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Top 10 most anticipated Xbox 360 games of 2008 still to come in Gaming
10) Mercenaries 2: World in Flames

After watching the trailer below, I'm convinced that Michael Bay is involved with this game's production, and while that might be bad if this were a movie, it can only mean a lot of fun awaits in the Mercenaries sequel. In between blowing up entire cities and hitchhiking helicopters, there looks to be enough varied gameplay to excuse the cheesy characters and dialogue. This game, along with many others on both our lists, seems to show a popular trend that games taking place in exotic settings far from America are in high demand this year.

9) Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures

World of Warcraft might have millions of more online players to boast, but Age of Conan has millions of more polygons to brag about, and when you want to play a MMORPG that you'll stare at everyday for the rest of your soul-less life, then it's hard to tell which game is the right player poison to pick. I'd even put Age of Conan a few notches higher up on my list if it weren't for that annoying monthly MMO price tag that you have to worry about.

Banjo Kazooie 3

I've said it before and I'll say it again. Here's to hoping Rare doesn't kill off another part of my childhood: "Rareware is turning into that grandma plagued with Alzheimer’s — she used to give us some sweet birthday presents and now all she does is call the house 20 times a day with nothing new to say. Rare, please take your pills. We realize the trauma you went through when Nintendo divorced you, but Microsoft isn't that bad, there's no reason you had to take it out on Perfect Dark Zero. And breast feeding Kameo for seven years probably wasn't the best idea either. You might want to copyright Viva Funeral just in case things go downhill soon. I don't think you're ready for another baby, you might want to put Banjo Kazooie 3 up for adoption. Have you considered abortion? I'll mail you Duke Nukem's number." Rare, the Banjo Kazooie games are the only platformer series other than Mario that I still care about. It had better be music notes to my ears, or I'm giving up on you guys forever.

7) Resident Evil 5

A #7 spot might seem low, but a #7 from me means a lot for this game -- because I HATE zombie stories. Especially this series. I hated this series for years, constantly asking friends why they wouldn't just try making a similar game with less annoying cameras and controls. "You just don't get it" is what I was told for years. Then Resident Evil 4 came out in such a fashion, grabbed countless Game of the Year awards with ease, and I refused to play it out of spite. However, after seeing the recent trailer for the fifth game, I don't think I'll be able to put off jumping into this series any longer. I still despise zombies in general, but a survival-horror game that takes place in a jungle should be extremely refreshing from the typical city or woods clichés of the past. I Am Legend was the first zombie movie (other than Shaun of the Dead) that I didn't completely hate, and Resident Evil 5 is looking like it will be the first zombie game that I'll be able to enjoy.

6) Dead Space

The trailer for this game reminds me of when I first saw the early BioShock trailers -- that tingly feeling that this game might be amazing. Sure, I thought the same thing about Assassin's Creed, but something tells me Prototype will end up being closer to this year's Ass Creed, and this game will be closer to BioShock. I can't remember the last time a game trailer made me jump in my seat and didn't come with a flashlight mod. Not to mention it looks a hell of a lot like Aliens, one of my favorite movies of all time. And most appealing of all: it's a survival-horror game with NO ZOMBIES!

5) Alan Wake

Made by the people who brought us both Max Paynes, this game's older than the Xbox 360 -- is it ever coming out? By pushing PCs to their limits, Alan Wake looked as good as today's Xbox 360 games back in 2005, but its window of opportunity is closing quickly. This psychological action thriller takes place in a beautiful rural environment teeming with mystery, spectacular lighting and vicious weather-induced physics effects. Add to that an action adventure story that looks like what I envision Stephen King's autobiography to be, and you've got yourself a must-buy game for this console . . . if they ever release it.

4) Star Wars: The Force Unleashed

We've seen a trilogy that explores the good side of the "force" and loved it. We've seen a trilogy that explored the bad side of the "force" and . . . well I hated a lot of it. In this game you play as Darth Vader's secret apprentice who's basically Luke if he had succumbed to Vader, and most importantly, George Lucas isn't directly involved. Above and beyond that, all you need to hear is the game's specs: ILM motion capture animations, plus the Havok physics engine, plus the Euphoria behavioral animations A.I., plus Digital Molecular Matter interactive game environments. Sold. This game is the equivalent of a fully revved Mustang or tricked out Lamborghini, and I can't wait to replace the sour taste George Lucas left in my mouth with something refreshing.

3) Castle Crashers

When a game is basically Gauntlet Legends meets Zelda Four Swords, how can you go wrong? At #3, this artistically appealing action game sits in the exact same spot it did on my list last year. What's changed since then? Several delays and promises that the game will now be even longer and more action packed, with dozens of new unlockable characters and way more content. This is the sort of stuff gamers get promised all the time by delaying developers, but when The Behemoth, the men who brought us possibly the most famous indie game of all time, promises us something, we trust them and wait patiently without asking questions. Instead we bother the Media Molecule developers over why we must wait so long for the equally artsy and cute game LittleBigPlanet. How LittleBig can it be?

2) Fable 2

Characters who age realistically into an infinite amount of outcomes, coupled with environments that consist of trees and blades of grass that grow in real-time. That was supposed to be the first Fable game, so surely the sequel can't be far off from completely filling its shoes. Right? Right! Okay, well Peter Molyneux has been moderately tame this time around, and while he isn't promising us the game to end all games, everything he's shown so far has looked great. His promises of a dynamic world don't sound too far-fetched this time, and the atmosphere of everything revealed to date looks gorgeous and demands exploring. The dog sidekick mechanic looks like it might be the next Agro or Epona-worthy companion to win over the hearts of gamers, and the family and multiplayer aspects both seem to be a leap in the right direction that hopefully other developers emulate in the future. The downside? Don't be surprised if this game, among others on both our lists, slips into a vague 2009 release window.

1) Grand Theft Auto IV

As a recent Game Art & Design degree college graduate, this game plucks all the right notes in my heart. Everything that could have been said about this game has already been said, and I agree with most of it, so I'll just mention what I hope to see from this series in the future as I pray that Rockstar leads the industry into a Golden Age of Gaming.

I look forward to a day when games can swear freely just like the box office does excessively in its artistic pursuit of storytelling. A day when games can include tasteful or even tasteless and explicit nude scenes just as the box office does far more frequently without media protest. A day when games willingly explore violence and sexuality and homosexuality and racism and all other subjects that have seemingly been untouchable up to now by the game industry, despite the movie industry tackling today's biggest social dilemmas and getting Academy Awards for it as opposed to ignorant assholes on TV trying to prevent freedom of speech and artistic expression. A day when the world realizes that gaming is the number one entertainment industry because the average gamer is nowhere near his or her teen years, and can not only handle mature topics, but longingly begs the industry for them.

And if I had to pick a single series that I think represents the millions of gamers trying desperately to shove the pendulum back at the idiots of all ages in the media, it would be the Grand Theft Auto series, and I highly doubt GTA 4 will disappoint. Now excuse me while I pick up my copy and find out for myself. Here's Grim with his own Top 10 list of the most anticipated Xbox 360 games of the year.

Grim's Top 10:

10) Castle Crashers

Castle Crashers makes the cut primarily because I can never pass up a good 2D beat 'em up, especially one that's being developed by The Behemoth. Factor in Dan Paladin's drop dead gorgeous art and the notion that you'll be able to play the game online with 3 of your closest buddies, I think Castle Crashers could easily become the king of Xbox Live Arcade. Either that, or Frogger 2 will outsell it and Jeff Minter will laugh maniacally while trying not to spill the llama's blood from his chalice.

9) Mercenaries 2: World In Flames

My love for simulated bloodshed is topped only by my adoration for large-scale destruction, and it pretty much goes without saying that Mercenaries 2 will not disappoint in that respect. If it wasn't for a lengthy delay, we'd all be tearing up a virtual Venezuela by now. Assuming that the extra time is put to good use (and there's no reason it won't be), we'll end up with a more polished and enjoyable experience than was originally set in stone, and a sequel that will hopefully live up to its predecessor.

Brütal Legend

A Tim Schafer game starring an axe-wielding metal band roadie (voiced by none other than Jack Black) who's fallen into an alternate history chock-full of demons and other bizarre-looking creatures? If there's a cooler videogame premise already in existence, I haven't heard about it. While only a few screenshots and a CGI video have been released thus far, the guys at Double Fine have already proven themselves with the sublime Psychonauts, so we needn't be too worried.

7) Prototype

What happens when you combine The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction, Grand Theft Auto, and Riki-Oh? You get Prototype, an open-ended sandbox game that has you fighting an elite government organization in a viral-infected New York City. As one of the infected, you'll not only have super-human abilities, but you can also shape-shift and, should you find it absolutely necessary, punch straight through your victim's torso. If that fact alone doesn't put a sinister grin on your face, Prototype isn't going to be your cup of tea.

6) Ninja Gaiden II

Not even the painful memories of Ninja Gaiden's harsh difficulty will prevent me from anticipating Mutilationfest VI: The Bloodening Ninja Gaiden II. Ryu Hayabusa is back, and he's developed the insatiable desire to chop his enemies into tiny, bite-sized pieces, and then slice those pieces into even smaller pieces until there's nothing left but the smell of dried blood and über man-sweat. I can't speak for the rest of you, but as a gore-loving action junkie who's mentally prepared himself for another virtual roundhouse kick to the face, that sounds like a mighty good time.

5) Soul Calibur IV

I was already overly-excited to control revamped versions of Voldo (don't hate!) and Yoshimitsu in Soul Calibur IV, but when Yoda was announced as a playable character for the Xbox 360 version of the game (and Darth Vader for the PS3 version), my anticipation rose to startling new heights. While such a fighting scenario may seem a bit unusual to some, I'd like to take this opportunity to remind you about Soul Calibur's female's nonsensical breasts that are so epic in proportion, you'd be risking your very life to enter the 10' radius that surrounds them. In short, this is one of those games that doesn't need to make a lick of sense to be fun.

4) Resident Evil 5

It isn't known for sure whether or not Resident Evil 5 will be out in 2008 (I've heard rumors of a possible Nov. - Dec. release), but that doesn't mean I can't anticipate it anyway. While little footage and info surrounding the game is available, we do know that RE5 centers around Chris Redfield a whopping 10 years after the events of the original Resident Evil. Additionally, Resident Evil 4's aiming scheme will be used, heat will affect gameplay in some way or another, and while the enemies do possess more intelligence than ordinary zombies, they aren't Ganados. If there was ever a way to build upon the sheer badassness of RE4, I think Capcom can pull it off.

3) Grand Theft Auto IV

A high-definition Grand Theft Auto with more realistic gameplay opportunities than previously thought possible? Count me in! Even after the unwanted controversy surrounding the series and GTA IV's delay, my anticipation for the game has yet to waver. Every so often we see a supposed groundbreaking new game that inevitably falls short of the unrealistic hype it receives from its legion of fans. Grand Theft Auto IV is not going to be one of those titles.

2) Fallout 3

Fallout 3 makes my list because while I could never get into the previous Fallout games, I still found their source material highly intriguing and want to see how Bethesda adapts it. Actually, I really just want to try out the Vault-Tec Assisted Targeting System for myself. If you're unfamiliar with V.A.T.S., it's basically a turn-based alternative to standard gunplay that lets you pinpoint your foe's specific body parts and watch them explode in great detail upon using your weapon of choice. The "Burnout with body parts" quote used to describe the system has been etched into my brain ever since I first heard it, and it'll remain there until I can get my hands on Fallout 3 and experience V.A.T.S for myself.

1) Star Wars: The Force Unleashed

The Force Unleashed combines Havok, Euphoria, and Digital Molecular Matter to bring us some of the most advanced gameplay mechanics we've ever seen from this generation of consoles. But what exactly does all of that jargon mean? It means the ability to create some truly hilarious situations involving Stormtroopers and those generic metal boxes that future civilizations will apparently carry in large quantities. Above all, Force Unleashed has wood that actually splinters like real wood. Tell me, is your mind blown too?

What about you guys and gamer girls? What Xbox 360 games are you looking forward to the most this year?
Posted by Editorial Team Thu May 01, 2008 5:12 pm
BREAKING: Bebo Copycat Suicides in UK growing trend in Hardware, Internet, Networking, Comms and Security
A coroner yesterday launched an investigation into the link between theinternet and young suicides - as an MP hit out at websites for"romanticising" teenage death.

Phillip Walters, the coroner for the town of Bridgend whereseven young people have hanged themselves in a year, fears the teenagesites such as Bebo play a part in the spate of mystery deaths.
Mr Walter said he is "desperately concerned" about the chain ofyoung suicides - and of the connection to teenage social network sitessuch as Bebo and MySpace.
The coroner said: "I shall be looking at these networkingsites myself to see if there is a link between them and the growingnumber of youngsters committing suicide.
"But in the meantime I want to warn youngsters about the possible dangers these websites can pose.
"I would also like to warn parents to be actively on the alertfor signs of their children being influenced by others on these sites.

"We never seem to get to the bottom of these deaths and no-one seems to be able to explain them.
"It is of great concern that some of them seem to be happening for no apparent reason."  
MrWalters has already held hearings into four of the young suicides -Dale Crole, 18, David Dilling, 19, Thomas Davies, 20, and ZacheryBarnes, 17.<&gt;

Concern: Coroner Phillip Walters fears teenage sites played a part in the mystery deaths

He opened inquests on the other three - Liam Clarke, 20, Gareth Morgan,27, and Natasha Randall, 17 - to await full police investigations intotheir deaths.
The small town of Bridgend has been rocked by this string of copycat suicides
Local people fear the hangings are linked to a chilling internet cult which has become "a cool thing to do" in the town.
Within 24 hours of the latest death last week, two friends of the teenage girl had also attempted suicide.
On Tuesday police took computer equipment from 17-year-old Natasha Randall'shome in Bridgend, South Wales.
Detectives confirmed they are investigating a possible suicidechain – the seven dead are all linked in some way although they did notall know each other.
Several of them posted personal profiles on the social networking internetsite Bebo.
Since their deaths friends have set up memorial sites wherethey can post messages and obtain a "virtual brick" in a "remembrancewall".
The deaths have raised new worries about the influence of the internet on young people.

January 5, 2008: Gareth Morgan, who knew Clarke, found hanged in bedroom
The police have private concerns that youngsters may consider itfashionable to have an internet memorial site and are killingthemselves for reasons of prestige.
Natasha's hanging was the seventh in Bridgend in a year.
The first to die was 18-year-old Dale Crole, who hanged himself and was found in a disused warehouse in January 2007.
The following month Dale's school friend David Dilling, 19, was found hanged near his village home.
Two days before David's funeral, another school friend, Thomas Davies, 20, hanged himself from a tree.
A friend of Thomas, Zachary Barnes, 17, was found hanged from a washing line a few months later.
Liam Clarke, 20, a close friend of Dale Crole
and a schoolmate of Thomas Davies, was the fifth victim.

December 2007: Liam Clarke, a friend of Crole's, found hanged in a park
He hanged himself in a park two days after Christmas.
Earlier this month, Gareth Morgan, 27 – who regularly drank with Liam – wasfound hanging in his bedroom.
Police and paramedics were called to Natasha's home in Bridgend, at 6pm lastThursday but she was already dead.
Natasha, who was in her first year studying Care and Childhood Studiescourse at Bridgend College, spent hours every day on her computer using thename "sxiildchild".
Suspicions of a possible to link to the internet grew after it emerged thatNatasha knew Liam Clarke.
On her internet profile she had posted a message reading: 'RIP Clarky boy!!gonna miss ya! always remember the gd times! love ya x'.
Last night it emerged that Liam also knew several of the other victims.

August 2007: Zachary Barnes, a friend of Davies' family, hanged with washing line

His father Kevin Clarke, 46, a heavy goods vehicle driver, said:"We just don't know what all this is about, it is very strange thatthere have been so many suicides in Bridgend and that they all seem toknow one another.
"We don't know if it is some weird cult or copycat suicides or if they have hadsome bizarre pact to kill themselves.
"We had no idea Liam was thinking of this, so we are in the dark about everything."
A taskforce has been set up in the town involving police, the NHS trust, schoolsand the council to draw up an action plan to stop the deaths.
Social networking sites such as Bebo, MySpace and Facebook have previouslybeen linked to a series of incidents
including episodes of grooming underagegirls, online bullying and identity fraud.
There have been numerous calls for increased monitoring of the networking phenomenon.

February 2007: Thomas Davies, found hanged from a tree two days before Dilling's funeral
The internet has also played a role in an increasing number ofsuicides, on specific sites dedicated to methods as well as chat roomswhere the subject is discussed.

Melanie Davies, whose son Thomas killed himself in Februaryfollowing the deaths of his friends Dale and David said: "It's like acraze – a stupid sort of fad.
"They all seem to be copying each other by wanting to die.

"Thomas would spend about three hours a night on the computer, talking to his friends.
"Like most parents, I have no idea how to get on these sites or what other kids are talking about.
"But I would warn other parents to beware and to keep a close eye on theirchildren.
"I have lost my son and it is the worst nightmare."

David Dilling's mother Teresa Claypole, 43, said she had "no indication whatsoever" that her son intended to kill himself.

February 2007: David Dilling, best friend of role, found hanged
She said yesterday: "David missed Dale so much. I often think of the two of themup in heaven meeting again."
Zachary Barnes's mother Mandy, 38, said: "Nobody can get over this – we can'tbelieve it's Zach.
"It doesn't fit with the way he was. For him to take his perfect life, that's agonising devastation."
The two friends of Natasha Randall who attempted suicide have recovered.
Four years ago two girls in South Wales arranged a suicide pact after becomingfriends via a chatroom.
Last summer a village in Northern Ireland was devastated by three teenagesuicides.
Rumours of a pact involving up to a dozen students swept Craigavon inCounty Armagh, Northern Ireland, when two boys hanged themselves afterattending the funeral of a third.

January 2007: David Crole, found hanged in disused warehouse
Bridgend MP Madeleine Moon told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "This isnot just happening in the town of Bridgend, it is happening across a15-mile radius.
"This is a small community. People know each other. Familylinks are very easily made and friendships are very easily made becausemost people tend to socialise in the evening in the town of Bridgend.
"What worries me is that when you start entering a virtualworld, as these young people are doing on this Bebo site, you lose thereality of loss, the actual consequences of what you are talking aboutand the horrible reality of death - in particular, the consequences onfamily and friends and the whole lack of a future for these youngpeople, which is absolutely tragic."
Ms Moon said she was troubled by suggestions that the suicidesmay have been motivated in part by the youngsters' ambition to featureon internet memorial pages.
Scroll down for more

Suicide capital of Britain?: The South Wales town of Bridgend

"It is absolutely bizarre to think that a memorial wall givesyou a reason for ending your life, cutting yourself off from a realfuture that would involve friends, family, marriage, building a home,building a career - all these real things that stretched in front ofthese young people - all for the ephemera of something on an internetwall," she said.
"It absolutely defies belief."
Ms Moon urged any young person considering suicide or anyone upset by the rash of deaths in Bridgend to contact the Samaritans.
They appeared to be linked by little more than their home town and a network of friends.
But within little more than a year, the six young men and one young woman, had all killed themselves.

1. DALE CROLE, 18, from Porthcawl, near Bridgend.
He went missing four months before his body was found.

He had only recently moved in with his father after being released from ayoung offenders' institution, but the pair were said to have a volatilerelationship.
Dale was unemployed, smoked cannabis and drank heavily.
He was last seen by his family on September 25, 2006.
His badly decomposed body was found on January 5, 2007, after he hanged himself in a disused warehouse at a local beach funfair.

2. DAVID DILLING, 19, from Pyle, a village near Bridgend.

David was the best friend of Dale Crole.
Known to friends as Dai, he told the inquest into his friend'sdeath that the pair regularly spent time together at the warehousewhere Dale's body wasfound.
The teenager was said to be very upset by his friend's death.
He hanged himself near his home in the village, in February, 2007.

3. THOMAS DAVIES, 20 from North Cornelly, Bridgend.

He was a school friend of the first two victims, but was particularly shocked by David Dilling's death.
Thomas had already bought a suit for David's funeral, but hangedhimself from a tree on February 25 – just two days before the service.
His mother Melanie,38, said he spent three hours a night on the Bebowebsite talking to friends and described his death as a copycatsuicide, a "craze".

4. ZACHARY BARNES, 17, of Wildmill, Bridgend.

Was a friend of Thomas Davies' family.
He left school to spend ten months working with animals at TheAmelia Trust Farm, near Barry, and intended to become a fitnessinstructor.
His parents Paul, 49, and Mandy, 38, have described the teenager as "fantastic, so loving and caring" and a "big personality".
His body was found in August, 2007, hanged from a washing line at a block of flats.

5. LIAM CLARKE, 20, from Bridgend, was a close friend of Dale Crole.

He worked as a sales assistant, and enjoyed playing football and pool.
On his blog, the tattooed teenager posted a number of pictures of himselfin combat gear and holding an air rifle, describing himself as "interested in having fun and gettin rect".
He hanged himself in a park on December 27, 2007.
6. GARETH MORGAN, 27, from Bridgend, was a friend of Liam Clarke and a father of one.

Described as a "gentle giant", the keen production operative was founddead on January 5, by his brother Christopher, 26 and stepbrotherThomas, 14, inhis bedroom at the family home.
His mother Lynda, 48, said he showed no signs of depression before his deathand had been drinking with friends the night before.
Gareth's daughter Maison, eight, lives with his former partner.

7. NATASHA RANDALL, 17, was also friends with Liam Clarke.

She lived with her father, Kelvin and stepmother Katrina in Blaengarw, Bridgend.
She studied Care and Childhood Studies at Bridgend College.
Known as Tasha. Natasha spent hours on her Bebo webpage using the name "sxiwildchild".

Last Thursday, she hanged herself in
her bedroom while her parents were downstairs.
The secret life of Natasha Randall was laid bare on an alarmingly candid web page.

At the click of a button you could discover her likes and dislikes,study revealing photographs, chat to her online and find out who wantedto have sex with her.

Yesterday that page became her virtual headstone.


Scroll down for more ...  
Victim: Natasha Randall was the seventh young person to kill themselves in Bridgend in a year

The 17-year-old college student's entry on her favourite socialnetworking site was overflowing with tributes to the latest victim ofwhat appears to be a bizarre chain of internet-chronicled suicides.
An online memorial wall of "virtual bricks" was started just hoursafter she was found hanged - and friends quickly began to cover it infarewell messages drawn on individual sections.
The fact that at least seven suicides and two attemptedsuicides might be linked in one area of Britain is a horrifyingprospect.
But equally disturbing is the possibility - voiced by police - thatyoung people may regard "virtual immortality" as the ultimate in cool.
To an adult unfamiliar with the peer status that celebrity onthe web can create, it might sound unlikely. But a few minutes spentbrowsing Natasha's page on "bebo", one of the leading social networksites, would horrify most decent parents.
And she was not alone. Her web page contains links to others in the so-called suicide circle, among them Liam "Clarkey" Clarke.
Scroll down for more ...

Networker: The 17-year-old mapped out her life on website bebo
Some of them clearly corresponded online. Most had pages on bebo orsimilar sites, such as Facebook or myspace. Yesterday they wereremembered in text-language style messages from friends and emailassociates - and eulogized on the "Gonetoosoon" web site, whichpromises "an everlasting tribute".
Tasha, as she called herself, headlined her page with thiswarning: "Don't play games with a girl who knows how to play thembetter."
She styled herself as provocative and daring, using the sign-on "sxiwildchild".

You have to keep reminding yourself when you read her page that she wasonly 15, according to her membership profile, when she set it up.
The amount of private and personal information she gives is staggering.
In the first few lines alone, we learn her date of birth ("Fellfrom Heaven 4 Dec 1990... blown out 17 candles"); the town where shelives; and, of course, her private email address.
There is a gallery of photographs, some featuring her in a low-cut blouse or posing in a crop-top on a playground swing.
Scroll down for more ...

Suicidecult: Clockwise from top left: Zachery Barnes, 17, Liam Clarke, 20,Natasha Randall, 17, Dale Crole, 18, David Dilling, 19, Gareth Morgan,27, and Thomas Davies, 20
Her invitation to potential on-line friends includes a questionnairethat poses only four questions before it asks: "Would you have sex withme?"
Then it descends into areas that should never be accessible to anyjuvenile with a fake email address, which, incidentally, is all ittakes to join bebo.
Likewise, some of the replies she receives are unrepeatable here. Aparent might reasonably question why T-Mobile, MTV, Ugg Boots andCapital One credit cards choose to be among the advertisers whoseproducts flash up on the site.

But it is the memorial tributes that tell the other half of Tasha's tragic story.
Almost exclusively, they are written in the crass, depressinglyfamiliar broken English of the text message and email generation - asare those appearing beneath the names of other Bridgend suicides. Thesemay give the flavour:

• From X-Baby Girl-X: "RIP tash - can't belive you done it!"
• From Sadie James (aged 17 and pictured in her bra): "Heyaa Babe. JustPoppin In To Say I Let My Balloon Off With A Message On It, Hope YouGot It Ok And It Made You Laugh up There."
• From Chelsea X: "Youur Inaa Bera Place Naww,, Away From All Thaa Hurt&Paiin. Sweet Dreams BabeS."

Last night 19 "virtual bricks" had been placed in Natasha's memorialwall, a brightly coloured page of individually inscribed "tributes".
One was ascribed to "JUNKiiE BUDDiiES" and featured a drawing of a syringe. "HaHa!", it read. "We Lovez it."

Posted by Editorial Team Wed Jan 23, 2008 5:20 pm
10 predictions for 2008 in Syndicated News: Hardware, Networking, Computing, IT, and Business and Industry News
10 predictions for 2008
I've always preferred prognostication to nostalgia, so rather than replay the best of 2007, I'll use these late December doldrums to make 10 predictions for the coming year. Some editors will warn you that this kind of list is suicide--it's too easy for everybody to look back ...

Author: Matt Rosoff
Publish Date: Fri, 28 Dec 2007 05:31:00 GMT
Posted by CNET Fri Jan 04, 2008 7:37 am
Apple Q108 results webcast Jan. 22nd; more on iPhone 1.1.3 in Syndicated News: Hardware, Networking, Computing, IT, and Business and Industry News
Apple Q108 results webcast Jan. 22nd; more on iPhone 1.1.3 leak
Apple Inc. intends to discuss its results for the just-ended fiscal quarter in late January.  Also, a video has surfaced of the major changes rumored to accompany the iPhone's 1.1.3 firmware upgrade.

Apple's first fiscal quarter results due Jan. 2...

Publish Date: Mon, 31 Dec 2007 15:05:00 -0500
Posted by Apple Computer Fri Jan 04, 2008 7:37 am
New report claims 24-hour, variable price iTunes rentals in Syndicated News: Hardware, Networking, Computing, IT, and Business and Industry News
New report claims 24-hour, variable price iTunes rentals
Adding to the media frenzy surrounding possible iTunes movie rentals, a Hollywood magazine alleges that Apple's rentals will only last for short stretches of time and will use a flexible price structure.

Variety refers to supposed studio contacts ...

Publish Date: Sat, 29 Dec 2007 20:45:00 -0500
Posted by Apple Computer Fri Jan 04, 2008 7:37 am
More studios reported linked to iTunes rentals; iPhone 1.1. in Syndicated News: Hardware, Networking, Computing, IT, and Business and Industry News
More studios reported linked to iTunes rentals; iPhone 1.1.3 leaked?
20th Century Fox will not be alone among studios when Apple reveals an iTunes movie rental service, according to one claim.  Also, new photos purport to show simulated GPS and other features in upcoming iPhone firmware.

Report: Fox to be joined by...

Publish Date: Sat, 29 Dec 2007 11:00:00 -0500
Posted by Apple Computer Fri Jan 04, 2008 7:37 am
10 predictions for 2008 in Syndicated News: Hardware, Networking, Computing, IT, and Business and Industry News
10 predictions for 2008
I've always preferred prognostication to nostalgia, so rather than replay the best of 2007, I'll use these late December doldrums to make 10 predictions for the coming year. Some editors will warn you that this kind of list is suicide--it's too easy for everybody to look back ...

Author: Matt Rosoff
Publish Date: Fri, 28 Dec 2007 05:31:00 GMT
Posted by CNET Fri Jan 04, 2008 7:36 am
Apple lawsuit fallout: shutting down in Syndicated News: Hardware, Networking, Computing, IT, and Business and Industry News
Apple lawsuit fallout: shutting down

Think Secret, the Apple rumor Web site, will no longer be published, under the terms of an undisclosed settlelment with Apple Inc. The site issued a small press release on the matter late last night, with Think Secret's publisher Nick Ciarelli noting, "I'm pleased to have reached this ...

Author: Josh Lowensohn
Publish Date: Thu, 20 Dec 2007 18:30:00 GMT
Posted by CNET Fri Jan 04, 2008 7:36 am
Apple enabling native Windows Leopard? in Syndicated News: Hardware, Networking, Computing, IT, and Business and Industry News
Apple enabling native Windows Leopard?
If what The Register writes is even remotely true, the writing is on the wall for Microsoft's desktop dominance.  What does it say?  "Game over."

The Register is reporting that Apple may be coding Leopard to run Windows applications natively (meaning, no need for Parallels, Boot Camp, etc.).  It's a wild guess at this point, but the clues are there:

Leopard's PE (Portable Executable--a way of encoding executable files) support was uncovered by one Stephen Edwards, who'd been working with Wine, the open source version of the Windows application programming interface (API). He found that Leopard's Dynamic Linker (Dyld) will try to load a PE file. Soon after, Leopard's hunt for DLLs referenced by the PE file appeared as further evidence that the presence of PE support may not simply be a hang over from Apple's use of the Extensible Firmware Interface (EFI).


Author: Matt Asay
Publish Date: Wed, 05 Dec 2007 05:35:00 GMT
Posted by CNET Fri Jan 04, 2008 7:36 am
LogMeIn releases remote control for Macs in Syndicated News: Hardware, Networking, Computing, IT, and Business and Industry News
LogMeIn releases remote control for Macs
LogMeIn today began offering a version of its remote-access service for Mac users. Once installed, LogMeIn Free for Mac allows a computer to be controlled from another computer via a Web browser.

The company is also releasing a beta version of LogMeIn Rescue for Mac for support technicians performing long-distance ...

Author: Elsa Wenzel
Publish Date: Tue, 04 Dec 2007 22:59:00 GMT
Posted by CNET Fri Jan 04, 2008 7:36 am
Does Vista's stunted growth hint at the death of the deskto in Syndicated News: Hardware, Networking, Computing, IT, and Business and Industry News
Does Vista's stunted growth hint at the death of the desktop?
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Is the desktop metaphor dead, replaced by Web services like Google and Facebook? Or is Vista so bad that it's not worth buying?

New data points to the latter suggestion, leaving Microsoft with two options. It can either view its sagging Vista sales as a testament to the incredible work of art that is Windows XP (gag). Or it can concede that Vista is a pile of potty.

Or perhaps, just perhaps, this isn't a Windows thing at all but simply a recognition that we may have tapped out the "must-have" innovations on the fat-client desktop leading people to wait out upgrades until a hardware refresh makes the choice a no-brainer.

Regardless of how Microsoft chooses to view its Vista numbers, it clearly has a problem.  Though it's only one dataset, PCWorld's users aren't jumping up and down for Vista. PCWorld measured Web traffic on its site, and found that adoption of Vista is tepid (14 percent), and is crawling compared with how fast XP came out of the gate:

How much of an accomplishment is it for a new version of Windows to get to 14 percent usage in 11 months? The logical benchmark is to compare it to the first 11 months of Windows XP, back in 2001 and 2002.


Author: Matt Asay
Publish Date: Mon, 31 Dec 2007 14:41:00 GMT
Posted by Microsoft Fri Jan 04, 2008 7:36 am
Microsoft opens up its security work in Syndicated News: Hardware, Networking, Computing, IT, and Business and Industry News
Microsoft opens up its security work
Microsoft seems to finally be caving on the idea of security through obscurity.  No, it's software isn't being open-sourced, but it is creating a public forum in which to discuss its security research and patch management process. The Microsoft Security Vulnerability Research and Defense blog is designed to "...

Author: Matt Asay
Publish Date: Fri, 28 Dec 2007 14:13:00 GMT
Posted by Microsoft Fri Jan 04, 2008 7:36 am
IEEE survey: Microsoft is software industry's leading innov in Syndicated News: Hardware, Networking, Computing, IT, and Business and Industry News
IEEE survey: Microsoft is software industry's leading innovator

I was reading through IEEE's recent patent portfolio survey and was surprised to see that Microsoft was ranked No. 1 in terms of the overall quality, and more importantly, scientific value of its patent portfolio. The company that gave us Clippy is also sitting on a small mountain of innovation.

The question, of course, is how to turn raw innovation into saleable products.  In this area Microsoft may be too dependent on last decade's products to truly focus on the next decade. Yes, Microsoft has churned out the Zune, Xbox, and other new products.  But I suspect its dominance in operating systems and office productivity suites keeps it from truly pushing the envelope with new products, because everything has to fit within yesterday's conception of how computing should work.

In short, could Microsoft be its own worst enemy?

Here are the rankings:


Author: Matt Asay
Publish Date: Thu, 20 Dec 2007 15:25:00 GMT
Posted by Microsoft Fri Jan 04, 2008 7:36 am
IE8 to be standards compliant: Good for devs and users in Syndicated News: Hardware, Networking, Computing, IT, and Business and Industry News
IE8 to be standards compliant: Good for devs and users
(Credit: Channel 9 / Microsoft Corporation)
Standards, standards, standards.

That's the general theme of a video about the next version of Internet Explorer, which will unsurprisingly be called IE8. Details thus far have been scarce, but in a half-hour video with IE's GM Dean Hachamovitch and Architect Chris Wilson ...

Author: Josh Lowensohn
Publish Date: Thu, 20 Dec 2007 01:35:00 GMT
Posted by Microsoft Fri Jan 04, 2008 7:36 am
Microsoft, Yahoo, Google to pay $31.5 million for illegal g in Syndicated News: Hardware, Networking, Computing, IT, and Business and Industry News
Microsoft, Yahoo, Google to pay $31.5 million for illegal gambling ads
Microsoft, Yahoo, and Google will pay a combined $31.5 million to settle allegations they accepted money for illegal gambling ads, according to the Associated Press.

All three companies said they stopped accepting ads for gambling years ago. The agreement settles an investigation launched in 2000 and conducted by the ...

Author: Elinor Mills
Publish Date: Wed, 19 Dec 2007 22:16:00 GMT
Posted by Microsoft Fri Jan 04, 2008 7:36 am
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