Research claims violent video games are good for you

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Research from US and Israeli scientists indicates that playing violent video games might be good for your eyes. The researchers asked two groups of non-gamers to play Call of Duty and The Sims, and then tested their vision.

Turns out that contrast sensitivity increased 43% in the group playing Call of Duty, whereas it only increased 11% in the people playing The Sims. The researchers think this may be because Call of Duty is a little more fast-moving than Maxis’ hit game.

As an avid gamer who had his first eye test over the weekend, I’m not convinced. As a gamer who gets occasionally nagged to play less ‘shooty-loud’ games, I’ve now got an excuse. Guess science is good for something.

(via Metro)

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak to star on US version of Dancing with the Stars

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Now, to us lot, The Woz is a true star. He started up Apple with Steve Jobs in the 1970s, designed and built the original Apple and Apple II computers, before officially leaving the company in 1987 – but remaining a popular commenter on Apple issues to this very day.

But is he really famous enough to become a reality star? Apparently so, with the bearded Wozniak signed up to appear on the US treatment of Dancing with the Stars, the latest in abysmal TV shows to feature famous people literally DANCING FOR OUR AMUSEMENT…

Nintendo full of itself – claims 99% of US video game growth is down to Wii and DS

It’s like the last days of the Roman Empire in Nintendo’s American HQ. Fresh from selling a record-breaking 3m DS units and 2m Wiis in America during December alone, the power-crazed toy company has now claimed it’s two machines are responsible for 99% of the growth the game industry saw during 2008.

Nintendo sent out a graph. This might mark the precise moment in time the company got too big for its boots.

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The stat behind this ludicrous claim is that the US games industry took $3.35 billion…

Bad eyes or missing equipment? One in five Americans can't tell HD from SD

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One in five Americans can’t tell the difference between high definition and standard definition TV according to a recent piece of research.

In fact, that’s probably a little misleading. More people probably would be able to tell the difference if they were shown a standard definition broadcast and a high definition broadcast (or, better yet, a Blu-ray film) side-by-side. What’s actually happening is that viewers aren’t sure when they’re watching normal TV and when they’re viewing higher resolution TV.

There are likely many reasons for this problem…

FCC votes to open up "white spaces" for better wireless broadband

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The Federal Communications Commission has voted 5-0 in favour of opening up the “white space” of unused airwaves between broadcast TV channels to be used for enhanced wireless broadband and communications.

This “Wi-Fi on steroids”, as Google describes it, could offer a much larger range than current Wi-Fi technology, thus allowing greater broadband penetration in remote areas, and might also be used to set up local ad hoc networks directly between devices…

O'Malley's Mashup: Location-based services overview

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Speculating about the future is always a silly idea – because the futurologist who is speculating is invariably always wrong. You only have to look at the insane ramblings of the fundamentalist Christians in America who predict the “end times” every new year or the deluded announcer who introduces John McCain as “the next President of the United States” to see this. The technology sector isn’t exempt from this either – there’s the famous old quotes of IBM executives saying in the 1960s that they think there’s demand for maybe four computers in the world, or poor old Sir Clive Sinclair, who genuinely thought that the C5 was a good idea, or poor old Sony, who thought that people might actually want a PS3.

So with this in mind, I’m going to set myself up for a gigantic fall, and go ahead and claim that location-based web services are going to be the next big thing. Feel free to e-mail me a link to this column with a wry note in the future when I have been proven wrong.

Bill Gates flexes his acting skills with Jerry Seinfeld, as Microsoft kicks off $300m Windows ad campaign

It is an advert about nothing. This clip made its debut on US television last night, bewildering viewers by showing Jerry Seinfeld and Mr Gates trying on shoes in a discount shoe shop. Then buying some shoes. Then leaving.

But it’s not an advert for shoes. Neither man has fallen that far since quitting the things that made them rich and famous. See if you can guess what it’s for.

Of course you know what it’s about and for – Windows. Microsoft’s bunging $300m into a new marketing campaign, designed…

Sony and Tosh top notebook PC reliability chart, third of Americans want Apple

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A recent consumer survey by Which? magazine suggests that Sony and Toshiba top the pile when it comes to laptop reliability, both scoring 93%.

Perhaps surprisingly given how they’re used, and the belief that laptop computers don’t last as long, portable PCs scored better than their desktop relatives.

Apple tied with Dell and Compaq at the top of the chart for desktop computer reliability, with 86%.

Of course these results are based on consumer experience rather than scientific measurement, so it doesn’t mean those brands at the top of the pile are necessarily the best…

Big-screened HTC "G1" could be first Android phone, exclusively on T-Mobile in the US

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Building on speculation a couple of weeks ago, it seems that an Android mobile phone could be on sale in the States as soon as October, if rumours based on people with inside knowledge of Google and HTC are to be believed.

In a flurry of naming creativity, HTC is expected to launch its G1 mobile phone, sporting a decent five-by-three inch touchscreen, real slide-out QWERTY keyboard, three megapixel camera, 3G, and of course the Android operating system…

Special Feature: iPhone 3G Launch Day Fun Part Two: London and West

Check out part one of this special feature for iPhone launch day fun east of London.

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Queues are building up outside Apple’s flagship store in Regent Street, London. Well, OK, there was one person in a bright yellow cocoon in this photo, but apparently they’re arriving in droves now, with as many as TEN people sighted.

You do know you have to pay for this iPhone, right?

Liveblog (via Macworld UK)