Archive | January 2012

Megaupload’s Kim Dotcom Loses ‘Call of Duty’ Top Spot While in Prison [VIDEO]

Megaupload’s Kim Dotcom Loses ‘Call of Duty’ Top Spot While in Prison [VIDEO]:

Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom can’t defend his top-spot score in the game Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 from behind bars — he was recently bumped to the no. 2 spot by a player named Azaros.
On Wednesday, a judge denied Dotcom bail, meaning he likely won’t be able to usurp Azaros’ Modern Warfare 3 title anytime soon.
But Kim Dotcom, 38, has more troubling concerns than his gaming title. Last week, Dotcom appeared in court to face charges of copyright infringement to the tune of $175 million, and he allegedly cost copyright holders $500 million in lost revenue due to his Megaupload website.
Dotcom became the best Modern Warfare 3 player on New Year’s Eve and celebrated with friends who threw confetti on him [scroll down to see the video]. It appears as though the Megaupload millionaire adores everything “mega” — including his player name on the game: MEGARACER. The New Zealand Herald reported that a room in Dotcom’s New Zealand mansions has seven 60-inch televisions, each with its own Xbox and Lazyboy reclining chair, which from the looks of the background in the video, it may be the place where he took the no. 1 spot.
Kim Dotcom, whose real name is Kim Schmitz and is a German citizen, was arrested and detained on Jan. 20 along with three alleged accomplices in New Zealand. Because some of Megaupload‘s servers were based in Virginia, United States authorities were able to get involved in the case. He is waiting extradition to the United States to face the charges.
A fifth suspect was arrested this past Wednesday in the Netherlands. Authorities are still looking for two more suspects linked to Megaupload.
Nabbing a high-ranking score in a video game that sold more than 15 million copies takes obsessive dedication. Ironically, Megaupload might have made it even harder to reach that top spot by facilitating free downloads of games such as Modern Warfare 3.
What do you think about Dotcom and Megaupload? And for those of you who play Modern Warfare: Call of Duty 3, what do you think about Azaros earning the top spot? Tell us in the comments.


Behind the Scenes of Twitter’s No-Cost Viral Recruiting Video

Behind the Scenes of Twitter’s No-Cost Viral Recruiting Video:

Twitter’s viral job recruitment video took the web by storm over the weekend, already gaining nearly half a million views — and it didn’t cost the company a dime.

“We spent zero dollars on this film, using only existing equipment,” explain the video makers and members of Twitter’s corporate design team, Jeremy Briggs and Ian Padgham. Also involved was Olivia Watkins, a member of the recruiting team.

According to Twitter, Briggs brought in his old camera from home for the low-quality scenes and Padgham drew the featured picture of CEO Dick Costolo on a whiteboard in a conference room. Everyone participating in the video actually works at Twitter.

“I think the project really embodied the team spirit essence of #Hackweek,” Padgham says.
The video was one of many projects derived from a week-long event at Twitter where employees stepped away from their desks to come up with ways to enhance the company. Nearly 100 teams participated in this year’s Hack Week.

“Recruiting videos are the worst,” Padgham explains. “Jeremy and I decided to make the worst possible video ever, since there was no way to make a good one. Knowing that #HackWeek was coming up, we wanted to have fun and embrace the awesome creative environment you find at Twitter.”

In 2010, Twitter created a recruiting video (also under Briggs’ assistance) in a similar cheesy style, which was designed to pay tribute to Wes Anderson’s film, Rushmore.

Although it’s too early to say what the outcome is for Twitter’s employment, the video has definitely grabbed the web’s attention. While Twitter is known to be a mega fanbase for Justin Bieber, it looks like his people are fond of Twitter too.

Want to Print Facebook? Better Get 11.5 Billion Sheets of Paper [INFOGRAPHIC]

Want to Print Facebook? Better Get 11.5 Billion Sheets of Paper [INFOGRAPHIC]:

Printing a year’s worth of Facebook statuses would be equivalent to printing more than 500 million Oxford English Dictionaries, a new survey found.
Sure, it would be a waste of paper, but a UK online cartridge retailer thought it would be interesting to find out how much paper would be needed to print a year’s worth of Facebook statuses if the website’s 800 million users updated once per day. The answer — 11.5 billion sheets.
Of course, there are a few stipulations for cramming the statuses onto paper — each of the estimated 292 billion status updates would be an average of two lines, which is equivalent to 584 billion total lines; the statuses would be printed on 8.3-by-11.7 inch paper in size 11 point Arial font.
The print job would be expensive — the ink alone would cost about $194.5 million or 147.2 million euros. To compare, England could build two more of the London Eye with that amount of money. It would take 573 million hours to read every Facebook status posted in a year, which is how long it would take to fly around the globe 8.5 million times, according to Cartridge Save, the online ink cartridge retailer who compiled the facts.
The UK company surveyed 2,102 UK Facebook users by email to calculate numbers for the infographic. Of those surveyed, the average UK Facebook user spends 32 minutes per day reading on Facebook, and 62% of respondents write one status about two lines in length per day.
How much paper and ink do you think was used when people sent snail mail on a daily basis to communicate with family and friends years ago?

Infographic created by Cartridge Save

Did A Dolce & Gabbana Exec Crash This $1.3 Million Zonda F?

Did A Dolce & Gabbana Exec Crash This $1.3 Million Zonda F?

An axiom of supercars appears to be that the more wonderful and rare it is, the more likely it’ll be crashed. The wonderful Pagani Zonda F is certainly rare — just 25 built — and now one’s been crashed in Hong Kong. For the second time. And our tipster thinks it might belong to an exec at fashion house Dolce & Gabbana. UPDATE!
Pagani’s Zonda F squeezes 594 horsepower out of its 6.0-liter AMG V12, enough to send the car to 60 mph in under three seconds. It’s a unicorn. A crazy, crash-happy unicorn. This is at least the third massive Zonda F crash since the car debuted (and there are possibly more).
This particular car seems to have twisted itself around a pole at high speed, sending fluids out into the street. The entire nose has been scraped off as well as the rear right-side wheel. Damage to the glorious AMG mill? Yep, looks like it.
Our tipster also noticed the same car was prominently featured in front of the D&G store in Hong Kong during protests there earlier this year surrounding that store’s ban on photography.
Rumors are circling on the island that the car “belong[s] to one of the top execs of the retailer.” The video seems to show a man surrounded by protestors and police getting in the car outside of the D&G store.
Ultimately, it doesn’t matter who owns it. It’s another amazing supercar cut down in its prime. Tear.

Seinfeld And Leno Want First NSX In Acura Super Bowl Ad

Seinfeld And Leno Want First NSX In Acura Super Bowl Ad

Equipped with AWD and a gasoline/electric hybrid powertrain, Acura’s hoping its new NSX supercar will herald a new age of responsible supercar when it hits showrooms sometime in the next 24 months. If it succeeds, it’s going to be one sought-after collector car, a seed Acura is trying to sow in this hilarious Superbowl ad.
Both Jay Leno and Jerry Seinfeld are well known car collectors. But the new Acura NSX? Is me-too R8 styling and low emissions really going to be enough to have boring old comedians throwing their wealth after it? God we hope so.
And unlike its more pedestrian sibling’s commercial — we’re fully behind this kind of pandering

Watch A $1.7 Million Aston Martin One-77 Repeatedly Stall On The Street [Video]

Watch A $1.7 Million Aston Martin One-77 Repeatedly Stall On The Street

Just because you’re behind the wheel of a $1.7 million supercar doesn’t mean you know how to drive it. Watch as the driver of this Aston Martin One-77 repeatedly stalling on the streets of Paris.
We don’t understand how this driver and this other One-77 owner can stall a car that doesn’t even have a clutch pedal for its automated manual gearbox.
Maybe Aston should have invested in a double clutch transmission.

Facebook tests photo viewer designs

Facebook tests photo viewer designs:

Facebook is testing a new way to display photos that puts captions and comments to the right of the image rather than below.

The new format takes advantage of horizontal space so that photos can be presented larger and the information and conversation are still visible, instead of forcing users to scroll down to see comments as they do currently. The team at Facebook also appears to be talking to professional photographers for feedback, according to public status updates and comments from employees.

We’ve seen screenshots of two versions of the new display. Both are lightbox style, meaning the image is shown in an overlay rather than a new page, which Facebook first implemented in September 2010. One version uses buttons similar to the design used on Timeline and the activity log. It puts the “Tag Photo” and “Edit” options above the image.

Another version makes some calls to action more prominent by putting them on top of the image when users hover over the photo. A user with the new photo viewer says the display adjusts to the size of the browser, but we have not been able to test the responsiveness ourselves.

On one screenshot we’ve seen, two ads were very prominent. The other screenshots we received were of photos that had several more comments, pushing advertisements down or away completely. Currently most ads are not visible in the photo lightbox unless a user scrolls down.

Both designs offer a cleaner interface than Facebook’s existing photos product, which includes more than a dozen buttons, some with repeating functions (see image below). The new format seems to put all of these options under a single drop-down menu. Some users might not realize all the actions they can take, but this way the focus is mostly on the photo and the conversation around it.

According to Facebook, more than 250 million photos are uploaded to the social network each day.

Thanks to Zoltán Faludi, Ivan Brezak Brkan and Rehman Abdur for the tip and screenshots.

Five Million Android Users Might Have Fallen Victim to Another Malware Attack

Five Million Android Users Might Have Fallen Victim to Another Malware Attack

According to Symantec, 13 apps from three developers—many in the official Android Market—have been carrying malicious chunks of code called Android.Counterclank, and are suspected of running on as many as five million phones, stealing info and running ads against the will of the device’s owner.
ComputerWorld, speaking to Symantec, learned that the apps have been downloadable for over a month, and Symantec calls it the biggest Android malware outbreak to date.
Some of the 13 apps that Symantec identified as infected have been on the Android Market for at least a month, according to the revision dates posted on the e-store. Symantec, however, discovered them only yesterday.
Users had noticed something fishy before then.
“The game is decent … but every time you run this game, a ‘search icon gets added randomly to one of your screens,” said one user on Jan. 16 after downloading “Deal & Be Millionaire,” one of the 13. “I keep deleting the icon, but it always reappears. If you tap the icon you get a page that looks suspiciously like the Google search page.”
The apps, distributed by iApps7, Ogre Games and redmicapps, are mostly games with titles such as Counter Strike Hit Force, Wild Man and Stripper Touch girl. Here’s the full list:
Counter Elite Force
Counter Strike Ground Force
CounterStrike Hit Enemy
Heart Live Wallpaper
Hit Counter Terrorist
Stripper Touch girl
Balloon Game
Deal & Be Millionaire
Wild Man
Pretty women lingerie puzzle
Sexy Girls Photo Game
Sexy Girls Puzzle
Sexy Women Puzzle
Not-so-shockingly Symantec believes these publishers exist solely to distribute malware. Google might want to get rid of those.
UPDATE: Computerworld also posted a followup from an Android-centric security firm, Lookout, who claim that the behavior of these apps is on par with at least 10 other ad networks, and shouldn’t be considered malware. They say Symantec has overblown their own findings. Symantec has yet to respond. [Symantec via ComputerWorld]

These People Will Make Any Movie You Tell Them To Do

These People Will Make Any Movie You Tell Them To Do

I’m very impressed by Finite Films. They’re a band of filmmakers who produce one Hollywood-level quality short film every month—and each of their short films works within the constraints that people give them on the web.

Michael Tucker—part of the group—tells me that it’s “basically an experiment in social media and co-authorship with the audience.” Here is how it works: You go to their site, send them a constraint for their next short film, they pick their 21 favorites, you vote them. The top 7 define the next short. So, basically, you can get a movie in which:

• Someone falls into a hole.
• Someone gets eaten by a dinosaur.
• Two dozen tigers dance.
• A plane disappears.
• Semi-naked amazons hunt a mammoth.
• It rains coffee.
• Richard Nixon eats a doughnut.

I would watch that movie.

They are now currently accepting submissions for their June film, which will be premiering June 2012. [Finite Films]

Watch These Fake Flying People Freak Out New York City

Watch These Fake Flying People Freak Out New York City

We don’t usually geek out to manufactured viral marketing fluff, but trust us, this video is pretty good. The marketing team behind the movie Chronicle flew three human shaped RC planes around NYC to make it look like real people were magically flying. From the ground, it really looked like you were watching a superhero do its flyin’ thang.
I WANT TO BELIEVE. I’m also glad I didn’t see this in real life because I probably would’ve freaked out. [New York Observer]