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mebibyte

Posts by mebibyte:

iPhone 3Gs: Why would anyone buy it?

{ Posted on Jun 17 2009 by }
Categories : Tech

The newest iPhone from Apple has been announced: The iPhone 3G S. They are advertising it as “The Fastest, most powerful iPhone yet.” But what does this new device bring to the table? Let’s take a look:

Capacity

The new iPhone 3G S is offered in the same 16GB version, but it is also offered in a new 32GB version. So if you found yourself unable to hold all of your music, photos, videos, and applications, this is definitely a plus!

:Image:IPhone_Release_-_Seattle_(keyboard) cro...
Image via Wikipedia

Camera

The 3G iPhone has a 2 megapixel camera, which can not Autofocus or record video. The new 3G S has been upgraded with a 3 megapixel camera, with video recording capabilities and Autofocus. This is also a useful upgrade.

New Features

The only other things the new 3G S is offering is a compass, “better” battery life, improved performance, and voice control. Every other new feature, such as Copy & Paste, Search, Voice Memos, Landscape Keyboard, and MMS are also available on the iPhone 3G with the 3.0 software (although, it can’t send video like the 3G S).

Developer API’s

Apple is releasing a load of new API’s that will allow developers to add many new features to applications. Some of these are Peer-to-Peer gaming, Tom-Tom Navigation, and peripherals.

AT&T?

Apple has added the ability to send MMS and tethering, but AT&T has said that they are afraid their network will not be able to support these features until “late Summer”.

Overall

If you currently own the iPhone, I would recommend you upgrade to the 3G S if you liked your iPhone even a little. The new features are definitely a huge improvement! Although, if you don’t want to spend the $199/$299 price for the few newer features, it would still be smart to buy the iPhone 3G at the new $99 price.

But if you currently own the 3G, I don’t think you should hop on to the new Apple product bandwagon quite yet. A lot of the new features are coming to the 3G in the 3.0 software update, and some of those features won’t work until late Summer, when AT&T have said that they will allow tethering and MMS. Also, the few new features that are offered with the 3G S might not be worth $199/$299. You might be better off keeping your current plan, if you don’t have the upgrade necessary to get the “cheaper” price.

Palm Pre: First Impressions

{ Posted on Jun 13 2009 by }
Categories : Tech

I would like to say up front that I am currently an AT&T Customer. I do not own an iPhone, but I do own an iPod Touch, and an LG Vu. So switching to sprint and buying a Palm Pre is currently not something I can do easily.

Palm Pre JPG

I was able to get my hands on a demo Palm Pre today and got to play around with it. It has a nice bulk to it, and is smaller than the iPhone 3G, but it is a bit thicker to house the sliding keyboard. The weight of it wasn’t really bad, and I could see using it for long periods of time.

The touch screen worked well, and the OS was very sleek and intuitive. Multiple applications worked amazingly, and I noticed very little slow down with about 5-6 apps running. The app store is pretty bare right now, but does have a good selection of fun and useful apps.

The keyboard was also really good quality, much better than on the G1. The keys are small, but seem to be usable for simple text entry. The sliding seemed awkward at first, but I’m sure it would be easy to get used to.

I did not have to time to look into any customization or settings, so I don’t know what can be changed about the touch screen, keyboard, or the OS itself. I would have to guess the ability to change brightness.

Overall, I think the Palm Pre will definitely help Palm to stay afloat in the post-iPhone market, or at least the phone OS development market. If you are currently on Sprint and really want an iPhone like (or better?) experience, then the Palm Pre is definitely the phone to get!

The Future of Motion Control in Gaming

{ Posted on Jun 03 2009 by }
Categories : Gaming, Tech

This year at E3, the Big Three all announced some form of motion control in the near future. I think they all have their pros and cons.

Microsoft:
Project Natal looked very nice at E3, but it did appear to have it’s problems. The facial recognition seemed to work well, and the breakout type game did too. But the avatar movement seemed like it broke at times.

Nintendo:
Nintendo has talked about the Wii Motion Plus for awhile now, and it does seem like it may be worth it, especially if they package it with a good game like Wii Play. The fact that it’s not backwards compatible is a bit stupid, but it is about time they improved the control.

Sony:
I loved the original Eye Toy, and this seems just as amazing. The 1:1 movement worked well, and the many demonstrations of it all looked great! There weren’t many things that seemed broken with it, but they could go the wrong way.

Overall:
Every company seems to be bringing their all with this technology, so it will be very interesting to see which succeeds and which doesn’t do as well. Seeing as I have already invested in the Wii, I think the Motion Plus will add a lot to the immersion of the game. However, I like where Microsoft is heading, and a lot of my friends have 360’s, and I wouldn’t mind whooping them at a game of breakout!

Which company do you think is bringing the best motion control technology to the gamers? Leave a comment below with you thoughts!

Nintendo at E3 2009

{ Posted on Jun 02 2009 by }
Categories : Gaming

This year at E3, Nintendo showed their deep love for their core gamers that have been with them for years. With a whole set of new Mario games, a Metroid game, and Wii Motion plus games, they have given a little something for everyone. The following is some of the things I thought really stood out during the Nintendo Presentation. If you thought something else was really outstanding, leave a comment below!

Mario:

  • New Super Mario Bros. for Wii – With the Co-Op Multiplayer, it really brings a new feeling of teamwork to the game, and the bubbles are a great way to bring back friends. The many new items, such as the propeller suit also look like a lot of fun. The rankings looked good, but I think they should look into online multiplayer, if they haven’t already.
  • Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story – I loved the original Mario & Luigi, and the story of this new game seems just as thrilling. Mario and pals becoming micro sized and going inside the big bad guy himself just sounds like a great Mario game. Can’t wait for this one.
  • Mario vs. Donkey Kong – Allowing players to create their own levels should be awesome in this game, and it should bring a lot of new gameplay strategies.
  • Super Mario Galaxy 2 – Yoshi looks like a great addition to the game, and all the techniques and strategies he adds looked awesome. The original was a great game, and this looks like it will continue to be great.

Wii Fit and Motion Plus:

  • Wii Fit plus – I really wanted to be able to just put together a routine in Wii Fit, and not have to worry about going through menus. So I am very happy that Nintendo will be adding it to Wii Fit Plus. Also, adding useful information such as total calories burned will give Wii Fit a lot more use. Even the new games look outstanding.
  • Wii Sports Resort – The variety of new games looks awesome, and the welcome scenario/tutorial Skydive looked great. The other games showcased, archery and basketball, looked amazing with the Wii Motion Plus.
  • Other Wii Motion Plus Games – Nintendo and other Third Party developers are bringing a lot of new games that take advantage of the Wii Motion plus, and they are looking awesome.

Nintendo DSi:

  • Nintendo DSi Software – Similiar to Microsoft, Nintendo is going to allow users to share pictures they take and manipulate on the DSi straight to Facebook.
  • Wario Ware DIY – Again, allowing the players to create their own Wario Ware Mini-games is an awesome idea.
  • RPG’s Galore – From Final Fantasy, to Golden Sun, a tun of RPG’s are coming out for the DSi soon! Even a few mystery games. All this quality content and hours of game time will really bring the DSi into the commutes of many people.

Shooters:

  • Metroid: Other M – Nintendo made a huge splash by announcing their partnership with Team Ninja on the new Metroid game, and it looks awesome.
  • Third Party Shooters – The Conduit, Resident Evil, and Dead Space all look like very fast pace and action packed games with great potential to be incredible games. Being on the Wii will allow these games to bring the players into the story and action very effectively.

Overall:
I think Nintendo made a great presentation this year, and am very glad they made so many games for the core players. I really wanted to see a Kid Icarus game, or a new Pikmin, but with all the Mario games, I think I can find something great to play.

What did you think of the Nintendo Presentation this year? And what do you think about the Vitality Sensor? Leave a comment below and tell us what you think!

Mario Kart Wii helps High Schoolers learn to drive

{ Posted on May 19 2009 by }
Categories : Gaming
A screenshot from an early version of Mario Ka...
Image via Wikipedia

How do you teach kids that texting while driving is dangerous? One school thinks using Mario Kart Wii is the answer. Colorado’s Vail Christian High School has introduced the “distracted and drowsy driving program,” in which kids play Mario Kart Wii while answering and sending text messages, in order to see how phone use adversely affects driving skill. As a bonus, the program teaches awareness of hazards like banana peels and turtle shells!

The program, which also includes deterrents like a chair that simulates a 5MPH collision and a golf cart that simulates drunk driving, is part of Vail Christian’s entry in a National Organization for Youth Safety contest. The school stands to win a $10,000 award if its program wins.

Thanks joystiq.com!

Microsoft Envisions the Future

{ Posted on Apr 27 2009 by }
Categories : Tech, Videos

Microsoft has made two videos with their envisions of the future.

The first video shows a boutique and showcases pictures, contacts, and graphical works.

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hkSmU1L7xaY

The second video shows the design process of a room.

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QJRyHJqPzSI

What do you think of Microsoft’s Envisions for the Future? Leave a comment!

BattleForge (PC)

{ Posted on Apr 25 2009 by }
Categories : Gaming

BattleForge box art

BattleForge

Release Date: March 23, 2009

Developer/Publisher:
EA Phenomic/Electronic Arts

Genre: Real-time strategy

Game Summary: You build a deck of cards that you can purchase through a micro-payment system. In battle, you play these cards to summon monsters, buildings, and spells. You then must command your army to complete objectives.

Demo Summary: The demo for BattleForge is a great way to see if you will like this game. You are given access to 3 single player missions, and 2 multiplayer missions, which you can play with up to 3 other players.

Graphics: The graphics of BattleForge are nice. The monsters look awesome and the diversity is great. The battle field and buildings are also beautiful, and definitely compliment gameplay.

Sounds: The music and sounds are nice, and provide a nice ambiance to the killing of other creatures.

Gameplay: In order to spawn creatures, buildings, or cast spells, you need 2 things. Energy and Orbs. Energy is obtained from two sources: Energy wells found throughout the map, and the void, which is where your creatures go when they die. Orbs come from monuments also found throughout the map. When spawning a creature, if it is not placed next to a energy well or orb monument, it will be dazed, and will have half health and be unable to use any special abilities for a while. Being able to purchase packs of cards was a great idea, but may not work out well if you can only really win if you buy a lot of packs. But, this is countered by the fact that after completing a mission, you can get a few random cards, boosting the power of your deck.

Overall: BattleForge is a nice game, and because it came out on steam recently, it has become available to a much wider range of players, meaning the multiplayer will only get better. Definitely try out the demo on Steam if you even think you might like this game!

Score: 8/10

Old Laptop Plans

{ Posted on Mar 25 2009 by }
Categories : Videos

I’ve had my current laptop for a while, and I’ve been thinking of a way to give it some new life. I currently have Xubuntu 8.04, which is an ubuntu distribution for low power computers. I am planning on upgrading Xubuntu to 8.10, their latest normal release, and then dual booting with windows 7.

I’m not sure if I will have enough storage space for both xubuntu and windows 7. The laptop is a Toshiba Satelite with a 25GB hard drive. Also, it has a really bad battery. It will go dead if you don’t have it plugged in. I really want to buy a new laptop, perhaps a netbook. The Touch Book and gScreen Corp both look like good laptops.

Do you have an older laptop? What do you do to keep it in top performance? Are you planning on getting a new laptop or computer? What are you thinking about getting? Leave a comment below.

DrinkThisShow Updates?

{ Posted on Feb 25 2009 by }
Categories : Site News

Hey guys!

Sorry for the lack of updates. We’ve been really busy for awhile, leaving us with little time to work on the site. Well, that should be ending soon. Work will begin soon on a redesign specifically made for us, and figuring out what we should be writing about. Be sure to subscribe to our RSS feed for future updates. If you have any suggestions, please leave a comment!

Thanks!

Digital TV Transition moving to June 12?

{ Posted on Jan 27 2009 by }
Categories : Tech

DTV Transition
On Monday, the Senate approved a new date for the transition to digital television – June 12. Congress will soon follow suit. Is it really necessary to delay this anymore? PSA have been floating around for a while now, and people have had plenty of time to pick up a converter box. Will this change of date confuse the people who have bought new HD TV’s and other new electronics for the transition? Are there not enough converter boxes to go around?

I think there should be a test transition, if possible, before the actual change. If people are unable to get channels, they can call their local TV company for instructions.

What do you think? Leave a comment!