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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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, 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 MTV recruited one member from every state as well as Washington, D.C.

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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."

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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.

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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).

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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."

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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.

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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.

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Asus Japan has announced that their beloved little lappie, the Eee PC, is heading to Japan.

Asus  Eee PC in Japan with 16GBNormally we don't care too much about one of our toys touching down over there, but they're also getting a new 16G(B) model, whereas our rainbow of options ends at 8G. Also, it's rumored they're getting Windows XP as a pre-install option.

You can pretty much add whatever OS you want, but so far only the Fresno school system has gotten Eee PCs pre-loaded with Windows XP and Microsoft apps, per a specific arrangement. The hardware and (probable) price are a good fit for the general Japanese computer market, but not having Windows might prove to be an entry barrier, so it'd make sense for Asus to have it at bat for people looking for a work notebook. We wouldn't mind having the extra choice (or the 16G model) over here, either.

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Toshiba qosmio G40 hd dvd rwNotice anything special about that laptop up there? No besides it's monstrous footprint. Right, a world's first HD DVD-RW drive in a laptop. Otherwise, it's the same 17-inch WUXGA (1920 x 1200) Qosmio G40 we know and love now topping out with a 2.2GHz T7500 Core 2 Duo, up to 400GB of disk and 4GB of memory, and a pair of terrestrial HDTV tuners with HDMI-out in a 10.6-pound slab of media action.

Priced at about ¥400,000 ($3,530) nicely equipped.

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Internet users pirate movies survey related to SKoreanNearly half the Internet users in South Korea -- one of the world's most wired nations -- illegally download a full-length movie a week, according to a survey released on Tuesday.

The poll of 2,358 people, aged from 15 to 49, showed 47.3% had downloaded feature films through file-sharing sites by paying nothing or less than 100 won (11 cents) per film during the past year.

The margin of error in the survey conducted by the Korean Film Council is plus or minus 2.0 % points, Yonhap news agency reported.

It found that a typical movie pirate has downloaded 54.5 movies per year, or more than one a week.

Almost a third cited affordability as a reason for pirating movies, while 21% mentioned time flexibility.

Of those who claimed never to have pirated movies, 28% said it was too complicated, while 18 percent said they were worried about computer viruses. Only 12% said they did not want to infringe copyrights.

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Nintendo sees strong DS salesNintendo Co Ltd (7974.OS), already struggling with shortages of its Wii video game console, is also seeing signs of higher-than-expected demand for its DS handheld device- A top executive said on Monday.

"The DS continues to perform exceptionally well, with some retailers voicing concerns about DS inventory going into the holiday," Reggie Fils-Aime, president of Nintendo of America, told Reuters in an interview.

The DS has been the best-selling piece of gaming hardware this year, moving 1.5 million units in November, according to market research firm NPD.

Nintendo, which is striving to meet Wii demand more than a year after the machine first went on sale, had also advised retailers that it did not approve of the practice of bundling the consoles with extra games and accessories and selling the package at a higher price.

A Wii by itself sells for $250 -- cheaper than Microsoft Corp's (MSFT.O) Xbox 360 and Sony Corp's (6758.T) PlayStation 3 -- but some retailers have offered bundles priced for double that price.

"Retailers have already been given feedback that we are not big fans of that. We think it masks some of the price advantage we have versus our competition and, frankly, the consumer should decide what they want," Fils-Aime said.

Asked if Nintendo had threatened such retailers with fewer Wii shipments, Fils-Aime said only that the company carried a lot of weight as maker of one of the most highly sought items this holiday.

"We don't have to remind retailers of the strength we have right now. We are simply making an observation and that reinforces our point quite nicely with retailers," Fils-Aime said.

Fils-Aime also said he had high expectations for Nintendo's recent Wii game "Super Mario Galaxy," which some analysts said saw strong but not spectacular first-month sales despite being one of the most critically acclaimed games of all time.

The game sold 1.1 million copies in the United States in November, but fell short of marks set by other blockbuster titles such as Microsoft's "Halo 3," which sold 3.3 million copies in its first month.

"'Mario Galaxy' absolutely lived up to our expectations," Fils-Aime said. "Galaxy will have extremely long life and will have extremely large numbers throughout that entire life."

"Mark my words, look in 6 months and no one will have any remembrance that it 'only' did 1 million copies in its first month."

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Quarterly worldwide smartphone sales by OS vendorIn its first full quarter of sales, the iPhone has already climbed past Microsoft’s entire lineup of Windows Mobile smartphones in North America, according to figures compiled by Canalys and published by Symbian.

You can't get Canalys' number's without paying a lot of money, so instead what many folks do is find some sucker who's willing to pay for those numbers and publish them. Symbian is often that rube, and so we have the numbers and they show something startling: in one quarter (maybe two), the iPhone had garnered 27% of US marketshare in the smartphone category.

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In an unusual situation for a company so vocal about protecting intellectual property rights, Microsoft is being sued for allegedly distributing material copyrighted by a Philippine college -- despite the fact that the material in question seems to have only been given to fellow educational professionals.

Southeastern College in Pasay City is suing Microsoft and Microsoft Philippines for 100 million Filipino pesos ($2.4 million) for handing out at least 700 CDs in 2005 and 2006 containing the 379-page "SEC Microsoft Office XP Manual," which had been copyrighted by SEC director Conrad Mañalac in 2005 (although work on it reportedly began in 1999). Apparently 10,000 copies of this same manual had previously been licensed from the school by the company in 2004, and retitled for use in a program to train high school teachers. For its part, Microsoft Philippines denies having "improperly distributed additional copies of the curriculum," although it's a little unclear what the company's actual position is, with the following statement -- emailed to the -- seeming to indicate that the primary concern right now is protecting the mothership: "They brought this matter to our attention a year ago and we worked hard to resolve it, but without success.

For all intents and purposes, this is a purely local matter which does not involve Microsoft Corporation."

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At first glance, this Futurama-inspired creation may look like a live-action movie prop, but it's actually a life-sized beer-brewing robot. On the inside, you'll find "the brewing mechanisms and in its head is a functioning computer that plays Bender sayings on command."

Incredible beer brewing bender robot imagesIt even features a cigar that lights up thanks to a handy pen light/felt contraption. And, of course, it brews beer in its belly, which makes it that much better.

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It looks like PlayStation 3 owners could be in for a welcome surprise when they boot up their console today on 18 December, at least if an apparent slip-up on Sony's European website is any indication.

As a user on the NeoGAF forums noticed, it recently put up a page which revealed that 2.10 firmware update "was released on December 18, 2007," bringing with it a number of additions, including DivX support (with some limitations) and, as rumored, support for Blu-ray Disc Profile 1.1.

Sony PS3 firmware version 2.10You'll also apparently soon be able to take advantage of the new "Voice Changer" feature, which will let you disguise your voice in voice or video chat, and you'll be getting support for (VC-1) WMV files in addition to the aforementioned DivX ones. If any of that interests you, we'd suggest keeping an eye out, 'cause it sure looks like this one's about to drop.

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SANTA'S FACTORY, North Pole (Agencies) - An Imperial Stormtrooper commando broke into Santa's Factory in the North Pole yesterday evening, killing an undetermined number of elves, arresting the owner and confiscating his sled. Joe Kwazansky, local spokesman for the Evil Galactic Empire in Los Angeles, appeared in a press conference this morning confirming the rumors of an Imperial takeover of Christmas' celebrations. "The Emperor wants to assure His subjects that Xmas will continue as planned. The pug-nosed fatso, however, will pay for his crimes," Mr. Kwazansky said amidst the palpable shock in the press corps. Apparently, the arrest has occurred in connection with earlier reports on the manufacturing and stealth placement of Weapons of Mass Destruction:

Answering questions about the causes of this assault and Santa Claus' detention, Mr. Kwazansky pointed out that Imperial Intelligence had undeniable proof of Santa's production of WMDs at his factory located near the North Pole. "He is also a perv, you know," he added, "a guy who goes around his house clad in red velvet and has underaged boys assisting him all day long. Illegal sex? Forced labor? You gotta be kidding. We have the patent on forced labor too. Ask the wookies."

Later in the press conference, Mr. Kwazansky, 48 years old and still living with his parents, revealed that Santa may have been stealing industrial secrets from Imperial-exclusive defense contractor Sienar Fleet Systems. "And what's with the bloody flying reindeers anyway?" he said, "how the Force do they fly? I bet they have Twin Ion Engines up their butts. That's classified technology, people. Fatso is finishing his days in the Great Pit of Carkoon, I tell you." The spokesperson left the stage laughing maniacally, muttering something about how Santa was going to suffer for all those years of coal back at the Imperial Orphanage.

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Googling pictureMore Americans are Googling themselves — and many are checking out their friends, co-workers and romantic interests, too.

In a report Sunday, the Pew Internet and American Life Project said 47% of U.S. adult Internet users have looked for information about themselves through Google or another search engine.

That is more than twice the 22 percent of users who did in 2002, but Pew senior research specialist Mary Madden was surprised the growth wasn't higher.

"Yes it's doubled, but it's still the case that there's a big chunk of Internet users who have never done this simple act of plugging their name with search engines," she said. "Certainly awareness has increased, but I don't know it's necessarily kept pace with the amount of content we post about ourselves or what others post about us."

About 60% of Internet users said they aren't worried about the extent of information about themselves online, despite increasing concern over how that data can be used.

Americans under 50 and those with more education and income were more likely to self-Google — in some cases because their jobs demand a certain online persona.

Meanwhile, Pew found that 53% of adult Internet users admit to looking up information about someone else, celebrities excluded.

Often, it's to find someone they've lost touch with. But looking up information about friends, relatives, colleagues and neighbors also was common.

Although men and women equally searched for online information about themselves, women were slightly more likely to look up information about someone they are dating.

In many cases, the search is innocuous, done to find someone's contact information. But a third of those who have conducted searches on others have looked for public records, such as bankruptcies and divorce proceedings. A similar number have searched for someone else's photo.

Few Internet users say they Google themselves regularly — about three-quarters of self-searchers say they have done so only once or twice. And most who have done so consider what they find accurate. Only 4% of Internet users said embarrassing or inaccurate information online resulted in a bad experience.

Pew also found that teens were more likely than adults to restrict who can see their profiles at an online hangout like Facebook or News Corp.'s MySpace, contrary to conventional wisdom.

"Teens are more comfortable with the applications in some ways, (but) I also think they have their parents and teachers telling them to be very careful about what they post and who they share it with," Madden said.

The telephone survey of 1,623 Internet users was conducted between Nov. 30 and Dec. 30 last year and has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3% points.

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Canalys has produced a report showing the iPhone has grown massively in North America. The study looked specifically at smartphone market share statistics in Q3, and the iPhone, in a surprisingly short time span, has managed to grab second position. A 27% market share is nothing to scoff at; what Apple has done in a few months, others have failed to do in years.

North American Market Shares snapshotSmartphones running Symbian, Linux and Palm OS all fall behind Apple's iPhone. This is ever more stunning because the iPhone is only available via one carrier, in contrast, the other platforms can be procured from various cellular networks. This dramatically increases their market penetration. From the perspective of a business model, these figures are simply astronomical. Who's running scared? Apparently, Symbian is:

Every year, Symbian publishes detailed figures demonstrating how they are the biggest, baddest platform in the world. Guess what? This year, they didn't release the detailed figures on their Symbian Fast Facts webpage. Why not? Take a look at the image—the numbers are no longer working in their favor.

All in all, things aren't looking too perky for Apple's competitors. Sure, RIM may be flying high at the moment, but if this growth continues even at a fraction of the rate it is currently, RIM won't be high and dry for long.

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