To start out the Mobile World Congress right, 24 of the largest mobile operators in the world, representing a total of 3 billion customers, have come together to create an open industry platform for app developers through the Wholesale Applications Community.
The companies include China Mobile and Vodafone, the world's largest operators (almost 1 billion subscribers just to themselves), Deutsche Telekom (which operates T-Mobile USA), Verizon Wireless (partially owned by Vodafone and now owns Alltel) and Sprint Nextel, covering all of the important US carriers.
In addition to the largest players in the carrier world, the group also has the support of 3 of the important handset manufacturers: Sony Ericsson, Samsung and LG. The WAC hopes to have a standard for working cross-platform within the next year.
Like many people who use Gmail, an interesting little surprise popped up in my account this week. Google's has decided to enter the social networking game with their new service known as Google Buzz. Not only was it announced this week, but if you have a gmail account, you were automatically set up with Buzz and are following people that Google has chosen for you. Google making decisions for you?
One aspect of video games that is near and dear to my heart is soundtracks. If
Bioshock 2 can deliver a soundtrack that is even half as cool as its prequel, then we will all be in for a treat. I have some exciting news if you were wondering what kind of music would be in Bioshock 2, because you can dial into the game's Rapture Radio RIGHT NOW and listen to swinging classics from the 30s, 40s and 50s. Tap your toes and waggle your fingers in the air with songs like Fred Astaire's We Saw The Sea and many other hits from decades past.
If you are interested in listening to Rapture Radio, tune in
via iTunes or Winamp or Windows Media Player.
When I first heard that the game known as
LEGO Universe was going to be an MMO I said to myself, "You've gotta be joking." However, now that I have seen the trailer and game play for the game, I stand in front of you whole heartily corrected. Yes, it's an MMO aimed at younger gamers that seemed like just another gimmick to me, similar to the games Free Realm and Fusion Fall. Now I slap myself for putting Lego Universe in the same league as those games. Whether you have watched the trailer or not, you need to watch it right now.
Having seen that, know this: The
LEGO Universe beta is now accepting signups. We suggest you head over to the site and sign up immediately. Unfortunately, no one is guaranteed a slot in the beta so while you're waiting on confirmation why not check out some footage of the actual game in action? You can thank me later if you get into beta.
Some big news came to us from the Xbox 360 themed X10 Convention this week when Microsoft announced that we will no longer have to wait for the psychological thriller
Alan Wake. Looks like after what seems like years and years of development we will be able to get our hands on the game May 18th, when the game lands in US retail outlets. Our friends overseas won't have to wait much longer to blind people with their virtual flashlights - it will be damaging European retinas on May 21.
Those wacky Europeans are at it again. Apparently when it comes to touchscreen phones, citizens in Finland prefer resistive touchscreen phones over capacitive touchscreen phones. The reason being, capacitive screens - which rely on the electrical charge in your finger - don't work if you're wearing gloves, unlike resistive which is based on pressure. So, if you aren't a fan of the cold weather and absolutely dread taking your gloves off, even for a few seconds during an intense Finnish blizzard, there's some good news for you!
When I was reading about this I honestly didn't understand why a person couldn't just remove their gloves for a short time, but then again I am from Brazil and live in Florida - so cold isn't a word in my immediate vocabulary (until this year apparently.) Thanks to the innovative Koreans, there may be a solution for the people of Finland. Just use a sausage!