The Call of Duty: Black Ops map expansion, called “Escalation,” is now available to Xbox Live subscribers. Escalation adds five new maps, including four that are available in multiplayer mode. As we noted back when the expansion was announced, the maps include a Russian Zoo, a Cuban hotel and casino, a weapons of mass destruction stockpile, and “convoy.” If you still haven’t had your fill slaying the living dead, the update also includes a new zombie experience called “Call of the Dead.” The update is available for $15, 0r 1200 MS points. We’re definitely downloading this just as soon as we get back from covering BlackBerry World. Frag out! More →
If you’re proficient in Russian, Polish, Czech, or Turkish, and want to search the web in one of the aforementioned tongues, Google has got you covered. Recently, the company announced the addition of the four languages to its Voice Search functionality. “Try speaking queries like ‘концерты Юлии Савичевой’ (tour dates for Yulia Svicheva), ‘przepis na pierogi’ (recipes for pierogi), ‘obrázky Hradčan’ (pictures of the Prague castle), or ‘istanbul hava durumu’ (weather in Istanbul),” quips Google. The service is available on all smartphone platforms that support Google’s Voice search. пользоваться, cieszyć się, nyní, and zevk. More →
Things we know: Microsoft has an Internet Explorer event scheduled for September 15th, Microsoft has released four developer previews of Internet Explorer 9, IE 9 beta is set to launch in September and in all likelihood will be unveiled at the 9/15 gathering. Things we don’t know: what IE 9’s interface will look like. However, thanks to Microsoft’s Russian press site, we may have a better idea of what we are in-store for. ZDNet found the screen shot above sitting on the Redmond software giant’s Russian web site. The screen capture shows a sleeker, less cluttered, dare we say more mature, version of IE. The shot depicts a unified search and address bar and the Russian site said the whole look and feel of the browser has been simplified. When contacted for comment, the company had this to say: “Microsoft is encouraged by the early enthusiasm around Internet Explorer 9; we have nothing further to share about Internet Explorer 9 at this time.” Guess we’ll just have to wait until the 15th. More →
We’ve seen pretty wild iPhone thefts in the past, some involving serious injury, but you just know it’s bad when Interpol gets involved. Thousands of iPhone 3GS’ were stolen from a Belgian warehouse through a hole in the roof directly above the smartphones, and they’re now surfacing in Russia. The iPhone 3GS is definitely going to be a hot commodity there because of the vast grey/black market and because the 3GS hasn’t been officially released in Russia. If you’re planning on grabbing one of the hot phones, you should think twice. Interpol already has a list of the IMEI numbers on the stolen phones so it’s a matter of time before people start getting caught. We’re just wondering how many of those iPhones might be recovered. More →
If there was ever a contest for blurriest photos taken post-haste, this image of a Motorola CLIQ look-alike, rumored to be called Motus, takes the cake. There isn’t much to be said or gathered about the Motus so far, except that it looks like a CLIQ with a flat keyboard and no D-pad for navigation. Said to be coming out in Q1 2010, rumors also peg this device as packing Android 1.6 and a 5 megapixel camera, so it’s not as if anything terribly special is going on. Unfortunately, the image is far too blurry to really make out the left side of the keyboard and what the bright yellow spot is. Maybe image stabilization should be standard on camera phones now.