Monday, April 11, 2005

Video Game Product Placement

I mention this as the headline article because this is actually an idea I had a while ago that is becoming a reality without any effort on my part. Online game servers take a good amount of money to maintain, and some console gamers fear the possibility of having to pay for playing games that aren't MMORPGs online. One organization is now aiming to build advertisements into video games. If you're going through a city in Need For Speed, wouldn't it only make sense to see advertisements on the billboards? Gamers definitely pay attention to the little details and I think that if the revenue made off of this could provide for better servers they should go for it. There's the corcern of limited artistic freedom because they may dictate where they want the ads to be and all that, and so EA is passing on it for now (it's not like they need more money). Quite a few other heavyweights, both advertisers and developers, are signing on for this service that will start out for PC games so that it can feed in ads as it needs to and later work for consoles connected to the internet. I think that if it's unobtrusive that they should go for it. The point that it gets annoying or diverts attention away from the game though is where it should stop. Hopefully that won't happen though. And maybe this will allow for studios to fund more projects since making games is so pricey.

There's a healthy amount of news for nerds today other than that video game tidbit. IBM is changing its course on patents and is making many of them freely available. They're hoping that this will accelerate product development and drive up productivity. It's really cool to see big companies give in to open source concepts. While I'm on the topic of open source, I found a neat article here about the advantages of putting Linux on your Mac if you think you may be interested in that. I personally don't have a Mac but would like one someday. Since I'm lacking news about the P2P trial today I thought I'd mention Skype, which is like an AOL Instant Messenger UI for voice chat over the internet. Its ability to transfer files is what makes it especially attractive for file sharing. According to one recent report, we may be getting more used to spam. Be wary of what you read in surveys though. There's a rather interesting web application I just came across called buzztracker that uses newsfeeds from Google News to see what places are hotspots for news in the past day or so as well as connections between places. It's an awesome idea so check it out if you're ever looking for something to play around with. And lastly, in a surprisingly altruistic move, AOL is making 20 XM satellite radio channels available online completely free of charge as well as 130 of its own. It'll also have a premium service available (free to its members), but I think it's a great way to get the word out about XM and should be underway this summmer.

I've got a good amount of movie news to get through today so I'll move fast. There's a ripe amount of media today. If you like Jackie Chan then you may want to look into the trailer the next movie of his to be released stateside: The Myth. It'll head to Cannes first and it looks like a slight diversion from his usual flicks. If you want to check out a much weirder Asian movie trailer though, take a look at the trailer for Save the Green Planet. It has gotten good reviews abroad, and yet it sounds really strange. Yao Ming may not be too old yet, but there's already a biographical movie being done about his crossover success called The Year of the Yao, and you can check out the trailer and a clip over here. Since I mentioned Nightwatch yesterday, I thought I'd also plug the trailer for its sequel, Daywatch, since that will likely come to the U.S. as well. The Ghost Rider movie finally has its motorcycle! Here's what it looks like:

What a sweet ride

And if you haven't had your fill of multimedia you can check out some shots of Kate Bosworth as Lois Lane in Superman Returns over here. Since I'm a fan of really out there movies I thought I'd mention a film called Little Children featuring Kate Winslet about a seemingly perfect town that is actually a big consumer of internet porn and crazy affairs. She's really been in some neat movies recently. And finally, since I adore Elisha Cuthbert, I just had to mention this movie Cat Tales that she's doing a voice for. So now kids can enjoy her in a non-creepy manner!

I know this is going long, but I'll be quick on my final notes. The Potheads won Texas Revue, which is good because they were runner-up in my head though VSA got best ovation, and that classical guitarist dude got best technical! Mark May 12th on your calendar as the day Microsoft unveils the Xbox 2 (or Xbox 360 as my room mate says it's been named). What's funny is that it will be a half-hour special on MTV! I guess they're aiming their age bracket a little lower this time around. And lastly, if you were ever as curious as me about the tv ratings system, there's an extensive article here with everything you could possibly want to know.

Now to end with some Monday Madness:

1. On what day of the week were you born?
Saturday, so I guess I kinda blew my parents weekend that time.
2. Were you born in the morning, afternoon, or evening?
In the evening at 8:26 PM to be exact.
3. How many siblings do you have? Brothers or sisters?
Just one brother who is almost 8 years older than me.
4. Do you (or did you) ever wish you were an only child? And if you ARE an only child, did you ever wish you had brothers and sisters?
Hell no! Having an older brother is the best and like having a second dad who's your age and understands everything!
5. Did you (or do you) dream of having a big family of your own?
Having a lot of cousins is fun, but ideally I'd only want 2 kids though I could deal with 3.
6. In your opinion, which is (or would be) easier to raise; boys or girls?
Boys! With girls you have to worry about guys being all over them and they cost more fashion-wise in general.
7. In looks, do you favor your mother or your father?
My father because he's more understanding.

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