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    Thursday, January 1, 2009

    FW: Reuters - Microsoft blames leap year for Zune glitch

    ----- Original Message -----
    Subject: Reuters - Microsoft blames leap year for Zune glitch
    Date: Fri, 2 Jan 2009 0:05:50
    From: bombastic4000.theblackrider@blogger.com <bombastic4000.theblackrider@blogger.com>
    To: <bombastic4000@yahoo.com>

    This article was sent to you from bombastic4000.theblackrider@blogger.com, who uses Reuters Mobile Site to get news and information on the go. To access Reuters on your mobile phone, go to:
    http://mobile.reuters.com

    Microsoft blames leap year for Zune glitch

    Thursday, Jan 01, 2009 4:51PM UTC

    NEW YORK (Reuters) - A malfunction of some Microsoft Corp Zune music players was caused by an error in the way the device accounts for leap years, Microsoft said.

    In a statement on the Zune website posted late on Wednesday, the company blamed "a bug in the internal clock driver related to the way the device handles a leap year," adding: "The issue should be resolved over the next 24 hours as the time change moves to January 1, 2009."

    The year 2008 had 366 days instead of the usual 365.

    Early on Wednesday, thousands of users found they could not use the 30-gigabyte Zune model, made in 2006. Microsoft called the issue "widespread," but said users could reconnect their players after 7 a.m. EST on Thursday.

    (Reporting by Nick Zieminski; Editing by James Dalgleish)

    FW: Reuters - Beatles to zombies, videogamers set for varied '09

    ----- Original Message -----
    Subject: Reuters - Beatles to zombies, videogamers set for varied '09
    Date: Fri, 2 Jan 2009 0:13:01
    From: bombastic4000.theblackrider@blogger.com <bombastic4000.theblackrider@blogger.com>
    To: <bombastic4000@yahoo.com>

    This article was sent to you from bombastic4000.theblackrider@blogger.com, who uses Reuters Mobile Site to get news and information on the go. To access Reuters on your mobile phone, go to:
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    Beatles to zombies, videogamers set for varied '09

    Thursday, Jan 01, 2009 9:7PM UTC

    By John Gaudiosi

    RALEIGH, North Carolina (Reuters) - For videogame publishers the start of 2009 marks a new phase in gaming with the release of new titles no longer confined to the top holiday sale months but spread throughout the year.

    Traditionally about half of annual videogame sales were rung up in November and December but last year Take Two Interactive broke this pattern when it released "Grand Theft Auto IV" in April and the game sold well throughout the year.

    In 2009, the first Nintendo DS installment of the best-selling crime story game franchise, "Grand Theft Auto Chinatown Wars," gets a March launch -- but some of the year's most-anticipated games will be available even before then.

    Japanese videogame maker Capcom Co Ltd introduces fighters new and old in the classic brawler sequel "Street Fighter IV" in February when Guerilla Games' PlayStation 3-exclusive "Killzone 2" sci-fi shooter hit store shelves. "This time around we're taking the war to the enemy," said Hermen Hulst, managing director of Guerilla Games. "We want players to experience a large-scale invasion and journey through a hostile world filled with big set pieces and dramatic events."

    Zombies are set to invade PS3 and Xbox 360 consoles in March as Capcom unleashes "Resident Evil 5." Set in Africa, this latest shooter introduces two-player cooperative gameplay to the mix and ups the ante with an assortment of undead enemies.

    The typically slow summer months will see some big movie tie-ins like Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment's (WBIE) "Terminator: Salvation" and Electronic Arts' "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince."

    SEQUELS AND NEW TITLES TO COMPETE

    After taking the summer off in 2008, the Dark Knight returns in an original game from WBIE, "Batman: Arkham Asylum," in which The Joker and an assortment of crazed super villains lock Batman inside their prison.

    Nintendo will offer Wii gamers virtual summer activities in "Wii Sports Resort." This game will ship with an advanced motion-sensor controller add-on that enables more precise aim in mini-games like playing dog Frisbee or riding jet skis.

    "To me, the big story is what happens on the Wii because it's the dominant platform, and it will be interesting to see how the publishers approach the Wii audience," said Michael Pachter, videogame analyst, Wedbush Morgan Securities.

    "There must be dozens of Wii games planned for holiday 2009 that we don't know about yet, and I think that many games will be designed to use the Wii Fit balance board that we haven't conceived of yet."

    Another big story for 2009 is the continuation of established franchises, especially when looking at the line-up for fall which includes sequels like Sony Computer Entertainment's "God of War II I," Take Two Interactive's "BioShock 2," Microsoft's "Halo 3: ODST," and Nintendo's rumored new "Legend of Zelda."

    While franchises such as "Fallout 3," "Gears of War 2," and "Call of Duty: World at War" did well in 2008, original titles like "Dead Space," "Mirror's Edge," and "Spore" didn't sell so well, said Dean Takahashi, VentureBeat.com's videogame editor.

    "It looks like consumers are getting more conservative about the way they're spending their precious dollars." he said.

    But there are original games slated for 2009, including Electronic Arts' horror action title, "Dante's Inferno," which is based on the classic poem, "The Divine Comedy," by Dante Alighieri.

    The Beatles are getting into the game business with MTV Games and "Rock Band" developer Harmonix in a collaboration that will create an as-yet-untitled interactive music experience.

    PlayStation 3 gamers will be able to star in a virtual film noir thriller when Sony and developer Quantic Dream release "Heavy Rain" in late 2009.

    (Editing by Belinda Goldsmith)

    FW: Reuters - Beatles to zombies, videogamers set for varied '09

    ----- Original Message -----
    Subject: Reuters - Beatles to zombies, videogamers set for varied '09
    Date: Fri, 2 Jan 2009 0:13:01
    From: bombastic4000.theblackrider@blogger.com <bombastic4000.theblackrider@blogger.com>
    To: <bombastic4000@yahoo.com>

    This article was sent to you from bombastic4000.theblackrider@blogger.com, who uses Reuters Mobile Site to get news and information on the go. To access Reuters on your mobile phone, go to:
    http://mobile.reuters.com

    Beatles to zombies, videogamers set for varied '09

    Thursday, Jan 01, 2009 9:7PM UTC

    By John Gaudiosi

    RALEIGH, North Carolina (Reuters) - For videogame publishers the start of 2009 marks a new phase in gaming with the release of new titles no longer confined to the top holiday sale months but spread throughout the year.

    Traditionally about half of annual videogame sales were rung up in November and December but last year Take Two Interactive broke this pattern when it released "Grand Theft Auto IV" in April and the game sold well throughout the year.

    In 2009, the first Nintendo DS installment of the best-selling crime story game franchise, "Grand Theft Auto Chinatown Wars," gets a March launch -- but some of the year's most-anticipated games will be available even before then.

    Japanese videogame maker Capcom Co Ltd introduces fighters new and old in the classic brawler sequel "Street Fighter IV" in February when Guerilla Games' PlayStation 3-exclusive "Killzone 2" sci-fi shooter hit store shelves. "This time around we're taking the war to the enemy," said Hermen Hulst, managing director of Guerilla Games. "We want players to experience a large-scale invasion and journey through a hostile world filled with big set pieces and dramatic events."

    Zombies are set to invade PS3 and Xbox 360 consoles in March as Capcom unleashes "Resident Evil 5." Set in Africa, this latest shooter introduces two-player cooperative gameplay to the mix and ups the ante with an assortment of undead enemies.

    The typically slow summer months will see some big movie tie-ins like Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment's (WBIE) "Terminator: Salvation" and Electronic Arts' "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince."

    SEQUELS AND NEW TITLES TO COMPETE

    After taking the summer off in 2008, the Dark Knight returns in an original game from WBIE, "Batman: Arkham Asylum," in which The Joker and an assortment of crazed super villains lock Batman inside their prison.

    Nintendo will offer Wii gamers virtual summer activities in "Wii Sports Resort." This game will ship with an advanced motion-sensor controller add-on that enables more precise aim in mini-games like playing dog Frisbee or riding jet skis.

    "To me, the big story is what happens on the Wii because it's the dominant platform, and it will be interesting to see how the publishers approach the Wii audience," said Michael Pachter, videogame analyst, Wedbush Morgan Securities.

    "There must be dozens of Wii games planned for holiday 2009 that we don't know about yet, and I think that many games will be designed to use the Wii Fit balance board that we haven't conceived of yet."

    Another big story for 2009 is the continuation of established franchises, especially when looking at the line-up for fall which includes sequels like Sony Computer Entertainment's "God of War II I," Take Two Interactive's "BioShock 2," Microsoft's "Halo 3: ODST," and Nintendo's rumored new "Legend of Zelda."

    While franchises such as "Fallout 3," "Gears of War 2," and "Call of Duty: World at War" did well in 2008, original titles like "Dead Space," "Mirror's Edge," and "Spore" didn't sell so well, said Dean Takahashi, VentureBeat.com's videogame editor.

    "It looks like consumers are getting more conservative about the way they're spending their precious dollars." he said.

    But there are original games slated for 2009, including Electronic Arts' horror action title, "Dante's Inferno," which is based on the classic poem, "The Divine Comedy," by Dante Alighieri.

    The Beatles are getting into the game business with MTV Games and "Rock Band" developer Harmonix in a collaboration that will create an as-yet-untitled interactive music experience.

    PlayStation 3 gamers will be able to star in a virtual film noir thriller when Sony and developer Quantic Dream release "Heavy Rain" in late 2009.

    (Editing by Belinda Goldsmith)

    FW: Reuters - Apple shares turn negative on Jobs "rumor"

    ----- Original Message -----
    Subject: Reuters - Apple shares turn negative on Jobs "rumor"
    Date: Fri, 2 Jan 2009 0:17:53
    From: bombastic4000.theblackrider@blogger.com <bombastic4000.theblackrider@blogger.com>
    To: <bombastic4000@yahoo.com>

    This article was sent to you from bombastic4000.theblackrider@blogger.com, who uses Reuters Mobile Site to get news and information on the go. To access Reuters on your mobile phone, go to:
    http://mobile.reuters.com

    Apple shares turn negative on Jobs "rumor"

    Tuesday, Dec 30, 2008 7:21PM UTC

    SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Shares of Apple Inc fell as much as 2 percent on Tuesday after technology website Gizmodo reported a "rumor" that Chief Executive Steve Jobs's health was declining.

    A spokesman for Apple declined to comment on the rumor.

    When asked about Jobs's health, the spokesman said "if ever Steve or the board of directors decided that he was no longer capable of doing his job as CEO of Apple, I'm sure they will let you know."

    Gizmodo quoted a "solid source," which it did not identify, as saying that Jobs's "rapidly declining" health was the real reason behind his decision to cancel a keynote speech at next week's MacWorld conference. It titled the report "rumor."

    Apple shares had been trading up 1.5 percent at $87.92 before moving sharply lower. The stock then recovered to trade down about half a percent at $86.15 by mid-afternoon.

    "The main reason why Apple shares have sold off midday is that a website reported that Steve Jobs health is getting worse, citing an unidentified source," said William Lefkowitz, an options strategist at brokerage firm vFinance Investments.

    "However, this is not the first time Steve Jobs health has come into question. In the past, this has created large fluctuations in Apple stock," he said.

    (Reporting by Doris Frankel in Chicago and Gabriel Madway in San Francisco; Editing by Bernard Orr)

    (To read more about the media business, visit the Reuters MediaFile blog at http://blogs.reuters.com/mediafile/)

    Reuters - Sequels keep video games buzzing in 2008

    This article was sent to you from bombastic4000@yahoo.com, who uses Reuters Mobile Site to get news and information on the go. To access Reuters on your mobile phone, go to:
    http://mobile.reuters.com

    Sequels keep video games buzzing in 2008

    Friday, Dec 26, 2008 8:30AM UTC

    By John Gaudiosi

    RALEIGH, North Carolina (Reuters) - Despite the sluggish global economy, video game sales remained recession-proof in 2008 as game sequels were snapped up by fans and music games struck the right note.

    Sequels like MTV Games' "Rock Band 2," Bethesda Softworks' "Fallout 3" and Konami Digital Entertainment's "Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots" won over game critics and consumers.

    "In uncertain economic times, gamers do what every other consumer does -- focus on quality brands," said Sid Shuman, senior editor at GamePro Magazine.

    "If game purchases are limited, gamers will flock to core titles that are guaranteed to satisfy like "Call of Duty: World at War," "Gears of War 2" and "Grand Theft Auto IV." Think of them as gaming comfort foods."

    2K Games' "Grand Theft Auto IV," which was released back in April, has sold over 11 million copies worldwide. The first next generation story in the award-winning franchise presented gamers with an open world sandbox to explore.

    Xbox 360 gamers will be introduced to a new storyline come February 17 when "The Lost and the Damned" expansion pack is released digitally via Xbox Live with the new episode introducing Johnny Lebitz and his biker gang, The Lost.

    With the average age of a gamer today 35, mature-rated games like developer Epic Games' "Gears of War 2" have risen to the top of the global charts. This sci-fi shooter that sent Delta Squad into the heart of Planet Cera to take out the monstrous Locust Horde sold over 3 million units in its first month.

    In the battle between Microsoft and Sony in the sci-fi sequel department, Microsoft's Xbox 360-exclusive "Gears of War 2" nudged Sony's PlayStation 3-exclusive "Resistance 2" by an aggregate review score of 94 percent to 87 percent, according to GameCritics.com.

    Activision returned to World War II after taking a year off in 2007 to introduce "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare" and gamers were eager to experience the Pacific Theater of War in "Call of Duty: World at War."

    The franchise has sold over 35 million units around the globe and remains a top draw on Xbox Live.

    Although Electronic Arts' "Madden NFL 09," the 20th installment in that franchise, and "NCAA Football 09" once again attracted enough loyal gridiron fans in the U.S. to place high in the charts, the music game genre surpassed sports.

    The one-two punch of Activision's "Guitar Hero" and MTV Games' "Rock Band" have achieved success with both hardcore and casual gamers. "Guitar Hero: World Tour," "Guitar Hero: Aerosmith" and "Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock" helped propel the franchise to global sales of over 23 million, according to The NPD Group, Charttrack and GfK.

    "In the aggregate, I expect "Guitar Hero" will sell through around $800 to 900 million at retail globally this year, while "Rock Band" probably will sell through half that figure," said Michael Pachter, videogame analyst, Wedbush Morgan Securities.

    "However, "Rock Band" appears to have a huge lead in the sales of downloadable content."

    Nintendo's Wii ushered in a whole new gaming audience, and as a result, Nintendo sequels like "Mario Kart Wii" and "Super Smash Bros. Brawl" each sold over 4 million units through the end of November in the U.S., according to The NPD Group.

    Nintendo creator Shigeru Miyamoto introduced a balance board that allows gamers to exercise and do yoga with "Wii Fit," which has topped U.S. sales of 3.5 million

    And Nintendo wasn't the only one pushing creativity. Sony Computer Entertainment and developer Media Molecule delivered the first user-generated game experience with "LittleBigPlanet" on PS3. Gamers have already created over 100,000 custom levels, which have generated over 20 million plays.

    "I think the very nature of the games industry has changed," said Anita Frazier, videogame analyst, The NPD Group. "Yes, there is still a dedicated group of core gamers and the really great more traditional games will still sell a lot of units, but there is so much more possibility now imaginable with content for videogame systems."

    (Editing by Belinda Goldsmith)

    Reuters - World stocks end up after historic annual losses

    This article was sent to you from bombastic4000@yahoo.com, who uses Reuters Mobile Site to get news and information on the go. To access Reuters on your mobile phone, go to:
    http://mobile.reuters.com

    World stocks end up after historic annual losses

    Wednesday, Dec 31, 2008 10:30PM UTC

    By Clive McKeef

    NEW YORK (Reuters) - World stock markets ended on an uptick for the year on Wednesday, after some bourses registered their worst annual losses in history.

    Global stocks as measured by the MSCI world index <.MIWD00000PUS> ended up 0.76 percent for the day and posted their first monthly gain in seven months, but lost 43.36 percent for the year.

    About $14 trillion in market capitalization was erased from world stock markets in 2008 in the wake of the worst credit crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

    "It has been a shocking year, hardly anything was spared in the carnage," said Michael Heffernan, strategist at Austock Group in Australia.

    U.S. stocks edged up on Wednesday and saw their first monthly gain in five months, but the year has been the worst for Wall Street stocks since the Great Depression.

    Continuing weekly U.S. jobless claims remained at their highest level since 1982 in Labor Department data on Wednesday, but investors took some heart from confirmation by the Federal Reserve on Tuesday that it would try to lower home mortgage rates further by buying mortgage bonds in 2009.

    Interest rates on U.S. 30-year fixed-rate mortgages dropped for a ninth consecutive week, reaching their lowest level in 37 years, with the 30-year fixed rate at 5.10 percent, according to home funding company Freddie Mac on Wednesday.

    The worst global credit crisis since the 1930s began with the bursting of the U.S. house price bubble in 2007, which resulted in more than $500 billion of losses on mortgage-related securities for U.S. banks alone.

    The U.S. Treasury and the Fed have been trying to stabilize the housing market by recapitalizing banks and lowering mortgage rates, while President-elect Barack Obama has proposed a huge fiscal stimulus package of more than $500 billion in 2009.

    "There is general optimism that the new administration will come forth with some policies that are going to help," said Peter Jankovskis, director of research at OakBrook Investments LLC in Lisle, Illinois.

    The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> ended up 108.00 points or 1.25 percent, at 8,776.39. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> finished up 12.61 points, or 1.42 percent, at 903.25. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> closed up 26.33 points, or 1.70 percent, at 1,577.03.

    The benchmark S&P 500 index has recovered about 18 percent since hitting an 11-year low on November 20, but for the year saw its biggest annual fall since 1937: 38.49 percent.

    European shares closed higher in holiday-thinned trade on Wednesday, with the FTSEurofirst 300 <.FTEU3> index of top European shares up 0.9 percent at 831.97 points -- while slumping 45 percent in 2008.

    The DJ Stoxx basic resources index <.SXPP>, home of Europe's biggest mining companies, was the worst hit in 2008, sinking 64.9 percent, closely followed by the DJ Stoxx banking index <.SX7P>, down 64.8 percent.

    In Japan the Nikkei stock average fell 42 percent in 2008, the worst loss in its 58-year history, though the benchmark index gained 1.3 percent on its final half-day of trade.

    "Everyone's pinning their hopes on economic stimulus policies by the United States and possibly China, which is keeping the market supported for now," said Tomomi Yamashita, a fund manager at Shinkin Asset Management.

    BOND YIELDS AT LOWEST IN DECADES

    U.S. Treasuries prices slid on Wednesday as the stock market continued to edge higher, removing some of the need for a safe haven, despite the poor economic outlook.

    Benchmark 10-year notes fell 1-19/32, with their yield rising to 2.22 percent from 2.06 percent on Tuesday.

    However, three-month U.S. Treasury bills continue to yield close to zero percent and longer-dated U.S. Treasury yields remain at 50-year lows, after the global credit crisis drove investors out of stocks and sparked a massive flight to the safety of government bonds worldwide.

    European bond markets were already closed for the year on Wednesday after two-year and 10-year euro zone government bond yields fell to their lowest levels in nearly two decades on Tuesday, the last trading day of the year, capping bumper annual returns due to the grim economic outlook.

    U.S. DOLLAR BENEFITS

    The U.S. dollar rose on Wednesday and was headed for its first yearly gain against the euro since 2005 as the financial crisis led investors to take refuge in the relative safety of the greenback.

    The dollar was on track to end 2008 higher against most major currencies.

    The Japanese yen was the other top performer this year, boosted by investors unwinding trades financed by borrowing the Japanese currency at low interest rates.

    Despite its rally against higher-yielding currencies such as sterling and the Australian and New Zealand dollars, the U.S. dollar has tumbled more than 18 percent against the yen this year, while the euro was 22 percent lower against the yen.

    The U.S. dollar closed steady around 90.63 yen on Wednesday with the euro down around $1.3967.

    "In forex, the year could be summed up in two words: risk aversion," said Dustin Reid, director for FX strategy at RBS Global Banking & Markets in Chicago. "And the yen and the dollar were at the receiving end of that global flight to safety."

    The U.S. dollar index <.DXY> was up 0.7 percent at the close in New York, after a 6.0 percent drop for the month, but ended up about 5.8 percent for the year.

    COMMODITIES STEADY AFTER CRASH

    U.S. crude oil futures rose sharply on Wednesday with the expiry of January heating oil and gasoline futures contracts, and with no end to the attacks in Gaza raising the possibility of geopolitical risk over the holiday.

    NYMEX February crude oil futures ended up $5.57 at $44.60 a barrel, but crude oil prices have crashed 77 percent in the past five months, going from a record high of $147.27 in July to a low of $32.40 on December 19.

    Overall, commodities from oil to copper closed out their worst year ever on a flat note on Wednesday.

    "In the new year, President-elect Obama will be taking on his new position, and many people will be expecting a number of changes to stimulate the U.S. economy," said Adrian Koh, analyst at Phillip Futures in Singapore.

    (Additional reporting by Jeremy Gaunt and Brian Gorman; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)

    Portfolio Mobile - Creative Commons Flourishing in Recession

    Creative Commons Flourishing in Recession





    Ars Technica reports: Creative Commons, one of the most prominent organizations involved in the free culture movement, brought in big bucks through its latest fundraising campaign. The organization met its lofty $500,000 goal despite the current economic downturn.

    Creative Commons is a non-profit organization that was founded in 2001 by legal scholar Lawrence Lessig to encourage copyright reform and provide a legally-sound licensing framework for works that could be freely redistributed. The licenses and file metadata scheme devised by Creative Commons are increasingly popular and have been adopted by a diverse group of artists and writers ranging from the music group Nine Inch Nails to science fiction novelist Charles Stross. In the years since it was founded, Creative Commons has expanded its focus to encompass similar efforts, including a Science Commons project and an open learning initiative.



    Lessig stepped down as CEO of the organization earlier this year when he announced plans to shift his focus towards broader political issues. He was replaced by Joi Ito, a Japanese entrepreneur who has close ties with silicon valley startups. Ito has previously served in various governance and advisory roles with the Mozilla Foundation, ICANN, and the Open Source Initiative. Earlier this month when CC was still $12,000 short of its goal, Ito wrote a blog entry encouraging supporters to donate. He also provided some insight into where the money will go in the coming year.

    "It has also been a tough year for Creative Commons. It has been particularly challenging for us as corporations and major donors have had to slash, if not completely cut, their philanthropic support. However, we have had more individual and smaller corporate donors than ever in our history," he wrote. "In addition, our project funding has become difficult in many areas and needs more support to survive and any funds past our annual campaign target will go to providing very needed resources."



    The international branch of Creative Commons, which adapts the licenses so that they are compatible with laws around the world, hopes to expand its reach to additional countries in 2009. The organization also plans to evaluate the possibility of developing licenses for new fields and different kinds of content. Ito's vision is is far-reaching; he contends that the Creative Commons licensing framework will soon become a "basic layer of interoperability" that will facilitate propagation of content and ideas. In that respect, he believes that the Creative Commons is analogous to the underlying communications protocol of the Internet.

    The latest fundraising effort got a big boost from Jonathon Coulton, a popular geek musician who distributes all of his works under Creative Commons licenses. He produced an album comprised of his most popular songs as a promotional hook for Creative Commons donors. Contributors who gave more than $50 received a special USB memory stick with the contents of the album.



    "It's hard to overstate the degree to which CC has contributed to my career as a musician," Coulton wrote in a statement. "This is why I've chosen to release a greatest hits album of my Thing-A-Week songs to help support Creative Commons' 2008 campaign."

    Coulton's involvement helped draw in a record number of individual donors, but there were many corporate donors, too. Microsoft, which has made significant donations to Creative Commons for the past four years, upped its donation to $15,000 to help the organization reach its goal. Microsoft's involvement in the open source and free culture communities has steadily grown over the past few years. The Redmond giant, which used to be overtly hostile to the notion of copyright reform and freely redistributable content, also became a sponsor of the Apache Software Foundation earlier this year.



    In addition to the $500,000 raised from various donors during the recent fundraiser, Creative Commons also received a major grant earlier this year from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation (William Hewlett was the co-founder of HP) that will partly be used to fund the ccLearn initiative, a Creative Commons project that promotes open learning and the sharing of educational materials.

    At this time when the expansion of copyright law is limiting the dissemination of culture by hampering fair use and keeping works out of the public domain, the mission of the Creative Commons is more relevant than ever before. The organization has made a real difference and is beginning to creep into mainstream awareness through its high-profile adopters. The strong support that Creative Commons has received from individual and corporate donors reflects growing recognition of the need for copyright reform and the value of unencumbered sharing.




    Also on Ars Technica:Pew Finds Obama's Online Army Sill MarchingLegal Firms Setting Up Practices Devoted to Video Games
    Zune Phones Have Started Rebooting and Locking Up



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    (c) 2007 Portfolio. Powered by mLogic Media, Crisp Wireless, Inc.

    CNN - Your views: 'Dark Knight,' 'Happening' stand out

    Sent from bombastic4000@yahoo.com's mobile device from http://www.cnn.com.

    Your views: 'Dark Knight,' 'Happening' stand out


    "Knight" good, Night bad.

    That was the upshot of the responses from CNN.com users when asked what their favorite -- and least favorite -- movies of 2008 were.

    "The Dark Knight," the blockbuster continuation of the Batman saga, was named the best movie of the year by several respondents, while M. Night Shyamalan's "The Happening," the latest film by the onetime "Sixth Sense" wunderkind, was roundly hooted.

    Though the praise for "Dark Knight" was largely uniform, with occasional fanboy-ish enthusiasm -- "Why is there any discussion?" asked JMF -- the derision for "The Happening" was varied and brutal.

    " 'The Happening' had a terribly high disappointment factor due to my expectations that it would be as good as 'The Sixth Sense,' " Kelley wrote.

    "I only saw this because my wife and I were over at a friend's house, and for some reason he really wanted to watch it. I had given up on [Shyamalan] long ago. ... I expected nothing," Justin wrote. "What I saw was probably the worst written script and one of the most ridiculous stories I have ever seen in a movie. I ask you, why is this guy still allowed to make movies? ... Why? Why?"

    Given "The Happening's" mediocre box office, which followed the mediocre box office for Shyamalan's "Lady in the Water," studio executives might be wondering the same thing.

    Many commenters agreed with CNN.com's Tom Charity that "WALL-E" was the movie of the year. Read Charity's list of bests and worsts

    "Any movie that could convey so much using a machine who is more human than the actual humans ... this movie deserves a best picture nod," Mandy T. wrote.

    Claire, however, disagreed. "I could BARELY sit through this movie. The second time I saw it was on an airplane, which helped me go to sleep faster."

    Claire, there are a couple CNN.com staffers you should meet.

    "Twilight," the vampire tale based on the bestselling book series, which was awaited by some moviegoers with an eagerness that rivaled a "Harry Potter" film, lived up to expectations for its fans.

    "My husband, kids and I have seen 'Twilight' six times in the theater. No other movie got us to go out twice, let alone six times," Tristen wrote.

    "Finally a movie that is not marketed to 14-year-old boys whose standard of entertainment equals people getting naked and stuff getting blown up," Laurie added.

    Samlam, who did not give his age, had a few words for "Twilight" fans, however. "[It's] a film for wannabe goth girls looking for sappy romance and no substance," he wrote.

    In general, films tended to receive mostly raves -- "Slumdog Millionaire," "Frost/Nixon," "Milk," "Let the Right One In" and "Iron Man" were others named as favorites -- or pans, such as "Max Payne," "Love Guru," "The Day the Earth Stood Still" ("Note to studios. If you're going to remake a film, you should try and make it as good if not better than the original," wrote Amber) and "10,000 B.C."

    But some films made both lists -- none more so, it appeared, than "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button."

    "AWESOME," D.W. wrote

    "The acting [was] top drawer. Sets and set dressing incredible," Clyde wrote.

    But those who didn't like it, loathed it.

    "If not the worst, easily [the] biggest disappointment for me was 'The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,' " Scott McGinley wrote. "Despite amazing art direction and cinematography, Pitt was completely emotionally flat. It felt like 'Meet Joe Black' rips off 'Forrest Gump.' What a let-down."

    "I believe that there are so many 'critics' that say this is a work of art that the general audience convinces itself that it must be," Chris wrote.

    The nation's movie critics are equally divided. Charity put it in his top 10; the Los Angeles Times' Kenneth Turan panned it, writing, "[It's] as enervating as it is long -- and at 2 hours and 47 minutes, it is quite long."

    Other films that divided CNN.com users included "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" and "Hancock."

    Indeed, both major Will Smith movies of 2008 -- "Hancock" and the tearjerker "Seven Pounds" -- inspired both praise and hostility, with some finding them enjoyable and others finding them ludicrous.

    Though CNN.com's commenters are an admittedly small sample, their picks indicated the breadth of movies out there and the strong desire to be moved, provoked or simply entertained for two hours. Above all, their comments emphatically suggested that they expect value for their time and money. If a trailer looks bad, or reviews -- whether from those in the media or from friends -- are bad, people won't go.

    Or, at least, they'll try not to go.

    "I agree with another poster that I can't say I'd spend money on the worst movies," Gabe wrote, "but unfortunately for me, I saw Vin Diesel's apocalyptic movie, 'Babylon A.D.,' and wanted to ask Vin personally for my money back."

    Mr. Diesel, you've been warned.

    CNN - Your views: 'Dark Knight,' 'Happening' stand out

    Sent from bombastic4000@yahoo.com's mobile device from http://www.cnn.com.

    Your views: 'Dark Knight,' 'Happening' stand out


    "Knight" good, Night bad.

    That was the upshot of the responses from CNN.com users when asked what their favorite -- and least favorite -- movies of 2008 were.

    "The Dark Knight," the blockbuster continuation of the Batman saga, was named the best movie of the year by several respondents, while M. Night Shyamalan's "The Happening," the latest film by the onetime "Sixth Sense" wunderkind, was roundly hooted.

    Though the praise for "Dark Knight" was largely uniform, with occasional fanboy-ish enthusiasm -- "Why is there any discussion?" asked JMF -- the derision for "The Happening" was varied and brutal.

    " 'The Happening' had a terribly high disappointment factor due to my expectations that it would be as good as 'The Sixth Sense,' " Kelley wrote.

    "I only saw this because my wife and I were over at a friend's house, and for some reason he really wanted to watch it. I had given up on [Shyamalan] long ago. ... I expected nothing," Justin wrote. "What I saw was probably the worst written script and one of the most ridiculous stories I have ever seen in a movie. I ask you, why is this guy still allowed to make movies? ... Why? Why?"

    Given "The Happening's" mediocre box office, which followed the mediocre box office for Shyamalan's "Lady in the Water," studio executives might be wondering the same thing.

    Many commenters agreed with CNN.com's Tom Charity that "WALL-E" was the movie of the year. Read Charity's list of bests and worsts

    "Any movie that could convey so much using a machine who is more human than the actual humans ... this movie deserves a best picture nod," Mandy T. wrote.

    Claire, however, disagreed. "I could BARELY sit through this movie. The second time I saw it was on an airplane, which helped me go to sleep faster."

    Claire, there are a couple CNN.com staffers you should meet.

    "Twilight," the vampire tale based on the bestselling book series, which was awaited by some moviegoers with an eagerness that rivaled a "Harry Potter" film, lived up to expectations for its fans.

    "My husband, kids and I have seen 'Twilight' six times in the theater. No other movie got us to go out twice, let alone six times," Tristen wrote.

    "Finally a movie that is not marketed to 14-year-old boys whose standard of entertainment equals people getting naked and stuff getting blown up," Laurie added.

    Samlam, who did not give his age, had a few words for "Twilight" fans, however. "[It's] a film for wannabe goth girls looking for sappy romance and no substance," he wrote.

    In general, films tended to receive mostly raves -- "Slumdog Millionaire," "Frost/Nixon," "Milk," "Let the Right One In" and "Iron Man" were others named as favorites -- or pans, such as "Max Payne," "Love Guru," "The Day the Earth Stood Still" ("Note to studios. If you're going to remake a film, you should try and make it as good if not better than the original," wrote Amber) and "10,000 B.C."

    But some films made both lists -- none more so, it appeared, than "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button."

    "AWESOME," D.W. wrote

    "The acting [was] top drawer. Sets and set dressing incredible," Clyde wrote.

    But those who didn't like it, loathed it.

    "If not the worst, easily [the] biggest disappointment for me was 'The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,' " Scott McGinley wrote. "Despite amazing art direction and cinematography, Pitt was completely emotionally flat. It felt like 'Meet Joe Black' rips off 'Forrest Gump.' What a let-down."

    "I believe that there are so many 'critics' that say this is a work of art that the general audience convinces itself that it must be," Chris wrote.

    The nation's movie critics are equally divided. Charity put it in his top 10; the Los Angeles Times' Kenneth Turan panned it, writing, "[It's] as enervating as it is long -- and at 2 hours and 47 minutes, it is quite long."

    Other films that divided CNN.com users included "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" and "Hancock."

    Indeed, both major Will Smith movies of 2008 -- "Hancock" and the tearjerker "Seven Pounds" -- inspired both praise and hostility, with some finding them enjoyable and others finding them ludicrous.

    Though CNN.com's commenters are an admittedly small sample, their picks indicated the breadth of movies out there and the strong desire to be moved, provoked or simply entertained for two hours. Above all, their comments emphatically suggested that they expect value for their time and money. If a trailer looks bad, or reviews -- whether from those in the media or from friends -- are bad, people won't go.

    Or, at least, they'll try not to go.

    "I agree with another poster that I can't say I'd spend money on the worst movies," Gabe wrote, "but unfortunately for me, I saw Vin Diesel's apocalyptic movie, 'Babylon A.D.,' and wanted to ask Vin personally for my money back."

    Mr. Diesel, you've been warned.

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