Posts Tagged ‘Tech Toys’

FBI to keep tabs on new Video Barbie Doll

Tuesday, December 7th, 2010

No, Ken is not USB 3.0 compatible.

(Reuters) – The FBI has issued a “cyber crime alert” for a new Barbie doll that comes equipped with a tiny hidden video camera in her chest, saying the toy could be misused to make child porn.

The report, issued by the FBI’s Sacramento field office November 30 and titled “Barbie ‘Video Girl’ a Possible Child Pornography Production Method,” warns that the doll’s camera captures up to 30 minutes of footage that can be downloaded to a computer.

But an FBI spokeswoman downplayed the document, saying it was intended for internal use by law enforcement, not the media, and such warnings are not unusual. It was apparently sent to some news organizations by mistake.

“There have been no reported incidents of this doll being used as anything other than as intended,” Washington-based FBI spokeswoman Jenny Shearer said, reading from a prepared statement.

“For clarification purposes, the alert’s intent was to insure that law enforcement agencies were aware that the doll, like any other video-capable equipment, could contain evidence and to not disregard such an item during a search,” she said.

Shearer added that the Situational Information Report had been “taken out of context” in the media and “our intent was to aid law enforcement in evidence gathering.”

[Full article at Reuters.com]

Man gets 3rd eye implant

Friday, December 3rd, 2010

He will also gain +2 to all initiative rolls. Sweet.

(Daily Mail) – New York University professor has had a camera implanted in the back of his head – and it was done all in the name of art. Iraqi-born Wafaa Bilal had the procedure done at a piercing studio last month for a project commissioned by a museum in Qatar.

The camera will broadcast everything he ‘sees’ to the public and will be transmitted to Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art in time for their December 30 opening.

The project, called The 3rd I, will take snap-shot photographs each minute of his everyday activities for one year, Mr Bilal said. The waterproof camera will capture everything from him taking a shower, walking down the street, to even him having sex. The camera is connected to a computer by a wire which he carries around with him in a custom-made shoulder bag

“Yes it hurt a lot”, he said in response to whether the procedure carried out under local anaesthetic was painful. “I wanted to lose that subjectivity of knowingly taking photographs”, Mr Bilal said. “At the same time I wanted to capture everyday mundane images, the project is a comment on the inaccessibility of time, and the inability to capture memory and experience.”

After an uproar over privacy issues, Mr Bilal has agreed to conserve the privacy of his students at Tisch School of the Arts by wearing a lens cap on the camera when he’s on campus.

University spokesman John Beckman said: “We place a high value on his right to free expression in his creative work as an artist. But as a school of the arts, we also take seriously the privacy issues his project raises.”

In 2008, he created an artwork called ‘Virtual Jihadi’ in which he added himself as a character in a video game, posing as a suicide bomber hunting George W Bush.

[Full article here at Daily Mail]

Sony Playstation Phone, do I get a driving while texting achievement?

Wednesday, October 27th, 2010

Playstation Phone for 2011?

Engadget has photos of what it says is a prototype Sony Ericsson slide-out phone with PlayStation-PSP–style gaming controls. The phone has a multitouch trackpad and purportedly will appear sometime next year running Android 3.0.

Rumors of an Android 3 PlayStation Phone first emerged in August, and according to Engadget, the phone’s screen is “in the range of 3.7 to 4.1 inches” — they have photos, but not a copy of the phone itself.

The phone is also reported to have a 1-GHz Qualcomm processor, 512 MB of RAM and 1 GB of ROM.

Engadget also claims there will be a special Sony Marketplace offering Android apps for the device. Custom Android app stores for custom Android devices seem to be the thing to do: Barnes & Noble is getting ready to do just that for its new Nook Color.

Kotaku reported earlier this week that Sony executives were showing off a slide-out widescreen gaming device that the company was calling the PSP2. The Wall Street Journal reported this summer that Sony was working on adding 3G networking to its gaming devices, and on handheld devices offering wireless communication, gaming and e-reading.

Sony’s European division stated that the leaked photos are fakes, but then changed its official response to “no comment.”

[Source]

iPad / iPhone Game Controller

Monday, April 5th, 2010

Possible iPad / iPhone Game Controlller

(Gamespot) – During a presentation last September, Apple executives played up gaming on the iPhone–and dismissed the PSP and DS as inferior products. Senior vice president of worldwide product marketing Philip W. Schiller blasted the platforms as having overly expensive games. He also said that the iPhone’s lack of dedicated buttons actually made it a superior gaming platform to Sony’s or Nintendo’s portables.

Ironically, Schiller’s swagger directly contradicts the wording in a patent application which surfaced this week. Originally filed by Apple in September 2008, the patent states that gaming can “be somewhat awkward, particularly on a portable electronic device having a touchscreen. The same screen used for viewing an avatar’s activities is used to control the avatar. This arrangement causes the user’s fingers [to] block the action. Thus, while these portable electronic devices include a highly efficient interface, when playing games it is often desirable to have a more specialized user interface.”

As some might suspect, Apple’s patent filing was for an accessory to the iPhone which would offer dedicated gaming buttons. According to the filing, “The game accessory can have input controls, such as buttons, joysticks, and D-pads. Another example provides a game accessory having a thumb pad or keyboard. Other possible features include microphones, cameras and camera lenses, speakers, a second screen, rumble, and motion detection.”

Illustrations accompanying the filing show an accessory which allows an iPhone, and potentially the just released iPad, to be slid into it. The filing reads, “The game accessory may have a recess sized to fit the portable electronic device. Inserts or removable adapters can be used to fit portable electronic devices having different sizes. The portable electronic device can be held in the accessory using sliding covers, clips, or other engaging members. In other examples, the accessory can communicate with another accessory for head-to-head game play. The accessory may include circuitry for power, identification, and authorization.”

iPad: It’s still hands off for Apple employees

Wednesday, March 31st, 2010

BusyGamer's Rika Stead

(Reuters) – As Apple Inc gears up for the crush of customers expected for Saturday’s iPad launch, employees who staff its retail stores are just as curious about the tablet as the fans who will line up outside.

Apple store workers say they have yet to see or touch the iPad, even though the launch is just days away and they are being trained and encouraged to talk about Apple’s newest device with customers.

“We haven’t seen it; we never do” before a product is launched, said one employee, who asked not to be identified because workers are barred from speaking with the media. “Every store employee I know, including the managers, they haven’t seen it.”

With its notoriously secretive corporate culture, Apple is loathe to circulate any iPads among retail troops ahead of the debut. Even in-store Apple repair techs — known as “geniuses” — don’t yet know how to fix the gadget.

Since the iPhone launch in June 2007, Apple product releases have played out like concert tours, with fans sleeping in lines overnight and blanket media coverage that generates plenty of free advertising.

But amidst all the hype, the company’s ethos of secrecy extends from its corporate perch in Cupertino, California, to its component suppliers and its network of more than 200 U.S. stores.

“We did not see or hold an iPhone until an hour before it went on sale,” said a former Apple store employee. “We didn’t know much more about it than people asking us.”

Major products are usually unveiled by Chief Executive Steve Jobs at special media events, and most retail employees are kept in the dark until the devices are publicly available.

“There was really no word on anything,” said another former store worker of the iPhone launch. “We saw a video of the keynote, and that was basically all you knew.”

The iPad is Apple’s most significant product launch since the iPhone. Starting at $499, analysts estimate Apple could sell from 850,000 to 1.2 million units of the 9.7-inch touchscreen tablet in the April-June quarter.

Apple’s U.S. stores will begin selling the iPad at 9 a.m. on Saturday.

[Full article at Reuters.com]

Line2 App could shake some things up

Friday, March 26th, 2010

For non AT&T users who have Wi-Fi, this is damn rad.

For a little $1 iPhone app, Line2 sure has the potential to shake up an entire industry.

It can save you money. It can make calls where AT&T’s signal is weak, and it can turn an iPod Touch into a full-blown cellphone.

Line2 gives your iPhone a second phone number – a second phone line, complete with its own contacts list, voice mail, and so on. The company behind it, Toktumi (haha ‘talk to me’), imagines that you’ll distribute the Line2 number to business contacts, and your regular iPhone number to friends and family. Your second line can be an 800 number, if you wish, or you can transfer an existing number.

To that end, Toktumi offers, on its Web site, a raft of Google (GOOG) Voice-ish features that are intended to help a small businesses look bigger: call screening, Do Not Disturb hours and voice mail messages sent to you as e-mail. You can create an “automated attendant” – “Press 1 for sales,” “Press 2 for accounting,” and so on – that routes incoming calls to other phone numbers. Or, if you’re pretending to be a bigger business than you are, route them all to yourself.

The Line2 app is a carbon copy, a visual clone, of the iPhone’s own phone software. The dialing pad, your iPhone Contacts list, your recent calls list and visual voice mail all look just like the iPhone’s.

Now checking the legalities of this little monster, Apple’s (AAPL) rules prohibit App Store programs that look or work too much like the iPhone’s own built-in apps. For example, Apple rejected the Google Voice app because, as Apple explained to the Federal Communications Commission, it works “by replacing the iPhone’s core mobile telephone functionality and Apple user interface with its own user interface for telephone calls.” That is exactly what Line2 does. Oh well – somehow they skirted by this little speedbump.

Having a second line on your iPhone is gnarly, but that’s not the best part.

Line2 also turns the iPhone into a dual-mode phone. That is, it can make and receive calls either using either the AT&T airwaves as usual, or – now this is the best part – over the Internet. Any time you’re in a wireless hot spot, Line2 places its calls over Wi-Fi instead of AT&T’s network.

That’s a game-changer. Where, after all, is cellphone reception generally the worst? Right – indoors. In your house or your office building, precisely where you have Wi-Fi. Line2 in Wi-Fi means rock-solid, confident reception indoors.

Line2 also runs on the iPod Touch. When you’re in a Wi-Fi hot spot, your Touch is now a full-blown cellphone, and you don’t owe AT&T a penny.

Turns out Wi-Fi calls don’t use up any AT&T minutes. You can talk all day long, without ever worrying about going over your monthly allotment of minutes. Wi-Fi calls are free forever.

So where’s the catch? Well it’s NOT quite free, Line2 service will cost ya $15 a month (after a 30-day free trial).

But anyhow, great for somethings – and really rad if you just own an iPod iTouch. Seriously. I can see other software companies jumping on this…soon enough.

[Source]

Go out, go discover, go share – Gowalla.

Wednesday, March 24th, 2010

We love games. We love all types of ‘em. Video games, table top games, dice games, games of chance, trading card games, RPG’s, drinking games… and one day we’ll get that game of Gamette strip poker to happen. (Hey guys gotta have goals right?)

One thing that had been catching our eyes lately is the newer market of “Geo” tag gaming. It’s been relatively new the past year of so with mobile phone applications getting more sophisticated and such. The two forerunners being Foursquare and Gowalla.

To tell the truth, I never really wanted to try it to begin with. While it did seem vaguely interesting, I was hesitant of the social networking aspect of it. While we here at BG are big on social networking… I’m also hesitant to be the D-bag who sends you flowers for your facebook garden or wants you to answer questions about me. With that aspect, the foursquare users just seemed to kinda fit that bill. (I know I can imagine all the hate mail now)

So SXSW came to town this past few weeks in Austin Texas (Home of the proud Busygamer crew) and we also learned via web buzz that Gowalla is actually developed in Austin Texas made it’s debut around SXSW LAST year and had tons of local SXSW inspired trips and locations to visit. I actually happened to be rolling into the festival for my own devious personal reasons not business related, so in the tradition of trying out new apps on roadtrips (which I have somehow become accustomed to doing) I decided to try it out.

First off, the premise of geo gaming is pretty simple. You use your mobile device to “Tag” where you are. This is done by the simple action of “checking in”. The purpose is really a neat way to share the places you are going with friends. Of course, where the social aspect comes in, is that at certain places you can find “hidden” virtual items from place to place. Maybe a pint in a random bar, or a fish in a pond. These items get added to your profile, you can collect them, or swap them for other items people leave behind, or you can drop them in a spot others have not yet done so and become a “founder” of the spot. You also have the option of creating a spot for the first time if you are at a location no one on Gowalla has ever been before.

The purpose of all this? Collecting Pins man. You can get pins for all sorts of things, from visiting a certain number of spots, to creating or founding a certain number of spots, or even visiting a lot of bars or coffee shops (the bar pin should be no problem for us).

In addition to the pins, the people of Gowalla have put together series of trips you can take. (Being founded in Austin, there are some neat ones.) SXSW visitors were in luck as there were a number of SXSW “trips” you can take by visiting all the locations on the list. Gowalla had SWSW music, interactive, film and even keynote trips you could take. In addition to the specific SXSW trips they also had there BBQ Bonanza (oh the arteries are hardening now) and the Austin Bar Hop (which we will be gathering a group of Austinites in the near future to come along with us to complete!)

Besides the trips that are featured, it looks like the website also lets you make your own trips as well.

The most interesting thing about this app game is the slick interface. For a Busygamer who is always on the road and out of the office living life, it has become a neat way to “check in” to somewhere new, grab a hidden item (some which can be traded for actual goods IRL), and move on filling my casual gaming needs while I work on being a traveling man. It’s also handy because it lets you decide which check ins or pictures you want to post on twitter or facebook to avoid the “annoying guy who is always asking for help on mafia wars in FB” syndrome.

Because Gowalla is a world wide application, I cant wait to visit other cities to see the spots others have created and also making my own blazing a path where others have not been (already got a “founded” and “commissioned” pin thank ya very much). The app really makes you want to check a city out, as we were sitting around auditorium shores waiting for a concert to begin, looking for the time capsule and fountain we knew were nearby.

So far… Gowalla looks like a winner to us, and we’re pretty serious about that Austin barhop trip. If you are in the Austin area… keep a look out for us to advertise it in the coming weeks and you can come along. It’s kinda like getting a boyscout badge except that not all of us will make it back alive.

Gowalla is available FREE to download on the iPhone, Android, BlackBerry and Palm phones. Sign up and read more info at www.gowalla.com.

Microsoft Windows 7 Phone To Stream Netflix

Monday, March 15th, 2010

The Microsoft Windows 7 Phone will be hoisting quite a few slick features it looks like from it’s debut at GDC2010. In addition to all of the current popular ‘smartphone features’, expect to see a loaded app store, a menu driven comic book reader (What’s up Disney-Marvel?), tons of games, watch live sporting events, and the power to view your Netflix que on demand. That is quite a feature for all the Netflix addicts out there.

Why this is not on the iPhone yet? We cannot say – but if the phone carriers can support the bandwidth for Microsoft, Apple’s AT&T should not be that far behind. Check out the prototype video from GDC over at Kotaku.com, its pretty kick ass.

The Breast Mousepad Ever!

Friday, February 26th, 2010

I saw this a few weeks ago on a couple of other geeky websites, and immediatlely thought it was BusyGamer newsworthy. I’m sure this would turn up noses at any office setting, but frankly I’m suprised no one has thought of this sooner. I mean, most of the ‘ergonomic’ mouse pads feel pretty good. So why not rest yours hands between two? Ok, now lets paint a bikini on them and presto you have the BustyMousePad!

You can score your own over at www.BustyMousePads.com for 19.95, or heck suprise your entire office staff and grab a box for 225.00! That wouldn’t piss off any of the ladies in your workplace would it? Eh, but hey – no one likes a crampy hand, so think of it as protecting your own goods, while you’ve got your hands on someone elses. Yeah, something like that.

iSamJackson, the ultimate bad mf’in app

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009

“You can probably imagine instances where an app that allows you to confront people with a virtual Samuel L. Jackson by your side might be extremely useful.“ – NPR.org

Heatwave Interactive brings you the power of the pulp, butt kickin Samuel Jackson Application for the iPhone. Now at parties and red carpet debuts you can pack some extra punch in your pocket by tapping into some of the bada$$ness of Mace Windu himself.

This iPhone Application will feature a full soundboard with clips of Sam to take on your best social moments. Such as the “If I cared what you thought”, “You THINK your bad?”, and “That all you got?” sound bytes to sum up most of your confronting engagements.

Also you will be able to ‘scan’ your thumbprint to see what Sam thinks of you. Maybe he’ll praise your dashing good looks, admire your charming personality, or tell you how you ought to not give another man’s woman a foot massage (that just aint cool).

And just for those tight situations, when you need some sound advice, iSamJackson will be the ultimate sage and let you know when it’s ok, or not ok to call in ‘The Wolf’ to clean up your worst back seat messes.

You can hear and see some of what this app will bring you by checking out the website here at www.isamjackson.com.










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