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Saturday Evening (11 Comments) (link)
 Saturday, 14-July-2007  19:52:25 (GMT +10) - by Rational

Check out this interesting website which aims to record ping times of various Australian ISP's to allow users to gauge them. What you do is register on the site and provide your ISP, plan and state. Then you download their client here (50KB) which sequentially pings a whole bunch of popular websites and uploads it to the site under your username.

Sony are slimming down and lightening the PSP. Sony will launch a slimmer model of its PlayStation Portable handheld game player in September, in its latest attempt to ignite demand for its game hardware and compete better with Nintendo. Both Sony and Nintendo released their handheld gear, the PSP and DS, respectively, late in 2004, but sales of the PSP, which can play movies, music and games, have recently been outshined by the DS.

Japan is banning internet campaigning from now until their election. Now the campaign for the upper house election in Japan has started, tough rules on how politicians can canvas for votes have come into force. Surprisingly, in a country with some of the fastest broadband speeds and a wide internet penetration, it is now illegal for candidates to create new websites or update existing web pages between now and election day, 29 July.

NEC has offered to fix 54,000 faulty laptops which would overheat and form holes on the underside of the machine, thanks Craig. JAPAN'S NEC Corp said today it would repair some 54,800 laptop computers for free because of a defect that could lead them to heat up and form small holes on the underside. The voluntary recall affects three models - Lavie M, Lavie G Type M and VersaPro Mobile Note - manufactured from March 2003 to April 2005, the company said.

Game developers are trying to change MMO stereotypes. SANTA MONICA, Calif.--For game publishers at E3 showing off massively multiplayer online role-playing games, the message was clear: this year, they want to get big. Thanks to better broadband penetration in the United States, the soaring popularity of online social networking and virtual worlds, and the fact that spending a whole lot of time playing video games is no longer taboo, the timing, they believe, is right.

Some news sites reported that Microsoft have admitted that all Xbox's are faulty but apparently they didn't admit to anything. Yesterday, an Australian business site reported on Microsoft’s warranty extension story and conference call (about 4 days after it happened; see our report here). Okay, so they were a bit late. What is a site to do when they report on a story so late? Make something up! As you know, the story is that Microsoft has extended the warranty of the XBOX 360 to 3 years, covering the Red Ring of Death problem.

RealWorldBenchmarks have taken a look at AMD Phenom in action. I had a chance tonight to sit down with AMD's upcoming quadcore processor, Phenom X4. While this meeting with AMD wasn't and all exclusive pass to benchmark the new enthusiast processor I did get a chance to play Midway's upcoming PC title Stranglehold.

PCMech have checked out an alternative graphics software, Artweaver. Ever felt the need to use your creativity and express your inner artist? There are a myriad of options for art related programs on the net, and I have reviewed a few of them. But there is always room for one more in the world of freeware. So for this week's Freeware Frenzy, I will be taking a look at Artweaver v0.4.6. Though it is prior to an official 1.0 release, Artweaver is more then ready to tackle most of the challenges you can throw its way.

There is a rumor going round of major price cuts to all the major consoles, thanks Tim. But that is only half of the story here. I have a very good source within a major Canadian retailer that guarantees that despite the lack of a cut at E3 this week, the Xbox 360 will drop $100 across all SKU's. When? Sooner than you think. AUGUST 1ST. I can't confirm all the details, but basically in less than 3 weeks the console prices will be the following:

And finally, Tim spotted this Halo 3 teaser trailer.

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