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Microsoft Owns Patent for In-Game Custom Soundtracks

650°
334w ago - One of the most coveted features missing from the PlayStation 3 is the ability to use a custom soundtrack during gameplay. Movement has been made in this area with some games beginning to offer support, notably Super Stardust HD and High Velocity Bowling, but it's yet to be offered for all games.

Though many expect the inclusion to come when Sony supports an in-game version of PlayStation 3's cross media bar, the implementation of this feature might just stay with the developers, since Microsoft owns a patent for this very functionality.

Microsoft implemented the ability to play your own music during gameplay in their first gaming system, the Xbox. The functionality naturally moved over to the Xbox 360, where Microsoft was patiently waiting for a patent to go through.

The custom soundtrack patent was submitted well before the release of the 360, presumably with the intention to lock down the feature for the next generation. It wasn't issued until mid-2006, luckily just before the US/Japan release of the PlayStation 3.

The US patent named "Method and Apparatus for Creating and Playing Soundtracks in a Gaming System" appears to cover any application that allows users to create soundtracks using...
 

World's fastest Internet connection used to dry laundry

50°
334w ago - Last summer a 75-year-old woman from Karlstad became the envy of Internet users worldwide.

With her blistering 40 gigabits per second connection, Sigbritt Löthberg had the world's fastest internet connection - many thousands of times faster than the average residential link and the first time ever that a home user had experienced such a high speed.

So after nine months with the ability to download a full high definition DVD in just two seconds or access to 1,500 high definition HDTV channels simultaneously, how has Sigbritt's life changed?

Not much, according to Hafsteinn Jonsson, who is heading up the fibre network operation for Karlstad Stadsnät.

"She mostly used it to dry her laundry," he told The Local.

"It was a big bit of gear and it got pretty warm."

Sigbritt's son, Swedish internet legend Peter Löthberg, was behind the project, which was intended to demonstrate how a low price, high capacity fibre line could be built over long distances. Löthberg has now taken the equipment up to Luleå, in the north of Sweden, for further testing.

"The project was a huge success," said Hafsteinn Jonsson, who explained that his department now measures its history in terms of 'Before Sigbritt and After Sigbritt'.

"Apart from the death...
 

Yet another Microsoft white space device fails FCC testing

50°
334w ago - Although several other companies have submitted white space devices to the FCC -- we know Philips has one in, and Google's making a lot of noise about new and improved reference designs -- it looks like Microsoft's run of bad luck with the tech continues, with yet another white space transceiver unexpectedly failing during FCC tests last week.

There's no word on if the latest unit failed for the same power-related reasons as the previous test devices, but Microsoft's doing a little damage control and saying that the FCC hasn't found any interference with TV signals so far, and that it's easier to pull the plug now and let other, non-MS devices finish out testing.

Yeah, we'd say so -- at this point Redmond's bungled attempts to get this stuff working are becoming sort of embarrassing. Google to the rescue?
 

PSP Custom Firmware 3.90 M33-3 & Universal Unbricker v5 out!

50°
334w ago - Dark_AleX has updated to PSP Custom Firmware 3.90 M33 which further improves compatibility of the built-in M33 NO-UMD driver. As always, the update can be downloaded via Network Update or by the direct link below. Unfortunately, the update does not remedy reading off GAME390 instead of GAME380 in this revision.

Changes:

* March33 NO-UMD driver compatibility has increased to support games like Coded Arms, Patapon, Harvest Moon Innocent Life and probably others affected by same errors.

Dark_AleX has also updated his 'Despertar del Cementerio' Universal Unbricker application to version 5. It can be used in conjunction with a Pandora battery to restore and install Custom Firmware on any PSP unit regardless of model or motherboard.

Version 5 features support for installing Custom Firmware 3.90 M33-3 directly rather than 3.80 M33-5, and includes integration with the Time Machine if it is installed on your memory stick.

Download: PSP Custom Firmware 3.90 M33-3 [Right-click, Save As] / PSP Universal Unbricker v5 [Right-click, Save As]
 

Bill Gates May Have to Testify In Xbox Fire Case

100°
334w ago - The lawyer in the case says he will proceed with efforts to depose Gates unless Microsoft settles for at least $25 million.

The lawyer for the family of a teenage girl who was horribly burned in a house fire allegedly sparked by a faulty Xbox game console is threatening to have Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) chairman Bill Gates testify about the safety of his company's offshore manufacturing practices.

Attorney William Tinning said in a letter to Microsoft last week that he would seek "an apex deposition for Mr. Gates given his worldwide speeches about the inadequacies of capitalism and the need for his Warren Buffet-funded charitable trust to bridge the gap.

"This is in direct contrast with his business organization policies," wrote Tinning. Microsoft is "one of the largest employers of low wage earners in China for products built to the specification of his company which have resulted in massive recalls for safety issues," he added.

A copy of the letter has been obtained by InformationWeek.

Tinning said he would proceed with efforts to depose Gates unless Microsoft settles for at least $25 million.

Microsoft has denied responsibility for the fire.

In the letter, Tinning said Kayla Lazo "virtually became melted" in a fire that ravaged...
 
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