I've seen more than a few licensed-character editions of chess, but I have to admit, this one is kinda cute.
This chess set, available for $39.99 from Think Geek, features 32 hand-painted characters from the Super Mario Bros. series of video games, with the villains on one side and our heroes on the other.
I don't know that I would get this--not because I don't like it, but because I totally suck at chess. My strategy would consist of jumping the Mario piece around the board, shouting "It's-a meeee, Mario!"
After a long hiatus, there are suddenly a handful of memorable, worthwhile titles for the Nintendo DS: Chinatown Wars, Rhythm Heaven, Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box, and most recently Scribblenauts. It took Nintendo, however, to save the best for last.
Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story might sound, at first read, like a kid's title. It's not; in fact, it's the third in a series of unique role-playing games featuring Mario, Luigi, and the rest of Nintendo's immortal cast of Mushroom Kingdom characters. The last in the series, Mario and Luigi: Partners in Time, came out for the DS back in 2005. In case you've never played before, you have to understand that it's barely a role-playing game at all: yes, Mario and Luigi level up, collect items, and go on an adventure, but battles unfold as real-time quick-reflex minigames, and much of the story unfolds with a completely absurd sense of humor. This series of games might be Nintendo's best-kept secret in its first-party lineup. We played it, and yes, we loved it. Here's why.… Read more
Nintendo has officially announced that the price of the Wii will drop to $199.99, effective on Sunday. The long-rumored $50 price cut comes in the wake of recent price drops for the PlayStation 3 ($299, with built-in Blu-ray player) and Xbox 360 ($299 for the 120GB version with built-in DVD player and Netflix support), which have boosted sales of the Sony and Microsoft consoles. (To date, the Wii remains the best-selling home game console of the three.)
Other than the price cut, there are no other changes to the current Wii bundle--you're still getting the console, along with … Read more
Jeff's back and gives us a rundown of his minivacation to Atlantic City, N.J., and his love affair with pinball machines. A lot of other stories to talk about today, like the Zune HD, the new Chevy Volt, Spielberg taking over the Halo movie, and Hayato Shimizu's interpretation of Jeff as the superhero COMMODORE!
The team is back together now that Jeff is back from his trip to Atlantic City, where he reportedly spent the majority of his time playing blackjack and a series of analog video games like Batman: Dark Knight pinball, skeeball, and bubble hockey. In celebration of Jeff's return, we surprise him with the image you see above, the final superhost of The 404--COMMODORE! Defending the world from positive vibes with his giant hockey stick, Commodore also wields the might Power Glove, which, unfortunately, is incompatible with today's villains, but it still looks cool! Big thanks goes out to Hayato Shimizu for his great work with all three characters, maybe we'll even seen a picture featuring LaserJet, G-Force, and Commodore battling crime for the future of podcasting!
As usual, we have a lot to talk about today, and kick it off with some rumor mongering about the latest Zune HD. CNET's own Donald Bell reports that Amazon is showing off retail pricing for the portable media player, listing the 16GB Zune HD at $219 and the 32GB at $289. The rumor mill continues to churn over Steven Spielberg taking over as producer for the Halo movie adaption, although the three of us are still skeptical about any long-form video game story adaptation, as we all remember what happened with CHUN-LI. We also look at the latest commercials for the Chevy Volt and its how viral advertising is affecting viewer participation.
Finally, Wilson G. Tang took it upon himself to create a 404 Dashboard Widget for video or the audio version and have the show play in the background while you finish "working." Best of all, this blog description populates nicely into the widget as well, making it super easy to auto-update and listen to your favorite episodes! Download them and let us know what you think!EPISODE 401 OS X users! You can download the Subscribe in iTunes audio | Suscribe to iTunes (video) | Subscribe in RSS Audio | Subscribe in RSS Video… Read more
We're all still in shock about receiving a tweet from one @LesMoonves, but we get through it to bring you an awesome Monday show. Today's stories cover Twitter getting hacked and why it does (and doesn't) matter; a guy who got a Palm Pre tattoo; and Kazaa making a (paid) comeback!
Per usual, there's a lot of Twitter news today, including a story about employee data getting hacked. According to TechCrunch, which broke the story, a hacker calling himself "Hacker Croll" managed to steal a Twitter employee's e-mail password and access to users' personal information and even some documents that exposed Twitter's inside business practices. Within this story, though, are two hidden stories. First of all, why is TechCrunch even posting about this? Instead of just reporting the information, they actually posted some of the stolen information...is that a smart thing to do?
My other question is, even after gaining access to Twitter's business notes, has anyone figured out how that site is going to make money, if at all? I'm sure Biz Stone is living comfortably, but what about the admin assistant that got his or her e-mail account jacked by the hacker? What about the little people!?
In other ridiculous Twitter news, check out this video of a guy getting a Palm Pre tattooed on his arm for PreCentral.net's "What would you do for a Palm Pre?" contest. I know we've seen this before with the guy who got a Microsoft Zune tattoo, but this is getting ridiculous. A lifetime of permanent artwork for a device with a two-year relevance, at most! It might be even shorter if people can't figure out a way to sync a Palm Pre with iTunes. Wilson actually found two ways to sync your Pre to iTunes, but neither of them are free or work with Windows, so PC users should still stick with the previous version.
Also, get ready for the resurgence of Kazaa, but this time it's a paid service. Is anyone paying attention to what happened to BitTorrent and Napster?EPISODE 385 Download today's podcast Subscribe in iTunes audio | Suscribe to iTunes (video) | Subscribe in RSS Audio | Subscribe in RSS Video… Read more
Historically, the Wii has benefited from a large amount of solid first-party titles like Super Mario Galaxy and The Legend of Zelda. It's certainly refreshing to see third-party publishers getting into the mix this year with offerings like Dead Space Extraction and The Conduit.
Maybe we should have used "So bad, but so good" as our show motto instead of "High Tech, Low Brow!" Today's show is a good example of that, and we kick it off with Wilson's brief and spoiler-free review of Bruno. We also talk about the rise of the Twitterns, Apple breaking the Pre-iTunes lovefest, and Jeff meeting Tony Hawk!
Check it out! Jeff was invited to an Activision event last night to preview Tony Hawk's new game, but he was pretty surprised when Tony Hawk himself showed up to show him around! As you can see, the game comes with an actual "skateboard" controller to jump, ride, and pop up to do tricks within the game. Jeff tells us that the game is very realistic, but popping up the board feels more like a snowboard than skating. Check it out for yourself when it comes out on October 13 for $120.
In other news, The 404 has decided to hire a young Twittern to update our Twitter. Social media, whether it's in short or long form, is super time-consuming...anyone out there want to be our Twittern? We're only half-joking...
In more important news, Apple has finally broken up the love affair between iTunes and the Palm Pre: the smartphone no longer works with the popular desktop software. Jeff owns a Pre and figures that the only thing to do now is to refrain from upgrading to the latest software, lest some savvy developer use the latest SDK to somehow crack Apple's padlock.
Also, start getting amped for tomorrow's episode where I, Justin Yu, will debut yet another band in a segment we like to call...deep breath..."The 404 Semi-Weekly Audio Draft Sponsored by Beck's Beer in conjunction with Last.FM, a subsidiary of CBS Interactive and CNET News and Reviews." Jeez.EPISODE 383 Download today's podcast Subscribe in iTunes audio | Suscribe to iTunes (video) | Subscribe in RSS Audio | Subscribe in RSS Video… Read more
Natali has some tips for secure password hints that involve her armpits. You'll just have to listen. We also give our thoughts on Office 2010 and what kids these days are doing on the Internet. That includes Brian Tong.Listen now: Download today's podcast Subscribe now: iTunes (audio) | iTunes (video) | RSS (audio) | RSS (video) EPISODE 1017
First Take: Microsoft Office 2010 technical preview http://download.cnet.com/8301-2007_4-10284013-12.html
Monday's Office 2010 preview leaks to BitTorrent http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9135454/Monday_s_Office_2010_preview_leaks_to_BitTorrent?taxonomyId=1
Ericsson to run Sprint's wireless network, but how? http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2009/07/ericssons-rx-for-us-broadband.ars… Read more
Today's show covers Wilson's ever-growing locks of hair and Google ads catering to stupid people. We also take a look back at the original Sony Walkman and examine the best-selling video games of the '90s. Finally, stick around for our weekly Audio Draft Pick sponsored by Beck's Beer in conjunction with Last.fm!
The first segment of the show is dedicated to Wilson's beautiful head of hair. I think I met Wilson's hair long before I ever met the man, and while I've always loved its golden highlights and butter-soft touch, I can't help but think of the Herculean Kevin Sorbo every time I glance in its general direction. Maybe it should start introducing itself with us at the beginning of the show.
Lots of nostalgia on today's show! After a long examination of the way Google is marketing ads to stupid people, we run down the top 50 best-selling video games of the '90s. Most of the picks are no-brainers, but there are a few surprises in there, including Frogger for PS1 coming in at No. 46. Did people really pay money to buy FROGGER on a DISC?! Scary to think about now.
Next, we launch into a story about 13-year old Scott Campbell swapping his Apple iPod for the original Sony Walkman. Fresh on the heels of the gadget's 30-year anniversary, this leads us to reminisce about the influence of the Walkman on all subsequent mobile audio products. We all had them (at least those of us born prior to 1990) and absolutely loved making mixtapes and mixtape art for our friends and significant loved ones. Unfortunately, we get so nostalgic that both Jeff and I reveal humiliating stories that you won't want to miss.
Long live the Sony Walkman! You were there with us through good and bad times, my friend--we'll never forget you.
We're also very psyched today, not only because the date is 7/8/9, but also for the Weekly Audio Draft, brought to you by Beck's Beer and Last.fm! Also, big thanks to Dylan Swart for sending in a poster for the segment. It's my pleasure to introduce today's band, Matt Pond PA.
Like everyone, the transition from middle school to high school wasn't easy for me, but music like this, among others, helped me push through it and I'm proud of these guys for continuing to put out such heartfelt records after 12 years of lineup changes, relocation, and subtle changes to their sound.
The sample song on today's show is called Several Arrows Later from the album "Several Arrows Later." The music combines smooth, gentle vocals with beautiful instrumentation for a unique sound that refuses to be pigeonholed into today's genres. The word "emo," although thrown around a lot in describing Matt Pond PA, is a cringing understatement for this band. Granted, all of the band's music is emotional by nature, but what I like the best about Matt Pond PA is that each of its songs strikes a different chord--each one means something different to the listener. Check out Matt Pond PA and get hooked!
(Last.fm is a part of CBS Interactive, which also publishes CNET News and Reviews.)EPISODE 377 Download today's podcast Subscribe in iTunes audio | Suscribe to iTunes (video) | Subscribe in RSS Audio | Subscribe in RSS Video… Read more