G3 Tech

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Archive for the ‘Internet’ Category

“Best of E3” Winners

Posted by g3tech on August 10, 2007

GENERAL AWARDS

Best of Show: Rock Band – MTV Games

Best Trailer: Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare – Activision

Most Innovative: LittleBigPlanet – SCEA

Best Graphics: Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare – Activision

One to Watch: Resident Evil 5 – Capcom

Best New Franchise: LittleBigPlanet- SCEA

Best Non-Game: Jam Sessions – Ubisoft

Best Music/Rhythm: Rock Band – MTV Games

Best Hardware: Xbox 360

GENRE AWARDS

Best Action/Adventure: Assassin’s Creed – Ubisoft

Best Puzzle/Parlor Game: Zak and Wik: The Quest for Barbaros’ Treasure – Capcom

Best Strategy: World in Conflict – Vivendi

Best Role-Playing: Eternal Sonata – Namco/Bandai

Best Sports: Madden NFL 08 – Electronic Arts

Best First-Person Shooter: Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare – Activision

Best-Third Person: Fracture – LucasArts

Best Online: LittleBigPlanet – SCEA

Best Racing: Burnout Paradise – Electronic Arts

Best Fighting: Virtua Fighter 5 – Sega

PLATFORM AWARDS

Best Xbox 360: Rock Band – MTV Games

Best PlayStation 3: LittleBigPlanet – SCEA

Best Nintendo Wii: Super Mario Galaxy – Nintendo

Best Nintendo DS: The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass – Nintendo

Best Sony PSP: God of War: Chains of Olympus – SCEA

Best PC: Half Life 2: The Orange Box – Electronic Arts

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Posted in Computers, E3, Games, Gaming, Internet, Microsoft, Nintendo, Sony, Technology | Leave a Comment »

E3 – Day Two: Nintendo

Posted by g3tech on July 12, 2007

This morning’s Nintendo press conference in Santa Monica, CA served to underline what we all knew about the Wii: it’s setting its sights firmly on expanding the appeal of video games to older people and women, and it’s lining up a portfolio of cool new toys to help it achieve just that. Chief among them, and unveiled today by Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime, is a novel Balance Board controller together with a purpose-designed fitness game that aim to help Wii owners lose weight.

Nintendo’s Balance Board, a slim, wireless white pad that looks more like a set of bathroom scales than a conventional videogame controller, does more than just measure your weight (although it does that, too). It can detect the exact position of your body’s center of gravity, and measure how it shifts as you move your limbs or lean.

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How’s that going to help you shed the pounds? Wii Fit, a new Nintendo title that’ll ship with the Balance Board, tracks your body mass index over time, and offers over 40 minigames that look guaranteed to get you sweating. Fils-Aime showed the Balance Board being used for yoga, step aerobics, balance training, and raw strength exercises like push-ups. No release date was mentioned, but it’s sure to sell like hotcakes — and you thought the Wii was hard to find right now.

Fils-Aime also showed off a brace of Wii remote attachments that’ll be bundled into games releasing later this year. One, the Wii Zapper, turns your Wii remote and nunchuk into a lightgun-like controller, and will release with zombie shooter Resident Evil: Umbrella Chronicles – while the other, a small plastic wheel, will launch along with Mario Kart Wii.

Hang on, what was that? Yes, in a move sure to put smiles on the faces of longtime Nintendo fans, the Mario Kart series is coming to the Wii. Only shown in video form, it’s scheduled to release in the first quarter of next year, but will include online play with an as-yet undisclosed (but presumably large) number of simultaneous players. “This is not your father’s Mario Kart,” Fils-Aime said.

In another move that’ll please Wii owners looking for a deeper online experience, Nintendo announced the Wii version of Medal of Honor will include an online mode supporting up to 32 players. It’ll support the newly-announced Wii Zapper, too.

On Nintendo’s portable DS – the most popular video game system on the planet, Fils-Aime says – the conference brought fresh insight into the touchscreen controls of Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass. You’ll be able to draw on the screen to indicate a path for your weapons, or stretch out a line with the stylus to create tightropes and drag objects closer to you.

Fils-Aime also confirmed Nintendo big hitters Super Mario Galaxy and Super Smash Bros. Brawl will both launch this year, on November 12 and December 3 respectively, and demonstrated Metroid Prime 3‘s controls – which, incidentally, doesn’t look to be using the Wii Zapper.

Nintendo’s conference ended with Fils-Aime and star Nintendo game designer Shigeru Miyamoto facing off in Wii Fit, playing head-to-head in a soccer ball heading tournament. Thanks to the balance-sensitive pad, just leaning left or right is enough to line up and head the ball. (Fils-Aime won handily, by the way.) We’re lead to wonder how well the Balance Board would work in a skateboarding or snowboarding game. Whether or not Wii Fit can capture the imagination of the vast contingent of Nintendo fans remains to be seen, but it’s absolutely perfect for the rapidly burgeoning fitness game market.

Posted in Computers, E3, Games, Gaming, Internet, Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass, Mario Cart Wii, Medal of Honor, Metroid Prime 3, Nintendo, Resident Evil: Umbrella Chronicles, Super Mario Galaxy, Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Technology, Wii Fit | Leave a Comment »

Why new music doesn’t sound as good as it used to

Posted by g3tech on July 10, 2007

Never mind that today’s factory-produced starlets and mini-clones just don’t have the practiced chops of the supergroups of yesteryear, pop in a new CD and you might notice that the quality of the music itself—maybe something as simple as a snare drum hit—just doesn’t sound as crisp and as clear as you’re used to. Why is that?It’s part of the music industry’s quest to make music louder and louder, and it’s been going on for decades, at least since the birth of the compact disc. Click the link for a nice little video, a mere 2 minutes long, which explains it in detail, with audio cues that you’ll be able to hear in crisp detail.

The key to the problem is that, in making the soft parts of a track louder (in the process making the entire track loud), you lose detail in the song: The difference between what’s supposed to be loud and what’s supposed to be soft becomes less and less. The result is that, sure, the soft parts of a song are nice and loud, but big noises like drum beats become muffled and fuzzy. But consumers often subconsciously equate loudness with quality, and thus, record producers pump up the volume. Anything to make a buck.

The bigger problem is that this is all unnecessary. Stereo equipment is more powerful today than ever, and last time I checked, every piece of music hardware had a volume knob.

Don’t take my word for it: Pop in the first CD you bought and play it at the same volume level as the most recent one you bought. You might be shocked by what you hear. 

Anyone still wondering why the music business is suffering? 

Posted in Computers, Internet, Music, Technology | Leave a Comment »

What is “Live Earth”?

Posted by g3tech on July 8, 2007

A 24-hour music marathon spanning seven continents Saturday reached the Western Hemisphere with rappers, rockers and country stars taking the stage at Live Earth concerts to fight climate change.

The New York show, which is actually in Giants Stadium in New Jersey, opened with the artist Kenna asking the crowd of 52,000: “You guys realize we’re a part of history now?”

With other shows in London, Sydney, Tokyo, Kyoto, Shanghai, Hamburg, Johannesburg, Rio de Janeiro and even a performance by a five-piece band of scientists beamed from a research station in Antarctica organizers promised the biggest musical event ever staged, dwarfing the Live Aid and Live 8 concerts.

Other Live Earth venues featured aboriginal elders, virtual-reality performers, a holographic Al Gore and more than 100 of the biggest names in music including Madonna, the Police and Kanye West who sought to raise awareness about climate change. The concerts are backed by Gore, whose campaign to force global warming onto the international political stage inspired the event.

Country stars Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood opened the concert in Washington with a rendition of “We Shall Be Free.”

The Material Girl was flaunting her eco-friendly side as Madonna headlined an eclectic show at London’s newly rebuilt Wembley Stadium that included the Beastie Boys, the Pussycat Dolls and the Black Eyed Peas.

The drummers from Queen, the Foo Fighters and the Red Hot Chili Peppers began the London concert, leading a battery of percussion set to flashing images of endangered animals, landfill heaps, wind farms and the Earth seen from space. They performed against a map of the world made from the painted tops of oil barrels.

The crowd immediately rose to its feet as the reunited Genesis used its hit “Land of Confusion” to send an environmental message with Phil Collins urging fans to make the world “a place worth living in.”

Will.i.am of the Black Eyed Peas was among a handful of stars to write a song specifically about the climate crisis for Live Earth.

“The world is dying,” he rapped. “If people say it’s all right, they’re lying.”

Gore made a live video appearance from Washington to open the first show on the other side of the world in Sydney. He took the technology a step further a few hours later, appearing on stage in Tokyo as a hologram.

“Global warming is the greatest challenge facing our planet, and the gravest we’ve ever faced,” said Gore, who in his holographic appearance wore the only suit in sight.

“But it’s one problem we can solve if we come together as one and take action and drive our neighbors, businesses and governments to act as well. That’s what Live Earth is all about.”

Organizers promised the huge shows were made green by using recycled goods and buying carbon credits to offset the inevitable high power bills.

Critics say Live Earth lacks achievable goals, and that jet-setting rock stars whose amplifier stacks chew through power may send mixed messages about energy conservation. On her tour last year, Madonna produced an estimated 485 tons of carbon dioxide in four months, Britain’s Guardian newspaper reported.

In Sydney, an estimated 50,000 people grooved through a set by former professional surfer-cum singer-guitarist Jack Johnson, banged their heads to afro-haired 1970s retro rockers Wolfmother, and gave a re-formed Crowded House a rapturous homecoming.

Neil Finn, the singer-guitarist who penned the band’s 1987 breakthrough “Don’t Dream It’s Over,” said Saturday’s event drew a line in the sand for rock concerts: from now on, offsetting the carbon emissions caused by powering big shows must be factored in to the cost of putting them on.

In Tokyo, Linkin Park singer Chester Bennington said in halting Japanese that the U.S. rap-metal act had joined the show “because we can make a difference if we only try.”

The Tokyo concert kicked off with a high-tech, laser- and light-drenched performance by virtual-reality act Genki Rockets. Later, popular Japanese singer Ayaka urged fans to take up the concerts’ theme of changing their daily habits as a first step to reducing global greenhouse gas emissions.

In Shanghai, a lineup of largely local acts was joined by British singer Sarah Brightman. The show was less a concert than a made for television event, with an audience of just 3,000, seated on bleachers arranged before the riverside Oriental Pearl television tower.

Aboriginal tribal leaders with white-painted bodies and shaking eucalyptus fronds were the first to take the stage in Sydney, singing and dancing a traditional welcome to the sounds of a didgeridoo, a wind pipe made from a hollow tree branch.

The shows appeared to come off without major hitches despite some 11th-hour planning. The concert in Washington was added Friday, and a Brazilian judge rejected a last-minute bid to shut down South America’s Live Earth concert after a prosecutor had argued safety could not be guaranteed for an audience of 700,000 on Rio’s Copacabana beach.

Bob Geldof, who organized the Live Aid and Live 8 anti-poverty concerts, thought Gore’s energies were misplaced.

“I hope they’re a success,” Geldof said. “But why is he (Gore) actually organizing them? To make us aware of the greenhouse effect? Everybody’s known about that problem for years. We are all … conscious of global warming.”

Posted in Internet, Live Earth, Music, Technology, TV | Leave a Comment »

WATCH LIVE EARTH NOW!!!!

Posted by g3tech on July 6, 2007

To watch Live Earth at any of the venues, click here

OFFICIAL CONCERTS
Live Earth New York
Live Earth London
Live Earth Sydney
Live Earth Rio de Janeiro
Live Earth Tokyo
Live Earth Shanghai
Live Earth Johannesburg
Live Earth Hamburg
LOCAL START
2:30 p.m. 7/7
1:30 p.m. 7/7
11:10 a.m. 7/7
4:00 p.m. 7/7
12:00 p.m. 7/7
7:00 p.m. 7/7
6:00 p.m. 7/7
2:00 p.m. 7/7
USA START (EDT)
2:30 p.m. 7/7
8:30 a.m. 7/7
9:10 p.m. 7/6
3:00 p.m. 7/7
11:00 p.m. 7/6
7:00 a.m. 7/7
12:00 p.m. 7/7
8:00 a.m. 7/7
SPECIAL BROADCAST EVENTS
To-ji Temple in Kyoto, Japan
Rothera Research Station, Antarctica
Washington, D.C.(All times subject to change)

LOCAL START
11:00 p.m. 7/7
TBA
10:30 a.m.
 
USA START (EDT)
10:00 a.m. 7/7
TBA
10:30 a.m.

For the full performance lineup, click here

Posted in Computers, Internet, Live Earth, Music, Technology, TV | Leave a Comment »

“Live Earth” – Full Performance List

Posted by g3tech on July 6, 2007

OFFICIAL CONCERTS
Live Earth New York
Live Earth London
Live Earth Sydney
Live Earth Rio de Janeiro
Live Earth Tokyo
Live Earth Shanghai
Live Earth Johannesburg
Live Earth Hamburg
LOCAL START
2:30 p.m. 7/7
1:30 p.m. 7/7
11:10 a.m. 7/7
4:00 p.m. 7/7
12:00 p.m. 7/7
7:00 p.m. 7/7
6:00 p.m. 7/7
2:00 p.m. 7/7
USA START (EDT)
2:30 p.m. 7/7
8:30 a.m. 7/7
9:10 p.m. 7/6
3:00 p.m. 7/7
11:00 p.m. 7/6
7:00 a.m. 7/7
12:00 p.m. 7/7
8:00 a.m. 7/7
SPECIAL BROADCAST EVENTS
To-ji Temple in Kyoto, Japan
Rothera Research Station, Antarctica
Washington, D.C.

(All times subject to change)

LOCAL START
11:00 p.m. 7/7
TBA
10:30 a.m. 
USA START (EDT)
10:00 a.m. 7/7
TBA
10:30 a.m.

CONCERT LINEUP
Scheduled order of appearance (subject to change)

LIVE EARTH NEW YORK at Giants Stadium
2:30 p.m. EDT 7/7

KENNA
KT TUNSTALL
TAKING BACK SUNDAY
KEITH URBAN
LUDACRIS
AFI
FALL OUT BOY
AKON
JOHN MAYER
MELISSA ETHERIDGE
ALICIA KEYS
DAVE MATTHEWS BAND
KELLY CLARKSON
KANYE WEST
BON JOVI
SMASHING PUMPKINS
ROGER WATERS
THE POLICE

LIVE EARTH LONDON at Wembley Stadium
1:30 p.m. Local Start 7/7
8:30 a.m. EDT 7/7

GENESIS
RAZORLIGHT
SNOW PATROL
DAMIEN RICE AND DAVID GRAY
KASABIAN
PAOLO NUTINI
BLACK EYED PEAS
JOHN LEGEND
DURAN DURAN
RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS
BLOC PARTY
CORINNE BAILEY RAE
TERRA NAOMI
KEANE
METALLICA
SPINAL TAP
JAMES BLUNT
BEASTIE BOYS
PUSSYCAT DOLLS
FOO FIGHTERS
MADONNA

LIVE EARTH SYDNEY at Aussie Stadium
11:10 a.m. Local Start 7/7
9:10 p.m. EDT 7/6

BLUE KING BROWN
TONI COLLETTE & THE FINISH
SNEAKY SOUND SYSTEM
GHOSTWRITERS
PAUL KELLY
ESKIMO JOE
MISSY HIGGINS
JOHN BUTLER TRIO
WOLFMOTHER
JACK JOHNSON
CROWDED HOUSE

LIVE EARTH HAMBURG at HSH Nordbank Arena
2:00 p.m. Local Start 7/7
8:00 a.m. EDT 7/7

SHAKIRA
SNOOP DOGG
ROGER CICERO
MIA.
SASHA
STEFAN GWILDIS
MARQUESS
MARIA MENA
SILBERMOND
MICHAEL MITTERMEIER
REAMONN
SAMY DELUXE
ENRIQUE IGLESIAS
JAN DELAY
KATIE MELUA
LOTTO KING KARL
REVOLVERHELD
MANDO DIAO
JULI
CHRIS CORNELL
YUSUF

LIVE EARTH TOKYO at Makuhari Messe
12:00 p.m. Local Start
11:00 p.m. EDT 7/6

GENKI ROCKETS
RIZE
AYAKA
AI OTSUKA
AI
XZIBIT
ABINGDON BOYS SCHOOL
COCCO
LINKIN PARK
KUMI KODA
RIHANNA

LIVE EARTH JOHANNESBURG at the Coca-Cola Dome
6:00 p.m. Local Start 7/7
12:00 p.m. EDT 7/7

THE SOWETO GOSPEL CHOIR
DANNY K
BAABA MAAL
ZOLA
THE PARLOTONES
VUSI MAHLASELA
ANGELIQUE KIDJO
JOSS STONE
UB40

LIVE EARTH SHANGHAI at the Oriental Pearl Tower
7:00 p.m. Local Start 7/7
7:00 a.m. EDT 7/7

EVONNE HSU
ANTHONY WONG
SOLER
HUANG XIAO MING
WANG CHUAN JUN AND WANG RUI
12 GIRLS BAND
JOEY YUNG
WINNIE HSIN
PU BA JIA
SARAH BRIGHTMAN
WANG XIA OKUN
EASON CHAN

LIVE EARTH RIO DE JANEIRO at Copacabana Beach
4:00 p.m. Local Start 7/7
3:00 p.m. EDT 7/7

XUXA
JOTA QUEST
MV BILL 
MARCELO D2
PHARRELL WILLIAMS
O RAPPA
MACY GRAY
JORGE BEN JOR
LENNY KRAVITZ

LIVE EARTH WASHINGTON, D.C. (Special Broadcast Event)
10:30 a.m. EDT 7/7

(not representative of running order; TBA)

GARTH BROOKS
TRISHA YEARWOOD
BLUES NATION
Get the full schedule of events for D.C.

LIVE EARTH KYOTO (Special Broadcast Event)
11:00 p.m. Local Start 7/7
10:00 a.m. EDT 7/7

(not representative of running order; TBA)

BONNIE PINK
MICHAEL NYMAN
RIP SLYME
UA
YELLOW MAGIC ORCHESTRA

LIVE EARTH ANTARCTICA (Special Broadcast Event) TBD

NUNATAK

Posted in Computers, Internet, Live Earth, Music, Technology, TV | Leave a Comment »

“Live Earth” to rock the world on July 7th (7/7/07)

Posted by g3tech on July 4, 2007

From New York to the Antarctic, from Shanghai to Rio de Janeiro, the world is getting ready to rock Saturday as organizers of the Live Earth events seek to raise awareness of global warming.

Some 7,000 events in 129 countries including eight giant concerts are being promoted by former US vice president Al Gore as part of his passionate bid to focus attention on the dangers of climate change.

The 24-hour event on July 7 includes music, theater and other shows and will be broadcast live worldwide to get the message across to two billion people about the need for drastic measures to protect the environment, say promoters.

A wave of music is set to ripple round the globe starting in Sydney then fanning out to Tokyo, Shanghai, Johannesburg, Hamburg, London, New York, and Rio.

Some 150 stars including Police, Genesis, Madonna, Bon Jovi, Ai Otsuka, Eason Chan, Mana, Joey Yung, Shakira, Linkin Park, Rip Slyme and Red Hot Chili Peppers will be taking part.

Smaller concerts will take place in other cities, most notably Kyoto, where countries came together to establish the Kyoto Protocol aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate warming.

Another show will be held at a British base in the Antarctic, where some of the effects of global warming are the most visible.

“This monster line-up will ensure Live Earth meets our goal of bringing together people from around the world to combat the climate crisis,” says Live Earth founder Kevin Wall.

“Live Earth will be a monumental event both in terms of entertainment and in turning the tide against global warming.”

Gore, whose film “An Inconvenient Truth” about climate change won this year’s Oscar for best documentary, says one of the key aims is to urge a massive reduction of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 2050.

“If we are going to solve the crisis, we have to commit, and we have to do it now,” he said.

“Live Earth will ask people across the world to commit to changes in their lives and to move other people, communities, companies and governments to reduce our carbon output by 90 percent by 2050 and ensure there is a new, global treaty on climate change by 2009.”

The number of participating countries, has however, fallen short of what organizers had hoped for. No Muslim country is taking part; and Turkey has vetoed a concert in Istanbul for security reasons and a lack of interest.

Plans for a concert on the mall in front of the US Congress in Washington were also turned down by Republican lawmakers.

Wall compared it to organizing 10 soccer World Cups at the same time. The concerts will be carried on television stations and on the Internet, at liveearth.msn.com

Spectators will be invited to sign a statement on Live Earth’s Internet site or by text message.

The event’s organizers are also calling on people to support energy conservation and alternative energy sources, to plant millions of trees and protect the world’s forests, and to support groups dedicated to protecting the environment.

Gore said he will attend the concert in New York and will also appear at another surprise venue.

Each venue will feature top global performers: in London Madonna, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Black Eyed Peas will headline; in New York, Police and Smashing Pumpkins.

Tokyo will get Rihanna, Linkin Park and a bevy of Japanese stars like Ai Otsuka, while in Kyoto: Ryuichi Sakamoto and Rip Slyme will top the bill.

In Rio: Lenny Kravitz, Pharrell Williams and Macy Gray will share the stage with Brazilian stars, while in South Africa: UB40, Angelique Kidjo and Joss Stone will take the stage. Shakira and Enrique Iglesias perform in Hamburg.

Gore said he had asked the artists to compose songs for the occasion, and praised Black Eyed Peas for promising one and coming up with it in seven days.

He also cheered Madonna’s offering: “Madonna’s song is fantastic,” he said.

Ticket sales for the events will benefit The Alliance for Climate Protection led by Gore.

——————-

Check out some great “Live Earth” resources: here, here and here.

Posted in Internet, Live Earth, Music, Technology, TV | Leave a Comment »

“One number for life”

Posted by g3tech on June 27, 2007

A new FREE service, called GrandCentral, allows people to reach you any of your phones, with the use of a single number. So when someone calls your new number, all of your phones ring simultaneously. It’ll no longer require people to track you down by dialing all your numbers (work, cell, home…), this new service will find you, no matter which phone you’re with.

As a bonus, all messages now go to a single voice mail box. You can listen to your messages in any of two ways:

The first, you dial in from any phone (a text message arrives on your cell to tell you have a message), and pick up your messages. If you call in from your cell, you don’t even have to enter your password.

Or, you can listen to your messages online (at GrandCentral’s website) and download them as audio files to cherish forever and forever. You can also be notified by e-mail, that you have messages, and a link in the e-mail will take you online to play the messages.

This service is free, if you have two phone numbers. There is also a premium plan, which costs $15 USD, which offers more of everything: up to six phone numbers and voice messages kept forever (instead of 30 days with the free plan), and the features go on…

There’s two major downsides to joining GrandCentral: firstly, if they don’t have phone numbers for your location, then you might get an out-of-town number. (Hawaii and Maine have no phone numbers at all).

Secondly, after you get your new number, people will still be dialing your old numbers so you’ll have to check your old voice messages AND your new ones (GrandCentral links all your phone numbers to your new number but GrandCentral only checks voice messages, on your new number ONLY).

These may not be major downsides but it’s still a hassle. One, if they have no numbers in your area or if you get an out-of-town numbers or, two, if you have to constantly check your new voice message inbox AND all your old inboxes.

Here’s some of the more interesting features of GrandCentral:

Caller naming: Every person who calls is announced by name when they call (for example: “call from Brad Pitt”). How does it know their name? Sometimes it comes from caller ID. GrandCentral also knows every name in your online address book, which you can import (so you’ll have your contacts from Yahoo, Gmail or whatever e-mail program you use). Callers who don’t have a name, are asked to state their name the first time they call. On every call after this, GrandCentral remembers and recognizes them.

Listen In: For the first time in cellphone history, you can now listen to a message as someone is leaving it (just like most home answering machines). This is what happens: your phone rings and displays the person’s name (like it usually does), but when you answer it, a GrandCentral recording tells you the caller’s name and then offers you four options: 1) accept the call (you talk to the person), 2) send to voice mail, 3) listen in on voice mail or 4) accept and record the call (you talk to the person and it’ll record the conversation, which is pretty neat, especially if it’s, for example, an important business conversation or someone giving you driving directions). By the way, during all of this, the caller has no idea what’s going on, his phone is still ringing.

Ringback music: Popular with teens in Europe, it lets you replace the ringing sound the caller hears, while waiting for you to answer, with music (any MP3 of your choice)

Switch lines: Any time during a call, you can press a key, to make all of your phones ring again, so that you can pick up a different phone in mid-conversation, all the while, unknown to the person on the other end. For example, if your heading out the door, you can switch from a landline to your cellphone (or as you arrive at home, from your cell to your landline, in order to save your precious minutes).

Customize greetings: Possibly the most fun of all of GrandCentral’s features, this feature allows you to record a different message for each person in your address book. You can also tell GrandCentral to answer certain people’s calls with the classic “The number you have dialed is no longer in service” message. Ah, technology is so evil.

Phone spam filter: This just might be the most useful feature ever invented, GrandCentral keeps a database of telemarketers that is constantly updated by reports from its subscribers. Your phone doesn’t ring when a telemarketer, who is in the database, attempts to call you and sell you long distance.

Quick changes: With a quick click at GrandCentral’s site, you can have all your calls directed to voice mail when you don’t want to be bothered, or it can direct all calls to a new, temporary number (like a hotel) or it can prevent your home phone from ringing during work hours.

Web buttons: You can put a “call me” button on your website, which is a great way to get people from your MySpace, Facebook, eBay, or some dating site, to be able to call you without giving away your number.

As I said before, all these features are free, if you were to get them from your phone company they’d be either expensive or unavailable.

If you were to explore the idea, having one phone number associated with you, no matter your location, an amazing idea, and an easier way to be able to stay in touch. On the other hand, for some people, the last thing they want is people being able to find them wherever they are.

Anyways, GrandCentral just may have revolutionized the phone game or, as The New York Times says, “GrandCentral has rewritten the rules in the game of telephone”.

Note: GrandCentral is only available in the U.S., but may be available in Canada soon.

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The cost of overnight computers

Posted by g3tech on June 26, 2007

Thirty percent of corporate computers are not switched off at night (according to a study done by 1E, a power management company). So, what’s the cost of leaving computers on overnight? Well, it costs 1.72 billion dollars and 14.4 million metric tons of CO2.

Somehow, people see shutting off their computers, or at the very least putting them into sleep mode, as too much trouble. This problem was supposed to be resolved by Vista, but Vista’s “power management features” doesn’t seem to be doing much.

 1E also calculated that that massive energy saving could be acheived if you install their software (up to $75 per PC).

Now, if only 1E would help this problem by shutting off their computers instead of calculating all sorts of things. But, if it takes a power management company to get everyone to stop wasting all this energy then I, for one, am behind them, all the way.

Or, for those of us who wish to save that $75, then you can get this free software, which is supposed to reduce your CO2 emissions by as much as 10% so check it out.

The US PC energy report has found some of the following interesting facts:

– Out of 104 million office PCs in the US, at least 31.2 million are left on all night.

– Turning off every work computer in the United States every night would save as much CO2 emissions as taking every car in the state of Maryland off the road.

– The simple step of shutting computers down each night can save a 10,000 PC enterprise more than $165,000 a year in energy costs.

To read the whole report, click here.

To calculate how much energy, money and CO2 YOU waste each year, click here

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