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Published: Friday, 12/24/2004

Fusion: 2004 in review; Nintendo DS

2004 IN REVIEW

Some of the top technology stories in 2004.

• 1. iPod and friends: MP3 players line shelves in U.S.

• 2. Bloggers bop CBS: Pajama-clad news hounds pound big networks.

• 3. Google s here: Google makes initial public offering in August.

• 4. Big game sequels: Halo 2, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas

• 5. XP SP 2 arrives: Long-awaited patch for Microsoft s XP operating system arrived.

• 6. Big Blue: IBM sells its Personal Computer Division to Chinese group.

• 7. Browser battles: The rise of Firefox.

• 8. Spyware: New applications log keystrokes, steal screen grabs.

• 9. RFID, biometrics, ID chips: Chips are in everything.

• 10. Phishing: Rise in sophisticated e-mails designed to steal personal data.

NINTENDO DS

With impressive 3D rendered graphics, Nintendo DS delivers cutting-edge portable gaming for all your favorite Game Boy Advance titles in single-player mode. Nintendo continues to supply stores with the dual-screened Nintendo DS, which features a touch screen, voice recognition and wireless capabilities. Nintendo DS was described by The Wall Street Journal as this year s must-buy item. Holiday shoppers snapped up 1 million Nintendo DS systems in North America in a month. The half dozen DS that trickled into the Monroe Street GameStop on Monday were gone by the end of the day. Why is DS cool? Wireless communication for real-time multiplayer gameplay, PictoChat software to draw, write and send messages wirelessly, two LCD screens, and built-in microphone port await Super Mario 64 DS or Metroid Prime Hunters: First Hunt.

www.nintendo.com

SMELL THAT

You can play games, shop and find love on the Internet. So why not sniff your favorite fragrance as well? A new service being tested by Japan s NTT Communications sends data that trigger the release of one of 36 scents blends of natural oils, such as eucalyptus, sandalwood and basil. A test version functions as a horoscope reading. Punch your birthday into the computer, and different data for the scents are relayed over the Net to an attached device that resembles a crystal ball with a strawlike nozzle. Depending on your horoscope sign you might get a waft of chamomile, lavender, clary sage or lemongrass. The machines and software were developed by Mirapro.

SERIOUS MOUSE

The Razer Diamondback ($60), declared the house mouse for the 2004 World Cyber Games, tracks 1,600 dots per inch, helping plot points with twice the accuracy of most others. The mouse also processes information quickly, with a 16-bit transfer rate, compared with common 8- and 12-bit controllers. A gold-plated USB connector aids in carrying data between mouse and computer smoothly. Included software can tone down the highly sensitive mouse and customize the seven buttons. Playing a first-person shooter like Return to Castle Wolfenstein, the side buttons helped speed weapons switches instead of going to the keyboard, and a non-stick coating helps grip during long sessions. The mouse comes in Salamander red and Chameleon green with an illuminated scroll button.

www.alienware.com

TOLEDOBLADE.COM

Ready for a white Christmas season, or would you prefer nothing to shovel or drive through? Check out the weather page on toledoblade.com.

www.toledoblade.com/weather

FROM THE BLADE S WIRE SERVICES AND STAFF.

CONTACT FUSION AT KCESARZ@THEBLADE.COM



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