Snake Galaxy puts a new spin on classic "snake" games--a game-type that's been around almost as long as personal computers, and which has become near-ubiquitous on mobile devices. The core gameplay is what you'd expect: you control a snake that grows as it eats, and the snake dies when it finally runs into its own tail. But the Snake Galaxy interface adds some fun and innovative twists: instead of a 2D game board, you travel around spherical, 3D "planets," and the snake travels towards wherever you touch your finger--which will probably have you switching … Read more
The Blu-ray Disc Association has started looking to officially integrate 3D technology with the Blu-ray standard, according to a report by Video Business. While Blu-ray already trumps standard DVD in image quality, many consumers don't feel the improvement is large enough to justify the extra cost; 3D would presumably be another reason to ditch DVDs for Blu-ray Discs.
3D isn't completely new to Blu-ray, with recent titles like "My Bloody Valentine 3D" packing in the old-style red and blue glasses in the box. However, the 3D effects obtained with the older red/blue (anaglyph) glasses pale … Read more
Forget analog gauges; the instrument cluster of the future will be a 3D dynamic display configurable by the user. Computer graphics company Nvidia is has developed a chip designed specifically for the automotive market. This chip holds system software and graphics processing capabilities to show 3D instruments on an LCD. Partner Iconmobile, which did earlier work on Audi's A1 concept car, designed an interface for the chip that combines car information with navigation and entertainment. The Iconmobile interface serves as a demonstration and is not slated for a production car.
Star of The Gagdet 411's "The Money Shot" Web show, Liz Money, joins us in the studio today to talk about the gadgets she's currently obsessed with. Liz is in town from New Orleans (see Nawlins) and was nice enough to stop by the 404 studio for some good, clean fun.
That wholesome fun ends when we get into a story about a recent Trojan outbreak in the office that, while seemingly benign, spread like wildfire. Liz helps gets the message across: it's always best to use antivirus protection.
Next it's on to Ron Howard's new film "Angels & Demons". We chat about how the book will probably still be better than the movie, but that it's pretty much guaranteed to be better than "The DaVinci Code."
Finally, we quickly touch on the fate of Duke Nukem Forever, a game stuck in the development process for just over an entire decade. Then we get Jeff's quick take on SlingPlayer Mobile for the iPhone and iPod Touch.
EPISODE 343 Download today's podcast Subscribe in iTunes audio | Suscribe to iTunes (video) | Subscribe in RSS Audio | Subscribe in RSS Video… Read more
With a new 40-nanometer manufacturing process behind it, AMD announced the ATI Radeon HD 4770 3D graphics chip this morning. Available now on 3D cards starting at $109 (before a $10 online rebate), the Radeon HD 4770 is the first 3D chip built on the 40-nanometer process, which allows for faster, more power-efficient hardware than AMD's previous 55nm chips.
The various enthusiast review sites found the 512MB Radeon HD 4770 fast enough to play most current games at lower resolutions and image quality settings. Think 1,680 x 1,050 or lower and with little-to-no anti-aliasing. The Radeon HD … Read more
Even at the cutting edge of cloud computing, Web-based applications can be frustrating to write and to use.
Spreadsheets can't sort data well, there are lags between mouse clicks and the program's response, graphics look Mickey Mouse rather than lavish. But Google, among the most aggressive cloud computing advocates, is trying to address some of those shortcomings.
The company has released experimental but still very much real software that brings in some of the power of the PC, where people often use Web applications. Google Native Client--first released in 2008 but updated with a new version Thursday--is a browser plug-in for securely running computationally intense software downloaded from a Web site. And on Tuesday, Google released O3D, a plug-in that lets Web-based applications tap into a computer's graphics chip, too.
The projects are rough around the edges, to say the least. Native Client--NaCl for short--is more security research project than usable programming foundation right now, and O3D exists in part to try to accelerate the arrival of some future, not necessarily compatible, standard for building 3D abilities into Web applications.
But both fundamentally challenge the idea that Web apps necessarily are stripped-down, feeble counterparts to the software that runs natively on a personal computer, and they come from a company that has engineering skill, a yen for moving activity to the Internet, and search-ad profits that can fund projects that don't immediately or directly make money.
"There are things you can do in desktop apps that you can't do in Web apps. We're working very hard to close that gap, so anything you can do in a desktop application you can do safely and securely from a Web application," said Linus Upson, a Google engineering director. … Read more
Updated at 11:20 a.m. with links to the project.
Google on Tuesday released software called O3D to bring accelerated 3D graphics to browsers, a significant effort but not the only one to try to endow Web applications with some of the computing muscle that PC programs can use.
Google touted the technology in a blog post. It includes a video demonstration, complete with a soothing voice-over and a spacey ambient-music soundtrack, for those who don't want to install the plug-in. … Read more
Search Cube is the latest in a string of search engines that forgoes displaying search results in an easy-to-parse, ordered list, in favor of a whiz-bang 3D interface. It grabs its results from Google and site preview thumbnails from Thumbshots, then combines them in a 3D cube that you can rotate freely either with your mouse or keyboard.
What's clearly missing here are which results are worth clicking on, something you get with Google's search result relevance algorithm. On the flip side (literally), you get to see a lot more results at once, and with a little visual … Read more
Let's Golf offers up great graphics, solid gameplay, and is reminiscent of the popular platform golf game, Hot Shots Golf. Drawn in smooth 3D graphics with a cartoonish appeal, you can play three skill levels, on four courses, with your choice of four cartoon-drawn players of varying skill. Surprisingly, the touch screen almost performs better than traditional controllers, making it easy to aim shots via the touch screen and quickly check an overhead hole map to precisely aim your shots. You have your choice of playing the front or back 9 of any of the courses, or go in … Read more
BumpTop replaces your desktop with a visual environment unlike any you've used. It's a bit like a futuristic gesture-based interface, but it's tied to your mouse. Were it capable of simultaneous Web browsing, its utility would be much more apparent.
BumpTop makes the items on your computer's desktop more like their real-world counterparts. Icons and folders are assigned a virtual weight based on the amount of memory they take up and their importance to you. You can move them by click-and-drag, or fling them across the BumpTop space. The program determines their importance based on how … Read more