The first official outing of Google’s high-tech autonomous car was a success, taking Steven Mahan, a legally blind man with a 95% vision impairment, through a Taco Bell drive thru and to pick up his dry cleaning. Throughout the video, Mahan’s hands don’t touch the wheel, while the car’s radars, cameras, and lasers do all the work for him. After hitting the drive thru, he eats the taco using both hands, while the car motors along.
Amazon’s best selling 7″ tablet could be getting a larger screen and full HD makeover, with Taiwanese sources stating that an all new Kindle, featuring an 8.9″, 1920 x 1200 display, is in the pipeline. In total, there could be three new Kindle Fires in the works:
- An entry-level 7″, 1024×600 model (reboot of the original)
- Mid-range, large screen version, 10″, 1280×800 (similar to the Transformer Prime’s screen)
- High-end 8.9″, Full HD (1920×1200) model (254 ppi)
With the official Diablo 3 release date May 15 fast approaching, is Blizzard’s life drain spell still active after all these years? Here’s 10 reasons for when Diablo III finally sees the light of day, you probably won’t.
1. It’s the same Diablo you know and love (or hate to love)
You will quickly find that Diablo 3 gameplay is a lot like like Diablo 2, except on steroids. Everything from the quests, to NPCs, to art style is familiar, only better. If you can last through the 20-minute video (after the break) you’ll see for yourself just how much has improved, yet stayed the same. And who wouldn’t want to play as a female barbarian?
While FarmVille and Mob Wars may no longer be the bee’s knees of Facebook social gaming, Zynga proved they’re still top dog for casual gamers by purchasing OMGPOP, the creator of Draw Something for $180 million, plus $30 million in employee retention payouts. Not a bad payday for OMGPOP employees (39 of them, according to LinkedIn), who just launched the game 6 weeks ago. The massively successful turn-based pictionary-style game took the crown away from Zynga’s own “Words With Friends”, racking up a total of 30 million downloads and over 1 billion drawings since its release. By comparison, all 4 years prior to Draw Something earned them a total of 20 million users.
(If you’re new to Mass Effect, you may want to first read 10 reasons to play Mass Effect 3. Any minor spoilers in this review are mostly covered by playing the ME3 demo.)
Commander Shepard never wanted to be in this position. He’s a soldier, not a politician. Yet the Reaper’s invasion of Earth has made things desperate, and he’s their best hope of survival. Tension between these two races have never been higher, and you’re right in the middle of it. Everyone is waiting on you to make your choice. You need to round up more fleets to help fend off the Reapers, who won’t stop until all organic life is wiped from the face of the galaxy. But both sides won’t budge.
Looking on is a teammate that you saved in the first Mass Effect. Also present is one you met in the second game; you recall you didn’t exactly treat them so well. They deserved better, you think. You make the call, taking your side – Shepard begins to do it. But it’s a big decision – he pauses. Do you really want to do that? Yes, you confirm your choice – you owe them that much. Over the next few minutes, the results play out and are nothing short of spectacular. Jaw drops, a tear wells up in your eye. Did I just do that??
These are the kind of choices that you can expect to come across in Mass Effect 3, the final installment in a trilogy by Edmonton’s BioWare Studios, for Xbox 360, PS3, and PC. Continue reading
If you have trouble lending out your shiny, expensive USB key or keep losing it when you need it most, Flashkus now has the answer. No, you probably won’t want to make this your main Ubuntu USB drive or daily driver to install Windows 7 from a USB drive – it can literally bend with 1 finger and succumb to a few raindrops. But for quick sharing (there’s even a box you can write in) or having a few “just in case”, this seems like a great idea. “Format USB Flash” can now be is as easy as tearing off a new one.
Here’s a cool infographic from a while back that highlights the connection between video games and real life skills. It connects a host of games to skills in Literacy, Logic, Communication, History, Mathematics and more. Examples include educational classics such as Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego, Oregon Trail and Sim City, to modern titles like LittleBigPlanet, Angry Birds, and Brain Age. And of course you can’t forget Minesweeper. Some benefits are well known, such as improving hand-eye coordination, but other are a bit more surprising, such as: Continue reading
The Mountek Universal CD Slot Car Mount puts your smartphone (or GPS) right where you need it, and away from your vents and windshield.
If you have a smartphone and drive a car, chances are you tried to use both together at some point, to varying degrees of success. This shouldn’t be a problem any more with the Mountek MT5000-C car mount ($19.95 + shipping from Amazon). It slides into the CD slot of your car and positions your phone in an ideal position, just above your audio deck and within arm’s reach at all times. See after the break for the full review.
Apple just released their latest and greatest version of the iPad at their March 7 event. Called the “new iPad” (not the “iPad 3″ as previously thought), it bumps up the display resolution to an astonishing 2048×1536 retina display (264ppi) in addition to improved color saturation. To put things in perspective, that’s more pixels than three 720p screens stacked together! Driving it all is a new dual-core A5X chip and quad-core graphics that, according to Apple, gives “4x the performance of Tegra 3″ (although Nvidia is challenging that claim). Gracing the tablet is a new 5MP autofocus, backside-illuminated sensor camera with 5-element lens, similar in technology to the iPhone 4s. Unfortunately, still no Siri. Apple has also added 4G LTE connectivity. All of the price points stay the same as before, while the iPad 2 gets a price drop to $399 / $529 for WiFi / 3G versions, respectively.
Soon we will have a Google Android voice that will have an answer to Apple’s Siri. Dubbed the Google “Assistant” (previously codenamed ‘Majel’), it is designed not only to compete with, but surpass Siri by giving developers access to build apps, websites and more that tap into its power, states TechCrunch. The project is headed by the Android team, with assistance from search engineer Amit Ainghal, and will be developed in three stages:
- Get the world’s knowledge into a format a computer can understand.
- Create a personalization layer — Experiments like Google +1 and Google+ are Google’s way of gathering data on precisely how people interact with content.
- Build a mobile, voice-centered “Do engine” (‘Assistant’) that’s less about returning search results and more about accomplishing real-life goals.