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Kinect-Enabled Rescue 'Bot Could Help Scan for Earthquake Survivors

With rescue workers continuing to search for survivors among the rubble from last week's devastating earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand, a group of engineers from the U.K. have constructed a robot that could make their jobs a little easier -- thanks to Microsoft's Xbox Kinect. The Kinect's motion-detection sensors can instantly model the robot's surroundings and scan them for survivors, wh...

Prank Xbox Live Massacre Messages Land Maryland Teen in Jail

Ok. Let's try this again: Sending threatening messages to anyone, for any reason, even if it's a joke, even if it's using another person's account or e-mail address is a really, really, really, really, really bad idea. Really. Take, for instance, the recent tale of one (unnamed) Maryland teenager who is now headed to court to face charges of sending threatening messages to about 100 people via a s...

Boy Opens, Exploits Xbox Live Account With Mom's Credit Card

Single mother Dawn Matthews received an extremely unwelcome (although increasingly common) letter recently. After she allowed her 11-year-old son, Brendan Jordan, to create an Xbox Live account -- with her credit card information -- he subsequently racked up £1,082.52 (almost $2,000) in charges. The compassionate mother apparently hasn't punished her son, but she did tell the Daily Mail that...

Xbox Kinect Causes More Physical Harm, Thins Out the Herd

Last week, we discovered that the Xbox Kinect had already claimed its first victim less than 24 hours after landing on shelves in the U.S. -- and, since then, there have been many more casualties. Here's a kid taking a vicious left elbow to the face. Here's an aunt belligerently reminding her nephew who's boss. Here's a brave gamer looking ridiculous -- and miserably failing to land a 360(?) on '...

Oprah Gives Away Xbox Kinects, Audience Goes Wild

What do you give to a daytime talk audience upon whom you've already bestowed luxurious cars and exotic vacations? Apparently, you give them an Xbox Kinect. That's exactly what Oprah recently gave to a delirious crowd of audience members --none of whom looked like gamers. No sooner had the announcement left the talk icon's mouth than did her audience erupt in squealy bliss. Seriously, the place w...

Charting the Transformation of Video Game Controller Design

We're trying our best to refrain from contributing to the Web's infographic glut, but we couldn't resist this one: the evolution of video game controller design as charted by U.K.-based Cxpartners. See how the original Nintendo directional pad gave birth to the PlayStation and Xbox controllers, and how the Power Glove's whole concept flopped until the invention of the Wiimote. The full image is a...

'Rocky Horror Picture Show' Coming to 'Guitar Hero' for Xbox, PS3 and Wii

It's been a few years since high school, so we're not sure if the kids who play 'Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock' are the same types that attend toilet-paper-hurling, expletive-laden live shows of 'The Rocky Horror Picture Show.' But, if you happen to be one of those game-geeks from Transsexual Transylvania, you're in luck this month. 'RHPS' tracks will be made available as a download pack for the g...

Xbox Kinect Peripherals Finally Land... With a Game Boat?

At a quarter of a century, Nintendo's illustrious history of entertaining, ridiculous and useless peripherals shouldn't need recounting. The arrival of motion-sensor technology for both the PS3 and Xbox 360 finally allows non-Nintendo gamers to share in that awesome and absurd add-on action, and various peripheral offerings are beginning to hit the market. Atomic Accessories (which seems to be...

Maker Faire Interview: DIY-King Ben Heck Talks Bill Paxton, Xbox Modding

Ben Heck is an all star in the field of DIY and modding. The man who has turned almost every game console under the sun into a portable system (be it handheld or laptop) now has his own show dedicated to making his fans' DIY dreams into reality. Mr. Heckendorn took time out of his hectic schedule of soldering and ripping things apart to chat with us at Maker Faire this weekend. Read on after the ...

Xbox Live Suspends Gamer Over His 'Fort Gay, WV' Location

When Fort Gay, West Virginia resident and 26-year-old gamer Josh Moore created an Xbox Live profile, he naturally listed his location as "fort gay WV." The ever-vigilant enforcement team from Xbox Live, however, recently suspended Moore from the gaming platform, due to what they believed to be a fictitious -- and inappropriately named -- town. As the AP reports, Moore pleaded with security off...

Video Game Hall of Fame Opens in Iowa, Inducts 'Pac-Man' in First Class

Cooperstown, New York and Ottumwa, Iowa will soon share an unbreakable bond -- as cities that host a hall of fame. According to USA Today, the International Video Game Hall of Fame will induct its first class of 29 members this weekend. The honored include the classic arcade game 'Pac-Man,' 'Mario' creator Shigeru Miyamoto, the Xbox design team, video game record holders Billy Mitchell and Steve W...

Xbox Live Rakes in $1 Billion a Year, MSFT Employee Sheds Light on Kin's 'HUGE Fail'

Highlights from this morning's other big tech headlines.... Last month, Forbes estimated that Microsoft's Xbox Live marketplace earns the company $1 billion a year, and that has now been echoed by Bloomberg. The $1 billion is thanks to the 12.5 million members who drop $50 on annual subscription fees, just so they can pay still more for various virtual goods like costumes and character att...

Xbox Live Banking Billions on Virtual Goods, Twitter 'Mumbles' Big in Japan

Highlights from this morning's other big tech headlines.... Nonexistent virtual goods produce obscene revenue for online services. The phenomenon, which even attracts criminal activity, is currently helping Microsoft stave off the effects of diminishing video game sales. Forbes estimates that Xbox Live earns the company more than $1 billion annually, primarily through various account upgra...

ESPN3 Brings Streaming Sports Exclusively to Xbox 360 Owners

Microsoft just announced that ESPN3 will be exclusively available to Xbox 360 owners who have an Xbox LIVE Gold membership. ESPN3, which used to be called ESPN360, will broadcast 3,500 live sporting events this year straight to gamers' 360s. At the announcement, SportsCenter anchors Trey Wingo and Josh Elliott demonstrated how users can access instant replays, highlights, polls and more on the vi...

Microsoft Shakeup Finds Xbox and Devices Chiefs Retiring

A changing of the guard will soon take place in Microsoft's gaming and mobile divisions. Kotaku confirmed yesterday that J. Allard (above, right), who has served both as Chief Experience Officer and as Chief Technology Officer of Entertainment and Devices Division, and Robbie Bach (above, left), who has been President of Entertainment and Devices Division, will both retire from the company this f...