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Saturday, January 06, 2007

Ohhhh Canada, you could win a giant Link

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People of Canada, you can win a giant life-sized link to roam the plains of Saskatchewan ... or just have it sit in your room, staring at you with those deep blue eyes. Nintendo of Canada is having a contest between now and Ja n. 31, the grand prize is a "limited edition life-size collectible statue of the character Link from the Legend of Zelda." Approx. value is $500 CDN ($425 USD). Three second prize winners get a Link "statuette."

Here's a weak part for the grand winner: "Delivery charges are the sole responsibility of each winner." So, not only do you have to win Link, but you've got to ship his "life-size" self. No details on Link's height or weight. We wish there was a bigger photo to show, but that's all we've got. Beware the pointy ears though, you'll poke your eye out.

[Thanks Cody]
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No Living Room Is Safe From iPod

When I'd see people at the gym or Safeway or walking down the street, oblivious to everyone and everything except the music pouring out of those telltale white ear buds, I'd scoff at the isolationism. However, when my wife gave me an iPod shuffle, you know what I did, don't you? Yes, I stood in virtual line with the throng of new iPodites who temporarily brought down Apple's online store. [more]

PS3 available on BestBuy.com ... still

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BestBuy.com and Best Buy stores, following a well publicized New Year's Eve sale, still have PlayStation 3 units available. We've received documentation from sources using Best Buy's Retek Store System (RSS) showing megalopolis' like Los Angeles are sold out, but states like Missouri, Illinois, Texas, Michigan, Minnesota are stocked. This is all a moot point because BestBuy.com has units for purchase. If gamers want a unit, it's available.

One of our sources says, "It would appear that nobody is really buying them. As of today, my store only had somewher e around 12 units left, but other stores were in the 30s ... While some people are blaming it on the fact that nobody wants a PS3, I like to imagine it's because the parents who would be buying them already jumped for a Xbox 360 or managed to get a Wii. After all, if I just spent $600 on little Susan for Christmas, I would not want to drop another $600 minimum for her. No kid is worth that much."

Although it could be the sign that PS3 supply is starting to exceed demand, this Best Buy situation could merely be an anomaly. Amazon.com can't keep units in stock, but we don't have data on how many units Amazon.com received. It's certainly an indicator of things to come when a major U.S. retailer has PS3 units available online and in stores that aren't being sold less than two months after launch.

[Thanks to our BB guys]
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Application Integration Appliances

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

Visit IT Business Edge for the Application Integration Appliances interview.

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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.

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Web 2.0 Logo

How to implement popular and effective web 2.0 concepts into text through creating a snazzy logo. [more]

Photographing Waterfalls: A Beginner's Guide

The first of a series, this guide will help the novice camera user take better photos of not only waterfalls, but anything in general. Future articles will concentrate on more technical areas of waterscape photography including advanced shooting and PhotoShop techniques. [more]

Opinion: Seagate's new drives look to reinvent backup

Seagate is planning to unveil its latest external drives, which range in capacity from 320GB to 750GB. The new drives can not only encrypt and manage files, but also take with it the software to do this on any computer into which the drives are plugged, be that in a hotel or an Internet cafe.

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Keyboard combo for the compulsively clean, obsessively sterile

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bubble-boy toyLogitech has released the perfect companion piece for that plastic bubble you just scored on eBay. It's a keyboard and mouse combo, dubbed the MX 3200 Laser, and it's coated with AgION, a compound used most commonly in hospitals to prohibit the growth of microorganisms.

Our guess it that the 3200 will cater primarily to mysophobes, but it might also be a worthwhile purchase for those paranoid of their runny-nose d tots or greasy-haired coworkers -- oh wait, that is a mysophobe. Anyways, Logitech's latest sure beats spraying Lysol all over the desktop.
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Application Integration Appliances

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

Visit IT Business Edge for the Application Integration Appliances interview.

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Patch Tuesday to be a half-day

Microsoft announced on Friday that the this month's Patch Tuesday collection will comprise four, not eight, security fixes. One of the four unreleased patches had been assigned a "critical" rating.

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Forums: MacWorld on the mind, GPU options

Forums roundup: Members are looking to Macworld with some high expectations for a possible upgrade to the iMac, this time discussing the possibility of Blu-ray reader inclusion..... Continuing the feeling of anticipation for MacWorld is one member's question asking who will buy a MacPro following the Keynote, where new models are expected to be unv...
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How in-game sound effects are recorded

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EGM readers should be familiar with the magazine's monthly Take This Job column that profiles industry related gigs. Some are cool, some are not ("But I don't want to program for 80 hours a week!"). Charles Maynes, however, really does have a cool job in the industry. He's a sound designer and recording artist for both film and video games specializing in military audio. Basically he gets to shoot guns and blow stuff up all day long.

Some interesting highlights from his Gamasutra column include the luxury of exaggerating sound effects for film more so than games as the former are only played once during a movie whereas the latter need be more ho listic due to their in-game repetitiveness. Makes sense, but do big, exaggerated explosions ever really lose their cachet? I think not, but then again, I'm not a sound designer. Click on to find out just how Maynes does his thing in capturing the layered, silky, game sounds so many of us take for granted.
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Happy crazy rhythm game music day

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Here at video game music day, we try to bring you examples of great video game music performed on real life instruments. This week we're turning things upside-down and bringing you some great real life music performed on video games. Why? Because we're just that crazy. Also we couldn't think of anything else to do.

Please enjoy these seemingly superhuman performances on Taiko Drum Master, BeatMania and Pop N Music.

Continue reading Happy crazy rhythm game music day

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Steam to be streamlined, offer Guest Passes with new update

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logoSteam's winter update -- due next week -- will roll out a few significant changes for Valve's digital distribution service. At the top of the list are 'Guest Passes,' essentially free trials that Steam game owners can extend to their friends (or strangers). Unfortunately, Guest Passes will be limited to select games, the first being Day of Defeat: Source.

The update will also see improvements to the user interface, including a 'Favorites' tab for easy access to your choice games. In addition, support for background client updates will be added. Oh, and now the GUI will be viewable in five different colors! Now that's an update worth mentioning.

[Via press release]

Continue reading Steam to be streamlined, offer Guest Passes with new update

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Press uses tragedy for cheap Game Boy headline

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You probably already know about the tragic story of the young, pool-drenched boy who was electrocuted last week after plugging an electrical device into a socket with suspect wiring. Good journalism would obviously report on the electronic device in question, it being a Game Boy in this case. But does the Game Boy headline and prominent angle cross the line in a move to further vilify video games? Spong reangles the angle: "So, we have the possibility of poor wiring combined with moisture, combined with a charger combined with an electron ic device. Just ask yourself this: Had Connor been unplugging a lamp, would The Sun have reported 'Connor, 7, Killed by Lamp' and would The Guardian have published 'Boy, 7, dies in lamp lighting accident?"

Would it have even reached mainstream press had a lamp been involved? Regardless, our condolences to the O'Keefe family despite the controversial story coverage.

[via Boing Boing]
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The workable PS2 toaster

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What's the deal with the recent cross-pollination of PlayStation products and cooking appliances? It's like the cool thing right now. Not as cool as viral videos or Zune, mind you, but all the kids are doing it. One DeviantART member and her friend even went as far to build the workable PS2 case mod toaster you see pictured above. $20 bucks says someone tries to outdo her next month. Make that $100.

See also:
[via Boing Boing]
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Child's Play raises over one million dollars

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In the past four years, Penny Arcade's Child's Play charity has raked in the kind of money that can only be visualized as a gargantuan, green pile. This year, however, marks a special milestone -- $1,000,000. That's when people look up, alarms sound and bloggers put down their lassos of lethargy. It's a really big pile, one worthy of a spirited round of applause.

To be exact, $1,024,400.31 went towards children who find themselves trapped in deliberately uninteresting hospital hallways. Books, toys, video games and consoles are just some of the items purchased through Amazon wishlists this year. The annual Penny Arcade auc tion dinner contributed a tidy $210,000, with an appearance in an upcoming comic strip fetching $10,000 at the event.

Other items of interest at the dinner auction:
  • A Halo 3 voice-over opportunity called for $9,000.
  • A DS and Wii package signed by Reggie? $3,700.
  • A tour of Penny Arcade HQ sold for $2,700.
  • An Xbox 360 signed by J. Allard went for $1,200.
Well done, Penny Arcade, and kudos to the classy human beings who contributed to their efforts.

(So, two million next year, right?)
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