Unlike its predecessors, Street Fighter 4 boasts "all new environments, new gameplay elements, and more." Gameplay footage after the break. Click here for first picture in gallery.

This game has been confirmed as a project in development at Capcom, but official platform plans have not yet been confirmed -- plans may include an arcade release as well as release on next-generation gaming platforms.

Source- http://www.techeblog.com/index.php/tech-gadget/video-first-street-fighter-4-gameplay-footage
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Microsoft Xbox motion sensitiveWebsite XboxFamily.com dropped a rumor this week that peripheral maker Gyration is developing a motion-sensitive add-on for the existing Xbox 360 controller. Microsoft has yet to utter a word regarding this rumor, but could the Big N have finally ruffled Microsoft's feathers?

Source- http://gizmodo.com/338868/microsoft-working-on-motion-sensitive-controller-for-xbox-360
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The Masks Zune Arts Commercial Microsoft has just released a new Zune commercial, titled: "The Masks". Though it may be creative, the player itself is nowhere to be found.

Source- http://www.techeblog.com/index.php/tech-gadget/video-microsoft-releases-the-masks-zune-commercial-battle-scenes-included
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OLPC XO image Don't adjust your screens folks, as this actually isn't a year-end case of déjà vu. Rather, we're looking to give you an(other) imaginary shot at tweaking the OLPC XO now that it has moved beyond the initiative phase and been productized for the general consumer. In case you've been parked squarely under a rock for the last few months, you should know that the XO's journey through production has been quite a lengthy one, and while a few countries have made substantial bulk purchases to inject these machines into their respective school systems, we're interested in seeing how the average joe / jane located in a developed nation sees things.

Needless to say, One Laptop Per Child's "Give One, Get One" program has been quite the success, and by now, we're confident that some of you have already received your own. 'Course, we're sure there's at least a few of you that chose this over that other low-cost laptop (and many that chose it over this), and we're curious to know how you'd improve the newly commercialized XO now that it actually has a rival. Yeah, we too would love an even skimpier price tag, but beyond that, what hardware / software changes would you like to see on the next version? Could you stand to have a few more megabytes of RAM? Still yearning for dual-boot capability out of the box? How's about a design scheme that doesn't involve opaque white and bright green? As stated, we're well aware that these things weren't designed with LAN partiers in mind, but now that NickNeg is offering 'em up to these very citizens -- not to mention every other type of user in North America -- why not toss out a few suggestions for making it more suitable for you?

Source- http://www.engadget.com/2007/12/28/how-would-you-change-the-olpc-xo/
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American wired media surveyAbout 38% of U.S. consumers are watching TV shows online, 36% use their cell phones as entertainment devices and 45% are creating online content like Web sites, music, videos and blogs for others, according to a new-media survey from Deloitte & Touche.

The findings of the online survey of 2,081 Americans, conducted October 25-31, were provided to The Hollywood Reporter before their official release next month.

The "State of the Media Democracy" notes that in Deloitte's first edition of the survey just eight months earlier, 24% of consumers used their cell phones as entertainment devices, meaning that usage has soared 50%.

About 62% of "millennials" (consumers 13-to-24-years-old) are using their cell phones as entertainment devices, up from 46% in the previous study conducted February 23-March 6, 2007. And among Generation X consumers (25-to-41-year-olds), the number grew to 47% from 29% in the earlier survey.

About 20% of consumers said they are viewing video content on their cell phones daily or almost daily.

The%age of consumers watching TV online jumped from the 23% figure reported in the previous study. Roughly 54% of those surveyed said they are making their own entertainment content through editing photos, videos or music, 45% said they are producing that content for others to see, and 32% said they consider themselves to be "broadcasters" of their own media.

"I think for advertisers one of the conclusions is you don't make decisions to advertise either on television or the Internet when you want to hit all the demographics, but rather you need to have a multiplatform strategy," said Ken August, vice chairman and national sector leader for Deloitte & Touche's media and entertainment practice, which commissioned the study. "It shouldn't be an either or proposition."

Among the study's other findings:

-- 54% of consumers said they socialize via social networking sites, chat rooms or message boards, and 45% said they maintain a profile on a social networking site.

-- 85% of consumers still find TV advertising to have the most impact on their buying habits, but online ads are second best, with 65% of consumers saying they have the most impact, beating out magazines at 63%.

Source- http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20071228/wr_nm/media_survey_dc;_ylt=Av2nEU6lyi1RqHrCukLnQwMjtBAF
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iPhone Babe  Celebrate Holi tainJust passing the time during the "holi-tain'ts" ('tain't this holiday, 'tain't that holiday)? The guys at I4U News really know how to commemorate gadgets, and can help you celebrate these in-between touchy-feely times with their I4U Apple iPhone Babe. She's billed as a tribute to touchscreens, and we might add she's a tribute to touching anything else within your reach, as well.

More Pics, Check it out--

Apple iPhone Babe Celebrates the Holi-tainsOne more pics of Apple iPhone Babe Celebrating Holi-tain's
Source- http://gizmodo.com/338146/apple-iphone-babe-celebrates-the-holi+taints
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Obama girl Britney boy Youtube popularityVideos by a self-styled Obama Girl, a fan's tearful defense of Britney Spears and an attack by a herd of buffaloes on a pride of lions, were among the most popular clips on YouTube.com in 2007.

But the videos were not just popular because of the millions of times they were seen on the YouTube.com Web site, which allows users to post their homemade videos. The rankings, released by YouTube on Thursday, took into account the most shared, most discussed, top rated and general popularity of clips to determine which ones people were thinking and talking about most.

Among the year's favorites were the Obama Girl video, created by Barely Political, featuring an attractive young singer professing her love for Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama. It has been viewed more than 4 million times and many more times on television after being featured on news and talk shows.

While it was clear Barely Political was producing political satire in the name of entertainment, Internet surfers might initially have been less certain what Chris Crocker was trying to do in his "Leave Britney Alone" clip in September.

The clip is a close-up of Crocker breaking down in tears as he berates the media and paparazzi for hounding pop singer Spears as she lurched from one tabloid scandal to another.

YouTube said the melodramatic two-minute clip made Crocker an instant YouTube star, has been watched more than 14 million times and is the fourth most-commented-on video in YouTube's history.

In terms of sheer viewer numbers it was an unlikely combination of amateur production values, patience and timing that made an eight-minute video titled "Battle at Kruger" so compelling it has been watched more than 21 million times on YouTube.

The video captured the battle between a herd of water buffaloes, a pride of lions and a crocodile over a young calf.

The clip, filmed by Jason Schlosberg on safari in South Africa's Kruger National Park, has been featured on ABC News and Time magazine. Schlosberg has a documentary coming on the National Geographic Channel next spring based around his original film.

Other popular videos included performances by up and coming singers in their bedrooms, including Esmee Denters from the Netherlands, singing Justin Timberlake's "What Goes Around" or Tay Zonday singing an original composition "Chocolate Rain."

A piano playing cat named Nora and otters holding hands also were among the favorites on YouTube, which is owned by search engine company Google Inc.

Source- http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20071228/wr_nm/youtube_popular_dc;_ylt=AmruY.kcBdqRpTkWLcgz50IjtBAF
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Phone book instead of PS3 for XmasIt's certainly not the first time we've seen someone open the box to a pricey gadget only to find their hopes and dreams dashed by some unscrupulous individual that's swiped the device and replaced it by something similarly weighted but decidedly cheaper, but it just wouldn't be the holidays if we didn't bring you another account of the same wrong-doings happening again.

This latest one comes to us from Thousand Oaks, California where one kid opened the box to the PlayStation 3 he got for Christmas and found a phone book in its place of his desired console. What's more, the PS3 wasn't bought on eBay or out of someone's trunk as you might expect, but at the local EB Games, where the kid's parents are apparently now doing their best to get things sorted out.

Source- http://www.engadget.com/2007/12/27/kid-gets-phone-book-instead-of-ps3-for-xmas/
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According to MobilecityOnline, they're getting shipments of the North American 8GB Nokia N95 on February 15.

N95 8GB North American versionWhy's this notable? Because the North American Model includes support for our 3G, which is much better than not having support for our 3G. Pre-order now, but be aware that MCO has pushed their launch dates back before.

Source- http://gizmodo.com/338180/n95-8gb-north-american-version-coming-feb-15
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First Street Fighter 4 GameplayCapcom has been hush about its latest Street Fighter game, but a few gameplay screenshots still managed to leak out.

SFIV is easy enough for casual players to just start jumping around, punching, kicking, and tossing the occasional fireball. This is thanks to the super-responsive joystick controls and six-button layout. But the game is also conducive to deliberate, strategic, hardcore battles that tournament-level players will undoubtedly produce once the game comes out.

Source- http://www.techeblog.com/index.php/tech-gadget/pictures-first-street-fighter-4-gameplay-screenshots-video-
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Crystal island- World biggest buildingChristmas may be over, but if designer Sir Norman Foster has his way, everyone in Moscow will be staring at a 1500ft tall, 27 million square foot, $4 billion dollar Christmas tree every day of the year. The structure, dubbed "Crystal Island" is being described as a "city within a building" and will feature 900 apartments, 3000 hotel rooms, an international school for 500 students, cinemas, a theater, a sports complex and more.

Crystal island world's biggest buildingAnd because the developers are obviously all about being economical and eco-friendly, the building will generate electricity using exterior solar panels and wind turbines. It will also save money on heating using dynamic enclosure panels that can be adjusted to allow sunlight to enter deep into the structure.

Source- http://gizmodo.com/337853/worlds-biggest-building-coming-to-moscow-looks-like-it-will-be-christmas-year+round
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Amazon views about  2007 holiday seasonShares of online U.S. retailer Amazon.com rose more than 2% on Wednesday after the online retailer said the 2007 holiday season was its strongest since it opened in 1994.

On December 10, its busiest day during the current season, Amazon said shoppers ordered more than 5.4 million items, or 62.5 items per second.

By comparison, the busiest day of the holiday season in 2006 was December 11, when customers ordered more than 4 million items, according to its Web site.

This year, top sellers included toys such as the Jakks EyeClops Bionic Eye, video games including Nintendo's Wii video game systems and Super Mario Galaxy, and consumer electronics products like the Garmin GPS and Samsung LCD high definition TVs.

Other popular items, based on items ordered between November 15 and December 19, ranged from Black & Decker's auto wrench to Kenneth Cole Reaction men's wool pea coat. The company also said it sold about 17 Nintendo Wii systems per second when they had them in stock.

Shares of Amazon closed up $1.84, or 2.02%, to $92.85 on the Nasdaq, above its 50-day moving average of $87.58, but below its 52-week high of $101.09 set October 23.

Source- http://www.news.com/Amazon-says-2007-holiday-season-strongest-ever/2100-1041_3-6224033.html?tag=nefd.top
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Microsoft Vista vs Microsoft Vista SP1Microsoft just rolled out the first publicly available release candidate for Service Pack 1 of Windows Vista, and we snapped it up, eager to see if it's faster than the currently shipping version of Vista.

To test its speed, we ran a series of benchmarks on exactly the same machine, first with the original version of Vista, and then with Release Candidate 1 (RC1) of the upcoming Service Pack 1 (SP1). For comparison, on exactly the same machine and on an identical hard disk, we also tested those benchmarks using Windows XP. From the perspective of sheer speed, has Microsoft improved Vista with this first iteration of a service pack? Yes and no.

First, we'll briefly describe the monster machine we used for testing. We'll give you the full scoop with pics of this machine tomorrow, but for now, salivate over these specs for a while: It's a dual quad-core Penryn HP xw8600 PC with workstation-class NVidia Quadro FX 4600 graphics, all eight processor cores running at 3.16GHz, a 15,000rpm SAS hard drive and 4GB of RAM. For our testing we had an identical 15,000rpm disk at the ready, that one with Windows XP loaded, which we swapped out and plugged into the same SATA port to compare the two OSes. Anyway, I guess you could say this well-equipped workstation will qualify to run Windows Vista. It's probably the fastest production PC you can get your hands on, and we'll show you pics, compare it to its predecessors with more benchmarks, and describe its superb goodness tomorrow.

Did Vista have speed trouble? Well, yes and no. When we ran the industry-standard PCMark05 benchmark on both Windows XP (SP2, we hear SP3 will be faster) and Vista, Vista came out ahead by a sizable margin on exactly the same machine, scoring a 10,403, compared to XP's score of 9024, a 15.28% speed increase for Windows Vista. That's a noticeable difference. How did Vista feel, speed-wise? We immediately realized we were dealing with increased speed over XP, over a long weekend of mousing around the PC, running Photoshop and Adobe Premiere, running benchmarks and browsing websites.

The only downside we noticed with Windows Vista was when we tried to transfer a large folder full of files over our 100Base-T network. While XP was able to transfer the 1.37GB folder containing 2606 items in a quick 3:37 (minutes/seconds), the Vista transfer seemed to hesitate at the end, taking a leisurely 12:58 to perform exactly the same copy from one PC to another over our network.

Then when we compared the current shipping version of Vista with its upcoming service pack, there wasn't much difference, with the Service Pack speeding things up by 0.865% in the PCMark tests. The only part of it that's bugging us is the network file transfer speed got even slower in the SP1 release candidate. Also continuing that bothersome disk speed problem is the way Vista couldn't read and write on that speedy 15,000rpm SAS drive anywhere near as fast as XP did.

Comparison between Vista vs Vista SP1Source- http://gizmodo.com/337768/battlemodo-windows-vista-service-pack-1-rc1-vs-shipping-vista
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JR Tokai maglev railwayCentral Japan Railway Company (JR Tokai) has announced its intentions to construct a swank maglev railway in Japan. The bad news? It's not scheduled to open until 2025. Reportedly, JR Tokai will be coughing up around ¥5.1 trillion ($44 billion, give or take a few mil) of its own change to build the system that will stretch between the "Tokyo metropolitan area and the Chukyo region, with Nagoya at the center." Of course, we're all going to be cruising around in personal flying saucers in a decade anyway, so we wouldn't be too worried about the wait.

Source- http://www.engadget.com/2007/12/26/jr-tokai-plans-maglev-railway-for-japan-wont-open-until-2025/
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AMD-logo-imageEarlier this year, we heard that AMD would be unleashing a few triple-core Phenoms in Q1 of next year, and now DigiTimes has a few more details surrounding the forthcoming launch.

Reportedly, the B2 stepping Phenom 8400 (2.1GHz) and 8600 (2.3GHz) will be hitting shelves in March, while the B3 stepping 8700 (2.4GHz), 8650 (2.3GHz) and 8450 (2.1GHz) will be loosed sometime in Q2 2008.

Source- http://www.engadget.com/2007/12/26/amds-triple-core-phenoms-to-launch-in-march/
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Chainsaw Powered MotorcycleFor motorcycle enthusiasts who want it all, their collection isn't complete until this monstrosity makes it into the garage. It's powered by 24 chainsaw engines (170ps / 400Nm), mated to a 5-speed Harley-Davidson gearbox using a series of 12 toothed belts.

Source- http://www.techeblog.com/index.php/tech-gadget/feature-chainsaw-powered-motorcycle-is-functional-pretty-fast-video-
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6 Legged Robot CrawlerThe iC Hexapod robot, powered by a 16-bit PIC processor (59MHz) connected to 3 servos, sports a CCD camera that tracks faces and interacts by snapping pictures once it locks in. With its snazzy 6-legged design, and shiny CNC machines 6082 aluminum parts, the Hexapod strives to be an interactive experience for the geeky set.

Source- http://www.techeblog.com/index.php/tech-gadget/feature-6-legged-robot-crawler-tracks-and-interacts-video-
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Xbox live trouble status picsWe hear a lot of people are having problems with Xbox Live today (we're not, for the record), but if you're feeling a bit sheepish about giving the gift of a 360 + Live service to a loved one, just imagine how Microsoft must feel.

The service -- which we'd like to remind everyone is paid, unlike the competition's -- has been up and down since Christmas weekend. And it's not some surprise that there would be an influx of users today, nor is it any mystery to Microsoft how many Live accounts and Xboxes were sold over the past couple of weeks -- which is precisely why this kind of thing is so annoying.

Source- http://www.engadget.com/2007/12/25/xbox-live-having-trouble-again-on-christmas-day/
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Wall mounted device electric meterIn addition to its futuristic looks, this wall-mounted device provides you with energy usage stats on the fly, as well as "calculating your current electric bill."

Designer Delroy Dennisur could have stopped right there but he decided to take it a step further and give you a purdy visual cue. The front panel is laden with LEDs forming a floral pattern. The more energy you use, the more light is emitted as if the florals are growing.

Source- http://www.techeblog.com/index.php/tech-gadget/pictures-wall-mounted-device-shows-power-usage-on-the-fly
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The iPhone may have made the biggest tech splash in 2007, but a lot of other cannonballs hit the water as well: The year saw the hatching of Google's Android, a number of exploding laptops, and even a new tech-related ailment called "Acute Wiiitis."

What follows is a roundup of 2007's top tech news highlights, from Windows Vista to data breaches to a digital green movement that inspired a company called NHC to make an environmentally responsible MP3 player that Al Gore might jam out to.

Vista Follies-

For many people, 2007 kicked off with a disappointment--Microsoft's much-anticipated release of Windows Vista. The OS itself wasn't bad--in fact, we gave Vista a positive review--but upgrading from an XP environment proved nightmarish for a lot of users.

Starting in January,consumers could purchase Windows Vista. But anyone who bought a laptop or desktop PC in late 2006 was automatically enrolled in the Express Upgrade to Windows Vista coupon program, entitling them to a free upgrade from XP to Vista.

Unfortunately, many Express customers discovered that there was nothing "express" about the upgrade. Consumers who tried to redeem their coupons ran into delays when the companies responsible for processing the Vista coupons were overwhelmed by demand and ill-equipped to deal with it. Many people had to wait months to get their Vista upgrade disc.

But consumers' Vista woes didn't stop there: Some people who upgraded from XP decided that Vista wasn't all that Microsoft made it out to be. By the summer, Vista was facing the prospect of mounting consumer defections, as major computer vendors told customers that they would help them get rid of Vista and revert to XP.

Out of the Frying Pan, Into the Fire-

Many laptop users who managed to steer clear of Vista problems ran into a completely different source of trouble: Laptop battery woes that surfaced in 2006 developed into a horror show in 2007. Bad batteries dominated events in the laptop industry, and eventually nearly 10 million notebook PCs from Acer, Apple, Dell, Lenova, and Sony were recalled.

Music Tracks Get Cheaper and Finally Go Free-

By all accounts it was a good year for music fans--especially cheapskates. The year in digital music started off promisingly when iTunes began dropping copy protection from many of the songs in its catalog.

Also in 2007, iTunes drew some serious competition in the digital download arena, with Sprint, and others selling digital downloads--sans the requirement by Apple to use its iTunes software.

Skinflints, who rejoiced when iTunes' prices for DRM-free tracks dropped from $1.29 to $.99, got even better news when Radiohead and other rock bands embraced a pay-what-you-want model for record albums and began selling music directly to fans though their own Web sites.

About the only music enthusiast who wasn't happy in 2007 was Jammie Thomas of Minnesota, who was found liable for damages amounting to $222,000 for illegally sharing music files on Kazaa. In this civil suit, the Recording Industry Association of America had sued Thomas for copyright infringement in connection with downloads of 24 songs--and the jury found in the RIAA's favor.

Web Video Shake Up: Networks Put Shows Online-

2007 was a watershed year for fans of the broadcast TV shows CSI, Family Guy, Lost, and Heroes (among others). If they happened to miss an episode of these or many other programs, they could turn to the Internet to view the unseen action. Previously the networks had dabbled with putting prime-time shows online, but in 2007 they embraced the Web in earnest.

After NBC got in a spat with Apple entire library of John Stewart's Daily Show online for anyone to search and watch.

Television fans liked the idea of catching episodes online. But writers involved in creating and scripting the shows were irate--and went on strike--when broadcasters declined to share the extra online ad revenue with them.

Web Radio Sour Notes-

While Web video blossomed in 2007, Web radio encountered some turbulence. For several weeks last summer, small Webcasters were on the verge of shutting down after the XCopyright Royalty Board imposed steep new royalty fees that had been requested by SoundExchange, the performance rights organization responsible for collecting and distributing royalties for digital transmission of music. Because the fees were based on "performances"--which on the Internet translates into the number of custom channels that the user maintains, rather than into the revenue that results from use--they would have bankrupted most Internet broadcasters.

In August, large Webcasters reached an agreement with SoundExchange to allow them to continue operating The deal established a $50,000 cap on royalty fees for large Webcasters that may stream thousands of channels (the CRB's per-channel minimum of $500 would have far exceeded the cap for major Internet radio sites). SoundExchange also offered smaller Webcasters the option of paying royalties based on their revenue rather than on their number of channels, provided that the revenue from the site involved did not exceed $1.2 million a year.

The future of Internet radio is by no means settled yet. Webcasters continue to appeal the CRB's ruling in the courts, and Congress may intervene with legislation specifically designed for Internet radio.

Bandwidth Blues-

You need a lot of bandwidth to download and stream TV shows and music over the Internet, which is why many ISPs began to doubt whether allowing customers to use unlimited amounts of bandwidth was a wise business strategy.

In 2007 Comcast decided to act, booting some customers who violated the ISP's acceptable-use policy, which allows Comcast to cut off service to customers who "download too much" off the Internet. In other cases, Comcast dealt with customers who used specific, bandwidth-intensive applications such as peer-to-peer file-sharing programs Steve Jobs announced the iPhone at Macworld Expo, and then steadily gained momentum until, on June 29, Seagate announced its Barracuda 7200.11 in June, and then Western Digital joined the 1TB fraternity with its retailers sold off old stock of Toshiba's HD-A2 at a new low price of $100.

Rival backers of the two formats tried to entice customers with price drops and free movie deals. But as 2008 arrives, it is still anyone's guess as to which format will prevail.

Still Looking for a Wii-

On the gaming front this year, short supply of Wii units.

While fans of the Wii searched for game consoles, latest installment in Microsoft's hit Halo series, and retailers reportedly collected buy an XO laptop for $200--as long as they paid another $200 for a second unit to be given away to a child in the developing world.

Google's Growth Spurts-

Google continued its rapid expansion in 2007. Besides rolling out the OpenSocial application platform for social network services, and Knol, a competitor to Wikipedia. What's next, a Google automobile?

My personal favorite Google newcomer of 2007 was an MP3 maker called NHC went green in 2007. Google set out to decrease dependency on coal with its Climate Savers Computing Initiative, whose mandate is to increase the energy efficiency of computer and server equipment.

Hackers Enjoy Success in 2007-

Let's hope that 2007 marked the high tide for hackers and that 2008 will produce a downturn in their fortunes. Yeah, just call me Pollyanna.

Data thieves and botnet czars dispensed plenty of misery in 2007. Among other things, the year witnessed one of the largest digital data thefts ever: Hackers stole the names and credit card information of an estimated 45.6 to 94 million customers of department store owner TJX. The hackers gained access to TJX's computer systems by eavesdropping on the department stores' poorly protected Wi-Fi networks. The breach prompted numerous calls for stronger data-protection laws.

Also in 2007, things went from bad to worse for victims of so-called bot networks. In January, the Storm Worm emerged; it went on to become 2007's biggest PC security threat. The name "Storm Worm" is a bit of a misnomer because the malware is actually bot software that corrals infected computers into a botnet--a network that executes commands issued by a central criminal controller.

Law enforcement agencies broke up many botnets this year. But security experts warn that for every individual arrested for running a botnet, a dozen more likely remain at large.

Looking Ahead to 2008-

If 2007 is any indicator of what the tech world has in store for us in 2008, here are a few words of advice: Keep your virus definitions up-to-date, start saving for cool new gear (some of which we expect to see at the Consumer Electronics Show in early January), and consider waiting until Vista SP2 (or until you buy a new PC) before upgrading from XP.

Source- http://news.yahoo.com/s/pcworld/20071226/tc_pcworld/140753;_ylt=Akn2o8njpMUu6eniU7E.50UjtBAF
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Guitar Hero 3 Controller
"Blue Star", creator of this incredible device, unveils his latest creation: a fully-functional Guitar Hero 3 controller made from LEGO -- modeled after the Fender Geddy Lee jazz bass guitar.

Source- http://www.techeblog.com/index.php/tech-gadget/feature-lego-artist-creates-fully-functional-guitar-hero-3-controller
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The nation's shoppers — taking advantage of deep discounts and expanded hours — jammed stores over the last weekend before Christmas to try to grab a hard-to-find Wii or scoop up bargains on other items. But the spending surge may not be enough to offset what is shaping up to be a mediocre December for some retailers.

Based on early reports on Sunday, mall operators including Macerich Co. said they were pleased with the spending spree over the weekend, but they were still counting on Christmas Eve and post-Christmas business to meet holiday sales goals in what has turned out to be a nail biter of a season.

Meanwhile, even as shoppers continued to snap up flat-screen TVs, video game software and other gadgets, benefiting stores like Best Buy Co., the apparel business remains challenging, analysts said.

Ed Schmults, chief executive of toy merchant FAO Schwarz, which operates stores in Chicago and New York, said Sunday that pre-Christmas business is below expectations despite a sales surge this weekend.

"It's almost kind of worth waiting and shifting through the hustle and bustle," said Carly Moore, of Chicago, who was heading to Macy's on the city's State Street shopping corridor to scoop up some discounted clothing. But she was still frustrated that she couldn't find Nintendo's Wii game console, after trying at least five stores.

Valerie Glodowski of Stevens Point, Wis., who was with her boyfriend at Wisconsin's Wausau Center Mall, said she started holiday shopping two weeks ago and waited until the last weekend to finish out of sheer laziness.

"I am just winging it," she said.

Many merchants, which had struggled through a sluggish December after a strong start to the season, are counting even more on the final days before Christmas to make their holiday goals. With the three days prior to Christmas accounting for as much as 15% of holiday sales, there's a lot of business left on the table.

Macy's Inc. is keeping several of its stores in the New York metropolitan area, including its flagship store in Herald Square, open until 6 p.m. on Christmas Eve. About 1,000 of Sears Holdings Corp.'s 1,387 Kmart stores are open for 64 hours straight, beginning at 6 a.m. Saturday and ending at 10 p.m. on Dec. 24, for the first time since 2002.

With Christmas falling on a Tuesday, shoppers were enticed to wait even longer this season to finish their holiday shopping. A challenging economy — higher gas prices and a housing slump — also made some shoppers hold off until the final days before the holiday. Retailers routinely discount items deeper as Christmas draws nearer.

"The gas prices and car insurance ... is up. I would say I'm spending less and worrying more about it," said Sondra Newton, of Warren, Mich., who was at Oakland Mall in Troy, Mich., a suburb outside of Detroit on Friday. "I used to just take their (her children's) list and get the top ones on it. Now I have to think about 'what can I get at the best deal.'"

Nevertheless, Michael P. Niemira, chief economist at International Council of Shopping Centers, is sticking with his December forecast for a 1.5% gain in same-store sales, or sales at stores opened at least a year. That would mean same-stores sales for the November-December period would be up 2.5% from a year ago.

"I think when the dust settles, stores will have met expectations, though they are modest," said Bill Martin, co-founder of ShopperTrak RCT Corp., which tracks total sales at more than 50,000 retail outlets. He said he is still sticking with his 3.6% forecast for the November and December period, though he added, "some retailers will do OK, and others won't."

ShopperTrak is expected to release total sales for the week ended Saturday late on Monday.

Jerry Storch, chairman and CEO of Toys "R" Us Inc., said the past weekend was strong, and that people were buying "everything," from video-game software to games. He noted that shipments of Wii are selling out as fast as Toys "R" Us gets them, while the retailer is running out of Fisher-Price's Smart Cycle, a stationary bike that plugs into the TV. The season's hot video game, "Guitar Hero 3," is also hard to find.

Karen MacDonald, spokeswoman at mall operator Taubman Center Inc., noted that on Saturday business was up in the mid-single digits based on a spot-check of malls. Gift card sales are up in the double digits, and "more men are out buying fragrance gift sets and jewelry," she said.

Ken Gillette, senior vice president of operations at Macerich, noted that the weekend was "very busy," with traffic on Saturday up 20% from the previous Saturday. He said while the day after Black Friday starts off the season, the most intense sales volume comes in the few days before Christmas.

Still, overall holiday sales gains could come at a cost for retailers, says Sherif Mityas, partner and central region leader at consultancy A.T. Kearney, noting that stores discounted heavily at the expense of margins. He believes that apparel merchants will see their fourth-quarter profits most hurt.

For many shoppers, it paid to wait given the plentiful offerings and good deals. The Children's Place Retail Stores Inc. was offering three graphic T-shirts for a total of $20. Pier 1 Imports Inc., which has been hit hard along with other home furnishings stores by the housing slump, was offering 50 percent discounts on candle gift sets and 35% price cuts on holiday potpourri.

"I got very good deals," said Nichelle Jones, of Chicago who had purchased two shirts at Lady Foot Locker, owned by Foot Locker Inc., winter boots and an iPod at Wal-Mart Stores Inc.

Edison Alberto of Miami Beach, Fla., got all of his shopping done in about an hour and a half on Friday night. He had about a dozen gifts to buy and found them all at a mall near Miami. His best deals, he said, were sneakers he bought for two cousins at Champs Sports.

"I thought they were going to be $80 or up," he said. "They were $55 each."

Source- http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20071224/ap_on_bi_ge/holiday_last_minute_shopping;_ylt=AtxdpYZ02tkgYrPaKEnQsYgjtBAF
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First African satellite imageIn a landmark launch that will supposedly "contribute to bridging the digital divide within Africa and between Africa and the rest of the world," the continent's first satellite successfully made it into orbit aboard a French-made rocket last night.

The so-called RASCOM-QAF1 -- named after the Regional African Satellite Communication Organization which is funding the venture -- lifted off from the European space base in Kourou, French Guiana stowed inside an Ariane 5, the sixth such launch this year and 36th overall of that particular model, manufactured by Paris-based Arianespace. The new 3.2-tonne (7,055-pound) satellite is set to serve the large African rural market neglected by traditional cellphone carriers, and will allegedly save hundred of millions of dollars a year currently being paid to foreign operators.

Source- http://www.engadget.com/2007/12/23/first-african-satellite-launched/Read more on "First African satellite launched"!
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Katherine Heigl with engagement ringActress Katherine Heigl, an Emmy-winning star of medical drama "Grey's Anatomy," married her musician boyfriend in Utah on Sunday, US Weekly magazine reported on its Web site.

Heigl, 29, and Josh Kelley, 27, tied the knot under a marquee at a resort in Park City, Utah. Among the guests at the black-tie ceremony were Heigl's co-stars Sandra Oh, Kate Walsh and T.R. Knight, the magazine said.

Heigl won an Emmy in September for her role as an adulterous medic in the ABC network's "Grey's Anatomy," which follows the lives and loves of physicians at a Seattle hospital. She met Kelley in 2005, when she was cast in a music video, and they were engaged the following year after Heigl forced the issue.

Kelley, a critically acclaimed singer-songwriter, is due to release a new album in February.

Source- http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20071224/en_nm/heigl_married_dc;_ylt=Ajr5pwkb3cYA5539jHZXuDojtBAF
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Earlier this year, Disneyland got a little more zany with the Muppet Mobile Laboratory, but as soon as the park opens up early next year, guests should notice a bit of an upgrade on the monorail.

Disneyland getting new monorailsReportedly, the famed park will be running its first all new monorail car in a score, and while details are scant on the actual engineering upgrades, we do know that the electric cars will sport all new hues. The first in line will feature blue glass and red stripes that "change color in the sunlight," while the next two will be blue with purple glass and orange with blue glass. So yeah, it's probably not enough to make a special trip out to Anaheim for, but if you needed just one more excuse to don those iconic black ears and pretend you're young again, you've got it.

Source- http://www.engadget.com/2007/12/23/disneyland-getting-all-new-monorails/
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The Christianity 2.0 movement continues in South Florida, where the town of Bal Harbour received a GPS-equipped Baby Jesus statue to replace a previously stolen Baby Jesus staute. A Cincinnati lawyer donated the statue after hearing about the theft in early December.

Baby Jesus GPS Super PowerIn addition, Mary and Joseph were equipped with GPS and the entire family was encased in plexiglass to avoid future theft by godless heathens. Now Ricky Bobby can rest easy knowing that little baby Jesus is safe in his manger watchin' the Baby Einstein videos, learnin' 'bout shapes and colors.

Source- http://gizmodo.com/337177/baby-jesus-now-with-gps-super-powers
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Luxury Waterproof LCDI think that a waterproof screen needs every TV set. What for? Let me ask you then: what about a TV set in bathroom, in kitchen and somewhere outside? Any modern good housewife dreams to have as many TV sets everywhere as possible.

There are just a few things can somehow damage Luxury LCD Screen. It is really great that the screen is waterproof. It is really very handy. Then, it can be mounted or embedded into walls - this is one more advantage of the Luxury Waterproof LCD Screen. This nice device comes with such handy and nice features as AV IN, an TV antenna in for watching TV, S-Video IN for high end signals, and for real fun a VGA IN for connecting your computer as you soak.

The remote control is also waterproof. You may test it by throwing it in the water while taking a bath and watching TV in bathroom.

Imagine all the advantages of such waterproof LCD Screen. You may put it everywhere you like and be sure it won't be spoiled by water or high humidity. I guess that with the help of this gadget you may distract yourself by watching TV almost in any part of your apartments.

However that may be, I don't recommend testing the device on its strength, the company doesn't guarantee you that it's absolutely unbreakable. But all the advantages will be seen while using it.

Source- http://www.gadgets-reviews.com/index.php?page=post&id=665
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Apple intel silverthorne mobile devicesApple Insider reports that Apple would adopt Intel's "Menlow" Mobile Internet Device (MID) platform featuring the new 45-nanometer (nm) "Silverthorne" chip in a big way.

The information is from the ever elusive 'people close to the matter'. The Apple MacWorld Expo is in a couple of weeks and of course Apple will show something new. It is just a question of what. A 3G iPhone, a new Apple UMPC?

Intel is very fond of the new Silverthorne chip, comparing its impact with the introduction of the 8088 CPU. This will be something to be seen.

Source- http://www.i4u.com/article13703.html
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Aerielle i2i ladies sharing musicWe've all been there, lying in our bikinis thinking, "Why on earth can't I wirelessly transmit the sexy songs I'm listening to to my super sexy friends?" This common dilemma provoked Aerielle to launch the i2i Stream, a lightweight matchbox that can "send or receive CD quality sound up to 30 feet wirelessly." The idea is that you can DJ for a whole group of your friends, then pass the job to someone else who can then return the favor.

It's a cool idea, though we wonder exactly how many friends we can broadcast to at once, and if there's any pairing involved. It's not iPod specific—just a 3.5mm jack for anything you want to connect (plus another one so you can hear the tuneage yourself). But there may be limits. Since it uses 2.4GHz RF, it could have a latency issue (particularly if it's using a Bluetooth variant), so sharing the audio of a video player could be out of the question.
Its got a rechargeable battery inside that provides 5 to 7 hours of battery life. You charge the thing via USB, which I think is weird considering this isn't a PC accessory, but Aerielle promises to sell a wall charger too. (You can probably use your BlackBerry or Motorola charger, since it's all the same jack.)

It's $70 for one or $120 for a pair—an ideal situation for me since my hot friend happens to be my wife, and yes dear, it's you and only you. Aerielle will also release $10 Stream Skins molded cases available in blue, green, pink, silver and clear, in case all of your super hot friends are equally super worried about, you know, color coordination and stuff.

Source- http://gizmodo.com/336668/aerielles-i2i-hangs-from-neck-shares-music-with-your-hot-friends
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The fact that ‘blogging’ racked up its tenth anniversary this week was pretty amazing, but the real surprise must be how far the concept has reached. Who would have thought that blogs would be used to report the news like the recent unrest in Burma, where traditional news sources can’t get access, or that the whole social networking phenomenon would have evolved out of the blogging world.

For the record the proper name is Weblog and was created by Jorn Barger. In recognition of the ten years here are a few facts:
  • Technorati is currently tracking more than 70 million weblogs.
  • In late 1998 (estimated that) only 23 blogs existed.
  • In 1999 the word “blog” was coined as a shortened form of the original term.
  • There are now 120,000 new blogs being created every day.
  • Posts are being added to blogs at a rate of 17 per second - a total of 1.5 million per day.

Source- http://www.gadgetell.com/2007/12/10-years-of-blogging/
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Yahoo plans to launch its Panama online ad platform for mobile devices in the first quarter of 2008, reports NMA. Yahoo says it will allow advertisers to run integrated online and mobile campaigns, and control both from a single user interface.

The company also says it wants to be the leading mobile internet advertising player, but it’s already lagging a few months behind Google, which launched AdSense for Mobile in September, as well as smaller independent players like AdMob. Still, the overall market is nascent enough that Yahoo’s delay may not represent too big a problem, so long as it can quickly ramp up and deliver high numbers of impressions to marketers.

Source- http://www.moconews.net/entry/419-yahoo-to-launch-panama-for-mobile-in-q1/
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Aptera electric car 8 doors upPopular Mechanics test drove the Aptera Super-MPG Electric Typ-1 e. And it looks like it works great.

Capable of achieving 300 miles per gallon in its hybrid version, the $30,000 Aptera is a winner according to them: the electric-only version is stable, practical for daily transport and drives well, all while looking like a prop car from Woody Allen's Sleeper or Logan's Run, especially its '80s-retro-futurist interior:

Aptera electriccar 5-interiorFor now Aptera is only going to sell their Typ-1 e and future hybrid version cars in California, where everyone is chic and cool, like Jason Chen.

Update: Aptera announced the rollout of their flagship electric pre-production car, the 2e. The three-wheeled vehicle, to be released in October of 2009, features a whopping 200mpg, 100 miles per charge, and will retail between 25 and 40 grand.
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Japan 2007 Robot of the YearPutin. Ok, actually another stoic, semi-autonomous critter is the winner of Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry (METI) 2007 Robot of the Year award. The grand prize goes to the work-horse, industrial robot from Fanuc Ltd. called M-430iA.

The multi-axis, greaseless (read: sanitary) robot is part of a food and pharmaceutical handling system. Unlike your unemployed uncle with his GED, this bot can work non-stop, 24 hours a day, accurately picking up 120 items per minute as they roll down a conveyor belt. Other winners are the dancing Miuro in the small- to medium-sized venture category and Matsushita's blood-toting HOSPI bot. The latter apparently winning due to its unique position to assimilate the human race.

Source- http://www.engadget.com/2007/12/20/japans-2007-robot-of-the-year-goes-to/
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MTV recruits youths to cover electionsMTV, part of the media conglomerate Viacom Inc., has recruited 51 youths to cover the 2008 elections throughout the country with weekly reports that will include short videos, blogs and animation.

The reports will be distributed through Think.MTV.com, an issue-based political and community Web site run by MTV; to mobile devices through a soon-to-be launched service called MTV Mobile and through The Associated Press' Online Video Network, a video news service that is hosted by more than 1,800 Web sites.

The arrangement announced Thursday is part of MTV's "Choose or Lose" political awareness campaign and was funded partly by a grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, a private journalism foundation based in Miami.

The participants in the program will be equipped with laptop computers, cell phones and video cameras and tasked with finding political stories that will particularly resonate with young people.

Participants in the "Street Team '08" project have profiles on Think.MTV.com. MTV recruited one member from every state as well as Washington, D.C.

Source- http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20071220/ap_en_bu/mtv_ap_election_coverage;_ylt=Al7RpaSHMc1zOOh6Cwt5XMMjtBAF
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PS3 vs Xbox360 Graphics Comparison
In this post, "the five-games-in-one Orange Box goes head to head with itself in this next-gen console comparison."

Source- http://www.techeblog.com/index.php/tech-gadget/video-the-orange-box-ps3-vs-xbox-360-graphics-comparison
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MadCatz Xbox360 HDMI conversion kitWell, what have we here? No, seriously, what is this thing? Considering the absolute dearth of information given on GameStop's pre-order page, we're left to surmise that the Xbox 360 HDMI Conversion Kit exists (er, will exist) simply to allow those who purchased their Xbox 360 before the days of built-in HDMI to utilize one of the dusty HDMI sockets on their TV / receiver. Granted, we're sure hoping there's more to this thing than that, or else we're left wondering who's desperate enough to drop $89.99 to free up a single component input.

Update: Turns out this thing does indeed support 1080p, and it'll come with "free" HDMI and optical audio cables, too.

Source- http://www.engadget.com/2007/12/19/madcatzs-xbox-360-hdmi-conversion-kit-up-for-pre-order/
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As a kid I never really believed in Santa, being in India and all, but there’s something about this season that just makes you wanna go out and buy stuff. Maybe it's commercialism brought on by the multitude of ads and hoardings you see all around, or maybe it’s this Christmas Spirit everyone keeps talking about. Either way, if it’s gaming gifts you’re looking for this Christmas, look no further since we have the solution to all your holiday shopping needs.

NOTE: Now I really don’t like repeating gifts in my lists but I had to make an exception this time round since prices of consoles and certain games have not only dropped since our Diwali list, but newer products are also available in the market.

The 40 GB PlayStation 3
PlayStation-3 PS3 gameIf you thought the PS3 was an expensive piece of hardware, you’re still right to a certain extent. But keeping your plight in mind Sony has gone ahead and released a 40 GB version of the PS3 that’s being sold in India officially for Rs 24,990. If for some reason that’s still too steep for your pockets, you could always order the same model from the US where it’s being sold for around 16 grand.

The PlayStation Portable
Handheld consoles have made their way into our list as well, since you have three different iterations of Sony’s PlayStation Portable to check out this holiday season.

PSP Slim & Lite - Rs 8,990
PSP Slim & Lite game
Spiderman Bundle (ships with red-and-black PSP, Spider-man 3 movie, and Spiderman 3 game) – Rs 10,490
Spiderman bundle spidey PSP
Simpsons Bundle (ships with yellow PSP and the latest Simpsons game) – Rs 9,990
Sony  simpsons psp
The Xbox 360

Xbox360 game pictureIf you’re looking to get into next-gen gaming, now would be a pretty good time to shell out hard cash on the Xbox 360, since Microsoft has (further) slashed the prices of the Xbox 360 for the month of December as part of their New Year celebratory offer. Yes, this month the Xbox 360 core console will be sold for Rs 14,990 while the Pro version will set you back by Rs 23,990. Forza Motorsport 2 and Viva Piñata will be bundled with the core console while the Pro version will include copies of Project Gotham Racing 3, Forza Motorsport 2, Viva Piñata and Yuvraj Singh International Cricket 2007.

NVIDIA 8800GT imageHave you been looking to upgrade your rig but can’t find a graphics card that fits your budget? Look no further, for NVIDIA has released the 8800 GT that’s actually been recommended by Cevat Yerli, CEO and cofounder of Crytek as the (who, by the way, we talked to right here). The only reason I’m including a graphics card in my list for the very first time is because this card is one of the best value-for-money cards on the block. It costs only Rs 15,000 and is nearly as powerful as the 8800 GTX (which costs twice as much).

Source- http://www.tech2.com/india/topstuff/games/christmas-buying-guide-for-gamers/24041/0
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Windows Aero flip 3D display linkSince simply having a USB-fed monitor would not be bleeding edge enough for you, DisplayLink has updated its Virtual Graphics Card software to support the Windows Vista Aero 3D interface. The update, version 4.3, is available to all DisplayLink-based systems, including USB graphics adapters, docking stations and monitors. DisplayLink claims it's the first implementation of Aero in a network display technology, and since you can plug in up to six displays with VGC, certain maths would say that adds up to a whole bunch of Aero.

Source- http://www.engadget.com/2007/12/19/displaylinks-new-vgc-4-3-supports-vista-aero-3d/
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Microsoft plans to release the first beta of the next version of Internet Explorer in the first half of 2008, and said that IE 8 has passed a key Web standards test that ensures the browser won't "break" the Web.

IE8 has passed the "Acid2 Browser Test" from the Web Standards Project, which shows whether a browser renders a Web site in a certain way. If the browser renders the site correctly, it means the browser supports certain accepted Web standards.

Microsoft posted a video about the browser passing the test on its Channel 9 Web site.

Microsoft developed IE before some Web standards such as CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) and RSS (Really Simple Syndication) were developed, and so older versions don't support some current standards. Developers would write applications to work with IE rather than to support Web standards, since the browser was the de facto standard for surfing the Internet for so many years. Microsoft also was lax in updating IE to meet the demands of Web standards, since there was little competition in the browser market for years.

With the release and subsequent popularity of open-source browser Mozilla Firefox three years ago, a browser's need to stay current with Web standards once again moved to the forefront. When Microsoft developed IE7, released in October 2006, the company had good intentions and decided to improved support of Web standards with the new release.

However, Web sites that were created for older versions of IE didn't work properly on IE7. Microsoft hopes to remedy this problem so the situation is not repeated with IE8, according to an IE Blog posting attributed to Dean Hachamovitch, a Microsoft general manager on the IE team.

"With respect to standards and interoperability, our goal in developing Internet Explorer 8 is to support the right set of standards with excellent implementations and do so without breaking the existing Web," according to the blog posting.

Hachamovitch said Microsoft is taking a cue in lessons learned from making improvements to CSS in IE7 that "made IE more compliant with some standards and less compatible with some sites on the Web as they were coded." The key design goal for IE8, he said, is compatibility with existing Web sites and Web standards supported in other browsers to provide a premium user experience.

"As a developer, I'd prefer to not have to write the same site multiple times for different browsers," according to Hachamovitch's post. "Standards are a (critical!) means to this end, and we focus on the standards that will help actual, real-world interoperability the most. As a consumer and a developer, I expect stuff to just work, and I also expect backwards compatibility. When I get a new version of my current browser, I expect all the sites that worked before will still work."

Microsoft said the final release of IE8 depends upon feedback received from the beta process.

Source- http://www.pcworld.com/article/id,140684-c,internetexplorer/article.html
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Panasonic Hitachi rumored imageHere's a rumor which no doubt has Sony, Samsung, and Sharp in a tizzy: Matsushita (Panasonic) and Hitachi are said to be talking specifics about multi-billion dollar panel deals. If things work out, plasma-happy Panny would get a quick foothold in the burgeoning large-panel (greater than 40-inches) LCD market while Hitachi makes a quick get away from its loss making business. Canon is also looking to invest in Hitachi to get their hands on Hitachi's smaller LCD and OLED panels. Matsushita, Hitachi and Canon all issued statements saying that nothing has yet been decided -- a far cry from denial.

Source- http://www.engadget.com/2007/12/19/panasonic-and-hitachi-in-rumored-multi-billion-dollar-lcd-panel/
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Harry potter with under age costarThe Archos 605 Wi-Fi is a fine player when you want to watch movies on the go, but have you noticed that it's not quite Harry Pottery enough? Archos hears your cries, and is introducing a special edition loaded with the first four Potter movies (with the fifth being downloadable from the Archos Content Portal). This may or may not be a UK-only deal, but we'll keep you scarf-wearing superfans updated.

Source- http://gizmodo.com/gadgets/portable-media/limited-harry-potter-archos-605-raises-wands-everywhere-335375.php
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Jerry Bruckheimer imageViacom Inc's MTV and award-winning television and film producer Jerry Bruckheimer will launch a video game development studio, marrying Hollywood and technology in what has been historically an uneasy alliance.

Bruckheimer, producer of Walt Disney Co's wildly successful "Pirates of the Caribbean" film franchise among a long list of film and TV hits like "CSI," said he plans to do for video games what he has done for other well-defined genres of content.

"It's no different than what we did with movies," he said in a phone interview. "We did 'Top Gun' when everyone said you couldn't do an aviation movie because they all failed. We did a pirate movie when they said pirate movies aren't going to work."

Bruckheimer added, "We approach gaming the same way. We see things a little differently, that maybe other people wouldn't see."

MTV Networks earmarked over $500 million earlier this year to invest in video games, including this venture, for its more than 300 Web sites and on game systems of Sony Corp, Microsoft Corp and Nintendo Co Ltd's.

Its success with the recently launched "Rock Band" music-based game has inspired MTV to explore other new categories untapped by the $30 billion global video games market.

Rather than shoehorn Bruckheimer into creating games for existing genres, such as shooters or extreme sports, the new studio aims to break new ground in interactive storytelling on the Internet, computers and video game systems, said Van Toffler, president of MTV Networks' Music and Logo Group.

The teaming up of Hollywood and the games industry has met with mixed success in the past.

Hong Kong action film director John Woo's "Stranglehold," a video game sequel to his movie "Hard Boiled," and the Wachowski brothers "Matrix" series of games have not been breakout hits like the blockbuster films they were based on.

Moreover, the video games industry has also begun to scale back the licensing of movie properties for games as development budgets soar.

"These are for original games for MTV Games and it is our hope that some of this IP (intellectual property) and characters will migrate to TV and film," MTV Networks President Van Toffler said in an interview.

Left unanswered is how big of a budget the new studio will have at its disposal. Top tier games such as Microsoft's "Halo 3" and Activision Inc's "Call of Duty 4" command budgets of anywhere from $20 million to well over $30 million, according to one game industry veteran.

Media executives including those at Time Warner Inc, which has invested in video games, are eyeing the potential rewards. "Halo 3" sales, for example, topped $170 million within 24 hours of its release and $300 million globally in the first week.

Source- http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20071219/wr_nm/mtv_games_dc;_ylt=AoHaLwo705YDaciCco3fX7cjtBAF
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Google has released their first ever annual Google Zeitgeist report for India.

Zeitgeist means "spirit of the times" and, because people use Google to search for what's new and interesting, these queries, when seen in volume, tend to be a good reflection of what's on everybody's minds.

The Google Zeitgeist is calculated by looking at the aggregation of the most popular and fast-rising search queries submitted to Google by Indian users.

In compiling the 2007 year-end Zeitgeist, Google studied the aggregation of search queries people from India conducted on their search engine. The search giant maintains that no individual searcher's information was part of this analysis.

For the 2007 Google Zeitgeist list for India, Google looked at thousands of 2007's most popular searches, and ranked them based on how much their popularity increased compared to 2006.

The category-based lists on the following pages on Bollywood celebrities, movies, holiday destinations etc. are the absolute most frequent searches in those categories.

Source- http://www.tech2.com/india/news/internet/google-releases-first-zeitgeist-for-india/23841/0
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As of November, 4.1 million Americans have bought Halo 3 -- more than half of the current 7.9 million Xbox 360 owners in the United States.

"The power of Halo 3 is quite evident," said NPD analyst Anita Frazier in speaking with GameDaily. "When it released it drove hardware sales substantially... That is why content is so important - a killer game drives hardware adoption more than any other factor (including price cuts)."

By comparison (noting that Halo 3 has been out two months longer), Super Mario Galaxy has been purchased by 19 percent of all U.S. Wii owners so far (6 million). Nintendo says it's pleased with the service so far rendered by the Italian plumber.

"Galaxy will have extremely long life and will have extremely large numbers throughout that entire life," said Reggie Fils-Aime, president of NOA. "Mark my words, look in six months and no one will have any remembrance that [Galaxy] 'only' did 1.1 million copies in its first month."

Source- http://www.pcworld.com/article/id,140646-c,games/article.html
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iBoob Breast Implant MP3 Player imageFake Steve Jobs, aka Forbes Editor Dan Lyons, may regard the tongue-in-cheek idea of a breast implant MP3 player as "shameful sexploitation"—but if it actually existed, it could be the next big thing for Apple. Associating breasts with your brand always means cash money. Plus, it beats the hell out of the iPod Pillow.

Source- http://gizmodo.com/gadgets/fsj/sadly-the-iboob-breast-implant-mp3-player-wont-be-fast+tracked-by-fake-steve-jobs-335422.php
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Best of 2007 video gamesBEST OF 2007: It has been a terrific year for video games, and boiling it down to a top 10 list was difficult. But here are the games I enjoyed the most in 2007.

1. BioShock: My AP colleague Matt Slagle called it the game of the year, and I have no argument. Ken Levine's undersea epic combines a thought-provoking story, compelling gameplay, dazzling visuals and a lush soundtrack to create one of gaming's true masterpieces.

2. Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction": Everyone's favorite lombax-robot team returns in this delightful space-faring romp. The animation is movie-quality; the action, whether you're swinging between platforms or blowing up aliens, is consistently satisfying.

3. Super Mario Galaxy: Just about every planet Mario visits in his latest adventure provides a new kind of challenge, giving "SMG" more "how'd-they-think-of-that?" moments than a dozen of its competitors — combined.

4. Mass Effect: BioWare's latest role-playing game lets you explore one of the most elaborate science-fiction universes ever created, in a fascinating galactic chase that requires you to make some real moral choices.

5. Rock Band: Add drums and a microphone to the "Guitar Hero" formula and you have the best multiplayer game of the year. Huge props to developer Harmonix for landing songs from an excellent cross-section of real-life rockers, from Metallica to The Clash.

6. Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3: I'm a sucker for old-school, turn-based role-playing games, and this was the year's best, adding a disturbing story and — of all things — a dating simulator.

7. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare: The venerable combat series leaves World War II behind and moves into the 21st century — but still sets the standard for first-person shooters.

8. Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords: Mixing a puzzle game with a role-playing fantasy sounds like a terrible idea until it's 4 a.m. and all you want to do is just fight one more ogre.

9. Zack & Wiki: Quest for Barbaros' Treasure: Don't let the cute characters fool you: This throwback to the graphic adventures of the '80s and '90s offers some of the toughest brainteasers around.

10. The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass: Nintendo showed everyone else how to make a great DS game with another brilliant chapter in its "Zelda" cycle.

THE REST OF THE BEST: A few other games that didn't make it into my top 10 deserve some mention:

Best game that almost seems like an afterthought: "Portal," the innovative puzzle game that rounded out Electronic Arts' "Half-Life 2" omnibus, "The Orange Box."

Best Xbox Live Arcade game: "Catan," Big Huge Games' slick adaptation of the classic board game "Settlers of Catan."

Best TV-based game: "The Simpsons Game."

Best game-based TV: "South Park," for its tributes to "World of Warcraft" and "Guitar Hero."

Best new character: "Eternal Sonata" protagonist Frederic Chopin — yes, the legendary Polish composer.

Best trend: Games go mainstream, thanks largely to Nintendo's Wii and DS. Even your grandma has joined a Wii bowling league.

Source- http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20071218/ap_en_ot/games_news_bytes;_ylt=AvAl5XYXsckkD1HooaPtBT4jtBAF
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