Wednesday, March 19, 2008
Filed under: Misc. GadgetsThe RFID hacks keep coming fast and furious -- hot the heels of that Mifare / Oyster Card exploit, the crew at BoingBoing TV has posted up a little demo of how easy cracking the RFID encryption on an American Express card can be. All it takes is an $8 dollar reader easily available on eBay, some software, and the courage to walk around with a laptop waving plastic boxes at people's butt pockets, but developer Pablos Holman says he's hoping to develop a newer version that will allow him to be a little more discreet. The root of the problem is apparently the fact that the system uses local decryption rather than sending card info to a secure data center, but either way we've been worried about this for a long time -- we're sticking to loose change and the barter system from now on. Video after the break.
After this, you'll never have the same mental image when hearing "remote controlled car" again. Ever. Resident engineer and all around madman Dr. James Brighton took a break from his rigorous teaching duties at Cranfield University and whipped up a RC Hummer H3 -- as in, the man converted an actual Hummer H3 into a remotely controlled toy. Amazingly, the conversion was completed in just a month, and it's reportedly able to "climb a 407-millimeter vertical wall, traverse a 40-percent side slope and operate in up to 610-millimeters of water." Hit up the read link for a few more images of this guy having the time of his life.
It's one thing to swoon all over Sony's 3-millimeter thin XEL-1 OLED while being keenly observed by likely armed guards. It's another to bust this baby out in the comfort of one's home. Our comrades over at the Spanish branch were able to do just that, and of course, they snapped a few glamor shots before ruining its allure with fingerprints. Curiously enough, their model arrived sans an Ethernet port -- needless to say, we're still waiting to find out the story behind that. Grab anything that can work as a drool rag and hit up the gallery below.
i want this .......^^
The US Postal Service may soon become very relevant to a generation which seems increasingly disinterested in physical mail. The USPS is launching a pilot program in ten cities and 1,500 post offices which hopes to aid in the fight against electronic waste. Come rain, sleet, snow, or any other violent natural occurrence, the post office will now allow you to mail used printer ink cartridges, PDAs, MP3 players, and other small electronics to Clover -- a company which recycles the castoff hunks of metal and plastic -- free of charge. You can feel pretty good about utilizing the new service too, as Clover is a "zero landfill" company, which means they do everything they can to avoid making more waste. Now, if the postal service can just do something about these old TVs that need hauling...
While entering a format war is still worthy of a cautionary tale or two -- Sony, you may have been on a winning side this time, but we remember Betamax -- Toshiba appears to have escaped the fall of HD DVD a bit more intact than expected. Its official forecast for the financial year shows a loss of 65 billion yen ($669 million U.S.), a bit less than the ¥100b/ $1b U.S. figure anticipated last week. Unfortunately, the company as a whole is expecting slightly lower profits, so former red campers may not want to light cigars just yet.
I must said........ It hurts
Sure, you've been able to score a four-platter 1TB hard drive for over a year now, but the cooler, quieter, economical and speedy two-platter hard drive has always been a bit of a sweet spot for storage, and Western Digital has finally hit that mark with its new WD Caviar SE16 640GB SATA drive. The 3.5-inch disks hold two 320GB platters, boast 3GB-per-second transfer rates, and are available now for $140.
Like the original, Beyond the Portals is being handled by Japanese developer Jupiter, and will include a number of additions including a new "three-dimensional perspective" and an online battle system. As surprised as might be otherwise, some of the new game announcement's thunder was stolen by Disney CFO Tom Staggs, who last summer casually mentioned that Spectrobes "warrants a sequel in the games business." Still, be careful what you wish for, as Disney marketing guru Craig Relyea calls the game "part of our plan to expand the series in the coming years."
He hinted last month at GDC, but Molyneux detailed the idea on Major Nelson's podcast. Basically, Microsoft's Carbonated Games (of Uno fame) will release "Mage Dice," "Wizard's Tower" and "Keystone" on to XBLA and the money you win from those games will go directly into your account when you boot up Fable 2. It's a neat idea with a lot of possibilities and as long as the games don't start talking to Puppy Luv 8: Dalmationz, we're all for it.
Activision has spilled some details on the portable DS release of Guitar Hero dubbed, as expected, Guitar Hero: On Tour. Most notable is the hardware peripheral that looks decidedly unlike a mini-guitar. Instead, the "Guitar Grip" gives you not only a place to grip your DS while playing, but four "fret" buttons and a storage slot for the game's sure-to-be-lost-quickly "guitar pick" that you "strum" on the touch-screen. Since the luckier amongst us have a full set of five fingers – with our poor thumbs reduced to simply gripping things – we're anticipating a significantly easier gameplay experience than On Tour's five-buttoned siblings.
But what about the music, man? Karthik Bala, CEO of developer Vicarious Visions, says "There are more than 20 songs in the game, with the majority being exclusive to Guitar Hero: On Tour." he continues, "We've done custom note tracking for all the songs and over 80 percent of the songs are original, master recordings." We're not sure what 20 master recordings are going to sound like once they've been squished into a DS cart, but we're hopeful they've addressed that concern. Close-up shot of the Guitar Grip and cheesy marketing vid embedded after the break.
"We're certainly targeting a triple-A blockbuster, with two and a half years in production – a big game that builds on our core strengths of story-telling, cinematics and combat," said Ninja Theory co-founder and chief developer, Nina Kristensen. "But we're actually looking at something in addition to that – we're considering opportunities in creating a CGI movie using the game engine alongside the game itself."
Kristensen went on to say that the company hopes to maintain its relationship with the world of film, which seems to imply that Ninja Theory's next game will boast the same high production values and cinematic flair seen in Heavenly Sword. Right, is this where we make a joke about running time?
Sure, a good proportion of those games are probably Space Invaders clones found at the acquisition AddictingGames.com. But the Nick portfolio also includes some deep, popular virtual worlds like Neopets and Nicktropolis, and the company has announced they'll be creating three more kid-focused, web-based MMOs in the future. When exactly did the first kids network become the first kids gaming network?
Since Nintendo's big goose-egg ranking in environmental friendliness from the activists at Greenpeace last November, we've been on pins and needles waiting to see if the Big N could improve its standing. Well, we're happy to announce that Nintendo has indeed done better this time around, improving to a massive 0.3/10 in Greenpeace's latest rankings.
The number -- which is a full four points below closest competitors Philips -- doesn't tell the whole story, though. Greenpeace itself notes that, since their last ranking, Nintendo has introduced a plan to reduce PVCs in its packaging and posted links to EPA and eCycling programs on its web site. Yet these "tiny improvements," as Greenpeace puts it, didn't even rank the company a single point increase in the corresponding Greenpeace rating categories. Is it us, or is there a scoring bug in the game Greenpeace is playing here?
The Nintendo Wii will be nearing its second birthday before there's any chance you'll see it routinely clogging up retail shelves. At least that's the determination of mega-retailer Gamestop, which predicted in a recent investors conference call that the Wii "won't meet demand for the next two quarters."
While the Xbox 360 and DS have seen increased production to make up for temporary holiday shortages, Gamestop COO Dan DeMatteo said the seemingly endless lack of Wii supply looks likely to continue for at least another six months. DeMatteo also predicted shortages for the surging PSP, as well as price drops for the PS2 ($30), and PS3 and Xbox 360 ($50 each) sometime this year. For the Wii, though, it seems like a price increase is the only way they're going to be able to stay on the shelves. Not that Nintendo would ever do that. Would they? (Note: No, they wouldn't)
True, Too Human for Xbox 360 hasn't yet been given an official release date by Silicon Knights or Microsoft Game Studios. However, when we last heard from the GameStop shipping department, May was said to be the month. But head Knight Denis Dyack isn't afraid of delays, so we wouldn't be surprised if it was pushed back a bit more.
In fact, that's what retailer GameStop just did, putting a new ETA on Too Human for August. It's yet another placeholder date, but generally these things are moved around for a reason, so the game may just need extra, extra polish. They're most likely just making sure that sound effect they used in the last level fits in here. *Pyew!* That one.
New Generation Dual GPU solution provides a complete, high definition entertainment experience for the PC
The NVIDIA GeForce 9800GX2 is the latest graphics card to revolutionise your PC experience. GeForce 9800 GX2 gives the best gaming performance in the world, HybridPower means a quiet, low power and more environmentally friendly PC and PureVideo HD takes your PC to the cutting edge of High Definition.
Bar None the fastest Graphics Card on the Planet
The GeForce 9800GX2 is at the cutting edge of technology; with 256 screaming fast processor cores and a 1GB total framebuffer, all running through PCI Express 2.0, means the GeForce 9800GX2 is designed from the ground up for Gaming at Extreme HD resolutions.
NVIDIA Hybrid Power- gives you power when you need it most
Combining a GeForce 9800GX2 with one of the latest motherboards featuring NVIDIA's nForce 790i Ultra SLI chipset makes your system ready for Hybrid Power. Not all applications require a high end GeForce discrete GPU, for times such as these an integrated GeForce GPU can run these applications perfectly while saving power and therefore the environment. The intelligent Hybrid Power system can also combine the power of the GeForce 9800GX2 with the onboard graphics for maximum performance.
PureVideo HD- make your PC the centre of your digital home
PureVideo HD makes High Definition content come to life on your PC- whether video's are downloaded, streamed, or on Blu-Ray- even the most demanding HD content plays back effortlessly thanks to the best HD engine available on the market. But it is not only the speed of HD rendering that is improved, with PureVideo HD films comes to life with dynamic Contrast Enhancement and automatic enhancements to Greens, Blues,&Skin Tones
The NVIDIA GeForce 9800GX2 Makes all of the above possible, for the very best graphics on the planet there is no other choice.
256 (128 per GPU)
1GB GDDR3 (512MB per GPU)
8-pin + 6-pin
Patent Pending Integrated Cooling Solution
2x DVI-DL + HDMI
Enter Colorware, and their custom-painted DS handhelds. You can change everything from the panels to the stylus, and while the end result is pricier than your standard off-the-shelf model, those still reading this and considering the deal won't be the type to put a price on individuality, especially when it comes to portable consumer electronics.
Colorware DS [via Giz]
Price drops are a regularity in the industry, and we think the PS3 is due for one this year as well. An increasingly attractive software lineup coupled with a price drop is certain to boost Sony's install base.