. Check it out and help support the little guys.
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No 'Silver Bullet' for IT/Business Alignment

There is no "silver bullet" for enhancing IT/business alignment. Rather, it requires attention to several areas, including governance and communication between the two cultures.

Visit IT Business Edge for the No 'Silver Bullet' for IT/Business Alignment interview.


The Social Networking Art Gallery

Julie Ann Travis, 23, a graduate student at the California College of the Arts in San Francisco, is curious to see what her peers are up to and to share some of her latest work. So recently she posted a self-portrait in which her head is buried in a pile of dirt at Stuart, the latest addition to a recently redesigned Web site for the Saatchi Gallery in London. [more]

Application Integration Appliances

Can an appliance handle application integration? Cast Iron says yes.

Visit IT Business Edge for the Application Integration Appliances interview.


Chrome Text

Learn how to create shiny and metallic text using only layer styles. [more]

Net neutrality advocates cheer AT&T concessions

Net neutrality advocates are praising new concessions from AT&T in its effort to gain approval of its planned merger with BellSouth.


Soaring Online Ad Prices - Is an End in Sight?

Media executives and investors get a pleasant neck ache from watching the skyward path of online advertising revenue. However, for those who have to pay for advertising, the trend is bringing some anxiety. "Everybody's excited about online advertising," said Mark Vadon, chief executive of the online jeweler Blue Nile. "But the rates keep going up and up and up." [more]

Weekly Webcomic Wrapup: Fill-in-your-own Edition [update 1]

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Welcome to the (adjective) edition of the Weekly Webcomic (noun) . We've got 11 (adjective) gaming comics for you to (verb) . O, (exclamation) !

While we (verb) our (noun) , check out our (noun) for the (adverb) (adjective) webcomics of the week. Be sure to (verb) for your (noun) !

(Be sure to check out Bears of War, too.)

Update: On the results page, Digital Unrest and Dueling Analogs magically switch places (if by magic I mean that I screwed up). Vote for the comic you like on this page and I'll make the appropriate swap when the results are all tallied. Sorry, guys!

You've gotta spend money to lose money
Nerds tell stupid jokes
Berry Merry
Where does he get those wonderful toys?
Ebay waits for no man
Games of the Year
New year's predictions 2007
Old-school wheels
The Last One ...
Poor kid
The code that defined a generation
Free polls from
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Best Buy selling hoarded PS3s tomorrow morning

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Click to enlarge.

If you happened to spot a PlayStation 3 (or seven PlayStation 3s) at your local Big Box store this past week but had your hand-slapped when you tried to buy one, then pay special attention to tomorrow's Best Buy circular. Looks like our internal (and poorly spelt) memo was dead on; each store has a minimum of 25 60GB PS3 units, with some stores having as many as 60! In order to keep the violence to a minimum, stores are going to be handing out tickets "one hour prior to store opening on Sunday, December 31." According to their holiday store hours, Best Buys will be open tomorrow morning at 10am, meaning interested gamers (or tardy eBay profiteers) will need to be there by 9am to collect their ticket ... though we'd suggest getting there a couple hours early.

[Thanks, anon!]
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Canon's sure shot

The Middle East and Africa’s number one digital still camera (DSC) vendor, Canon, is aiming to consolidate its position over the next 12 months by leveraging an expanded product portfolio and enhanced channel management strategy. Aaron Greenwood reports. [more]

No more faking it

The Dubai-based Brand Owners Protections Group is taking the fight to counterfeit goods traders operating in the UAE. Ronan Shields reports. [more]

Consolidation and job cuts continue

Layoffs and acquisitions dominated the IT landscape in 2006, but there were also scandals aplenty and the small matter of Microsoft’s Vista OS [more]

No 'Silver Bullet' for IT/Business Alignment

There is no "silver bullet" for enhancing IT/business alignment. Rather, it requires attention to several areas, including governance and communication between the two cultures.

Visit IT Business Edge for the No 'Silver Bullet' for IT/Business Alignment interview.


Nintendo Wii

In less than 45 steps, you will learn how to make the Wii, the Nunchuck, and the Wiimote. [more]

Xmas day attack on Second Life

Another "goo attack," this one featuring green genitalia wearing Santa hats, halts the virtual world. [more]

Music Labels Warming up to MP3 Embrace

Record labels are beginning to let consumers pick what format music comes in... [more]

12/29/2006 Daily Hardware Reviews

DailyTech's roundup of reviews from around the web for Friday... [more]

Apple Takes $84 Million Charge for Stock Options Backdating Scandal

Steve Jobs was aware of backdating scandal, but cleared of wrongdoing... [more]

Dell Leaks 27" Display on Website

An inconspicuous typo reveals one of the most anticipated Dell displays to date... [more]

Food scares: How IT helped stop E.coli outbreaks

Using a software analysis tool, public health officials were able to link illnesses around the country to consumption of contaminated spinach, and later solved a separate outbreak from lettuce used at Taco Bell restaurants.


Looking ahead: Tech trends 2007

Coming soon to a computer near you: Windows Vista. Oh, and be on the lookout in '07 for Internet-delivered TV, more spam, new worms, corporate scandals, the continued growth of Wi-Fi and more IT mergers and acquisitions.


Learn from Success: Integrating Legacy with SOA for Faster Business Processes

$6 million...$30 million...$500,000...These are the real savings companies are reporting by transforming their powerful, secure Legacy systems into flexible SOA applications that meet the changing needs of their business. Before going down the road of "ripping and replacing" your valuable Legacy systems, join us and hear from the experts on how you can have the best of both worlds by integrating your Legacy with your SOA...and save your company millions at the same time. It's not as hard as you think. In this expert panel webcast, you'll learn: - Why CIOs are turning away from the hidden costs and complexities of re-writing their Legacy apps on new platforms- How to integrate your Legacy apps with your SOA and improve process efficiency throughout your company- How one CIO is adding up to 15 years to his Legacy systems, easily managing 1,500 web services, and eliminating hundreds of inefficient processes


Ball drops on 'Happy New Year!' worm

An e-mail worm carrying a payload with multiple malicious code variants is making the rounds under the guise of New Year's greetings. The "postcard.exe" malware bears the same name as an attack launched earlier in December, but the threat itself has not been seen previously.


Money changes everything

Contractor pilot fish provides 24/7 hardware support for a defense plant, so it's not really a surprise when the help desk calls on a Sunday afternoon: An engineer's workstation has died.


Opinion: .Mac software a solid choice for backups

If you want to store a backup of every file on your hard disk, Backup 3.1 is not the right choice, because it doesn't always store information such as file ownership and permissions properly. For keeping archives of commonly used files, however, Backup is more than adequate.


IT disasters you never hear about

John Webster was standing on a customers loading dock when one of his companys big machines arrived strapped to a pallet. The customers forklift operator failed to lower the forks to the ground before accelerating forward. The resulting sound was truly gut-wrenching.


A year in Google blogging

The definition of "googol" is a number, and Google lives by numbers. So how else should we look back over the year but with numerical bits? Here goes: This post marks the 294th time this year you're reading a post from us -- nearly 100 times more often than in 2005. In the last 12 months, we unveiled 24 new products here. We wrote up 128 product upgrades, new features and how-to-use-it items. We told you about 7 acquisitions. We blogged about policies or issues 23 times, on subjects including Google in China, how Book Search works, click fraud, and Net Neutrality. yielded 7 posts, and 29 times we said various services are available in many countries and languages. Then there was a pug, Google's custom It's It, our compelling matchmaking service, and a nearly-cosmic Stardate.

More for the numerically inclined: 7.6 million unique visitors generated nearly 15 million pageviews this year. Aside from the U.S. and UK, readers come from India, Australia, France, Germany, Japan, Italy and the Netherlands. Which sites send us the most readers? The top non-Google referrers this year are the influential and Slashdot.

But we didn't just hope that readers would come to us. We also launched company blogs in China, Japan, Italy, Brazil, Mexico, Poland, and Russia (and more are coming in 2007). We also launched AdSense-specific blogs for publishers who speak Dutch, German, Portuguese and Spanish. Product teams also started up quite a roster of new blogs covering everything from Custom Search Engines to Google Book Search to our Mac and Enterprise endeavors. If you want to kee p current with nearly 40 corporate blogs we now publish, here's the Atom feed, the Google Reader share option, and the OPML file (English language blogs only).

Which posts caught your eye? Apart from the front page, these were among the most popular:
It wasn't all fun, though; there was the time the blog disappeared. (Of course, that was before the recent Blogger revamp.) But even if real-time, all-too-human goof-ups make it a bit harrowing on occasion, the fact is a company blog is the fastest way to reach out. So we hope you continue to enjoy the rich stew we aim to serve. And before long, perhaps you can begin leaving comments directly. We're working on that. Meanwhile, our very best for a satisfying 2007 to you and yours. [more]

Outsourcing Fuels Purchasing Power in India

Companies are looking to India not just to supply inexpensive labor to help produce their products, but also to provide a growing pool of consumers eager to buy them. According to a recent Technology Forecasters survey, the number of electronics companies manufacturing products in India will rise by 63 percent over the next two years. A [...] [more]

Amsterdam’s Open Source Experiment

In a recent interview with IT Business Edge, open source expert Bernard Golden said Microsoft’s response to the success of Linux (or open source in general) has been to create an ecosystem around its products — presumably so it isn’t so easy to replace Windows components with open source ones. The powers that be in Redmond have two [...] [more]

Virtualization and the Application Environment

Like “virtually” everything else, virtualization will have an impact on the application server environment. Yes, app servers are so common and have been around for so long that they are practically commodities now, but there are some real opportunities to lower costs and shrink the footprint using distributed platforms capable of running numerous apps using various operating [...] [more]

Business and Consumer Segments Increasingly Converge

Interwise — a company that provides voice, Web and video conferencing to enterprise clients — recently released predictions for 2007. On one level, the predictions were interesting. They also were quite expected in that they essentially said that the business the company is in will thrive. As we read the story, we began to think of [...] [more]

AT&T Bends to Critics, Offers Concessions to Win FCC Approval for Merger

AT&T has decided that winning approval by the FCC for its $85 billion purchase of BellSouth is more important than standing tall to critics of the merger who have continued to demand concessions by the company. In a letter sent late Thursday, the company offered to make several concessions, including ensuring “net neutrality” for 30 months [...] [more]

Yoono at Web 2.0 Conference

Dailymotion blogged video [more]

Firefox extension 3.0.5

Release 3.0.5 was validated yesterday by the team ! Its main new feature is the ability to display two sidebars, instead of one, in no more than 3 clicks. It’s really easy to do: just open the Yoono sidebar, and, from the top drop down menu, chose what other sidebar you want to display ! The picture [...] [more]

About the Yoono bot

For a few weeks now we have been running a bot identified by this User-Agent string : Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; Yoono; Some people asked us what this bot was precisely doing. Yoono is a social search engine based on the fact that our users share parts of their bookmarks, so why would we need to have a [...] [more]

My review of Le Web 3

As I told Loic many times during the event, I am personally grateful to him to have organized such a big event in Europe. Ok, I agree some mistakes were made, like inviting candidates for the French presidential elections. But Shimon Peres’s speech was cool and innovative. Fighting against intolerance and racism by encouraging new businesses [...] [more]

Yoono, Best Start-up of Le Web3

We are very proud to have been elected number one out of more than 50 start-ups. So I would like to personally thank all my team for the hard work done so far. As well as Guillaume Lautour, our investor, for supporting us in the development of Yoono. It gives us even more energy to [...] [more]

Do Yoono them ?

As we said a few weeks ago, here is a whole new batch of cute faces so that you will be able to pick up one that really looks like you. Or really does not. Or whatever. [more]

Yoono Explorer Bar

The Explorer Bar has now been released and is available on the yoono site and on Microsoft’s IE Add-Ons. The add-on takes the form of a toolbar and a sidebar, either of which can be hidden. The sidebar includes 3 tabs : Suggestions - when you visit a web site, yoono suggests : other similar sites users who have this site [...] [more]

Great Tip: How to Change Video Settings in Windows Media Player 10, by

This blog entry was gleaned from UpdateXP, a Featured Community Web site on August 18, 2006.


If you spend a lot of time watching DVDs on your computer, you know how important it is to get the color just right, the brightness perfect, and the screen a little sharper. This brief article will show you how to make these adjustments and get the maximum enjoyment from your movie.


by Joli Ballew

Expert Zone Columnist


The items on this WebLog are provided as is with no warranties and confer no rights. See Microsoft Information on Terms of Use.