"On a long enough timeline, the survival rate for everyone drops to zero," wrote Fight Club author Chuck Palahniuk. The same, it would seem, is true of Microsoft's Xbox 360 video game console. The general hardware failure known as the Red Ring of Death has affected many thousands of consumers (Microsoft won't say exactly how many), including nearly everyone we know in the video game industry (and that's a lot of people). However, our main Xbox 360 console has always been fine, and is arguably one of the oldest systems still in the wild, with … Read more
For the past few years, a tale has been bandied about how the artificial intelligence used in the battle scenes in The Lord of the Rings movies generated a real flight or fight response in animated characters.
To recap for a second, in the last installment of the trilogy, the Orcs come riding to battle and bring a troupe of elephant/mammoth-like creatures along with them. (Think of the car wash mammoths in the Flintstones but more terrifying.) The simulated human and humanoid characters were embedded with artificial intelligence from Massive Software, an AI developer out of New Zealand.
When … Read more
LetsTalk has launched a new service this morning called ToneMine that lets you build your own ringtones. The service uses a multitrack composer that lets you drag and drop short, prerecorded sound clips onto an editing canvas. There are eight themed "packs" to choose from ranging from hip-hop and salsa, all the way to heavy metal. You also get some shared sound clips that will show up no matter what pack you've chosen.
The eventual goal is a takeaway ringtone you'll be able to use on your phone. You can get it sent directly to your handset via your carrier (which is configured when you sign up for the service), or download it as an MP3 ringtone to transfer on your own. You can also share it with other ToneMine users in a massive pool. There you can preview other people's ringtones and go in to remix them if you'd like to change something. It also keeps track of how many times it's been listened to and downloaded by other users.
Despite the selection of eight packs, there's really not that much to play with, although the editor is quite snappy. As an occasional user of Apple's Garageband application, I felt like the one thing it's missing is the capability to extend a looping sound clip. Instead, you're often dragging more clips together as well as you can. The service is also missing some of the commercial tie-in you'll find on competitors like Razz and Ringblender--the latter of which actually lets you go in and remix bits of commercial songs. It also reminded me a little bit of MusicShake, which demoed at last month's TechCrunch40 conference, although with a little less extensibility.
Don't worry, LCD makers. Even if those ridiculously thin OLED screens do end up taking over the flat-display market, there will always be a use for your wares--inside engagement ring boxes.
The "Euricase" is one such example that features a 2-inch LCD inside the lid bearing your personal message, as well as a clock, alarm, calendar and even a photo album that can store either 500 images or 60 minutes of video, according to Everything USB. And at under $200, it won't cost as much as the ring itself unless you got it at the drugstore.… Read more
If the "HyperBike" ever had training wheels, they might look something like the "WheelSurf." Actually we should say training wheel, not wheels, because this contraption is just one giant ring big enough to fit a human being inside.
Hailing from the Netherlands, this $6,900 precarious-looking "mobile circle" runs on a gas-powered Honda engine that can reach more than 18 mph. The scariest-sounding thing of all is how you ride this thing: "The outer wheel revolves around propelling you forward while keeping the center level with the horizon. Steering is accomplished by moving … Read more
No, this isn't from today's Main Event. But as the Apple hype machine churns at full throttle before the opening act, it's only natural for people to dream.
To wit: The "iRing" is an ingenious concept that combines fashion jewelry and iPod control with built-in Bluetooth technology to adjust volume and playback. Following the iPhone's touch-screen influence, it has touch-sensitive "function strip" too--though we wonder how practical it is for a piece of hand jewlery to have that feature, as it would seem to get bumped around a bit and might accidentally … Read more
Google has just announced the much-rumored acquisition of communications service GrandCentral. TechCrunch broke the news about the acquisition last week and is now reporting the deal is rumored to be somewhere in the range of $50 million. Details about final price and terms are confidential.
This is Google's latest move into the telecommunications market and one of their biggest. For current GrandCentral customers, service will go uninterrupted. For users interested in signing up, GrandCentral is now limiting sign-ups to invitation only.
With speed being the defining characteristic of modernity, everything we value needs to require little effort, and be easily transferable and portable. And, of course, uber-personalized.
Which is why MojoPac is cool and kind of like Starbucks. Sure, it's a software platform, but it's really a way for you to get your own personal PC desktop wherever you want. You know, just like how I can walk down almost any street in America, find an establishment with green block-type letters and get a chai latte with 2-percent milk. It's magic, really.
Basically, when MojoPac is installed on … Read more