Bill Gates has said that prognosticators often overestimate the amount of technological change that will happen in a year, but underestimate the changes that will take place over a decade. With the Zeroes coming to an end this week, and Steve Guttenberg's recent column questioning the viability of recorded music in 2020 as inspiration, here's my pick of 10 trends in music and technology that will shape the next decade.
Songs instead of albums Musicians will always find ways to record their music--it's a fundamental drive, like painting for a painter or writing for a writer. But … Read more
Along with Beeker and Fozzie Bear, Animal ranks among my favorite Muppets characters. So it's great not only to see him starring in his own iPhone game, but to report that the game's a blast.
At first blush, The Muppets Animal Drummer from Disney looks like something out of Rock Band: you've got five drums that light up and change colors (and occasionally catch fire); combo bonuses and power-ups that appear as you progress; and Animal himself (itself?) banging away center-stage.
However, the gameplay's a bit different: Animal bangs out a series of beats using different … Read more
Bonnie Cha, senior editor for cell phones, joins the show today to fill in for Justin Yu. It's one of the few days Wilson and Jeff aren't worried about losing their jobs for something they shouldn't have said. And no, she is NOT Nicole Lee. What better day to have Ms. Cha on the show than following the weekend that the actual Google phone leaks!
The Google phone has been rumored for the last three or four years, and since the release of Google's Android operating system, the hoopla has died down considerably for an actual Google-branded phone. In typical Google fare, the company has decided on screwing its partners like Verizon and Motorola over by releasing an unsubsidized GSM phone called the Nexus One. No word yet on how much the unit will cost, but we do know that HTC designed the device. And that Google employees got the units over the weekend. Word on the street is that the device runs Android OS 2.1.
The mobile space is where all the spice is these days, and today is no different. News comes out that the venerable institution that is Playboy is jumping into the iPhone app fray with its own app. Because of Steve Jobs' no-porn rule, however, the app won't come with any outright nude pics. It will come with some scantily clad ladies and their interests. Per usual, it's all about the articles, not the pics.
In videogaming news, the Pentagon is buying up 2,200 PlayStation 3s. No, they aren't using it to train soldiers with "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2", while it may be a lot of fun. The military wants to use the gaming consoles to run simulations because the $299 machines can calculate 150 GFLOPS. At The 404, we really have no idea what that means, but it sounds impressive.
Finally, Green Day comes to Rock Band. The Beatles have come already, and while we're generally excited to have one of the best modern bands, we're not really excited to have every dude singing "Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)" at every single graduation party. This could be a very, very bad thing.EPISODE 486 Subscribe in iTunes audio | Suscribe to iTunes (video) | Subscribe in RSS Audio | Subscribe in RSS Video… Read more
This is the time of year to take stock in where high-performance computing (HPC) sits and where it is headed. That's because the SC09 conference is taking place in Portland, Ore., this week and it's the biggest HPC conference around.
SC is an odd duck as conferences go. Last year it had more than 10,000 attendees and, yet, it's a largely volunteer-organized event in a world where trade shows of this scope are packaged by conference specialists or some specific corporation. Think the much-renamed LinuxWorld (run by IDG) or VMworld (run by VMware).
"SC&… Read more
Do you feel like you need one more music game for the holidays? It's getting pretty strained, isn't it, between The Beatles: Rock Band, Guitar Hero 5, DJ Hero, Band Hero, and now this very family-friendly-oriented spin on Harmonix' franchise, Lego Rock Band. Taking two gaming hits--games based on Lego, and Rock Band--and combining them sounds like a slam dunk, but how does this all work out? We played it and have our thoughts.
Good news: you won't need new instruments. Lego Rock Band uses the same drum/mic/guitar compatibility system that's finally starting to become an industry norm. The other fun thing about Lego Rock Band is its weird, whimsical settings and sense of humor. All the Lego games, from Indiana Jones to Star Wars, have shared a Charlie Chaplin-ish winking humor with frequently cute/bizarre overtones, and the rock "battles" aboard pirate ships and other settings makes for music videos worth watching in the background. Other than that, it's standard Rock Band stuff. The game is developed by TT Games, the group responsible for all the other Lego titles, so it feels consistently similar to what you might be expecting, except with a Rock Band engine attached.
Bad news: 45 included tracks span pop and mainstream, and the game will also access the online catalog of Rock Band DLC tracks--but only ones that are considered family-friendly. That means some songs won't make the import cut. The censorship is annoying, but the Lego versions of rock stars almost make it worth it.… Read more
If you're a fan of A) music, B) The Beatles, C) Rock Band, or D) looking silly (I kid, I kid), you've no doubt had your eye on the recently released Beatles Rock Band bundle.
It normally sells for $159.99, but Amazon is offering The Beatles: Rock Band Value Edition for $99.99 shipped. It's available for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and Wii.
The bundle includes the game itself, natch, along with three "instruments": guitar, drum set, and microphone. You can optionally add two more microphones and sing three-part harmonies, which sounds pretty cool.… Read more
Did you like The Beatles: Rock Band? Are you ready for more? It seems like all you'll have to do is wait until next year, according to Roger Daltry, for The Who. "The game, yeah, yeah, they're going to be doing a Who one next year. There is one planned," says Daltry in an interview with The Republican, a most unlikely source for a bombshell of a gaming announcement like this one.
Tommy isn't exactly The Yellow Submarine as far as family appeal goes, but The Who, like the Beatles, are a classic rock band … Read more
With the popularity of music games like Rock Band and Guitar Hero continuing to climb, there's no surprise that companies outside of video game development are trying to make a few extra bucks on those titles.
Thus it its that on Tuesday, Altec Lansing announced the Stage-Gig amplified speaker. The accessory is designed to work with Rock Band, Guitar Hero, and DJ Hero. According to the company, the amp puts out 40 watts of power. It works with any current gaming console.
Altec Lansing believes gamers who play popular music games want better sound. The company said that with … Read more
Rock Band. For iPhone and iPod Touch. Right now in the App Store for $9.99.
Just thought I'd cut right to the crucial information, as hard-core fans of the console mega-hit probably don't need to hear anything more. "Rock Band? iPhone? Ten bucks? Sweet!"
Everyone else should listen up before plunking down that sawbuck. EA's official, real-deal port brings the jamfest to the iPhone in style, with gorgeous visuals, great songs, and some solid multiplayer action.
Unfortunately, compromises abound. The songs are great, but you get only 20 of them (and 5 are locked). … Read more