Daily News Brief: Gamers Get Shocked!


Feel the Pain

Masochistic gamers yearning to experience the simulated zaps inflicted upon their on-screen avatars may find just what they're looking for in Mindware's V5 adapter . Or maybe you want your real-life opponent to feel the blows. In either scenario, the Mindware V5 responds to force feedback by delivering varying levels of electric shock through 5 self adhesive butterfly pads applied to your arms, legs, and stomach. The V5 works with PCs and most consoles, but you'll need to use a PS2 controller. Be sure and read the FAQ and Safe Usage Guide .

X-Ray Vision

British company ThruVision has created a camera capable of peering under clothes using " passive imaging technology ." The T5000 camera won't display body parts (do'h!), but it will reveal hidden objects from up to 80 feet away, including weapons, drugs, explosives, and other potential harmful items. But did we mention it won't show body parts?

Blu-Ray/Xbox 360 Rumor Won't Die

According to the Financial Times , Sony is in discussions with rival console maker Microsoft about adding Blu-ray support to the Xbox 360. FT also claims Sony is chatting with Apple about adding Blu-ray players to its computers. Of course, Microsoft remains tight lipped, stating " We have made no such announcement, " but Steve Ballmer was a little more outspoken , saying " Toshiba has moved on. We've moved on, and we'll support Blu-ray in ways that make sense, " leaving the rumor mill door slightly ajar.

Are Patents Shunting Videog Game Development?

One of the more common complaints voiced by gamers is the lack of innovation from title to title, resulting in a ' been there, done that ' sensation. Providing temporary relief are the rare blockbuster hits that not only push graphics and storytelling to new levels, but implement unique gameplay experiences. So why doesn't this happen more often? One answer points to patents and the financial hurdle that accompany them. For example, if a developer wants to add a mini-game to the loading screen while the main game loads, they better clear it with Namco first, who owns that patent. Read more about gaming and patents over at ArsTechnica , as well as the currently shipping April issue of Maximum PC's sister rag, PC Gamer .

Safari Jumps Ahead

We still haven't found a browser capable of scoring a perfect 100 on the newly released Acid3 web standards-compliance test , and it's taken beta releases to rank in the upper echelon. Safari's beta WebKit Nightly (r30881) running on Max OS X 10.5.2 leads the way at 90 percent. Topping the ranks in released browsers, Konqueror 4.0.2 running on Ubuntu 7.10 scored a 62 percent. And providing a bit of browsing irony, IE5 managed to edge out IE7. View the updated list here .

Virtual Lite-Brite

Don't worry if your parents tossed your Lite-Brite, now you can create illuminated masterpieces online ! Templates not included, so it's up to you to get creative with up to eight colors to choose from. When you're ready for clean-up, just hit the refresh button.

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