Gadgets, Games, Hacks

Playstation Portable Launch

Playstation PortableWell, the Sony PSP launched last Thursday. It seems that sales are not as high as expected. There are also rumors of large numbers of dead pixels. The PSP does look like a great device though. It can play games and videos, has wifi support, and a widescreen lcd. It also allows Sony to upgrade the device remotely to add functionality (or break someone’s hack). Hacks have already been developed: Wipeout Pure has a web browser that will access a Sony site in the future. By setting up a proxy on a local computer you can serve any page you want to the PSP. This means you can’t go surfing from wifi hotspots yet, but Sony will probably add an official browser in the future. They pushed the PSP out the door hoping to sell as many as they can before they announce at E3 that the Playstation 3 will be released this fall. Another hack lets you download video files to your PSP almost automatically. Someone has also managed to use old memory sticks in the smaller Duo memory stick slot. Which leads me to why I won’t be buying one. Sony insisted on using not one, but two nearly-proprietary storage formfactors in their device. Using UMD for games doesn’t bother me too much since I would be playing PSP games in the PSP only, although the standard CD format of Playstation games probably made backwards compatibility a no-brainer when making the Playstation 2. There is a nice touch in the fact that PSP games don’t have a region code so you will be able to play Japan only games on your US PSP. Sony’s use of memory stick duo for storage is idiotic. I don’t know why Sony attempts to force brand loyalty by using flash memory that very few others support. They had an excuse; when the memory stick format was first introduced the digital camera market was still developing, but now they’ve introduced the duo instead of going with the obvious choice, SD. There is one reason I might pick up a PSP… Ape Escape!

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Software

Links are up

Just wanted to direct your attention over to the right column. I’ve added links to all of the sites I read on a regular basis.

Also, if you missed it: Phil has released myGmaps a new google maps based custom map generator. I’ll be sure to play with it when I get a chance and post anything fun I come up with.

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Robots

Self-assembling Machines

Self Assembling RobotI remember seeing computer simulation where a random group of polygons were given some intelligence so that they could teach themselves how “walk”. wmmna has the story on a set of robot buillding blocks that pull off the same trick. Each of the joints can rotate 180 degrees and the pieces are connected by magnets so the robot can rearrange itself on-the-fly. With a name like M-TRAN it also means these “tranny” robots with interchangable parts will be writing their own jokes too… because obviously I can’t.

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Innovation

Small Spaces Living

small space prototype
wmmna has the story on this self-sufficient minimalist dwelling. Designed for two it generates its own power, collects rainwater for drinking, and has a composting toilet. I like small efficient designs like this and the use of prefrabricated components will make people more likely to adopt new designs. On the other hand, is that a staircase and a ladder? I guess they only need to add a firepole and a tornado slide to get this club house a rockin’.

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Cars

Ford Shelby Cobra GT500

top down 2005 cobraJalopnik covers the unveiling of the new Mustang Cobra (as seen from the cheap seats). I’m guessing it isn’t on the floor yet since everyone is just posting the press photos. Tuningnews.net kindly posted all of them. The design draws a lot from the original GT500 introduced in 1968. This is visible in the slanted grill and ovoid air dam. It also features a lip spoiler and seat covers similar to the ’68. They chose not to use the giant hood nostrils from the original deciding instead to use the reverse ducts from the stock ’68. The modern appointments include a supercharged V8 putting out 450+ hp and 18″ wheels on the production car. With a projected release in 2006 this car meshes nicely with the insurance break I’ll be getting when I turn 25. Synergy will be the death of me.

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