Tuesday 30 January 2007

Fruit of the Loop

The iPod shuffle is now available in five funky flavours! Silver, pink, orange, green, and blue. Just $79, the 1GB iPod shuffle makes the perfect gift for Valentine's Day or as a gift to yourself!

Apple Store

If good things come in small packages, the iPod shuffle just may be the biggest thing in small. At 1.62 inches long and about half an ounce, the iPod shuffle holds up to 240 songs and can play up to 12 continuous hours of music.

Clip it to your coin pocket. Clip it to your bag. No matter where you clip your skip-free iPod shuffle, you’ll have instant access to music. Put it on, turn it up and turn some heads. Just imagine wearing one of these on Wisteria Lane!

The first step to wearing 240 songs is downloading iTunes — free. Then drop your iPod shuffle into the included dock, plug the dock into your Mac or PC’s USB port, and sync in minutes. Got more than 240 songs? No problem. Let iTunes autofill your iPod shuffle and get a new musical experience every time.

I'm mulling over which colour to buy and have narrowed this down to two. Orange or blue? What, dear reader, do you think?

Monday 29 January 2007


Whilst perusing YouTube, now owned by Google, I found the following video, which showcases Apple TV in all its diminutive gorgeousness.

Will Apple TV combine the small footprint of the Mac mini with iPod gaming and succeed where Apple/Bandai Pippin failed? I must confess that the idea of watching streamed episodes of Doctor Who, and listening to the soundtrack, via Apple's solution, would be compelling with the addition of built-in HDD and Blu-Ray support!

Still no sign of iTunes 7.1 or Mac OS X 10.4.9! However, if the rumours are to be believed, these updates are imminent as is the advent of movie and television content in Europe!

Thursday 25 January 2007

Euro PlayStation

Fresh from the SCEE Press Office.

Over 30 Titles for Launch Period

1 Million units forecast for Initial Launch Period

London, 25 January 2007 - Sony Computer Entertainment Europe today announced that PLAYSTATION®3 will be launched in the PAL territories of Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Australasia on 23rd March 2007 at a price of EURO 599 (GBP 425, AUD 999.95, NZ 1199.95).

Responding to retail and consumer demand, SCEE confirmed that initially only the 60GB model would be available, with the 20GB model to follow later in the year dependent on demand.

An expected one million PS3 units will be made available during the initial launch period.

SCEE also announced a stellar launch line-up of over 30 game titles for PS3, including eagerly awaited titles published by SCEE such as Resistance: Fall of Man™, MotorStorm™, Genji™: Days of the Blade, FORMULA ONE ™ CHAMPIONSHIP EDITION and Ridge Racer™ 7. An exceptional range of titles in every genre will also be available at launch from the world's leading third party publishers, including Electronic Arts, Activision, Namco Bandai, Sega, Take 2, Ubisoft, Vivendi Universal, and Sony Online Entertainment.

In addition to games on disc, an exciting range of fully-featured downloadable games will debut on the PLAYSTATION®Network. These will include gaming icons such as Tekken®: Dark Resurrection and Gran Turismo® HD Concept; the fully-featured PS3 debut of the best-selling franchise Gran Turismo, realised with full HD (1080p) visual quality. Created by Polyphony Digital Inc and published by Sony Computer Entertainment, Gran Turismo® HD Concept has been downloaded by more than 350,000 users since it was released in December 2006 in North America and Japan.

Also available on the PLAYSTATION®Network will be brainteasers such as Go! Sudoku and Go! Puzzle, and innovative games such as Blast Factor™ and flOw™, designed exclusively for PLAYSTATION 3 and delivering on the promise to provide original content created by non-traditional developers and publishers.

Concurrent with the European launch, a new System Update to further enhance the entertainment potential of PS3 will be issued.

Announcing the launch details, David Reeves, President of SCEE said, "Following the hugely successful launches of PS3 in Japan and North America, we are absolutely delighted to be able to bring significant numbers of PS3 to the SCEE territories. To be able to launch with over 30 titles across every genre shows that this is our strongest launch line-up in the history of PlayStation, and is what PlayStation fans in Europe have been crying out for."


PS3 Launch Title - Publisher - Network or Disc based

Resistance: Fall of Man™ - SCEE - Disc

MotorStorm™ - SCEE - Disc

Genji™: Days of the Blade - SCEE - Disc


Ridge Racer™ 7 - SCEE - Disc

Tekken®: Dark Resurrection - SCEE - Network

Lemmings™ - SCEE - Network

Go! Sudoku - SCEE - Network

Go! Puzzle - SCEE - Network

Blast Factor™ - SCEE - Network

flOw™ - SCEE - Network

Super Rub'a'Dub - SCEE - Network

Call of Duty 3 - Activision UK Ltd - Disc

Marvel: Ultimate Alliance - Activision UK Ltd - Disc

Tony Hawks Project 8 - Activision UK Ltd - Disc

Gundam - Target in Sight - Namco Bandai Games - Disc

Full Auto™ 2: Battle Lines - Sega®Europe Ltd - Disc

Sonic the Hedgehog™ - Sega®Europe Ltd - Disc

Virtua Fighter™ 5 - Sega®Europe Ltd - Disc

Virtua Tennis™ 3 - Sega®Europe Ltd - Disc

World Snooker Championship 2007 - Sega®Europe Ltd - Disc

NBA 2K7 - Take 2 International SA - Disc

NHL 2K7 - Take 2 International SA - Disc

Blazing Angels Squadrons of WWll - Ubisoft Entertainment SA - Disc

Enchanted Arms - Ubisoft Entertainment SA - Disc

Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Double Agent - Ubisoft Entertainment SA - Disc

The Elder Scrolls lV: Oblivion - Ubisoft Entertainment SA - Disc

Def Jam: Icon - Electronic Arts Ltd - Disc

Fight Night Round 3 - Electronic Arts Ltd - Disc

NBA Street 4 Homecourt 2007 - Electronic Arts Ltd - Disc

Need for Speed Carbon - Electronic Arts Ltd - Disc

The Godfather: The Don's Edition - Electronic Arts Ltd - Disc

Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2007 - Electronic Arts Ltd - Disc

Untold Legends: Dark Kingdom - Electronic Arts Ltd - Disc

F.E.A.R. - Vivendi Universal Games Intl SA - Disc

Gripshift - Sony Online Entertainment - Network

PLAYSTATION 3 Peripherals Available at Launch Peripheral

RRP in Euros

SIXAXIS™ Wireless Controller - EURO 49.99

Blu-ray Disc Remote Control - EURO 24.99

HDMI Cable - EURO 24.99

AV cable - EURO 16.99

Component AV cable - EURO 24.99

S Video cable - EURO 16.99

You will be able to pre-order PS3 from my PlayStation Shop.

Tuesday 23 January 2007

Birthday Bot

Today is my birthday and, whilst downloading new iTunes songs (thank you David and Michael for the most excellent iTunes Gift Certificate), I discovered this snippet of Apple Inc-related news. A new Convoy (AKA Optimus Prime) from Takara Tomy is on the way!

The Convoy is an ice white Apple iPod digital music player docking station with speakers, which is fully licensed by Apple Inc. The docking station can be transformed from the cab (with trailer) to a robot.

Convoy will be the same size as its Generation 1 variant and features a brand-new head sculpt. This is the second in the "Music Label" line.

Takara Tomy extends its co-branding franchise, beyond Apple Inc, with the new Transformers Sports Label series!

The new Sports Label series features 1/2 scale transforming Nike-branded shoes! These licensed items should be somewhere around 6" in length in shoe mode and it looks like they even have real laces connected to the top of the shoe. Convoy and Megatron are also each sporting a miniature pair of Nike Free 7.0 as a finishing touch.

Hope Hasbro decides to release these brand fusions in the UK and USA. Pretty please?

Monday 22 January 2007

Buy Lite

After much soul searching, I've decided to sell my Polar White Nintendo DS Lite (bundled with Metroid Prime Hunters and Mario Kart DS) on eBay!

The Wii is taking up too much of my time and I can't bear to see the DS Lite looking lonely and unloved! Happy bidding.

Thursday 18 January 2007

Betty Blue

"Ugly Betty," Golden Globe winner for best television comedy and best actress (America Ferrera as Betty), is now available on iTunes!

From executive producer Salma Hayek, ABC's "Ugly Betty" follows smart but wholesome Betty, who embraces her unique appearance and independent attitude in the cutthroat world of New York fashion. No matter what the fashionistas throw her way, Betty stays true to herself and handles obstacles with a style all her own.

Apple iTunes

Now if this show was available on iTunes, outside of the US, Apple TV would be an even more compelling proposition! Software drives hardware.

Wednesday 17 January 2007

Look! Labels!

After what seemed like an eternity, my Blogger account was migrated from Old to New Blogger last Friday night (GMT)!

The transition was, almost, seamless, and proved the edict that one should always backup a template (to a text editor such as bbedit)! For some reason, which I haven't had time nor desire to explore, illegal characters were introduced! However, a quick cut n' paste and, presto, time to start exploring all the new features.

For me, tags have always, literally, been the missing link on my blogs!

A tag is a (relevant) keyword or term associated with or assigned to a piece of information (like picture, article, or video clip), thus describing the item and enabling keyword-based classification of information it is applied to.

The notion of manually adding tags, to existing posts, seemed daunting and arduous in the extreme! And there was no guarantee that the addition of tags would increase Technorati and Google traffic and, by extension, readership. Thankfully, New Blogger introduces Labels (AKA tags) and there's no coding required (a panacea for those of us with heavily customised templates). Labels are available out of the box! Thank you Blogger.

The result? All posts should soon contain relevant tags and, hopefully, improve the reading experience in ways my prose, alone, never could!

Monday 15 January 2007

Hailing Frequencies Open

Iconfactory's Twitterrific has been unleashed! It was fun being a part of the beta test, and I can't wait for my maverick suggestions to show up in a future release. I hope!

The following is taken from the Iconfactory's official announcement:

Today, we are pleased to announce the release of a brand new software product – Twitterrific. Over the past month or so, the workers have discovered the joys of Twitter (direct link to my page).

So what exactly is Twitter you ask?

Twitter is a social networking web service that lets you stay in touch with friends, family or even the public at large thanks to short posts or “tweets” that describe what you are doing at any given moment. The concept is simple, strangely addictive and fun through and through. Tell friends, colleagues or strangers what you are snacking on, your current interests, favorite websites or just plain goofy nonsense!

Twitterrific is a menubar application for Mac OS X that lets you both read and post ‘tweets’ to the Twitter network. The application has an extremely small desktop footprint and allows you to expand or collapse the interface to show as much or as little information as you desire. Wing your way to the Twitterrific homepage for more information including screen shots and keyboard shortcuts.

Throw in a dash of Iconfactory iconic goodness, combined with the fact that its totally free, and you have yourself a fun little desktop application that is just calling out for you to give it a whirl. Head on over to Twitter to sign up for a free account, add some friends (and some famous faces) and then download Twitterrific for your Mac. One thing to note: be sure to log out of the Twitter website before you first launch the app to avoid password problems, and you’ll be singing your tweets to the entire world before you know it. Have fun!

Friday 12 January 2007

Los Angeles Galaxy

Alas Macworld is over for another year! No announcements regarding iLife, iWork or iTunes updates. However, Friday hasn't ended yet. It wouldn't be surprising if Apple Inc. holds off software and hardware revisions until the end of January or February when Apple TV bows.

Soccer superstar David Beckham, who has played for Manchester United, Real Madrid and England, is US-bound to the tune of, purportedly, $250 million dollars. Wonder if he'll receive a free Apple iPhone?

I'll have to content myself with an iTunes Store Music copy of JoJo's infectious, if ultimately disposable, Too Little, Too Late (Radio Version) courtesy of a Coca-Cola Music/Burger King promotion!

Took Toast 8 for a spin and the new features are worth the entrance fee! The only caveat, and this isn't the fault of Roxio, is that UK customers still can't use Toast to transfer recordings from sky+. And Apple still continues to preclude the burning of paid-for iTunes content.

Wednesday 10 January 2007

This Phone Is Not A Toy

Goodbye Apple Computer. Hello Apple Inc.

With the advent of the long rumoured iPhone, Apple is, officially, a consumer electronics company. Stanley Kubrick, Gene Roddenberry and E.T. would be proud of Steve Jobs' telecommunications device and seeing Mac OS X, in a portable context, could be portentous! Does the iPhone form factor herald the shape of future iPod iterations?

Whilst the iPhone isn't available in the UK until Q4 2007. We can at least look forward to Apple TV shaking things up a bit in terms of vertical integration in the broadcasting industry (despite the limited range of iTunes movies and television series available at time of writing). There's shelf space for Apple TV next to Wii.

Sony, my other favourite brand, are you paying attention?

Monday 8 January 2007

An Apple A Day

Almost everyone knows that the world's favourite 'toy computer' (said with irony) celebrates its 30th anniversary this year! So, we're all expecting really big things from tomorrow's Steve Jobs Keynote at Macworld Conference & Expo 2007.

For all the latest news and announcements from MacWorld, bookmark The Unofficial Apple Weblog (TUAW) and/or add Macword to Twitter.

I've written before about how stoked I was committing my cash to buy a new Intel iMac last year and, subsequently, bailing on the idea! This year I really mean it! Why did I wait? Well, that's a good question and the answer lies somewhere between socio and economic!

In time for Macworld, here are my aStore links:

Apple Shop UK
Apple Shop USA

Buy hardware, software and accessories under one roof and be assured of excellent order fulfilment (provided by Amazon). At the same time you're supporting my blogging at no extra cost to yourself. Thank you.

Saturday 6 January 2007

Opulent Tunes

Enough ruminating on the Sony BMG Music UK competition fiasco! Yesterday, I discovered that singer Nerina Pallot is from South London! Her dulcet transatlantic intonations fooled me!

Nerina sounds reminiscent of Sheryl Crow (famous former backing singer on Michael Jackson's Bad Tour). In the words of Times Online, Nerina has an 'astonishingly versatile voice' and a 'knack for alchemising half-focused images into phrases that haunt as long as her opulent tunes echo in the head'. Her album "Fires" is truly worthy of your consideration!

'80s mix master, Chris Lord-Alge (Darren Hayes' Spin), adds further snap, crack and pop to Nerina Pallot's production - you can really envisage "Learning To Breath" playing in The OC or The Hills. Chris would you mind remixing my DEF Track demo single?

Don't Judge A Book By Its Cover (MP3)

Nerina Pallot will be performing at the Acorn Theatre in Penzance on January 24th. A tempting post Birthday treat!

Thursday 4 January 2007

Beyoncé Interlude

I never heard any more from Sony BMG Music UK regarding winning tickets, in an online competition, to see Beyoncé Knowles perform live before a specially invited audience, backed by a 12-piece band, on an outdoor stage at BBC Television Centre last November!

Over the New Year weekend BBC 2 showed highlights (in SDTV and HDTV formats) of the Beyoncé concert. The one-off show looked and sounded spectacular. An acoustic arrangement of Irreplaceable was particularly effective.

No follow-up calls or an explanation has been forthcoming from the Sony BMG Music UK offices! Don't you think I deserve some form of compensation? My B-Day is on January 23rd and I await concert tickets and a backstage VIP pass. Thanks in advance Sony BMG Music.

Monday 1 January 2007

New Year Toy

A very warm welcome back. This year marks the 30th anniversary of a certain Skywalker space opera and the release of Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard amongst many more memorable moments!

Mac Users can now download my all-new RSS Dashboard Widget for Mac OS X 10.4.3 and higher. This is the first in a proposed series of Widgets created using Apple Computer's Dashcode Beta. All feedback is welcomed.