"After 800 yards, turn left… turn left…"

On the way back from Kent a few days ago, I spotted Tom Toms on a couple of cars’ dashboards as we drove by them. Thought it would be funny to play yellow punchbuggy to pass time, but we would’ve been black and blue by the time we get home!

Just how many people got Tom Toms for Christmas!?

Never been so pleased to see the mailman

Our Nintendo Wii arrived safe and sound from Amazon.co.uk this afternoon. No need to sleep in the gutter or outside PC World to get my hands on one, just a comfortable (if slightly anxious) wait in the office until Parcelforce dropped it off around lunchtime.

My impressions so far…
Creating the Mii was fun, but as-expected since there is a Flash version of the Mii Channel available online. The interface is generally easy to use and reasonably fast, but anything on the network is sluggishly slow – for a good reason, there are undoubtedly thousands of Brits and Europeans online tonight all trying out the Shop Channel!

Now, the games. Keeping in mind we only own Wii Sport at the moment, it’s been a good laugh but a limited experience. I first tried Tennis, which was extremely easy to get to grips with. There’s no need to move very far, but I developed the urge to jump around anyways, making me look like I was swatting giant imaginary bees.

Second, I went on to bowling, which in theory wasn’t hard at all, but it took a few turns before really managing to let go of the B button at the right point. Once you get it, it’s like going bowling, but without the sweaty mingers in the next aisle and the uncomfortable shoes!

Third, I gave boxing a go. I knew this was going to be a good one, because I’d seen a number of You Tube videos showing guys punching like girls or girlfriends kicking ass. Within an instant, I was hitting with all my strength, jabbing my opponent in the kidney and roaring with pride when winning.

I was dreading trying baseball – being Canadian, I’ve never been a fan of this all-American sport – so I had a go at golf first. There’s no question that I’d be rubbish at real golf, I can’t even finish a game of mini-putt without getting aggravated! It turns out that the game of golf is a whole lot easier than in real life, especially when following the visual and audio cues it gives. I cleaned up at this one, with my husband constantly going overboard with power.

So finally, we had to try baseball. Let’s just say, it really was a non-event. It’s not the most exciting game when you’re batting, and when you’re pitching, it’s just plain dull. So we only played that one once.

All in all, the Wii Sports is a great demo of what the Wii can do, but it leaves you wanting much more. It’s a shame Amazon.co.uk didn’t manage to send out the other games we ordered – Zelda, Rayman and Wii Play – on the same date as launch, but I can only be thankful that my Wii showed up on time. I can comfortably see a long, prosperous and evolutive future for the Nintendo Wii.

And now, I raise a wiimote to all my fellow Brits and Europeans who are getting a first go at it this evening. Enjoy yourselves!

[Note: Cross-posted to the WiiWii blog]

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The kids are alright: Round-up of the past few days' surfing

A few links to prove the world’s still going ’round and people are still doing their thang…

  • Need to stock up on plonk for Christmas? Thresher is offering 40% off all wine and champagne from 30th Nov to 10th Dec. Print the voucher and pass it on to your friends! Viral marketing at its simplest.
  • The ban has finally been lifted on the Griffin iTrip and similar short-distance FM transmitters. Common sense prevails!
  • Amy Winehouse is a bit too drunk to sing on the Charlotte Church show. Now, I’m a fan of Amy’s albums, but everything I’ve seen of her live so far makes me quite happy I didn’t bother to go see her live in Cambridge a couple of weeks ago. I think I would’ve fallen out of love, just like I did with LAL last year.
  • I’m getting incredibly antsy, waiting for delivery of my brand new Macbook. It should arrive within the next few days, and hours seem to stretch the closer it gets to delivery date. Unfortunately, it’s not stretching my hours of sleep.
  • Ouch. The Zune gets a poor review from Andy Ihnatko at the Chicago Sun-Times. Anyone bought one? I’m interested in seeing some opposition’s reviews as well.

How to ruin your day in one easy step

This sounds like the alarm clock from hell.

Clocky the annoying clock“Hit the snooze button on this carpet covered Clocky and it will scoot off on its pram wheels, seeking out a suitable hiding place (which will inevitably be right under the bed). When your snooze time is up, Clocky’s alarm will make merry hell under you, panicked and disorientated, locate its hiding place and switch the alarm off.”

I don’t use the snooze button much (usually set the alarm for 6:45am, and get up at 6:50 when the first snooze ends), but it doesn’t sound like a nice way to start the day. Might as well wash your face with hot chilli oil and brush your teeth with toilet cleaner while you’re at it.

Plus it kind of looks like a poop on wheels, which can’t be a selling point, really! 😉

[Found via Katie at Shiny Shiny]

Shiny Shiny's new tech columnist

Shiny ShinyI’ve been itching to tell you about this for a while, but wanted to keep it under wraps until it was really happening. But now, I can officially say it – I’ve started writing for Shiny Shiny: A Girl’s Guide to Gadgets.

First post about women and gadgets went live this morning, so have a look and tell me what you think! And have a look at all the funky gadget reviews on Shiny, there’s some good stuff in there.

Ye gods it's so hot!

Today was one of the first truly sweltering hot days of the week-we-will-call-Summer in Britain.

little piggy USB fanAs somebody at work pinched my desk fan, will one of my faithful readers buy me this USB piggy fan, please? It’s just too cute! “The fan/tree bit wobbles from side to side, swaying in the self-made breeze, while the little piggy acts as an on/off sliding switch,” says Shiny Shiny. It may not compete with a proper full-size blow-your-head-off desk fan but it’s got a little piggy which makes it all better!

Ok, I think the sun is getting to my brain (or maybe it’s the margaritas…) We now return to our usual posting, sorry for the distraction!

Web 2.0 en français

TechCrunch in FrenchCe matin, j’ai découvert que TechCrunch, un blog sur Web 2.0 et les PME en technologie, existe aussi en français. Alors, pour ceux qui préfèrent leurs nouvelles techno en français, certains des articles publiés sur TechCrunch anglais sont aussi traduits.

Il reste à voir si certains articles sont écris avec le public francophone en tête ou au sujet des PME Web 2.0 de langue française, mais ça fait plaisir de voir que cet excellent site est disponible dans plus qu’une langue!

SmackBook Pro

So the MacBook Pro comes with motion sensors… What purpose does that serve, other than protecting your hard drive in case you have the misfortune of dropping it?

Someone has written a script to make use of the motion sensors on the MacBook Pro, so he’s developing in what looks like Eclipse (correct me if I’m wrong!) on one screen, then switches to the “other one” to view the work he’s done!

How cool is that!? (As long as you don’t get pissed off at your code and start whacking it a bit too hard!)

Watch it for yourself:

[Found via TheRegister]

New service for today's busy spy

Haven’t got time to scan the secret documents you just stole? ScanR can turn your phone’s camera into a scanner – Take a photo of a document and it’ll return a searchable PDF.

It’s a free service so I fail to see how they expect to make their money, but TechCrunch has all the details (and some examples of the returned results, not bad!)

Ok, forget the spy idea. It could come in handy for those meetings where there’s so many whiteboard scribbles, you wouldn’t know where to start to jot those down in sensible notes!

[Edit: Reason #1 ScanR sucks – It takes ages to send your image back. It’s been +36 hours since I sent mine, not received anything. And no it’s not in my spam folder, I checked.]

The programmers' Java Cookies

The hungry programmer has the option to either learn to make this recipe or to work with me.

Because I’m nice. And I make cookies for my team. Sometimes, anyways… Maybe Thursday if they’re good boys (and girls).

PS – find the three errors for me, I couldn’t write a line of code to save my life, let alone spot the errors the author points out at the bottom of the post!

(Found via Digg BBC JP at work…)