You wouldn't think we'd need to post a PSA warning people against eating their World of Warcraft Authenticator, but it just so happens that's exactly what one gamer did.
"I was sitting in my chair and biting into my authenticator while thinking about several RP related story arcs that I have planned," a WoW player wrote on the game's official forums. "I swivel around in my chair and presume to fall off it and shoot the authenticator into my mouth and down my throat.
"I have drank some of that stuff that makes you vomit, but I'm apparently resistant to a whole bottle of it. I am curious on what I should do."
Whether or not he was whoring for attention, we don't know, but he did get some solid advice. "Get off the Internet and call medical services," one poster replied. "I would recommend chewing gum over authenticators. If you're feeling like something more like food, apples work well also," another poster commented.
There's a new firmware version available for the Nook, version 1.5, and according to Barnes and Noble this is the largest update ever to the company's eBook reader platform. New features include:
Sync current reading position across devices
Customizable folders and group content for My B&N Library
Password protection option for purchases made on a Nook device
Pass code security for the Nook
In addition, the new firmware brings about faster page turns up to 50 percent quicker than previous versions, improved search functionality that includes My Documents in the results, better battery life, and "other performance enhancements."
The version 1.5 software applies to both 3G and Wi-Fi Nook devices and is available for download at www.nook.com/support.
Futuremark has come up with a fun way to promote the upcoming launch of 3DMark 11, a DirectX 11 benchmark that promises to punish machines not up to the task. It's called the "3DMark 11 Guess the Score" contest, and all you contestants have to do is guess how three gaming systems will score in the new benchmark. Here are the three systems:
Intel G6950 CPU MSI N450GTS Cyclone Power Edition MSI H55N-E33 Motherboard 3DMark 11 Entry Preset
The obvious trend here is all that MSI branded hardware, and that's by design. MSI is sponsoring the contest, and for each system, whoever comes up with the closest guess to the actual score will win the MSI motherboard and videocard from that rig.
News on Google's upcoming Chrome OS has been hard to come by. The search giant has been vague about updates. CEO Eric Schmidt recently said at the Web 2.0 conference that they were expecting Chrome OS to launch in the "next few months". It might not be as simple as all that; eWeek has done some asking around, and found that no big name manufacturer was committing to a Chrome OS device for the holidays. Last year, Google said there would be a November or December release of retail devices.
A Google spokesperson said only that, "We are very happy with the progress of Google Chrome OS, and we'll have more details to share later this year." It was a year ago that Google promised the holiday 2010 Chrome OS goodies, but time is fast running out with no hardware even leaked. Analysts are speculating that Android's amazing rise in the last year has forced Google to reassess their strategy.
This just might not be Chrome OS' year. With one of the biggest shopping weekends of the year coming up, a cheap Chrome OS netbook could have sold like mad. Do you think Chrome OS will still drop this year?
Apple today announced that the long delayed iOS 4.2 update is finally available for download for the iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch, bringing multitasking, Folders, a Unified Inbox, Game Center, AirPlay, and AirPrint to the iPad. It's about friggin' time.
"iOS 4.2 makes the iPad a completely new product, just in time for the holiday season," said Steve Jobs, Apple's CEO. "Once again, the iPad with iOS 4.2 will define the target that other tablets will aspire to, but very few, if any, will ever be able to hit."
The addition of multitasking addresses one of the iPad's major shortcomings, and the other additions -- like Folders and a Unified Inbox -- ensure the iPad will remain a hot selling product even as competition in the tablet space starts to heat up. But what Apple can't address through software updates are the handful of hardware omissions, like USB ports, a memory card reader, and webcam (which rules out FaceTime support).
So what's the verdict, does iOS 4.2 make the iPad a more compelling option, or is it still an overpriced, oversized iPod touch? Hit the jump and sound off!
A recent report in Australia's News Online predicted that Facebook is living on borrowed time with only five years left to live, a demise that will result from gradual fragmentation. But could something far more sinister take down Facebook? Maybe so.
According to Jonathan Good of 1000 Memories, an online portal where users can "build a space to share photos, record stories, and memories with family and friends" of someone who has passed away, some 50 million zombie accounts will clutter Facebook by 2015. All Good had to do was crunch the numbers to arrive at his figure.
"The numbers suggest that 2.6 million Americans will die in 2010," Good writes. "The simple math that one third of Americans are now on Facebook would suggest that just over 1 million Americans will pass away on Facebook this year. The real math is a bit more complicated, of course. On Facebook, college kids sharing their drunken travels are over-represented, and the far-more-likely-to-die old, under-represented."
The numbers do indeed get more complicated, the end result of which is 50 million accounts whose owners have passed away in 2015, Good says. You can read exactly how he arrived at that figure right here.
Researchers from the Department of Psychology at the Yale University School of Medicine in West Haven, Connecticut, surveyed 4,028 adolescents about "gaming and reported problems with gaming and other health behaviors." A little over half (51.2 percent) reported gaming, and of those nearly a third (29.2 percent) were girls.
Nothing surprising so far, but get this:
"There were no negative health correlates of gaming in boys and lower odds of smoking regularly; however, girls who reported gaming were less likely to report depression and more likely to report getting into serious fights and carrying a weapon to school," according to the survey.
What's more, 4.9 percent of respondents reported "problematic gaming," which the survey defines as trying to cut back, experiencing an irresistible urge to play, and experience a growing tension that can only be relieved by playing.
We do, however, have to the give the study's authors credit for not making any wild claims about violence in videogames or twisting the results of the survey.
"The prevalence of problematic gaming is low but not insignificant, and problematic gaming may be contained within a larger spectrum of externalizing behaviors," the study concludes. "More research is needed to define safe levels of gaming, refine the definition of problematic gaming, and evaluate effective prevention and intervention strategies."
We reported on this once before, but now it's official -- a company called FinalWire has officially taken the reigns of Everest, discontinued the popular benchmarking suite, and replaced it with AIDA64.
"Today is a significant step forward in our progress to deliver a class-leading diagnostics and benchmarking solution," said Tamas Miklos, managing director of FinalWire. "The addition of Lavalys' customers and technologies will enable us to accelerate investments, meet a wider set of customer needs through a richer solution set, increase efficiencies, and significantly expand our opportunities for growth."
Existing Everest owners need only verify their previous purchase by providing their name, email address, and product key in order to migrate to AIDA64 free of charge. Those with an expired license can purchase an upgrade license for 30 percent off.
AIDA64 is essentially the same program as Everest, built by the same developers, only actively updated to support modern hardware.
Maybe it's time to start taking Nokia seriously as a viable smartphone player. Much of the battle comes down to the app infrastructure, and according to Nokia, the Ovi Store now kicks out 3 million downloads a day.
Nokia says the number of daily downloads is indicative of ever-increasing developer support, but those aren't the only digits Nokia is tossing around. The mobile phone maker said users of Ovi now top 165 million people across more than 190 countries, with a growth rate of 250,000 new users every day. And of those who visit the store, 90 percent end up downloading an app.
The company claims that more than 400,000 developers have signed up to Forum Nokia in the past 12 months, 92 of which have seen their respective apps downloaded at least one million times.
Starting today, you can now gift Kindle books to anyone with an email address, regardless if they own a Kindle or not, Amazon announced. And while it may seem cruel to gift your Kindle-less nephew an eBook, you can remind him that Kindle Books can be read on a number of devices, including Android phones, BlackBerry, iPhone/iPod/iPad, PC, and Mac. Of if you're intentially being cruel, buy him a game for that PlayStation 3 console he doesn't have and then ask to borrow it so you can play it on yours.
"We are thrilled to make it easier than ever for our customers to give their favorite Kindle book to a friend or family member as a gift," said Russ Grandinetti, Vice President, Amazon Kindle. "We're making this functionality available in time for the holidays to offer an easy, stress free holiday shopping for anyone -- not just Kindle owners."
Books in the Kindle Store are now accompanied by a "Give as a Gift" button. You're then asked to a provide an email address and can optionally leave a personalized message up to 300 characters.