Daily News Brief: The Weekend Wrap-up!

Daily News Brief: The Weekend Wrap-up!

SEC Subpoenas Steve Jobs

And no, it's not because of the wild claims made in the Mac commercials (the 'Cancel or Allow' episode notwithstanding). Instead, the SEC is interested in what Jobs has to say about a stock-options civil case against Nancy Heinen, Apple's former general counsel. It's important to note that Jobs has not been charged with anything, nor does he appear to be the target of an investigation. Nancy Heinen takes the SEC spotlight, having been accused of falsifying Apple's books and records, backdating stock options to senior execs for an immediate profit, including one to Jobs. Former Apple chief financial officer Fred Anderson also found himself in hot water with the SEC, ultimately agreeing to pay roughly $3.5 milliion in fines and penalities.

India Hooked on Gaming

The video game industry is big business in the US, and it's set to explode in India over the course of the next five years. With India's gaming market currently sitting at $30 million, analysts are predicting that number will balloon to $700 million by 2012. Two of the three major consoles currently on the market have made their debut in the India, and while the Nintendo Wii has yet to officially launch, it too is being sold. But it's the reduction in game pricing that's sparking the big time growth. Imported games bring with them a high duty tax, making it common for new games to retail for around $75. That's not the case with India's homegrown games, which are on the rise. Microsoft's dabbled with the concept, releasing an XBox 360 cricket game in India that sells for a much more reasonable $42. Combined with the purchasing power that comes from a country breaching the $1 trillion GDP mark (only 11 other countries share this trait), game makers have a lot to be excited about.

Did We Land on the Moon?

Yes, but equally disturbing for those that spend more time online than having sex is the current hoo-ha regarding the birth of the emoticon. Earlier this week we wished a very happy birthday to the smiley face emoticon, who we reported turned 25 years old. But spitting in the birthday cake is Snopes.com, the site devoted to debunking or confirming potential myths and urban legends. And according to one of their latest entries, the emoticon lied about its age. Or more specifically, that Scott E. Fahlman, a professor at Pittsburgh's Carnegie Mellon University, isn't the father of the emoticon. That honor goes to Aunt Ev, a woman referenced in a 1967 issue of Reader's Digest. To Fahlman's credit, Snopes does concede that he may have been the first to use the emoticon online.

E-Cards Safe Again?

As always, it depends on who it's from. But the electronic greeting card scam may be on the decline, according to Graham Cluley, a senior technology consultant with Sophos who notes, "scammers have moved on to new techniques, simply because[...]it stopped being a very effective way to infect people." For those that question how big of a problem dirty (not naughty) e-cards have been, consider that the quantity prompted the FBI to issue a public warning back in late July. But while e-cards rose from six percent of all spam in July to seven percent in August, September looks to see a decline. Don't get too excited though, spammers aren't going anywhere, they're simply substituting other methods, such as sending out bogus YouTube links and fantasy sports invitations.

WoW Unethical!

And no, we're not referring to yesterday's news blurb involving the apparent bannage issued by Blizzard to a $10,000 WoW character. Today's headline reflects Jonathan Blow's comments, creator of the upcoming game Braid, who stated that "a lot of modern game design is actually unethical, especially massively multiplayer games like World of Warcraft, because they are predicated on player exploitation." In other words, he's not talking about Grand Theft Auto's many atrocities one can commit to another virtual human, rather he's peeved with the way developers string along players with incremental rewards, or "little pieces of candy so that they'll suffer through terrible game play." Of course, in a literal sense, that's a trend that started way back on the Atari 2600 with E.T.

And Finally

All you haters out there, leave Britney alone! That is all.



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nice vid

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