Archive for August, 2010

Xbox Live Gold price increasing November 1 in US, UK, Canada, and Mexico

Posted in Tech with tags , , , , on August 31, 2010 by parasomia

By Nilay Patel posted Aug 30th 2010 12:41PM Well, this is sad and unexpected: Microsoft’s Major Nelson just announced that Xbox Live Gold will be getting more expensive in the US, UK, Canada, and Mexico starting November 1. A single month will go from $7.99 to $9.99, three months will go from $19.99 to $24.99, and the yearly sub will now be $59.99, up from $49.99. Yes, it’s super lame, but to make up for it Microsoft’s running a quickie “lock in” promo for a discounted $40 one-year Gold sub starting November 1 — a nice deal if your subscription is set to expire around then, we suppose. We’re definitely wondering why Microsoft is jacking Live prices right before launching Kinect and the gaming-focused Windows Phone 7, though — we’ve heard theories ranging from an attempt to increase Entertainment and Devices revenue to a simple inflation adjustment. We’ll poke around — and we’re guessing there’s about to be a run on Gold upgrade cards.

[Thanks to everyone who sent this in]

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Custom Droid X ROMs starting to break loose, eFuse be damned

Posted in Tech with tags , , , , , , on August 31, 2010 by parasomia

Despite Motorola’s best intentions to the contrary, the Droid X has been making steady progress toward viable custom ROMs, first with root access, then with a recovery method… and now, at long last, we’re starting to get the first few glimpses at legit cooked firmware. The two options we’re seeing so far are Sapphire — originally designed for the Droid of old — and a so-called “FlyX” ROM from longtime contributor Birdman. In both cases, the benefits of eschewing Motorola’s standard builds are pretty obvious: you get Froyo, root, and a host of apps and capabilities preferred by the superuser crowd like surcharge-free mobile hotspot access. The process is a little involved to get these bad boys installed at this point, but with time, we’re willing to bet it becomes a pretty painless endeavor. Follow the break for a quick video of Sapphire booting into stock Froyo on the X — a tantalizing sight, indeed.

[Thanks, Clift]

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Canon develops world’s largest CMOS sensor, shoots 60fps video in moonlight

Posted in Tech with tags , , , , , , , , on August 31, 2010 by parasomia

Canon succeeds in developing world’s largest CMOS image sensor, with ultra-high sensitivity

TOKYO, August 31, 2010-Canon Inc. announced today that it has successfully developed the world’s largest*1 CMOS image sensor, with a chip size measuring 202 x 205 mm. Because its expanded size enables greater light-gathering capability, the sensor is capable of capturing images in one one-hundredth the amount of light required by a professional-model digital SLR camera.

At 202 x 205 mm, the newly developed CMOS sensor is among the largest chips that can be produced from a 12-inch (300 mm) wafer, and is approximately 40 times the size of Canon’s largest commercial CMOS sensor.*2

In the past, enlarging the size of the sensor resulted in an increase in the amount of time required between the receiving and transmission of data signals, which posed a challenge to achieving high-speed readout. Canon, however, solved this problem through an innovative circuit design, making possible the realization of a massive video-compatible CMOS sensor. Additionally, by ensuring the cleanest of cleanroom environments during the production process, the sensor minimizes image imperfections and dust.

Because the increased size of the new CMOS sensor allows more light to be gathered, it enables shooting in low-light environments. The sensor makes possible the image capture in one one-hundredth the amount of light required by a 35 mm full-frame CMOS sensor, facilitating the shooting of 60 frame-per-second video with a mere 0.3 lux of illumination.

Potential applications for the new high-sensitivity CMOS sensor include the video recording of stars in the night sky and nocturnal animal behavior.

Through the further development of distinctive CMOS image sensors, Canon will break new ground in the world of new image expression, in the area of still images as well as video.

As of August 27, 2010. Based on a Canon study.The approximately 21.1 megapixel 35 mm full-frame CMOS sensor employed in the company’s EOS-1Ds Mark III and EOS 5D Mark II digital SLR cameras.Approximately one-half the brightness of a moonlit night.

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Rumor: Microsoft prepping new Xbox 360 controller with improved d-pad for the holidays

Posted in Gaming with tags , , , , , on August 31, 2010 by parasomia

by David Hinkle on Aug 30th 2010 9:10PM

We’ve got it on good authority that sometime this Holiday season, Microsoft will launch a new Xbox 360 controller with a rather unique d-pad. According to our trusted source, when one rotates the d-pad ninety degrees on this new controller, it’ll raise up about a quarter of an inch — a modification apparently revealed to be targeted at fighting game fans.

Could it be a version of that nifty (yet ugly) European controller tie-in for Pro Evo 2009? Will it replace the new Xbox 360 S controller (pictured above)? Or will it be a separate, special controller? We’ve got plenty of questions and will try to dig up some more info, so stay tuned. And, as always, if you’re in the know, feel free to drop us a line. Anonymity assured!

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Motorola Droid Update Continues Through Sept 4

Posted in Tech with tags , , , , on August 31, 2010 by parasomia

This is a discussion on Motorola Droid Update Continues Through Sept 4 within the Droid News forums, part of the Droid Forums category; If you haven’t received the latest update for the Droid that allows you to install Flash from the marketplace, your not alone. According to a …

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The First Templar trailer stabs so many dudes in the chest

Posted in Gaming with tags , , , , , on August 30, 2010 by parasomia

by Griffin McElroy on Aug 29th 2010 1:30PM

Haemimont Games, the company which brought about the relaunch of the Tropico franchise, recently released a trailer for its new IP, The First Templar. In true Templar fashion, the game appears to be very Grail centric. In true action game fashion, the title also appears to be very stabbing-centric.

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Wii Balance Board used to create motorized baby buggy

Posted in Gaming with tags , , , , on August 30, 2010 by parasomia

by Griffin McElroy on Aug 29th 2010 7:30PM

Researchers from Ithaca College recently created an incredibly neat device to give a bit of mobility to babies who suffer from disabilities which keep them from crawling: A motorized chair which lets its infant pilot navigate using the Wii Balance Board. See, babies lack the motor skills required to maneuver a more conventional motorized chair, but this particular model taps into a baby’s natural proclivity to reach for things they want, which registers on the Balance Board and steers the device. (The chair also has a remote control override, in case its occupant decides he or she wants to reach for a flight of stairs.)

Check out an impossibly adorable video of this ingenious, pint-sized automobile after the jump.

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