UK set to overtake Japan as the CENTRE of the gaming UNIVERSE this year


Poor old Japan is about to fall behind the UK in the global video game charts, with us lot finally spending more of our remaining cash on gaming than the Japanese – making the UK second only to the USA in how much cash we blow on various Halos and Mario Karts.

Figures released by UK sales-counter Chart-Track show that for the first five weeks of 2009 sales of games were up 37% in the UK, as kids spent their Christmas money on novelty Wii games like never before…

CES 2009 – Attendance down 22% on last year, down 15% on expectations


Last week’s International Consumer Electronics Show drew just 110,000 visitors – the lowest turnout in many years. Last year, the show admitted 141,000 people and CES had predicted that 130,000 people would attend, but both of those figures proved unattainable, likely due to the state of the world’s economy.

Even for those who showed up, the show proved disappointing. Although wireless power generation was showed off, and Palm unveiled its most exciting product in years, the show was underwhelming. All the companies started their press conferences with comments on the global economy and talked about how green they are. Then they just talked about networkng as much of their AV as possible.

Are big technology shows sustainable in the long term? With Apple pulling out of Macworld, perhaps they’re not. If large companies pull out, then attendance dwindles, and it’s no longer worth it for the smaller companies, which provide the bulk of the cash to run the show. Unless the economy takes a sharp upward turn this year, 2010 could be a very interesting time for the big expos.

(via VentureBeat)

For more CES shenanigans, see through our eyes at the CES index megapost.

Facebook hits 140 million active users


The social networking behemoth rumbles on. As of yesterday, Facebook has over 140 million active users. The site is growing at a rate of 600,000 users a day. That’s a whole lot of poking.

Extrapolating the trend, you find that by March the company could hit 200 million active users. Interestingly, 70% of the growth is coming from outside the States, meaning that the market in the USA (and likely the UK, too) has possibly matured and is no longer growing as fast.

Radiohead "pay what you want" numbers released


Ever since Radiohead’s revolutionary “pay what you want” experiment on their most recent album, “In Rainbows”, the band has steadfastly refused to release any figures on how successful it was.

This led some to conclude that it was a massive flop with millions paying nothing. However, the band’s publisher, Warner-Chapell, has just released figures proving doubters wrong. Across all mediums, physical and download, the band sold three million albums. Considering their previous three albums sold in the low hundreds of thousands, that’s not too bad…

Apple launches iWork 08: updated productivity tools

apple_iwork_08.pngThey’ve been a long time coming, and talked/rumoured about, and at last Apple has updated its iWork and iLife applications, bringing up to ’08.

iWork 08 not only enhances the Pages and Keynote applications, but includes the new “Numbers” spreadsheet application that many believed Apple would, and needed to, introduce if they stood any chance of competing against Microsoft.

Interestingly, Apple has gone for a new approach to spreadsheets with the Numbers application. Instead of copying Excel, as so many others have, their approach allows people to organise and interlink information on different sheets on a flexible graphical canvas. This should make it easier to build relationships between the intelligent tables, each of which is a spreadsheet in its own right, as well as printing them.