PS3 charity laptop snapshotPS3 Laptop auction ends today, want to just remind you in case you've forgotten. Ben Heck's masterful machine is up for grabs to the highest bidder, and yes, 100% of the proceeds will go to National Cancer Coalition. Head over here for all the rules and regulations, and place your bid.

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China internet users double in 2007 reportThe number of Internet users in the Chinese countryside surged 127.7% last year, thanks to double-digit economic growth and fast expanding rural network construction, state media said Friday.

The number of rural Internet users, most of them boys in middle or high school, grew to 52.6 million in 2007, the Xinhua news agency said, citing the China Internet Network Information Centre, a government think-tank.

Due to lower incomes and less education in the countryside, rural users still only make up a relatively small proportion of China's total online population.

China now has 221 million people online, more than in the United States, according to recent reports in the local media.

Among rural residents who have yet to go online, 53.3% do not know how to use computers or the Internet, while 23.1% lack Internet facilities, the centre said.

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Net neutralityStill in Belgium—hurrah!—let us segue from sticky ponchos to stickiness of another kind. Notorious sexylady Tanya Devereaux says that she is turning virgin surgeon in order to divest any nerd of his cherry—provided that they support a free web. One of the terms and conditions states that the act must not last for more than 30 minutes.

No anal sex without prior negotiation. Condoms must be worn, unless the nerd-gin wishes to release his manfat on Tanya's body. No under-18s. Proof that the victimrgin supports net neutrality must be provided (a black tee-shirt with "I Support Net Neutrality" emblazoned on the front won't cut it, sorry.) Finally, Tanya "may deny service for hygiene reasons."

Tania campaignThis is not the first time that Ms Devereaux has offered up her orifices for a good cause. Last year she put 40,000 blowjobs on the negotiating table when she ran for a seat in the Belgian senate, as a protest against other politicians' claims that they would create 400,000 jobs. Clearly she thought that sucking on a pencil would get voters putting a XXXX in her box.

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Whether your passion is modding or playing the Xbox 360, these custom gadgets combine the best of both worlds, aside from the PC. Continue reading to see them all. Check all images:-


Custom games gadgets with Xbox 360Want an easier way to increase your Gamerscore without having to put in hours of play time? Look no furthur than the xBot, an automated device that "utilizes two rotational solenoids driven by a TTL (Transistor to Transistor Logic) controller." If only this robot worked for all the Xbox 360 games, unlocking achievements would be as simple as the push of a button.

Xbox 360 PC

Another example of custom games gadgets with Xbox 360Xbox 360 owners who have a broken system(s) laying around rejoice; the console can be used not only as a tissue box alarm clock, but also as a functional PC. It features an Intel P4 processor (3.0-GHz), 512MB of memory, 60GB HDD, and 8 x USB ports. By cutting out the rear panels and using the original disc drive cover, this creation seamlessly integrates the Xbox 360 with PC goodness.

SIXAXIS 360 Controller

Custom games gadgets with Xbox 360The SIXAXIS and Wiimote aren't the only controllers with integrated tilt functionality. In a nut shell, Ben Heck basically "stripped the innards from a PS3 controller, worked his PCB-bending magic, and somehow ported the functionality necessary for gaming on a PlayStation 3 into an Xbox 360 controller."

Xbox 360 Elite Laptop

Custom games gadgets with Xbox 360Why settle for a standard Xbox 360 Elite when you could build a portable, Halo 3-inspired version? That's exactly what Ben Heck did. This masterpiece features a 17-inch widescreen LCD display, 120GB HDD, HDMI port, integrated speakers, keyboard, and two USB ports. Though not very practical, it would definitely come in handy when encountered with televisions sporting no A/V input (hotels, etc.).

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Facebook translating argueThe 3 years old social networking phenomenon Facebook, worth more than $15 billion by many estimates, got a good deal on going global.

Its users around the world are translating Facebook's visible framework into nearly two dozen languages — for free — aiding the company's aggressive expansion to better serve the 60% of its 69 million users who live outside the United States.

The company says it's using the wisdom of crowds to produce versions of site guidelines — especially terms specific to Facebook — that are in tune with local cultures.

"We thought it'd be cool," said Javier Olivan, international manager at Facebook, based in Palo Alto, Calif. "Our goal would be to hopefully have one day everybody on the planet on Facebook."

Coolness aside, and many users are embracing the idea, other social networks aren't "crowdsourcing" translation. The move is generating mounting criticism online, where some users question whether amateurs can produce good translations. Critics complain of sloppiness and skimping, even as Facebook says it is improving service in an innovative way.

The concept of collaborative translation is familiar in open-source programming communities. But Facebook's effort — as it builds sites in Japanese, Turkish, Chinese, Portuguese, Swedish and Dutch to join versions in Spanish, French and German that launched this year — is among the highest-profile attempts to harness users' energy to do work traditionally handled by professionals.

The Spanish-language version has taken a particular beating for grammatical, spelling and usage problems throughout.

Ana B. Torres, a 25-year-old professional translator in Madrid, Spain, called the translation "extremely poor," citing "outrageous spelling mistakes" such as "ase" instead of "hace" (for "makes" or "does") and usage of the word "lenguaje" for "language" rather than the correct "idioma."

Other critics say Facebook just wants free labor.

Valentin Macias, 29, a Californian who teaches English in Seoul, South Korea, has volunteered in the past to translate for the nonprofit Internet encyclopedia Wikipedia but said he won't do it for Facebook.

"(Wikipedia is) an altruistic, charitable, information-sharing, donation-supported cause," Macias told The Associated Press in a Facebook message. "Facebook is not. Therefore, people should not be tricked into donating their time and energy to a multimillion-dollar company so that the company can make millions more — at least not without some type of compensation."

Facebook points out that it has spent considerable resources building the translation program. Olivan said it's not soaking users but including them in the growth of the network — and possibly attracting new ones.

"If the goal is to save money, we're doing the wrong thing, because we are basically spending our most valuable asset, which is engineering time," he said.

He said that Facebook relishes being different from competitors and that users are helping the company produce versions in numerous languages as quickly as possible.

Just one-fifth of the world's Internet population actively manages profiles on a social network, said David Jones, vice president of global marketing for Friendster Inc., which has recently shifted its focus to capitalize on its strength in Southeast Asia.

"It's still a bit of a land grab," he said. "So there's plenty of growth to be had in the world, and we're focused on that, and certainly other social networks I'm sure are as well."

Friendster recently launched a beta version in Vietnamese, adding to its lineup of versions in Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Indonesian. It plans to keep introducing a new language every month or two.

Setting the pace, however, is industry leader MySpace. The News Corp. subsidiary has 200 million registered users worldwide and 29 country-specific and regional sites and more on the way.

Its global push, which began in early 2006, appears to be paying off. Between June 2006 and June 2007, its number visitors worldwide age 15 and older jumped 72% to 114.1 million, according to Internet research firm comScore Inc.

In the same period, however, Facebook's global traffic surged 270% to 52.2 million users, according to comScore — even though it had yet to launch its first foreign-language site.

As it enters each market, MySpace hires a dedicated team, said Travis Katz, international managing director. Contractors perform the initial translation, which the local MySpace team tweaks to ensure it fits the market, he said.

"The translation in and of itself is not very expensive," Katz said. "The thing that's challenging is getting the cultural aspects right and making sure that the site is culturally relevant and doesn't feel like an invader from Silicon Valley landed."

Friendster's Jones said his company also uses third-party translators.

"As interesting as it might be to get your users to chip in and help out on that, we could do it faster ourselves and very consistently, quite frankly, across the language, across the entire site," Jones said.

More than 100,000 users have installed Facebook's translation application. Nearly 10,000 helped translate the French, Spanish and German sites — the Spanish version in less than four weeks and the German one in two weeks.

The process involves translating a glossary of basic Facebook terms, translating text strings throughout the site, voting on each translation and then "testing and verification."

Some users, like Murat Odabasi of London, are spending hours each day translating Facebook. Responsible for 14,910 winning words and 1,938 winning phrases, Odabasi held the No. 2 spot among 391 translators on the Turkish leaderboard as of Wednesday.

Odabasi, 24, a software developer and native Turkish speaker, said the volunteer arrangement is good for users as well as Facebook.

"We come up with the words and phrases that will ... eventually become a part of the Turkish language itself," he said in an e-mail in English. "It feels good to be creating something that will in time be seen and used by millions of people."

Collaborative translation is an increasingly important tool for businesses, said Renato Beninatto with the Massachusetts consulting firm Common Sense Advisory. But he said companies may need professional services to finalize translations.

"The traditional wisdom is that if you have fewer translators, you generate a better product," said Beninatto, also a spokesman for the Globalization & Localization Association.

If managed well, however, crowdsourcing can result in a good translation, he said.

Among the hottest debates so far has been over "poke" — Facebook's term for giving someone a playful nudge. In Spanish, it became "dar un toque." In French, "faire un signe." And in German, "anstupsen."

Japanese translators couldn't find an equivalent so they decided to go with the original English.

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Unreal tourament 3 xbox 360 gameplayUnlike its predecessors, the "Xbox 360 version of Unreal Tournament 3 will have split-screen play for online, local versus, and co-op as well as five new maps, two exclusive characters and all of the Epic-created DLC the other versions have seen."

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Asus rumurs with their brand ambassadorAsus's bigger, badder Eee PC would be getting an early launch next month in Asia but it looks like the US won't have to wait very long either. Crave's Asus sources are telling them it'll launch stateside on May 12 for $549. That's definitely a bit more than the long-rumored $500 pricepoint.

You're getting a pretty significant spec and comfort upgrade for the money—but breaking the $500 mark pushes it past super cheap, and very possibly out of the category that the original Eee helped to create. So tell you what you guys think about it....

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Microsoft Force sensing technologyMicrosoft Research is expecting not, as it's already working towards integrating force-sensing technology that will enable gestures to twist on-screen imagery without crafting UMPCs out of flexible material. Essentially, the gurus behind the idea feel that implementing said tech would "turn an otherwise passive component that just holds the device together into an active input surface."

In the future, it's likely that auditory cues would enable users to know when they've applied enough pressure to cause a change, and of course, they expect it to work hand-in-hand with existing human-computer interfaces. Yeah, who needs keypads these days, anyway? Share your comments....

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Mortl kombat vs. Dc UniverseMidway provides us with a first look at their upcoming Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe mashup for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 platforms.

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Mac clone psystarSome days before when we last checked in on super shady Mac cloner Psystar's gridskipping ways, they'd supposedly somehow managed to land a $6 million pad—a little fishy, given their brief history. A ZDNet reader on the ground got up close, reporting that there's definite activity at the location, though no hard confirmation it's Psystar that's the busy bee.

More importantly, Psystar claims they're "up and running" and have started shipping orders placed the week of April 7, with orders from last week going out on April 21 from their new shop.

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clearvision clip demo PlayStation 3 displayThere's a clip-on display for gaming on-the-go made for basically every console out there, but for whatever reason, Sony's PlayStation 3 just doesn't lend itself to being the perfect candidate the way Nintendo's Wii does. Who knows, maybe it's that curvaceous design or something.

Anyway, Clearvision is hoping that you don't much care how unsightly your console becomes when strapping its PS3 gaming monitor on, which adds a 7-inch LCD, a pair of speakers and little else. Unfortunately for those actually interested in picking one up, it seems you'll have to put in an inquiry with one Shenzhen Madcow Digital Technology Co., Ltd.

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