Wednesday, January 30, 2008

No it's not a toaster

Well, it is, just not the type you have seen before. In fact, it's more of a mobile, indoor camp fire. Perfect for those cold winter days that are not that far away anymore.

Hook a sausage or a 'mallow onto the skewer and you have the ultimate romantic evening, inside. Don't you just hate those pesky mozzies anyway?

There are some other weird and wacky interior designs here at MoCo Loco...

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Leaf launches HTC TyTN II

Local distributor for HTC, Leaf International Communications, has launched the HTC TyTN II in South Africa. HTC is the world leader in Windows Mobile-based smart devices and manufactures 80% of Windows Mobile-based smart devices worldwide.

The TyTN II replaces the TyTN as HTC's flagship handset and introduces a number of upgraded features to what was a highly-successful handset for HTC in the local market.

"Based on the powerful Microsoft Windows Mobile 6 platform, which offers Mobile Office applications such as Word, Excel and PowerPoint, as well as DirectPush e-mail and rich online content, the HTC TyTN II is one of the most feature-packed and flexible devices available on the market today," says Quinton Leigh, managing director of Leaf International Communications.

According to Leigh, one of the most attractive features of the HTC TyTN II is the new black and grey form factor. It incorporates a sliding touch screen, which tilts upwards - also revealing a full QWERTY keyboard - and giving users the feel of using a compact laptop PC.

"This is ideal for people who need to be able to place the device flat on a desk and read e-mails and documents, use applications or even play games," he says.

The TyTN II offers a multitude of ways for users to connect to communications networks in any country, with tri-band UMTS and quad-band EDGE connectivity.

It also boasts 3G HSDPA and WiFi connectivity for lightning-fast Internet - ensuring that you will find connectivity no matter where you are in the world.

For people-on-the-move who need some direction in their lives, the TyTN II includes a built-in GPS receiver, which is compatible with a number of GPS software applications available on the market, including Navigon Mobile Navigator, which is also available through Leaf International

The TyTN II offers a new user interface on its Home Screen - called HTC Home - which puts common and informative tasks such as photo dialling, text messages, calendar entries, e-mails and contacts, and live weather conditions directly at the user's fingertips.

"The 256MB of ROM and 128MB of RAM ensures that they will have enough storage space for their documents and multimedia," Leigh says.
"If that's not enough," he adds, "users can expand their TyTN II's memory capacity for music and videos with microSD HC cards, which currently support up to 8GB and will eventually be able to store up to 32GB."

The HTC TyTN II is a worthy replacement for the HTC TyTN and will serve as one of HTC's many devices that will drive the mass-adoption of Windows Mobile-based smart devices in South Africa.

The HTC TyTN II will be available from Leaf International Communications and all network service providers for a recommended retail price of R7 450 Incl Vat.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Amazon MP3 to go global

Suits at the web giant say their iTunes rival will head out across the planet 'this year'.

Amazon has confirmed that its download service, Amazon MP3, will be rolling out across the globe in 2008.

However, the web retail giant has not given any specific dates about when the service will be available beyond the US, just saying that it'll happen 'this year'.

Amazon's store has been much vaunted thanks to its DRM-free policy, with iTunes and other major players forced to follow suit and offer tracks minus copy protection.

Amazon's real coup de grace is the fact you can play songs from its 3 million plus library on virtually any MP3 player. Not just your iPod and the odd machine Apple deem worthy of their affection.

Whether prices will directly translate from the 99 cents a track in the States remains to be seen. And with EU licensing bound to have some effect on the launch date, don't expect to be downloading Stevie Nick's greatest hits anytime soon. We're saying at least the last quarter of the year.

Still, it's always good to see a major player keeping Apple on their toes. Keep it here for any more news as we get it.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Vodacom customers get free HSDPA 3.6 country-wide

All Vodacom customers now have the option to experience Vodacom’s new HSDPA 3.6 broadband service for free until 30 April 2008 across its extensive 3G HSDPA network.

“As the Mobile Broadband market leader, Vodacom has extended the benefit of South Africa’s widest HSDPA 3.6 coverage, free, to all our customers for a period of three months across all 3G HSDPA coverage areas,” says Dot Field, Chief Communications Officer, Vodacom Group.

Customers who have an HSDPA 3.6 capable terminal or device such as a Vodafone Mobile Connect USB Modem, a Vodafone Mobile Connect Express Card or an Embedded HSDPA 3.6 laptop, will enjoy the free activation of HSDPA 3.6 as an addition to their existing data tariff package and will be able to access this service country-wide where 3G HSDPA coverage is available.

From 1 May 2008, Vodacom’s HSDPA 3.6 service will be offered to Contract, Top Up and Prepaid customers as a Value Added Service (VAS) at R49.00 per month/30 days, in addition to the current data charge levied.

“With the widest 3G HSDPA coverage in the country, and now HSDPA 3.6 coverage, our customers have the opportunity to experience the fastest mobile broadband first hand”, she concluded.

HSDPA 3.6 is a 3G High-Speed Downlink Packet Access mobile telephony protocol, which offers increased data transfer speeds and capacity of up to 3.6 Mbps on the downlink and up to 348Kbps on the uplink, under ideal conditions.

Friday, January 25, 2008

C'mon now, it's not a good laptop!

I cannot believe that I am writing about the Air so much, but the web is going on about it so much, that I seem to not be able to help myself.

The MacBook Air may be one of the thinnest laptops ever made, but Apple had to make some sacrifices to shed all that poundage. Did the company go too far? Some reviewers on the Web think so. Of course, a lot of the criticism centers around the stunted functionality the Air suffers because of its excised features — such as the lack of an optical drive and Ethernet port.

But that's not all the reviewers nitpicked. The Air has issues that go beyond its jettisoned components — the single USB port took some heat, for example, and not for the reason you'd expect. Click Continue for five downsides of the MacBook Air that have come to light since its big debut.

Read more from one of my favourite sites, DVICE!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

I still don't get why Mac Heads love them. Someone please give me a Mac and I will try and love them. in fact, i will give myself plenty of time on it to see if I like it. I will mention you on the radio, I will write about you on the website, I will rave about it anywhere you want me to. Until then, I don't get it.

More anti-MacBook here...

The HTC Touch just got a whole lot better

Owing to huge customer demand, the world's leading manufacturer of Windows Mobile-based smart devices, HTC, has announced the next evolution in the hugely-successful HTC Touch series - the HTC Touch Dual.

The HTC Touch Dual combines the popular TouchFLO touch-screen interface from the HTC Touch with a full slide-out QWERTY keyboard for the added convenience.

"It's everything you need at your fingertips," says Quinton Leigh, managing director of Leaf International Communications, HTC's official distributor in South Africa.

The HTC Touch Dual's 20-key slide-out QWERTY keyboard makes it easier for users to type messages or e-mails single handed - without the need to use a stylus for input.

"However," Leigh says, "the HTC Touch Dual also offers users an enhanced touch navigation experience, using HTC's updated Touch-FLO technology. With the Touch Dual, you can now flip through emails and SMS messages, as well as being able to rotate and zoom in and out of photos.

"HTC has also added a two touch compatible quick menus; one when you slide the device open and another when you hold the end call (red) button, to further enhance the phones user-friendliness," says Leigh.

The Menu system itself is designed to resemble a 3D cube, allowing users to "flip" the cube to reveal different menu options - such as photo dialling, Internet, multimedia, calendar and tasks - on each side.

"Consider the HTC Touch Dual the best of both worlds. HTC took in a lot of customer feedback about the HTC Touch and the results speak for themselves," Leigh says.

Other features of the HTC Touch Dual include the Live HTC Home screen, which features easily-accessible applications such as time and date, new messages, missed calls and live weather conditions.

3G, HSDPA and GPRS/Edge/GSM ensure that no matter where in the world users find themselves, they'll be able to connect to a network and stay in touch.

"The HTC Touch Dual is a worthy replacement for the HTC Touch," Leigh says, "and we're very excited to be able to give customers exactly what they have asked for in a smart mobile device."

The new HTC Touch Dual will be available through the cellular networks and at retail outlets from the beginning of Feb and will sell for a recommended retail price of R5 800.00 Incl VAT.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Skype on PSP called off

It was big news in the days running up to CES, but now Sony is distancing itself from plans to bring the joys of Skype to the PSP.

It was due to launch tomorrow, but now the service has been suspended, apparently down to the failure of Sony's microphone products not meeting Skype's specifications.

In the week prior to this month's gadget-a-thon in Las Vegas, this story had everyone buzzing, with Sony even dropping the news on their official site before we all got to CES.

There's no word on when it'll be seeing the light of day, but we're willing to bet it's going to be a while yet.

Be sure to keep it here for any news as soon as I get it.

Monday, January 21, 2008

MacBook Air

So it seems that everyone is raving about the MacBook Air but, as usual, Apple is conning you otherwise. It's amazing how people buy into the Mac hype. What is that? Click on the image above to see a wonderful comparison.

Mobiles stopping you from sleeping?

Research done in the U.S says using a mobile phone before going to bed could stop you getting a decent night's sleep. The study, funded by mobile phone companies, suggests radiation from the handset can cause insomnia, headaches and confusion. It may also cut our amount of deep sleep - interfering with the body's ability to refresh itself. The study was carried out by Sweden's Karolinska Institute and Wayne State University in the US. This research suggests that if you need to make a make a phone call in the evening it is much better to use a land line. Funded by the Mobile Manufacturers Forum, the scientists studied 35 men and 36 women aged between 18 and 45.

Toshiba delivers powerhouse notebook for gamers

Toshiba Computer Systems has announced a new addition to its Satellite premium performance notebook range – the Toshiba Satellite X200.

The Satellite X200, aimed specifically at gamers and power multimedia users, features the latest dual-core Intel Core 2 Centrino Duo processor, and nVidia SLI graphics for extra-high performance levels.

The notebook incorporates a 17” TruBrite screen and is powered by two nVidia GeForce 8600M GT graphics chips - putting graphics performance at the top of the list of priorities for this machine.

Particularly for multimedia enthusiasts, the Toshiba Satellite X200 offers high-definition graphics output through an HDMI interface, allowing users to plug the X200 into an HD-Ready LCD monitor or TV.

The audio system on the X200 is geared specifically to ensuring that the highest-quality sound is produced, whether watching an HD movies or playing an immersive first-person shooter.

The audio system uses a Harmon/Kardon Dolby Home Theatre-certified audio system - which incorporates two bass reflectors, two tweeters and a sub-woofer – delivering audio with depth that was previously unattainable in many comparable notebooks on the market today.

According to Reon Coetzee, marketing manager for Toshiba Computer Systems South Africa and Africa, multimedia applications and, particularly games, are becoming increasingly resource hungry.

“And to this extent,” he says, “computer manufacturers need to be able to keep up with the demands of their power users.

“Toshiba believes that the Satellite X200 is a notebook that will give gamers and multimedia enthusiasts the best possible performance and experience now and well into the future.”

While gamers and other power users will appreciate the performance aspects of the Satellite X200, Toshiba has worked to incorporate a number of features to help users secure their data and navigate their notebook more effectively.

These features include fingerprint identification for one-touch security, a dual-mode touch pad mouse, Bluetooth 2.0 connectivity, a built-in webcam and a 5-in-1 multimedia card reader.

“An attractive carmine-red bezel combined with Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium, assures that users have a good-looking machine both outside and inside,” Coetzee says.

“Apart from the advanced multimedia and performance features that Windows Vista supports – particularly for DirectX 10 gaming – Windows Aero makes navigating the Windows environment a visually-appealing and user-friendly experience.”

Toshiba’s Satellite X200 is currently available at a recommended retail price of R18 999.00 Incl VAT. For more details on availability, please visit

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Multichoice Bring More Action for your Cell Phone

Silicon & Software Systems (S3) today announced that leading Pay-TV operator MultiChoice has licensed S3’s onHandTVTM Software Development Kit (SDK) for DVB-H to further develop their interactive Mobile Broadcast TV services. S3, as the leading provider of broadcast Mobile DTV solutions, is bringing their detailed product expertise and market knowledge to bear in this close collaboration with MultiChoice.

MultiChoice, a wholly owned subsidiary of MIH, is Africa’s leading pay television operator. The company has operations in 47 countries on the Africa continent and adjacent Indian Ocean islands, with over 2 million subscribers. Operations include world-class subscriber management services and the management of digital satellite platforms broadcasting over 75 video channels, 40 audio services, 28 radio channels and 6 Interactive channels, 24 hours a day for its range of DStv bouquets. MultiChoice’s newest business unit, DStv Mobile, is currently investigating and trialing a technology that will play a significant role in the transmission of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa; namely DVB-H (Digital Video Broadcast – Handheld).

DVB-H is a mobile broadcast technology that allows for the digital terrestrial transmission of live television channels to a mobile phone. MultiChoice has already made huge strides in the Mobile TV broadcast environment; having launched commercial DVB-H services in Namibia, Kenya and Nigeria in 2007.

“We are very proud to have been selected by MultiChoice to provide our expertise and software IP to enhance their entry into the interactive Mobile TV services arena. S3 is continuing to deliver on its strategy of enabling broadcast and mobile operators to transition from their existing services to converged interactive services across multiple platforms and we are extremely pleased to be adding such a prestigious company as MultiChoice to our client list,” said Philip Brennan, Vice President Consumer Systems, S3.

Commenting on the announcement Linda Vermaas, CEO of DStv Mobile, MultiChoice’s Mobile TV business unit, said “MultiChoice continues to operate at the forefront of technology and is focused on adding significant value for subscribers across Africa. The delivery of our premium content via the Mobile Broadcast TV platform offers an exciting challenge to us, as well as an enormous market opportunity. We have chosen a world-class partner in S3 to help us address some of these challenges and ultimately enable us to support interactive Mobile Broadcast TV services to our growing customer base.”

Transcend's 2.5" SSD Heats Up the Solid State Market

With the ever-increasing popularity of low-priced compact notebooks and lightweight portable devices, the demand for solid-state disks (SSD) is greater than ever. Transcend is poised at the forefront of this new solid-state revolution, offering a full range of SSD products. Compared to traditional hard drives, SSDs are made of solid-state NAND flash memory with no moving parts, and are therefore not susceptible to mechanical failure resulting from vibration, sudden impact or power loss, heat, and other common factors that often cause irrecoverable data loss in portable devices that use regular hard drives.

Transcend's Solid State Disk product line includes notebook-sized 2.5-inch SATA / IDE as well as ExpressCard™/34 format SSDs, all fitted with a tough but extremely lightweight case, enormous capacities (up to 32GB), high reliability, very low power consumption and incredible resistance to shock and vibration. These features make them ideal drop-in replacements for conventional hard disk drives in both industrial and portable devices like ultra compact notebooks that require long battery life and must be durable enough to withstand a few bumps and scratches. Due to their standard form factor and industry standard IDE or SATA interface, Transcend's SSDs can be used in most notebook computers and mainstream PCs just like regular hard drives. As for data transfer rates, Transcend's SSDs deliver sustained read / write speeds of up to 30MB / 28MB per second*, which guarantee fast throughput no matter how big the file size is. Combine that with amazing latency of under 1ms, and it becomes clear why Transcend SSDs give users an overall more enjoyable, lag-free computing experience – especially with Windows Vista.

In addition, Transcend's SSDs have built-in ECC (Error Correction Code) that ensures highly reliable data transfer and increases your system's overall integrity. Advanced wear-leveling technology also guarantees ultra-long lifespan and data-retention durability for prolonged use, giving Transcend's SSD over twice the lifespan of normal hard drives. With no moving parts, absolutely no noise is generated from these drives, and much less power is needed for operation, which also means less heat is produced. For extra peace of mind, Transcend's SSDs are also backed by a two-year warranty. To meet the fast-growing needs of the burgeoning market for high speed, lightweight low-power solid state disks, Transcend plans to release its competitively priced 64GB and larger capacity SSDs in the very near future.

Friday, January 11, 2008

The Dirty Stuff comes to Blu-Ray, YAY! is reporting that the High-Def war might be over. Seems that the massive porn industry has finally made the move across to Blu-Ray, and not a second to soon I say.

Twelve months on, and big players including Digital Playground and Hustler have parked their asses on the fence, offering Blu-Ray porn along with blue HD-DVD offerings. DP has said they'll chuck at 15 titles in the format this year, Hustler upping their number to 25.

Sony would never admit it, but the truth is that this could be a huge boon for Blu-Ray. Whether we like it or not, pornography is huge, and if they want to throw some weight behind the format, well, it could finally give them the win they crave. After all, Betamax got beaten down because VHS embraced the filth

Now the question must be asked, how many porn actors can stand the glare of High Definition closeups?

Thursday, January 10, 2008

16GB JetFlash!!!

Transcend today introduced a huge 16GB version of its JetFlash® V10 USB 2.0 Flash Drive. A member of Transcend's popular JetFlash Value Series, the V10 is a stylish compact flash drive with outstanding performance. Its special capless design includes a retractable USB connector with lock-switch, which makes the drive easier to use and protects the connector from damage when not in use. The JetFlash V10 measures a mere 64 x 21 x 10 mm and weighs only 11g. For extra convenience, the V10 features a lanyard / keychain attachment loop to prevent loss and make it easier to plug in and remove from your computer's USB port.

For added value, the 16GB JetFlash V10 comes bundled with Transcend's incredibly useful JetFlash® elite software package, which focuses on the needs of mobile computer users and is specifically developed to help you manage your data more efficiently and increase productivity. JetFlash elite includes eight useful functions: AutoLogin, PC-Lock, Mobile Favorites, Secret-Zip encrypted file compression, Mobile E-mail, DataBackup, Online Update and the My JetFlash browser. The JetFlash V10 is tested to work flawlessly with Vista™ and also supports Windows® 98SE/Me/2000/XP, Mac OS® 9.0 /OS X or later, and Linux® Kernel 2.4.2 or later.

Transcend's 16 GB JetFlash V10 is a great data storage and transfer device that combines good performance with enormous memory capacity. Soon after using it, you will find it to be an indispensable tool for all your data transfer and storage needs at school, work, or home.

Product Features
‧ Retractable USB connector with lock-switch
‧ Fully Hi-Speed USB 2.0 compliant, compatible with USB1.0/1.1 ‧ Easy Plug and Play operation
‧ JetFlash® elite software pack includes:
- Website AutoLogin: Automatically log in to your online accounts
- PC-Lock: Use the JetFlash V10 as a key to lock your computer
- Mobile Favorites: Browse your favorite websites wherever you go.
- Secret-Zip: Compress and password-protect files using powerful 256-bit AES Encryption
- E-Mail: Use any computer to securely check, save and send email
- DataBackup: Backup, restore and synchronize your mobile data
- My JetFlash: A convenient way to access files on your JetFlash
- Online Update: Update to the latest version of JetFlash elite
‧ Driverless (only older computers with Windows® 98 SE need the driver)
‧ USB powered. No external power or battery needed
‧ Lanyard attachment
‧ Lifetime warranty

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Everex Cloudbook

Everex have launched their much anticipated Ultra-Mobile PCs featuring the latest Open Source operating system from gOS.

Measuring 9” in length and 2 pounds in weight, the Everex CloudBook caters to users seeking the latest in mobile computing. With its 1.2GHz VIA C7-M ULV mobile processor, the laptop averages 5 hours of battery life on a 4-cell, lithium-ion battery. Unlike many of its competitors, the CloudBook also features 30GB of internal storage, digital video output (DVI-I), 4-in-1 card reader and 1.3MP webcam.

With its size, specification and energy efficient design, customers will find performance and features of much larger laptops in one of the most mobile computer designs on the market.

“The overwhelming success of our gPC desktop generated countless inquires from customers seeking additional Open Source mobile platforms,” states John Lin, general manager of Everex. “With the launch of the new CloudBook our vision remains the same: Provide mainstream users with their favorite applications wrapped in a no-compromise, low-cost, consumer friendly product.”

The CloudBook, model CE1200V, showcases the gOS operating system and familiar applications from Mozilla, Skype, Google, Facebook, Faqly and Available January 25th, the CE1200V will be available at for $399.

“The ultimate potential of mainstream, Open Source PCs is tremendous,” said Lin. “Combine a revolutionary platform like our CloudBook with the stunning graphics and performance provided by gOS Rocket and consumers will be armed with the utmost in mobile computing.”

To learn more about Everex, the CloudBook and their entire line of computing products, visit For information on gOS or to download a free copy of gOS Rocket see

Key Features*

- Operating System: gOS V2 Rocket

- Processor: 1.2GHz VIA C7-M ULV Processor

- Display: 7” WVGA TFT Widescreen (800 x 480 native resolution)

- Preinstalled and Linked Software (gOS version): Mozilla FireFox, gMail, Meebo, Skype, Google Documents & Spreadsheets, Google Calendar, Google News, Google Maps, Wikipedia, Google Product Search, GIMP, Blogger, YouTube, Xine Movie Player, RhythmBox, Faqly, Facebook and 2.3 (includes WRITER, IMPRESS, MATH, DRAW)

- Memory: 512MB DDR2 533MHz SDRAM (1GB Max)

- Hard Disk Drive: 30GB, 4200RPM PATA

- Graphic: VIA UniChrome™ Pro IGP

- Audio: VIA VT1708A High Definition Audio Codec with built-in speakers

- WLAN: 802.11b/g

- LAN: 10/100 Ethernet

- I/O: (1) DVI-I port, (2) USB 2.0 ports, (1) RJ45 Ethernet port, (1) Headphone/Line Out jack, (1) Microphone/ Line In jack, (1) 4-in-1 Media Card Reader (Secure Digital, Multi-Media Card, Memory Stick, Memory Stick PRO)

- Battery: 4-Cell (14.4V, 2200mAh), rechargeable Lithium-Ion

- Dimensions: 9.06” x 6.73 x 1.16” (W x D x H)

- Weight: 2 pounds

- Warranty & Support: 1 Year Limited Warranty with 24/7 Toll-Free Technical Support

- MSRP: $399.00

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Transcend Information proudly announces the latest addition to its T.sonic™ family of MP3 players, the T.sonic 850. This sleek new MP3 player is easy to carry due to its compact size (81.5mm long x 41.5mm wide x 12.7mm deep) and elegant lightweight design (just 48g). With a bright 1.8-inch high resolution full-color TFT-LCD screen, the T.sonic 850 is designed not just for great-sounding music playback, but also for viewing video and photos while on the go.

The stylish T.sonic 850 supports many audio and video formats such as JPG, BMP, MTV, MP3, WMA, DRM10, and WAV. Up to 8GB storage capacity ensures endless hours of video, music, or photo entertainment whether you're relaxing at home, on the road or at the gym. In addition, the T.sonic 850 is equipped with 7 equalizer effects, including a customizable USER EQ mode that lets you create your own music style. On a full charge, the T.sonic 850 supports up to 22 hours of continuous playback, so you can sit back and enjoy high quality music all day long.

More than just a portable entertainment center, the versatile T.sonic 850 also provides many useful functions including a digital voice recorder, a recordable FM radio with 20 station presets, and a time-zone adjustable world clock. The T.sonic supports 13 languages, not only in the user interface, but also in the included e-book text file viewer and during synchronized song lyrics display. With its adjustable playback speed and A-B repeat functions, the T.sonic 850 can also help you learn foreign languages, review voice memos, meetings, and class lectures more effectively. The built-in Hi-Speed USB 2.0 connector provides quick, easy charging and straightforward data transfer. Transcend's T.sonic 850 is now available in two capacities: 4GB (Ivory) and 8GB (Onyx Black), and comes with a protective silicone cover.

Microsoft Unveils New Titles and Powerful Momentum for Games for Windows

Following one of the hottest years in video game history, Microsoft Corp. yesterday announced at the 2008 International CES the addition of new titles to the Games for Windows portfolio and strong first-year results for the Games for Windows initiative. Games for Windows drove the PC gaming category in 2007 with some of the most popular Windows-based games available, and will continue the momentum for Windows-based gaming in 2008.

“Games for Windows truly thrived in 2007. We went from two titles in 2006 to a continually growing portfolio of over 60 titles here at CES 2008,” said Kevin Unangst, senior global director of Games for Windows in the Entertainment and Devices Division at Microsoft. “We delivered on our promise one year ago to reinvigorate the PC gaming space and bring the best portfolio of games to Windows. And this is just the beginning. With our partners, we will continue to drive the resurgence of Windows-based gaming.”

CES attendees will get to experience some of the great games of 2008, with six upcoming Games for Windows titles on the show floor: “Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures” (Funcom, Eidos Interactive), “Conflict: Denied Ops” (Eidos Interactive), “Frontlines: Fuel of War” (THQ), “Space Siege” (SEGA), “Turning Point: Fall of Liberty” (Codemasters) and “Jigsaw Too Photo Edition” (Carbonated Games), a game for Windows Live Messenger.

Delivering Great Games

Microsoft announced the addition of nine new Games for Windows-branded titles joining the portfolio from renowned publishers Atari Inc., Capcom, Eidos Interactive, LucasArts, Microsoft Game Studios, SEGA and Stardock., bringing the growing Games for Windows portfolio to more than 60 titles. “Alone in the Dark” (Atari) and “Sins of a Solar Empire” (Stardock) join other branded games from top publishers around the world committed to delivering quality-tested Games for Windows titles, including 2K Games, Activision Inc., EA Partners, Midway Home Entertainment Inc. and Ubisoft. New Games for Windows-branded titles announced at CES include the following:

· “Alone in the Dark” (Atari)

· “Bionic Commando” (Capcom)

· “Conflict: Denied Ops” (Eidos Interactive)

· “Empire: Total War” (SEGA)

· “LEGO Indiana Jones” (LucasArts)

· “Microsoft Train Simulator 2” (Microsoft Game Studios)

· “Sins of a Solar Empire” (Stardock)

· “Space Siege” (SEGA)

· “Tomb Raider: Underworld” (Eidos Interactive)

Other highly anticipated Games for Windows-branded titles expected to release in 2008 include “Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures” (Funcom, Eidos Interactive), “Borderlands” (2K Games), “The Club” (SEGA), “Fallout 3” (Bethesda Softworks) and “Frontlines: Fuel of War” (THQ).

Driving the PC Gaming Industry Forward

In a year when gaming was one of the most popular choices of entertainment, the Games for Windows initiative drove the PC gaming category forward. Games for Windows has brought Windows-based gaming to the forefront of retail stores, raising consumer awareness of Games for Windows titles and positioning the category for successful sales. In November 2007 alone, the Games for Windows portfolio accounted for 20 percent of all PC game sales at retail stores in the United States, according to the NPD Group/Retail Tracking Service.

“Games for Windows-branded titles were among the most popular Windows-based games purchased as gifts this holiday,” said Bob McKenzie, senior vice president of merchandising for GameStop Corp. “Microsoft’s efforts to revive Windows-based gaming have helped grow the category.”

Casual Games on Windows: Windows Live Messenger Games and MSN Games
According to the Casual Games Association, the casual games industry generated $2.25 billion in revenue in 2007 worldwide, with a projected increase of 20 percent in 2008. Microsoft is a leader in the casual games space through gaming platforms including MSN Games and Windows Live Messenger Games. Today, MSN Games is enjoyed by 14 million people each month and offers them more than 600 games to play including “The Office,” “Luxor 3” and “Diner Dash: Hometown Hero.” Windows Live Messenger Games reaches 16 million people per month around the world and has 26 games to choose from, including the new exclusive title “Jigsaw Too Photo Edition.” “Jigsaw Too Photo Edition” is available now and lets players personalise the game by inserting their own photos. Players can also cooperate with each other via Windows Live Messenger to solve their personalised jigsaw puzzles.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Intel at CES have some news!

Intel Corporation unveiled 16 products today, including the company's first 45 nanometer (nm) processors for IntelR CentrinoR Processor Technology based laptops.

All of these new chips include the company's new transistor formula and 45nm manufacturing process that boost a PC's speed, reduces power requirements, saves on battery life, helps the environment and comes in smaller packages for more fashionable and compact computer designs. With the introduction of the new processors, Intel will be offering a total of 32 desktop, laptop and server processors based on these industry-leading innovations.

The company also highlighted how it will take advantage of its transistor and manufacturing advances to spur a category of small form-factor, low-powered, high-performance devices that deliver broadband Internet access "in your pocket." The processors are up to 25 percent smaller than previous versions so computer makers can create sleek, new designs for consumers ranging from stylish all-in-one desktop PCs to smaller notebooks.

Among the 16 new products, 12 are designed for new laptops and desktops products and four are for servers. All are now lead-free1 and, starting this year, halogen-free2, making the processors a more eco-friendly.

Intel Adds Mobile Processors to Line-up

Intel is shipping five new mobile processors, enabling breakthrough performance and improved battery life, providing consumers with the ability to be more productive or just enjoy their digital entertainment while on the go. Helping to extend battery life is also a new Intel Core
microarchitecture design feature for advanced power management state called Deep Power Down Technology that reduces the power of the processor when it's not running data or instructions to the laptop.

The processors are the foundation for the company's popular IntelR CentrinoR technology for laptops, and deliver improved content and video capabilities with HD DVD* and Blu-Ray* support with an optional third-party decoder. Centrino-based notebooks also come with the Mobile IntelR 965 Express Chipset and wireless networking including the optional support for 802.11n networks with IntelR Next-Gen Wireless-N.

Intel has also added new video and graphics capabilities with IntelR HD Boost that includes IntelR Streaming SIMD Extensions 4 (SSE4) for speeding up workloads including video encoding for high-definition and photo manipulation.

Intel will also use this mobile technology foundation and energy-efficient performance to enable a variety of smaller, cooler and quieter, stylish desktop designs. These computers, including the increasingly popular "all-in-one" category, provide the performance to run a variety of digital
media and the latest software simultaneously, as well as enhanced high-definition video and smoother playback using IntelR Clear Video Technology.

More Mobility on Tap: in Your Pocket; Wireless WiMAX

Pushing the power of the full Internet "in your pocket," Intel's strategy for using low-power Intel Architecture platforms that drastically reduce CPU and chipset power, and package size continues to gain momentum. Intel plans to ship in the first half of this year its first-generation low-power platform chipset that will help deliver a range of ultra mobile and mobile Internet devices from a growing ecosystem of customers.

Intel also continues to work closely with carriers around the world to deploy mobile WiMAX networks. These networks will help deliver true high-speed mobile Internet experiences to a variety of digital devices starting later this year.

Mainstream Desktop PCs Get 45nm Performance and Efficiency Boost

Building on its November 2007 introduction (the IntelR CoreT2 Extreme quad-core processor QX9650), Intel announced three quad core and four dual core 45nm-based processors for mainstream desktop PCs arriving later this month and throughout the first quarter of the year.

The new IntelR CoreT 2 Quad and Intel CoreT 2 Duo processor offerings will speed the transition to Intel's newest processor line and multicore adoption, and are arriving at a time when digital and high-definition content, including photos, home videos, music, television shows and social networking, continues to grow exponentially.

Consumers will realize more performance at a variety of PC purchase prices as these processors feature a range of clock speeds, large L2 caches, and also come equipped with IntelR HD Boost (SSE4 instructions). These 45nm processors are also a requirement for computer-makers carrying the Intel CoreT2 Processor with ViivT technology brand, making it easier for consumers to select a great entertainment PC with Intel's most innovative technologies.

Dual core desktop processor-based PCs using these new processors begin shipping this month; quad core-based systems plan to arrive later this quarter.

The company also introduced four Intel Xeon processors for servers and workstations; they are expected to ship this quarter.

XBox 360 is all that and some chips.

Holiday 2007 was a blockbuster season for the gaming industry, and Xbox 360 has hands-down emerged as the industry leader. Consumers spent more holiday dollars on the Xbox 360 total gaming experience: a great variety of consoles and the best games.

Here are some breaking sales figures:

* Microsoft has sold more than 17.7 million Xbox 360 consoles worldwide

* Microsoft has sold more than 8.1 million copies of "Halo 3" since its launch September 25, 2007

* "Mass Effect" reached 1.6 million units sold, in just six weeks since it went on sale November 20, 2007

* Consumers spend more on Xbox software and accessories, with a record-high software attach rate of 6.9, according to NPD

Megarom Interactive (Pty) Ltd, announced that it will be releasing Guitar Hero 3: Legends of Rock on PC for the first time in March 2008.

Crank Up the Volume and prepare to rock with Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock. Battle against some of the greatest guitar legends to ever shred on a guitar and become one yourself. Take your shredding skills online against other Guitar Hero players from around the world. Grab your Guitar Hero Controller and unleash your inner rock legend.

“Welcome to the jungle, we got fun n' games !”

“The lyrics from the Guns N’Roses’ hit “Welcome to the Jungle” summed up perfectly the Guitar Hero concept. The biggest critic and commercial success of 2006 comes in a third opus called Legends of Rocks.

You can play the guitar components of some of the greatest songs that have marked the history of rock music over the past two decades: "Paint it Black" (Rolling Stones), "One" (Metallica), "Anarchy in the UK "(Sex Pistols)," Kool Thing "(Sonic Youth) and a ton of features and surprises.”

A total dive in the universe where you’ll be able to wake up the rock guitarist in you! With the new wireless Gibson guitars, take the stage and rock the audience with your solos. Compete with legendary guitarists like Slash (Guns’n Roses) and Tom Morello (Rage Against The Machine), and accompany mythical singers like Bret Michaels (Poison). Experience concerts and tours which will change your life !

Guitar Hero 3 Bundle (which includes the guitar) will also be available on Xbox 360, Playstation 3, Nintendo Wii and Playstation 2 in March 2008.

Free Map Updates, Bring it On!!!

South African drivers will now be able to update their own maps on their GPS devices as they drive, and harness the local knowledge of fellow users to receive live updates on routes and road closures, thanks to Map Share technology, brought to you by TomTom, the world’s no.1 personal navigation company.

TomTom Map Share is a unique map improvement technology that enables users to easily and instantly improve maps directly on their GPS devices, and share their maps with the rest of the TomTom community of users, helping people to “drive like a local, wherever you are”, says Rutger-Jan van Spaandonk of Core Group, TomTom’s representative in Southern Africa.

He added that this feature was especially helpful given the upcoming holiday season, when many of South Africa’s drivers will be on unfamiliar roads.

Users link their TomTom navigation device to their computer and the info is sent through to TomTom, which verifies the change and then makes updates available on a daily basis to all TomTom users for automatic download via their PC or Mac, and from there onto their navigation device. Users can choose whether to receive all corrected maps from fellow users, or just those that have been verified by TomTom. “We believe this will be a very successful feature, as no one can improve maps in the way that drivers knowing local routes can,” van Spaandonk said.

TomTom has beefed up the safety features in its product ranges as well. Of particular interest is the emergency 'Help Me!' menu, which includes information about the nearest car repair centre, police station or hospital, and allows users to either locate or call the closest emergency service provider, no matter where they are. It also allows users to quickly identify their exact location, so that they can provide this information to emergency assistance providers and receive help more quickly.

“In all, we want to make driving faster and safer. With these products, we want to take the 'E' out of 'ETA' (estimated time of arrival),” said van Spaandonk.

Services such as Map Share and the Help Me menu will become the key driver for GPS devices in the future, predicts van Spaandonk. “There are so many GPS makers out there and I don't think adding bells and whistles such as MP3 functionalities to players will attract more customers,” he said. “Services will be more important to users.”

TomTom’s Map Share technology revolutionizes electronic mapping in two ways. First, a mechanism allows the user of a TomTom navigator to correct their map instantly on their own device – rather than altering the main map database, a unique map correction overlay is stored locally on the navigation device.

Other errors and feedback can be reported directly from the device. These reports do not have immediate effect on the user’s map.

But the real innovation is that these map corrections can then be shared with all other TomTom users, simply by connecting your device to TomTom HOME software application via a PC or Mac. The process is of course reciprocal, so the user can simultaneously upload changes and corrections submitted by other users (at the time of writing, some 12 million people worldwide). These corrections will in turn reduce the level of map errors, so improving the accuracy and reliability of the maps.

TomTom’s van Spaandonk says the technology is in many ways a turning point in the history of the satellite navigation industry. “The moment when we first harnessed the local knowledge of our millions of users and applied it on a global scale, to the benefit of those same users, we started talking about the democratisation of map-making.”

Skype on the PSP, YES!!!

Sony said on Monday that it had teamed up with Skype to enable users of its new slim PlayStation Portable handheld video game machine to make free or low cost telephone calls around the world.

In the latest move by the electronics giant to try to broaden the appeal of its consoles amid fierce competition with rival Nintendo Co, Sony said the new service would be available in late January for PSP-2000 owners.

After a system software update, PSP users will be able to chat for free to other Skype users and, for a charge, call landlines and cellphones anywhere in the world, Sony Computer Entertainment Inc said in a statement.

The move aims to "promote the expansion of the PSP platform as a handheld entertainment system to enjoy a variety of interactive digital entertainment", it said.

Skype, which was bought by eBay in October of 2004, uses a peer-to-peer network to enable users to make free internet telephone calls to each other through their computers.

Skype calls "out" to standard or mobile telephones can be made at low rates.

Sony meanwhile, which changed the way the world listens to music with the Walkman, is trying to regain its cool credentials after struggling in recent years against innovative new products like Apple's iPod and Nintendo's Wii.