208w ago - According to AnalogHype.com (linked above), Sony has secretly raised the PlayStation 3 repair fee on launch consoles this week.
Apparently they used to charge a flat $150 service fee, which has now been quietly increased to $179.
To quote: "Sony Computer Entertainment secretly raised the price for servicing your PlayStation 3 at the beginning of this week. Originally a $150 flat rate fee including shipping has gone up to $179.
Sony is pushing to have the launch consoles replaced with the new 120 gb Playstation 3 Slim. All you have to do is pay $120 and lose your backward compatible console for the new and improved PS3 Slim."
242w ago - It seems that Nintendo is now charging almost to full price for a Nintendo Wii if you've installed unsigned code on the machine that resulted in a 'bricked' console.
To quote: I've been asked whether installing the Homebrew Channel (or Twilight Hack or whatever) will void the warranty on a Wii. I've generally said something like "Technically, yes, but I doubt they will enforce that."
This seemed reasonable, given some of the anecdotes I've heard – stories of people ruining their drives with a soldering iron and still getting free repair work done under warranty, etc. I've also said that if a Wii is bricked (and won't boot), then they have no way of actually checking to see what is installed on the Wii – and I still believe that to be true, at least most of the time.
I'll be the first to admit that was wrong, given some recent evidence. My German's pretty bad, but I see ".... Softwarehack ... EUR 210″. That seems awfully excessive, given that the price of a new Wii is EUR 250, no?
I would write this off as an isolated incident – maybe someone installed some truly awful warezloading hack. However, I was sent the following email through an anonymous remailer last month, and it would seem to support the invoice above:
303w ago - A material that is able to self-repair even when it is sliced in two has been invented by French researchers.
The as-yet-unnamed material - a form of artificial rubber - is made from vegetable oil and a component of urine.
The substance, described in the journal Nature, produces surfaces when cut that retain a strong chemical attraction to each other.
Pieces of the material join together again as if never parted without the need for glue or a special treatment.
This remarkable property comes from careful engineering of the molecules in the material.
The French researchers are already making kilogramme quantities in their Paris laboratories and say the process is almost completely green, and could be completely so with a few adjustments.
The secret of the substance lies in how the molecules are held together.
A piece of normal rubber, says Dr Ludwik Leibler, who headed the research, is actually a single molecule with billion upon billions of smaller units chemically welded together to form a giant tangled network.
The elasticity comes from the fact that the strands within the network are buckled like a concertina: pull on them and they straighten and elongate; let go and the buckles reappear.