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June 10, 2010

Rock Band 3 to add keyboards, real guitars, and cymbals

They've announced two dozen of the new songs to appear as well, including "Bohemian Rhapsody," "Break on Through," "Just Like Heaven," "Here I Go Again (Whitesnake)," and "Been Caught Stealing." Rock Band 3's Keyboard Detailed, Pro Mode Explained
By far the biggest addition to Rock Band 3 appears to be "Rock Band Pro," which will actually attempt to teach players real skills that could translate to real instruments. For starters, the "keyboard controller" being added to Rock Band 3 is in fact a fully functional 25-key MIDI keyboard, with a track that "looks like a real keyboard track, and you are playing notes on the keyboard that if you were to step away from the game and were to play on a real piano, they would be the right notes," according to project director Daniel Sussman. As for guitars, Pro mode tosses away the five-colored gems and has a series of numbers flowing down the screen across six strings. And to play it, you'll apparently need one of two new optional guitar "controllers": one that's, again, a fully functional six-string Fender Squier Stratocaster, which "can tell where your fingers are based on technology in the neck and the bridge of the guitar," according to Harmonix PR rep John Drake. The other is a controller with "a field of buttons in each fret," according to USA Today, rather than the standard five buttons. "You can go from plucking single notes to power chords and bar chords, we have crazy stuff like tapping and slides," senior designer Sylvain Dubrofsky says. For drums, USA Today says that "three new cymbals are added," but it's unclear if these are somehow added to the standard Rock Band drums, or if this too will be a whole new drum set.

June 09, 2010

Nokia unveils bike-powered phone chargers

Absolutely perfect for people with little access to electricity. Green Gadgets: Nokia Unveils New Bike-Powered Phone Chargers -- Greenfudge.org
There are so many types of chargers out there that it’s become rather difficult to keep track of them all. You have your average wall plug-in chargers, solar chargers, manual/hand-crank chargers, hands free chargers, and bicycle chargers (among countless others). However, as far as the bicycle charger goes, I think this is the first time it has ever been used strictly for cell phone charging purposes. The Nokia Bicycle Charger Kit can charge your phone as you ride your bike. It comes with a bottle-dynamo (similar to the ones used to power a bicycle light) and a cell phone holder that can be attached to the handlebars. In order to use the charger, cyclists will have to maintain a minimum speed of 4 mph (or 6 kph); however, this doesn’t mean you need to pedal for hours on end. Cycling at 6 mph (10 kph) for 10 minutes will charge your phone with enough power to talk for 28 minutes or for a standby time of 37 hours! It should be noted, though, that charging times will vary depending on the cyclist and the type of phone. Oh, and this charger will only work for phones that have a 2 mm charger jack.

June 07, 2010

How To: Make Organic Vegan Twinkies

Organic Vegan Twinkie Recipe

Apple announces iPhone 4 due soon

It's supposed to be a massive improvement over the existing device, essentially incorporating an HD screen and a better processor and a better battery. The OS is also getting a huge overhaul. Existing iPhone customers can upgrade for a discounted price, in exchange for swearing fealty to AT&T. iPhone OS 4 renamed iOS 4, launching June 21 with 1500 new features -- Engadget
We knew it had to happen eventually -- iPhone OS has been renamed to iOS with the bump to version 4. Some 1500 new features are coming along with the name change, including biggies like multitasking, a unified inbox, app folders, and data detectors. Although Apple is encouraging devs to tweak their apps for the iPhone 4's new Retina Display, iOS4 will also automatically redraw text and controls for existing apps to make them play nice with the new higher pixel density. Bing search integration has also been added to iOS 4 in addition to Google and Yahoo -- Google is still the default, though. The golden master is available to devs today, and Steve says the 100 millionth iOS device -- that's iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad -- will be sold sometime this month. That's a lot of devices! We found out about most of the features of iOS 4 at the SDK event, so check here for the full rundown. Apple says iOS 4 will arrive for the iPhone 3G, 3GS, and the iPod touch on June 21 -- and it'll be free to iPod touch owners for the first time, which is nice.