For an entertainment property to hit $1 billion in sales is a very rare feat. For two separate properties to pass the 10-figure mark at the same time may well be a first.
On Wednesday, Activision Blizzard announced that its mega-hit video game, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, had crossed the billion-dollar mark, after just two months on store shelves--and the entertainment industry's single-day sales record. That milestone came shortly after it was announced that James Cameron's uber-blockbuster movie, "Avatar," had also reached that financial promised land.
To be sure, these are just round numbers, and don't have any formal meaning, but there's no arguing with the fact that it sure sounds good for the entertainment business to be sporting two separate billion-dollar titles at the same time, especially since they come from such different corners of the world.
In the history of video games, a billion-dollar hit is an extreme rarity. It's hard to tell precisely how many there have been, but it's possible that number is as small as two.… Read more
Microsoft and a former employee have settled litigation involving allegations of patent infringement and trade secret theft.
Microsoft sued a former employee earlier this year for allegedly stealing trade secrets that were later used in a patent lawsuit against Microsoft partners, in which Microsoft later intervened as a party-defendant.
All parties deny any liability in the settlement, the terms of which were not disclosed, Miki Mullor, founder of Ancora Technologies, said in a statement.
Microsoft's lawsuit alleged that Mullor took a job at Microsoft in 2005 while he was still chief executive at Ancora. While working on the Windows … Read more
What's worse than a lost or stolen iPhone? Uh, hello? Nothing! That's why Apple invented Find My iPhone--and charges $99 per year for it as part of the MobileMe service.
If you're not willing to spend that much but want some kind of insurance against an iPhone that goes missing, check out Orbicule's Undercover.
This $4.99 app covertly transmits your phone's location and IP information to your browser-based Undercover account (free), thus allowing you to bust in on the thief and, guns blazing, take back your precious.
By which I mean, of course, … Read more
Vermont is an interesting place with some very interesting residents. Brigham Young and John Deere are both said to hail from this mountainous state.
But will either turn out to be quite as fascinating as Jacob Rehm?
According to WCAX News, Rehm stands accused of illegally borrowing a $500,000 tour bus and taking it for a little spin. Rehm is a former employee of the bus company and will make an appearance in the Vermont District Court on Tuesday.
The final expansion pack (or episode) for Grand Theft Auto IV has been released in the form of The Ballad of Gay Tony. You assume the role of Luis, nightclub owner Gay Tony's right-hand man who must handle his dirty work across Liberty City.
The Ballad of Gay Tony can be downloaded via Xbox Live (for $20) or in a $40 disc form (called Episodes from Liberty City) which also includes The Lost and Damned, GTA IV's first additional episode.
We've had sometime with the final version of the game and here are our thoughts:
Jeff: First thing's first. If you haven't downloaded The Lost and Damned, go out and buy Episodes From Liberty City. It's tough to recall such a great value in gaming prior to this double pack, and Xbox 360 owners don't need a copy of the original GTA IV to jump right in. There is an incredible amount of gameplay value here; it's like getting two full $60 games for less than the price of one.… Read more
When you do a daily podcast for two years, you start to realize a strange thing about the daily news cycle: one day there are tons of interesting stories to talk about, and the next day there's nothin'. This is one of those nothin' days, but that doesn't mean today's episode is boring by any means. In fact, the slow news days gives us an outlet to do what we do best--veer off course and offer insight into what's going on in our heads!
To kick things off, Jeff and Wilson educate me on GTA: The Ballad of Gay Tony, the second episode of the popular expansion pack that was just released a few days ago.
The interview shows Zemeckis choosing his words carefully so as not to reveal any details, but some are speculating that the script will tell the prequel story about how Roger Rabbit popped out of the Toon world and into 3D. As usual, we agree with Jeff's cynicism about the project considering the director's sketchy idea to use performance capture a la "Beowulf" and "A Christmas Carol" to bring the characters (not Roger Rabbit, phew) back to life. We're warning you, Bob--if you mess up this movie we will never forgive you, "Back to the Future" notwithstanding.
Next, we hand it over to Wilson, who tells us about a recent U.K. study that reveals sensitive new "metrotextual" trends amongst young men in the 18- to 24- year-old age group. The study defines "metrotexting" as a text message sent from one male to another that offers a message and signs off with an "x," which translates from text-speak to a virtual kiss.
The article goes on to report that metrotextuality is most popular among 18- to 24-year-olds, with an unbelievable 75 percent of males ending texts to their dude friends with an XO, or "hugs and kisses."
We're not sure what's going on in the U.K., but our small experience doesn't reflect the same intimacy with our friends, although we're starting to think that we should spread the love a little more...so Wilson and Jeff, if you're reading this...doing the show for the past two years with you guys has been the most rewarding experience of my life, no lie. I love you guys. /bromance
We've got a lot more stories for you, including a quick book review of Lois Lowry's The Giver, Modern Warfare 2 terrorist claims, a discussion about video game ratings, Nintendo's newest DSi XL/LL, T-Mobile carrier outages, and of course - the third and final round of our virtual Halloween costume parade!
Enjoy the show and let us know what you think in a voicemail (1-866-404-CNET) or an e-mail (the404(at)cnet[dot]com). Have a great Wednesday!EPISODE 460 Subscribe in iTunes audio | Suscribe to iTunes (video) | Subscribe in RSS Audio | Subscribe in RSS Video… Read more
ID Theft Calculator from White Sky is a free utility that scans your PC and assesses your vulnerability to online identity theft, a growing problem. It's linked to the publisher's ID Vault online financial identity protection service, which isn't free.
ID Theft Calculator is simplicity itself; just a wizard that scans your computer for personal data, especially financial data, and passwords, account numbers, and other potentially compromising information. It displays the results of the scan on a colorful graph representing your risk of online identity theft, and it offers a link to learn about what you can … Read more
Malwarebytes is accusing China-based computer security firm IObit of intellectual property theft, but IObit denied the allegations and said there were problems with its malware submission site.
Malwarebytes claims IObit stole from its database of signatures of malicious applications that its software uses for detecting malware on customer computers.
Malwarebytes discovered that IObit's Security 360 free anti-malware software was flagging a specific key generator piece of code for Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware software and using the same naming scheme, which includes the phrase "Don't Steal Our Software," according to a blog post on the Malwarebytes.org site.
After … Read more
While Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars on the Nintendo DS received critical acclaim across the board, the game didn't necessarily sell as well as it should have. Rockstar Games chose to bring the title over to the PSP, and with it, a complete graphical revamp.
We've had the final version of the game for some time now and here are our thoughts:
Jeff: I wish Rockstar Games would take the viewing angle from Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars and go back and apply it to the first two GTA games on the system; that's how fantastic of a gameplay experience it provides. Chinatown Wars is by far the best GTA game available on the system because it abandons the ground-level viewing angle that was present in the first two games. From here on out, we think every portable GTA title should control like this.… Read more