Hollywood panics! X-Men Origins: Wolverine pirated, hits web a month before official release

Late yesterday, an illegal copy of the X-Men Origins: Wolverine leaked on the web -- one full month ahead of the official premiere slated for May 1. Naturally, it sent shivers down many Hollywood mogul's spines and also shocked analysts. It's also a big blow to 20th Century Fox, who fears the illegal copy and potentially skewed reviews could hurt the movie's revenue. Being an avid movies fan, I'm tempted to download it. On the other hand, I know it would be bad for my karma. Should I surrender? I (and many others) won't be buying our tickets when the time comes.

Google goes HAL with CADIE in April Fool's prank

A brief press release posted at 11:59:59pm last night has ignited a slew of controversy. Google's announcement was of a new artificial intelligence named CADIE, which stands for Cognitive Autoheuristic Distributed-Intelligence Entity. She's a HAL-like computer with her own homepage and YouTube channel wherein she demonstrates the full extent of her HAL-envy, and Google's continued appreciation of April Fool's Day jokes.

Sony lowers Playstation 2 price to $99

Sony had claimed it would be making a big announcement this week, but didn't give consumers any hints. Speculators and analysts assumed we'd be seeing a significant decrease in the price of the PlayStation 3. What Sony has now unveiled does not involve the PlayStation 3, but instead the PlayStation 2. The company plans to reduce the consoles price by about 25 percent, down to $99.

Another price hike for Netflix Blu-ray users

Don’t say you did not see this one coming. An economy in recession, slowing subscriber growth and higher cost of Blu-ray media means what for your Netflix subscription? Yes, a price increase. And depending on your plan, you may be paying up to $9 per month extra for the privilege of watching movies in high-definition.

Study: Video games can improve eyesight

A recent study conducted by the University of Rochester and published in the journal Nature Neuroscience, concludes that playing shooter-type video games is a great tool for improving one's eyesight. That means all of that violence, guts and gore could quite possibly be contributing to healthier eyes.

Are you prepared to give Wii a mental High Voltage makeover?

If you think the Wii console is just for old people and little brothers, then you're in for a change come June. At least that's the case of a new High Voltage game called Conduit coming out at that time. The game makers promise an action-packed adventure that's more typically found on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.

Nintendo at GDC 2009: It’s the software, stupid!

There is no doubt that Nintendo is currently dominating the console gaming world and the company isn’t exactly shy of explaining its rivals why that is the case: Software sells hardware, said Nintendo president Satoru Iwata during his keynote at GDC 2009. While that is not exactly news for many people, he gave conference attendees an idea just how much effort the company puts into developing entertaining games.  

Blockbuster unveils OnDemand for TiVo, hints at Apple deal

TiVo is under pressure to deliver more products to consumers to be able to justify its pricing structure for its subscription-based service. Now the company has landed a deal with Blockbuster, which could set it apart from the less-expensive DVR competitors and is yet another sign how movie content will be delivered to homes in the future.

China blocks YouTube without an explanation

YouTube has once again been blocked by the Chinese government. Google has been given no reason for the blockage, but discovered it themselves after noticing a decline in Chinese traffic around noon on Monday. Many believe the blockage relates to recent videos depicting alleged brutality by Chinese police in Tibet.

Are you ready for cloud gaming?

There may soon be another option to play video games at home, in a very different way we have been used to so far. Rather than buying a fairly expensive console or PC, a small box promises to deliver games through the Internet to your TV or PC, no matter how powerful your local hardware is. Will cloud gaming have a chance to break through the barrier of modern game consoles and high-end PCs?

Qualcomm backs Zeebo, a new game console

A new startup company called Zeebo is marketing a game console which only utilizes a wireless 3G network for downloading new games. The console, called simply Zeebo, was unveiled on Monday at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco and will be available to Brazilian retailers at a price of $199 with plans for a price reduction to $179 and potentially $149 next year. The target market for the device will be Russia, Brazil, India and China, the so-called "Next Billion" markets.

Facebook redesign causes 1.7 million users to revolt

Facebook recently underwent a major website and user interface redesign (its second within a year) which changed the layout and feature access significantly. The changes have users frustrated and furious begging to get the "Old Facebook" back. So far, 1.7 million users have joined a Facebook group called "Petition against the New Facebook". They request the site make smaller changes to allow for simpler user transitions, and represent 1% of the site's 175 million registered users.

AMD ready to demo Havok physics on its graphics cards

About nine months ago, we learned that AMD was partnering with Intel acquisition Havok to enable physics acceleration on its graphics processors. Now it seems that the company is ready to show what it has been working on. First Havok physics demos on Radeon GPUs are expected for GDC 2009, which starts today.

Clara County: Microsoft buys Yahoo!

Welcome to the second edition of Clara County, a comic strip portraying a fictional representation of real-world companies. It's a hub of activity and you never know who's going to pop up. In this installment, we meet Moblivious and Cahoo, CEOs of two huge multi-billion dollar corporations that may bear some resemblance to real-world companies. Prepare yourself to enter the world of Clara County.

First PhysX-enabled games arrive on iPhone

In character, Apple's allowed a different route than other companies like Sony and Nintendo. Rather than licensing Nvidia's PhysX technology and exposing it to developers via the iPhone SDK, they've allowed several independent developers who created PhysX-enabled iPhone games into their App Store. And while you can't overlook how the advanced physics comes at the expense of graphics quality, their use does serve as testbed example that iPhone too can run the Nvidia PhysX engine.

Apple upgrades iTunes store with HD blockbuster movies rentals and purchases

Apple is now offering box office blockbusters such as "Quantum of Solace" and "Twilight" in HD for purchase and rent. And yes, you guessed it, the privilege of owning such a movie isn’t cheap.

Online video game to offer real banking services

The Swedish Finance Supervisory has given preliminary approval in the form of a real banking license to video game maker, MindArk PE AB. Within a year, a person will be able to enter the online sci-fi video game Entropia Universe to conduct some real-world banking business -- forever changing the concept of online banking. Set on planet Calypso, there will be no lines, no hassles, and always the experience you'd expect with a friendly service from virtual bank tellers who never change.

Clara County: x86 cross-license dispute

Welcome to Clara County, a comic strip portraying a fictional representation of real-world companies. It's a hub of activity and you never know who's going to pop up. In this installment, we meet Inteligencia and Amdrose, two rival semiconductor manufacturers that may bear some resemblance to real-world companies. Prepare yourself to enter the world of Clara County.

Playstation 3 gets Nvidia PhysX effects

Sony has signed a license agreement with Nvidia that will enable registered Playstation 3 (PS3) developers to use the binary version of the PhysX SDK in their games.

Guinness World Record: Video game uses F-word 189 times, once per minute

A video game called "House of the Dead: Overkill" has now become the world's most profane ever, according to a Guinness World Records spokesman. It drops the F-bomb an amazing 189 times, accounting for a 3% of the game's overall dialogue, at a rate of about one use per minute.