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April 2007 Archives

God of War II rules Canada

by Saleem Khan, CBC News Online

The latest Canadian video game industry data from NPD Group is out and it looks like the big winners are Sony (sort of) and Nintendo.

Sony took the top spot in software sales in March, and its last-generation PlayStation 2 console took the No. 1 spot for units sold in the first quarter of 2007.

Nintendo's Wii console took the No. 2 slot for the most hardware units sold in Q1, and topped the rankings for the most revenue generated. The bad news for Sony: its new PlayStation 3 was dead last in unit sales, coming in at No. 7, but managed to take third place in terms of revenue.

Click through the link below for the details.

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Picture this: Security flaw found in Photoshop

Security company Secunia has issued a warning about what it calls a "highly critical" security hole in Adobe's popular Photoshop software.

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Artificial 'snot' helps electronic nose

by Paul Jay, CBC News online

Scientists have fashioned artificial nasal mucus to enhance the performance of electronic noses.

Researchers at The University of Warwick and Leicester University coated the sensors used by odour sensing electronic noses with artificial 'snot' made from a mix of polymers and found it greatly improved their performance.

Read more to get the blow by blow from researchers.

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Tech blog roundup

by Saleem Khan, CBC News Online

We've had a lot on our mind in the last few days (including technical issues) so for your browsing convenience, here's the latest quick hit summary of a few of them. (Surprise! Nothing on video games!):

Robot wars, junior edition
Aldrin wants to create space lottery
Staring at the sun: In 3-D!
2 Qk 4 U: 13-year-old wins texting competition
Solar cellphone screen soon?
Craplets backlash rising
Walt Mossberg launches website

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Walt Mossberg launches website

by Saleem Khan, CBC News Online

Wall Street Journal writers Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher have launched their new technology commentary site AllThingsD (short-ish for All Things Digital). The site, owned by WSJ parent Dow Jones & Company Inc., is an extension of the pair's D: All Things Digital conference.

Although there isn't a lot there right now, they – along with site contributors Katie Boehret and John Paczkowski – are already blogging. Mossberg's own Mossblog starts with a pair of entries about craplets (still no links to us).

So, we'll be reading – and keep holding out for those backlinks.

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Craplets backlash rising

by Saleem Khan, CBC News Online

Frequent readers of CBC's technology news section (or tech news in general) may recall the craplets story I broke in January. After an initial storm of activity, things seemed to settle down. Now it appears that a recent column in the Wall Street Journal has reignited interest in craplets, and the predominantly paid-placement programs typically pre-installed on new computers running Microsoft Corp.'s Windows operating system are apparently starting to fall out of favour.

Click the link below to learn more.

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Solar cellphone screen soon?

by Saleem Khan, CBC News Online

Earth Day was yesterday, which is particularly appropriate in light of news that the prospect of thin, lightweight, (and likely flexible) displays that could do double duty as solar cells is inching closer to reality.

Click the link below to see your future phone's display.

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2 Qk 4 U: 13-year-old wins texting competition

by Paul Jay, CBC News Online

A 13-year old from the U.S. won a national texting competition, typing the phrase "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious! Even though the sound of it is something quite atrocious. If you say it loud enough you'll always sound precocious" from Mary Poppins in 42 seconds.

Morgan Pozgar, of Claysburg, Pa., was crowned LG National Texting champion on Saturday, winning $25,000 US. She defeated nearly 200 competitors to win the award, beating 21-year-old Eli Tirosh of Los Angeles, Calif., in the final.

The reports vary, but Pozgar evidently sent thousands of text messages a month to prepare for the competition.

It's a talent that in another era might have landed a job as a court reporter. But for Pozgar, we suspect she just lost her excuse for not responding immediately to every text she receives.

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Staring at the sun: in 3D!

by Paul Jay, CBC News Online

NASA's Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory, or STEREO, satellites have brought back the first 3-D images of the sun, giving scientists a view of the sun's atmosphere in three dimensions.

All you need are a nifty pair of 3-D glasses to properly view both the images and the movies: Fortunately, NASA includes a tutorial on how to make the glasses. All we need now is Joe Flaherty to narrate as the solar flares fly into view. Scary kids!

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Aldrin wants to create space lottery

by Paul Jay, CBC News Online

Since not everyone knows Martha Stewart or has over $20 million US lying around in the trunk of their car, you can forgive people for not getting too excited about Charles Simonyi's jaunt to the International Space Station, which, thanks to a delay, has been extended an extra day.

But Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin wants to change all that.

Click the link below to read more about Aldrin's space lottery.

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Robot wars, the junior edition

by Paul Jay, CBC News Online

Elementary and high school students from Canada participated in a robotics competition over the weekend at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, with a team from St. Catharines, Ont. teaming with two U.S. schools to take home one top award.

Click the link below to read more.

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Tech blog roundup

by Saleem Khan, CBC News Online

The future was on our minds a lot this week, between space, blogs, the environment, global warming, the cars we wish we could have and the crass consumerism of it all. Peer across the space-time barrier in this week's blog picks:

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The excess of space tourism

by Saleem Khan, CBC News Online

The Blogs in Space post earlier this week clearly begged for a humorous Pigs in Space reference but it would have been a forced. Leave it to the opinionated writers at the oldest continuously running magazine in the United States to put it out there – and not in a nice way.

Click the link below for a frosty take on space tourism that makes the vacuum of space seem warm and welcoming.

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Hot wheels

by Saleem Khan, CBC News Online

Whenever world events – such as the most recent invasion of Iraq and ongoing war – drive up the price of oil and therefore gasoline, people start looking around for alternative energy sources and ways to make their cars run on them. Electric cars are inevitably one of the options raised but as most industry watchers will tell you, the cost, a lack of style, short-term practicality and more importantly, guts, all conspire to make any self-respecting driver think twice about taking the wheel of a "golf cart".

Click the link below for a rebuttal to some of those complaints.

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Gambling site places odds on global warming

by Paul Jay, CBC News Online

"God," Albert Einstein is often quoted as saying, "does not play dice with the universe."

Humans, on the other hand, seem to have no problem gambling on the forces of nature. Livescience is reporting an online gambling service called BetUS.com has started accepting bets on various calamities related to climate change.

Click on the link below to see the latest odds on global warming.

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Domo Arigato, Mr. Domo

by Paul Jay, CBC News Online

Move over Japan, researchers in the U.S. are muscling in on the burgeoning research field of robots-as-butlers.

On Wednesday, MIT unveiled a humanoid robot called Domo that can grasp objects and place them on shelves or counters.

Click the link below to learn what else the latest in robotic housework technology can do.

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Blogs in space

by Saleem Khan, CBC News Online

What has an estimated net worth of $1 billion US, floats around in a giant can some 360 kilometres above the earth and blogs?

Click the link below for the answer to this and more.

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Tech blog roundup

by Saleem Khan, CBC News Online

Video entertainment, surveillance and games along with a lot of follow-up stories and humour held our attention this week. Here's the proof:

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Big Brother is watching you ... litter

by Saleem Khan, CBC News Online

England's network of surveillance cameras may have just jumped the shark. Authorities there are planning to spend about $1.13 million (500,000 pounds) to enable the devices to talk, apparently in a bid to cut down on littering.

Get a glimpse of swift justice, 1984-style, through the link below.

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Google follows up on gag

by Saleem Khan, CBC News Online

Google called back with more on its TiSP toilet-based internet service. Spokeswoman Sunny Gettinger pointed out that although the ad hoc Google April Fools team cooked up its fictitious service as a gag, there are jurisdictions where sewer lines are used as conduits for broadband internet service.

Enter the scent-sational world of high-speed sewer line internet through the link below.

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Would you believe an electronic shoe?

by Saleem Khan, CBC News Online

Technophile fitness fanatics shopping for new gear to get in shape for spring may want to hold off picking up a new pair of shoes.

The 800-pound gorilla of sports footwear and apparel aims to shod your feet in its digitally enhanced shoes. Pretty soon, every running shoe that Nike makes will incorporate the Nike+ technology used in the Nike+iPod system that lets you track your athletic prowess – and potentially track your every move.

Click below for a step toward a new lifestyle.

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Joost spot official, not for TV

by Saleem Khan, CBC News Online

The other day, I pointed readers to a video that surfaced on YouTube, which TechCrunch had identified as a TV commercial for the internet-based TV service Joost.

It turns out that it's not a TV commercial, just a clip that was produced for Joost to explain its service in a non-technical way.

Click the link below for the official word.

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April Fools' Day gag roundup

by Saleem Khan, CBC News Online

Once a year, technology companies and some outlets that cover them exercise their licence to publish a hoax story (or two, if you're Google) on the advent of April 1. This year was no exception – and in one case the gag may have been so good that it could be viewed as backfiring.

Click the link below to find a few of those who pranked you on April Fools' Day.

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Joost TV commercial drops

by Saleem Khan, CBC News Online

The internet-based TV startup Joost co-founded by the same guys who created voice over internet service Skype and file-sharing service Kazaa has its first TV commercial – which is particularly interesting since a lot of people I talk to seem to think the enterprise will be a TV-killer.

Never heard of Joost? Hit the link for a glimpse of the future.

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Win a wild Wii redux

by Saleem Khan, CBC News Online

Someone pointed out to me that some readers might have missed news of Nintendo Canada's contest to win a customized Wii since it was buried way down at the bottom of last Friday's post, so here it is in a post of its own.

Aim your pointer at the link below and click for a shot at one.

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