The latest edition of the incredibly popular game The Sims was released in June 2009, and it featured several changes and improvements. Open, continuous neighborhoods and "moodlets" make the game that much more lifelike, and players now have more options than ever when it comes to creating and controlling the lives of their Sims. Some players, no doubt, like to wander aimlessly through the game, figuring things out as they go. For players who really want the inside scoop, however, there's The Sims 3: Prima Official eGuide. This 255-page e-book provides detailed information about every aspect of … Read more
If you've seen the film "Avatar," you may have noticed one of the characters plucking a display panel from a desktop and continuing to use it as a standalone control screen. While we probably won't witness epic wars between human colonists and sapient humanoids in the near future, the technology depicted in the science fiction film is available in our current time, albeit in unrefined form.
At the recent computer graphics event Siggraph Asia 2009, a pair of researchers from the University of Tokyo's Ishikawa Komuro Laboratory demonstrated their Volume Slicing Display, a screen prototype … Read more
Breaking news right at the top of the show as Microsoft loses its appeal and the court rules they have to stop selling infringing copies of Microsoft Word by January 11, 2009. We also welcome the new White House security czar and the Google Yelp drama plays on. We're on break now, but we do have special episodes in the feed. We'll be back on January 4! Have a a great holiday!Subscribe with iTunes (audio) Subscribe with iTunes (video) Subscribe with RSS (audio) Subscribe with RSS (video) EPISODE 1131
Microsoft loses Word patent appeal http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE5BL3FV20091222… Read more
In this week's preholiday edition of the Digital City Podcast, we all get ready for our one long break of the year, accompanied by special guest smartphone guru (and new CNET East Coaster) Bonnie Cha.
Scott and Joe have seen James Cameron's "Avatar"; Bonnie and Julie haven't. We also discuss Intel's new Atom Netbooks, 3D Blu-ray on the PS3, holiday smartphones, and upcoming laptops and phones at CES 2010. Best of all, Scott gets a chance to show off his one and only Batjew T-shirt. Watch it on video or you'll miss it. … Read more
Google is in talks to buy Yelp and it may finally be pushing the line over what's too big. Sure, a lot of you thought it was too big already, but now it's just getting ridiculous--although, I didn't like that it lost its court case in France over indexing books. We also touch on the Twitter hijacking and new 3D Blu-ray standards.Subscribe with iTunes (audio) Subscribe with iTunes (video) Subscribe with RSS (audio) Subscribe with RSS (video) EPISODE 1129
Twitter hijacked by ‘Iranian Cyber Army’ http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-10418140-93.html http://news.cnet.com/8301-13577_3-10418270-36.html… Read more
Besides a $300 million budget and James Cameron's reputation, the movie "Avatar" is also heaving under the weight of the future of 3D entertainment.
When the uber-hyped 3D film opens on Friday, Hollywood studios will, of course, be closely watching the box office receipts. They won't be alone: the consumer electronics and cable television industries are also hoping for a blockbuster. If "Avatar" is a hit, it could be what pushes 3D from the movie theater to the living room.
Chock full of big-budget fodder like computer-generated creatures from another world, as well as … Read more
The Blu-ray Disc Association released its finalized 3D specifications this morning, outlining what to expect out of 3D Blu-ray in 2010. The specification includes full 1080p resolution, backward compatibility for both 3D Blu-ray players and the 3D Blu-ray Discs (meaning that both will play or be able to be played in 2D), and the use of a new MVC codec, an extension of the existing AVC. 3D playback will be "display agnostic," meaning that, according to the Blu-ray Disc Association, the format will be compatible across "any compatible 3D display." What exactly a "compatible 3D … Read more
Rumors are that next year Google will add a Netbook brand along with its phone branding, and possibly begin a line of consumer electronics. Is that a good thing for Google? We kick around that old football. Also, Patrick from France joins us with his distinctly European perspective and we refrain from insulting each other for once. It's a brave new world!Subscribe with iTunes (audio) Subscribe with iTunes (video) Subscribe with RSS (audio) Subscribe with RSS (video) EPISODE 1128
Obama administration rolls out $2 billion for broadband http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE5BG1JZ20091217 http://yro.slashdot.org/story/09/12/16/2329201/FCCs-New-Broadband-Plan-Prioritizes-Competition… Read more
I'm not one to get excited about patent filings, but this one was enough to make me think twice about what the future might hold.
Apple filed a patent this week with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. It describes an "electronic device for providing a display that changes based on the user's perspective." The patent says that the product would include "a sensing mechanism" that's capable of detecting the user's position relative to the display. MacRumors originally reported on the patent.
The filing said that the device would include "… Read more
If you want to see the scale of browser makers' ambition to remake not just the Web but computing itself, look no farther than a new 3D technology called WebGL.
The WebGL vision is simple. You're running around in a video game universe, blasting radioactive aliens--but you got there by visiting a Web site, not by installing the game on your PC.
This sort of computationally demanding chore contrasts sharply to with today's Web, whose top-notch programmers strain to reproduce bare-bones versions of the rich capabilities open to applications running natively on a computer.
WebGL, while only a nascent attempt to catch up, is real. WebGL now is a draft standard for bringing hardware-accelerated 3D graphics to the Web. It got its start with Firefox backer Mozilla and the Khronos Group, which oversees the OpenGL graphics interface, but now the programmers behind browsers from Apple, Google, and Opera Software are also involved.
Perhaps more significant than formal standards work, though, is WebGL support in three precursors of today's browsers--Minefield for Mozilla's Firefox, WebKit for Apple's Safari, and Chromium for Google's Chrome. Opera has started implementing WebGL, too, said Tim Johansson, Opera's lead graphics developer.
With a little tinkering--check the instructions and caveats below--you can give it a whirl, too. Overall, I was favorably impressed with the technology.
Its performance certainly isn't enough for a competitive first-person shooter, but it's approaching utility for casual gaming. And because of how WebGL elements can be integrated with the rest of a Web site's code, it's got some advantages.
What is WebGL? WebGL is one of a handful of efforts under way to boost the processing power available to Web applications. It marries two existing technologies.