The iPhone’s camera may be thoroughly eclipsed by several of its competitors, but the insane popularity of Apple’s baby means that we’ve seen tonsofaccessories aimed at making that 2.1 megapixel sensor somewhatmore useful — like the Snapture Flash here, which tucks a xenon flash with red-eye reduction into a sleeve-type case. Although it’s powered by the phone, it’s apparently quite low-power — SnaptureLabs estimates that you’ll take 1000 shots before going dry — and there’s some sort of “speaker amplification” built in as well, just in case you’re super into enhancing mediocre parts of the iPhone experience. Bad news? You’ll have to jailbreak your phone to get the Snapture app working — hopefully that’ll be remedied by the time this thing ships. Check out some sample shots at the read link.
If you were one of the many users who upgraded to Mac OS X 10.5.6 soon after it came out, then you might have experienced some major problems on your Mac. Fortunately, Apple has admitted there were issues with the update. Now there are more updates to fix the problems.
Last night, Apple released a Mail update for users experiencing problems with Mail unexpectedly quitting. “This can be caused by using a copy of Mail that wasn’t updated properly (you may need to install the Mail Update),” the update page states.
If you have been experiencing problems with Mail.app post-10.5.6, then you can install the update by visiting the Support Downloads website and download the installer package.
Speaking to Nintendo Power, the developer of Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars, Rockstar Leeds, revealed that while the game may be on the small screen, its scope is anything but diminutive. Studio president Gordon Hall uses the two PSP Grand Theft Auto games - which it developed - for comparison, saying “this game is far bigger.”
According to Hall, Chinatown Wars outclasses the PSP games with “more odd jobs, deeper missions, and more moments of over-the-top action,” adding that it features “huge interaction with the Rockstar Social Club [and] a massive [narcotics trafficking] game that would stand alone on its own.” Game? Surely he means a motivational tool.
A nine year-old girl in India named M. Lavinashree has passed the Microsoft Certified Professional Exam, becoming the youngest person to ever pull it off (smashing the record previously held by a 10 year-old Pakistani girl). The youngster has a long history of making records in her short life — including reciting all 1,300 couplets of a 2,000 year-old Tamil epic at the age of three — and now she’s now cramming for the Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer Exam. We’ll be honest, this really takes the zing out of our biggest accomplishment at the age of nine: figuring out where in the world Carmen Sandiego was.
Presenting Branching Dialogue, a weekly, wordy and often worryingly pedantic discussion of video game genres, trends and err … stuff I didn’t think to put in this introductory line.
If there’s one thing the year 2008 has proven adept at, it’s polarizing players with titles that seem to generate more discussion than actual sales. Much like Assassin’s Creed before it, Ubisoft’s Prince of Persia has been viciously yanking people off fences, this time with simplified controls, Open-World Lite[TM] platforming and sassy, cel-shaded protagonists.
The game’s difficulty (or supposed lack thereof) has also come under scrutiny, with some tough-guy gamers lamenting the Prince’s newly found and quite convenient resistance to death. I don’t wish to argue with the complaint … but I do want to pluralize it. “This game is not difficult,” and, “You can’t die in this game,” are two very different accusations, and one of them is more than a little unobservant of modern conventions.
I hate to break it to you guys, but death has been pushing up daisies for years.
Toyota has reiterated its commitment to F1, in spite of its first annual operating loss since 1938. Said Toyota CEO Katsuake Watanabe of Toyota’s F1 budget, still the largest in F1 at $445 million, “To keep it up at the current level is extremely difficult.” Yet even with the loss, the global economic mess, the belt-tightening on the corporate side, and the fact that Toyota hasn’t won a race in seven years, a Toyota spokesperson said, “We don’t have anything to add to the statement we made on 5 December [committing to F1 after Honda's pullout -- Ed.] because the financial results don’t change anything for us in the formula one team. Our situation has not changed.” The FIA has suggested that next year’s cost cutting measures will save teams 33% over their 2008 budgets. On top of that, Toyota is conducting its own cost cutting study to see what it can do over and above that. We have a feeling 2009 won’t see Toyota on top of the big spenders list again.
There are no lumps of coal in this week’s PSN update, as Lumines Supernova and the original Suikoden become available. We’re sure many of you are also excited about the Metal Gear LittleBigPlanet costume and level packs. For the game show crowd, Jeopardy! gets a $5 permanent price drop and now costs $10. There’s also plenty of DLC for all your favorite games and some premium (read: $2 apiece) The Dark Knight themes. The complete North American PSN update can be found after the break.
PS3 Fanboy has the European PSN update … no, wait, they don’t. Apparently, Europe will update tomorrow.
Here’s a little pre-Christmas gift from us to you: Episode #108 of the Autoblog Podcast. It’s just Chris and Dan this time around, but we wanted to get at least one more ‘cast in before the holidays. It’s 51 minutes of fireside chat, touching on the Top Gear/Tesla dustup, Jim Press and his optimism about Chrysler, Toyota’s first-ever loss, and, of course, the bailout. Enjoy, and send thoughts and impressions to Podcast at Autoblog Dot Com.
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