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  • ExcruciationX

    by Published on November 8th, 2007 16:46

    Via Aol.com


    WASHINGTON (Nov. 7) - Millions of Chinese-made toys for children have been pulled from shelves in North America and Australia after scientists found they contain a chemical that converts into a powerful date rape drug when ingested. Two children in the U.S. and three in Australia were hospitalized after swallowing the beads.

    With only seven weeks until Christmas, the recall is yet another blow to toy industry - already bruised by a slew of recalls this past summer.







    Millions of Aqua Dots art sets were recalled on Nov. 7 after several children in the U.S. and Australia were hospitalized. The toys contain beads coated with a chemical that converts into a powerful date rape drug when ingested.

    In the United States, the toy goes by the name Aqua Dots, a highly popular holiday toy distributed by Toronto-based Spin Master Toys. They are called Bindeez in Australia, where they were named toy of the year at an industry function earlier this year.

    It could not immediately be learned whether Aqua Dots beads are made in the same factories as the Bindeez product. Both are sold by Australia-based Moose Enterprises.

    The toy beads are sold in general merchandise stores and over the Internet for use in arts and crafts projects. They can be arranged into designs and fused together when sprayed with water.

    Scientists say a chemical coating on the beads, when ingested, metabolizes into the so-called date rape drug gamma hydroxy butyrate. When eaten, the compound - made from common and easily available ingredients - can induce unconsciousness, seizures, drowsiness, coma and death.

    Naren Gunja from Australia's Poisons Information Center said the drug's effect on children was "quite serious ... and potentially life-threatening."

    The recall was announced by the Consumer Product Safety Commission on Wednesday several hours after published reports about the recall in Australia.

    The two U.S. children who swallowed Aqua Dot beads went into nonresponsive comas, commission spokesman Scott Wolfson said Wednesday afternoon.

    In Australia, the toys were ordered off store shelves on Tuesday when officials learned that a 2-year-old boy and a 10-year-old girl were hospitalized after swallowing the beads. A 19-month-old toddler also was being treated.

    The news jolted the toy industry because Aqua Dots has been one of the few bright stars of the toy selling season, which, along with overall retailing, has gotten off to a sluggish start. The item, which had been heavily advertised, had appeared on many toy experts' list of must-have holiday toys, and toy sellers are now in the midst of canceling advertising and scrambling to figure out how to replace it.

    Chris Byrne, a New York-based toy consultant, noted that the incidents could have been isolated, and Spin Master may be erring on the side of caution.

    "This is something that they could not have foreseen. This is an extremely hot toy. ... It's a little scary," Byrne said.

    In a statement, Toys "R" Us Inc., said that it issued on Tuesday a "stop sale" on the entire Spin Master Aqua Dots product line in its North American stores and on its Web site after it learned of the news. "We understand that Spin Master and U.S. regulatory authorities are investigating this product and we have asked Spin Master to fully explain what it believes happened," said the toy seller in a statement.

    Meanwhile, a separate recall was announced for 405,000 children's products made in China, most of them toy cars, because of dangerous levels of lead.

    The recall includes about 380,000 Pull-Back Action Toy Cars imported by Dollar General Merchandising Inc. of Goodlettsville, Tenn., and 7,500 Dragster and Funny Car toys imported by International Sourcing Ltd. of Springfield, Mo.

    Four of the recalled products were imported by Schylling Associates Inc. of Rowley, Mass., including the items Duck Family Collectable Wind-Up Toy, Dizzy Ducks Music Box, "Robot 2000" collectable tin robot and Winnie-the-Pooh Spinning Top. The company recalled another 66,000 spinning tops Aug. 22.

    Representatives from Schylling Associates Inc. were not immediately available for comment.

    Wednesday's recalls include about 7,200 "Big Red" Wagons imported by Northern Tool & Equipment Co. of Burnsville, Minn. Totaling about 405,700, the recalled children's products all had excessive levels of lead in their surface paint.

    Although no illnesses connected to the toy car recall have been reported, lead is toxic if ingested by young children. Children's products found to have more ...
    by Published on September 12th, 2007 16:29

    The Extended Pandora’s Boot Menu version .08 has been released. Here’s information from the read me:

    What is it?
    ----------------
    This adds a new bootmenu to a magic memory stick of the Pandora battery with some new functions and abilities.

    Key features:

    * Choose to boot firmware from memory stick, internal flash or the original Pandora mainmenu
    * Fix flash1:/ (the one holding the settings and config) by formatting it and creating all directories
    * Launch an additional application (PSPFiler or such) with working access to the real flash0:/
    * Launch custom firmware installer (OE / M33) with working flash0:/ access, so it can install the CFW straight from a Pandora boot without the need to downgrade to 1.50 first, no matter of the current state (and version) of the internal flash.
    * Access flash0:/, flash1:/ or memory stick via USB (straight from the menu)


    Known issues/bugs
    ----------------------
    * The boot from the internal flash doesn't work too well....
    If you boot from the internal flash, using the option in the menu, the UMD drive errors out and does not work, programs may fail to load and you might get a lockup after the Sony intro.
    However on recent CFWs there are workarounds: In the recovermenu configuration set "Skip Sony Logo" and "Hard reset on homebrew" to "ENABELED", that almost solves anything (UMD works again after first program launch).

    Furthermore, due to the IPL, the PSP has been initialized from, this can only boot 1.50, CFWs and a few 2.xx FWs.
    Higher (original Sony) firmwares will fail to boot.

    There has to be a better way of rebooting the PSP, it just needs to be found.
    I am currently using sceSysconResetDevice() to do it. scePower_0442D852() has been reported to be cool, but that's not available on 1.50

    Download and Give Feedback via Comments

    Via qj ...
    by Published on September 6th, 2007 17:54

    Mathieulh and Dark Alex have already dumped the latest PSP Slim 3.60 Firmware, it also looks like the PSP Contains 66MB of NAND which is double the original.

    He posted a picture of the dump:


    Discuss this via Comments
    , Nice to have DA back on board. ...
    by Published on February 11th, 2007 15:33

    StrmnNrmn has answered some questions asked by his blog users:

    Via: strmnnrmn.blogspot.com:

    A few common questions cropped up in yesterday's post so I thought I'd deal with them here so everyone could see the responses.

    Firstly, lots of people were asking about the possibility of moving the audio processing to ME. I'm really keen on doing this, but I'm not very familiar with the ME yet so I need to spend a few hours investigating it before I can figure out how much work is involved. Maybe I can do a few technical posts about the ME as I find out more about it?

    A few people were asking about an ingame menu and screen size.

    gotwake424 said:
    will there be an ingame menu? that will let you change the size of the screen and other stuff in game?

    xabier:
    i have just one question: you have mentioned viewport scaling/screen ratio a few months ago. is that going to be featured in Release 9 of daedalus? and i think that i heard somewhere that it should speed up the emulator a little with the new scaling, is that true?

    flyinghippo:
    One of your earlier posts showed your progress on implementing a 4:3 screen ratio. Would this possibly have any effect on the framerate?

    reuben:
    A while ago you noted that you had been working on viewport scaling. Will that be implemented in the upcoming release?

    I'm currently working on the in game menu - this is the last main thing I want to squeeze into R9. With this you'll be able to change the screen size while the rom is running, as well as a few other things (toggle audio on/off, swap controls etc).

    I doubt that knocking the screen size down will help the framerate all that much, as the framerate is still largely limited by the cost of CPU emulation rather than rendering.

    From philip:
    Do you have plans to implement frameskipping? That would greatly improve the speed, and shouldn't be too hard to add.

    on the rise1:
    have you ever thought or messed about putting in frameskipping in the emulator?

    Now that audio support is in, I think frameskipping makes a lot more sense. I'll see if I can squeeze this in for R9 too.

    yatahaze:
    can Daedalus run under 300mhz? would that boost those numbers in the table even more?

    Unfortunately Daedalus is already clocking everything at the maximum frequency, so there won't be an easy win there

    imitiaz:
    Are the rom files you are using zipped or unzipped? Will the extensions of the rom files even matter anymore?

    I was using unzipped rom files. The extension shouldn't matter, provided it's recognised (.v64, .z64, .rom etc) Daedalus should always figure out the correct thing to do with a given rom. I suggest you use a tool like RomCenter to manage the naming of all your roms, and extract them to the roms directory on your PSP as required.

    sroon said:
    Will expansion pack be inplented in your blessed R9?

    The expansion pak should already be supported: 'Expansion Pak: Yes' in the Rom Settings screen (just before the rom launches). If it's not working, it's a bug, and it'll be easy to fix.

    nick:
    Have you always been able to add audio support? Or did you hold it back because of the slow framerate?

    I've been holding off because of the framerate - I just thought it would sound horrible. The framerate is still a limiting factor with audio support, I'll talk a bit more about this soon.

    jeffrey said:
    Is there any official way to support your work? Either through paypal donations or whatever?

    No, not currently. To be honest, I'm a bit uncomfortable about accepting money for this. Financial reward has never been a motivating factor for me, I do this because it's an interesting project with lots of juicy technical problems to solve. If I was to ever accept donations, it would be for a specific goal (e.g. if I broke my development psp and it needed replacing, or to pay for hosting/bandwidth etc).

    andrew said:
    The best update possible for R9 is an icon for the PSP menu.

    Yes, I know I do like the Pochi Style icons. I emailed him asking for permission to use them with Daedalus, if I get the go ahead I'll bundle them with R9 by default.

    A few people were asking for videos of the work in progress. I'm not all that keen on doing this as I'd rather spend the time getting the final few features in place and releasing early rather than spending the time making videos. You'll be able to play with it yourselves soon enough

    As for a release date, I'm going skiing for a week on the 25th February, and I'd like to have R9 out before then.

    -StrmnNrmn
    ...
    by Published on January 30th, 2007 17:31

    Yes, you heard me correctly. I probably said the same thing you did when you read this.

    In my regular internet travels, I stumbled upon Super Mario War 1.7 ported for PSP. Apparently, it's in BETA stages.

    Heres all the info...

    Super Mario War is a Super Mario multiplayer game.
    The goal is to stomp as many other Marios as possible to win the game.
    It's a tribute to Nintendo and the game Mario War by Samuele Poletto.

    The game uses artwork and sounds from Nintendo games. We hope that this noncommercial fangame qualifies as fair use work. We just wanted to create this game to show how much we adore Nintendo's characters and games.

    Features:
    - Up to four players deathmatch fun
    - a whole bunch of game modes (featuring GetTheChicken, Domination, CTF, ...)
    - Comes with the leveleditor - you can create your own maps...
    - ... and a lot of people did so. There are currently over 1000 maps
    - More fun than poking a monkey with a stick
    - The whole source code of the game is available
    - uses SDL and is fully portable to windows, linux, mac, ...
    - CPU Players
    - will make you happy and gives you a fuzzy feeling

    Developers:
    - Michael Schaffer
    - Florian Hufsky
    - An incredible ammount of contributors

    Whats new:

    Well, it is finally done! There aren't too many differences between RC2 and the final, mainly bug fixes, a few more maps and skins and sgraff87's complete gfx overhaul. It looks fantastic!


    Download and Give Feedback, Via Comments ...
    by Published on January 26th, 2007 16:46

    Via http://www.gtapsp.com

    "Following on from earlier reports that Vice City Stories appeared on ESRB's website, the title has now appeared on PlayStation.com - the official home of the PS2 platform.

    Moreover though, the game now also has a model/serial number - a unique identifier that Sony awards to every title when it goes through the certification process. Vice City Stories on PS2 will be "SLUS-21590" in North America.




    This is the most compelling evidence yet that the game is coming to PS2 - these numbers are not invented unless they have a purpose. All that's missing from this story is an official press release, although I expect to see one of those soon." ...
    by Published on January 4th, 2007 21:22

    ExcruciationX, from our forums has made a tutorial that is meant to help people with the install process. Here are the steps to upgrade to the recently released firmware...

    1. Download Ex's pack in his signature.
    2. Extract it.
    3. Put it in the PSP/GAME/ folder or PSP/GAME150 if you are on 2.71 SE or 3.02 OE.
    4. Run it. If your battery isn't charged an plugged into the wall outlet, then hold Triangle + L to bypass it. The pack has everything needed for installation! I would also recommend watching the video while you upgrade, so you know what your psp should do.

    If you have any questions or troubleshooting, then post in this thread stating your problem. Someone WILL help you.

    EDIT: Since people didn't like this one, I have uploaded the old one which is pretty much the same thing on to YouTube (Thank's Ninja).
    EDIT 2: This does NOT work with any firmware above 2.80!
    EDIT 3: Please give me rep if you like it.

    Watch And Give Feeback, Via Comments ...
    by Published on December 22nd, 2006 23:24

    Soon after the release of 3.02 OE-A, I, ExcruciationX, from our very own forums, has made a video tutorial, for people to understand and make it a bit easy to upgrade to the new custom frimware.

    I upscaled it, so everyone should be able to "make out" the video.

    This is in download format, so download and just watch the video tutorial and all should be made clear.

    Download, Watch and Give Feedback, via Comments ...
    by Published on December 11th, 2006 00:51

    Via www.xbox-scene.com

    Operating out of a Newark home cluttered with DVD burners, computer towers and piles of blank discs, Derek Ramirez was like countless other high-tech thieves pirating computer game software, authorities say.

    But, those authorities say, Ramirez was a thief with a difference. He would not only sell customers pirated DVDs for Microsoft's Xbox 360 game. For $60, he would modify an Xbox console so it would not reject counterfeit software, they said.

    Investigators estimate Ramirez, who advertised on the Internet, had thousands of customers before the Essex County Prosecutor's Office raided his home and arrested him yesterday.
    "He was one of our higher profile targets in the area," said Robert Hunter, manager of intellectual property enforcement for the Entertainment Software Association, whose investigators keyed in on Ramirez.

    Ramirez, 24, was arrested in the three-story home on Mount Prospect Avenue he shared with his mother and other family members. He was charged with violating New Jersey's anti-piracy act, a third-degree offense that can carry up to five years in prison. ...
    by Published on November 27th, 2006 06:05

    News has been a little slow since the release of PS1P, so here is something to check out.
    ExcruciationX, from our forums, has created a video tutorial for people too chicken to upgrade to the "Golden Firmware".

    EDIT: I upscaled and converted it to WMV, so everyone should be able to watch it now.

    My voice is quiet in the video, so turn it up, and you should hear it fine.



    Download and give feedback via comments ...