Cool stuff unveiled at opening of Consumer Electronics Show (photos)

I went through the annual ritual of CES Unveiled tonight, the opening reception at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, where 100 or so companies show off their award-winning gadgets to the press. It was a big crowd, inflated perhaps by the blogosphere that has more than made up for the dwindling numbers of traditional press. Here are my impressions of some of the good gadgets. I snapped pictures with my new Canon Rebel XSi SLR camera.

Delorme and Spot combine handheld GPS with satellite communicator

Navigation systems were once products unto themselves. Now they’re just melting into other products. One example: mapping and GPS technology company DeLorme and Spot, a subsidiary of satellite communications firm Globalstar, are announcing today that they have created a global positioning system (GPS) navigation device that is combined with a satellite communicator.

What to watch for at the Consumer Electronics Show

The International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas is the gadget industries SuperBowl. This year’s CES events start Tuesday. Floor show exhibits open on Thursday and run through Sunday. VentureBeat’s Anthony Ha and I will be covering lots of stories at the show. There are in reverse order, from No. 13 to No. 1. (Here’s our post mortem from last year, FYI).

EA's Chip Lange on the future of gaming's hottest sector: casual and social games

Chip Lange is vice president and general manager within the EA Play label at Electronic Arts. He’s in charge of a wide variety of properties including the company’s games based on Hasbro brands from Monopoly to Nerf. Created in 2007, the EA Play label also includes the Sims, Maxis, and casual games produced by EA. We caught up with Lange recently to talk about trends in video games.

These are the ten best video games of the decade, dammit!

Here it is, New Year’s Eve, and I have exhausted all of my other list opportunities. Now it’s time to consider the best games of the decade. I procrastinated on this one because it wasn’t easy to do. But then I started seeing all of the other best of the decade lists being posted. I disagreed with them, and the annoyance built up so that it overflowed and I felt compelled to retaliate with my own list. So here’s my favorite games of the past 10 years and my reasons for liking them so much. Please leave your own comments if you agree or disagree, and pick your favorite game in the poll at the end. I’m grateful that a lot of these games were fairly recent, meaning that the game industry just keeps getting better and better. Please enjoy and thanks so much for reading in 2009!

Arkadium CEO plans to adapt to social gaming's popularity

It’s a time of big change in the game industry, but Kenny Rosenblatt is used to it. In 2001, he co-founded Arkadium with his wife Jessica Rovello. The New York-based company originally started as a casual game site. But that wasn’t successful. Instead, Arkadium made money licensing its games to well-known brands. So it shifted into “advergaming,” where a game is embedded with ads and essentially becomes a promotional tool. Now the company has more than 200 Flash games that it licenses out to brands. We interviewed Rosenblatt recently about the changes happening in the game industry and his own shift into social games.

Japanese firm buys Explay tiny projector startup for a song

Japan’s ADM has purchased Israeli startup Explay for $550,000. Investors put an estimated $7 million into the maker of pico-projectors, which can be used in cell phones or other devices to project bright images onto walls. Texas Instruments, which makes digital light processing chips, is a leader in this market.

Dutch embrace the digital strip search, U.S. next? (reader poll)

The Netherlands will use full body scanners in screening airline passengers as a result of the lapse in security that allowed a would-be terrorist bomber on board a jet from Amsterdam on Christmas Day. The scanners will allow security personnel to see through people’s clothes and will amount to what privacy advocates are calling a “digital strip search.”

Our favorite horribly wrong or amusing tech magazine covers

I have this habit that really annoys my wife. I store old stuff in plastic waterproof bins in my garage. I was cleaning out my collection of old papers and happened upon these precious old magazines. The covers and the accompanying stories show how astoundingly bad we, the media, can be at making bold predictions about the future.

The most addictive iPhone games of 2009

There are more than 22,000 games on the iPhone. So it’s a quixotic task to try to figure out the best of the year. But with some recommendations from readers, we’ve taken a look at some of the most compelling. So here are the most addictive games we found. We did this list last year, and I think you’ll agree that many of these new games are leaps and bounds better than last year’s titles.