2009 was a big year for a lot of things, one of those being crime. In China, thousands of people were arrested in association with web pornography throughout the year, and many more are expected to be arrested in the new year. Although it's not something we consider criminal here in the United States, the Chinese government believes viewing porn is a crime and many are paying the price.
Over 5,000 arrests and 4,000 investigations have resulted from these "criminals" searching for x-rated images on the Internet. Not only is searching the internet for some nude pics outlawed, many other activities are prohibited in China, including social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. We may see nothing wrong with chatting with our friends through Facebook, but China's Ministry of Public Security plans to "intensify punishments for illegal Internet operations," in 2010. This could mean anything, especially considering the beating that resulted in the death of a child in an Internet addiction clinic not too long ago.
The government can try as hard as they want, but some are still able to slip through to gain access to websites like YouTube and Facebook, and also view porn, without consequence. Looks like Chinese citizens will never know what freedom really is.
Now that Avatar has had two unbelievable weekends and is now in its third, it is time to start talking about a second one. Thank you Internet. The most recent interesting rumor involves the location of any further films. The blog Market Saw claims to have confirmation that the next films will not take place on Pandora, as this one did.
Their support seems to be coming from a round-table that director James Cameron was a part of. In response to a question about the moons seen in the film and their roles in the future, Cameron said,
This Christmas might not have been great for our friends in retail, but it was a wonderful weekend for movies. This Christmas weekend was the biggest box-office take ever, with a combined total of $273 million. The previous top weekend was for July 18-20, 2008, with only $260 million.
It is not unexpected that this was such a successful weekend for films, with Avatar and Sherlock Holmes, both hits with the group that isn't afraid to spend money on a movie. Avatar had only a $2 million drop in revenue from opening week and Sherlock Holmes had an impressive opening weekend itself.
The new second place weekend from 2008 included The Dark Knight and Mamma Mia!, both successful, but Mamma Mia isn't really in the same genre as this weekend's top draws. Had both films been "nerd" genre, we might not be talking about this Christmas at all.
How many of you guys helped to make this the biggest weekend ever? Did you see one of these movies?
2009 was a good year for pirates, which means a bad year for software developers. This year's top pirated game was Modern Warfare 2, pulling down a whopping 4.1 million PC and 907 thousand 360 downloads. Of course, it would be unfair of us to include the Wii in this count, so the most pirated Wii game of 2009 was Super Mario Bros. Wii.
How good of a year is that you ask? Well, this year's numbers are more than double what 2008 showed. Plus you have to take into consideration that both of these games came out near the very end of the year. Imagine if they had had more than 3 months to be downloaded.
My fear here is that, with game pirating on the rise, legit game budgets will be cut significantly, meaning more games will be garbage. This could be the biggest problem to face gaming in many years.
First I would like to wish everyone happiness and good luck in 2010, especially our government because it seems they will need it. Let's take a step back to 2003 when the government was feverishly searching for ways to protect us from another 9/11. This was a good thing, right? In theory yes but in practice not so much. Programmer Dennis Montgomery understood that the government was basically throwing money at anyone making claims to have a solution or the ability to develop a solution that would help the government combat terrorism.
So being the concerned, patriotic citizen he is, he informed a CIA employee at the agencies Directorate of Science and Technology of software that his company eTreppid developed. He claimed that his software was able to detect hidden bar codes in Al Jazeera videos that contained latitudes and longitudes of targets and flight numbers for potential terror targets. Consequently, this was passed up the chain of command to the White House. This ultimately prompted DHS secretary Tom Ridge to announce a terror alert that grounded several international "flights of interest" and raised the nations terror alert level. Surprise, surprise, the information was not credible as previously stated by Tom. Montgomery had faked approximately 40 demonstrations in order to entice the government into funneling them your hard earned money.
Teddy Riley is a name you may not know, but you have been affected by his work. He, almost single-handedly created the "New Jack Swing" that has been so popular in R&B and hip-hop. He personally produced many of Michael Jackson's hit songs. He also tried to kill his family with a guitar.
Yes, you read that right, a guitar. And not just any guitar, a plastic Rock Band guitar. His daughter says he was "stomping, punching and bashing" the kids. She has injuries including "bashes to temple, contusion on face" and "pain in knee."