COD BLOPS may sound like something you should avoid like the plague (you know, because it sounds like some sort of plague), but that didn't stop one hojillion people from snapping it up on day one. Or, in real numbers: 5.6 million copies – for a total of $360 million.
Last year, Modern Warfare 2 took home the gold-plated space submarine for “biggest entertainment launch of all time” with $310 million. Black Ops, though, has pretty much given it a wedgie, hung it from a flagpole, and stole its multi-million dollar sum of lunch money. Activision, for obvious reasons, certainly isn't complaining.
“There has never been another entertainment franchise that has set opening day records for two consecutive years and we are on track to outperform last year’s five-day global sales record of $550 million,” said Activision head Bobby Kotick.
Between this and World of Warcraft, we don't imagine it'll be long before Activision will have accrued enough capital to secede from the union and form its own nation. Fitting, too, since the publisher's already made enemies out of organized crime and, well, the entirety of Cuba.
Unless you follow the benchmarking scene with a close eye, you probably never heard of FinalWire. And even then you might have missed them. But you probably have heard of Lavalys, makers of the popular Everest utility, which hasn't been updated in several months and might never be. Why? We're not sure exactly what happened, but here's what FinalWire had to say last month when it unveiled its AIDA64 benchmarking software.
"After the splitting up of Lavalys, we at FinalWire are happy to continue our efforts of delivering a dependable monitoring software to our faithful users" said Tamas Miklos, managing director of FinalWire. "Since the introduction of our first diagnostic utility ASMDEMO in 1995, we have built a passionate community of hobby users, hardware enthusiasts, and professional overclockers. Using the valuable feedback we have collected from them in the past few years, we have created a software for the new decade of 64-bit multi-core systems."
Basically, AIDA64 is the continuation of Everest, and there's a new version available, version 1.20. This latest release adds preliminary support for Intel Sandy Bridge chips, GPU details for AMD Radeon HD 6800 series and GeForce GTX 580 videocards, support for USB 3.0 controllers and devices, and Windows 7 style icons.
Like Everest before it, AIDA64 isn't a free utility, though you can give it a test run for 30 days by downloading either the Extreme Edition or Business Edition right here.
Now that you are up to speed, let us get back to Google’s response, which is not contrary to what someone of reasonable mental soundness would expect from a company being sued for patent infringement. The internet giant, which had earlier dismissed the suit as “baseless,” has denied pretty much all allegations – of course, except for the harmless ones like the fact that it is a corporation – while citing 20 defenses.
“Google does not infringe any valid and enforceable claim of the Patents-in-Suit, either directly or indirectly, and does not infringe any valid copyright rights of Oracle, either directly or indirectly,” Google wrote in its response.
"Any use in the Android Platform of any protected elements of the works that are the subject of the Asserted Copyrights was made by third parties without the knowledge of Google, and Google is not liable for such use."
The case will go to trial next October if the two parties fail to reach a settlement in the intervening period.
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 is now available, the open source software developer announced on Wednesday. The much anticipated latest release of Red Hat's flagship operating system introduces hundreds of technical feature enhancements and additions including:
A highly optimized application platform for large-scale, centrally managed enterprise deployments
Enhanced efficiency with the latest generation of highly scalable hardware systems
Industry-leading virtualization performance, flexibility, and security for both host and guest environments
Extensive support for features designed to minimize ecological impact and carbon footprint of IT systems
A platform suitable for long-term, stable deployment while able to incorporate new technologies for physical, virtual, and cloud deployments
More information and pricing info can be found here.
AVG, makers of AVG Free, the popular free antivirus program (as well as offering a selection of paid security software), announced on Wednesday that it scooped up Tel Aviv-based DroidSecurity, a cloud-based mobile security startup.
"The potential that exists within the mobile space is extraordinary, and we predict that devices like smartphones will overtake PCs in 2012," said J.R. Smith, chief executive officer, AVG. "AVG acquired DroidSecurity to accelerate our delivery of sophisticated mobile security and provide users around the world with the reliable and secure technology they need to confidently mitigate the risks associated with using mobile devices."
Not only does the deal underscore the importance security vendors are placing on the smartphone market, but the emerging tablet sector as well. With the proliferation of both markets, it's conceivable that mobile security could skyrocket in the next few years.
Once the deal is complete, DroidSecurity will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of AVG and will remain headquartered in Tel Aviv, AVG said.
It seems like so long ago that we were skeptical Steam could get us to stop bitching about DRM and provide a viable distribution system that both publishers and game players could live with. Well, we're not finished groaning about DRM, but there's no denying Steam does what it's supposed to, and does it well. Perhaps too well.
According to U.K.'s weekly gaming rag MCV, some retailers are threatening to ban games that integrate the Steam service on fears that Steam has a monopoly on the download market.
"If we have a digital service, then I don't want to start selling a rival in-store," said the head of one of U.K.'s biggest gamers retailers. "Publishers are creating a monster -- we are telling suppliers to stop using Steam in their games."
A purportedly big-name digital service provider backed up those remarks, saying "At the moment the big digital distributors need to stock games with Steam. But the power resides with brick and mortar retailers, they can refuse to stock these titles. Publishers are hesitant, but retail must put pressure on them."
Should retailers be concerned that selling games with Steam baked in only pushes users towards buying games through Valve online, or is this just another 'wambulance' call?
Google's Android platform took a bite out of Apple -- and Symbian -- during the third quarter of 2010 in terms of global smartphone sales, according to market research firm Gartner.
With 20.5 million Android units sold in Q3, Android jumped into second place for the quarter with a 25.5 percent share of the smartphone market. Symbian maintained its position at the top with nearly 29.5 million units sold and a 36.6 percent market share, while iOS sat in third place place with around 13.5 million units and a 16.7 percent chunk of the smartphone pie.
"Smartphone OS providers have entered a period of accelerated platform evolution, stimulated by more regular product releases, new platform entrants and new device types," said Roberta Cozza, principal research analyst at Gartner. "Any platform that fails to innovate quickly — either through a vibrant multi-player ecosystem or clear vision of a single controlling entity — will lose developers, manufacturers, potential partners and ultimately users."
Innovation hasn't been a problem for Google, which continues to update its Android platform at a breakneck pace. On top of it all, the Android Market has come into its own with nearly 100,000 apps and over 2 billion downloads to date, according to AndroLib.com.
Another year, another Call of Duty controversy. This time, though, no Russian – only Cuban.
"What the United States couldn't accomplish in more than 50 years, they are now trying to do virtually," said an article posted on state-run website Cubadebate (via The Associated Press).
The article refers to a mission in Call of Duty: Black Ops that sees players skulking through Havana circa 1961 in an attempt to put an abrupt end to the then-brand new Castro regime. Obviously, you don't succeed, but that hasn't stopped Cuba from taking aim and launching a verbal volley at the mission.
"This new video game is doubly perverse," the article said. "On the one hand, it glorifies the illegal assassination attempts the United States government planned against the Cuban leader ... and on the other, it stimulates sociopathic attitudes in North American children and adolescents."
It then went on to cite studies correlating violent videogames and violent tendencies, claiming that taking an active role in the proceedings gets people's blood boiling a lot faster than kicking back and, say, watching a movie.
If it's any consolation, though, Call of Duty's apparently suiting up to hit the space marine scene, meaning that Castro's probably out of the question for future installments. Well, unless it's, like, a giant space robot version of Castro or something. Actually, on second thought, we really, really hope that's exactly what it is.
This may sound normal enough at first – seeing as a certain business casual-clad simian's involved – but here's the thing: Nintendo didn't actually coin the phrase.
Instead, “It's On Like Donkey Kong” swung its way into common vernacular the same way most modern phrases and ideologies have: via rapper Ice Cube's 1992 hit “Now I Gotta Wet'Cha.” That, however, hasn't detered Nintendo from sending a request to trademark the phrase to the United States Patent and Trademark Office, reports GameSpot.
Nintendo has recently burned its brand into phrases like “Gotta Catch 'Em All” as well, but the master wordologists at Nintendo did, in fact, come up with that one, which is – to our knowledge – what trademarks were made for.
So yeah, it's kind of sketchy. Maybe it's time for Ice Cube to don some red overalls and scale Nintendo's headquarters to get his property back. A word of warning, though, Mr. Cube: watch out for those barrels. Also, armed guards. With guns. There'll probably be a few of those too.
Now that Nvidia has gone and launched its GeForce GTX 580 videocard and stolen back the single-GPU performance crown, the GPU maker thought it wise to release a new set of drivers, version 262.99.
Unless you own one of Nvidia's new flagship cards, it doesn't look like there's much point in downloading the 262.99 drivers, unless you simply want the latest software for the sake of having it. All that really appears to be new, according to the release notes (PDF), is support for the GTX 580 part. There aren't any performance improvements or features added specific to the 262.99 release, or if there is, Nvidia decided to keep mum about them.
In any event, if you went and grabbed a GTX 580 or just won't sleep soundly until you have the latest GeForce drivers, benefits be damned, you can download them here.