Movies, Music, Video Games, Social Networks and Lifestyle News And Reviews

Product reviews and news of digital entertainment products and services in movies, music, video games, game streaming, social networks and lifestyle products.

In a somewhat surprising move, AOL has shelled out $850 million dollars to acquire social networking site Bebo. If you add Bebo's 40 million users worldwide to AOL's customer base for AIM and ICQ, AOL can now boast 80 million unique users. And AOL can show those 80 million users advertising while they're on their service. I imagine it's a little gloomy at both Facebook and Google this morning.  “Bebo is the perfect complement to AOL’s personal communications network and puts us in a leading position in social media,” said Randy Falco, Chairman and CEO, AOL. “What drew us to Bebo was its substantial and fast-growing worldwide user-base, its vision of a truly social web, and the monetization... Read more...
Mobile computing has come a long way in the last few years.  Notebook manufacturers have been squeezing more power and features into ever more portable packages.  As technologies have continued to be refined, shrinking in size and power requirements, manufacturers have been able to expand their creative ideas, bring ever more impressive options to market to fit virtually any budget.  In recent months, we have seen excellent examples of both ends of the spectrum, from the budget oriented Asus Eee PC to powerful gaming/desktop replacement systems from Dell, Lenovo and Asus.  Today, we're happy to add Toshiba to that list with an evaluation of their Satellite X205-SLi4... Read more...
If you've followed the tech sector for any appreciable amount of time, you've no doubt heard the tale of Dell Inc. - one of those stories where a guy with a dream founded a company and eventually built it into a corporate giant.  Right from the beginning, Michael Dell believed that the future of PC sales involve building and selling customized IBM PC-compatible computers directly to home users.  The first computer of their own design, labeled the "Turbo PC" helped the company gross more than 73 million dollars in its first year alone.  And by the turn of the century, Dell would become the largest seller of personal computers,... Read more...
Lance Ulanoff can't help noticing that the social networking site Facebook has more than a passing resemblance to AOL just before it went down like the Titanic: disgruntled users, ill-advised and unsuccessful attempts to monetize traffic, and inflated user rolls kept artificially high by the difficulty of removing your account from the service. Facebook has finally succumbed to pressure from users to allow them to remove their information from the service, so now all they have to do now is to start flooding the world with disks with installation hardware and the transformation will be complete.A recent report from The New York Times stated that the company is going to try to make it easier for... Read more...
For many of you, Maingear Computer may not be a household name and that would probably be just fine with the folks out at the shop in Union New Jersey.  Loosely classified as a specialty high performance system builder and retailer, Maingear's mission statement on style, performance and quality claims that they strive to not just provide customers with a computer but rather with a "way of life".  That's certainly fitting because the target demographic for the type of machines Maingear builds, probably sees high performance computing as a way of life as well.  In short, Maingear has a tall order to fill catering to the computing enthusiast, but you all knew that we suspect. ... Read more...
Well, although there's likely a security hole there somewhere, the WSJ Online has accepted Facebook's friend request with the "Seen This?" feature.Hoping to tap into the growing buzz of online social networks, the Journal is adding a feature to its Web site that will allow readers to see which Journal stories are popular among that user's Facebook friends. The feature, which goes live early Wednesday morning, is called "SeenThis?" and is powered by a company called Loomia Inc. Financial terms weren't disclosed.This is the WSJ's Online second foray into friendship.  Remember they teamed with Digg earlier?... Read more...
Many of us have fond memories of playing video games in the arcade of a local bowling alley, popping 25 cents into the machine on a regular basis to keep the fun going.  Back then, that was the main way to get your game on, displaying your skills for all to see.  If you can remember dropping quarters into the slot of a machine running Pole Position, Galaga, Missle Command or any other game of that era, you might like the business model of X-Arcade. Reminiscent of the days when quarters ruled the video game market, X-Arcade has built a product base of custom game controllers that are built to the same standards of the video game systems of yesteryear.   The company... Read more...
Everyone keeps telling me how smart Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook is, but I'm beginning to have my doubts. Fresh on the heels of his disastrous foray into datamining with Facebook's Beacon service, he seems to be unclear on the concept of copyright infringement. Hasbro and Mattel, owners of the copyright for the Scrabble word game, is directing Facebook to remove Scrabulous, an online application that is one of the ten most popular on Facebook.The Scrabulous add-on was not created by Facebook but was built for the site by Rajat and Jayant Agarwalla - software developers based in Kolkata. [India]According to the Scrabulous website it has 594,924 daily active users - about a quarter... Read more...
Phishing scams grow more sophisticated every day. And as sites like banks and credit card companies become hardened against attack, crafty information thieves find ways to steal information further out in the digital landscape. Facebook users reported a phishing attack on Wednesday that is disguised as a message left for them from a trusted friend on their Facebook "wall," promising juicy pics, of course. The link looks like a standard Facebook link --if you don't notice the slashes have been replaced with periods.But the link leads to a fake Facebook login page hosted on a Chinese .cn domain. The fake page actually logs the victims into Facebook, but also keeps a copy of their user names and... Read more...
Dell's XPS brand is instantly recognizable in computer hardware and gaming circles. Whether you've owned one or not, there is no debate that XPS branded machines, desktops and notebooks alike, are serious competitors in the high-end and ultra high-end performance markets. While the XPS brand is over fourteen years old, it didn't receive acceptance from enthusiasts until rather recently. It wasn't too long ago that the thought of a machine from Dell that could compete with the best boutique builders both in terms of style and performance would evoke blank stares.While the XPS brand has always stood for performance, it hasn't always been easy to tell. With early XPS systems, there was often... Read more...
Facebook has gotten all the bad publicity anybody could ever want over their intrusive "Beacon"  marketing/advertising/information gathering widget. On top of everything else, researchers have discovered that despite Facebook's modification of their permission settings, Facebook is still collecting information about all your  purchases at retailers participating in the program, even if you are not logged on to Facebook. "When a Facebook user takes a Beacon-enabled action on a participating site, information is sent to Facebook in order for Facebook to operate Beacon technologically. If a Facebook user clicks "No, thanks" on the partner site notification, Facebook does not use the data... Read more...
Some users of online community Facebook are complaining that  Facebook's latest marketing widget, called Beacon,  allows other users to see what you're buying online from vendors participating in the program. They feel it's an invasion of their privacy. You're allowed to opt out of the process,  and given two opportunities to do so for each automatic listing, but there doesn't seem to be any way to opt out of the program entirely. The idea is that if users see a friend buy or do something, they'd take that action as an endorsement for a movie, a band or a soft drink.But it also raises privacy concerns.Mike Mayer, for instance, saw a feed item saying his boyfriend, Adam Sofen, just... Read more...
The stereotype is that geeks can't dress themselves, or rather, that they can't dress stylishly.  Technology is here to help them get past that minor obstacle.If you've ever stood in front of your closet trying to figure out what to wear for an important meeting, a new high-tech wardrobe invention might be just the thing for you.The "smart wardrobe" keeps track of when you wore an item, where you wore it, and can even tell you when your clothes need to be dry-cleaned.If you're not sure what tie matches your suit, if your skirt is too tame for your new animal print pumps, or whether you should go business casual or dressy for a weekend dinner with the boss, researchers say the smart wardrobe... Read more...
Just about everybody has heard some sort of interesting search-related fact that has to do with pornography on the Internet.  First it was that searches for Jesus Christ came up with less results than the word porn on Google.  Then it became a big deal to be 'bigger than porn' when it came to Google hits.But the number of search results doesn't accurately depict the number of searches on a subject, just the volume of related material.  So who's 'bigger than porn' this week?  According to Hitwise it's none other than Facebook, at least with one of its key demographics:"Perhaps a more interesting — and more accurate — way to figure out where college students are going online... Read more...
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