Need for Speed Undercover

review bad
A technical nightmare
God awful voice acting
Terrible story

The Need for Speed series has been going through a pretty rough patch in recent times. Ever since Most Wanted, EA has failed to live up to the standards set by themselves as a result of which, every Need for Speed game from then on has been utterly disappointing. Need for Speed Undercover, pegged to be a spiritual successor to Most Wanted, was to redeem this series but all it’s done is made sure you never want to play another Need for Speed game ever again. Undercover is such a terrible game you’ll either slit your wrists or sit in a corner and weep or you’ll slit your wrists while weeping in a corner wondering what EA was thinking when they wasted time, energy and money on this garbage.

As the name suggests Undercover has you playing an undercover agent tasked with infiltrating an illegal street racing syndicate guided by your “handler”, Maggie Q (Balls of Fury, Live Free Die Hard). Now I know Need for Speed games are well known for their cheesy acting but this one takes the cake, the bakery and the entire f****g block (where the bakery was located). In Undercover you’ll witness some of the worst acting you’ve seen in recent times across any media and not even Maggie Q’s hotness can salvage it. Each and every actor associated with this project should be lined up outside his/her house and shot so that we’re never subjected to their annoyingly painful hamming ever again.

Terrible acting aside this game is a technical nightmare and the first time you boot up the game you’ll literally be shell shocked not because it looks phenomenal but because you’ll wonder how Black Box actually managed to make a game that looks worse than Most Wanted – a three year old title. In recent times I have yet to come across such an ugly and a lifeless game that literally made me wanna tear my eyes out. Buildings are just plain blocky structures with no detail whatsoever, roads have absolutely no textures, car detail is appalling and I’ve seen better scenery in Burnout revenge – the PS2 version mind you. To blind your eyes from the terrible visuals on screen EA has conveniently bumped up the bloom to insane levels but all the bloom in the world cannot hide the fact that this game is just plain hideous.

Nokia Unveils 5800 XpressMusic in India

Nokia India has unveiled its much awaited “Touch Music” device, the Nokia 5800 XpressMusic, in India.

 Also announced is the scheduled launch of the beta version of the Nokia Music Store.

Nokia has also announced a tie-up with Universal Music Group, Sony BMG, EMI, Warner, Tseries, Big Music and Yashraj.

Anssi Vanjoki, Executive Vice President, Nokia said, “With more than 300 million music enabled devices sold, and a strong base of over 10 Nokia Music stores in operation globally, Nokia has been able to gain incredible amount of knowledge and insights on what people want in a music device and track important trends on how people consume music. We will continue to break new grounds in this space by building more and better services for our consumers.”

D. Shivakumar, Managing Director, Nokia India said, “As Nokia’s first mass-market device with a touch screen, the Nokia 5800 XpressMusic turns a ‘user interface’ into a ‘human interface’ by truly putting people first. When it comes to music phones, people all over the world want a device that is a great music experience – with more memory, loud and powerful speakers, easy synchronization – and must still work well as a mobile phone with direct access to important contacts and content. The iconic Nokia 5800 XpressMusic delivers on all these counts.”

The Nokia 5800 XpressMusic along with offering a variety of input methods including a virtual alphanumeric keypad and a virtual computer-style QWERTY keyboard, also has a pen stylus and a plectrum.

It introduces the ‘Media Bar’, a drop down menu that provides direct access to music and entertainment. The Media Bar also offers a direct link to the Web and to online sharing. The phone offers all the music essentials, including a graphic equalizer, 8GB memory, support for all main digital music formats and a 3.5mm jack. It has built-in surround sound stereo speakers and the innovative ‘Contacts Bar’ lets consumers highlight four favorite contacts on their home-screen and, through a single touch, track a digital history of recent text messages, emails, phone logs, photos and blog updates.

The phone features a 3.2-inch widescreen display, a 16 by 9 aspect ratio and 30 frames-per-second playback and recording.

Equipped with a 3.2 megapixel camera with Carl Zeiss lens the phone allows images or videos to be shared via online communities, such as Share on Ovi, Flickr, or Facebook. Music playlist song titles can also be shared through Bluetooth, MMS or online sharing.

The device will be available in India starting January 2009 for Rs. 21,839.

The Nokia Music Store, an online music service is a part of OVI and will go live in December 2008.

Opera Mini 4.2 Released

Opera Software has released the final version of Opera Mini 4.2 for mobile phones.

This release also marks Opera Mini’s official availability on the latest version of the Android mobile platform making it the first Web browser alternative on Android. A technical preview of Opera Mini was previously released for an earlier version of Android in April 2008. Users of Android-powered mobile phones, such as the T-Mobile G1, can now download a beta version of Opera Mini 4.2.

“With Opera Mini 4.2, we are showing the world that Opera never gets complacent. We will always be improving our product, adding speed, new functionality and features, and ensuring that it is accessible by all,” says Jon von Tetzchner, CEO, Opera Software. “Our support of the Android platform helps fulfill our mission to be available on more platforms, for more devices and reach more users, anywhere in the world.”

Opera Mini 4.2 adds more language versions – more than 90 – including the recently added Amharic, Armenian, Assamese, Bengali, Gujarati, Kannada, Kirghiz, Lingala, Marathi, Malayalam, Mongolian, Oriya, Punjabi, Pashto, Sinhala, Tajik, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu, Uzbek, Khmer, Kashmiri, Lao and Turkmen. It also adds new skins for personalizing the look of Opera Mini and Opera Link support for notes, allowing users to sync their notes between the PCand Opera Mini.

Download Opera Mini 4.2 here.

Man tries to pay bill with spider drawing

Below is the complete email conversation that Adelaide man David Thorne claims he had with a utility company chasing payment of an overdue bill.

From: Jane Gilles
Date: Wednesday 8 Oct 2008 12.19pm
To: David Thorne
Subject: Overdue account

Dear David,
Our records indicate that your account is overdue by the amount of $233.95. If you have already made this payment please contact us within the next 7 days to confirm payment has been applied to your account and is no longer outstanding.
Yours sincerely, Jane Gilles

From: David Thorne
Date: Wednesday 8 Oct 2008 12.37pm
To: Jane Gilles
Subject: Re: Overdue account

Dear Jane,
I do not have any money so am sending you this drawing I did of a spider instead. I value the drawing at $233.95 so trust that this settles the matter.
Regards, David.

iPod Touch 2nd Gen

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If you compare the dimensions straight-on, there’s really very little difference. The height and width are the same, at 110mm and 61.8mm respectively, while the depth has increased by 0.5mm to 8.5mm (to accommodate the curve at the back, no doubt). Fundamentally, the design and construction is the same for both generations of the iPod Touch. The weight has gone down by 5g, to 115g.
These dimensions make the Touch the slimmest touch-sensitive PMP available in the market. There’s no doubt you will like the looks of the player. Also, now it’s equipped with volume keys, so you don’t have to unlock the player to get to the controls. Another change is the addition of inbuilt external speakers for casual listening. Oddly, the speakers are placed within the USB slot. The 3.5-inch screen stays the same – and it has a resolution of 480 x 320, at 163 pixels per inch.