The Wiimote and nunchuck combo with motion sensors have already changed the way games are controlled, but it doesn't always feel as natural as it could because of the shape. To add that extra bit of realism, controller packs have found their way into the market place, like the tennis racket that clips onto the controller giving the player a heightened sense of immersion. Now, owners of Nintendo's console will soon have yet another gadget to attach to their Wii controller, the Wii Zapper, an official add-on slated to go on sale November 19th. Link's Crossbow Training, a spin-off of the Zelda series, will come bundled with the $19.99 peripheral, with support for future titles already lined up, including EA's Medal of Honor Heroes 2, Capcom's Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles, and SEGA's Ghost Squad.
Have a fear of needles or hate swallowing pills? If so, you may find yourself thanking Hewlett-Packard if they can successfully market a new injection method. Developed with the same technology and equipment used for their inkjet printers, HP's new medicated patch holds up to 90,000 microneedles per square inch, along with microprocessors and a thermal unit. The medicine gets heated and then injected, and the processors monitor the drug, controlling when and how much drug gets delivered. It can even administer doses in response to a patient's vitals, such as an elevated blood pressure or increased heart rate. By comparison, the nicotine patch releases chemicals into the skin by absorption. Crospon, a privately held company in Galway Ireland, will perform animal and medical testing. No mention on what medicines will be incorporated into the patch, but something like this could be a boon to diabetics tasked with daily insulin injections.
IBM Gives back to OpenOffice
Back in 2005, IBM used source code found in OpenOffice to help code part of its Workplace line, giving nothing back in return. That's about to change, with IBM announcing stepped-up support in its Lotus product line and committing to contributing code. IBM also plans to "promote" OpenOffice, but as of yet has not elaborated on how they will do that. Even without specifics, the support's a shot in the arm for OpenOffice, the free open source productivity suite and largely considered the only viable alternative to Microsoft's Office package, with over 100 million downloads recorded to date.
Are Wikipedia Contributors Trustworthy?
That's what a new data mining tool developed by scientists at UC Santa Cruz hope to find out. The software analyzes contributor reputations and measures how heavily their writings get overwritten by subsequent edits. The less edits, the more trustworthy the contributor, and vice versa. When the software detects questionable text, it then changes the color to orange, with deeper shades representing an increased chance the content is bogus. The team hopes to work with the Wikipedia Foundation to integrate the software as a real-time option. If it happens, it won't suddenly make Wikipedia a quotable source for research material, nor will it prevent fraudulant credentials from slipping through, but it would be a step in the right direction for the collaborative resource.
Join PCGamer at Showndown LAN 2007
The San Jose LAN party has already come and gone, but you can still get your gaming groove on with Norman Chan and Dan Morris from PCGamer magazine (Maximum PC's sister mag) at the Showdown LAN in Indianapolis at the Indiana Convention Center / RCA Dome. The event runs from September 14th to the 16th, with a $50 registration fee at the door if you plan to participate and seats are available ($40 pre-registration is all booked up). Spectators get in for free. Sadly, PC Gamer fans will find no vengeful redemption from Greg Vederman in Indy, as neither he nor any Maximum PC editors will be in attendance, possibly for fear of contracting mid-west cooties from the smog-free air.