June 05, 2007

Fallout 3 Teaser

Bethesda Softworks released a teaser today for the highly anticipated third installment of the Fallout series, aptly titled Fallout 3. Apparently Bethesda bought the rights to the series after Vivendi bought Sierra and stuck the franchise in the closet of woe, right by the shoebox of despair.
Anyway I'm a big fan of Fallout 1 & 2 and this is good news to me, since Bethesda did great work on the Elder Scrolls games and whatever else they might be famous for. In a perfect world, Bethesda would just give the rights to Troika as a present, since the best of the old Fallout developers migrated over there. But that's pretty unlikely for now, as Troika has been dead for two years. As you can tell, I'm a huge computer game nerd.
The teaser is pretty weak. It's more of an advertisement than anything else, all CGI intro and no in-game anything. However, free eye candy. Release date is set for Fall 2008 (for now).

[ http://youtube.com/watch?v=wz5OgNSa0ck ]

Posted by Nathaniel at 11:11 PM | Comments (0)

June 03, 2007

Gadget Gossip

My old friend from high school, the inimitable Hal Bergman, has a cool video blog project going on with Naomi Mercer and Dave Taylor called Gadget Gossip. It's still young but it has a lot of potential. Naomi does a great job as host and Hal's picked up some good editing skills from the great and venerable master Barney H. They already have 11 episodes up on the site and are aiming to keep churning them out once a week. Here's my favorite episode so far, in which they compare and contrast a couple of store-bought consumer breathalyzers at a bar or two.

Gadget Gossip
[ http://www.gadgetgossip.net/ ]

Posted by Nathaniel at 01:16 PM | Comments (0)

June 02, 2007

Google enters voyeurism market

Google Maps has a new feature that's freaking some people out.. it's called Street View, and the way they do it is by driving a car mounted with a 360 degree camera around town and creating interactive 360 panorama photos so you can go look around on the street for directions and such. Here's the problem, summed up in the iTWire article Google Maps becomes “Go Ogle Maps”:

[...] Wow, that does sound cool, especially as more and more cities worldwide are added to the mix, and the content is mashed up in many different ways online. But almost immediately, people started looking at the photographs closely, and started noticing things that the people in the photos concerned might not have wanted published to the world.

Online reports of a man picking his nose, another scaling a wall, yet another at the entrance of a strip joint have been found and discussed, while the hunt is on to see what else the photos contain. The discovery some photos allow web surfers to see inside homes through open windows has also caused alarm.

Google says it has options for users who find photographic information about themselves or their properties that they would like removed, and in a statement reported by the Associated Press, Google spokeswoman Megan Quinn said "This imagery is no different from what any person can readily capture or see walking down the street. Imagery of this kind is available in a wide variety of formats for cities all around the world."

Google also claim the images were taken in a public place from a cameras specially mounted onto cars that travelled the streets, as well as buying similar imagery from another company.

While Google is offering to take down material people are unhappy about, it’s a bit like the DMCA excuse – the rights holders need to find out they’re being infringed before they can do anything about it, as Google takes all care but no responsibility. [More on this story here...]

So I can peruse the streets of the world buck nekkid from the comfort of my living room, but there's a price: if I leave the window open someone halfway across the world might be looking at a picture of me buck nekkid in my living room. Thanks, Google.

I'm not going to link to the feature because they get enough business as it is. If you really want to see it for yourself, just google it.

[ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=91wuBqlny50 ]

Posted by Nathaniel at 03:45 PM | Comments (0)

May 30, 2007

Microsoft's Surface Computing Project

Popular Mechanics has done a feature about Microsoft's new surface computing project along with some details about new multi-touch displays being developed for military and industrial purposes. The developers think this will eventually "trickle down" (Reaganomics anyone?) into the consumer market, but their complexity, bulkiness and price currently restrict them to the higher-ups. However this technology is pretty amazing and is integrating a lot of other technologies into it.

Basically, it's a coffee table that doubles as a very high-end touch screen computer that more than one person can use at a time. The demo shows photo manipulation, maps, videos, but the applications can become much more far-reaching as the project develops. Something to watch for in the future!

[ http://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/industry/4217348.html ]

Posted by Nathaniel at 02:05 PM | Comments (0)