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The Matrix

The Matrix Re-Reloaded 640

derGoldstein writes "According to Keanu Reeves: ' Matrix 4 and 5 are coming.' At an event that took place at the London International School of Performing Arts, 'Reeves revealed that he met with the Wachowskis around Christmas. They told him that they completed script treatments for two more Matrix installments. They are planning to make the films in 3D and have already met with James Cameron to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the technology. Reeves added that he's excited to return as Neo and promised that the treatments will truly revolutionize the action genre like the first Matrix film did.'"
Image

Scientists Advocate Replacing Cattle With Insects Screenshot-sm 760

rhettb writes "Scientists in the Netherlands have discovered that insects produce significantly less greenhouse gas per kilogram of meat than cattle or pigs. Their study, published in the online journal PLoS, suggests that a move towards insect farming could result in a more sustainable — and affordable — form of meat production."
Lord of the Rings

Hobbit Film Finally Gets Green Light, To Be Shot in 3-D 261

An anonymous reader writes with word that "after much kerfuffle and uncertainty, the Hobbit film has finally been greenlit," with Peter Jackson as director. Says the linked story: "The announcement did not state whether the two-part prequel to The Lord of the Rings would be shot in New Zealand. Matt Dravitzki, Jackson's assistant at Wingnut Films, said an annoucement on the place of filming would be 'probably a week or two away.'"
Google

Google Instant Announced 408

GCPSoft writes with this quote from a Google announcement: "Google Instant is a new search enhancement that shows results as you type. We are pushing the limits of our technology and infrastructure to help you get better search results, faster. Our key technical insight was that people type slowly, but read quickly, typically taking 300 milliseconds between keystrokes, but only 30 milliseconds (a tenth of the time!) to glance at another part of the page. This means that you can scan a results page while you type."
Role Playing (Games)

Co-op Neverwinter RPG Announced For 2011 169

Atari and Cryptic Studios are teaming up to make a new Dungeons & Dragons-based RPG called Neverwinter, planned for Q4 2011. Gameplay will center on five-person groups that can include other players and/or AI allies, and there will be an extensive content generation system. Gamespot spoke with Cryptic CEO Jack Emmert, who explained parts of the game in more depth: "I think there are two very unique gameplay elements in 4th Edition that we've done something interesting with: action points and healing surges. In the tabletop game, an action point lets a player perform a reroll or add an additional die to a roll. In our game, action points are earned through combat and spent to power special abilities called 'boons.' These boons give players special boosts, but only in certain circumstances. Healing surges represent the amount of times a player can heal himself before resting. In D&D and Neverwinter, various abilities let players use a surge immediately or perhaps replenish the number of surges available. It's a precious resource that players will need to husband as they adventure in the brave new world. Positioning, flanking, tactics, and using powers with your teammates are also all things that come from the 4th Edition that are interesting. Of course, we're using power names and trying to keep power behavior consistent with the pen-and-paper counterparts. Neverwinter will definitely feel familiar to anyone who has played the 4th Edition."
Star Wars Prequels

Star Wars To Air As Animated Sitcom 268

The Bastard writes "As if the Star Wars Holiday Special and Jar-Jar weren't insulting enough to fans, George Lucas has decided to turn the franchise into an animated sitcom. I have a bad feeling about this." The article says that Seth Green is involved, which either sets off your late April Fool's Day alarm, immeasurable dread, or excitement.
Android

Multi-Platform App Created Using Single Code Base 296

andylim writes in with news of a reasonably impressive demonstration of the multi-platform capabilities of Adobe AIR. "Christian Cantrell, a technical product manager at Adobe, has created an app for multiple platforms including OS X, Windows 7, Ubuntu, Android, iPhone OS, and iPad OS. What's amazing is that all the platforms use the same code base. 'The application is called iReverse, and it's a fully functional Reversi game (complete with a pretty decent AI). Although iReverse is fun to play, the most amazing thing about the project is the fact that it runs in all these different environments completely unchanged. In other words, the exact same code base is used to build versions for five different environments. There's no other platform in the world that can boast this level of flexibility — not even close.'" Cantrell says he will open-source the code for iReverse and document how he pulled this off.
Firefox

Mozilla Labs To Bring Address Book To Firefox 80

suraj.sun writes with this excerpt from Ars Technica: "Mozilla has announced the availability of an experimental new add-on for Firefox that is designed to import information about the user's contacts from a variety of Web services and other sources. The add-on makes contact details easily accessible to the user and can also selectively supply it to remote Web applications. ... After the add-on has imported and indexed the user's contact data, it becomes available to the user through an integrated contact management tool that functions like an address book. One of Mozilla's first experiments is an autocompletion feature that allows users to select a contact when they are typing an e-mail address into a Web form. ... To make the browser's contact database accessible to Web applications, the add-on uses the W3C Contacts API specification."
GNU is Not Unix

Free Software To Save Us From Social Networks 249

Glyn Moody writes "Here's a problem for free software: most social networks are built using it, yet through their constant monitoring of users they do little to promote freedom. Eben Moglen, General Counsel of the Free Software Foundation for 13 years, and the legal brains behind several versions of the GNU GPL, thinks that the free software world needs to fix this with a major new hardware+software project. 'The most attractive hardware is the ultra-small, ARM-based, plug it into the wall, wall-wart server. [Such] an object can be sold to people at a very low one-time price, and brought home and plugged into an electrical outlet and plugged into a wall jack for the Ethernet, and you're done. It comes up, it gets configured through your Web browser on whatever machine you want to have in the apartment with it, and it goes and fetches all your social networking data from all the social networking applications, closing all your accounts. It backs itself up in an encrypted way to your friends' plugs, so that everybody is secure in the way that would be best for them, by having their friends holding the secure version of their data.' Could such a plan work, or is it simply too late to get people to give up their Facebook accounts for something that gives them more freedom?"
Google

Google To Challenge Facebook Again 197

Hugh Pickens writes "Google is set to make a fresh attempt to gain a foothold in the booming social networking business, seeking to counter the growing threat that Facebook poses to some of its core services. USA Today reports that the search giant is upgrading Gmail to add social-media tools similar to those found on Facebook, including photo and video sharing within the Gmail application, along with a new tool for status updates. According to reports, Google is planning to give Gmail users a way to aggregate the updates of their various contacts on the service, creating a stream of notifications that would echo the similar real-time streams from Facebook and Twitter. Google's decision to exploit the heavily-used Gmail service as the basis for its latest assault on the social networking business partly reflects the failure of Google's previous stand-alone efforts to enter the social networking sector. Its Orkut networking service, though launched before Facebook, has failed to gain a mass following in most parts of the world, despite success in Brazil, and its acquisition of Twitter rival Jaiku ended in failure after it scrapped development of the service." Update: 02/09 19:32 GMT by KD : It's been announced as Google Buzz; CNET has a detailed writeup.
GUI

Preview the Office 2007 Ribbon-Like UI Floated For OpenOffice.Org 617

recoiledsnake writes "OpenOffice.org has prototyped a new UI that radically changes the current OO.o interface into something very similar to the new ribbon style menus that Office 2007 introduced and which have been extensively used throughout Windows 7. The blog shows a screenshot of the prototype in Impress (the equivalent of PowerPoint), but this UI is proposed to be used across all OO.o applications. Some commenters on the Sun blog are not happy about OO.o blindly aping Office 2007, and feel that the ribbon UI may be out of place in non-Windows operating systems."
Democrats

US House Democrats Unveil a Health Care Plan 925

gollum123 sends in this piece from a political blog in the NY Times. Here is the text of the bill in question (PDF). "House Democrats on Friday answered President Obama's call for a sweeping overhaul of the health care system by putting forward [an] 852-page draft bill that would require all Americans to obtain health insurance, force employers to provide benefits or help pay for them, and create a new public insurance program to compete with private insurers — a move that Republicans will bitterly oppose. ... But the chairmen said they still did not know how much the plan would cost, even as they pledged to pay for it by cutting Medicare spending and imposing new, unspecified taxes. The three chairmen described their bill as a starting point in a weeks-long legislative endeavor that they said would dominate Congress for the summer and ultimately involve the full panorama of stakeholders in the health care industry, which accounts for about one-sixth of the nation's economy. ... House Republicans, who have had no involvement in the development of the health legislation so far, quickly denounced the Democrats' proposal as a thinly disguised plan for an eventual government takeover of the health care system. ... The House Democrats' plan is one of three distinct efforts underway on Capitol Hill to draft the health overhaul legislation. In the Senate, both the Finance Committee and the health committee have separate bills in the works, and in recent days those efforts seem to have stumbled."
Mozilla

Adblock Plus Maker Proposes Change To Help Sites 615

Dotnaught writes "Wladimir Palant, maker of the Firefox extension Adblock Plus, on Monday proposed a change in his software that would allow publishers, with the consent of Adblock Plus users, to prevent their ads from being blocked. Palant suggested altering his software to recognize a specific meta tag as a signal to bring up an in-line dialog box noting the site publisher's desire to prevent ad blocking. The user would then have to choose to respect that wish or not."

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