Apple releases iTunes 9.2 update

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Date: Wednesday, June 16th, 2010, 13:26
Category: News, Software

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On Wednesday, Apple released iTunes 9.2, the latest version of its multimedia/jukebox application for Mac OS X. The new version, a 102 megabyte download, offers the following fixes and changes:

- Sync with iPhone 4 to enjoy your favorite music, movies, TV shows, books and more on-the-go.
- Sync and read books with iPhone or iPod touch with iOS 4 and iBooks 1.1.
- Organize and sync PDF documents as books. Read PDFs with iBooks 1.1 on iPad and any iPhone or iPod touch with iOS 4.
- Organize your apps on your iOS 4 home screens into folders using iTunes.
- Faster back-ups while syncing an iPhone or iPod touch with iOS 4.
- Album artwork improvements make artwork appear more quickly when exploring your library.

iTunes 9.2 is available via Mac OS X’s Software Update feature and requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to install and run.

E3 2010: the Sony press conference gallery

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Date: Wednesday, June 16th, 2010, 13:23
Category: Pictures

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For those of you interested in images from the Sony press conference, the hankering is over…:

Before the show...

Son'y Jack Tretton welcomes the audience.

Killzone 3. People liked this.

Kevin Butler gently mocks the gaming culture in a Sony ad.

Representatives demonstrate the Sony Move with the upcoming Tiger Woods title.

Kevin Butler demonstrates the Sony Move.

Sony representatives demonstrate user-created content in Little Big Planet 2.

Medal of Honor: it's coming back.

Portal 2: it'll shatter your social life and you'll love Valve for it.

Riveted fans watch the new Portal 2 trailer at the Sony press conference.

The Final Fantasy 14 trailer begins...

Sweet Tooth emerges on stage for the Twisted Metal announcement.

Sony representatives demonstrate the upcoming Twisted Metal title.

E3 2010: The Nintendo press conference gallery

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Date: Wednesday, June 16th, 2010, 13:56
Category: Pictures

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With E3 in full swing, it’s time to check in with some pictures of the event, specifically the shots from Nintendo’s press conference yesterday.

So, without further ado, the first gallery:

Killing time with trivia...

If you were wondering where you were...

Nintendo's Reggie Fils-Aime takes the stage.

Nintendo's Shigeru Miyamoto demoes the new Zelda: Skyward Sword with his own sword and shield.

The new Zelda in action.

Mario Sports Mix gets underway during the Nintendo event.

Perfect for World Cup season...

Some images, they're just iconic...

Reggie Fils-Aime introduces Golden Sun for the Nintendo DS

The new Goldeneye 007, as greeted by a roaring auditorium.

Ok, this might be more iconic than Mario...

Nintendo executives unveil Epic Mickey for the Nintendo Wii.

Epic Mickey in action at the Nintendo press conference on Tuesday.

Let's face it: you can't hate Kirby.

The first images of the new Metroid: Other M title.

The first images of the Nintendo 3DS handheld.

The first gameplay footage of Kid Icarus: Uprising.

A battle sequence from Kid Icarus: Uprising

E3 2010: Microsoft press conference recap

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Date: Wednesday, June 16th, 2010, 08:57
Category: News

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The major press conferences are over, the facts are being discerned and there’s chatter as to what’s cool, what needs improvement and what we can’t wait for.

Per the mighty 1up.com, Microsoft’s press conference revealed that their camera/interaction technology, previously known as Project Natal, is now known as Kinect. The Kinect itself will arrive in time for the holiday season on November 4th and allow for video chat as well as voice commands. The Video Kinect feature will allow you to video chat with friends over Xbox Live or with people on Windows Live Messenger,

In an effort to get over a bulky image, Microsoft revealed a slim Xbox 360 design which also incorporates a 250GB hard drive and, at long last, will include an 802.11N wireless adapter. While the slim’s announcement wasn’t much of a surprise, given how heavily it had been rumored, what was surprising was that it’s shipping beginning today and will be available for US$299 later this week. Speaker Don Mattrick then pulled an Oprah move and announced that everyone at the press conference would be receiving a free slim Xbox 360 system.

While inclusion of Hulu on the Xbox was nowhere to be seen, almost certainly because Microsoft is still trying to work out the rights issues involved with it, ESPN filled the gap by being the newest service to be added to the Xbox Live suite. SportsCenter anchors Josh Elliott and Trey Wingo took to the stage to announce an ESPN video service that will allow Xbox Live Gold members to watch more than 3,500 live and on-demand sporting events over Xbox Live, with much of that content coming in HD. Among the sports it will carry are the NBA, MLB, college football, soccer, and college basketball. Once Kinect is released, users will be able to browse ESPN content with it, with Josh Elliott showing the ability to have it replay a clip over and over by simply saying, “Xbox: Replay.”

The bulk of the conference felt like it was a demonstration for the games you’ll be able to play with Kinect. Microsoft wasn’t especially specific when it came to announcing release dates and which titles will be available with Kinect on November 4th, but the most likely candidate is Kinect Sports. Among the featured activities in the game are bowling, track and field, soccer, javelin, long jump, table tennis, boxing and volleyball. Other games were demoed as well, including the EyePet competitor Kinectimals, an adorable game that had a young girl playing with a virtual tiger on stage.

After a demonstration of Call of Duty: Black Ops, which featured a segment from the single-player campaign where you hijack a helicopter and then blow up enemies (and bridges) with it, Microsoft announced an exclusivity agreement they’ve made with Activision involving the Call of Duty franchise. Future Call of Duty games, Black Ops included, will be released just as they normally would on all platforms, but just as with the first two map packs for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, Xbox 360 gamers will get first dibs on all map packs for Call of Duty games in 2010, 2011, and 2012.

For the fans out there, Metal Gear Rising made its debut a year after it was announced at Microsoft’s E3 press conference in 2009. Described as a “sword action game unlike any you’ve seen before,” the trailer showed Raiden slice-and-dice through enemies and scenery alike with his sword. It was extremely violent — he sliced an enemy into multiple pieces in slow-motion while the enemy was suspended in the air — until the ending sequence, where we saw Raiden nicely carve up a watermelon.

Given that there will always be a drive for Halo, Halo: Reach looked incredible, Microsoft presenting the campaign mode for the very first time to the public. Though the demo looked slick, it didn’t look especially different from what we’ve come to expect from Halo. Then came the end of the trailer when we saw a Spartan enter a spaceship and engage in combat with another ship. It lasted just a few seconds, but the promise of space combat in the Reach campaign is exciting news.

Attendees got the first look at Gears of War 3′s 4-player campaign co-op, which appeared very much like Gears with female characters. Microsoft also offered an October 26th release date for Fable 3, which we’ll try to get a look at later.

E3 2010: Day 1 impressions from the floor

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Date: Wednesday, June 16th, 2010, 07:56
Category: News

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By Joshua Simmons:

Day 1 Impressions From the Show Floor :
After the Nintendo and Sony press conferences, I had the chance to roam the show floor. I decided to start with the West Hall, where I was immediately greeted by the Capcom booth. Although I wasn’t able to try out the Marvel vs Capcom 3 demo today, I did get a chance to get my hands on Dead Rising 2. They were demoing the single player campaign today, which little has been seen of until now. The controls were largely unchanged from the original with the main character able to pick up and use just about anything as a weapon. Not much was divulged in terms of plot other than that once again we found the hero trapped in a shopping center, presumably in Las Vegas, full of zombies. I did notice that the graphics, on the other hand, have seen a major face lift with a much larger number of zombies appearing on screen at once. Overall, the demo felt familiar and more of the same, but that’s certainly not a bad thing given the critical success of the first Dead Rising.

Making my way out of Capcom, I found myself at the Sony booth, and in line to try the much anticipated Killzone 3. Having frequently played Killzone 2, I was able to see what kind of changes Guerilla had made to this latest iteration. So, since already possessing a general sense of traditional FPS ground combat, I decided to jump into the jetpack demo level out of the three selectable. Immediately I noticed the controls had been tightened, and were more responsive than ever while still maintaining a realisitic sense of weight that was unique to Killzone 2. Of course, weight doesn’t matter when you have a jetpack.

Although it seems like everything has to have a jetpack these days, it really felt like Guerilla had made it their own in Killzone 3. The controls took a moment to get used to, but soon I was leaping and gliding from icebergs while gunning down Helghast with my mounted gatling gun. I really enjoy the unique design they have created for their jetpacks, and the fact that they almost change the design of the game to that of a platformer. Needless to say, I’m really looking forward to playing the full game later this year.

Finally, having finished trying Killzone 3, I moved on to the Playstation Move booth. Playstation Move is Sony’s push into the motion controller market by using a combination of the Playstation eye camera and the glowing orb-adorned Move controllers. The Playstation eye tracks the glowing orb and constantly knows the location of the players arms, as well as track even the most subtle of movements.

At the booth, I was able to give the Move a try by playing the Archery level of Sony’s Sports Champions. Although initially awkward to get used to, the Move gradually became more familiar after every arrow I fired. The game works by holding one controller out like your bow then taking the other over your head, while holding the Move button down, as if to grab an arrow from a quiver on your back. I was amazed to find that the game tracked this motion fairly effortlessly. After grabbing your arrow, it’s as simple as mimicking the motion of stringing and pulling back your arrow, aiming, then releasing the Move button, as if the string itself, to fire. Needless to say, within moments I was firing volleys of arrows with ease and precision while greatly enjoying the experience. I walked away from the Move booth blown away, and salivating over the future possibilities of playing medievil action games with the Playstation Move.

The Playstation Move will be available September 19th in America, and I highly recommend picking it up to see for yourself. I didn’t have much time to see a whole lot else today, but I think I will attempt to brave the lines tomorrow and check out the new Nintendo 3DS, as well as play the new Zelda and post my impressions then.

Apple releases Security Update 2010-04 for Mac OS X 10.5.x users

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Date: Wednesday, June 16th, 2010, 07:05
Category: News, Software

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Late Tuesday, Apple released Security Update 2010-04 for Mac OS X 10.5.x (“Snow Leopard”). The update, a 218.6 megabyte download, adds a slew of security fixes and changes, as summarized here.

The update requires Mac OS X 10.5 or later to install and run and can be snagged via Mac OS X’s Software Update feature.

If you’ve tried the new update and have any feedback to offer, let us know.

iPhone 4 preorders rescheduled to arrive on July 2nd

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Date: Wednesday, June 16th, 2010, 07:09
Category: iPhone, News

Following yesterday’s interesting events in which Apple sold out of launch day preorders for the upcoming iPhone 4 handset, new orders from the company’s website are now said to ship by July 2, more than a week after the handset’s launch date.

Per AppleInsider, the delay for those who didn’t get in on the first round of preorders applies to both the 16GB and 32GB capacities of iPhone 4. Customers can only preorder the black model, as the white iPhone 4 is currently unavailable for any reservation.

As this is happening, the iPhone 3GS is still marked for delivery on the June 24th launch date.

Apple’s update follows news on Tuesday from AT&T, the exclusive wireless provider of the iPhone in the U.S., which also sold out of its launch day allotment. New orders placed directly through AT&T will not arrive until June 25th or later, “depending on when the order is placed,” the company said.

AT&T revealed that the first day of preorders for iPhone 4 was the busiest online sales day in the company’s history. The company’s systems had difficulty authorizing existing customers for upgrades, and Apple also began rejecting callers from its 800-MY-APPLE number.