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Entries in technology (13)

Saturday
May212011

Coming Soon: "Apple Store 2.0"

The internet's been abuzz as of late with reports of a major worldwide overhaul of the iconic Apple Store, dubbed "Apple Store 2.0".  Among the rumored additions to Apple's beloved retail space include interactive iPad-displayed pricing (in place of the current paper and clear plastic signs), a new Apple Store iOS app that tracks when you enter an Apple retail store and which one (then asking you if you'd like to see a specialist – it will also display a guide of things to do in the store), as well as the installment of massive video displays and improved sound systems in some locations.  Employees are supposedly receiving speciality training for the use of iPads in the store.

Expect to see these and other enhancements take place soon – some sources say as early as Sunday (tomorrow) morning.

Wednesday
May182011

The Ideas Economy: Nicholas Negroponte

Founder of MIT's Media Lab and author of Being Digital (1995), which became known for its detailed analysis of emerging technologies and their impact on day-to-day life (predicting, among other things, the demise of physical format media such as VHS, CDs, etc.), Nicholas Negroponte is a well-known and highly respected figure in the tech world.  He is also founder and chairman of One Laptop per Child (laptop.org), a nonprofit organization seeking to provide highly durable, inexpensive, solar-powered laptops to children in the developing world.

His expansive views on the relationship between technology and culture are especially interesting.

Do enjoy!

Thursday
May122011

Nintendo's rebirth

At long last – the dawn of a potentially new era of gaming, ushered in by none other than the original purveyors of classic video game culture: Nintendo.

Every new beginning is some other beginning's end.  And so it is with the demise of the likes of "Wii Sports packages", 480p output, DVDs, and the stunted growth of the Wii's thin library (that is games worth actually paying $50 for).  After fumbling sluggishly for the past 5 and a half years with the Wii, Nintendo's populist answer to previously non-gaming demographics, it looks as though the Kyoto-based company has decided to pull all the stops and create something of unbridled creative vision and technical prowess – something not characteristic of Nintendo's philosophy in years past.

Crimson drained from the logo in 2006 is now to be reintroduced in the form of the red meat, that is the essence, of what the company represents – being #1 in innovation and having production quality so polished that it sets the standard for all other games of its kind (creating characters like Mario – figures that are so distinct, iconic, and immediately recognizable that it's hard to imagine a world without them).  Without the free-roaming expanse of Super Mario 64 or the infrastructural paths carved by The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, one would be hard pressed to admit that our current video game market would look anything like it does now.  The "Stream", aka Project Cafe, is the big N's latest ambition, and it's looking also to be their greatest.

Mr. Satoru Iwata (Nintendo's current CEO & fourth president) described Nintendo's target demographic for the new videogame console to be a return to the company's "core" gamers, that is the "hardcore", the now adult generation that grew up with the NES, SNES, and/or N64.  Stream will likely output in 1080p, and it has been confirmed that it will have a dual-stick style controller w/ a built in screen.  Set to be unveiled next month at the 2011 Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles, Nintendo fans everywhere are assuredly holding their breath and anticipating the return of a stronger, bolder, more contemporary Nintendo, one that is well equipped to once again lead the pack, playfully redefining the cutting-edge, pushing the industry onward and forward in new and more brilliant ways.

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