Mobile test

Stormed on the move!

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Razer intros Naga, the 17 button MMO mouse

Razer introduced a 17-button mouse for MMO’s at the Gamescom expo. Named Naga, the mouse has a twelve-digit keypad built into the left side of its shell – the perfect spot to keep your thumb busy. It connects via USB and features a 5600dpi 3.5G laser sensor, 1,000Hz ultrapolling / 1ms response time, a maximum tracking speed of 200 inches per second and Teflon feet.


To further expand the Naga’s functionality, there are MMO-specific software add-ons, you can have unlimited character profiles, and you can stack commands on any given mouse button by defining a modifier key. For instance, by holding down a keyboard key, you can configure and execute several layers of commands with a single mouse button.

For the curious, the Razer Naga’s dimensions in millimeters are 116L x 69W x 41.6H. The company says it will be available online “soon,” and will be shipping worldwide for $80.

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New Army Rifle Fires Laser-Guided Smart Bullets With Onboard Targeting Chips

New rifles with explosive rounds can be told where to detonate

It would be hard to describe a bullet as smart, but what if that bullet was laser-guided, radio-controlled, and carried an onboard targeting CPU? The US Army has announced the creation of the XM25 rifle, which can fire a new type of explosive round that fit that exact description. Imagine the implications: hitting targets inside buildings or hiding around walls. Whoa.

First, the scope on the rifle has a laser that gauges the distance to the target. The soldier can set exactly where the 25-millimeter bullet will detonate by adding or subtracting 3 meters from that point. Then, the scope will send a radio signal to a chip inside the bullet telling it how far it should travel before exploding.

Now, here’s where things get truly nuts: Each bullet has a small magnetic transducer that interacts with the Earth’s magnetic field, generating a tiny alternating current every time it spins as it speeds toward the target. Measured against the gun’s specially calibrated rifling, this means the bullet can keep track of how far it has traveled in real time. Whoa, again.

 Smart Rifle: You wont see the rifle or the bullet until its too late
Smart Rifle: You won’t see the rifle or the bullet until it’s too late

The Army has proposed the uses can range from hitting enemies hidden in trenches (as pictured above), or even hitting a sniper hiding in a building by setting the range about a meter beyond the window. They are also proposed as a smarter alternative to grenade launchers, which can serve the same purpose but be less accurate and have limited range, making them more prone to collateral damage.

The Army will begin field tests with the XM25 system soon, with hopes of deploying it into regular duty by 2012.

Smart Bullets In Action: Trenches are no longer a safe place to hide

Smart Bullets In Action: Trenches are no longer a safe place to hide

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A Storm is brewing..

…it’s heading for StormerClan, watch out…

Its brewing, its coming, ..what is it???

Its brewing, its coming, ..what is it???

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Rare photo. End of the rainbow found!

From: OCregister – We received several storm photographs from readers Saturday, including one that depicted something that’s very, very rarely seen, especially in Southern California — the end of the rainbow. A reader, who has finally been identified as Jason Erdkamp of Lake Forest, took this photo while traveling north on the 241 Tollroad in northeast Orange County. Stefanie Sullivan, a forecaster for the National Weather Service, says she’s never seen the “end” of the rainbow, partly because there are so many buildings and other structures in Southern California. I haven’t, either. And I lived in South Florida for 5 years. South Florida is very flat, and the afternoon storm activity produces many rainbows. But I never saw the end of one.

The end of the rainbow!

The end of the rainbow!

Several readers at OCregister have said in the Comments section that they think this image was PhotoShopped. Nick: But it appears that this image is genuine. I have now had it reviewed by 7 people — 3 veteran photographers, a top-notch graphic designer who specializes in PhotoShop,m and 3 meteorologists at the National Weather Service. We also uploaded the image to Flickr and checked the lat/long of the image, which was taken with an iPhone. The info box says the photo was taken where the reader said it was taken. And the info text says the photo was not manipulated.

The photo was reviewed by: photographers Jebb Harris, Michele Cardon and Nick Koon, graphic artist Rick Ho, and meteorologists Mark Moede, Stefanie Sullivan and Brandt Maxwell. I’m stating these names for transparency.

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AMD launches external graphics card box

The Register has this on a new external graphics solution for laptops! Could this finally be the answer for laptop gamers?

AMD external graphics

AMD used the Computex show in Taipei this week to propose XGP – eXternal Graphics Platform, a slimline box you connect your GPU-lite laptop to when you need more graphics horsepower.

Fujitsu Siemens (FSC) was on hand to demo the concept with its Amilo GraphicBooster, an AppleTV-like unit with an AMD ATI Radeon HD 3870 GPU built in and hooked up to 512GB of GDDR 3 memory. The box can drive four displays simultaneously, the company claimed.

AMD’s pitch is that users will be able to connect their slim’n'light laptops to an XGP, which will supply the level of graphical grunt that they don’t need when they’re on the move and, more importantly, running on battery power.

XGPs are designed to be hot-pluggable, the driver knowing about and enabling the use of the discrete GPU as soon as it’s connected to the host.

With that multi-monitor support, XGP will undoubtedly also be pitched at businesses who want to give their laptop-equipped workers multi-display desktops.

Of course, this is the same notion companies like DisplayLink are peddling, but they’re delivering multi-screen support over USB using the host system’s GPU. AMD’s approach – since it’s in the business of selling more graphics chips – is to add a second GPU to the system.

That said, Fujistu Siemens has its eye on the consumer market – we understand it’s pitching the technology to Dixons and other big retailers – as a way to allow ordinary punters to effectively upgrade their older laptops’ graphics capabilities. The technology doesn’t require an external monitor – the XGP can render images on the host laptop’s own screen.

AMD's XGP connectorYet another video connector for your laptop

Much will depend on the extent to which AMD pushes XGP as part of its ‘Puma’ notebook platform, and engages with bodies like the PCI SIG to turn XGP into a true standard. At that point, we might see all those Intel-based laptops taking on the technology.

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Music ‘can enhance wine taste’

News @ the BBC website..

Playing a certain type of music can enhance the way wine tastes, research by psychologists suggests.

The Heriot Watt University study found people rated the change in taste by up to 60% depending on the melody heard. The researchers said cabernet sauvignon was most affected by “powerful and heavy” music, and chardonnay by “zingy and refreshing” sounds. Professor Adrian North said the study could lead retailers to put music recommendations on their wine bottles.

The research involved 250 students at the university who were offered a free glass of wine in exchange for their views.

Musical wine!

Brain theory

Four types of music were played – Carmina Burana by Orff (“powerful and heavy”), Waltz of the Flowers from The Nutcracker by Tchaikovsky (“subtle and refined”), Just Can’t Get Enough by Nouvelle Vague (“zingy and refreshing”) and Slow Breakdown by Michael Brook (“mellow and soft”)

The white wine was rated 40% more zingy and refreshing when that music was played, but only 26% more mellow and soft when music in that category was heard.

The red was altered 25% by mellow and fresh music, yet 60% by powerful and heavy music.

The results were put down to “cognitive priming theory”, where the music sets up the brain to respond to the wine in a certain way.

Read the rest of “Music ‘can enhance wine taste’” »

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Phone unlocking with ease!

FOR ANYONE who has spent hours trawling the Net for hacks that unlock GSM mobile phones, the Simable is a gift. It unlocked the INQ’s Nokia N95, for example, in seconds.

The reality is that most handset vendors – particularly Nokia, Samsung and LG, have been getting much slicker at ‘locking’ GSM handsets into the particular network which supplied the mobile in the first place.

That can prove quite frustrating especially given that UK network operators, for example, are locking their post-paying customers into 18 month contracts. So you can’t easily take your new phone to a new network.

See the full article here:
http://www.theinquirer.net/gb/inquirer/news/2008/05/13/easy-peazy-handset-unlocking

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Robot dog, if it makes the army, could we see it in COD one day?

Cool robotic dog news from PCPRo

Boston Dynamics' project to create "a robot with animal-like strength, speed and mobility" seems to be firmly on track judging by an astounding new video demonstration.

The company was contracted by the US Department of Defense with the aim of creating a quadruped pack-robot capable of carrying a soldier's kit into battle, while traversing rough terrain including slopes of up to 45 degrees.

Earlier videos of "Big Dog" showed a Star Wars cast-off trundling across various flat terrain, but the latest video indicates the team is making good use of its $10 million Defense Advance Research Projects Agency (DARPA) award. The robot now appears eerily lifelike, bouncing along like a demented Bambi, its legs splaying and bending as it slips on ice.

Its movement looks so real that we actually sympathised with the robot when a researcher kicked it over to demonstrate how it regains its balance.

According to Boston Dynamics the new version of the robot can carry 154kg, triple its previous load. Sadly though, there's no word yet on when Big Dog will be carrying ammunition into battle, let alone when we'll each have one to carry our shopping home.

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Make your Wii Nunchuck wireless!!

No need to whine anymore about the little wire that connects the Wii console’s main Remote to the Nunchuck as gaming peripherals manufacturer Nyko has created a wireless alternative!!

Make your Wi Nunchuck wireless!

Nyko’s Cord-Free system boasts:

  • A wireless dongle that slots into the Remote at the point where the Nunchuck’s cord would normally connect.
  • The unit’s powered by two AAA batteries.
  • The Nunchuck slots into a specialist holder with a cord wrap at the bottom, which keeps the Nunchuck cable compressed and tidy. Makes the Nunchuck look like a joystick!
  • Nyko claims you’ll get around 60 hours of gameplay out of its set-up
  • Gamers can stand up to four-and-a-half metres away from the Wii before the wireless connection drops out

Looks good!

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