Thursday, August 31, 2006

New XNA Community Sites


A couple of XNA community sites have turned up. Both sites offer tutorials, news, and discussion. Let's examine what these sites have to offer:

LearnXNA.com has video tutorials and news articles. On the site right now are three tutorial videos. These videos are well done and easy to follow. So far, the videos cover installation of XNA, C#, and the DirectX SDK, as well as working with the various programs mentioned. This community site has no member sign up and discussions are handled in the comments section of the site's blog posts. With a few updates, such as community sign up and maybe submissions, this site could be even more useful.

XNAspot.com has taken a more tradition approach. Available on this site so far are static tutorials, pictures, sample code, news, and a link to the MSDN forums. There is a submission page to submit articles, games, etc. This site also has no user accounts to sign up for and they no comments area to discuss anything, though they claim changes are coming to allow reviews of the community. I assume they will need to have a user accounts to keep abuse down on reviews and if they include a discussion area, this site will be a great one.

Considering how new XNA is, both of these sites have great potential and are, so far, the best sources for tutorials for the XNA tools. The information available is well worth the time to check out. There is one other site to mention and that is Microsoft's MSDN site which is a community site devoted to programmers using Microsoft's products such as XNA, ASP.Net, Visual C#, etc and has been around for quite awhile. There is a section for XNA called the Microsoft Game Technologies Center. So, if you are wanting to start creating a game there has never been a better time than now. I am off to watch more video, play with some code, and learn how to create a game to dominate the universe. Have fun and happy coding.

Interested in XNA? Check out 15 Great XNA Tutorial Sites.

**EDIT(1-10-2007)
If you are looking for an easy way to keep up with the XNA Community head on over to http://xnaportal.com/.

Via: Let's Kill Dave

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Halo: Ghost's of Onyx Novel Coming Soon


Halo fans rejoice, 1up.com reports a new Halo novel is on the way. The novel, called Halo: Ghost's of Onyx, has been announced for a November release by Tor. Quote:

"In addition to word on Ghosts of Onyx, the announcement release also promises an additional two more Halo-related books to be published by Tor in 2007, which will apparently be accompanied by "exciting news" that more than likely has something to do with that third Halo game Bungie seems to be working on."
The first three books in the Halo Universe start with the Master Chief as a child and tells the story of how he came to be who he is. It is a pretty detailed trilogy with a lot of information about the Halo universe that wasn't covered in the game. A great back story that really hooked me and roped me into the game even more. Once I finished the original trilogy I just had to play my way through the game again and with my new found knowledge, the victory was even sweeter. To read more about the new trilogy, go here: Another Halo Novel on the Way news from 1UP.com

XNA Game Studio Express Beta Download Ready!

In case you have not heard by now, the XNA Games Studio Express Beta is available for download. This program will eventually allow you to create games for the Xbox 360. It can be used to make games now for Windows XP PCs. Also needed is Visual C# Express Edition and DirectX SDK (The XNA Team pointed out that you don't NEED to download the DX SDK, just having the latest runtime will be fine, unless you want to use XACT to author/modify your audio). Once you have Visual C# and DirectX SDK get the Beta here: DirectX Developer Center: XNA Game Studio Express

Interested in XNA? Check out 15 Great XNA Tutorial Sites.

Via: Let's Kill Dave

**EDIT(1-10-2007)
If you are looking for an easy way to keep up with the XNA Community head on over to http://xnaportal.com/.

Next Generation - A Short History of id Software


The final part to Next Generation's "A Short History of..." series has been posted. Quote:

In the final piece in our "A Short History of..." series, Eric-Jon Rössel Waugh details the journey of id Software from a moonlighting programming outfit to a leader in 3D gaming technology.

The history of gaming is an important look at where we came from and with the inspiration it can offer to independent programmers and forward thinking designers, it is a subject worthy of further study. Check out the article here: Next Generation - A Short History of id Software

Links to the entire series:
A Short History of Activision
A Shirt History of Electronic Arts
A Short History of LucasArts
A Short History of Rare
A Short History of id Software

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Original Star Trek Getting a CGI Makeover! - TrekMovie.com


Trek Movie Report has an article about the Original Star Trek being re-released to syndicated networks this year with a CGI makeover. According to the article the space scenes will most likely be redone with new CGI scenes. Quote:

"Before JJ Abrams gets to bring the TOS era back to the big screen in Star Trek XI, CBS Paramount has a secret plan to get it back on the small screen, but with a makeover. Over a month ago it was announced that CBS was selling a new broadcast TV (not cable) syndication package for the original series. At the time it seemed a bit odd to try selling a 40 year old show to local TV stations, especially after it has just been sold to yet another cable outlet (this time TV Land?home of retro TV). The Trek Movie Report has now learned from trusted insiders, that CBS Paramount are actually offering an HDTV enhanced version of the Original Series with new state-of-the art CGI visual effects."
I am not sure about things like this. George Lucas tried this and now we have so many versions of the Star Wars movies it is quite expensive to buy them all. So will new CGI special affects be enough to get a whole new generation of people interested in Star Trek? If it is done right, maybe. Check out the entire article here: Original Star Trek Getting a CGI Makeover! | TrekMovie.com
Found via: Slashdot

Can the PS3 Save Sony? - Wired Magazine


Wired magazine has an article about Sony and the PS3. In the article, they discuss how Sony came to depend on the release of the PS3 as the companies saving grace. Quote:

"Sony has always been at its best as a personal hardware company, coming up with nifty gadgets that delight consumers. In recent decades, though, it's become oddly fixated on imposing its own standards ? Betamax for VCRs, the Mini-Disc for digital music players, the Universal Media Disc for PlayStation Portable, the Memory Stick for anything you can think of ? despite the world's unwavering rejection of those standards. And Sony has never displayed an aptitude for software or had great success with networking, the key feature Microsoft has built into the Xbox. Yet Sony has to face Microsoft not just in videogames but across the entire panoply of home electronics, which Microsoft is determined to control through software. And Sony has to do this with cash reserves of $6 billion ? compared to Microsoft's $38 billion hoard ? while losing hundreds of dollars in manufacturing costs alone for every PS3 sold. Eventually, Sony's costs will come down. But in the meantime, Goldman Sachs projects, Sony will lose nearly $2 billion on the PS3 by the end of this fiscal year in March."
The article goes on to discuss the differences between the game platforms and companies that made them. Quite a bit of information about the Sony corporation is included in the article. A very interesting read, check it out here: Wired 14.09: Can the PS3 Save Sony

Next Generation - A Short History of Rare


Next Generation has posted the fourth part in it's five part "Short History of..." series. This part talks about the history of Rare. Quote:

"In continuation of our "Short History of..." series, Eric-Jon Rössel Waugh recounts Rare's journey from a ZX Spectrum developer to an icon of innovation--and to a company searching for its next big hit."
Check out the entire article here: Next Generation - A Short History of Rare

Microsoft Say No to Engadget and FairUse4WM


The other day I posted about Engadget's letter to Microsoft. It seems Microsoft has answered with a resounding no. Quote:

"On August 25th, 2006, Engadget.com reported on a software tool that would allow consumers to decrypt WMDRM protected content. In response, on August 28, 2006, Microsoft released an update to the individualized blackbox component (IBX) designed to ensure that client applications using the Windows Media Format SDK version 9.5 who individualize to this latest version are robust against a new circumvention tool."
So, I guess Microsoft had better prepare for battle because I imagine this will challenge the programmers/hackers behind the DRM decrypting program FairUse4WM to find another way. To read the full article, go here: Microsoft already on their way to patching FairUse4WM - Engadget

Monday, August 28, 2006

Next Generation - A Short History of LucasArts


Next Generation has the third part in a five parts series on the history of gaming companies posted. This part covers LucasArts. Quote:

"At its start, LucasArts didn't immediately latch onto the powerful Star Wars license as it does today. Eric-Jon Rössel Waugh explores the publisher's transition from titles such as The Secret of Monkey Island to Knights of the Old Republic."

These articles have looked into the past showing us gaming culture from the inside. I think gaming culture is a very interesting subject and well worth the time to read. Check out the article here: Next Generation - A Short History of LucasArts

Snakes in a Theater watching Snakes on a Plane!


A prankster in Arizona released two live Diamondback Rattlesnakes in a theater full of people watching Snakes on a Plane. The following link has a video of the news coverage of this incident: CollegeHumor Movie: It's irresponsible and dangerous, but releasing poisonous snakes in a theater showing Snakes on a Plane is undeniably funny.

**EDIT

After reading some comments on this article being bogus, I did a search on Google and came up with this link: 'Snakes in a theater' turns out to be hoax. From the article, Quote:

"There is some shred of truth to the story, Phoenix police Sgt. Joel Tranter said. A 10-inch-long rattlesnake was found Friday in a hallway at AMC Desert Ridge 18, near Tatum Boulevard and Loop 101. But it likely slithered inside on its own, Tranter said."
"An AMC spokeswoman told the news organization Reuters that the rumors were true, but Tranter has been refuting the story to news outlets from across the U.S."

So, there you have it. To quote a saying from Paul Harvey "... and now you know [pause] the Rest of the Story."

Sunday, August 27, 2006

An Open Letter to Microsoft - Why you shouldn't kill FairUse4WM - Engadget


Endgadget has posted an open letter to Microsoft explaining why they should not fix the security problems with it's PlasForSure DRM. Quote:

"We know that you're already probably working to fix the, um, hole that's been discovered in Windows DRM 10/11, but we're going to ask you this anyway: please don't stop consumers from using FairUse4WM to remove copy protection from music they've downloaded.

We understand why you put DRM on these files in the first place ? the major labels won't grant you (or rather the companies that are using your DRM) a license to sell their music without it ? but there are some good reasons why you should let this one slide."

The letter covers many good points about the DRM and PlaysForSure services and the problems people have been having with DRM in general not just Microsoft's DRM. Read the letter here: An Open Letter to Microsoft - Why you shouldn't kill FairUse4WM - Engadget

Microsoft's Zune aims to be life of the party.


Ina Fried over at CNET News.com has written an article on Microsoft's Zune citing plans gleaned from FCC filings by Toshiba. Quote:

" Microsoft's forthcoming Zune player is shooting to be the life of the party, allowing users to create mobile social networks and stream music to nearby friends or strangers, according to a government regulatory filing."

No mention of gaming in the article for the Zune though Microsoft did mention the Zune will be a line of products so maybe the next Zune in line will be a handheald game. Many gamers and Xbox fans are eagerly awaiting the day they hear Microsoft announce the Xbox Zune. Check out the full article here: Microsoft's Zune aims to be social butterfly | CNET News.com

Saturday, August 26, 2006

More from PAX 2006 - Gamerscore Blog


Gamerscore Blog, written by employees of Microsoft Games Global Marketing team, has posted some pictures and commentary about PAX 2006. Quote:

"PAX is just amazing. Since it's really a show for gamers, rather than for media or industry insiders, it's been amazing just hanging around and talking about games. It's been quite amazing feeling so comfortable and having so much fun here. In fact, we're not really doing any demos or anything structured, we just wanted to put out some pre-released games like Splinter Cell and Lego Star Wars II, and let people play. We're such nerds..."

Read the rest of the post and check out the pictures here: Gamerscore Blog : More from PAX 2006. They also have pictures from day one here: Opening Day of PAX

Judge Blocks Ban on Violent Games - Wired News


Wired News has an article by the Associated Press about U.S. District Judge James Brady's block on Louisiana's ban on violent games law. Quote:

"BATON ROUGE, Louisiana -- A state law that would ban sales of violent video games to minors violates free speech rights and cannot be enforced, a judge ruled."

The judges keep blocking these bans on games. I do not think the government should have to police these kind of things. Specially in this case where the video game industry has a very good rating program in place. The Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) is tougher on content ratings than Hollywood. After having these laws shot down in Minnesota, Illinois, California, Michigan, and now Louisiana law makers should get the idea that it will not be allowed. Read the rest of the article here: Wired News: Judge Blocks Ban on Violent Games

What is Microsoft's XNA Framework?


On the XNA Team Blog Mitch Walker, the Program Manager for Microsoft's XNA Framework, has posted an article on What the XNA Framework is. Quote:

"Last week we announced XNA Game Studio Express, which is a product that enables students and hobbyist game programmers to create games using C# that will run on both Windows and their Xbox 360. The XNA Framework is the set of .NET libraries that developers will code against to build their games. As we get closer to the beta, I wanted to take a few moments and explain three keys to understanding the XNA Framework?namely, the goals of the XNA Framework, what the XNA Framework is, and what it provides."

In the article he goes on to mention their goals, gives some sample code and explains some details on the XNA Framework. A very interesting read, did I mention it had some sample code? Check it out here: XNA Team Blog - What is the XNA Framework

Interested in XNA? Check out 15 Great XNA Tutorial Sites.

**EDIT(1-10-2007)
If you are looking for an easy way to keep up with the XNA Community head on over to http://xnaportal.com/.

A Short History Of Gaming Companies.


Next Generation is running a five-part series on the history of gaming companies by Eric-Jon Rössel Waugh. Quote:

"Wednesday, 23 August 2006 - In a five-part series, beginning today, Eric-Jon Rössel Waugh traces the creation stories behind some of the companies that have shaped this industry."

Part One: Next Generation - A Short History of ACTIVISION
Part Two: Next Generation - A Short History of Electronic Arts
A real interesting read into the inside workings of current gaming companies. I will post links to the other parts as they are published.

Friday, August 25, 2006

The Xbox 360 doesn't need DirectX 10? - Xbox 360 News


Qj.net has an article on why the Xbox 360 not being able to run DirectX 10 will not matter. Quote:

"Just a while ago, ATi revealed that the XBOX360 won't be getting DirectX 10, or rather, it cannot run DirectX 10. Uneducated folks might see this as a bad point. Fanboys of other systems might use this as a point to bash the 360 and at first glance, it might scare off people. Thoughts like "It's not futureproof" might come in the minds of most customers. Well, how about we tell you that the absence of DirectX 10 won't make any darn difference to the games."

The article goes on into the details of what DirectX is and is not and why the Xbox 360 does not need native DirectX 10 to run games. An interesting read, specifically if you are interested in what DirectX is and what DirectX does, check it out here: Xbox 360 News- Why the absence of DirectX 10 on the XBOX360 won't matter

Thursday, August 24, 2006

The Revolution Of High-Quality Videos - DivX


Ionut Alex. Chitu over at Google Operating System, which is a blog(not affiliated with Google.com) reports DivX opened a service like YouTube only using the DivX codecs. They have a member area to upload your own content and everything is in the DivX format, which is at least TV quality and more like DVD quality video. What is interesting about this article is the quote:

"DivX describes the new site like this:

"Stage6 is the next evolution in digital media. What does that mean? It means we want to improve the experience for finding and viewing good media online. It means having access to high-quality video on the web that actually looks good in full screen, rather than the all-too-familiar choppy, pixilated, low resolution videos we are all accustomed to seeing online nowadays. It means being free to burn backups of our media and take it with us wherever we go. It means having the freedom to watch Internet videos anywhere and anytime we choose on any device we want, even on our TVs, without cumbersome digital rights management (DRM). It means having a voice in the content we consume. It means being able to easily share cool content with our friends, discover new content our friends think is cool and, perhaps most importantly, make new friends along the way."

DivX Stage6 feels a lot like YouTube, but the quality of the videos is impressive. You can view the videos in full-screen and even download them."

Very strong words in today's MPAA controlled content world. With the MPAA pushing hard for legislation forcing DRM, I hope this service does not get sued into closure. Check out links to the service in the article here: Google Operating System: DivX - The Revolution Of High-Quality Videos

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Lumines Live Charges Extra MS Points For Advancement - Gaming Bits


Gaming Bits is reporting that Lumines Live will charge extra MS Points depending on how far you go into the game. Quote:

"Looks like Lumines Live tries to get sneaky on slipping you a couple of MS Point charges. After rumors a while back that there would be a charge for multiplayer (which proved to be false later), there are extra fees when you advance far enough into the single player "Mission Mode" and "VS CPU" mode."

The article cites OXM as it's source and mentions how much the fees will be. Read more here: Gaming Bits - Lumines Live Charges Extra MS Points For Advancement

Apple's $100 Million IPod Payout - Wired News


Looks like Apple Computer has finally settled with Creative over the lawsuits for Apple's IPod infringing on Creative's Patents. Quote:

" "Creative is very fortunate to have been granted this early patent," said Steve Jobs, Apple's CEO. "This settlement resolves all of our differences with Creative, including the five lawsuits currently pending between the companies, and removes the uncertainty and distraction of prolonged litigation."

Creative chairman and CEO Sim Wong Hoo called the settlement "amicable." "

Though I would say the settlement is a splash in the bucket compared to Apple's earnings on the IPod, it looks like $100 million was the magic number. Steve Jobs can rest easier, knowing he is no longer in hot water with Creative, though I am sure he lost no sleep over the whole ordeal. Check out the full article here: Wired News: Apple's $100 Million IPod Payout

Sony Reveals PS3, PSP TGS Lineup - Next Generation


According to Next Generation News, Sony has released it's PS3 games lineup at the Tokyo Game Show. Sony announced 27 playable titles for the PS3 at TGS 2006. Quote:

"PS3: Twenty-seven playable titles will be presented at Sony?s booth, and 35 new videos will also be shown in a theater. Here's a large chunk of the 27 playable titles for PS3 at TGS 2006."
Read the article over at Next Generation - Sony Reveals PS3, PSP TGS Lineup

Video Games can Make You Smart?


Over at The Fantastic Site of Lord Matt, Philip Nicosia has a commentary on video games underscoring the educational aspect of games. His article points out that things like reflexes, memory retention, and puzzle solving skills can be trained with games. I would also like to point out that education from games comes through other outlets as well such as games made specifically for education are available on some of Nintendo's hand-held platforms such as the game "Brain Age", the US Armed Forces uses 3D games in some situations as trainers for flight simulation and other things, and a whole host of video games for school aged children are on the PC to help them learn math, science, spelling, typing, etc. Quote:

Video games have been getting a bad rap. Sure, a few involve nothing more than pointing several deadly weapons at the Undead and blasting them into a bajillion pieces. And there are cases of people wasting otherwise productive hours conquering a virtual kingdom and accumulating pixelized gold instead of going out and getting a real job.

But there are many, many times when video games actually provide a noble purpose in society. When they make you a better person. Or at least, a smarter person.

Because there are video games that are actually built on logic and reasoning, and involve complex problem solving that you can take with you even after you?ve walked away from the computer screen.
For the entire article, check out The Brain Games: How Videos Games Can Make You Smart

**Edit (9-23-06@3:450pm)


Speaking of using games as an educational tool, it looks as if the medical industry is looking to use games for that and more. According to this article, Play 2 Games and Call Me in the Morning over at QJ.net: Xbox 360 News, doctor's are looking to video games to better help humanity. Fascinating read. Quote:
"Game developers, medical workers, and government policymakers will be meeting in September at the Games for Health Project. The Objective? To organize and accelerate the adoption of computer games for a variety of challenges facing the world today. In short, find other ways of making games work for humanity."

Xbox 360 Accessories Available for Christmas 2006


Microsoft announced the Xbox 360 Accessories available for Christmas this year at the German Games Convention. Quote:

"Just in time for the holiday season and adding to the widely acclaimed Xbox 360 Controller, consumers can enhance their already vibrant Xbox 360 and Windows game experiences with several new accessories, including these:

* Xbox Live Vision camera for the Xbox 360 system. Consumers can chat via video, send photo messages, put their own face in a game, and customize their gamertag on the Xbox Live network. The camera will be available in the U.S. on Sept. 19 and in Europe on Oct. 6 in two packages:

* Xbox Live Vision. This package includes Xbox Live Vision camera, one-month Xbox Live Gold Membership, Xbox 360 Headset, and free* downloads of two full-version Xbox Live Arcade games: the popular "UNO®" card game and "TotemBall", the new 3-D platform game from Freeverse and Strange Flavour Ltd. that is a mixture of platform skills and puzzles (estimated retail price (ERP) $39.99 U.S.).

* Xbox Live Video Chat Gold Kit. This package includes the Xbox Live Vision camera, a 12-month Xbox Live Gold Membership, an Xbox 360 Headset, free* downloads of three full-version Xbox Live Arcade games: the popular "UNO®" card game, "TotemBall", and the classic "Robotron" action shooter and 200 Microsoft Points (ERP $79.99 U.S.).

* Xbox 360 Wireless Racing Wheel. For true racing enthusiasts who demand unparalleled driving realism at home, this innovatively designed wheel combines form and function with the latest technology in wireless and force feedback. Consumers who purchase the wheel will also get a limited-edition force feedback version of "Project Gotham Racing® 3" while supplies last (ERP $149.99 U.S., available in November).

* Xbox 360 Wireless Headset. Providing the ultimate wireless experience, this headset integrates seamlessly with the Xbox 360 console to provide wireless voice chat capabilities, stylish design and superior voice quality over the Xbox Live network (ERP $59.99 U.S., available in November).

* Xbox 360 Wireless Gaming Receiver for Windows. By plugging the compact receiver into a Universal Serial Bus (USB) 2.0 port on a PC, gamers can use Xbox 360 wireless accessories on their Windows-based computer (ERP $19.99 U.S., available in late December).

* Xbox 360 Faceplates. Consumers can customize their consoles with one of three new special-edition faceplates featuring images from their favorite games, including the "Halo®" franchise, "Viva Piñata", and "Forza Motorsport 2" (ERP $19.99 U.S., available in early November)."


Check out video coverage of these accessories in use here: Video rundown of the 360 peripherals

Microsoft Leipzig Game Convention Coverage - GamesIndustry.biz


Gameindustry.biz has the latest coverage of the Microsoft conference from the Leipzig, Germany gaming convention. Quote:

"During a packed Xbox 360 and Games for Windows conference in Leipzig, the platform holder said that it had fashioned a deal to bring Pro Evolution Soccer 6 and FIFA '07 to Xbox 360 exclusively for the next 12 months - with no other next-generation versions to appear.

It also reiterated that its HD-DVD drive would launch this autumn, although Xbox 360 heavy-hitter Forza Motorsport 2 will be here "this winter" having previously been labelled as "Christmas" - something we're seeking clarification on now.

Later in the year, the company said, its Games for Windows branding campaign would come into full force, with a logo to be visible on many PC game boxes signifying compatibility, parental controls and other features set to become standard with Windows Vista."

Check out the article at GC: Microsoft expands in Europe, stands firmly behind Windows // GamesIndustry.biz

Xbox Live's Major Nelson has the complete audio coverage over at his blog located here: Xbox Live's Major Nelson : Leipzig Game Convention Press Briefing

"How Wii Play" Video Contest!


MySpace.com has a video contest going on to win one of 8 Nintendo DS Lites. All you have to do is create a video of how you will play the Nintendo Wii and go to Nintendo Nation (MySpace.com profile) to submit it. According to the rules, the contest ends in September and is open to MySpace.com members. Check it out here:
MySpace.com How Wii Play Contest

Nintendo Leipzig Live Video & Blog Coverage - Gameworld Network


Gameworld Network has live coverage of the Leipzig gaming show in Germany in the form of timely blogs and live video, covering "Wii Prove Our Promise" Nintendo's presentation . Check it out here: Nintendo Presentation - Live Video & Blog Coverage - Gameworld Network news story

History of Video Games Documentary

On overview documentary of the history of video Games from Atari to Nintendo. Very interesting video though Sega is missing from this documentary, it is still interesting the see how Atari and Nintendo got their start. Documentary cover video gaming from the late 60's to the early 90's.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Need for Speed Carbon star Emmananuelle Vaugier


Marc Saltzman over at Yahoo! Games interviewed Need for Speed Carbon star Emmananuelle Vaugier. Playing the role as your ex-girlfriend in the game, she is one of the main characters in the story of the game.
Quote:

"What could be hotter than the racing action found in the upcoming Need for Speed Carbon? How about the woman who plays your past flame in the game?

Emerging Hollywood actress Emmanuelle Vaugier -- best know for her work with the hit CBS sitcom, Two and a Half Men, as well as feature films Saw 2 and 40 Days and 40 Nights -- plays as Nikki, the ex-girlfriend of the hero who returns to his hometown to face his past."

Check it out here: Q&A with Emmanuelle Vaugier - Video Game Feature - Yahoo! Video Games

Monday, August 21, 2006

Ajax, not your mama's cleaner anymore!

AJAX Makes Everything Better

I am currently learning more about Ajax through Google's webtools and found this comic pretty funny, thought I would share. Check bLaugh.com for more blog comics.

Call of Duty 3 Challenge


Activision is sponsoring a contest through Gamespot and SpikeTV to be on an episode of Game Head, Spike TV's video game series. To enter, all you need to do is go to the sign up page here: GameSpot: Game Head Call of Duty 3 Challenge and submit your video.

Quote from the entry page:

* Upload your video showing us why we should select you to battle it out for Call of Duty bragging rights. Please make sure to include your face in the video.

* Fill out the application provided after uploading your video. All applications and videos must be received by 11:59pm PDT on Sept. 4th 2006.

* You must be able to be in NYC Sept. 20-22, 2006 (we will cover your expenses related to participating in the event--including RD trip airfare, accommodations, transportation and meals).

* You must be 18 or older to apply; Unites States citizen or legal resident of the 50 United States.

Grand Prize Winner will Receive:

* VIP trip to the 2006 Spike TV Video Game Awards (includes (2) VIP Tickets, RD trip airfare to the event, overnight hotel stay and transportation)

* Trip to Normandy, France, including RD trip airfare, accommodations, transportation and meals for winner and a guest, to visit key battle locations from the Normandy Breakout Campaign featured in Call of Duty 3

* A home entertainment system compliments of Best Buy to get you ready to play Call of Duty 3 when it releases this November

Think you have what it takes? Submit a video, you never know, you could be the grand prize winner!

Canadian Built 2009 Chevy Camaro


The Toronto Star reports that General Motors has announced the 2009 Camaro will be built at their Oshawa plant in Cananda. The car is not what you would think of as a traditional styled Camaro, but I think it is a very slick looking car. Not a bad read, check it out at: TheStar.com - Oshawa to build Camaro. To see some photos of the preproduction car, go here: Inside Line: Future Vehicle Photos. Can't help but think about the irony of a Classic American car being built in Cananda.

Gamefest 2006 Roundup.


Luke Smith over at 1up.com has a round up of the events at Microsoft's Gamefest 2006. The blog links all the articles 1up has ran on Gamefest 2006 as well as his commentary on the show. Mentioned in the blog are the consumables, Halo 3, XNA, Rolling Thunder(not a game), and Xbox Live arcade. Check it out here: Luke Smith's 1UP Blog: Rumblings from Gamefest 2006

Friday, August 18, 2006

Clean, Free Energy Production Found?


An Irish company claims to have created free, clean constant energy, if it is true, our world just got a major needed technology, here is hoping it is true. Quote:

London, 18th August 2006: Steorn, an Irish technology development company, has today issued a challenge to the global scientific community to test Steorn's free energy technology and publish the findings.

Steorn's technology is based on the interaction of magnetic fields and allows the production of clean, free and constant energy. The technology can be applied to virtually all devices requiring energy, from cellular phones to cars.

Steorn has placed an advertisement in The Economist this week to attract the attention of the world's leading scientists working in the field of experimental physics. From all the scientists who accept Steorn's challenge, twelve will be invited to take part in a rigorous testing exercise to prove that Steorn's technology creates free energy. The results will be published worldwide."


Read the entire announcement here: News | Steorn
First heard on Team Xbox.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Samuel L. Jackson invited me to the movies.


So, I am sitting at home when the phone rings. I answer the phone and on the other end is none other than Samuel L Jackson! He smarts off and tells me all about his new film coming up, how I should take time away from my job on the 18th, after all it is only one day, to go see his movie. That I need to quit doing this or that and jump in my wanna be monster truck(I drive a Nissan Frontier) and head on out to see it.
I was surprised. Talk about your viral marketing, you can go to this site: Snakes On A Plane :: Send a Message From Samuel L. Jackson! and have Mr. Jackson call your friends. The site gets some general personal information like the type of car they drive, what kind of work they do, etc to personalize the message. Total quality as well, you could hardly even hear the places where the audio segments were spliced. I have to say, it was pretty funny but if Samuel L Jackson does come looking for me to "kick my ass" for not seeing this film, I think he will be limping back. I do appreciate the call though, I am a huge fan and I will definitely see it in the theaters. So no worries Mr. Jackson, no limp this time! Next time call me live, I have this idea for a movie...

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

bit-tech.net | Jack is back to beat up on Bully


An article over at bit-tech.com reports on Jack Thompson threatening Take2 Interactive over the unreleased game "Bully". Jack sent a fax to Take2 and a couple of news sites declaring they will do things his way or he is suing. I do not have the strength to put my opinion here and really it is not needed. Jack has his facts wrong on a lot of the issues and any judge in the land should throw it out. Read more here: bit-tech.net | Jack is back to beat up on Bully

Monday, August 14, 2006

All Five STAR TREK Captains to Voice Star Trek: Legacy Game


Bethesda Softworks reports:

Rockville, MD - August 14, 2006 - Bethesda Softworks® announced today that all five actors who portrayed the STAR TREK series captains -- William Shatner, Patrick Stewart, Scott Bakula, Avery Brooks, and Kate Mulgrew -- will provide voiceovers in the STAR TREK: Legacy video game. The collaboration marks the first time the five actors have participated in a single STAR TREK project together.
The five actors will reprise their roles from their respective series as follows:

* William Shatner as Captain James T. Kirk from the STAR TREK: The Original Series - 1966-1969
* Patrick Stewart as Captain Jean-Luc Picard from STAR TREK: The Next Generation® - 1987-1994
* Avery Brooks as Captain Benjamin Lafayette Sisko from STAR TREK: Deep Space Nine® - 1993-1999
* Kate Mulgrew as Captain Kathryn Janeway from STAR TREK: Voyager® - 1995-2001
* Scott Bakula as Captain Jonathan Archer in STAR TREK: Enterprise? - 2001-2005

STAR TREK: Legacy places you in the role of the Admiral of a task force of warships, which you control in small and large-scale battles. Test your strategic and tactical skills in real-time combat featuring over 60 authentic spaceships, full damage modeling, and spectacular visual effects. Play through the single-player campaign or in the extensive multiplayer mode with a group of friends online.

The compelling storyline in Legacy spans the entire STAR TREK Universe, including the Original Series, STAR TREK: The Next Generation®, STAR TREK: Deep Space Nine®, STAR TREK: Voyager®, and STAR TREK: Enterprise eras.

Can we say awesome? Yes, I am a Star Trek fan though I am not a Trekkie. I am looking forward to this game. All five captains in the same setting, this sounds like it could be a great adventure. Read more about it: All Five STAR TREK Captains to Voice Star Trek: Legacy Game
Mad Doc Software, also working on this project, has some great screen shots of the STAR TREK: Legacy game.
Picture courtesy of Bethesda Softworks®.

Microsoft Invites the World to Create Its Own Xbox 360 Console Games!


Team Xbox reports Microsoft has announced a new community program for creating games for the Xbox 360 and Windows XP PCs at the same time using the same FREE tools! Check out the full article here: Microsoft Invites the World to Create Its Own Xbox 360 Console Games for the First Time - Xbox

Friday, August 11, 2006

Zune Price Revealed? - Xbox


Over on Team Xbox they have excerpts form an article about the Microsoft Zune music player. In the article it mentions a 30 gig hard drive, a $299 price point, and talks about the wireless features. Check it out for more information: Zune Price Revealed? - Xbox

Happy 25th Birthday Personal Computer!


Happy Birthday Personal Computer. Turns out August 12, 1981 is the birthday of the PC. I was reading an article over at Lowendmac.com and ran across this article: What a Legacy! The IBM PC's 25 Year Legacy Quote:

"August 12, 1981 marks the birth of the IBM PC, the computer that single-handedly turned personal computing to the business market. IBM's success forced Apple and others to change their focus, and most personal computer companies from the pre-IBM era have become historical footnotes. By 2006, even Apple Computer had followed IBM's lead and adopted Intel CPUs and built Macs that can boot Microsoft Windows."

So again I find myself saying Happy Birthday to something without a pulse. Never figured in 1981, when I was 9, I would be doing something like that. Check out the article, it really is a good read. Wikipedia.com has a more thorough entry of the PC here. Maybe I will go buy my PC some ram or something for it's birthday. I think a gift-bag woul be better than wrapping paper...
Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.com

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

bLaugh » New AOL Privacy Leak

New AOL Privacy Leak

bLaugh » Archive » New AOL Privacy Leak bLaugh's latest comic for blogs, thought it was funny with all the latest AOL headlines ;)

Xbox 360 News- Halo Movie Director Named


The Halo movie finally has a director... Xbox 360 News reports that Neill Blomkamp, a Vancouver-based director of short films and ads, will direct this film. They have a video of one of the guys films over at Xbox 360 News- Halo Movie Director Named. I am not too sure this is more than rumor, I have seen no other news on it. But, if it is true I have to say I think going with someone unknown can be risky but might get the look and feel Bungie is looking for in the movie.

**EDIT**
I just checked Wikipedia and they have Neill Blomkamp listed as the director of the new Halo movie as well. I guess with an unknown to direct the execs wanted to keep the news low key? Other sites are starting to report this news as well. Here is the official:

From gamasutra.com:
[QUOTE]
An official statement from Microsoft has revealed that the motion picture based on Bungie's Halo franchise will be helmed by Neill Blomkamp, a short film and commercial director making his feature film debut with the movie.

Mary Parent, Scott Stuber and Peter Schlessel will produce Halo. The film is currently targeted for a Summer 2008 worldwide release. Halo will be shot in Wellington, New Zealand, and will make use of the full range of executive producer Peter Jackson's state-of-the-art production and post-production facilities there, including Weta, Stone Street Studios, and Park Road Post.

The release from Microsoft also mentions latest figures for the video game franchise: "Halo and its 2004 follow-up Halo 2 have sold a combined 14.5 million copies worldwide and grossed more than $650 million (U.S.). On November 2004, Halo 2 shattered records with $125 million in first-day sales."
[/QUOTE]

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Aeropause - The Anatomy of a Fanboy


Richard over at Aeropause - The goods on gaming has an article that is almost as funny as his topic. Fanboyism! He found 4 Fanboys and interviewed each one. Comparing their answers and interposing his opinion on the whole issue makes for a great read. I claim to be a fanboy sometimes but these four guys take the cake. I am an Xbox 360 fanboy, to an extent. I just do not believe I have it as bad off as these guys. Some of the other consoles have their selling points but the Xbox caught me at the right time with the right money, I have made the investment and try hard to support my choice. Will I buy any of the other systems soon to be released? More than likely but not because I personally want them but because my whole family is gaming and I really do not like to share my 360, in fact I have been considering getting a second one. It will cost less than buying a PS3 though. The awesome Fanboy picture courtesy of Aeropause, best Fanboy picture I have seen to date.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Keiji Inafune, Dead Rising Game Signing Event



Ozymandias over at Ozymandias.com reports that for the release of the new Xbox 360 game Dead Rising, the Executive Producer, Keiji Inafune, will be on hand at EB Games in Redmond Washington to sign copies of the game. The time he will be there is between 4-6 PM August 8th, 2006. Please if you are headed over there, get me a signed copy, I will be happy to pay you for your time ;) Read the details here:
Ozymandias : Dead Rising Game Signing Event - Tuesday August 8, 4-6 PM, Redmond WA

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Happy Birthday World Wide Web!


Fifteen years ago, Tim Berners-Lee sent a post to Usenet about a project called the WorldWideWeb, the WWW project. This is considered the birth of the WWW so happy 15th birthday WWW!! To Sir Tim Berners-Lee I say thank you! Check out the Wikipedia entry for more information about Tim Berners-Lee.
Read the original post here: http://groups.google.com/group/alt.hypertext/msg/395f282a67a1916c

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Is Sony fighting a losing battle? - Guardian Unlimited Technology



The Sony PS3 is set to release on November 17, 2006 in the US. Guardian Unlimited Technology asks the question Is Sony fighting a losing battle? This article is an interesting read and I would have to say hit on a few key points in Sony's PS3 release. Sony lost me with the hard drive they put out for the PS2. After all the hype, they dropped it like a rock once it was shipped, quietly they let it, and everything they announced for it, die. Then they released the PSP and it has not lived up to half the hype Sony pushed on us. So, looking at their track record, I would have to say, unless Sony pulls it head out of it's proverbial backside and get with the program, they will loose. The article is a good read and has some good points. At the end of the day, I expect the PS3 will be a hit, partly because it will be the cheapest Blue-Ray drive on the market, about $400 cheaper than their stand alone Blue-Ray drive, after all. If Sony does not clean up it's attitude toward the gaming community, being the cheapest Blue-Ray drive might not even help. You can' treat people like they are beneath you and expect them to buy your products.