While the Wii U made a splash with some of my co-hosts at
last year's E3, I knew that what we had seen demonstrated was not nearly a final product. In fact, it was guaranteed that the hardware on display was possibly even pre-alpha, in that we never saw the console itself (and still have not). It all felt very Palm Pre debut, not ready for manufacturing yet. That said, this week some new photos were leaked of a possible release candidate for the new Wii U controller, and the alterations are pleasant.
One of the primary concerns we had was the analog sticks. The original handheld had the flat, rolling style, like can be found on the 3DS. On the 3DS it makes sense, as there is a cover that needs to close, and there s no other option. On this controller, however, it felt like it was done because they had them lying around, not because they are a good control. The new, altered controller has standard, mushroom-style analog sticks, which will make using them more pleasant.
For more on the changes and photos of both the original and leaked design, hit the break.
Pakistan made an interesting move this week, finding a middle ground between their
sweeping Internet blocker and publicly canceling the RFP when they Blocked all of Twitter because of an art contest. Now, this wasn't just any art contest; it was a "draw Muhammad" contest on Facebook.
Yes, you read that right - Twitter was taken down for a contest on Facebook. Let me explain. While the contest was accepting official images on Facebook, that didn't stop people from sharing and promoting the contest on Twitter. The government decided that Twitter was personally responsible for this, and asked them to take down the content. When they refused, Twitter access was suspended nationwide for most of a day.
While some think this is an isolated incident, others consider it to be a warning shot at the culture of the Internet.
After learning that Philip Falcone, CEO of LightSquared's top investor, Harbinger Capital,
may step down as public head of the company earlier in the month, we figured the tough times for the company would be over or at least kept to a minimum. Well, something rare has happened and we were wrong. I know, I'm shocked, too.
This week, LightSquared Inc. has filed for bankruptcy as it is still trying to work through the FCC rejection of its network that was supposed to supply blazing fast 4G LTE Advanced speeds to over 260 million people.
It seems that the people of Japan really enjoy their Nintendo products. They like them so much that they are always coming up with new ways to use them. This one goes farther than the odd, inappropriate videogame, though, and enters the realm of odd, inappropriate integrations. Toyota has decided to add a feature to some of their car navigation systems to allow passengers to control the system with their Nintendo DS.
The system, called
Kuruma de DS, will allow passengers to enter destinations and even see maps and points of interest on the handheld. You can even favorite places you've been or would like to go to. It is powered by a standard game cartridge that connects to the car via Bluetooth, built-in to the cartridge. The software is designed in standard Nintendo fashion, even including Miis and a very Nintendo-style speedometer. You can even use the car's speakers to play the DS sounds.
This is not going to be an inexpensive feature, though. If you want the ability to control parts of your car from your DS, it is going to cost you in the upwards of $2,500. That price is for the Smart Navi itself, and the control software will cost you another $100, assuming you already have a DS, which we all know you do. That is a very expensive toy.
As the patent wars rage on, the International casualties are rising, but home soil casualties have started to rise as well. The most recent is, once again, a Microsoft win over an Android manufacturer, this time one internal to Google: Motorola. The International Trade Commission (ITC) has ruled that Motorola has infringed on Microsoft patents in its modern Android phones and, in 60 days time, will be barred from importing those devices into the United States.
Motorola has 3 ways to avoid this block. First, they could eliminate their syncing system, which is the software that infringes on Microsoft's patents. Seeing as people want the ability to sync their phones with their computers, that seems unlikely. They could license the patent rights from Microsoft, but being as Google believes
they should be allowed to use anything, anytime, that seems just as unlikely. So, at this point, their only hope is that President Obama will overturn the ruling. Seeing as he has not done it for anyone yet, they have a tough job ahead of them.
For an insight into Motorola and Microsoft's feelings on the ruling, hit the break.
Over the past few months, the interest in micro computers has grown. For users, the ability to bring a computer with them everywhere they go and use it on any screen and have their environment stay exactly the same is useful. For developers, it is even better - no need to have your development environment installed on different computers and hope the settings are the same (which they NEVER are). Even The Pirate Bay has
an intriguing way to use them.
The only real problem has been availability. The Raspberry Pi has been on back-order with every retailer since it launched, and the Cotton Candy,
after taking pre-orders, have incredibly limited availability. What is the solution to this problem? How about a white label, no name Chinese company launching a similar device for only $74!
The device has a 1.5GHz processor, 512MB of RAM, a microSD slot, built-in WiFi, full 1080p HDMI output and Android 4.0. Being based on an ARM processor means that it can run other operating systems as well, including Windows 8 eventually. It is missing things like wireless controls (for using the computer as a media player) and no SATA capabilities, so the price difference is understandable, but it is still a fully-functional, self-contained computer for only $74.
If you had one of these bad boys today, what would you use it for? Tell us in the comments section.