“Hand goes here.”

“Hand goes here.”

The Golden Age of Gaming
It’s a good time to be playing video games. If you’ve been away from the gaming world for some time, you may want to consider returning. Today’s games are not the 160-by-192 pixel relics of the 1977 Atari 2600 (that first video game console made with real wood just turned 30 years old in October).

“ … there are so many good games out now that some publishers are holding titles back [until] next year,” Tony Mott, editor of Edge magazine, said in a BBC interview. Assassin’s Creed and Mass Effect will most likely become million-plus sellers this year, and gaming sales in the U.S. are up 50 percent from last year.

“On the strength of sales alone, 2007 has been the greatest year in gaming,” games consultant Margaret Robertson said in the same BBC article.

Games to check out: Project Gotham Racing 4, Call Of Duty 4, Ratchet and Clank, God of War II, Super Mario Galaxy, The Orange Box, Crysis and Drake’s Progress.

iLove my phone
Time Magazine gave the iPhone the “Invention of the Year” award. I couldn’t agree more, at least from a personal gadget perspective. I geeked out over the turkey-consumption holiday by making my own ringtones for my new iPhone.

I started by taking an MP3 of Pink Floyd’s “Money” and dropping it into the free, cross-platform digital, audio-editing software Audacity. I cut it down to the 12-second intro of the sounds of cash registers and coins and exported it as an AIFF file (the standard format used for storing sound data on computers). I then dropped it into iTunes, which converted it into an AAC file (the default audio format for most Apple products). I retrieved that from my iTunes folder and dropped that clip into the free MakeiPhoneRingtone program from Rogue Amoeba Software and the ringtone was automatically loaded into my iPhone. Nice.

This article almost didn’t get written because I’m consumed with making these phone iNoises.

Picket line moves online
I’m loving this writers’ strike. OK, workers striking for their rights is tough for many, so maybe “love” is the wrong word, but 1) it gives me hope that workers have power in this age of over-compensated CEOs, and 2), it’s led to some great, well-written shorts on YouTube. Here are a few must-see, out-of-work writers’ produced videos on the Interweb: “Not The Daily Show, with Some Writer”; “WGA Strike Gets Violent”; and “Heroes of the Writers’ Strike.” Go to YouTube, type ’em in and enjoy.

This is Technobabble No. 50!
I would like to thank my readers for all of the support over the past 26 months. This has been a whole lot of fun and I hope to be writing many, many more. Your feedback is always welcome.

Wacky Web site of the Week
This week it is more splendiferous than craziness. This is the most beautiful Web site I have ever seen or heard. And it’s not just ’cause I love Thievery Corporation. This is WebGrace: