Novatech Ion: the ultra-cheap desktop PC with netbook innards

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That headline doesn’t sound hugely appealing, if I’m honest, but the Novatech Ion is exactly that — a very cheap desktop PC that utilises processor technology more often found in ultra-portable notebook PCs.

Claiming the Ion to be the lowest cost 17-inch widescreen PC on the UK market, Novatech uses a 1.6GHz Intel Atom processor, 160GB hard drive, 1GB of memory, a DVD burner, 5.1-channel audio, and DirectX 9 Intel graphics…

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Andy MerrettNovatech Ion: the ultra-cheap desktop PC with netbook innards

Swinxs brings out the kid in you and feeds him microchips

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This is Swinxs, and it’s sort-of like a games console, but not really. I suppose it’s the logical extension of the Wii’s “getting people active” push. It’s a brightly coloured box, with armbands containing RFID chips, that lets you play a bunch of traditional party games, but with actually-quite-awesome technological extras…

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Duncan GeereSwinxs brings out the kid in you and feeds him microchips

Nintendo's Wii "aids bonding" and will bring about an end to all crime and dysfunction

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It’s Happy News Friday! When you spend all of Saturday night playing Wii Sports or Smash Bros. or whatever it is people do with their Wiis other than put them away in cupboards until next Christmas, you’re not just playing a game – you’re making a difference.

A survey by stat-counter GfK NOP found that 83% of people in the UK think Wii “increases family interaction” thanks to its collection of simplistic party games that even Great Uncle Wilfred can manage to play after half a bottle of whiskey…

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Gary CutlackNintendo's Wii "aids bonding" and will bring about an end to all crime and dysfunction

Opinion: "If it weren't for technology, I wouldn't get my Mum sending me a homemade Christmas cake every Chrimbo"

kat-blog-photo.jpgKatherine Hannaford writes…

Being voluntarily ejected from the Australian womb close to four years ago, staying connected with my family is of huge importance to me. Thank goodness my parents and sister don’t expect me to write long-winded letters like we would’ve done had I left 20 years ago, as obviously with the invent of email and IM every man and his dog has access to that form of communication. Except for my grandmother, but that’s something I’m working on.

What I’m talking about however is other ways in which technology has improved my relationship with my family, through the use of the Xbox 360 Live, Skype, web-camming, YouTube, various social networks and blogs, and a very clever way of using Twitter.

Take a look below for how technology has ensured I still receive a knitted scarf and homemade Christmas cake at the end of every year from my family back in Australia…

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Katherine HannafordOpinion: "If it weren't for technology, I wouldn't get my Mum sending me a homemade Christmas cake every Chrimbo"

Computer games can help adults bond with their kids, casual gaming survey reveals

nintendowii.jpgAccording to a recent worldwide casual gaming survey, 70% of family members have seen educational benefits of their children and grandchildren playing computer games, while a whopping 92% say that casual games provide an opportunity for them to bond with them.

PopCap Games commissioned the survey and found some other interesting statistics that suggest not all video games are bad, either educationally or in terms of isolating kids.

Casual games provided the following observed benefits: improved hand-eye coordination and mental dexterity (68%), improved learning, such as pattern recognition and spelling (60%), mental workouts/cognitive exercises (51%), strengthened memory (48%), stress relief and relaxation (44%), and confidence building/affirmation (37%).

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Andy MerrettComputer games can help adults bond with their kids, casual gaming survey reveals