CNET's Dan Ackerman drops by The 404 to give us some E3 2008 predictions and previews. We talk about the big three companies and what we can expect to hear from their respective news conferences at the big show. We'll also chat about Justin and Jeff's experience at the iPhone 3G launch this morning--it wasn't pretty.EPISODE 139 Download today's podcast
I've been an outspoken critic of Google over the years, admiring some of its products (Search, SMS, News, etc.) while deriding its relationship to open source and deprecating most of its products.
There appears to be, however, a new Google afoot, and it's one that I like quite a bit. Google may need to change its slogan from "Don't be evil" to "Be open," as this looks to be the direction it is going. At Google I/O today, Google announced a few things that make me feel like the future of the web is much safer in its hands than in Microsoft's (if Microsoft ever figures out the web at all).
Indeed, Google's Gears Engineer Aaron Boodman writes that Gears "aims to bring emerging web standards to as many devices as possible, as quickly as possible."
More open, much sooner.
In Google's increasingly open world, Steve Ballmer's insistence that Vista "is not a failure and it's not a mistake" speaks to the wrong questions surrounding the much maligned operating system. What he should be protesting is that "It's not irrelevant."… Read more
Google may not be interested in manufacturing handsets for the Android, but that doesn't mean it's not into hardware of any kind. Among the lava lamps and beach towels in its online tchotchke store, the company is selling a Recycled Mini Wireless Mouse.
This 800 dpi model has a standard Wi-Fi dongle that plugs into a USB port and, when not in use, is stowed inside, according to Shiny Shiny. Nothing new there, but the selling point is obviously the green credentials of this "earth friendly" mouse, which is built out of recycled plastic and comes … Read more
The last week of news surrounding Google doesn't paint a picture of a lovey-dovey company that just wants to help you search. The backdrop for all of the news is the emergence of "cloud platforms" upon which developers can build. It used to be that developers would write for Windows or Linux: Now they're writing applications to run in the cloud of their choice (Google, Bungee Labs, Salesforce, or open-source Coghead)
The problem with this approach, as Tim O'Reilly points out with reference to Google, is it paves the way to lock-in that the "offline" world could only dream of inflicting:I've been warning for some time that the first phase of Web 2.0 is the acquisition of critical mass via network effects, but that once companies achieve that critical mass, they will be tempted to consolidate their position, leading ultimately to a replay of the personal computer industry's sad decline from an open, energetic marketplace to a controlled economy.
Enter Google's soft disavowal of its "Don't do evil" motto. As Techcrunch suggests, Google likely doesn't like being held to this (somewhat subjective) standard anymore, now that not doing evil becomes ever more difficult at its size and scale.
So what is Google to do? How can Google preserve the impressive heft of its momentum without strangling its potential supporters?… Read more
Ah, computers. They make our lives so easy ... but we should fear them, for they may yet turn on us. We've collected 10 of the most ee-vil computers not only to achieve sentience, but also decide that those pesky, squishy hu-mans just have to go.
Click through the photos to meet the future masters of the world, and remember to turn your computers off at night--who knows what they're plotting when you're not there? These are in no particular order, but if you have a favorite, or if we've missed any particularly Machiavellian machines, let us … Read more
The devious feline will try anything to lull us into complacency before seizing our souls, and it has proven particularly effective in projecting its siren song through devices ranging from MP3 players to karaoke machines. Now, apparently no longer satisfied with mere electronics, Hello Kitty is aiming to control the origin of the music itself directly from the instrument--in this case, through a piano.
This miniature grand is one-sixth the scale of full-sized piano but has 88 keys and 100 pre-programmed pieces, 20 of which are naturally Hello Kitty's own ditties, as well as an SD card slot for … Read more
It doesn't happen often, but even the diabolical Hello Kitty can commit the occasional blunder in its quest to conquer the world. Case in point: While seeking to control every facet of our lives, from finances to driving, its latest ploy seems to be protecting privacy with a screen shade for handheld LCDs.
But there's one thing the evil feline didn't take into account with the "Hello Kitty Mail Peeping Block and Display Protect Sticker" spotted on Shiny Shiny. It's supposed to block prying eyes from spying something sensitive or potentially embarrassing, but what … Read more
The Resident Evil series had hit a bit of a stagnant spell before 2005's excellent Resident Evil 4 (really something like the 10th game in the franchise) put the zombie-killing train back on track. RE4's recent port to both the PC and Nintendo Wii point to that game's long-term appeal, and served as a good introduction to the third-person "survival horror" (a badly translated Japanese description that seems to have stuck) genre for new fans.
The first Resident Evil game designed specifically for the Wii, The Umbrella Chronicles, isn't nearly as ground-breaking, and in … Read more
You just can't keep an evil, zombie-spawning corporation down. Capcom continues the Resident Evil story with Resident Evil Umbrella Chronicles, a rail shooter for the Nintendo Wii that has you loping through creepy, cramped hallways and blowing the heads off of hideous, mutated monsters. The game supports the newly announced Wii Zapper, so you can actually aim a "gun" at these creatures instead of just the Wiimote. Resident Evil Umbrella Chronicles ships later this year.