Dying Briton ‘wrote killer’s name in blood’

May 5, 2009

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Pretty messed up story I came across today…
– FlashAddict

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LONDON (AFP) – A British student desperately tried to scrawl the name of his German love rival in his own blood as he was being stabbed to death, a court heard on Tuesday.

Matthew Pyke was knifed more than 80 times by German office worker David Heiss, who had become obsessed with his girlfriend after getting to know the couple through a computer games website, Nottingham Crown Court heard.

Jurors were shown a photograph of Pyke’s computer with the first three letters of Heiss’s first name scrawled in blood on the side in what the prosecution says was an apparent attempt to alert police.

The object of Heiss’s affection was Joanna Witton, 21, who lived with Pyke.

Heiss, also 21, from Limburg near Frankfurt, denies murder. He claimed he stabbed 20-year-old Pyke in self-defence at Pyke’s flat in Nottingham on September 19 last year.

The German said he was fighting Pyke for his knife in the moments before he allegedly murdered him.

“He charged at me. I was trying to push his arms away so they wouldn’t make contact with me. I stumbled back and fell on the table,” Heiss said.

“He lost the knife when it fell to the floor near the table. He tried to crawl towards it but I tried to prevent it by sitting on him. After a few seconds I got hold of it.

“He started kicking me in the back and he was looking at me angrily. I was lucky that I was still alive. I was almost sure that if I had lost the knife it would have been my end.

“I don’t know if it was adrenalin but I managed to get my arm away and then I stabbed him.”

Heiss, who lived with his grandmother, used to spend up to eight hours a day on his computer, the court heard.

He met Pyke and his girlfriend through the warscentral.com website and managed to obtain their address. He visited them several times in England but the couple grew increasingly annoyed by his attentions.

The prosecution says that Heiss eventually flew to Britain and lay in wait outside Pyke’s home, pouncing on him after seeing his girlfriend leave for work, before changing his clothes and fleeing back to Germany.

http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/afp/090505/world/britain_germany_trial


Not just a video game: the obsessive world of gaming and its young stars

March 9, 2009
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Reading this article really hit home and reminded me of the project I did last year dealing with World of Warcraft and its addictive characteristics:


– FlashAddict

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Ontario boy’s death focused attention on industry

Last Updated: Friday, March 6, 2009 | 6:06 PM ET

As far as his parents were concerned, Brandon Crisp was just playing one of his video games, a time-consuming pastime for the 15-year-old.

Brandon Crisp ran away on Thanksgiving after an argument with his parents about his obsession with playing video games.
Brandon Crisp ran away on Thanksgiving after an argument with his parents about his obsession with playing video games.
(Canadian Press)

Little did they know the Barrie, Ont., teen was making his way to the top tier of the gaming world, where all that time in front of the gaming console might start to pay off with big wins and recognition in an alternate online gaming universe.

When Steve and Angelika Crisp confiscated his console on Thanksgiving Monday, Oct. 13, 2008, the teen threatened to run away from home — and did. His body was found three weeks later in a forest, with the cause of death determined to have been a blow to the chest likely caused by falling from a tree.

CBC-TV’s Fifth Estate took a closer look at the case in a documentary titled Top Gun which airs Friday at 9 p.m. ET.

Though Crisp’s disappearance began as a simple missing child case, it grew into something larger, prompting parents and officials to turn their eye on a world they barely knew — the quickly growing video gaming circuit — and its allure for young and impressionable teens.

The video gaming world, with graphics so sophisticated they make the settings seem real and lucrative prizes that rival some professional sports, is enticing to children, many of them younger than the ages recommended in game ratings.

The Crisps admit they had no idea how important video games had become to their son and said they would never have bought the console as a Christmas gift if they’d known where it might lead.

“He was the kind of kid that would want to be the best at everything or anything that he did,” said Steve Crisp.

Brandon had put that passion into hockey years earlier but stopped playing at 12, frustrated about getting benched because of his small size.

He found a new niche in the so-called first-person shooter genre of video games, in which the player experiences the game through the eyes of a fighter on a mission. Brandon became obsessed, playing the Xbox video game Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare on a television in his bedroom every chance he got.

“We’d wake up in the middle of the night sometimes and find him playing games at two or three in the morning,” said his father. “I would go into his room and literally rip the cords out of the wall sometimes just because he just wouldn’t listen. He wouldn’t get off.”

Reaching for the top

It was Nick, a friend Brandon met on a school bus in the first week of Grade 9 in 2007, who introduced the teen to playing Call of Duty online, opening up a whole new world.

The friends formed a team, or clan, on Gamebattles.com — one of the fastest-growing online gaming sites — that allowed them to go on video game missions together, work their way up player rankings and win prizes. Owned by Major League Gaming, the site boasts 2.5 million registered users.

Soon, the members of the group were battling insurgents together in a virtual landscape stretching from the Middle East to Russia.

“We all kind of got good,” said Nick, but it was Brandon who proved the natural leader.

As Brandon became more and more immersed in the world, his parents were trying to limit his playing time. They even tried to cancel his online gaming subscription, but Xbox refused because the account was prepaid.

Then, three days before Thanksgiving, his parents discovered Brandon had skipped school to play the game. The Crisps took the Xbox away and hid it in their bedroom.

But Brandon found it, plugged the console back in and started playing again.

“Son, this time, it’s just not coming back,” Steve recalls saying. Brandon reacted by threatening to run away from home.

The two called what they thought was a bluff.

“I said, ‘Brandon, you’re not going to leave over a game. That’s ridiculous’,” said Angelika. Then she advised him to take a warm coat if he was going to leave.

He sped off with his coat and a knapsack on a mountain bicycle he hadn’t ridden in three years. A week later, that bicycle was found abandoned in a ditch by the side of a road in Shanty Bay, a few kilometres from his home.

Hunters found Brandon’s body several weeks later on Nov. 5 in a farmer’s field in the area north of Barrie.

Parents feel like hostages: expert

Brandon Crisp's casket is carried out of St. Mary's Church in Barrie, Ont., on Nov. 14, 2008.
Brandon Crisp’s casket is carried out of St. Mary’s Church in Barrie, Ont., on Nov. 14, 2008.
(Steven D’Souza/CBC)

During the three-week-long search, many comments were made about the type of kid Brandon was, but his friend Nick says it could’ve happened to anyone.

“It wasn’t Brandon’s fault. There’s a lot of people that get sucked into that game,” said Nick. “I could have been in the same situation as Brandon or any of my friends could have.”

Gary Direnfeld, a social worker in Dundas, Ont., known for his advice on the lifestyle television show Newlywed, Nearly Dead?, said his practice has seen a rise in the number of parents seeking help for their children’s gaming addictions.

“The parents are at their wit’s end,” said Direnfeld. “They’re pulling out their hair. They don’t know what to do. They get held hostage by the backlash from their teenager when the teenager says, ‘You can’t do that to me.’ They’re scared.”

While video games aren’t the same as drugs, Direnfeld says they can produce a similar effect: a sense of euphoria and power plus an adrenaline rush that proves addictive.

Peer pressure prevents breaks

Daniel Folmer, 24, of Texas was eight years old when he started playing first-person shooter games and became addicted.

“I felt physically compelled to play,” he said. “And every time I couldn’t play, I was angry; I was upset.”

Folmer remembers how he felt chills each time the game loaded up and revelled in killing hundreds of virtual people with his sniper rifle. He later quit cold turkey and now gives lectures about helping people get over their gaming addictions.

Folmer said the problem with online gaming was not only the violence but the intensity and sense of responsibility players feel to the team members with whom they spend hours on the console.

“If I wasn’t playing enough, my team would get upset,” said Folmer. “Then I would say to my mom, ‘I have to play, I have to play’.”

Peer pressure is built into the games, said family therapist Gary Direnfeld, with friends relying on each other to advance up the rankings ladder.

“Forget getting killed. If I get called to dinner, if I want to go do my homework, I’m letting down my team,” said Direnfeld. “Somebody else may die. And if they die, they’re out of the game.”

Top of the gaming world

Six months before Brandon ran away, he and his friends had signed up the clan for the Gamebattles Call of Duty ladder and were quickly caught up in the competition. But they, too, experienced the frustration when some failed to pull their weight.

Several months later, Brandon split with his friends and began focusing more time on his game.

According to his friends, he had reached the highest level of the so-called prestige mode in Call of Duty.

“That takes a lot of skill and a lot of dedication and hard work,” Folmer said when told of Brandon’s achievement by the Fifth Estate. “And I mean, that’s like … he’s an all-star.”

The Crisps learned after Brandon’s death that the Thanksgiving weekend when he ran away was key to their son finally closing in on the top ranks of his Call of Duty competition ladder. He had skipped school for a match and had others scheduled. Then his parents took away the console, causing him to lose his hard-fought ranking in a hobby he hoped to turn into a profession.

In fact, video gaming, referred to by some as an e-sport, can translate into a profitable career. Major League Gaming, which owns Gamebattles.com, has turned what once was an inside pastime into a televised spectator sport, with tournaments featuring $100,000 prizes and professional teams with their own coaches and sponsors.

The four players with Canada’s top professional video gaming team, Amp Energy Pro Team, consider themselves athletes and are fully dedicated to the career. They won’t disclose their earnings, but some professionals in the field are making hundreds of thousands of dollars a year.

Only now do his parents fully comprehend what video games had come to mean to Brandon.

“It would be devastating for someone to be disconnected,” acknowledged his mother, Angelika.

“It’s cult-like, and you can understand why he’d run down for dinner, run back up to his room and get back on the game and play in the middle of the night and be so mad when I’d rip the thing out of the wall unexpectedly when he’s in the middle of a game or a tournament,” said Steve.

No more violent than cartoons: MLG

But Brandon’s father says the gaming industry needs to be subject to more stringent regulations and shouldn’t allow children to compete for money.

“It needs to be way more regulated than it is” said Crisp. “Kids are out there competing for money that are 13, 14, 10. It shouldn’t be allowed.”

Brandon’s game of choice, Call of Duty, is rated M for mature, meaning its suitable for ages 17 and older. In Ontario, Manitoba, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, it’s illegal to sell M-rated games to those under 17. Saskatchewan and Alberta are in the process of introducing similar regulations.

The Entertainment Software Rating Board, a self-regulated body established by the industry, allots the ratings.

“When the industry itself says that kids under 17 shouldn’t be playing this game, then … a parent can be pretty sure that it’s not appropriate for a 10-, 11-, 12-, 13-year-old kid to be playing,” said David Walsh, a child psychologist who pushed for the ratings system.

Major League Gaming CEO Matthew Bromberg says the average age of Gamebattles players is 18, which means many are younger. “It’s no more violent than a cartoon on Saturday morning,” he says.

“We don’t manufacture the game. We’re not raising the kids. What we’re doing is creating the sport that millions of kids are really interested in.”

Walsh said the gaming industry has sent a “double message” to children by “encouraging young kids to get involved with games that aren’t rated for them.”

Danielle Labossiere-Parr, executive director of the industry group Entertainment Software Association of Canada, points out it is often parents purchasing the games for their children.

She said ratings are clearly stamped on the front of game packages and parents need to educate themselves on their purchases.

“The way that we are conveying the ratings information is effective,” said Labossiere-Parr. But ultimately, you know, we can’t control what goes into every home.”

As for the Crisps, who only now understand a world their son spent most of his time inhabiting, they wish they’d taken control a lot sooner.

“Like other parents, we’ve taken the easy way out too many times, and this is what it results in,” said Steve. “I’m not saying we’re bad parents. I think we do what a lot of other parents do.”

http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2009/03/03/f-video-gaming.html


Corrupted Blood brought about the end of the World…of Warcraft

February 10, 2009

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I never realized the extent of how far this affected players around the world – Here is how things spread like wildfire in the game and why doctors and scientists used it as a model for studying how real-life diseases can spread in a major urban environment – BBC News even covered it…see below!
– FlashAddict

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Corrupted Blood was a virtual plague that infected characters in the computer game World of Warcraft, spreading rapidly from character to character. Its resemblance to real-life disease epidemics drew international attention.

Corrupted Blood Plague taking place in Ironforge

The “epidemic” began on September 13, 2005 when Blizzard Entertainment, the developer of World of Warcraft, introduced a new instance dungeon called Zul’Gurub into the game as part of patch 1.7. Inside was a boss named Hakkar the Soulflayer, alluded to as the “blood god”. Players who fought Hakkar were affected by his debuff (a spell which has a negative effect over a fixed period of time). The debuff, in this case, was Corrupted Blood, a spell that caused 263–337 points of damage (compared to the average health of 2500–5000 for a character of the highest level, and with those at the mid-levels having about 1500) every two seconds to the afflicted character. The affliction was passed on to any characters standing too close to an infected character. While the curse would kill most lower-level characters in a matter of seconds, higher-level characters could keep themselves alive (via healing spells, having high stamina, or other means) long enough to spread the disease around the immense landscape inside the game. Death caused by the debuff did not cause any durability penalty, unlike most other causes of death in the game. The disease would eventually go away as time passed or when the infected character died.

The only way that a player was able to bring the disease outside of Zul’Gurub was by allowing a pet to get the debuff, dismissing the pet in less than five seconds, then summoning it in a populated area. (When dismissed, the pet retains the debuff and the timer of the debuff is paused.) This debuff transmission technique was first seen with the “living bomb” debuff from Baron Geddon in Molten Core. The plague was spread by players’ pets that contracted the disease and also by malicious players known as “griefers”, who found ways to bring the digital virus into heavily inhabited areas.

After a few days, Corrupted Blood had become World of Warcraft‘s version of the Black Death, rendering entire cities uninhabitable and causing players to avoid large clusters of others, and in many cases, causing players to avoid major cities altogether.

Due to the curse’s peculiar behavior—it was never meant to leave Zul’Gurub—the ability to infect pets and NPCs was a side effect unconsidered by the developers. The intended behavior involves the final boss fight with Hakkar. Every so often, Hakkar will cast this debuff on a random player, effectively forcing players to be spread apart, or in the case of melee classes, to move away from Hakkar before spreading it to the other melee classes. Blizzard Entertainment tried several times to fix the problem, including imposing a quarantine on certain places. This “plague” was eventually “cured” by restarting the servers, and changing the mechanics of the Hakkar encounter to eliminate the spreading of the effect from character to character. Hakkar still has an ability called Corrupted Blood, but it now takes the form of a red bolt launched at a random player fighting the boss. The player and those nearby take damage, and receive a heavy damage over time, but the effect no longer spreads further.

Due to the large scale outbreak of the “plague” (some servers had half of their characters infected), it drew wide attention from the media.

In March 2007, Ran D Balicer, an epidemiologist physician at the Ben-Gurion University in Israel, published an article in the Journal Epidemiology describing the similarities between this outbreak and the recent SARS and avian influenza outbreaks. Dr Balicer suggested role-playing games could serve as an advanced platform for modeling the dissemination of infectious diseases. In a follow-up article in the journal Science, the game Second Life was suggested as another possible platform for these studies.

In August 2007, Nina Fefferman, a Tufts University assistant research professor of public health and family medicine, called for research on this incident, citing the resemblances with biological plagues. Some scientists want to study how people would react to environmental pathogens, by using the virtual counterpart as a point of reference. Subsequently she co-authored a paper in the journal “Lancet Infectious Diseases” discussing the epidemiological and disease modeling implications of the outbreak, along with Eric Lofgren, a University of North Carolina graduate student.

In addition, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention requested statistics on this event for research on epidemics, but it is unknown if they followed through with their request after learning that it was just caused by a bug.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corrupted_blood

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Deadly plague hits Warcraft world

By Mark Ward
Technology Correspondent, BBC News website

Artwork for World of Warcraft, Blizzard

Players get the chance to be heroes in World of Warcraft

A deadly virtual plague has broken out in the online game World of Warcraft.

Although limited to only a few of the game’s servers the numbers of characters that have fallen victim is thought to be in the thousands.

Originally it was thought that the deadly digital disease was the result of a programming bug in a location only recently added to the Warcraft game.

However, it now appears that players kicked off the plague and then kept it spreading after the first outbreak.

Since its launch in November 2004, World of Warcraft (Wow) has become the most widely played massively multiplayer online (MMO) game in the world.

Its creator, Blizzard, claims that now more than four million people are regular players.

Last rites

Wow is an online game that gives players the chance to adventure in the fantasy world of Azeroth that is populated by the usual mixture of humans, elves, orcs and other fantastic beasts.

As players explore the world, the characters they control become more powerful as they complete quests, kill monsters and find magical items and artefacts that boost abilities.

Artwork for World of Warcraft, Blizzard

The Warcraft world is a familiar fantasy setting

To give these powerful characters more of a challenge, Blizzard regularly introduces new places to explore in the online world.

In the last week, it added the Zul’Gurub dungeon which gave players a chance to confront and kill the fearsome Hakkar – the god of Blood.

In his death throes Hakkar hits foes with a “corrupted blood” infection that can instantly kill weaker characters.

The infection was only supposed to affect those in the immediate vicinity of Hakkar’s corpse but some players found a way to transfer it to other areas of the game by infecting an in-game virtual pet with it.

This pet was then unleashed in the orc capital city of Ogrimmar and proved hugely effective as the Corrupted Blood plague spread from player to player.

Although computer controlled characters did not contract the plague, they are said to have acted as “carriers” and infected player-controlled characters they encountered.

Body count

The first server, or “realm” as Blizzard calls them, affected by the plague was Archimonde; but it is known to have spread to at least two others.

The spread of the disease could have been limited by the fact that Hakkar is difficult to kill, so some realms may not yet have got round to killing him and unleashing his parting shot.

Artwork for World of Warcraft, Blizzard

In World of Warcraft players can be orcs, humans or other fantastic creatures

The digital disease instantly killed lower level characters and did not take much longer to kill even powerful characters.

Many online discussion sites were buzzing with reports from the disaster zones with some describing seeing “hundreds” of bodies lying in the virtual streets of the online towns and cities.

“The debate amongst players now is if it really was intentional although due to the effects of the problem it seems unlikely,” Paul Younger, an editor on the unofficial worldofwar.net site, told the BBC News website.

“It’s giving players something to talk about and could possibly be considered the first proper ‘world event'”, he said.

Luckily the death of a character in World of Warcraft is not final so all those killed were soon resurrected.

Blizzard tried to control the plague by staging rolling re-starts of all the servers supporting the Warcraft realms and applying quick fixes.

However, there are reports that this has not solved all the problems and that isolated pockets of plague are breaking out again.

The “Corrupted Blood” plague is not the first virtual disease to break out in game worlds. In May 2000 many players of The Sims were outraged when their game characters died because of an infection contracted from a dirty virtual guinea pig.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/4272418.stm


Blocked by Facebook – Personal Journeys – Help John with his Art Project

January 17, 2009

Hello everyone,

Well, I guess the automated powers that be at Facebook have blocked me from sending out anymore Friend Requests to fellow Emily Carr University students/faculty/associates linked in to the school groups that can be found when you do a search. I can understand why they have such automated features, but it’s frustrating to be lopped into the same category as spammers, phishers or other types of crooks.

Because of this, I am asking for your help. If you feel that this project has merit and is worth the effort to bring in others to tell their stories as well, I would like to ask you to invite your friends to join the event. The future of this project is now in your hands as I cannot do it without you. Please help me in seeing this project become a reality because it means so much to me and I know that it means a great deal to you as well.

Sincerely,

John DeVeaux

– Here is the link to the Facebook event page -Personal Journeys – Help John with his Art Project

http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=46093168338

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As a gift to everyone, please go to:

https://flashaddict.wordpress.com/2009/01/15/shot-by-shot-analysis-of-the-music-video-glosoli-by-sigur-ros/

The lyrics are sung in Icelandic, yet one need not know what the words mean in order to interpret the value and depth that they and the imagery convey. I actually don’t want to know what the lyrics translate to in English because it would take away the beauty and serenity that I found interpreting it myself.

Enjoy!

Instructions:
1. Watch the full video without pause to understand the essence of the piece.

2. Read through my shot-by-shot written breakdown.

3. Watch the video again and take in a new personal understanding of the imagery.

4. Rewind and go back to individual shots and if you feel inspired, write down what they mean to you and compare them to mine.

5. Smile and feel a sense of peace = All will be OK.

John

Please be kind to my film terminology – there were so many terms that we learned last semester, that it was a bit of information overload and I may have mixed some up 🙂

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PS After spending 15 minutes trying to find out how to actually send an email to Facebook customer service, I sent them the following letter asking for their help as well:

To whom it may concern,

I was just recently blocked from sending friend requests on Facebook. As a result of that, I felt it would be prudent that I send you an email to let you know that I am not some dirty old man trying to prey on young children, nor am I a nefarious crook trying to swindle little old ladies out of their life savings.

I understand that you guys have to have set TOS standards and I know why I was tacked onto the list of possible spammers/crooks by sending friend requests. I have been in your shoes as I have worked many customer service gigs, most importantly when I worked for eBay in their investigations department and had to respond to complaints sent in my members about other members, with spam being one of the biggest issues reported.

That being said however, I am just an aspiring art student struck by inspiration and in the process of trying to invite people to join my Art Project as I feel that it is a great event to participate in. I am not trying to sell anything, I am just asking people to share their stories with me and am sending Friend Requests to my fellow art students and art enthusiasts (people who would want to participate in such an event). I’m not asking for much here, but please check out my event page and see for yourself “Personal Journeys – Help John with his Art Project.” I’m not a bad guy, I’m just trying to create a beautiful piece of art and to allow people to tell others their story.

Please let me know where I can go from here – I need your help.

Sincerely,

John DeVeaux


Tales of the Past III – by Martin Falch

January 15, 2009

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I will be showing clips from and talking about Tales of the Past III, a Machinima Film based on the video game World of Warcraft to my Video Art class at the Emily Carr University of Art + Design tomorrow for our Previous Inspiration Presentation project.
– FlashAddict

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Tales of the Past III, by Martin Falch is the ultimate achievement in fan-made Machinima Film based on the Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game, World of Warcraft. Martin spent over a year and a half single handedly piecing together the overall visual majesty of the film, from screen capturing from the game itself, editing hundreds of hours of footage, painstakingly doing all of the special effects, to labourously directing dozens upon dozens of other virtual actors on live game servers for massive group sequences. He also had professional voice actors volunteer their time and efforts to help piece together the emotional tone of the characters and organized an incredible array of songs for the soundtrack that effortlessly leads from sequence to sequence.

While most World of Warcraft Machinima Films are rudimentary and poorly strewn together with freeware software, Martin Falch has set the bar for all aspiring Warcraft Machinima auteurs to shoot for, myself included.

Opening Scene:

The Ashbringer:

These are the Duranin:

Final Battle:

Trailer:

Movie Plot and Download Links:
Since the death of Yimo and the shattering of the Orb of Visions, the Horde and the Alliance have accepted an unstable peace agreement. However, old hatreds stand in the way of cooperation and at the same time, chaos erupts as the Lich King finally takes action. In the meanwhile, Blazer travels to Northrend to hunt down Mograine, the Death Knight, and retrieve the legendary blade that may decide the fate of Azeroth – The Ashbringer…

After 1,5 years of production, Tales of the Past III is finally complete. Having spent an average of 3 hours every single day on the movie, there have been times where this whole project was frustrating rather than enjoyable. However, looking back on the whole project, I’m glad that I started and I’m glad that I managed to get through it! Also, having watched the entire movie, I’m really satisfied with the outcome and I hope you feel the same way! Now, since the movie is huge, I hope you’ll take your time to read through the block of text here!

http://warcraftmovies.com/movieview.php?id=53953

Milestones:
Martin Falch is number 4 on the all-time Warcraftmovies.com download list currently at 2,361,104 total downloads.

http://warcraftmovies.com/halloffame.php

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1.000.000 downloads
Posted: 28 July 2008 @ 09:39 (CET)

Hey people! Just wanted to inform that TotPIII has now reached 1 mio downloads on Warcraftmovies.com, making it the second movie ever to archive this (number 1 being Leeroy) – I just want to say thanks to all the people commentning on it and sending me mails, it’s been awesome with all the support and nice words. Also a big thanks for the people informing their friends/guilds/forums about it in order to spread the movie around!

I’ve mentioned this before, but hopefully I’ll be able to make new story line machinimas later on, perhaps some relevant opportunity comes up for the case – having just watched the most brilliant film I watched in a long time, The Dark Knight, it’s a bit tempting to get back to machinimating. However, until then I hope you’ll enjoy the little Synergy Contest submission I’ve made, which should be up today – I’ll post the link here when it is. As mentioned it won’t be anything fancy, but it’s a bit different from what I’ve tried making before and the whole thing about following someone elses script has been both a challenge and interesting!

Again, thanks alot for all the support!

– Martin

http://www.talesofthepast.com/

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Soundtrack:

“I was… the Ashbringer.”

* (0:38/–:–) Legendary – King Arthur Soundtrack – 02 – Woad To Ruin

* (–:–/6:00) The Blade – King Arthur Soundtrack – 04 – Hold The Ice

* (–:–/–:–) The Ashbringer In Battle – Pirates of the Caribbean 2 – Hans Zimmer – 08 – a family affair

* (–:–/–:–) Betrayed – 01 – Age of Music

Discord

* (–:–/–:–) Saurfang’s Challenge – Hans Zimmer- The Contender (Main Theme)

* (–:–/–:–) Rexxar’s Journey – Trevor Rabin – Armageddon – Launch

The War Begins

* (–:–/–:–) Council of War – The Elder Scrolls 4 Oblivion Main Title Music

* (–:–/–:–) Two beers per kill – Pirates of the Caribbean Dead Man’s chest – 07 – Two hornpipes (Tortuga)

* (–:–/–:–) eternal_silencetheme_ngm_by_mike_cameron_force

* (15:16/16:44)”No! He must no scape!” – 10 – The Peacemaker – Devoe’s Revenge Take 3 Take 2.wav ; Hans Zimmer – Devoe’s Revenge

* (–:–/–:–) X-Ray Dog – Clash Of Arms(1)

* (–:–/–:–) The Last Samurai (Soundtrack) – 09 – Hans Zimmer – Red Warrior

* (–:–/–:–) Edgen+discovery

* (–:–/–:–) Movies – Hans Zimmer – The Last Samurai – Spectres In The Fog

* (–:–/–:–) “To Hell With This Mission”-The Last Samurai (Soundtrack) – 03 – Hans Zimmer – Taken

* (22:40/24:50) Starsailor – Way to Fall

* (–:–/–:–) 01 – Danny Elfman – Introduction

* (–:–/–:–) Mograine – Immediate Music – Epicon (Hybrid)

* (27:43/29:46) Harry Gregson Williams – Metal Gear Solid 1 End Title: The Best Is Yet to Come

* (–:–/–:–) Pirates of the Caribbean 3 – 06 I See Dead People In Boats

* (–:–/–:–) Pirates of the Caribbean 3 – 02 Singapore

* (–:–/–:–) Pirates of the Caribbean 3 – 03 At Wit’s End

* (–:–/–:–) Serphentos and Rexxar Travel – 10 – In Search of the Grail

* (–:–/–:–) Saurfang and Rexxar – Theme – Good, The Bad, And The Ugly

* (–:–/–:–) Pirates of the Caribbean 3 – 11 I Don’t Think Now Is The Best Time

* (38:10/40:46) Ambush – Saw Soundtrack – Final theme

The Emerald Dream

* (40:58/43:20) Quite A View – Star Wars Episode II – Attack Of The Clones – 02 – Across The Stars (Love Theme)

* (–:–/–:–) “This is why I chose you!”13_-_Hans_Zimmer_-_Barbarian_Horde

* (–:–/–:–) Metal_Gear_Solid_LegendoftheSnake_OC_ReMix

* (–:–/–:–) Memories – Naruto OST – 08 Sadness and Sorrow

* (46:00/46:40) Gronn Slayer – Naruto – Strong And Strike

* (–:–/–:–) Naruto – Main Theme

* (–:–/–:–) Warcraft 3 – Comradeship

* (–:–/–:–) “Let us cast it, into the flames of Blackrock Mountain!” – Lord of The Rings – Main Theme

* (–:–/–:–) The Plan – Pirates of the Caribbean 3 – 05 Up Is Down

* (52:42/55:37) Coco Lee – A Love Before Time (Mandarin)

* (55:45/59:26) The Final Trial – Godspeed You Black Emperor – Moya

Armies Unite

* (–:–/–:–) Metal Gear Solid 3 – Snake Eater (Soundtrack) – 211 – Norihiko Hibino – Last Showdown

* (–:–/–:–) Metal Gear Solid 3 – Snake Eater (Soundtrack) – 210 – Harry Gregson – Williams – Lifes End

* (–:–/–:–) King Arthur Soundtrack – 05-Another Brick in Hadrian’s Wall

* (1:03:50/1:05:03) Monori In Death – Nightwish – End Of All Hope

* (–:–/–:–) Immediate Music – 48 – Orch & Choir Rise – 3

* (–:–/–:–) 31 – Asteroid Chase – The Shuttle Crash

Final Push

* (–:–/–:–) Too late… – Naruto (Orochimaru’s Theme)

* (–:–/–:–) The Lich King’s Power – Naruto 15 – Orochimaru’s Fight

Blazer, returned as the Ashbringer

* (1:07:40/1:09:45) Return of the Ashbringer – Hans Zimmer – King Arthur – Hans Zimmer – Crimson Tide Theme

* (–:–/–:–) Ash and Frost Part 1 – X-ray Dog 50 – Tightwire Orchestral

* (–:–/–:–) Ash and Frost Part 2 – Immediate Music – Blasphemy 2.0 (Choir)

* (1:13:50/1:14:30) Remember Them When in Hope you Doubt – Immediate Music – With Great Power

* (1:14:32/1:14:55) “If you think that’s cool…” – Immediate Music – Desperate Hour

* (1:14:56/1:15:28) Phoenix and Frost Wyrm – Immediate Music – Serenata (Choir)

* (1:15:29/1:15:53) “Nice One!” – Immediate Music – Liberation! (Choir)

* (–:–/–:–) “I smell demons coming…” – X-Ray Dog 44 – Secret Agent

* (–:–/–:–) Monóri vs. Serphentos – Soundtracks – Mission Impossible 2 – Hans Zimmer – Injection

* (–:–/–:–) X-Ray Dog 21 – Big f’n Drums

* (–:–/–:–) “No match for me!” – Immediate Music – With Great Power

Victory of the Ashbringer

* (1:17:05/1:18:10) Retribution – Trust Company – Downfall

* (–:–/–:–) Arthas Reborn – Batman Begins Soundtrack – Corynorhinus

* (–:–/–:–) Blazer’s Final Sacrifice – Metal Gear Solid 3-End theme Harryson Gregson Williams

* (–:–/–:–) “Honor Them!” – Theme Songs – Naruto – Hokage’s Funeral Scene

* (–:–/–:–) “We had a deal…” – King Arthur Soundtrack – 02 – Woad To Ruin

* (–:–/–:–) The Tale Ends – TavernAlliance02

* (–:–/–:–) 04 – Danny Elfman – The Story…

* (–:–/–:–) 10 – Danny Elfman – The Tree of Death

* (1:26:06/1:27:58) Credits – Nightwish – Ghost Love Score

http://www.wowwiki.com/Server:Dunemaul_Europe/Tales_of_the_Past#Soundtrack_TotP_III


New Zealand police use Facebook to stop crime

January 14, 2009
This guy got WTFPWNED by the man…
– FlashAddict
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
By Saeed Ahmed
CNN
Police in southern New Zealand nabbed a would-be burglar after they posted security camera images of him trying to break into a safe on the popular social networking site, Facebook.

Having removed his balaclava after his efforts made him hot, the would-be burglar looks up at a security camera.

Having removed his balaclava after his efforts made him hot, the would-be burglar looks up at a security camera.

The Queenstown police are calling it their first Facebook arrest. The police department created its online presence on the site just two months ago, said Constable Sean Drader.

“It’s pretty popular, isn’t it, this site?” Drader told CNN Wednesday, surprised at the quick success.

The 21-year-old masked man allegedly broke into a local pub through a roof early Monday morning and spent considerable time trying to crack open a safe using an angle grinder.

“It’s a very small room that he broke into, and it was hot weather. It’s summer here,” Drader said. “There are sparks flying all about him. And after about an hour, he gets too hot and takes his gloves and balaclava off.”

Unable to break open the safe, the man gave up and got ready to leave, Drader said.

“He looks around to see if he’s forgotten anything, and he looks up right at the camera. It was rather silly. We got a good look,” he said.

The police department posted the surveillance camera photos on its Facebook page. By the next day, the man was in custody, fingered by viewers who recognized him from the images on the site, and from TV segments on the Facebook posting.

Police did not release the suspect’s name, but said the Queenstown native is charged with two counts of burglary.

Facebook, the Web’s most popular social networking site, allows users to create personal profiles. They can then connect with one another, upload photos and share links. The site boasts more than 90 million active users.

In November, Facebook helped a seafood restaurant owner in Melbourne identify five customers who dined on oysters, trout and expensive wine and then bolted without paying the US $323 bill.

According to media reports, the owner remembered one of the diners asking about a former waitress.

The waitress suggested the restaurateur look through her friend’s list on Facebook. A quick scroll later, the owner spotted one of the bill dodgers.

http://www.cnn.com/2009/TECH/01/14/nz.facebook.arrest/index.html


The taxman cometh? IRS urged to tax virtual worlds, economies

January 13, 2009

The Internal Revenue Service should start taxing the fledgling virtual economy in Second Life, World of Warcraft, and other virtual worlds according to Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olson. In her annual report published on the IRS website, Olsen said that there are still a number of issues that the IRS should “proactively address” before they get out of control. And now that it’s on the IRS’ radar, it’s likely only a matter of time before Uncle Sam tries to figure out some way to get a cut of your gold.

As most of our readers know, a number of virtual worlds involve the trade of real money for various virtual products and services inside of the game(s). And wherever people are spending money, someone is making it. Entrepreneurs are making fat cash off the sale of virtual land, clothing, sex toys, and everything in between in Second Life and other games, and now Olson wants the IRS to go after them.

“Economic activities associated with virtual worlds may present an emerging area of noncompliance, in part, because the IRS has not issued guidance about whether and how taxpayers should report such activities,” Olson wrote in her report. She points out that almost all income is subject to tax—even prizes, winnings, and barter exchange. She also acknowledges, however, that tracking and reconstructing so many tiny transactions would be a huge burden, and that attempting to place a value on virtual transaction could present serious challenges.

She urges the IRS, however, to establish guidelines on whether (and how) taxpayers should report their activities even if only to help taxpayers better understand what’s going on. “IRS guidance could improve taxpayer compliance even if it simply clarified that in-world transactions are not taxable,” Olson wrote. “To its credit, the IRS has recently identified a number of issues presented by Internet auctions of virtual property and other aspects of virtual worlds. However, the IRS should consider doing more to help taxpayers comply with their tax obligations by quickly issuing guidance addressing how to report economic activities in virtual worlds, as well as in other emerging areas of economic activity.”

This isn’t the first time the concept of taxing virtual worlds has come up. Since at least 2003, people both on- and offline started looking at the tax implications of virtual economies, and Dan Miller, senior economist for the congressional Joint Economic Committee, started entertaining the idea of taxing MMORPGs in 2006 after diving into the world of online gaming himself. As noted by Silicon Alley Insider, however, collecting taxes from virtual world activities could very well put a serious hamper on the virtual economy. No one likes to jump through bureaucratic hoops just to play an online game, after all.

http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20090112-taxpayer-advocate-urges-irs-to-tax-economy-in-virtual-worlds.html