Recently, the iPhone development community has resolved this inconvenient booting method by releasing a software-only jailbreak solution. As a result, the current software/firmware 2.2.1 revision has been jailbroken (full read/write access to the file system), meaning that unofficial third-party applications can be installed under this release.
REDMOND, Wash.--At Microsoft's TechFest, it takes a little imagination to see how the research technologies might eventually come to market.
A new video from Microsoft shows in an elegant, if utopian way, what it might look like if all of those gadgets came together several years hence. Earlier on Friday, Microsoft Business Division President Stephen Elop showed the video in a speech at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business.
Why play someone else's virtual world when you can build your own?
That's the major premise behind Metaplace, a new browser-based virtual-world platform from, among others, former Sony Online Entertainment chief creative officer Raph Koster.
Built to run inside the browser on any Internet-connected machine, Metaplace employs a simple, 2D, Flash-based graphics system that fronts for a fairly sophisticated set of content creation tools and what may one day be a complex open-ended economy built around user-created content.
In fact, because of the 2D and Flash nature of Metaplace, it's easy to miss that the platform offers users some of the easiest virtual-world building tools that have ever been made available. And while Metaplace has been in closed beta since October, it is expected to emerge into a public and open beta period sometime later this year. See below for an invite to the closed beta.
Rising to the top Metaplace has a little something for everyone. For the casual users, it has any number of user-created worlds to play, and there's a basic central Metaplace world that is an easy gathering place. Each can be rated, and the highest-rated rise to the top, allowing users to skip messing around with the system's chaff and instead concentrate on the wheat. But for those who are interested in creating their own virtual world, Metaplace offers a cornucopia of tools and choices that make it quick and easy to get a brand new world up and running.
Of course, as with any user-generated content system, the good creations are far outweighed by the bad. As Koster himself put it, "There are more than 25,000 Metaplace worlds, most of them are empty and most of them are crap."
But if it sounds like Koster is bashing his own system, he's not. Rather, he's touting how easy it is for anyone to start a virtual world that itself can be accessed by anyone on the Internet in mere seconds. Indeed, it's not an exaggeration to say that just about anyone could have a rudimentary Metaplace world up and running in less than five minutes. … Read more
Blink and you'll miss Second TaskManager. Thanks to a truly strange trial limitation, the user interface is only available for view for 10 seconds at a time.
Second TaskManager's bland interface unnecessarily defaults to a maximized window every time it's opened. We had to minimize it each time for a better view. The window does include all of your running processes, including memory usage, max memory, threads, and CU time. A Help file is not included, so users must navigate through the processes on their own. Each time we opened the program, it closed after only a … Read more
Adam Wexler, who was always into hi-fi equipment, started hanging around high-end audio shops when he was just a kid. By the time he was in college, he was selling a local shop's traded-in components and speakers.
He wasn't just into it for the money; he wound up with a really cool hi-fi on the cheap.
After college, he worked for a couple of stores before landing a sales-and-design position gig with one of New York's top high-end dealers. Now with Stereo Buyers Wexler is ready to take it to the next level. He buys high-quality audio for cash in the tri-state area of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut, though he will occasionally accept equipment shipped to him.
Please understand: Wexler isn't interested in your Sony receiver, Marantz CD changer, or the Pioneer cassette deck you bought at a yard sale for 10 bucks 20 years ago. No, he's looking good stuff, high-end audio of any vintage, in good working condition. Tube gear, sure, and high-end solid-state amplifiers, turntables, tuners, speakers, etc. E-mail him a list of your gear, and he'll get back to you. … Read more
Linden Lab, the parent company of virtual world Second Life, has quietly snapped up two companies that had built e-commerce marketplaces on its platform. The two start-ups, Xstreet SL and OnRez, will be combined into the "Xstreet SL platform," a sort of Craigslist-eBay hybrid for the trade of Second Life virtual goods.
Financial terms of the deals were not disclosed.
It's a revenue stream for Linden Lab, which will take a cut of each sale. And, the company says, virtual goods are a $1.5 billion industry. Though a vicious marketing hype-backlash cycle has painted Second Life … Read more
Today we have a fantastic interview with Prince of Persia level designer Michael McIntyre from Ubisoft. It's been nearly 20 years since the first PoP game, and Ubisoft has taken the series in a radically different direction. Unique art design and a new, fluid acrobatic system combine to make the newest PoP installment an instant hit. Check out the game here.
On the second half of the show, NDC and CMC help us to tackle some Calls from the Public. Big ups to Dr. Ethan for getting his 404 fix not once, but twice daily. We're not encouraging "click fraud" but we wouldn't criticize listeners who delete their entire 404 podcast collection and re-download everyday.
NDC recounts her close encounter with Danika McKellar, known for her unforgettable portrayal of Winnie on The Wonder Years. Apparently she's really into Math. CMC tries to explain that Seth Rogen's drastic weight loss is for an upcoming film role, not because he finally stopped taking bong rips for breakfast.EPISODE 250 Download today's podcast … Read more
If all goes according to plan, PlayStation Home will be opening its doors to the public later Thursday. The PlayStation 3-exclusive allows gamers to interact with one another using avatars in a virtual environment via text or voice chat (think Second Life, but on the PS3). The free service is still in beta, but should be available to PS3 users worldwide by the end of the day.
After getting bad news about the death of this year's CNET holiday party, we wallow in sorrow for awhile but count our blessings that our two week vacation is still in tact. We move on to congratulate Logitech on their 1 billionth mouse and recommend a few of our favorite peripherals. We also wag a finger at Canada and unleash a horror story about their massacre of our beloved Sea Unicorn, the Narwhal. Shame on you, we thought you were better than us!
There are two very large problems that are tackled in today's episode. First one is … Read more
In April 2008 Sweden's tax office published a clarification to its tax laws which said that in-game transactions are taxable--in theory. I am sure Ben Franklin was referring to Linden dollars when he wrote, "In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes."
The taxation subject seems to be more a case of what happens when virtual money … Read more