Tech Informer

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Grand Theft Auto V Trailer debut

Last week, Rockstar Games released a teaser site and logo for the highly anticipated Grand Theft Auto V, which led to widespread speculation as to where the next game in the open-world chaos simulator would take place.

This morning we finally have an answer, as the first-ever trailer for GTA V has been released. The game will take place in a fictional Los Angeles-inspired town. We're sure there will be much more about GTA V in the coming months, but what are your thoughts based on this trailer?

source- Cnett

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Windows 8 will sync with your Windows Live ID

Microsoft will offer the ability to sign into Windows 8 with a Windows Live ID, a move that places the next-generation operating system in heightened competition with both Google Android and Apple’s upcoming iCloud.

According to a Sept. 26 posting on the “Building Windows 8” blog, doing so will “ensure that each PC user has a truly personal experience that seamlessly bridges their online and offline tasks, is simpler to set up and use, and persists across their set of Windows 8 PCs.”

A newly purchased Windows 8 PC will give users the option of creating an account linked to a Windows Live ID. From that point forward, signing into any Windows 8 PC with that Windows Live ID will activate the user’s personalized settings on that machine. Those settings apparently include “lock screen picture, desktop background, user tile, browser favorites and history, spell check dictionaries, Explorer settings, mouse settings, and accessibility settings.”

That Windows Live ID will also sync Windows 8’s Metro-style apps, including their settings and most recent state. Users will have the ability to customize which settings sync between PCs. Websites that leverage the Windows Live ID, such as Hotmail, will not require a second sign-in after the initial log-in to Windows 8.

The ability to sync across multiple devices is a growing trend in the tech world, with different companies offering their own variation on the theme. Use your laptop to send an email via Gmail, for example, and your nearby Google Android tablet will update to reflect the new communication. Apple’s iCloud, due to ship this fall, will sync contacts, calendar, email, photos and music between users’ various devices.

source- eWeek

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Minecraft 1.8 Beta, How to get it Free!

By now the world and his mother have probably been digging their way through the early-release build of Minecraft’s latest version 1.8 dubbed: The “Adventure” Update.

Needless to say, the impact of today’s ”official” update to Beta might not be a huge News item to the majority of miners. However, for those of you who haven’t updated into a world of Endermen killing sprees and the ability to sprint away from said killing sprees. Now you can load up Minecraft and be greeted by an update process that will bring your executable to version 1.8.

Some new features added to the update include-

- 9 New Crafting recipes
- Creative Mode
- 3 New mob creatures
- Biome Mode
- New combat Mechanics
- New Achievements
- Character Sprinting
- NPC Villages

Now if you want to snag your free premium Minecraft account check out this site where you can get many other rewards like Free Xbox Live and Gamer Codes.

source- gamebreakers

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Portal is Free on Steam

This is a treat. Valve is offering the original hit first-person puzzle game Portal for free, starting Friday and lasting until Sept. 20. You can grab your copy of Portal for Mac (or PC, if that’s what you’re into) on Steam. If you haven’t played Portal, it’s a terrific puzzle gaming experience that’s probably unlike anything you’ve ever tried before. If you have played it, it’s worth playing again.

I was late to the Portal party, having only played it for the first time last year, and despite being exposed to years of hype (the game originally came out in October 2007), it still managed to exceed my expectations. It’s funny, and challenging yet also accessible, so give it a shot even if you’re not usually much of a first-person gamer.

Each level in the game is a series of rooms from which you have to escape, using only your wits and handheld teleportation gun, which fires Portals that allow you to quickly traverse great distances in an instant. If you’re into maddening puzzle games like Unblock Me on the iPhone and iPad, you’ll be amazed at how well a similar concept translates to a game with first-person shooter mechanics. The game holds up surprisingly well despite being four years old now, too.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Netflix Launches in Latin America

The service launched today in Brazil today and is expected to be made available in 43 countries in Latin America, Mexico, and the Caribbean over the next week, Netflix said in a blog posting. Netflix said it has spent the past couple of months studying how Latin Americans think about movies and TV shows, as well as testing its delivery method.

"We've been testing and figuring out the right Internet architecture to make sure the quality and speed of the Netflix streaming experience is the best it can be," Rochelle King, Netflix VP of User Experience and Design, wrote in a company blog.

Subscribers will be able to access Netflix in Spanish, Portuguese, or English. Netflix said the streaming offer in Latin America and the Caribbean will work the same way it does in the United States. Customers will pay a monthly fee for unlimited access to the company's streaming-video library.

Netflix subscribers will be able to access content on computers, WII and PS3 game consoles, and smart TVs. However, it doesn't appear the program will include access to the physical media. The move, which was announced in July, is Netflix's largest expansion to date, with an apparent goal of creating a worldwide streaming service. Netflix expanded outside the United States last September with the launch of a streaming service in Canada.

It's unknown how much demand there is for streaming content in Latin America or how much revenue Netflix could generate from the market.

Source- Cnett

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Job Posting in UK hint towards Iphone 5 Release

"Our client, Apple, one of the largest consumer electronic hardware and software companies in the world are seeking full-time iPhone Sales Staff for an exciting project to work 5 days a week (Tuesday-Saturday) for the period 16th August - 29th October within key retail stores," the posting reads.

Gekko notes that those who get the gig need to attend a four-day "training event" during the second week of August, presumably to be briefed on any new product information.

Apple has released a new iPhone every year since unleashing the original model on June 29, 2007. The latest, the iPhone 4, is now more than a year old, and multiple reports of Apple delivering a next-generation version of the handset have pointed to a release in the August/September time frame. It's worth noting that the iPhone 4 was released in the U.S. and the U.K. on the same day last year.

Alongside new hardware, another key release to expect in the fall is iOS 5, the next version of the system software that powers the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad. Apple this week delivered the third beta of that software to developers so they can ready their apps ahead of a public release.

source- Cnett

Sunday, June 26, 2011

uTorrent 3 Released for Download

Four million users tested various alpha, beta, and release candidate versions of the anticipated v3 of the popular BitTorrent software, which is a darling of the download scene owing to its simple interface and lightweight footprint (for example, the installer is only 624KB). A slew of new features are embedded in the upgraded client, including streaming video; uTorrent remote; ratings and comments; and drag and drop sending. There's also mention of an exciting new encrypted Web-based UI, dubbed uTorrent Web, which enables access to ĀµTorrent from anywhere on the Internet (you can also control the software using Android Remote for uTorrent).

BitTorrent also detailed a new app called uChat, which allows users of uTorrent 3.0 and BitTorrent Chrysalis clients to communicate with each other. Now all of those flame wars going on in torrent comment threads can happen in real time! The company hopes that the chat add-on will be a place for all users to help one another, share tips, and possibly pose as "an interesting marketing/social engagement opportunity for independent artists and creators to directly communicate with their fans."


Sunday, June 12, 2011

Free Xbox Live Offer Guide

Alright first things first, if you haven't signed up do so by clicking on the button above. Once you have signed up and confirmed your email you can get started on completing offers to earn yourself points. Below is a visual guide i created to help you all out. Click on the image to enlarge.








Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Nintendo Wii U Controller Unveiled at E3

With a glossy white front face and smooth contours, the Wii U controller tablet has an uncanny resemblance to something Apple would conjure up. It also looks like a giant bottom half of a DSi XL, with dual analog pads added. The tablet is roughly the size of many 7-inch tablets, but with a larger bezel, thicker chassis, and more controller-like feel. It's lightweight enough to hold for the sessions we used, but after a few minutes of motion use it felt less ergonomic than a Wii remote.

No technical specs are known yet about the resolution, battery life, or processing power of either the tablet or its base console, but here's what we do know: the tablet controller has dual analog pads, a crosspad, buttons, trigger buttons on the back, a stylus or finger-activated touchscreen, a microphone, front and rear-facing cameras, and a gyroscopic motion sensor.

The cameras and microphone will enable video chat according to Nintendo, while the gyro motion controls enable augmented reality-style movement of the 6-inch screen's viewpoint. Games demoed show how the tablet's second screen can be used for a unique player's perspective, or a device that can enhance, interact with, or magnify action seen on the TV. Aiming the tablet camera at the TV might enable a pitch-control interface in a baseball game, or a close-up sniper view in a shooter.

While the tablet can act as a stand-alone gaming device while the TV connected to the Wii U is in use by someone else, according to Nintendo and Shigeru Miyamoto the Wii U's tablet is a living room device meant to be used in the home, preferably not far from the TV it's paired to. Technically, the wirelessly-connected device could be used to play games on its own, but it sounds like the base Wii U console will need to be on in order to enable that game play.

The tablet's display was crisp and bright in our hands-on use, somewhere in the iPad 2 range of quality, and definitely better than a Nintendo DSi or 3DS. Resolution isn't known yet, but it looked as good as any 7-inch tablet we've seen.

Source Cnet

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Nintendo Servers Breached By Hackers

Nintendo was targeted in a recent online data attack, but no personal or company information was lost, the Japanese maker of the Wii game console said Sunday.

The server of an affiliate of Nintendo Co.'s U.S. unit was accessed unlawfully a few weeks ago, but there was no damage, company spokesman Ken Toyoda said. "There were no third-party victims," Toyoda said, while declining to elaborate. "But it is a fact there was some kind of possible hacking attack." The damage from what could be a recent spate of such data breaches targeting big-name brands was more serious at rival Sony Corp.

Sony has said massive personal information, including email addresses, names and birth dates, and involving more than 100 million users, is suspected of having been stolen after security was compromised in April for its network service for the PlayStation 3 game machine, for other online services and, in the past week, from Sony Pictures' website.

It is still unclear who is behind the attacks at Sony or Nintendo, based in Kyoto.
Hackers calling themselves Lulz Security -- a reference to the Internetspeak for "laugh out loud"-- have recently boasted of compromising more than 1 million users' personal information.

Tokyo-based Sony has said it is strengthening security measures. It has contacted the FBI and other authorities for an investigation into the cyber attacks.

Source- Fox News

Friday, June 3, 2011

Xbox Live Code Generator

You read that right, because there’s nothing factual about an Xbox Live code generator. So if you’ve downloaded one in hopes of getting free codes, you’ve been scammed. Even if you’ve read an article in support of these mythical generators, you’ve been scammed. It’s just a piece of software that gives you a bunch of meaningless letters and numbers. You get excited as you watch the software download while viruses and spyware contaminate your hard drive. Don’t be fooled.

There are some legitimate ways to get free Xbox Live codes though. One way is by going to Rewards1. These sites allow you to fill out surveys, refer people, or complete free offers from major companies. They profit from this by doing what is termed incentive viral marketing. They simply provide an incentive (free Xbox Live codes), allow people to complete the offers and surveys, major companies sends a check, and with that money they purchase the prize you want. You’ll have to give them real info like street address and email so they can send you your prize. As soon as you’ve received your codes, just go on over to Redeem Prepaid Card over at Xbox Live, enter the code, and you’re done.

Other ways to get free codes are from buying games that offer 48 hour access to Xbox Live (wow, two whole days! Where’s my breathing apparatus?), keeping an eye out for when Microsoft does a free Xbox Live weekend promotional (not too often), or by asking the Xbox fairy to place free codes under your pillow while you sleep. Whatever you do, don’t download a code generator. You’re in a fantasy world if you think a piece of software, not associated with Microsoft, will somehow generate codes they’ll honor. You’re better off with the fairy.

But, if you’ve been aware of the recent price hike Xbox Live Gold membership had (10 more dollars now) and are strapped for cash, currently Call of Duty Black Ops has a branded 12 month Xbox Live card with Gold membership with an extra 2 months for 60 bucks. Make sure you use those two months wisely. I suggest cutting yourself from society altogether, grabbing all essential items (food, water, toilet paper, headset), and going into marathon mode by playing non-stop.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Popular Emulators yanked from Android Market

Retro gamers who use Android devices to play classics from old-school systems like Atari, Nintendo 64, and Sega took a hit this week when emulator apps for those consoles and a handful of others were removed from the Android Market.
Yongzh's (also known as Yong Zhang) emulators have been among some of the most popular and highest rated in the market, but the emulator creator reports that his developer account has been terminated without warning.

The removal of yongzh's account comes just weeks after PlayStation emulator PSX4droid--the work of another developer--was also deleted from the market in the lead-up to the release of Sony's Xperia Play. Yongzh, who lives in China, took down his Genesis emulator last month after receiving a complaint from Sega, but apparently it wasn't enough to placate Google and/or those console makers who may have lodged complaints with Mountain View.

While emulators on their own are not necessarily illegal, using the game ROMs that give them actual value apparently is, at least that's what Nintendo's lawyers claim in a company FAQ.

Yongzh says he's now out one of his main sources of income; he's posted the emulators on alternate app market SlideMe, where he's made them available for free so existing customers don't have to re-pay for the apps. N64oid alone has already registered more than 23,000 downloads from the site since Sunday.


Sunday, May 29, 2011

Android App Market shows lower turn over rates than Apple

A new study of various mobile application stores during the month of April conducted by research company Distimo found that the top apps chart on Google's Android Market had considerably less turnover than the one on Apple's App Store for the iPhone, which leads to less downloads overall.

In terms of numbers, that works out to 94 unique applications in the App Store for the iPhone's top 10 free and paid categories during the month of April, with just 26 in the Android Market during the same time period. For the top 300 apps in the iPhone's App Store, the company found there were 843 unique free applications and 584 unique paid applications. That's compared to Android Market's 388 free apps, and 363 top paid apps that made up the top 300 paid and free lists for that platform.

"The fact that many applications have been downloaded relatively few times may be at least partially due to the fact that the top charts in the Google Android Market change very little over time," the report said. "This is caused by the fact that Google also takes long-term performance of applications into account in order to rank applications."

However, that difference could be short-lived, based on changes made to the way both Apple and Google have begun ranking applications as part of these top charts.
"Google recently made major changes to the Web storefront of the Google Android Market," the report said. "It now displays more local content and top new and trending charts. Perhaps these, and future changes, will provide a higher probability for success for a larger proportion of the applications in the Google Android Market."

Evidence from early April, which Distimo's report covers, points to Apple rolling out its own changes to App Store rankings based on app chart movements across the board. Those changes were said to add weight to rankings within individual categories to affect an app's overall ranking.

Some other interesting findings from Distimo's report include Google Maps being the most-downloaded app on the Android Market, at more than 50 million downloads. To put that in perspective, just 96 applications on the Android Market have hit download numbers higher than 5 million. Distimo also found that 20 percent of free applications, and 80 percent of all paid applications on the Android Market have been downloaded less than 100 times since the store opened.

Google's Android Market inventory is now up to 200,000 free and paid applications, according to Google's latest numbers. Apple's most recently announced numbers put it north of 350,000 apps. An estimate posted earlier his week pegged Apple's App Store at reaching 500,000 apps.


Free Xbox Live

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Droid 3 details and image LEAKED

Additional details for the Motorola Droid 3 are circulating ahead of the handset's expected June launch. The Droid and Droid 2 successor will feature a slightly larger 4.0-inch qHD display, likely running a 960x540 pixel resolution, according to a TechnoBuffalo source. If true, the screen is larger than its predecessors, with a higher resolution as well. Further, the source adds that the back of the Droid 3 bears an 8.0-megapixel rear-facing camera and has a secondary front-facing camera of indeterminate resolution.

Rumors have run rampant that Motorola will double up the Droid 3's processor, possibly in the form of a TI OMAP or NVIDIA Tegra 2 dual-core chipset. While TechnoBuffalo's tipster was unable to provide any more clarity, either choice would be a significant step up from the Droid 2's single core 1GHz processor.

This time around, Motorola seems to have slid in a dedicated row for numbers, making for a 5-row QWERTY keyboard. Also new in this potential Droid is HDMI-out, a feature we had hoped to see in last summer's Droid 2.

Despite the "new and improved" hardware allegedly coming to the Droid 3, one feature is still missing. According to multiple reports, the Droid 3 won't offer support for Verizon's 4G LTE network. Perhaps this will be among the first options added to the Droid 4.
Word on the street is that the Droid 3 will be arriving in June, just a few short weeks from now.


Free Xbox Live

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Free Amazon Gift Cards

Amazon is my favorite place to find deals. Between the free super saver shipping and their sales, you are almost guaranteed to find something you need at a low price. Combine that with the fact that you can find free Amazon gift cards at quite a few places and you have a way to score lots of free stuff.

When you get a code you can add it to your Amazon account and keep a running total of your Amazon cash. You can then use it whenever you want. You will never have to remember the gift card codes; just put them in your account and the Amazon cash will be saved until you need it. When you make a purchase from Amazon it will take from your gift card money first.

So what are you waiting for, head on over to Rewards today and sign up for free and start getting free Amazon gift cards today!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Google Launches New Music Service

The new Google Music service allows people to store up to 20,000 songs in the Internet "cloud." The benefit of doing this is that they will then be able to access the music from any Web browser that supports Flash or Android devices. The service is still being beta-tested and will only be offered to a select group of invitation-only users in the U.S. Initially, the service will be free to users, but Paul Joyce, a Google project manager demonstrating the service during the keynote this morning at Google I/O, hinted that Google may charge for the service in the future. He also hinted at capabilities being added to the service in the future. But for now Google only will allow music to be stored remotely. It won't allow users to purchase new music via the cloud.

Jamie Rosenberg , direct of digital content for Android, answered a question from a reporter about whether Google was afraid that music studios would take issue with Google allowing its users to move music digitally across the Internet. He responded by saying that the service is "completely legal," because it allows people to store only music that they own legally. Rosenberg admitted that Google had wanted to offer music labels an opportunity to sell music to Google users through the cloud service, but that the labels had asked for certain conditions that Google couldn't accept.
He wouldn't discuss details of the negotiations, but he emphasized Google's commitment to protecting the rights of music producers.

"We very much respect copyright," he said. "And we designed this service so that you can use your own personal music collection out of respect for those who create the music."

When asked how Google would police content stored on the music service to make sure it's legal, Google's Andy Rubin stepped in to answer the question. He said that Google will respond to rights holders who believe that unauthorized music is being stored on Google's service.

During the morning's keynote address, Google also demonstrated how some of its other technology initiatives will fit with the Google cloud-based music service. The Android @Home initiative will let Android-based devices control appliances and other devices in the home. Part of this initiative demonstrated during the keynote was "Project Tungsten," which offered a mechanism for streaming music to speakers and stereos throughout the home wireless. Using an Android tablet a user could access music in the Google Music cloud and play the songs throughout the home on any set of speakers or devices via the Android @Home technology and Project Tungsten capability. In essence the service replaces other wirelessly networked music playing services, such as Sonos wireless music system.

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Monday, May 9, 2011

More Testing Needed For Playstation Network Relaunch

Sony's breached PlayStation Network may well be offline longer than the company had expected, according to a Sony executive.

In a post on Sony's PlayStation.Blog late yesterday, Patrick Seybold, senior director of corporate communications and social media for the company, said Sony was still performing security checks on the system and that it might not be back up and running in the originally announced timeframe. Part of the problem, Seybold said, has been the hitherto unknown size of a breach of the Sony Online Entertainment gaming network, discovered during Sony's investigation into the PlayStation intrusion.

"When we held the press conference in Japan last week, based on what we knew, we expected to have the services online within a week," Seybold wrote. "We were unaware of the extent of the attack on Sony Online Entertainment servers, and we are taking this opportunity to conduct further testing of the incredibly complex system."

Meanwhile, the company said today that on Thursday it removed 2,500 customer names and partial addresses that had been stolen by hackers and posted on a Sony Web site. The names belonged to mostly U.S. customers who had entered a contest in 2001.

Sony said the Web site was "out of date and inactive" when discovered and that the company took the page down. PlayStation chief Kaz Hirai said last Saturday that most services on the PlayStation Network would be restored "within the week," including online game play for the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Portable; chat functionalities; and the ability to play downloaded movies from PSN and to play unexpired movie rentals through PSN and Qriocity. Hirai said the company hoped to restore the entire network, including the PlayStation Store and purchasing features, "within the month."

The network went down in late April and it took Sony about a week to notify customers that the system had been breached by an unknown entity, who gained access to millions of customers' personal data--including, perhaps, credit card information. The company has since been criticized--by members of Congress, among others--for keeping customers in the dark and for what some see as lax security measures.


Free Xbox Live

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Call of Duty Black Ops Escalation Map Pack

This Escalation pack brings maps that include an abandoned Russian Zoo, a Cuban luxury hotel and casino, a stockpile area holding secret weapons of mass destruction, and a close-quarters convoy. But perhaps most interesting is the additional star-studded zombie level where you can play as a dream team of zombie-killers featuring Sarah Michelle Gellar, Robert Englund, Michael Rooker, and Danny Trejo.

Escalation can be downloaded for 1,200 Microsoft Points or $15. Or you can check out this site and get it free for completing a few free surveys! The PC and PlayStation 3 release has yet to be announced by the publisher, Activision. But seeing how things are with the PSN, perhaps the PS3 version is in no hurry.

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Sunday, April 24, 2011

White Iphone 4 released early in the U.K

Adding extra legitimacy to credible reports that the white version of the iPhone 4 would arrive within the next few weeks, the unit has already popped up at a Vodafone UK retail store, and has even been sold to a customer before stock was pulled.

Engadget has a photo from a reader who claims to have purchased the 16GB model of the yet-unreleased device from a Vodafone store in the U.K. Following the sale, the carrier is said to have sent a message to stores telling them to hold the stock until next week.

The white version of the iPhone 4 was supposed to launch alongside the black one in 2010, but manufacturing difficulties have pushed its release back nearly a year. Following the original iPhone, the iPhone 3G and 3GS were both available in black and white, though with the iPhone 4, Apple radically changed the manufacturing process and added color to the front of the device as well as the back.

According to Engadget, the model number on the white iPhone 4 the customer purchased (MC604B/A) is only slightly different than that on the currently available black version (MC603B/A). This suggests that any major differences between the two phones, other than color, are unlikely.

Reports emerged last week that Apple planned to get the long-delayed white iPhone in stores by the end of the month. Apple later confirmed it was nearing its targeted launch timeline of "spring."


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Sony's Playstation Network Still Down

Sony’s PlayStation and Qriocity network services went down over the long weekend, even as a hacker group it crossed paths with denied involvement in the incident.
PlayStation corporate communications and social media senior director Patrick Seybold said the outage stemmed from an “external intrusion."

“An external intrusion on our system has affected our PlayStation Network and Qriocity services. In order to conduct a thorough investigation and to verify the smooth and secure operation of our network services going forward, we turned off PlayStation Network & Qriocity services on the evening of Wednesday, April 20th," he said in a blog post.

He did not give a definite timetable on when the services would be resumed, but said they are doing “all we can to resolve this situation quickly."
In an earlier blog post, he had said it may be “a full day or two" before they could get the service completely back up and running.

“Providing quality entertainment services to our customers and partners is our utmost priority. We are doing all we can to resolve this situation quickly, and we once again thank you for your patience. We will continue to update you promptly as we have additional information to share," he said.

But Anonymous, a group of hackers that crossed paths with Sony for suing “hacktivist" George Hotz, said it was not involved in this incident.
Hotz was slapped a lawsuit by Sony for making public the root keys of Sony’s PlayStation 3 console.

Still, in a post on the AnonNews site, Anonymous admitted the possibility its individual members may have acted on their own.

“While it could be the case that other Anons have acted by themselves, AnonOps was not related to this incident and does not take responsibility for whatever has happened. A more likely explanation is that Sony is taking advantage of Anonymous’ previous ill-will towards the company to distract users from the fact that the outage is actually an internal problem with the company’s servers," it said. — LBG, GMA News

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Sunday, April 17, 2011

Nintendo Wii 2, Real or Rumor?

Nintendo could be revealing a HD successor to the Wii console this summer, according to new reports.

There hasn’t been a new gaming console since the launch of the Wii and PlayStation 3 in November 2006. However, Microsoft has breathed new life into its console, the Xbox 360, thanks to the Kinect. The Wii, which has been best the best-selling console for years, is about to lose its first place position.

While Nintendo intends to respond to the Xbox threat by cutting the Wii’s price next month, it looks like the gaming company has another trick up its sleeve: a brand new HD console. According to Game Informer‘s sources, Nintendo plans to unveil a new console at the E3 conference in Los Angeles in June or potentially sooner.

Very little is known about the rumored console, not even the name (Wii 2? Wii HD? Wii 360?), but it’s likely to be more powerful than the Xbox 360 or the PlayStation 3, according to Kotaku. Nintendo has apparently been showing off the system to third-party developers so they can prepare titles for the console’s eventual launch in late 2012.

The Wii captured the hearts and minds of casual gamers with its innovative controller system and its lower price point, but the specs and visuals of its rival consoles are far stronger, giving them greater longevity. Microsoft has also mitigated the Wii’s advantage with causal gamers, thanks to Kinect. Perhaps that’s what is driving Nintendo’s rumored decision to be first on the market with a new console.

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Battle of the Browsers; IE9 vs Firefox4

Some people may have been surprised when Microsoft started to push Internet Explorer (IE) 9 out early. I wasn’t. Why not? Because Firefox 4 has been kicking the shit out of IE 9 in adoption rates.

According to both StatCounter and Net Applications, Firefox 4 is being picked up by users far, far faster than IE 9.

As Asa Dotzler, Mozilla Director of Community Development, recently wrote, “So what explains this disparity? It’s you all. It’s every one of you that downloaded Firefox 4, found it to be awesome, and told all of your friends and family about it. No ad campaign from Microsoft can top that. Keep spreading the word. Firefox answers to no one but you!”

There you have it. IE 9 is indeed a far better Web browser than IE 8, but there are also lots of reasons to consider skipping IE 9 for an alternative browser. Firefox 4 is a darn good replacement for IE and Chrome 10 is also a great Web browser. In short, there’s really no compelling reason to have to stick with Microsoft’s default Vista and Windows 7 Web browser.

There is one other reason though why IE 9 isn’t doing as well as Microsoft would like. IE 9 won’t run on Windows XP. Period. Full stop. End of statement. Microsoft may hate it, but the bottom line is that most Windows users are still using XP and that means they’ll never be running IE 9.

In the overall scheme of thing, IE is still the dominant, but declining, Web browser, while Firefox has been holding its own and Chrome has been picking up steam. I expect that sometime in 2012, Chrome will be the number two browser after IE.

I think it’s also possible though that Firefox and Chrome will be fighting it out for first place with IE lagging behind in 3rd place. Oh, on the Windows desktops, IE will probably still be number one for years still to come, but the world doesn’t work just on Windows desktops any more. Users are quickly moving to tablets, like the Apple iPad, and smartphones, powered by iOS or Android, to do their work. And, away from the desktop, IE has no presence at all to speak of.

Who can blame Microsoft for wanting to inflate their IE numbers while the Windows desktop is still the number one end-user platform? The way things are going, IE may not have a chance to gather users for much longer.

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