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Hollywood's Plan for Increasing DVD Sales

When the DVD format came out, Hollywood was making hand over fist. In fact, they were experiencing double-digit growth a couple years ago. However, DVD sales are expected to grow only 2 percent this year, perhaps due to online rental sites such as Netflix and Blockbuster. This downward trend is forcing Hollywood to think up ways to keep the DVD format going until the HDDVD and/or BluRay formats become popular.

Apparently they've had their marketing gurus locked up in a room somewhere figuring out how to create a second DVD boom. The result of those talks is two words: bubble gum. Yup, Hollywood has decided to put all their eggs in one basket and start packaging bubble gum with their DVDs.

A rep from Hollywood responded to criticisms yesterday saying that "most movie studios have jumped on board this new marketing push as they all fully believe it to be a solid idea that will carry DVD sales through this year and likely through next year as well. Many don't just buy DVDs, they collect them. As such, by packaging bubble gum with each DVD, studios will recapture the nostalgia of the 'good old days' of collecting baseball cards."

He continued by saying "The gum packaged with the DVDs will all be the same stale gum we've all grown to love over the years. We loved it when we unwrapped our package of Topps cards and we hope people love it when they unwrap their box set of The Godfather or the latest Harry Potter."

While many are still baffled by this marketing maneuver, early trial runs have shown a large and steady increase in DVD sales. It is unknown whether or not used DVDs will come with used gum.

[tags]DVD sales, Hollywood, baseball cards, baseball card gum[/tags]



RIAA's Latest Attacks Force YouTube To Change Its Service

The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has recently set it's sights on YouTube and Google Video. YouTube seems to be getting the brunt of the attacks as RIAA is now going after people who lip synch to copywrited songs or merely dance to a clip in the background. YouTube apparently is taken steps to prevent any further legal troubles, but those steps may prove to be too much for it's users.

The first major change with YouTube's service is that registration now requires your SSN, street address, and phone number. The new information is verified upon sign up and is stored in case of legal issues. YouTube representatives are saying that this new step will help hold copywrite violators more accountable.

Another new change is that all YouTube videos will now begin with a 10-15 second clip that discusses the problems with piracy and copywrite violation. These clips look to be similar to the ads that are cropping up in movie theaters and DVDs that talk about illegally downloading movies.

The last modification of note is that uploading and viewing YouTube movies will require downloading and installing DRM (Digital Rights Management) software. This software will not only be required to play YouTube videos, it will also prevent downloaded MP3s and movies from working properly on the installed computer. DRM software probably became most widely known with Sony's rootkit disaster.

As expected, YouTube users are in quite an uproar over the proposed changes. Probably the most controversial is the required DRM as many computer users are very strongly against software that restricts their capabilities to use even legally downloaded movies, music, and software.

YouTube reps say that the measures proposed are necessary if they wish to be able to continue to provide their service for free and that further legal troubles with the RIAA would most likely put the company out of business.

[tags]RIAA, YouTube, Google Video, copywrite, piracy[/tags]



New Bill Proposes More Gaming Restrictions

There has been much discussion and debate over the effects games have on gamers, with the latest news being that of a Jack Thompson backed bill that would ban certain types of games from being sold to minors. It isn't really a suprise that Thompson is, once again, behind such an attack on the gaming industry. What is suprising is that the bill has been approved to go to the Senate for final debate.

You may think a law limiting sales to minors is necessary, which is definitely arguable, but the text in this newly proposed bill is quite ludicrous when it says that it would be illegal to sell, rent, or lease a game to a minor if it met the following three conditions:

  1. The average person, applying contemporary community standards, would find that the video or computer game, taken as a whole, appeals to the minor's morbid interest in violence.

  2. The game depicts violence in a manner patently offensive to prevailing standards in the adult community with respect to what is suitable for minors.

  3. The game, taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value for minors.


The problem is that this bill has opened the doorway for even more laws restricing game sales and use. Yesterday one such bill was announced that includes the following restrictions on game use:

  1. Game useage must be kept at a maximum of 30 minutes a day for minors and 60 minutes a day for adults. The maximum use per week must not exceed 120 minutes for minors and 200 minutes for adults.
  2. Minors may only play governmentally approved educational software.
  3. Minors may not play any game that has the capability of being connected to the internet. Additionaly, minors are not to play games that are able to be modified.
  4. Both minors and adults that play games for more than 90 minutes in a single week must have a therapy session that will determine if there have been any negative effects. If such negative effects are found, the person will not be allowed access to games for at least one month.


The above restrictions are clearly a major step towards controlling the impact gaming has on society. Though there is much opposition to this new bill, the legislative body seems to be leaning towards supporting it.

Drafters of the bill claim that such control will help prevent violent crimes and the increasing "moral degradation" that they believe society is experiencing.

[tags]game bans, game restriction, Jack Thompson[/tags]



Satan Discusses His 6/6/06 No Show

With yesterday being 6/6/06, many thought the day represented the sign of the beast, 666, with the beast being Satan. The day has passed, and Satan was a no show. Many are now citing his absence as proof that he does not exist.

Satan contacted ATN for an interview so that he could explain why he didn't show up on his day, and to try and convince people that he does, in fact, still exist.

So you exist huh?
Of course.

Then why didn't you show up on your big day?
Honestly... I didn't really feel the need. I mean look. Why waste my precious time doing some fancy demonstration when things are already going quite well for me up here.

What do you mean by that?
I really have had the easiest time in the world these last few years. With people blaming video games for just about everything, RIAA stomping out everybody's rights, and with people actually thinking removing Saddam Hussein from power was actually a mistake. I mean, things have to be going well if people can say with a straight face that ending Hussein's reign was a bad move.

But what about those that are now claiming you don't exist because nothing bad happened on "your" day?
I'm really not that worried. My favorite quote is the one that goes something like how my greatest trick was fooling people that I don't exist.

If that's the case, what do you think of all your fans out there that worship you?
Sure, I love those wackos that worship me with blood sacrifices, but that doesn't really help convert people to my side now does it? If you're on the fence on whether or not to be good or bad, do you think you'd be convinced to turn evil because of some goat sacrifices? Naw, I'd much rather sit back and watch you all destroy yourselves than risk scaring people off with weird rituals.

Do you have any ties with the infamous RIAA?
No comment.

What about Jack Thompson?
No comment! This interview is over, I'll be seeing you soon.



So there you have it. Apparently Satan likes the way things are going and didn't feel the need to show himself yesterday. I guess it's a good thing he didn't appear, but it'd be nice if he wasn't so confident that he didn't need to.

[tags]6/6/06, 666, sign of the beast, Satan[/tags]





Battlestar Galactica More Science Than Fiction

I don't want everybody to panic, but it has come to my attention that the Sci Fi channel's popular television show Battlestar Galactica is more science than fiction. To put it plainly, the general storyline in the show is based on real events. The show itself is actually a way to prepare us for the eventual arrival of the Human and Cylon fleets.

For those that haven't been following the show, basically, there were 12 colonies way out in space that were attacked by robots called Cylons. These machines obliterated the 12 colonies. A small fleet was able to escape and have been in search of the 13th colony, Earth. The fleet has been continuously chased by the Cylons, as the Cylons are very interested in Earth as well.

Those events, previously thought to be just a fabricated storyline for the show, are actually real events. The show was actually created by a few people from a scout ship to help prepare us for the fleet's arrival. There was a previous Battlestar Galactica television show, which was also meant to prepare us, but the fleet's arrival had to be delayed due to the Cylon's finding their trail.

The new show is meant to re-introduce us to what's going on so that we'll have a partial understanding of the situation. Though we have been given no dates on when the arrival may happen, we are told to expect it within 10 years. The reason for masking the show as a fiction was due to the fact that they didn't want to shock us or send us into panic, but rather give us some background information (even if we thought that info was purely fiction).

Unfortunately, the scouts themselves don't know the current situation with the fleet, as they have been here on Earth for about 5 years, so their information is old. As such, it is unknown exactly what Earth must do to prepare; if it's a war we must prepare for or somehow make plans to evacuate.

Hopefully the television show will shed some more light on Earth's role in this war.

[tags]Battlestar Galactica, science fiction[/tags]



MySpace Partners With Adult Friend Finder

MySpace, the online friend network system, and AdultFriendFinder, the online adult matching service, have announced a partnership that will bring about a new website named "MyAdultFriendSpace". The new site will be an online community similar to MySpace but for adults only, emphasizing adult oriented features.

Some key new features include:

Minimum Age Requirement: One of the biggest issues with MySpace right now is the public's outcry of older people contacting teens and how it could potentially lead to online or even offline sexual conduct. MyAdultFriendSpace will avoid this problem by setting a minimum age requirement of 21 years and will actually do a credit card check to verify age.

Detailed User Profiles: Each person's profile will include more detailed information such as sexual orientation, preferred positions, length, girth, etc. Users will likewise be able to search on any of those criteria to add new AdultFriends.

Hot Posts: Like MySpace, each user will have the ability to make personal posts, similar to a blog. The posts can be rated by users for how hot the post is. Similarly, the hottest posts will be posted on the main website for all to see. The posts will be tied to different categories such as Personal Experiences, Sexual Frustrations, and What I Like in Bed.

Sex Links: Each profile will be linked to other profiles that the person has had sex with. Included with the link will be detailed tags such as the STDs transferred, how each side rated the sex, and if either party became pregnant (with a % change that the male in the link could be the father).

Top Lists: MyAdultFriendSpace will have a number of "top lists" that will display the top users, posts, etc. for certain categories. Lists that have been confirmed so far are:

  • Most Sexually Active - This list will show the users that have the most sex links for a certain time period. Included next to each user is the likelihood of STDs and babies.

  • Horniest - This list is a complicated algorithm that takes into account previous sex the person has had and compares it to any "drought" that are currently experiencing. The idea is that a person that used to have a lot of sex, but is currently hitting a dry spell sexually will probably be very horny.

  • Freakiest - People that make the top of the freaky list will have sex links with a variety of different people. The freaky people will have sex links with all genders, races, heights, and weights and will have experienced many different positions and locations.



The deal between the two websites is likely to benefit both parties in the long run, though the initial response seems to be quite negative. The MySpace community is in an uproar over the announcment as they fear that their profiles have basically been sold to an adult service. However, MySpace representatives assure everybody that the user profiles will be only be sent to the new community if the user opts in. The reps also stress that by adding a separate MySpace related community that is adult oriented, they hope to clean up the MySpace community and make it a safer place for teens.



E3 Wrap Up

Well, this year's E3 is finally over and there's still a ridiculous amount of information floating around. We here at Almost True News have put together a list of notable gaming tidbits that'll hopefully shed some light on this year's E3.

Nintendo


  • Wii Remote: Perhaps the most talked about item at the expo was Nintendo's Wii remote. It was revealed that it's capable of not only motion sensing technologies, but also has the ability to play sound, release smells, produce immense heat or extreme cold, rumble, and can produce small electric shocks.

  • Smash Bros. Brawl: Nintendo revealed a few new playable characters for the highly anticipated Smash Bros. Brawl. Among those announced; Meta Knight (Kirby), Mike Tyson (Mike Tyson's-Punchout), Sub Zero (Mortal Kombat), Solid Snake (Metal Gear Solid), Green Pipe (Mario), and Pit (Kid Icarus).

  • DS Ultra Lite: Though the DS Lite has yet to be shipped in the United States, Nintendo announced that the next version, the DS Ultra Lite, would be out by this year's holiday season.



Microsoft

  • Live Arcade Update: Microsoft announced that Live Arcade game downloads were outnumbering store bought game sales by over 40 to 1. With that, they've decided to discontinue producing large scale games to be sold in retail stores. Prices of Live Arcade game are expected to raise over the coming months.

  • Gamertags: It was discovered that Microsoft's popular "gamertag" information is currently being sold to 3rd parties.

  • Xpod: Microsoft concluded their press conference by revealing their portable gaming device dubbed the "Xpod". It is expected to play XMD format movies, Mp3z, act as a phone, and will be the backbone to the newly announced Microsoft Live Anywhere technology.



Sony

  • Press Conference: Sony had a really good openning press conference that has left everybody feeling very excited, especially with the $600 price tag and "borrowed" Wii technology.



[tags]E3, Sony Playstation 3, Microsoft Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii[/tags]



Wii Play Site and E3

You have have noticed a lack of stories posted for a few days. The reason for this is two fold.

1: E3 is hitting us this week and everybody's attention is most likely on that. I could go about posting "almost" true news about the games and hardware, but then new announcements would be released that'd make any news here posted obsolete.

2: I've just released a new site, Wii Play, which will eventually turn into an incredibly unique community driven website. However, for now it's an updating Wii news and information site. I only had about a week to get it up and running before E3 so it's still lacking a few things. Over the next few months I'll release a new version of it that will hopefully put a fresh new spin on how sites are done.

I do plan on start posting frequently here again after E3 so don't worry about me abandoning this site. It's a fun outlet to write various humorous reports that are mostly fun satires.

[tags]Nintendo Wii, E3 expo[/tags]



Internet Causes Global Warming

Global warming has become an increasingly heated (pun intended) topic of controversy. It's arguably the most important concern for environmentalists and is becoming an increasingly important political issue as some citizens begin to panic.

Many believe global warming is caused by the increase of greenhouse gases. The increase is usually attributed to the industrial advances mankind has made through the years, namely transportation, manufacturing, and other fuel burning processes. Some believe global warming doesn't even exist, that the increase in temperatures and enironmental shifts are all naturally occuring.

Apparently, current theories have all been wrong as the ATNERF (Almost True News Environmental Research Facility) has just release a new report that pin points the real cause of global warming, and it isn't greenhouse gases. The ATNERF researchers have discovered that the true cause is in fact, the internet.

They have shown many figures and graphs showing how the increase in abnormal environmental shifts, namely global warming, match the increase in internet usage around the world. Big spikes in global warming happen at nearly the exact same time as large spikes in internet usage, such as the release of eBay, Google's release of GMail, and the surge caused by the relatively new MySpace. Google has actually been attributed with four of the top 10 spikes in recent years.

A Microsoft representative responded yesterday saying "We find these findings to be quite accurate as we've been studying the same phenomenon. We've always known Google was more evil than us. 'Do no evil' indeed."

Researchers have not yet mentioned any "cures" for this except for people to surf less and watch television more. They also urge gamers to play offline as much as possible.



Windows Live Shopping Beta Hates Firefox

Last week Microsoft announced the beta of Windows Live Shopping. Right now, when Firefox users attempt to load the page they are greeted with a message saying:

"We're sorry. Windows Live Shopping Beta does not yet support Firefox.

We?re working to correct this as soon as possible."


This was not the original message however. Almost True News was able to take a screenshot of the original message which can be seen below (click to enlarge). It is not clear if this was an official Microsoft message or if it was some employees idea of a joke.

Windows Live Hates Firefox


There is a rumor floating around that it was actually what the page said during development and that it was supposed to be changed upon public release (which was done, just a few hours late).

No matter what the real reason for the original message is, it's yet another nail in the coffin for Microsoft's PR.

[tags]Windows Live Shopping, Microsoft, Firefox[/tags]