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The Dark Screen

August 11, 2008

CAN’T PLAY THAT

It’s a puzzle worthy of The Riddler: Why is there no video game based on “The Dark Knight”?

For the first time in the film-franchise’s history, the caped crusader flew into movie theaters without a video game attached to his utility belt. And it doesn’t look as if one is coming anytime soon.

Game publisher Electronic Arts had the rights to make a “Dark Knight” title, which EA-owned developer Pandemic Studios was working on, according to an anonymous EA manager. Speculation about the cause for the disappearing act has included missed deadlines, Heath Ledger’s death, questionable quality and poor sales projections.

Based on the movie’s incredible success, an industry analyst estimated a “Dark Knight” game released at the same time as the film last month could have sold 4 million units and banked $100 million – with $70 million going to the game’s publisher and $30 million going to Warner Bros.

CHIPS AHOY

Intel is planning to release today the first technical details of a new family of chips intended to soup up computer graphics and, eventually, a broad range of computing tasks.

The new microprocessor family, code-named Larrabee, will be available in late 2009 or early 2010. Intel is releasing the details ahead of the Siggraph industry conference this week in Los Angeles .

The company said it would initially aim Larrabee at the personal- computer graphics market.

An Intel engineer said that over the next five years Intel planned to make the chip design available to an increasingly broad spectrum of the computing world, from Windows and Macintosh desktop personal computers to hand-helds and even supercomputers.

The market for add-on graphics accelerators, which are prized by PC game players, is now dominated by Nvidia and the ATI division of AMD. It’s estimated that if the company’s strategy succeeds, it could capture as much as a third of that market in 2010, which might be worth $4.6 billion.

BYPASSING PHONE COMPANIES

Technology has toppled business empires. Computers did in typewriters. The telephone ended the short reign of the telegraph.

Now, Magicjack might spell doom for traditional phone companies.

Simply plugging the $39.99 device into the USB port of a computer with a broadband Internet connection installs the software needed to make Voice-over-Internet-Protocol calls with a normal phone.

Users are prompted for a home area code. More than 100 are available, and it is not necessary to select the area code of your region. Within a couple of hours, a phone number is assigned.

Plug a phone into the other end of Magicjack and that’s it – you have phone service. Call quality is excellent, comparable to a land line and noticeably better than a cell phone.

For those who have abandoned their land line and use cell phones exclusively, Magicjack provides a cheap alternative – perfect for saving cell phone minutes .

FOOLING THE EXPERTS

Just because you’re a computer security professional doesn’t mean you’re foolproof on the Internet.

Two researchers proved that last week at the Black Hat hacking conference in Las Vegas.

It was relatively simple. The experts persuaded dozens of prominent security analysts to connect on their social networking Web pages with people who weren’t friends at all. They were fake profiles, purportedly of other well-known security pros.

Some social networking sites can be dangerous because they allow people to post programming code – used for good or evil – on other people’s pages. Even sites that don’t allow that step carry their own security risks, because it’s relatively easy for someone to pose as a “friend” who isn’t actually friendly – and recommend malicious Web sites to click on.

Bottom line: Users need be cautious about verifying the people they add as friends.

– Staff and wire reports It’s a puzzle worthy of the Riddler: Why is there no video game based on “The Dark Knight”?

For the first time in the film franchise’s history, the caped crusader flew into movie theaters without a video game attached to his utility belt. And it doesn’t look as if one is coming anytime soon.

Game publisher Electronic Arts had the rights to make a “Dark Knight” title, which EA-owned developer Pandemic Studios was working on, according to an anonymous EA manager. Speculation about the cause for the disappearing act has included missed deadlines, Heath Ledger’s death, questionable quality and poor sales projections.

Based on the movie’s incredible success, an industry analyst estimated a “Dark Knight” game released at the same time as the film last month could have sold 4 million units and banked $100 million – with $70 million going to the game’s publisher and $30 million going to Warner Bros.

Intel is planning to release today the first technical details of a new family of chips intended to soup up computer graphics and, eventually, a broad range of computing tasks.

The new microprocessor family, code-named Larrabee, will be available in late 2009 or early 2010. Intel is releasing the details ahead of the Siggraph industry conference this week in Los Angeles.

The company said it would initially aim Larrabee at the personal- computer graphics market.

An Intel engineer said that over the next five years Intel plans to make the chip design available to an increasingly broad spectrum of the computing world, from Windows and Macintosh desktop personal computers to hand-helds and even supercomputers.

The market for add-on graphics accelerators, which are prized by PC game players, is now dominated by Nvidia and the ATI division of AMD. It’s estimated that if the company’s strategy succeeds, it could capture as much as a third of that market in 2010, which might be worth $4.6 billion. Technology has toppled business empires. Computers did in typewriters. The telephone ended the short reign of the telegraph.

Now, Magicjack might spell doom for traditional phone companies.

Simply plugging the $39.99 device into the USB port of a computer with a broadband Internet connection installs the software needed to make Voice-over-Internet-Protocol calls with a normal phone.

Users are prompted for a home area code. More than 100 are available, and it is not necessary to select the area code of your region. Within a couple of hours, a phone number is assigned.

Plug a phone into the other end of Magicjack and that’s it – you have phone service. Call quality is excellent, comparable to a land line and noticeably better than a cell phone. Just because you’re a computer security professional doesn’t mean you’re foolproof on the Internet.

Two researchers proved that last week at the Black Hat hacking conference in Las Vegas.

It was relatively simple. The experts persuaded dozens of prominent security analysts to connect on their social networking Web pages with people who weren’t friends at all. They were fake profiles, purportedly of other well-known security pros.

Some social networking sites can be dangerous because they allow people to post programming code – used for good or evil – on other people’s pages. Even sites that don’t allow that step carry their own security risks, because it’s relatively easy for someone to pose as a “friend” who isn’t actually friendly – and recommend malicious Web sites to click on.

Bottom line: Users need be cautious about verifying the people they add as friends.

(c) 2008 Virginian – Pilot. Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning. All rights Reserved.




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