Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

Whats better than one Starcraft 2 games? How about, THREE Starcraft 2 games!

Fans were stunned when Blizzard made the announcement that we wont be getting the next Starcraft game in one package and instead will be released as three separate expansions, so thats one for each race. The 3 expansions, according to release, will be Wings of Liberty (Terran), Heart of the Swarm (Zerg), and Legacy of the Void (Protoss). Blizzard VP of Game Development Rob Pardo explained that separate expansions will allow for more in-depth and longer campaigns for each race rather than a truncated version that would occur with a single release. This news of course has gotten mixed reactions from the community, on one side, people like me who trust Blizz are happy that were actually getting enough content, I mean when Blizzard really feels like their game truely is on an epic scale they really do something about it. This move to me is the only thing Blizzard can do short of actually releasing an mmorpg for Starcraft (but there have been rumors that Universe of Starcraft is in development already).  And on one hand some fans feel that this along with the announcement of a Battle.net 2.0 with paid subscription is just Blizzard’s way of squeezing every bit of revenue they can from gamers. Also fans who have specific races that they want to play are also upset by this news.

Blizz shows wizard class in Diablo 3

Check out more info and videos of the wizard class here.

World of Warcraft

  • WoW will have paid customizations options, however details weren’t announced
  • Warcraft IV may still come out.. in the next 5 to 10 years
  • WoW might put Pandarens in the game, however Blizzard is hesitant because it may ‘upset’ the Chinese market
  • You’re mounts will learn how to swim
  • Blizzcon goodie bags are now available on eBay
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EBay on a spending spree

SAN JOSE, Calif., October 6, 2008 – eBay Inc. (NASDAQ:EBAY) today announced two acquisitions that significantly extend the company’s leadership position in online payments and classifieds. In payments, the company is acquiring the U.S.-based online payments business Bill Me Later® for approximately $820 million in cash and approximately $125 million in outstanding options. In classifieds, the company has acquired Denmark’s leading online classifieds site dba.dk and vehicles site bilbasen.dk for approximately $390 million in cash.

The company also announced plans to reduce its global workforce by approximately 10 percent, affecting about 1,000 employees in addition to several hundred temporary workers and the reduction of open positions. The global reduction is intended to simplify and streamline eBay’s organization, improve the company’s cost structure and strengthen the overall competitiveness of the company’s existing businesses. The reduction is expected to result in pretax restructuring charges of approximately $70 million to $80 million, with the charges predominantly recorded in the fourth quarter of 2008. Read more..

We’re still buying Alltel – Verizon

— Verizon Wireless still faces significant hurdles in its $28.1 billion bid to acquire Alltel Corp. in a financial climate that has steadily worsened since the companies reached the agreement in June. Read more..

Chelsea owner wants a yacht good enough for Command & Conquer

When you have a personal fortune of £11.7billion, you can perhaps be forgiven for feeling the need for protection.

In Roman Abramovich’s case, the solution is to order an armour-plated mega-yacht with missile detection system to offer early warning of attack by pirates or terrorists.

At 550ft long, the vessel, costing more than £200million, will be the largest private yacht ever constructed. Read more..

Happy 17th birthday Linux!

Singapore: Ministry of Sound shuts down

SINGAPORE: The curtains have come down on Singapore’s Ministry of Sound (MOS). Lifebrandz Limited, which brought the popular club to Singapore in 2005, announced in a statement that it was ceasing MOS’ operations from October 6. Read more..

Singapore: Singtel hikes up prices

SINGAPORE: SingTel is increasing its local fixed line subscription by S$10 a year from January 1, 2009.

Local fixed line call charges will go up from 0.7 to 0.8 Singapore cents per 30—second block during peak hours or per 60—second block during off—peak hours. Read more..

Philippines: Pinoys irrated over controversial BBC skit

MANILA, Philippines – Filipinos in London are set to launch “concerted efforts” against British government-owned British Broadcasting Corp (BBC) for its reportedly “racist and humiliating” portrayal of a Filipina domestic worker, a lawmaker said on Monday.

Batangas Rep. Hermilando Mandanas, head of the subcommittee on the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), said during the plenary debates on the proposed 2009 budget that Philippine Embassy representatives in the United Kingdom were already coordinating with the Filipino community there regarding their protest actions. Read more..

World’s largest computer grid is now operational

Remember that Large Hadron Collider thats now been delayed due to technical problems, well when it starts to be run on full capacity it will churn out enough data two fill six CDs every second.  So how are the scientists going to handle and distribute all those data? The answer is the Worldwide LHC Computing Grid (WLCG) which now combines the power of more than 140 computer centers from 33 countries to analyze and manage more than 15 million gigabytes of LHC data every year. Read more..

Tokoni leaves beta

After a year of being in beta Tokoni.com has been formally launched. Tokoni is a website for sharing stories and was founded by e-Bay executives.

MySpace has streamed more than a billion songs already

Myspace music was launched on September 25 and since then the top-streamed track is “Whatever You Like” by T.I., which garnered 10.9 million plays.  Other in-demand tracks include “Can’t Believe It” by T-Pain (4.2 million); “So What” by Pink (4.2 million); “My Life” by The Game featuring Lil Wayne (3.9 million); and “Miss Independent” by Ne-Yo (3.5 million). But Myspace won’t say which track was the billionth one to be streamed or when exactly it happened ‘coz all theyre saying now is that it happened sometime last week.

Apple stock closes below 100 bucks

Apple seemed untouchable when it almost hit 200 dollars per share this year and its recently been seeing constant decline plus the Steve Jobs heart attack rumor didnt help either. And today Apple stocks close at a year low 97.01, tought times… tough times. APPL

Dual specs in WoW a definite reality

Tigole just confirmed that the devs are still working on dual specs(forum post). A few months ago the developers said that they would be rolling out the ability for players to switch easily and quickly between multiple specs and that there would be no fee to respec.

The Ask.com makeover

Posted: October 6, 2008 in Technology
Tags: , ,

Ask.com has a single digit market share in the search industry but thats not stopping them from improving and trying to move up from fourth place. The latest version of Ask.com has just gone live with some major changes eversince they’ve switched CEO’s from  Jim Lanzone to Jim Safka who used to be the CEO of match.com. Ask.com will now delivers results not only from the Web, but also from so-called “structured” sources of data in certain categories like entertainment, health and jobs.The new Ask.com also includes an index of various question-and-answer sites from around the Web, including Yahoo Answers and WikiAnswers, that proves effective at returning results for some queries posed as questions. Instead of the three-panel results page which the company unveiled last year, it now delivers results in an easier-to-read two-panel format. Check out more changes here.
New Ask.com smells like Mahalo article.

Skype conversations being monitored in China

The Chinese government is searching for keywords in Skype messages and then logs your messages.  The president of Skype addresses the privacy breach through a blog post. Click here

New Macbook on October 14

Or maybe Oct 15, we dont really know a lot about the upcoming notebooks from Apple but speculations have increased eversince the codename ‘brick’ surfaced. And now this photo seems to suggest that Apple might not redesign the MacBook but will shift from using Intel based video cards to NVIDIA.

Did Steve Jobs have a heart attack?

A recent citizen journalist on CNN’s iReport said “Steve Jobs was rushed to the ER just a few hours ago after suffering a major heart attack. I have an insider who tells me that paramedics were called after Steve claimed to be suffering from severe chest pains and shortness of breath.” Apple has denied these claims and CNN has since removed the post from its site. Apple stocks took quite a dip when because of this but managed to bounce back before trading ended. But until people see a recent photo of Steve Jobs people will still have their doubts.

Fujitsu hearts Western Digital?

Japan’s Fujitsu Ltd is in talks with U.S. hard disk drive maker Western Digital Corp on the sale of its money-losing hard drive business, a company official said, in a deal one newspaper estimated could be worth  millions. Fujitsu shares went up 4.7 percent because of this rumor. If these pseudo merger comes through it could drive up Western Digital’s market share in the 2.5 inch hard drives to around 25-30% which puts it ahread of currently no.1 Seagate.

SK Gaming split up

A while back Sk Gaming decided to sponsor a popular WoW guild called Curse which to me was a smart move because eversince the Sunwell patch Curse has been the best that guild that they’ve ever been PvE-wise. But for some reason they’re saying that the merge just isnt working out like they thought it would. If you ask me, I think Curse got hustled, I mean think about it, SK gaming gave them a little bit of cash.. maybe but in return they got so much exposure when Curse started changing its name to SK Gaming. A brand that was once purely known for e-sport dominance is now associated with PvE pawnage as well. Of the 11 or 12 million WoW players lets say at least half of them would know who the top PvE guild and of course you can bet your bottom dollar that those players will check out that guilds site and boom there you go plus millions of hits = advertising cash. Anyway you can check out the announcement here.

Friendster now supports Facebook apps

Yes its in 3rd place worldwide but Friendster is still the dominant social website in Asia and this move will only improve its global appeal. So if you have a Facebook app its now easier than ever to ‘port’ that app into Friendster so you can tap into the 80 million registered users / 57 million unique visits that this ‘3rd placer’ has. Click here for more developer info

VP debate

In case you missed it you can check out the videos here so that you can get into heated arguments among friends and family members on who won the debate.

HP coming up with its own smart phone

The new device will have a touchscreen and keypad and will use Windows Mobile 6.1 operating system. It will be able to send and receive emails, and access the Internet.The new phone will likely be released in Europe within the next two months and will be under HP’s iPaq line of products.

Picasa 3 Beta available for Linux

I love this app, its file browser looks so much cooler than Windows picture viewer, you can create collages and simple videos.. and now its available for Linux users as well. Google blog post

Obama has  lots of cash and he’s spending it wisely

The Barack Obama iPhone app

The Obama Channel

1 man sells his blog for 15 million dollars

NEW YORK, Sept. 23 announced today it has acquired Bankaholic ( www.bankaholic.com ), a Web site owned by Blackshore Properties, Inc. Bankaholic provides rate information on savings products, such as certificates of deposit, savings accounts, and money market accounts, as well as insurance quotes and a comparison of the best credit card offers, which are currently powered by Bankrate. In addition, Bankaholic offers consumers advice and information that allows consumers to comment and rate banks and their promotions through social networking features. Bankrate paid $12.4 million for Bankaholic, with up to an additional $2.5 million earn-out payment available for the attainment of certain performance metrics in the next 12 months. Rest of the article

CIO has just come up with their list of the 14 most common mistakes IT departments make. It really is a good read and with IT becoming more and more a critical part of a business if not the core business itself, it would do project managers some good to check out the list and see how to avoid these mistakes. A successful IT dept needs to be like a US Olympic basketball team with improved teamplay if they plan to successfully complete a toughest of projects.

  1. Projects lack the right resources with the right skills.
  2. Projects lack experienced project manager. – I like this one because usually what happens is a project manager may have a ton of experience or a lot of technical knowledge when what he should have is a fair amount of both. I used to know this guy who was a marketing manager for like 14 years and when they transferred him to spearhead a tech support endeavor he was just horrible at it.
  3. IT doesn’t follow a standard, repeatable project management process. – This was actually a case that I made with my college thesis because the company that we were studying had decided to outsource their SCM system and then the company ended up using pretty much the same system that they had developed for a different company that wasn’t even the same industry as our subject company. So they ended up not using the system at all etc etc.
  4. IT gets hamstrung by too much process.
  5. They don’t track changes to the scope of the project.
  6. They lack up-to-date data about the status of the projects.
  7. They ignore problems. – hey kinda like what Microsoft did when they pushed xbox 360 with major defects just so they can release it earlier than the PS3
  8. They don’t take the time to define the scope of a project.
  9. They fail to see the dependencies between projects.
  10. They don’t consider Murphy’s Law. “If anything can go wrong, it will.” Longer versions “If there’s more than one possible outcome of a job or task, and one of those outcomes will result in disaster or an undesirable consequence, then somebody will do it that way””Whatever can go wrong will go wrong, and at the worst possible time, in the worst possible way”
  11. They give short shrift to change management.
  12. Project schedules are incomplete.
  13. IT doesnt push back on unreasonable deadlines.
  14. They dont communicate well with project sponsors and stakeholders.

check out the full article here.

Nokia 5800 aka the Tube is here!

Posted: October 2, 2008 in Technology
Tags: , ,

First of all I know what you’re thinking, “Yes, finally the iPhone killer from Nokia,” I’m sorry my friend this aint that phone. Nokia did make it clear beforehand that this ‘Tube phone’ is aimed for the lower-end market slash youth that dont have that much extra cash lying around.  So excuse the 5800 for looking and feeling cheap, having said that Nokia did say that they’re coming out with a higher-end mobile phone based on the S60 touch os.

Some specs:

  • 3.2-inc touch resistance screen (640 x 480 pixels)
  • video recording (30 fps)
  • 3.2 mp camera (Carl Zeiss lens, autofocus and dual-LED flash)
  • Bluetooth 2.0, Wi-fi, GPS
  • microSD slot (up to 16 GB support), 81 mb internal memory
  • price is around 400 dollars (includes 8GB memory card)
  • up to 9 hrs talk time (GSM) 5 hrs (WCDMA)
  • up to 35 hrs music playback, up to 5 hrs video playback (mpeg-4)