Triple A PS3-exclusive from Dontnod at E3?

/* Posted May 24th, 2011 at 8:47am [Comments: none]    */
/* Filed under Video Games    */

The E3 is expected to yield a lot of surprises, but is there one coming from Dontnod?

 

 

Dontnod is a new Paris-based independent studio, composed of former Criterion and Ubisoft employees. They’ve banded together, and is reportedly coming out with a PS3-exclusive, AAa sci-fi action RPG title, currently known only as ‘Adrift‘.

 

 

ps3

 

 

 

Their attendance is now being reported for this year’s E3, of course racking up the speculation that Adrift will be making its big reveal in L.A. Adrift has been said to be in development for the past three years, and maybe, just maybe, it’s ready to make its big debut in a mere couple of weeks.

 

The game is also said to be powered by Unreal Engine 3, and has in fact already been shown behind closed doors at the GDC. We’ll be sure to keep you up to speed on updates from the event.

 

 

 

 

Via [NowGamer]

 

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Nike+ GPS for iPhone and iPad iOS App Free Download

/* Posted May 24th, 2011 at 8:47am [Comments: 2]    */
/* Filed under Gadgets    */

Nike+ GPS is a GPS tracking application mainly for fitness and keep healthy purpose and geared towards runners or joggers. With Nike+ GPS, users can track their activities when going for sports or fitness activities. The historical data can then later be analyzed to improve the performance or track the progress over time.

Thanks to GPS and accelerometer that equipped in each and every iPhone, Nike+ GPS works outdoor and indoor, whether user is running on an open air trail or on a treadmill inside air-conditioning gym, without additional sensor. Runner can record the pace, distance and run route. The run route can be displayed on a map.

Nike+ GPS also has a unique feature called Cheer Me On, which cheer audio will be played in-run every time your Facebook friends like or comment on your run status which you decide to post through the app, or outrun them in a game of Nike+ Tag. Post run motivational and encouragement messages from Nike’s top athletes will also be played whenever you surpass yourself to set new record.

Similar to most other GPS tracking app for sports enthusiasts, Nike+ GPS features voice feedback during mid-run to let you know how you’re doing, and allows music to accompany your run, including personalized PowerSongs for extra boost. The tracking data and accomplishments can be sent to Facebook and Twitter to share with friends, or nikeplus.com to join challenges, set goals and connect with Nike+ community.

Nike+ GPS for iPhone

Nike+ GPS for iPhone app has a price tag of $1.99. To celebrate fifth anniversary of Nike+, the Nike+ GPS App is free for a limited time. In actual, Nike+ GPS has been late comer in the “price drop to free” category. Other popular fitness apps including RunKeeper and runtastic PRO had also reduced their prices to zero (free) for a limited time months earlier in order to increase awareness as well as increase user base and community.

Download Nike+ GPS from iTunes App Store and start getting fit today.

Nike+ GPS is compatible with iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPad, iPad 2 and iPod touch (2nd, 3rd, and 4th generations) running iOS 4.0 or later, though iPod touch does not support GPS functionality and tracking may be a bit off.

Related Entries:

Sony Estimates $171 Million Loss From PSN Hack

/* Posted May 24th, 2011 at 2:47am [Comments: none]    */
/* Filed under Video Games    */

Sony will lose approximately 14 billion yen ($171 million) following the PlayStation Network outage, it said Monday.

This loss includes expenses for security improvements, “Welcome Back” packages and an estimate of the impact on future profits of the security breach and resultant outage. Sony says it has still not confirmed any reports of credit card fraud or identity theft, both of which could change the company’s estimated losses.

The PlayStation manufacturer said it had lost around 260 billion yen ($3.18 billion) during the fiscal year that ended in March 2011. Sony said this loss was the result of “a non-cash charge to establish a valuation allowance … against certain deferred tax assets in Japan.” It blamed this partially on the “adverse impact” of the Japan earthquake earlier this year.

Sony’s PlayStation Network services are still not fully operational following a devastating security breach in late April that may have compromised personal information, including credit card data, for its 70 million users. Though the company has restored some of the network’s functionality, including online play, other services are still unavailable.

Notably, its PlayStation Store service through which it sells downloadable games for PSP and PlayStation 3, is still down. Sony may relaunch it as early as Tuesday. Once the store is up, Sony will allow PlayStation Network users to select from a number of free games as compensation for the downtime.

The Top 10 SEO Myths for 2011

/* Posted May 23rd, 2011 at 8:47pm [Comments: none]    */
/* Filed under SEO    */

The last five years or so have been boon years for both SEO specialists and Internet marketers alike. However, because SEO and web marketing services are in such demand there are now too many “professionals” who know very little about how search engines work. This in turn has given rise to plenty of SEO myths. Here are the top 10 for 2011, ranked in ascending order according to prevalence.

10. Submitting your site to search engines increases your ranking.

In the old days this might have been true, but no longer. Search engines like Google use web crawling technology that continually scans the Internet to find and rank pages. It will find your site even if it’s not submitted.

9. You need meta-tags.

First of all, search engines no longer look for meta-tags so you’re wasting your time with them. Secondly, meta-tags were originally designed to add key words that were not included in the content. By its very nature SEO eliminates the need for meta- tags.

8. With the optimal length of content is 250 words.

There is no optimal length for content when it comes to SEO practices. You only need to make sure you have an appropriate ratio between keywords and length.

7. Regular updates are necessary for high ranking.

Again, in the old days this may have been true, but some of the highest ranked sites on the web today haven’t been updated in years. Web crawlers look for relevance; avoid updating unless you’re adding quality, relevant content.

6. You can always be #1 for all your keywords.

Unfortunately, there are unscrupulous Web marketers promising to make you #1 for all your chosen keywords. With billions of pages across the Internet that claim is impossible to fullfil – just forget it.

5. You need a site map.

An XML site map might be useful for Google Tools but it has absolutely no bearing on your page ranking. A well structured site doesn’t need an XML site map anyway.

4. Flash is always bad.

While it’s true that Flash is irrelevant in terms of how search engines deal with SEO, it’s not necessarily a bad thing. Flash only hurt your rankings if your site is all Flash with very little SEO content.

3. Google is the main priority.

It may be true that Google is the world’s most popular search engine, but it’s not the only one. A good SEO specialist knows how to optimize for a half-dozen different search engines.

2. Content doesn’t matter.

Unfortunately, many believe that content doesn’t matter as long as people visit your site. But if content is lousy to the point that readers aren’t reading it, how will they ever find your links? Content is king if you want loyal return customers.

1. Page rank determines success.

This is the most widespread myth in SEO, and it’s been so for decades. While page rank is important, most important is building a site which meets consumer needs. That means functionality, information, ease-of-use, and relevance.

Myths provided by SEO specialist Tom, working with Nomination charms uk and mortgage protection insurance businesses.

 

Do@ iPhone search app delivers live Web sites, not links

/* Posted May 23rd, 2011 at 2:47pm [Comments: none]    */
/* Filed under Web    */

Do@ for the iPhone

Don’t search by links, search by pages.

(Credit:
Do@)

Imagine that you’re searching for a restaurant or for a movie time on your
iPhone, but instead of receiving a long list of links, you see thumbnail images for Web sites instead. Meet Do@ (doo-at) (iTunes download), a newly launched iPhone freebie that does just that.

With Do@, search results aren’t just thumbnails for pages you have to load, they’re active Web sites that you can enter, explore, and exit without losing the rest of those live site results.

Search begins with a query as usual, and when you start typing, the app supplies suggestions–not for common phrases, but for contextual categories to narrow your search. For example, type “Inception” and you’ll get to pick from suggestions like “Inception @search,” “@movies,” “@Netflix,” and so on. Type sushi and you’ll see restaurant, recipe, and Amazon category types. The app launches with about 30 categories and more than 400 searchable Web apps.

There are all the usual social networking tie-ins like sharing on Twitter, Facebook, and via e-mail, and marking favorites. The app is notably rich as well, with tricks like being able to scrub through a filmstrip of visual search results, and scroll beyond a first page of results to a second, even third batch. The more you pick a site in your search results, the closer to the top of your results list you’ll see it on subsequent searches (you can remove the app to downshift its importance in future attempts.) If your friends use Do@, their recommendations will also surface higher in your results queue.

Do@ search for the iPhone(Credit:
Do@)

Do@ also has its discovery and business angles in mind. App publishers, let’s say Yelp, for instance, can choose if tapping a result will open the Yelp native app if you have it installed. Otherwise, Do@ serves up the HTML-based Web app by default. Do@ also intends to incorporate site promotions in the results stream.

Do@’s media and lifestyle focus is clear, as is its goal to revolutionize search. Unlike other apps that claim such a feat, Do@’s approach is actually innovative, interesting, and useful. That was our impression after the demo, at least, but we’ll continue with real-world testing in the ensuing weeks.

There’s still room for growth, as well. For example, we hope to see voice search enabled in future updates.

For all your friends with
Android smartphones, Do@ plans to release a sister app for Android…sometime “in the near future.”

Sony Ericsson Xperia Play Review: Smartphone Represents a Step Forward in Mobile Gaming

/* Posted May 23rd, 2011 at 2:47pm [Comments: none]    */
/* Filed under News    */

Sony Ericsson is looking to take mobile gaming to the next level with the Xperia Play Android smartphone ($200 with a new two-year contract on Verizon; price as of May 20, 2011). The Xperia Play features a slide-out gamepad for gamers who want more than touchscreen-only controls.

A Bulky but Unique Design

I have to hand it to Sony for trying to add some class to the Play. The piano black finish and chrome trim make the phone shine–until you pick it up and get fingerprints all over it. The phone’s look and feel are very reminiscent of the PSP Go, and the Play’s 4-inch capacitive touchscreen does a good job of displaying colors and text. At 4.7 inches by 2.4 inches by 0.6 inch, the Play is a bit bulky, though no more so than other phones we’ve seen that come with slide-out full QWERTY keyboards. The Play weighs 6.2 ounces, so it feels heavy but sturdy in hand.

The phone’s power button and notification light sit at the top of the device; along the left spine are the headphone and charging ports. The volume rocker and gamepad shoulder buttons occupy the right spine, and on the back of the Play is a 5-megapixel camera. On the face of the device you’ll find the four standard Android buttons (Back, Home, Menu, and Search), as well as a VGA front-facing camera for video chat.

The Gamepad

The slide-out gamepad on the Xperia Play is definitely the phone’s coolest feature. Though not as good as gamepads on dedicated portable gaming systems, the Play’s worked reasonably well with several games I downloaded from the Android Market. The gamepad is set up much like Sony’s DualShock controllers, albeit with a few differences. For starters, two touchpads are set up in the place where you’d find the analog sticks on the DualShock. I couldn’t find many games in the Android Market that use touchpads, which in any case were not sensitive enough for most twitch-based first-person shooters. Both the D-pad and the face buttons (X, Square, Triangle, and O) were very responsive, but they felt stiff and a bit too sunken in, making them hard to press. The Start and Select buttons are awkwardly placed below the face buttons, and there’s a Menu button under the D-pad as well. More often than not, when I tried to quickly pause the game I was playing, I ended up pressing the Select button instead. Also, the shoulder buttons were too spongy and flimsy for my taste; I wish that they had had a little more resistance.

Android 2.3, aka Gingerbread (Finally!)

The Xperia Play is the first Verizon phone to ship with Gingerbread (Android 2.3). In a display of regrettably rare restraint, Sony Ericsson and Verizon didn’t mess with the OS too much. The phone comes with some preloaded software–including the whole Verizon suite of apps (VZ Navigator, Visual Voicemail, My Verizon Mobile, Backup Assistant, and the V Cast App Store) and a handful of games to show off the Play’s game-playing prowess–but nothing I would classify as bloatware. The seven preloaded games are Madden NFL 11, Bruce Lee Dragon Warrior, Tetris, The Sims 3, Star Battalion, Crash Bandicoot, and Asphalt 6: Adrenaline. These are all the full versions, and (with the exception of Tetris) they’ve all been optimized for use with the Xperia Play’s slide-out gamepad.

Oddly, though the Play runs Gingerbread and has a front-facing camera, our review unit didn’t include the latest version of Google Talk. As a result, the phone lacks a native video calling app, but I hope that Verizon will push out the up-to-date version of Google Talk for the Play in the near future.

Performance

Unfortunately, the Xperia Play carries some rather outdated specifications. It is a 3G-only phone in a world that increasingly embraces 4G and LTE-enabled devices; and it has only about 400MB of internal storage, which severely limits the number of apps and games you can download and store. The Play compensates for this deficiency by including an 8GB MicroSD card, but the limited onboard memory is still disappointing.

The 1GHz Snapdragon processor does an admirable job of keeping the phone and games running smoothly. Even high-definition games like Cordy played without a hitch. A dual-core processor would have been nice for game performance, but its adverse effect on battery life might have been severe). The screen was nice and responsive, and the UI felt fluid as I swiped around the homescreen and navigated through the phone.

Call quality was reasonably good. Voices came through clearly, and I didn’t notice any static or hissing. The Xperia Play managed to last almost an entire day of phone use on a single charge, though playing games on the device will significantly deplete the battery. After an hour of playing Crash Bandicoot, I saw that my battery had dropped from 75 percent charge to 50 percent. If you plan on using this device as your primary gaming handheld, you would do well to carry a charger with you.

Games, Games, Games

When it comes to playing games, the Xperia Play is without equal among smartphones. Having a physical gamepad instead of a virtual one gives the user much better control when playing games. And because the Play is PlayStation Certified, you can download and play classic PlayStation games from the Android Market; the Play is also the official mobile handset of Major League Gaming.

All of the preloaded games made good use of the slide-out touchpad, though not all were fun to play. Madden NFL 11 looked terrible and wouldn’t let me use the touchpad to select plays or navigate some of the menus. Bruce Lee Dragon Warrior was another disappointment, due to a significant lag between when I input a command and when my fighter actually performed the instruction. Asphalt 6: Adrenaline and Crash Bandicoot were the games I ended up playing the most because they took full advantage of the hardware. Asphalt 6 is a great-looking racing game with responsive controls and a wide variety of game modes. Crash Bandicoot was just the way I remember the original version on the first PlayStation, and it played buttery smooth.

Camera

The rest of the phone, unfortunately, is lackluster on the multimedia front. The 5-megapixel camera on the rear of the device does an average job at capturing images and uses the stock (and somewhat underwhelming) Android camera software. Images weren’t especially sharp, and colors were slightly darker than they appeared in real life. Videos looked better but were a bit on the quiet side.

The Play’s sound quality was weak. The external speaker popped at higher volumes, and bass-heavy songs lacked emphatic sound.

Conclusion

The Xperia Play will appeal to mobile gamers who are sick of poor touchscreen controls and are looking for a more fulfilling gaming experience on their phone. Currently, only a handful of games are optimized for use with the gamepad, but more game developers may support it in the future, since the APIs for physical game controls are included in the Android 2.3 SDK. Users who aren’t big into gaming, however, should look elsewhere. The Play’s relatively outdated hardware, microscopic memory, and lack of 4G support are enough to keep most smartphone buyers away.

XBMC4XBOX v3.0.1 Stable

/* Posted May 23rd, 2011 at 2:47pm [Comments: none]    */
/* Filed under Xbox    */


We are pleased to announce stable version 3.0.1 of the popular media
center platform XBMC for the 1st generation XBOX (now called XBMC4XBOX). A huge amount of work has been put into this, and it features numerous additions and improvements over the last release such as:
* librtmp Support (http://rtmpdump.mplayerhq.hu/) to support many online video streaming services.
* Updates to dvdplayer’s ffmpeg libraries, including some tweaks for additional speed. Performance with h.264 for example is much improved from previous releases thanks to plenty of optimisations upstream.
* Many improvements and bug fixes to the video/music libraries and scrapers.
* Python updated to 2.4.6 as well as improved compatibility for addons intended for mainline XBMC.
* Support for encoding CD’s to the FLAC format.
* We now ship with a customised version of the Confluence skin optimised for the XBOX.
* Bug fixes and updates to many core components such as Samba and libCurl – such as compatibility with Windows 7 shares.
and plenty more!

Join the community at http://www.xbmc4xbox.org. Nightly builds can be downloaded from http://www.xbmcsvn.com, where the stable release should also soon be available.

Further information and history
XBMC4XBOX was once called XBMC (XBOX Media Center), then it was ported to other platforms and became plain XBMC or XBMC Media Center without the XBOX connection. To differentiate our version from the mainline multiplatform XBMC we renamed to XBMC4XBOX.

Apart from the name the next noticable thing is the changed version numbering. The last official release was 9.11 Camelot, which at the time was more closely connected to the multiplatform XBMC that had been in development for some time. We have reverted to version numbering that doesn’t include a reference to a date for release. Now it’s a simple major.minor version – which is what was used also before XBOX Media Center became XBMC. New releases will be made when they are ready rather than having set release dates.

In previous years there has been less developer interest in the XBOX version, as the new multiplatform version of XBMC became the primary concern. As of last year, only one developer (Arnova) still looked after the XBOX version. Lack of interest from the XBMC developers got to a point where a new home was needed for the XBOX codebase, and earlier this year it was moved to its own home on sourceforge:
http://sourceforge.net/projects/xbmc4xbox/

A community site had already been set up at http://www.xbmc4xbox.org and was chosen to replace the forums on xbmc.org where XBOX discussion was no longer relevant. http://xbmc.org only deals with the versions they develop for.

After the move, interest seemed to increase with some new developers joining to help out. Over the last year the XBOX has seen more development that it has for a long time. In fact even the mainline XBMC has benefited from at least a few fixes from our code base.

The new release is the result of a great community effort with many people contributing bugs, patches, translations and scripts.

Future
We all like improvements on our favourite software, and so, to everyone looking forward to the next release, please do consider how you could help us improve the software and make it even better. We are always after new developers, people to help maintain scrapers, translators, python script coders, and anyone else who has a great idea or even just a bug report or feature request.

Credits
Thanks to all those who have contributed – especially to Arnova, Bomb Bloke, Buzz, Craig, Dan Dare, Highland Sun, Nuka, xbs, Geeba and all the others who have helped. Thanks everyone!

6.38 to 6.20 Downgrader w. Tutorial *Updated*

/* Posted May 23rd, 2011 at 2:47pm [Comments: none]    */
/* Filed under PSP    */


Update: some1 has released an updated version of his 6.38 to be compatible with 07g 09g PSP models. The download link has been updated below.

We have been all waiting for something like this!

PSP Developer some1 has today published its PSP OFW 6.38 Downgrader to contribute to the Genesis Competition!

The downgrader works on a original 6.38 FW (HEN or CFW is not needed to downgrade!) and you can downgrade to Firmware 6.35.

It supports all PSP models (1000, 2000, 3000 and PSP Go) except 07g/09g (newer = 3000).
Support for 07G and 09G will be added later by downgrading the PSPs to OFW 6.35 instead of OFW 6.20.
With 07g 09g support added, 07g 09g model PSP-3000s will be downgraded to firmware 6.35, while all other models will be downgraded to firmware 6.20. You will need to include the appropriate firmware updater (either 6.35 or 6.20), which you can download here.

If you have a PSP-3000 and do not know which modules your PSP has installed, you can download and run the PSP Module Checker to find out, then proceed downgrading.

Our well known psp-expert flofrucht wrote a tutorial for us in the PSH Forums. You can view it here.

Little update from some1: (Now with support up to 09g)

Download old version

Download new version (Now with support up to 09g) *flofruchts server-link*

Source: pspcfw.de wololo.net

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Take guitar lessons on your iPad

/* Posted May 23rd, 2011 at 2:47am [Comments: none]    */
/* Filed under Web    */


The Guitar Lessons app uses simple tutorial videos to teach you the basics.

The Guitar Lessons app uses simple tutorial videos to teach you the basics.

(Credit:
Screenshot by Rick Broida)

Nothing, but nothing, can take the place of a good teacher. Especially a good music teacher, like the ones who helped turn my daughter into the amazing piano player that she is. They’re worth every penny.

That said, music lessons can get expensive, and they’re not always easy to work into your schedule. For example, I recently acquired a guitar, but I’ve yet to find the time or spare cash to take lessons.

I do, however, have an
iPad. And with Howcast’s new Guitar Lessons app, I’m getting professional instruction in basic guitar–on my schedule, whenever I can find a free 10-15 minutes. All for just $1.99.

There are other guitar-school apps available for iPad, but so far I’m finding everything I need in this one. It’s basically a collection of 140-plus tutorial videos, all hosted by affable instructor Ivan Max. (They’re all streamed, too, so you’ll need an Internet connection.)

The videos are sorted into 12 categories. In Getting Started, Max shows you things like the parts of a guitar, holding a guitar properly, holding a pick, using a capo, and even what to look for when buying a new or used guitar (both acoustic and electric).

From there you can work your way through Stringing, Tuning, Open Chords, Practicing, and so on. The app cleverly tracks your progress, checking off lessons as you go so you can see at-a-glance which ones you’ve already completed. Plus, you can add any lesson to a favorites list for easy review later. There’s even a search option, a nice touch.

Bottom line: If you want to learn the basics of playing guitar, Guitar Lessons is a convenient and inexpensive solution. It’s no substitute for a live teacher, but it’s a fine first step for novices.

Free Outlook Add-In PocketKnife Peek Reveals Hidden Info

/* Posted May 23rd, 2011 at 2:47am [Comments: none]    */
/* Filed under News    */

Worried that dangers may be lurking in an HTML e-mail you’ve received in Microsoft Outlook? The free PocketKnife Peek lets you see that e-mail in plain text, without any potential HTML dangers such as malicious scripts. And you can use the program to examine other parts of the e-mail as well.

PocketKnife Peek screenshotPocketKnife Peek’s tabbed interface lets you easily read only the text of HTML e-mail in Outlook.PocketKnife Peek integrates directly into Outlook, so when you get a potentially dangerous e-mail, highlight it and click the Peek button. You’ll see four tabs: Plain Text, HTML Source, Internet Header, and Attachments. Click the Plain Text tab, and you’ll see the text of the message, without any associated HTML. The HTML source shows you the actual HTML used to create the e-mail. Internet Header shows all the normal header information, such as sender, recipient, content type, servers, and so on. And the Attachments tab lists all the attachments. Although Outlook lets you see Internet header information and attachments without the use of this program, it’s useful to have all those features in a single location, as it is in PocketKnife Peek.

View the message in plain text and you’ll get the information in the message, without the messiness and potential dangers of HTML. Any HTML jockey will appreciate being able to examine an e-mails to show what scripts are being run, and other information. Those who are knowledgeable about Internet routing will want to examine the Internet Header. Examining routing information can possibly show if the e-mail has been unnecessarily routed to hide its origin. Note that in order to get PocketKnife Peek to work you’ll need to first shut down Outlook, then install PocketKnife Peek, then restart Outlook. You’ll then find the program on the far right of the standard toolbar in Outlook 2000 through 2007, or else on the Add-In Tab on the Ribbon in Outlook 2010.

PocketKnife Peek isn’t a groundbreaking utility. But it’s free and convenient, and simple to use, so it’s a worthy addition to your Outlook installation.

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