"The difference between the optimist and the pessimist is that the pessimist has more facts," said Jean-Paul Betb?ze, Chief Economist and Head of Economic Research Department, Cr?dit Agricole S.A., in a panel at the Millken Institute's Global Conference 2008 in Los Angeles a couple of weeks ago. True as this may be, his statement stood in sharp contrast to the overall vibe of the event: Yes, we can, was the prevailing sentiment, and the overwhelming majority of attendees would probably have outed themselves as fervent optimists, despite an abundance of fact-featuring PowerPoint slides supporting … Read more
SAN FRANCISCO--Since I was one of the first people to arrive Friday night for a preview of this weekend's cocktail robots exhibition here, I was going to get the first drink.
David Calkins, one of the organizers of the San Francisco version of Roboexotica--an event that has been taking place in Vienna, Austria, for a decade--had set up his robot, Chapek, and, determining it was ready, asked me to tell the machine what I wanted to drink.
This was after, of course, Calkins had finished getting Chapek ready to go.
"Let's see if it turns on and … Read more
No one can argue with the fact that last year's BioShock was a milestone in interactive storytelling as far as a video game is concerned. 2K Games was able to create such a unique setting and mood all while engaging us in a thrilling narrative like nothing we've seen before. Naturally, an experience such as this seemed ultimately destined for the big screen, and now Variety is reporting that Universal Studios will be the company bringing the underwater city of Rapture to a theater near you.
But perhaps the biggest news to come out of all this is whom Universal has lined up to direct the dystopian drama. Gore Verbinski, famed director of the Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy, has signed on while accomplished screenwriter John Logan (Sweeny Todd, The Aviator) is in talks to write the script.
It would appear that all the pieces are in place for BioShock to break the curse of disappointing movies adapted from video games. Even more encouraging, Verbinski says that BioShock has the strongest narrative of any game he's played, which is why he wants to bring it to the silver screen. Just promise us there won't be any CG Big Daddies and you're already headed in the right direction.… Read more
Long before RC toys began terrorizing household pets, there was the slot car. They still exist today, of course, but have become more of a hobby akin to model trains than something that would occupy kids for hours on end, pre-Nintendo.
But now that Speed Racer has been resurrected--"the movie event of the century," as Craver Caroline McCarthy puts it--the venerable slot car may make something of a mild comeback. Carrera is coming out with a new package that includes a Mach 5 (of course), a Racer X Street Car, 20 feet of track, and endless bouts … Read more
If movie theaters are indeed facing extinction as some believe, Columbia Pictures and Regal Entertainment deserve credit for experimenting with free and readily available technology to help stave off the pending obsolescence.
To promote Adam Sandler'sYou Don't Mess With Zohan, moviegoers will encounter a novel prop in the lobby: a hair stylist's chair that they can sit in and then download Zohan voice clips to their Bluetooth cell phones. Six "voice tones" will be available for free as part of a "proximity marketing" campaign coordinated through Blue Media, which will distribute them … Read more
Though Halo 3 held the all-time entertainment industry record for single-day sales for eight months, it could be a long time before anyone bests the record-shattering sales achieved by GTA IV.
On Wednesday, Take-Two Interactive, which owns GTA IV developer Rockstar Games, announced that the new game had raked in all-time records of $310 million on its launch day of April 29 and $500 million during its first week. The single-day figure shattered the previous record, set last September by Halo 3, of $170 million.
And given how quickly Bungie Studios' Halo 3 was reduced to second place, it stands … Read more
The New York Times suggested Wednesday that future versions of the Zune might come with a tiny cop capable of catching digital lawbreakers.
And no, I'm not talking about some sort of bundled action flick.
In a blog, the Times' Saul Hansell said that, as part of Microsoft's deal to get NBC TV shows, it had agreed to look into the possibility of adding technology into the MP3 player that would scan a user's collection for unauthorized content.
The blog cites Microsoft spokesman Adam Sohn as saying that the software maker is exploring antipiracy measures with NBC. … Read more
Electric giraffes? Got it! Playing with hot metal? Got that, too! Brian Tong checks out the Maker Faire in San Mateo, California for everything do-it-yourself.
Electronic Arts on Tuesday officially launched Boom Blox, the long-awaited first game under its partnership with Steven Spielberg. It is now available in North America, and EA plans to have it on shelves in Europe on May 8, in Asia on May 13, and in Japan on May 22.
The first details about the game, which is from EA's casual games unit, were released in February. Now, the game, which will be available only on Nintendo's Wii and on major carriers' mobile phones, is out and the world can finally see what happens when you put someone like Spielberg together with top-level game designers at a company like EA.
Boom Blox will task players with navigating nearly 400 levels of "strategic destruction."
In addition, players will be able to use the game's editor to craft their own levels. The best part of this sounds like it will be the way the editor lets players take existing levels and elements from the game--props, characters, blocks, etc.--and incorporate them into all-new levels. … Read more
Editor's note: News.com's Dan Farber reported Young's keynote speech and a follow-up Q&A live from JavaOne.
SAN FRANCISCO--At JavaOne here, Neil Young showed off his multimedia project that chronicles his music career and uses Java to do so.
Young said he tried to do the project on DVD, but users couldn't watch the high-resolution video and listen to the music at the same time. With Java and Blu-ray, the content can be updated and offer the best viewing and listening experience, as well as great navigation and design. "Storage is the only … Read more