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Technology

Sony needs a Wii

Both Sony and Nintendo have announced the price of their forthcoming games consoles: the PS3 will be a “Holy crap! You’re kidding!” £425, while the Wii will cost $249 in the US (so I’d assume well under £200 over here). Meanwhile Xbox 360s are currently selling at £279 for the premium system and £209 for the core system, and that’s bound to drop before Xmas. Which makes me wonder: what the hell is Sony playing at?

Yes, the PS3 is impressive, on paper at least. Yes, there’s a rabid fanbase of PS2 owners. But come Christmas, there’ll be oodles of Xbox 360 games, a stack of Wii games, and about three PS3 games; there’s bound to be PS3 shortages, and that will no doubt lead to retailers taking the piss by only offering bundles. So you’ll have a choice: an overpriced PS3 bundle with a few lacklustre games (and by “overpriced” I mean “overpriced compared to the overpriced PS3 itself”), or for the same cash you’ll be able to get a 360, Halo 3 (possibly), a Nintendo and a few games for that as well. Hmm, tough choice.

Maybe Blu-ray drives offer something utterly amazing, so compelling that games developers will prefer PS3 development to Xbox or Wii development. But I suspect not . Faced with the choice of developing for a next-gen console that’s hugely expensive and won’t be widely adopted for ages, or for a much cheaper console that’s already in millions of homes, making PS3-exclusive games might not be the smartest strategy.

I really wonder about Sony sometimes. From Super Audio CD to its bone-headed refusal to make MP3 players that support MP3, and now its insistence of bundling Blu-Ray to put the cost of a PS3 into orbit, it’s like watching a very slow corporate suicide.

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Technology Uncategorised

Yes, I am hopelessly immature

Best headline ever, via TechCrunch:

Jobster To Acquire (two month old) Jobby

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Media Technology

High definition TV sucks

So says Mr Biffo, anyway. Is a slight improvement in picture quality worth the extra cash and the hassle of a constantly crashing Sky HD box?

If my sense of deflation could be measured in cows, it would be forty eight cows strong.

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Technology

The best/worst virus in the world, ever

A terrifying new virus is sweeping the Internet, according to Sophos:

Experts at SophosLabs™, Sophos’s global network of virus, spyware and spam analysis centers, have discovered a worm that attempts to send a photograph of an owl to attached network printers.

The picture it prints (see link) made me laugh like a drain.

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Technology

MySpace: full of crap

I haven’t linked to anyone slagging off MySpace for a while, so here’s a new one (some language NSFW). It’s long, frequently funny and gets extra bonus points for printing a pic of a Goth with the caption “I’m so goth, I shit bats”. But there are some serious/scary points in there too:

Before TV, people thought it would be an incredible tool for education and it would be used for benevolent purposes. It turned out that what people wanted to watch was crap, so the people who made TV made crap. This is what’s happening to MySpace. It’s a great tool at first glance, but the desire to produce crap by those in control of the content (the users) overwhelms the networking aspect almost 5 to 1.

The most depressing bit comes courtesy of the New York Times:

To expand ad sales, especially to big brands, Mr. Levinsohn plans to supplement the MySpace staff with a second sales force linked to the Fox TV sales department. He wants to expand one of Mr. DeWolfe’s advertising ideas — turning advertisers into members of the MySpace community, with their own profiles, like the teenagers’ — so that the young people who often spend hours each day on MySpace can become “friends” with movies, cellphone companies and even deodorants.

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Media Technology

Engadget’s looking for writers…

…and yes, it’s a paid gig. The site’s looking for an afternoon/evening editor, night time editor and weekend editor for the main site, a morning and afternoon editor for the Mobile site, an HDTV expert and a podcast producer. Interested? Here’s what you need to do.

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Technology

The new MacBooks


It’s not a surprise that Apple’s replaced the iBook with the MacBook, but what is surprising is that they support external monitors both for mirroring and for extended desktops. In other words, you can use a MacBook as part of a twin-screen setup (albeit without much graphics horsepower: the MacBooks have on-board graphics). Prices start at £749.

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Technology

ID cards, again

If you’ve nothing to hide, you’ve got nothing to fear. My arse. Devil’s Kitchen links to an Independent story that says:

An internal investigation at the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has found that civil servants are colluding with organised criminals to steal personal identities on “an industrial scale”.

Ministers have been privately warned that the investigation will show that hundreds of thousands of stolen personal details have been ripped off from official databases, often with inside help. Key personal details such as national insurance numbers can be used to commit benefit fraud, set up false bank accounts and obtain official documents such as passports.

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Technology

Sony’s sat-nav may be a bad buy until August


This wee beastie is the Sony NV-U50 in-car sat-nav system, which would be brilliant if it weren’t for one teeny-weeny problem: some of the map data is out of date, particularly in Southern Ireland and parts of the West of Scotland.

Sat-nav without up-to-date map data isn’t ideal. It means encountering huge scary roundabouts that the sat-nav doesn’t know about, or discovering that the sat-nav thinks you’ve gone off-road when you’re pootling along a dual carriageway. I mailed Sony to moan, and they say:

While there are no updates at present, there are plans to release these in DVD format in the near future. This has been tentatively arranged for August/September. These maps are currently under development by Navtech.

No indication of whether those updates will be free, mind you. I suspect not.