Thrustmaster HOTAS Warthog, best flight sim controller ever?

Shane McGlaun | Gaming | Oct 8, 2010 11:10 AM CDT

There are many categories of video games that spawn some very hard core gamers. There are hard core MMO gamers, hard core FPS gamers, and hard core flight simulation fans. Perhaps the group that has the most expensive hobby are the flight sim fans where controllers and systems can run hundreds of dollars each.

Thrustmaster has launched what may be the coolest flight simulation controller ever called the HOTAS Warthog. The Warthog is an exact replica of the joystick and throttle from the A-10C fighter jet. The joystick has a heavy metal base and uses construction that is mostly metal. The base can be removed and the joystick can be placed into a cockpit. The controller uses magnetic sensors for accuracy and has 19 action buttons with a 4-way POV switch.

The buttons on the joystick take the exact same pressure to operate as the buttons on a real airplane. The throttle is a dual throttle system and also uses magnetic sensor tech. The throttles have a push and pull system with detents for idle and afterburner. The detents can be disengaged as well for aircraft without afterburners. The throttle has 17 action buttons and its own POV controller. A control panel is also built onto the throttle with multiple toggles and the whole works is backlit. Warthog will ship this month for $499.99.

Continue reading: Thrustmaster HOTAS Warthog, best flight sim controller ever? (full post)

Scosche ships sneakPEEK II video cable for Apple gadgets

Shane McGlaun | Mobile Devices | Oct 8, 2010 10:04 AM CDT

If you want to be able to shoot the video from your iPad, iPhone, or iPod out to your TV you really need a dock of some sort today. The problem is that many of us have entertainment centers that are so crowded that a dock just won't fit. This is where Scosche comes in with a new cable for dockable Apple gadgets that will let you view that video on your TV.

Scosche ships sneakPEEK II video cable for Apple gadgets |

The cable is called the sneakPEEK II and has both component and composite connections on the TV end. On the end that attaches to your gadget is the standard Apple docking connector. That standard connector means the thing will work with any Apple device that can be docked including the iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch.

Another cool feature is that the cable has a micro USB port and comes with an AC adapter that will let you change your device while you play video back on the TV. Scosche specifically points out that the thing will work with the Netflix app on the iPad. I can see this being really good for those that plan to sign up for Hulu Plus as well. The cable is shipping now for $59.99 direct from Scosche.

Continue reading: Scosche ships sneakPEEK II video cable for Apple gadgets (full post)

Telstra now offer 2 year phone warranties

Anthony Garreffa | Mobile Devices | Oct 7, 2010 11:15 PM CDT

Telstra has to day allowed two-year warranties for all mobile phones on a 24 month contract, except Apple's iPhone after lengthly discussions with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

Telstra now offer 2 year phone warranties |

ACCC chairman, Graeme Samuel said in a statement today "Telstra has decided to do what's right and fair for consumers, and has been negotiating with manufacturers to bring in warranty periods that last for the length of a consumer's contract," he also added "It is important for consumers and suppliers to realise that the Trade Practices Act implies certain statutory rights into consumer contracts. Just because the manufacturer's warranty period is up, it does not mean that consumers can be hung out to dry if they are left with a faulty product and ongoing service contract."

Telstra has had success with 24 month warranties with some manufacturers, those being HTC, Blackberry and ZTE.

Continue reading: Telstra now offer 2 year phone warranties (full post)

Valve turn up the Steam against Microsoft

Anthony Garreffa | Software & Apps | Oct 7, 2010 8:17 PM CDT

The latest addition to Valve's smash hit zombie apocalypse FPS, Left 4 Dead 2 has had some DLC released in the form of "The Sacrifice", which is free for PC users (yay!) but for Xbox 360 users, they'll need to pay 560 "Microsoft points" or $7.

Valve turn up the Steam against Microsoft |

Valve didn't think making it free on PC was enough pain to cause toward Microsoft, so they lowered the price of the full Left 4 Dead 2 purchase price on Steam to $6.79 which is 20 cents cheaper than the DLC content on the Xbox 360 as a standalone purchase! So PC users can now enjoy Left 4 Dead 2 for half the price it used to be, with all the DLC content, still, free.

For Xbox 360's to get the same deal, it requires a ~$30 purchase of the game, then $14 for the 2 DLC packs, with $44 total.

Continue reading: Valve turn up the Steam against Microsoft (full post)

Microsoft to buy Adobe?

Anthony Garreffa | Business, Financial & Legal | Oct 7, 2010 7:39 PM CDT

Right now there's no confirmation, but the one thing that should interest you is the news caused Adobe Systems stock to rise 17% before falling slightly down to 11.5% higher than before the rumour. Microsoft shares rose by 0.4%.

Microsoft to buy Adobe? |

News broke from The New York Times as they reported Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer had a secret meeting with Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen at Adobe's San Fransisco offices "recently".

The two had supposedly talked about Apple's dominance in mobile phones and discussed various options to attack that, with the inclusion of Microsoft purchasing Adobe.

Continue reading: Microsoft to buy Adobe? (full post)

PayPal iPhone app update makes it easy to deposit checks

Shane McGlaun | Mobile Devices | Oct 7, 2010 2:04 PM CDT

One of the things that I hate to do is go to the bank and deposit checks. Luckily most of my pay doesn't come on checks so I can skip this hassle for most of the month. If you use PayPal a lot and have lots of checks to deposit the company has announced a new update to its iPhone app that will save you a trip to the bank to deposit the check. The update is version 2.7.

PayPal iPhone app update makes it easy to deposit checks |

With version 2.7 of the app PayPal now allows you to take an image of a check front and back and then submit the check for deposit without having to actually go anywhere. PayPal isn't the only bank who does this; there are some other major banks that have a similar service. PayPal does say the user needs to hang onto the check for 15 days.

It is supposed to take about six days for the money to actually hit your PayPal account using this method. That means PayPal gets an extra few days before you can toss the check into the trashcan. The check capture service is powered by BankServ. The update also brings various bug fixes to the app for better performance. The app can be downloaded right now from the App Store.

Continue reading: PayPal iPhone app update makes it easy to deposit checks (full post)

Energizer unveils new AP1201 Rechargeable iPhone 4 Case with Battery

Shane McGlaun | Mobile Devices | Oct 7, 2010 1:06 PM CDT

Of all the complaints about the iPhone in all its various models, one of the most common is that the smartphone has a short battery life. The battery life each user gets varies a lot depending on how they use the device and sometimes even humidity can affect the run time of batteries. Whatever the reason the battery life for users is shorter than they like, many people turn to cases with batteries inside to get more use from their iPhone.

Energizer unveils new AP1201 Rechargeable iPhone 4 Case with Battery |

There are already several cases on the market today that offer a battery inside for the iPhone 4 and older models. None of them has the same sort of name recognition as Energizer does though. The battery giant has announced a new case specifically for the iPhone 4 called the AP1201. The case has a battery inside that claims to "almost double" the battery life of the iPhone 4 while protecting the device from drops and bumps.

The battery inside the case is charged via USB. The case battery and the battery inside the iPhone can both be charged at the same time thanks to pass through charging design. Energizer claims that the case is good for as many as 500 charges in its lifetime. That sounds a bit short to me, charging it each day will get you only around a year and a half use out of the thing. The AP1201 is in stores right now around the country for $69.99.

Continue reading: Energizer unveils new AP1201 Rechargeable iPhone 4 Case with Battery (full post)

Samsung debuts new NF310 netbook

Shane McGlaun | Laptops | Oct 7, 2010 12:04 PM CDT

The iPad has bit into netbook sales significantly according to some analysts. The netbook market is still doing well though with robust sales. There are many netbooks to choose from on the market already today, and that number just keeps growing. Samsung has several notebooks and netbooks already and the company has announced the addition of a new netbook to its lineup called the NF301.

The NF310 is a 10.1-inch netbook with a screen resolution of 1366 x 768 and LED backlighting. The netbook has an Intel Atom N550 dual-core CPU and runs Windows 7 Starter. Other features of the machine include 1GB of DDR3 RAM, 250GB of storage, and a 3W stereo speaker system. The battery promises over nine hours of run time per charge and the netbook has 802.11b/g/n networking.

The weight for the small netbook is 2.87 pounds. The machine has the Samsung Charge and Sleep USB ports so you can charge your USB gadgets while the netbook is powered off. It will come in silver and has a spill-resistant keyboard design along with a touchpad supporting gestures. The NF310 will hit stores this fall for $399.

Continue reading: Samsung debuts new NF310 netbook (full post)

Sony Playstation game The Shoot lands on October 19

Shane McGlaun | Gaming | Oct 7, 2010 11:04 AM CDT

There are gamers all around the world who are waiting to get their hands on the new Playstation Move controller system. Many of those gamers will certainly be looking to play some of the shooting games that are offered for the console and will want a gun accessory to make those games more realistic. The official Sony Shooting Attachment accessory is set to launch this month along with an exclusive PS3 game for use with the accessory or without.

Sony Playstation game The Shoot lands on October 19 |

Sony announced today that the retro looking Shooting Accessory pistol accessory will land in the US on October 19. That is the same day that the PS3 exclusive shooting game called The Shoot will hit store shelves as well. The Shoot will cast the player as an action-movie hero that has to go through five different movie sets blasting away at enemies.

The game looks pretty cool and has underwater sets, sci-fi, and horror scenes among others. The game will feature combos and other power ups too. Pricing for the game and the Shooting Accessory are unknown right now.

Continue reading: Sony Playstation game The Shoot lands on October 19 (full post)

Razer offers up new Ironclad mouse pad for gamers

Shane McGlaun | Gaming | Oct 7, 2010 10:24 AM CDT

There are as many choices for a mouse pad for gamers as there are other gaming peripherals. Some gamers like rough textured cloth pads and others like really smooth, low friction plastic surfaces that let the mouse glide around without much resistance or noise. If you are the type of gamer that likes a mouse pad that glides easily around a surface Razer's new Ironclad may be just for you.

Razer offers up new Ironclad mouse pad for gamers |

The new mouse pad is made from anodized aluminum with a finely sandblasted surface. The Ironclad is made to minimize hand discomfort and to improve control. The mouse pad also promises enough friction that you can aim accurately. The surface of the Ironclad is extra large to allow for more mousing area.

The surface of the Ironclad will work with all mice and it has a non-slip rubber base that will keep the mouse pad from moving around during intense battles. Razer ships the mouse pad with a carry case to keep it safe during transit. The size of the mouse pad is 320mm L x 270mm W x 2.5mm H. It will ship in the US this month for $59.99 and will launch globally in November.

Continue reading: Razer offers up new Ironclad mouse pad for gamers (full post)

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