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Guitar Hero 2

May 11, 2007 It was only recently that we became properly aquainted with Guitar Hero 2, but that doesn't mean we're any less excited about Activision's announcement of the third game in the series, Guitar Hero: Rocks the 80s. Details are scarce, but read on for a sneak peak at the tracklist.  Read More

NVIDIA releases the world's fastest Graphics Processing Unit

May 4, 2007 One of the prime motive forces in computer technology is the gaming industry. And by releasing the world’s fastest graphics processing unit, NVIDIA has ensured that it is in the driving seat. Available on May 15, the GeForce 8800 Ultra is priced at US$829. Given that the graphics industry evolves extremely quickly, it is quite an achievement for a company to leapfrog its own performance milestones as NVIDIA has done with the GeForce 8 Series GPUs.  Read More

Guitar Hero II Box Contents

April 30, 2007 As you might imagine, we're surrounded with technology at the Gizmag office...and we thought we'd learned to do a pretty good job of soldiering on despite all the distractions the wired lifestyle brings. Alas, those times are over now, and we refer to the period as BG (Before Guitar Hero). For the uninitiated, Guitar Hero is rock and roll condensed into a video game, complete with plastic guitar controller and a drummer who always turns up to practice on time (and doesn't hit on your girlfriend). The original Playstation 2 game sold over one million units in its first year, and the sequel sold over 1.3 million units in 2006 - 800,000 in December alone - and it's hooked everyone from the neighbors seven-year-old to members of the prog-rock super-group Tool. Now it's here on the Xbox 360 in crisp 720p resolution with 10 additional tracks - if you've listened to guitar music at all in the last thirty years, read on for the full review, video and track list.  Read More

14-year-old Ribena vigilantes cost GlaxoSmithKline NZ$220K in false advertising case

April 14, 2007 When 14-year-old New Zealand schoolgirls Jenny Suo and Anna Devathasan handed in their surprising Science Fair project results in 2004, they hardly expected to strike a financial blow for the consumer, but that's exactly what happened when global pharmaceutical juggernaut GlaxoSmithKline admitted to 15 charges of breaching the Fair Trading Act at the Auckland District Court earlier this month. The girls' project tested the vitamin C content of 8 different juices against the claimed amount on the packaging and were surprised to find that despite GSK's assertion that Ribena contains 7 milligrams of Vitamin C per 100ml, they were able to find "no detectable level" of the vitamin. Go to it kids! Be inspired by Jenny and Anna and keep 'em honest.  Read More

Reinventing the ball for new recreational pursuits

April 12, 2007 Bizit Air Products have come up with a fun idea - inflatable plastic balls with up to a 4.5 metre/15 foot diameter that can accomodate dancers, motorcycles, and even cars for a showstopping presentation that's hard to ignore. Fully sealed, the balls allow an occupant to walk on land, water, or even a sea of hands, all the while looking like they're trapped in a soap bubble.  Read More

Neuromarketing: What's it all about?

April 12, 2007 Have you ever wondered about the relationship between sex and cars? Intuitively, we all know there’s something going on there, but new research in the area of neuromarketing is beginning to shed light on the subject and it appears there’s a connection. Brain wave recording devices have been available for decades but new technology can now pinpoint more precisely which brain regions are active as people respond to products or make brand choices or are exposed to advertisements. The neuroscience dream of being able to peer into the functioning brain has been made possible. When Daimler Chrysler recently showed pictures of their cars while measuring brainwave activity with an fMRI scanner, they found that sports cars stimulated the reward centre of the brain, which is also the area stirred by drugs, alcohol and sex. The front view of the cars, with distinctive facade and headlight “eyes”, subjects showed brain activity in the facial recognition centre of the brain.  Read More

HP unveils plans for the gaming interface

April 10, 2007 Hewlett Packard is expanding into online, mobile and PC gaming. With the international gaming market estimated at US$36 billion, a figure so immense it eclipses the GDP of entire countries, it is easy to see why. HP acquired VoodooPC last September (2006), and last week revealed a number of initiatives that have obviously resulted from the two companies integrating their core skills. The developments promise much more immersion for gamers in the future with HP showing a large, curved screen designed to fill a gamer’s entire field of vision, a high resolution “super projector” purpose-built for projecting multi player games on a large surface and a method of superimposing “multimedia digital experiences” on physical landscapes, enabling people to play a game throughout a city with wireless handheld devices.  Read More

Blazing Angels: Squadrons of World War II

April 10, 2007 When this landed on my desk to review, I had my doubts - of the forty million or so World War II games released during my years of gaming, I can count the ones I've enjoyed on one hand. Thankfully, Blazing Angels stands out from the noise just by not being a first-person shooter, and rekindles the almost forgotten air-combat genre. If piloting one of 50 authentic World War II era aircraft through several key battles over historic sites like Dunkirk, Pearl Harbor, Midway and Berlin sounds like your thing, read the full review.  Read More

Playstation 3 on top of Folding@Home

April 10, 2007 Folding@Home is a distributed computing project where people donate spare clock-cycles from the CPU or GPU in their Internet-connected PC's, the result of which is one of the largest supercomputers in the world. The Folding@Home client for the Playstation 3, released as part of a recent system update for the console, quickly raced to the top of the statistics. Shortly after, just as the network of over 20,000 consoles was about to hit the team's goal of one petaflop, the Folding@Home team reevaluated the performance of the console - dropping it to half the original figure. In spite of this, the Playstation 3 remains the greatest contributor to Folding@Home, and currently provides over half of the processing power available to the project.  Read More

fl0w

April 4, 2007 The concept of games as art is rarely touched upon, undoubtedly due to the rarity of games one could bring up in a discussion of the concept with a straight face. fl0w is one of the exceptions - a Master of Fine Arts thesis by USC School of Cinematic Arts graduates Jenova Chen and Nicholas Clark. Originally realised in Flash, the game has improved in leaps and bounds after its jump to the Playstation Network, and it's here to manipulate your mood.  Read More

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