Cursor*10 scores the first big Flash hit of 2008

It might not have much competition yet, but the most entertaining Flash game of 2008 so far is the inventive puzzler/platformer Cursor*10. At first, the gameplay looks extremely basic. Simply click on the "up" staircases to make your way through 16 levels that contain only stairs, pyramids, and buttons. Exploding pyramids give you 1 point apiece, whereas reaching the 16th level provides 100 points.

I won't ruin the game by explaining how to play, but the basic innovation of Cursor*10 is that you'll most likely need to use each of your 10 allotted cursors wisely and efficiently in order to even reach the finish, let alone collect pyramids along the way. Each of your cursors exists within the same time frame, so that by the time you reach your seventh or eighth cursor, you'll see numerous arrows scattering about the levels, blasting pyramids, pressing buttons, and scampering up stairs.… Read more

SanDisk USB drive learns a new trick

As their capacities have grown, USB thumb drives have become the method of choice to transfer data between PCs for many consumers. Some have also started using them as backups for their hard drives.

The latest SanDisk Cruzer Titanium Plus flash drive takes the concept even one step further by making backups of its 4GB storage automatically to an online company, BeInSync. The $60 drive comes with six months of this online service, after which an annual fee of $30 is charged.

When the Cruzer is plugged into a connected machine, the contents are automatically synchronized both ways and the … Read more

Financing cut for flash-memory venture from Intel and allies

Financing has been cut by about half for a partnership by Intel, ST Microelectronics, and Francisco Partners to launch a flash memory company called Numonyx, the companies said Wednesday. In addition, the company, called Numonyx, won't be established until early 2008, under a revised schedule.

Initially, Numonyx was to have received up to $1.55 billion in debt financing. The companies have revised financing terms so Numonyx now has a $650 million loan and $100 million revolving credit facility, Intel said in a regulatory filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

STMicroelectronics added in a statement that the companies … Read more

Problems updating the Flash player in Firefox? Here's help

Installing a new version of software should be trivial thing--especially for popular software such as the Adobe Systems' Flash player, which is used by millions of people every day. But no.

For one, the Flash player does not play well with the other kids in the sandbox. That is, trying to remove the currently installed version via the Windows XP Control Panel Add/Remove applet is a waste of time. The first three machines I tried this on resulted in three different outcomes, and the software was not removed on any of the machines. Instead, Adobe has an uninstaller for the Flash player.… Read more

Update your Flash player now--and do it right

On December 18, give or take,* Adobe Systems released a security bulletin that basically says old versions of the Flash player are buggy as heck (see Flash Player update available to address security vulnerabilities). Specifically, versions and earlier contain nine different bugs that Adobe calls critical. Simply viewing a Web page is all it takes for a bad guy to take control of your computer. This is true on Macs and Linux too. The only way to be safe is to upgrade to the newest version,

These bugs in the Flash player … Read more

Matt Cutts on how you can help Googlebot "see" your Flash content.

Over the past year, there has been a lot of talk about the best way to handle Flash on your site. I previously covered quite a few aspects about this heavily-debated topic in Flash Alternatives Blessed by Google and in Progressive Enhancement is Good for SEO. In my previous interview with Maile Ohye, Google's support engineer I had asked her about Google's view on Flash. Maile confirmed that Google looks at the content within "noscript" tags, but she advised to be careful to mirror accurately the Flash-based content you include within the noscript tags or it … Read more

Adobe to open-source Flex back-end connector

Adobe Systems on Thursday released the code for messaging software designed to connect back-end data sources to rich Internet applications written with its Flex development tool.

Called BlazeDS, the software is a subset of Adobe's full-featured LiveCycle Data Services ES, which it will continue to sell to its corporate customers.

BlazeDS will be made available for free under the Lesser General Public License (LGPL). Adobe will initially host the open-source project and next year plans to create a separate site to host BlazeDS and its Flex developer tool, which it intends to open-source, said Phil Costa, director of product … Read more

Underexposed blog: links of the day

Camera Test: Nikon D300 - - PopPhotoDecember 2007 - Camera of the year for PopPhoto. Likes: low noise up to ISO 3200, great autofocus, included raw-processing software. Nikon 14-24mm f2.8 G, tested on a Canon 5D - A rave review of Nikon's new full-frame, wide-angle zoom--on a Canon. Comparison to Canon 24mm prime lens and Sigma 12-24 zoom. Photo Business News and Forum: Nikon vs. Canon - A side-by-side comparison of the Nikon D3 and the Canon 1Ds Mark III, plus some closing words anticipating a higher-end D3x supposedly due in the spring of 2008. National Press Photographers Association objects to filming ban in national parksRead more

Olympus brings wireless flash control to SP-560UZ with firmware update

Olympus just released the latest firmware for its super-zoom EVF (electronic viewfinder) camera, the SP-560UZ. Version 3.1 of the camera's firmware includes a unique feature: support for Olympus' wireless RC flash system. According to DPReview, this update enables the camera to use its own flash to remotely activate Olympus wireless flash modules through the camera's "RC" flash mode. The camera can activate RC flashes up to 32 feet away in a 60-degree arc, or up to 16 feet away in a 100-degree arc.

Some digital SLRs can use wireless flash units, but this is the … Read more