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546 results for office
Pyramat Wireless PC Gaming OFFICE Chair 2.1 amazing! in Hardware, Internet, Networking, Comms and Security
Just found this at www.BoysStuff.co.uk! And they have it available now!
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It’s amazing – I want one.
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Christmas here we come!
Posted by colinc Wed Jul 16, 2008 8:53 am
Pyramat Wireless PC Gaming OFFICE Chair 2.1 amazing! in Hardware, Internet, Networking, Comms and Security
Just found this at www.BoysStuff.co.uk! And they have it available now!
<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /><o:p> </o:p>
It’s amazing – I want one.
<o:p> </o:p>
Christmas here we come!
Posted by colinc Wed Jul 16, 2008 8:52 am
Pyramat Wireless PC Gaming OFFICE Chair 2.1 amazing! in Hardware, Internet, Networking, Comms and Security
Just found this at www.BoysStuff.co.uk! And they have it available now!
<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /><o:p> </o:p>
It’s amazing – I want one.
<o:p> </o:p>
Christmas here we come!
Posted by colinc Wed Jul 16, 2008 8:52 am
Rethinking Traditional Advertising Methods in Business and Industry in Gaming, Media, Web, IT and Computing
You see, for all the talk of monthly periodicals' demise, SEO'simpending reign, the downfall of FM stations and television'sinevitable implosion, we, err, sort of forgot to mention one thing:essentially that, despite posting up ratings far from the halcyon daysof the pre-TMZ.com era, mass media outlets such as ABC, CBS, CNN andNBC; Time, Newsweek and USA Today;and even regional Cineplex chains still generate the kind of audiencenumbers most interactive entertainment execs would give their last USBcable to connect with. Tactics may be changing, with custom tradeshows,advertorials, movie-type trailers and cover wraps replacing simple pageads and product giveaways. But as an industry, we're far from preparedto divorce ourselves completely from traditional advertisingplacements, or shift marketing dollars exclusively onto the Internet.

"Something most gamemarketers miss about the broadcast space is the need to keep messagingpointed and simple" - Steven Roberts, DIRECTV

To wit, column after news brief after investigative report may continueto bemoan the death of old-world media. However, as any marketingdirector can attest, its core vehicles still remain one of the bestways to rapidly generate mass awareness amongst PC- or console-owningaudiences. Hence, although blogs and video aggregators deliver greatbang for the buck and generate tremendous street-level buzz, theycontinue to be promotional outlets that most core publishers have yetto wholly embrace, let alone fully commit to. Thus the reign ofhigh-profile primetime spots for titles like Grand Theft Auto, Madden and Halo rolls on.
And so, just as I humble myself before my new daughter, who hasn't meta pair of slacks she hasn't enjoyed redecorating yet, I willinglyprostrate myself before the industry-at-large and beg forgiveness. Asthe following executives – representing the television, motion pictureand direct marketing industries, respectively – are quick to remind, weshould all think twice before acting so rashly and completely writingthese businesses off.
Suffice it to say that they may not generate the same kind of headlinesin 2008 as rich media providers, online networks or widget creators,but thanks to new technology, changing tastes and increasing audiencefragmentation, let's just say they're far from out of the game.
Steven Roberts
Vice President & General Manager, Games and StrategicInitiatives for DIRECTV, overseeing broadcast ventures like 24/7interactive games channel Game Lounge and the internationally televisedChampionship Gaming Series professional league.
"Broadcast TV is absolutely not dead – just changing. Popular as gamingis, you can't look at entertainment in a vacuum... you have to considerthe overall mass-market. There are 120 million television homes outthere, with millions of people who just want to be entertained in thesame way they have for the last 50 years. NFL football still puts uphuge ratings every Sunday, and millions still tune in to watch livemusic and sports – you don't see that on an Xbox 360 console.
"True, television has to evolve, and will become more interactive toengage subscribers... if that's what users want. But what we're reallylooking at here in the immediate is developers/publishers grapplingwith a question of increasing audience segmentation. Something mostgame marketers miss about the broadcast space is the need to keepmessaging pointed and simple. That doesn't mean downplaying keyelements or features that you want understood: Just presenting them ina straightforward, easily comprehensible way that speaks to a specificaudience. Implementing better virtual cameras into games would be awelcome start... For broadcasters, it's very difficult to showdifferent elements of a title in ways instantly conducive to helpingpeople understand what it's all about.
"It's also important to look beyond the 30-second spot. There's plentyof room for advertisers to tap into broadcast vehicles, whether throughtelevised competitions, interactive online program extensions orproduct integration. Placing games front and center by showing ahalf-hour of screens, video footage and people playing these titlesmakes sense. But what you really need for effective campaigns here isto build elements of user interaction into your advertising and pair itwith programming that's consistent with the demographics of the gameitself.
"It all comes back to basics. People won't skip an ad on a DVR or turnaway to get a glass of milk if it's compelling, the message is clearand it's telling you something that you want to hear. Creative doesn'tjust have to wow either: It also has to make sense for the audiencesegment. While marketing can be fun and have an edge to it, ultimately,for on-air placements, it's vital to make sure the message is verytargeted, specific and simple."
"For all the uproar surrounding the movie business lately, gamemarketers shouldn't underestimate in-cinema advertising's power. Mostmedia features a device (remote control, mouse click, radio dial, etc.)that lets audiences tune unwanted messaging out. But at the theater,you've paid to be there, are a captive audience and want to beentertained. This receptivity begets results if the creative is good:Recall scores average around 60%, with categories like gaming actuallysoaring into the 80-90% range.
"Definitely, the big screen's sexy. Via streaming media, you canliterally send ads for M-rated games to all R-rated movie screenings inany given city; appear alongside only specific types of films; ordeliver different messages to different geographic markets on-demand.But publishers need to look beyond the most obvious opportunities –lobbies can also be a marketing wonderland. Standees, banners,concession items... From 20-minute pre-shows packed with original,exclusive and entertaining content to game posters disguised to looklike cinematic counterparts, options for building brand equity areendless.
"Hollywood is far from dead. Are gamers going to see Shrek, The Matrix and Pirates of the Caribbean?Of course... it's common sense. Research also shows emotions aremagnified at the theater – and the same holds for audience reactions tocommercials as well as films. It's hard to argue with a dark room, agiant screen and a group of people who've willingly paid to be thereand want to see what's in store.
"Also note – 80% of tickets are sold on weekends, a time when peoplewant to go shopping, and theaters are generally located in shoppingdistricts. Stick a retail discount on a box office handout, and youdon't just achieve grassroots interaction, or present a clear call toaction. It's also conceivably the last message a consumer sees beforehaving to drive home past a Best Buy or Wal-Mart where your game'sconveniently stocked."

"People are more distracted than ever – advertisers need to cut throughthe clutter. You have to find ways to surprise and entertainaudiences... It's important to design options that let you really spendtime with consumers in a meaningful way.
"Consider core gamers. You can look at where they're hanging out – atfraternity houses, sports bars, military bases, wherever – thendiscover ways to be there. It's even possible to reach players atschool and weave gaming properties into an educational message. Theseinstitutions appreciate it when game companies can provide them withbranded book covers, locker calendars or workshops that incorporatethese titles to teach lessons, just to name a few possible choices.
"Basically, you have to create options that make sense for the contentand target demographic, then craft a vehicle that fits. This could be abranded video game tournament, for example, or involve catching fans ata sporting event and giving them things they can wear to the game.There are alternative ways to reach virtually any shopper.
"It's crucial for publishers to connect with fans on a one-on-onelevel, because as excited as TV/film imagery can make them, people wantto go hands-on and try your games. To do so, you have to interface withthem on the street. Demos at malls, movie theaters, health clubs, etc.are essential to building buzz: There's a direct link between samplersconverting into purchasers. Experience is everything, and consumers aregoing to be the strongest ambassadors for your brand – word-of-mouth isincredibly powerful in the enthusiast gaming community.
"A holistic strategy is important, though: Alternative marketing shouldjust be one part of a diversified tactical plan. If I can see an ad foryour game during Lost or American Idol, then it happens to be at a barwhere I can try it, it'll pique my interest... Suddenly, brand andbuyer are making a meaningful connection. Remember though, that theseplacements have to be unobtrusive. You can't invade someone's space –you have to make kiosks, stands, booths, etc. – something that adds to,not takes away from, the entertainment value of any activity or event."
Posted by Editorial Team Tue Jul 08, 2008 7:40 am
AMD with three new Phenom CPUs at opposite ends of market in Hardware, Internet, Networking, Comms and Security
The raw specs are 140W TDP for the 9950 at 2.6GHz and 65W for the 9350e at2.0GHz and 9150e at 1.8GHz. The prices are $235, $195 and $175 respectively, andthe sharp-eyed among you will notice that the 9950 costs exactly what the 9850does. That is because in a week, on July 7, the 9850 will drop to $205. Bothwill remain 'Black', but the 9950 will be blacker because, before the end of theyear, the 9850 will fade from black, and go back to a locked part.
You have to wonder why AMD is bothering to lock Phenoms at all, with theBlack parts selling at effectively no premium, why not just let people have fun.Anything AMD can do to foster the enthusiast market at this point is probably agood thing, and if you don't have the raw speed, play up the features.
In any case, the interesting part of the bunch is the 9350e. It isn't a barnburner, but for media center boxes, coupled with a 780G board, or better yet a790GX, it could be a pretty solid media/casual gaming rig. This part fills ahole in the market, there aren't any sub 95W Intel quads out there formainstream consumer use, but there could be quite easily if the 9350e is a hit.
In any case, hardcore gamers will probably turn up their noses at the lowclock speeds in the -e parts, but as long as you are not trying to eke out thelast FPS, these parts would make a dandy low-noise desktop.
So, how did they do? Using the same exact setup as the we did with theoriginal780G review, the numbers lined up quite well. To recap, that is a GigabyteGA-MA78GM-2SH mobo, Corsair DDR2 1066 memory and a PC Power and Cooling/OCZSilencer 750W PSU. Power draw was measured at the wall with an Extech True RMSPower Analyser. The same caveat as last time needs to be said, the PSU isunderworked and far less efficient that it would be if we were pulling 500+ W,so knock about 20+ per cent off the wall power to get power used by the boarditself.
We ran our usual power draw test, 3DMark06 under XP SP3 patched to current asof June 28. Just for fun, we threw in the 4850e and the X4 9600 from the lasttest, as well as the 8750 X3. So now you can compare a K8, X3, X4 B2 and a X4 -ein terms of power. It looks like this.

The raw numbers
The lowest idle number is of course the 4850e, and it beats the quads byalmost 20W, the really odd part is the greater than 20W gap from there to the8750 X3. Lose one core, gain 20W? Binning problem, or binning opportunity? Thedual core 4850e also takes the bottom of the loaded power charts, and there is abig 33W gap to the 9350e. From there, the 8750 and 9600 are almost on top ofeach other.
Performance is about where you would expect it to be, the 4850e taking up thebottom with sub-1200 scores, and the others right on top of each other at1540+/-2. A quick overclock of the 9600 to 2.8GHz barely moved the score, so3DMark06 looks pretty GPU bound here.
In the end, with the new parts are priced pretty low, but won't challengeIntel for supremacy. For the high end 9950, you gain 100MHz for a few watts somake sure your mobo can handle the extra. In a week, it will not cost you anymore than a 9850, so you might want to hold off for a few days.
The 9350e and the 9150e look to be solid and inexpensive workhorses for theHTPC/SFF/quiet office PC set. You give up 200MHz for 30W, not a bad trade. Theyare solidly mid-range parts that won't stun any gamers, but they plug gaps inthe market, and do so quite nicely.
Posted by Editorial Team Tue Jul 01, 2008 7:15 am
Spore Creature Creator tops US charts - have you got it? in Gaming
The NPD Group has released US PC software sales datafor the week ending June 21, with EA's Spore Creature Creator comingout on top.
Maxis reported that one millionSpore creatures were created and shared during the stand-aloneprogram's first week of availability. The full Spore game will bereleased in September.
Sales of Spore Creature Creator werestrong enough to place the game at number six on the All Categorieslist - the only game to appear alongside business, education andutility software.
                   
The Top Ten best-selling PC games in the US for the week ending June 21 were:

  • 1      Spore Creature Creator (EA)
  • 2 The Sims 2 Double Deluxe (EA)
  • 3 Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures (Eidos)
  • 4 World Of Warcraft: Burning Crusade Expansion Pack (Vivendi&gt;
  • 5 World Of Warcraft (Vivendi)
  • 6 World Of Warcraft: Battle Chest (Vivendi)
  • 7 The Sims 2 FreeTime Expansion Pack (EA)
  • 8 The Sims 2 Kitchen & Bath Interior Design Stuff Expansion Pack     (EA)
  • 9      Call Of Duty 4: Modern Warfare     (Activision)
  • 10 Lego Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures (LucasArts)


The Spore Creature Creator was software that allowed players to create their own creatures with a standalone version of the Creature Editor from Spore; the software was one of the first aspects of the game to receive focused development, and had undergone ten rewrites since the start of development. It was rated E by the ESRB in early March 2008, indicating that the editor would be released separately well before the game's release as a utility program. Electronic Arts told MTV Asia that "EA Screen will provide visitors a chance to interact with EA's game producers hailing from the studios, and unveil the hugely anticipated SPORE Creature Creator demo version to gamers for the first time in Asia." Electronic Arts VP Mark Buechner stated on the Spore Facebook page that the editor would be released in June or July 2008, saying, "We are looking at releasing it two to three months before the launch of the full game."

The SimCity Box artwork showed a blurb stating that the creature editor would be included with it. IGN revealed that the Spore Creature Creator utility will be available in two different versions on June 18, 2008. There was a paid version (for $9.95) and a free demo that was downloadable from Spore.com and included for free, bundled with The SimCity Box. The free version of the editor only contained 25% of the available creature parts that were found within the full version.

The utility included a test environment for players to see their creatures go through animations and allow the player to import other user-created creatures through the Sporepedia at Spore.com. The utility included screen capture and video tools as well, including YouTube functionality.

The editor also gave the user the ability to create animated avatars,and output in RSS and embeddable HTML code to facilitate easy incorporation into such sites as MySpace and Facebook.

Shortly after its introduction, the Creature Creator was used to create creatures with oversized genitalia, either stand-alone or engaged in coitus (a phenomenon quickly dubbed 'sporn'). EA responded with e-mails sent to those who made pornographic machinima from its demo, and has flagged certain on-line accounts for "TOS violations". Furthermore, YouTube has pulled several such videos for violations of its own TOS.

By June 24, 2008, users had already created over one million creatures.

It has been noted by those using the Spore Creature Creator, that while the Social and Attack categories can reach a max score of 20 with enough parts on the creature, the Abilities category does not achieve a max in the Creature Creator. This has led to speculation from it being the brain levels to advanced sensory abilities to telekinesis.


Electronic Arts confirmed that Spore will be receiving post-release expansion packs. No other information is available as to what sort of content the packs will feature, but EA has hinted it will be similar to The Sims expansions.


In the news
Spore Creature Creator free in the UK Videogamer.com

A Wii spinoff of the game has been mentioned by Will Wright several times, such as in his October 26, 2007 interview with the Guardian.Buechner confirmed it, revealing that plans for a Wii version were underway, and that the game would be built from the ground up and would take advantage of the Wii Remote, stating, "We're not porting it over. You know, we're still so early in design and prototyping that I don't know where we're going to end up, so I don't want to lead you down one path. But suffice to say that it's being developed with the Wii controls and technology in mind."The Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions of Spore are still under consideration.

Merchandising

There will be an iTunes-style "Spore Store" built into the game, allowing players to purchase external Spore licensed merchandise, such as t-shirts, posters, and future Spore expansion packs.There are also plans for the creation of a type of Spore collectible card game based on the Sporepedia cards of the creatures, buildings, vehicles, and planets that have been created by the players.There are also indications of plans for the creation of customized creature figurines; some of those who designed their own creatures at E3 2006 later received 3D printed models of the creatures they created. The Spore Store also allows people to put their creatures on such items as T-shirts, mugs and stickers.

The Spore team is working on a partnership with a comic creation software company to offer comic book versions of your own Spore story. Comic books with stylized pictures of various creatures, some whose creation has been shown in various presentations, can be seen on the walls of the Spore team's office.
Posted by Editorial Team Tue Jul 01, 2008 7:13 am
Games Industry Movers: Trion, 38 Studios, Kongregate & M in Business and Industry in Gaming, Media, Web, IT and Computing
his past week, 38 Studios (the developer founded by Red Sox pitcherCurt Schilling) announced that Thom Ang was appointed Director of Art.He will oversee the direction and management of 38 Studios' artisticdevelopment, including the MMOG codenamed Copernicus, whileworking closely with Todd McFarlane and R. A. Salvatore. Ang willreport to Vice President of Creative Development, Scott Cuthbertson.
"38 Studios' creative teams have been meticulously crafting thesignature look and feel for our upcoming MMOG over the past 18 months,"said Brett Close, CEO and president. "Thom's extraordinary talent andexperience will be key in driving the vision and quality of our OnlineEntertainment Experience."
Ang has been working as a director for notable franchises and brandsfor over 15 years. He's worked as a senior artist at DisneyInteractive, working on titles like Toy Story II and Tarzan. Ang also created illustrations for TV shows, including The X-Files and was a storyboard artist for Sony/Columbia/Tri-Star TV Animation programs, which include Roughnecks: Starship Troopers Chronicles and Max Steel.He then moved on to be art director at EA LA, where he headed up artproduction, team management and visual concept development for the Medal of Honor franchise. In his last position, Ang was art director at THQ, managing more than 25 titles.
"38 Studios is absolutely committed to the next evolution of MMOGs, andevery team member has great pride in the value of what they do,"remarked Ang. "I am excited to contribute to this vision and become apart of an extraordinary team."
Lisa Jablonsky - Kongregate
Kongregate announced this past Friday that Lisa Jablonsky will open thecompany's New York ad sales office. She will work with Kongregate'sChief Revenue Officer Lee Uniacke to secure high-profile advertisingpartnerships based on the site's reach and appeal to young men, ages 13- 34.
"With high user engagement and a growth rate of over 25 percent monthover month, Kongregate provides the ideal medium for advertisers tryingto reach this hard-to-pin-down demographic," stated Uniacke. "As webuild our sales force to address these opportunities, Lisa's proventrack record in developing successful partnerships across a range ofyouth-driven digital consumer brands will add tremendously to theexpertise of our team."
Jablonsky has worked in the New York advertising scene for 21 years andshe was as an early proponent of the digital advertising arena. Amongher projects, she has conceptualized and implemented ground-breakingfilm contests for Intel and Kohl's, and created one of the first mobilecontests for Alltel. Jablonsky helped create games for McAfee Softwareand the National Guard, as well as construct an editorial integrationprogram for Coke's NBA March Madness Flash game. She was most recentlyan account executive with MTV Networks, where she successfully droveadvertising and integrated sponsorships for Comedy Central,AddictingGames.com, Shockwave.com, and AtomFilms.
"Kongregate is an advertiser's dream as it attracts young men betterthan virtually any other site on the Web and puts them in a cool, edgyenvironment where our audience can really interact with their brand,"commented Jablonsky. "At over 3 million unique users today, a highgrowth rate, and just being named one of Time Magazine's Top 50 sitesfor 2008, we're on track to give advertisers the big reach that theyneed to effectively target the young male demographic this fall."
Trion World Network - Glen Van Datta
Trion World Network announced recently that Glen Van Datta has beenhired as Vice President of Engineering and General Manager of TrionWorld Network Austin. He will oversee day to day operations at Trion'sAustin studio and supervise all customer service, quality assurance,operations and other support activities with relation to the Trionplatform.
"Glen is a tremendous hire for Trion and an excellent addition to ourworld class technical organization", said Nicholas Beliaeff, VicePresident of Product Development & Head of Trion World Network SanDiego. "Glen's vision, leadership, and deep history maturing andproductizing compelling online game technology will help Trion take ourserver based game technology to the highest levels while helping us andour partners get to market more quickly."
Notably, Van Datta has worked for over 22 years in softwaredevelopment, including the past dozen in game development. He wasco-founder and Vice President of Engineering at RTIME, where he oversawthe development, design and testing of the RTIME SDK online, in-gameand player matching platform. Van Datta most recently worked at SCEA asDirector of Online Technology, where he oversaw a team of more than 80employees that developed SCE-RT SDK to enable online games for PS2, PS3and PSP games, including Singstar, Warhawk, Resistance, Home and GT5 Prologue.
"For more than 12 years I've believed that online games, online socialnetworks and online media distribution were the future ofentertainment," said Van Datta. "Trion's innovative, dynamic platformand content are the next generation in the online entertainment space."
IGN Entertainment – Jamie Berger
IGN Entertainment announced recently that senior vice president ofconsumer products and technology Jamie Berger will start overseeingbusiness development for the company. He will continue managing IGN'ssubscriptions, digital distribution, and e-commerce portfolio includingIGN's Direct2Drive and GameSpy Technologies.
Berger has over 16 years of professional brand management and marketingexperience from within the online gaming industry. He began hisprofessional career as an Account Manager with the NCR Corporation.Berger spent six years in the consumer products division of The WaltDisney Company before joining IGN Entertainment. He currently helpsextend the IGN brand by creating and leading partnerships thatdistribute content and drive revenue.
AMD - Emilio Ghilardi
AMD, which runs the ATI graphics card business, announced this pastweek that Emilio Ghilardi has been appointed senior vice president andgeneral manager of Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA). He will beresponsible for all sales and marketing operations within EMEA,starting in mid-August 2008. Ghilardi will report to AMD chief salesofficer Gustavo Arenas.
"Emilio adds tremendous global sales and marketing leadership to AMD inEMEA which we expect to help strengthen and grow relationships with ourend-user customers, OEMs and distribution partners," said Arenas.
Ghilardi comes to AMD from HP, where he started as vice president ofConsumer PC Clients in EMEA. He then moved on to be vice president andgeneral manager of Commercial Hardware within the Imaging and PrintingGroup. Ghilardi was most recently vice president and general manager ofHP's EMEA Consumer Business Unit, managing the business for consumerPCs and Imaging and Printing products.
AMD added that Alberto Macchi, corporate vice president of Sales andMarketing for EMEA, is departing the company "to pursue newopportunities."
Warner Bros. Digital Distribution - Jacqueline Jourdain Hayes
Warner Bros. Digital Distribution (WBDD) recently announced thatJacqueline Jourdain Hayes has been named Senior Vice President Businessand Legal Affairs. She will manage legal issues around new digitalbusiness models (such as distribution of Warner properties on Xbox Liveand elsewhere) globally, oversee the negotiation of Warner Bros.video-on-demand and electronic sell-through licenses across multipledigital platforms, and provide legal counsel to the Company's seniormanagement on the acquisition, distribution and protection of contentfor digital platforms and other digital initiatives.
"Jackie has been working on our digital business for quite some time,her expertise in this area is unparalleled," said Clarissa Weirick,General Counsel, WBDD. "The digital business is still one of thoseareas where you are often making the rules as you go along, whichrequires someone like Jackie who is confident and creative innegotiating this new terrain. We are extremely fortunate to have hercontinued expertise as our digital business moves ahead."
Hayes has worked as an Associate in the Corporate Departments of TroopMeisinger Steuber & Pasich in Los Angeles, of Goulston and Storrs,P.C. in Boston, and of Moses & Singer in New York City. She joinedWarner Home Video in 1998 as Counsel, and was promoted to VicePresident Business and Legal Affairs of WHV in 2000. Hayes joined theWarner Bros. Digital Distribution division in July 2006.
TC Digital Games – Andi Smithers
Recently, TC Digital Games announced that it appointed Andi Smithers tothe new position of Director of Technical Development. He will overseedevelopment of the company's digital services, including mediatechnology and format strategy as well as interoperability of digitalservices and devices.
"Andi joins our team at a pivotal moment in the evolution of Chaoticand TC Digital," said Bryan C. Gannon, President and CEO of TC DigitalGames. "He will become an integral part of our efforts to enhance theChaotic online experience and further develop our digital services.Andi's expertise in developing technology, his extensive background increating computer game software and his vision for emerging technologymake him a perfect fit to lead this innovative game play convergence."
Smithers has held several executive roles and technical positionsthroughout his 20-year career, having worked for Microsoft, Activision,Psygnosis, LucasArts, and Midway. He was most recently with Sony OnlineEntertainment where he served as Senior Engineer in the Research andDevelopment group. Smithers pushed advanced physics and graphicstechnologies forward to ensure their quality and was responsible foroverseeing the strategy and development for a cloth simulator.
Microsoft – Michael Delman
As we previously reported, Microsoft this past week appointed MichaelDelman to the position of corporate vice president of global marketingfor the Interactive Entertainment Business (IEB) in the Entertainmentand Devices Division. He takes over the role for Jeff Bell who left thecompany earlier this month. Read more about the move here.
Posted by Editorial Team Mon Jun 30, 2008 6:42 am
NHS orders mass keyboard clean-up in Business and Industry in Gaming, Media, Web, IT and Computing
If you’ve read the reportsabout the average office keyboard being dirtier than a toilet seat, youmay want to take a leaf out of the NHS’ book. The healthcare body hasordered thousands of specialist germ-resistant keyboards.
According to a reportby the Press Association, the keyboards are completely flat and coveredwith a hypoallergenic coating that it’s claimed repells bacteria. AnLED built into each keyboard also flashes when it's due for a rub-downand the light only stops flashing once sensors are satisfied that thekeyboard’s been well cleaned with alcohol wipes.
Traditional keyboards can harbour lots of nasty germs, partlybecause they are rarely cleaned and becuase so many office workers eatlunch at their desks. Just try tipping your keyboard upside down now.Of course, returning to your desk without washing your hands after avist to the lav won't help matters either.

The NHS hopes the keyboard order, which is thought to be for 7500keyboards at a cost of over £1m in total, will help cut infection ratesand reduce instances of superbugs, like MRSA.
Dr Peter Wilson, a University College London Hospital consultantmicrobiologist and co-inventor of the cleaner keyboard, told the PAthat in tests the keyboards were shown to have a positive impact onkeyboard cleanliness.
The NHS’ keyboards will be manufactured by a US-based firm, butsimilar germ-resistant PC peripherals can already be ordered online.Manufacturer Man & Machine, which is taking Apple to court over the Mighty Mouse name, sells several ‘clean’ keyboard designs online.
Posted by Editorial Team Mon Jun 23, 2008 4:55 pm
Nokia N78 in Entertainment, Film and Music, Mobile devices and media
Nokia’s latest N-series "multmedia computer" bundles a 3.2-megapixelcamera, music player, satnav and maps into a sleek go-anywhere,do-it-all device. Wherever you happen to find yourself, you’ll be gladyou brought it.
The N78 is certainly a classy looking handset, and the smart touchgoes much deeper than its looks. Its sleek, gloss-black front may atfirst glance resemble the touch-sensitive minimalism of LG’s oft-copiedChocolate series, but in use, all is not as it seems.
Nokia's N78: packs in feature after feature

To press the illuminated buttons you actually press the plasticcasing inwards. The cover bends to accommodate your thumb rather thanreacting purely to your touch. It might seem like a low-techalternative, but in practice it seemed more reliable than thetouch-sensitive option, which in our experience can be a bittemperamental.
Nokia’s solution is a good combination of style and practicality.The numeric keypad is actually four raised plastic strips, with thenumbers backlit just above them. It looks lovely, but takes a bit ofgetting used to, and it has to be said that this keypad is far from thebest for rapid or prolonged texting.
The face of the phone oozes minimalist class, but strangely, theback feels like its made from low-grade material and creaks in yourhand, which detracts from the cool image. There’s another surprisehidden in the square navpad. Rubbing your thumb around the edgeactivates what Nokia calls the "navi-wheel", which moves the cursoraround the screen without the need to press the pad.
You can also do the iTrip thing with the built-in FM transmitter andbeam your music to your car radio. Incidentally, the Navi-wheel reallycomes into its own as you scroll through your music playlists, behavinglike a tiny version of Apple’s scroll wheel. Hmmm, are we sensing apattern here?
Of the few problems we encountered with this phone, there were theusual Symbian issues of running slowly when you’ve got severalapplications open at once, but it was nippy enough when we stuck todoing one or two things at a time and it was easy to switch offbackground applications using the aforementioned Applications button.

70MB of memory on board - plus a Micro SD slot for more

If the 3.6Mb/s HSDPA connection isn’t fast enough, you can alsoconnect over Wi-Fi. The usual N-series web browser is here in fulleffect, with options for viewing in landscape or portrait mode, pluszoom and the ability to flick through previously viewed pages. There’salso a PDF viewer and QuickOffice for viewing Microsoft Officedocuments, though if you want to create them you’ll have to pay for thefull Office suite.
And as a Symbian phone there are of course plenty more third-party apps available.
Battery life was pretty good, and we got a good three days ofmoderate use out of it, though heavy browsing will of course reducethis quite dramatically.
VerdictFrom its sleek, minimalist good looks to its raft of impressivelywell-integrated features, the N78 is a gorgeous little number. The3.2-megapixel camera, feature-packed music player, A-GPS and maps,quality web browser plus documents readers and email make it an idealtravelling companion for business or pleasure.
Posted by Editorial Team Thu Jun 19, 2008 4:03 pm
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Posted by kcsbpo2007 Fri Jun 13, 2008 2:41 am
Instant messaging cuts, doesnt cause office interruptions in Business and Industry in Gaming, Media, Web, IT and Computing
Instant messaging could bea way to reduce interruptions at the workplace, rather than cause them, as ispopularly believed.

A new study has found that instant messaging orIM, is now being often used as a substitute for more disruptive forms ofcommunication like the telephone, e-mail and personal chats.

Thisfinding flies in the face of earlier research which concluded that IM--alongwith phones and e-mail--was the cause of increased interruptions at work andresulted in reduced output.

But according to R Kelly Garrett of OhioState University and co-author of the study, using IM led to more onlineconversations, which were a lot briefer than other forms of communications.“We found that the effect of IM is actually positive. People who used IMreported that they felt they were being interrupted less frequently,” hesaid.

The study involved 912 people who worked at least 30 hours aweek and used a computer for at least five hours daily.

The key tounlocking IM’s effects lies in how people are using the technology,Garrett said.
Instead of dropping in unexpectedly, many are using thetechnology to check in with co-workers to see when they are available. Many alsouse the technology to get quick answers to general questions or to inquire aboutcurrent work tasks instead of engaging in longer face-to-face conversations.

Because of its unique set-up, instant messaging allows users tocontrol how and when they communicate with co-workers.

The findingsof the study have been published in the latest issue of the Journal of ComputerMediated Communication.
Posted by Editorial Team Mon Jun 09, 2008 8:57 am
Chinese go into training for civilised Olympic cheering in General Discussion, including Off Topic, Current Affairs
IT'S SIMPLE, just follow these instructions. Step 1: Clap twotimes, while chanting, "Olympics". Step 2: Give the thumbs up with yourarms extended upward, all the while chanting "Let's go!"  Step 3: Claptwo times chanting "China". Finally, step 4: Punch the air with yourfists, your arms extended, shouting "Let's go!"   CLIFFORD COONAN reports from Beijing
Civilised cheering done according to strict and detailed instructionswill be the order of the day when the summer Olympics open in Beijing,say local officials.
The four-part Olympic cheer will be taught at schools, promoted on TV and detailed instructions spread in a poster campaign.
The "Let's Go" cheer is officially used to fire up the national team,but can be adapted to inspire other countries. The Beijing OlympicOrganising Committee (BOCOG) has taken on 30 cheering squads to showspectators how it is done in the stadiums, the Xinhua news agencyreports. The government has previously appointed hundreds ofschoolchildren to cheer on the various countries during the games.Individual schools have been ordered to adopt a specific country.
Unsurprisingly, the schools given Japan, China's long-standing regionalrival, have an opt-out clause where they get to cheer on China if thereis a head-to-head between athletes from both countries.
LiNing, head of the Beijing Etiquette Institute, said the cheer was inline with what she described as general international principles forcheering and very much in the spirit of the Olympic mantra "Citius,Altius, Fortius" (faster, higher, stronger), but still possessedcharacteristics of Chinese culture.
Crucially, the cheer gave plenty of scope for international variations.
So, for example, insert "Yingguo" for "England" at the end. "Jia you,Yingguo" or "Add oil, land of heroes" if you want to translate itdirectly.
The cheer is a joint invention of the CommunistParty's Office of Spiritual Civilisation Development and Guidance, theMinistry of Education, BOCOG and China Central Television, and waslaunched in the media centre of the national broadcaster.
Theaim of the chants is to allow spectators to cheer for athletes in asmooth, civilised manner. There will be training sessions for the800,000 students expected to attend the Games. "We want to engage inactivities to better promote civilised gestures in the stadiums, tocheer on the Olympics and to cheer on China. This gesture demonstratesto the world the charisma of the Chinese people and our enthusiasm,"said Guo Zhenxi of CCTV.
"It creates a great atmosphere in thestadium, for the athletes and heightens the interaction between theaudiences," said BOCOG's publicity chief Wang Hui.
However, reaction among online commentators to this most orderly form of adulation has been mixed.
"I've just learned the cheer," said Da Menya. "But I feel a little bit foolish. I wonder."
Shen Jiang Qike said the idea was good but wondered was it necessaryfor the normal, non-professional, spectator to also respond in such auniform way? "The enthusiasm is from our heart . . . Using diplomaticetiquette to express our enthusiasm will only make peopleuncomfortable," wrote Shen.
Another netizen, who gave his nameas Xiao Shang, said: "I am always amazed at the government's ability totake the fun out of anything. Incredible."
Posted by Editorial Team Mon Jun 09, 2008 8:54 am
UK companies now discourage remote working says Microsoft in Business and Industry in Gaming, Media, Web, IT and Computing
Research from Microsoft reports that less than half of UK companiesare interested in letting staff work remotely, a drop of 10 per centsince last year, as companies become more concerned about their future.
The research polled 1000 companies, of which 13 per cent admittedthat any kind of remote working was actively discouraged and only 10per cent of staff feel they have the freedom to work

This used to be known as "home working" or "tele-working", but inthese days of Windows Mobile and small, cheap computers Microsoft wouldlike us to use the term "mobile working" or, if absolutely necessary,"remote working".
Senior managers are still the ones most likely to be working awayfrom the office, creating the impression that remote working is a"senior perk" rather than the productivity tool Microsoft would like topaint it.
Just in case anyone is missing the point, the survey also points outthat "25 per cent of senior managers say that they would leave theirjob within six months if they could not work remotely", so you'd bettermake sure they've all got the latest Windows Mobile kit then.
There is a serious point that staff who are concerned about theeconomy - and their own mortgages - are going to want to be seen aroundthe office making a contribution, even if that just involves surfingthe web from their desk rather than their bed.
Posted by Editorial Team Thu Jun 05, 2008 5:29 pm
Acer’s Atom-based Aspire One £299 Eee Rival in Hardware, Internet, Networking, Comms and Security
The new machine does have something of an identity crisis – Acer iscalling it a “mobile internet device” when others are calling similarlaptops sub-notebooks, micro laptops and suchlike. There certainlyseemed to be some discrepancy between Acer’s label for the machine andIntel’s descripton of it as a ‘netbook.’ Acer has even sent us a‘positioning document’ that says “the Aspire one is an all-newcommunication device designed to provide a true mobile and wirelessexperience through continuous access to the Internet no matter whereyou are.” Nice.
But, marketing claptrap aside, the Aspire One looks like aformidable prospect, especially given its £199 price point for the 8GBLinux version with 512MB of RAM. Acer has engineered a bespokeinterface, rather like Asus’ for the Eee PC. Open Office is offered, asis a Messaging app that can handle MSN/Windows Live, AIM, Yahoo andGoogle Talk. Likewise an integrated email app can handle variousaccounts including Google Mail, but not Hotmail.
Windows XP Home is also an option (£299) but Acer only had the LinuxLite version available for us to look at during this morning’s launch.The uprated Windows XP option provides 1GB of RAM with an 80GB harddrive. Various models will be available, including a version with7.2Mbps HSDPA. Acer was also talking up WiMAX, but we all know itsappearance in the UK will be long and drawn out. 802.11b/g Wi-Fi isincluded as standard – part of Intel’s 945GSE chipset.
The Atom N270 chip is the Diamondville variant (Silverthorne is forUMPCs and MIDs) and runs at 1.6GHz with a thermal envelope of 2.5W.That’s the top end of the spectrum for Atom, which doesn’t need a fan.
In terms of weight and size, the Aspire 1 is just over 1KG and ismore-or-less perfect for a train-top table. It’s still an 8.9-inchdisplay, though Acer plans some bigger-screened models in future. Othernotable features include an SD slot for expanding the memory as well astwo available batteries – a 3-cell that Acer says promises three hoursof battery life as well as a 7-cell for a pretty impressive sevenhours. Take some time off this if you’re buying an XP-based variant.
The Aspire One will make an impression on the market, that’s forsure. The £199 Linux offering is impressive and pound-for-pound the XPversion is better value than the MSI Wind. Acer clearly wants to makean impact – the company will hope the Atom will give the Aspire One thespringboard it needs.
Posted by Editorial Team Thu Jun 05, 2008 5:05 pm
Guardian: Hiding data from US customs "use a memory car in General Discussion, including Off Topic, Current Affairs
Is the Guardian encouraging us to smuggle things through UScustoms? Well, an article by security expert Bruce Schneier certainlyis – urging readers to ‘hide all their data’ rather than let them rootaround in your hard-drive.
In an article entitled ‘Taking your laptop into the US? Be sure to hide all your data first’ Schneier, who writes a popular blog  advises people to take extreme measures to hide their data with encryption or even utilising memory cards.
Over-sensitive data?
“Whilecustoms agents might poke around on your laptop, they're unlikely tofind the encrypted partition. (You can make the icon invisible, forsome added protection.) And if they download the contents of your harddrive to examine later, you won't care,” advises Schneier.
“Ifyou can't [encrypt], consider putting your sensitive data on a USBdrive or even a camera memory card: even 16GB cards are reasonablypriced these days. Encrypt it, of course, because it's easy to losesomething that small.
"Slip it in your pocket..."
Quote:
“Slipit in your pocket, and it's likely to remain unnoticed even if thecustoms agent pokes through your laptop. If someone does discover it,you can try saying: "I don't know what's on there. My boss told me togive it to the head of the New York office." If you've chosen a strongencryption password, you won't care if he confiscates it.”

Whetheryou agree or not with Schneier’s point about the US (and the UK forthat matter) allowing this search, surely hiding data on a memory cardto smuggle it through customs either makes it look like you havesomething to hide, or means you actually do…
Posted by Editorial Team Wed May 21, 2008 9:54 am
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