Microsoft inadvertently enters Hotwheels market
Microsoft has been having a lot of problems with the Xbox 360 lately. Sales are reasonably brisk but this is in spite of a propensity for the console to overheat. Apparently not content with a gaming system suitably for cooking a couple of eggs with a side of hash browns, Microsoft has released a steering wheel controller that will literally make players feel like hotrods.

The US$130 racing wheel, for use with Forza Motorsport 2 and other driving games for the 360, tends to heat up and produce smoke when plugged into a power outlet. So far there have been 50 reports of smokin’ wheels. Microsoft recently said it will replace the faulty components. Personally, I’m hoping to get my hands on one of the crappy broken ones. What’s more appropriate in a racing game than the smell of burning rubber?

Helmet prevents noggin from getting’ a floggin’
Good news for football fans, but better news for the players. A New Hampshire company has developed a helmet that can help prevent brain damage. Football players are often at risk for concussions or worse when they step onto the gridiron and this article provides a litany of examples of ex-players who have gone wonky as the result of too many knocks to the noggin. The helmet, developed by Simbex, has imbedded sensors that can register the force of a blow during play: if you’re bopped too hard, you may be sidelined and checked over for trauma. If anyone can develop helmets that prevent the Buffalo Bills from playing like drunk chimps next season, please let me know.

Chimp busy work
Speaking of chimps, research suggests that our evolutionary cousins are able to distract themselves in order to avoid temptation.

According to this article:

“Chimps struggling to accumulate a large quantity of food deliberately keep themselves busy to avoid the temptation to gorge themselves straight away, researchers have found. The study shows that, like a shopaholic striving to resist the lure of the department store, our ape cousins welcome a distraction that takes the mind off the impulsive urge to splash out.”

I hope they’re more successful than I’ve been in the past. Try as I might, I can’t seem to put down the chips while watching the tube. Perhaps swinging through trees and flinging poo will work for me too.

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