Wakey wakey: All the news in 30 seconds

Panasonic BD
Panasonic gets the honour of being the first BD maker to be chipped

We can't say it's a surprise, but region-free Blu-ray players had to come along sooner or later once modders could see there might be profit to be had, which is where Blu-Ray Mods comes in.

The European firm (we think they're Dutch, but these guys aren't easy to pin down) is offering a modified version of Panasonic's DMP-BD30 for €499 (£396) or a DIY kit for €89 (£70).

DVD playback too

Tricked-out decks will be able to play disks from not just the three BD regions, but all six DVD regions as well.

Given that the company says players will still be able to receive manufacturer firmware updates, we smell a bit of a bargain, frankly.

Xbox cheaper for E3

Talking of value, leaks suggest US gamers will soon be able to get their hands on the 20GB version of the Xbox 360 for just $300 (£152) from Kmart stores.

The saving of around £25 seems to apply to only to the Premium Edition console, but it would be surprising if this wasn't applied to all versions.

Taking anonymous news that seems to come from a cameraphone snap of a forthcoming shop flyer may seem like a stretch, but this very method has proved valid in the past for both the Xbox and PS3.

We see you

Finally for this morning, D(eparture) Day from Microsoft for Bill Gates has been marked by the appearance of one of the Google Maps camera cars snapping away on MS property.

The funsters behind the wheel obviously fancied checking out their rivals working on Windows Live Maps, as that's precisely where they drove to in their sore thumb of a roving camera.

That's it for now, but stay tuned to TechRadar for the rest of the day's news.

J Mark Lytle was an International Editor for TechRadar, based out of Tokyo, who now works as a Script Editor, Consultant at NHK, the Japan Broadcasting Corporation. Writer, multi-platform journalist, all-round editorial and PR consultant with many years' experience as a professional writer, their bylines include CNN, Snap Media and IDG.