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  • 22Aug

    Medal of Honor, a new PC war game, has caused quite a stir in the United States, as it has been revealed that gamers will be allowed to play as the Taliban. The option to play as the other side, has drawn criticism from various news groups as well as bereaved parents, who claim “our pain is not to be taken advantage of- war is not a game, period”.

    Computer first person shooter games have been very popular and pretty much repetitive since ever, but this new upcoming game from the house of Electronic Arts is a whole different story. The new Medal of Honor lets gamers play as allied or oppositional forces in a contemporary war theater. The allies in this case are U.S. Army Rangers, the theater is Afghanistan and so the opposition, is not surprisingly, the Taliban.

    Medal Of Honor

    Medal Of Honor

    The game angered many parents and families, who lost their loved ones in the raging war in Afghanistan. They feel the “game takes their suffering and turns it into someone else’s entertainment”. “Medal of Honor is set in today’s war putting players in the boots of today’s soldiers… we give gamers the opportunity to play both sides”, said Electronic Arts senior public relations manager Amanda Taggart in an official response.

    Moreover, EA has added: “most of us have been doing this since we were seven… if someone’s the cop, someone’s got to be the robber, someone’s got to be the pirate and someone’s got to be the alien. In Medal of Honor multiplayer, someone’s gotta be the Taliban”. However many Americans believe, it is just unrealistic to compare cops and robbers to the Taliban and US soldiers.

    However, some say, the entire controversy around this issue is actually hypocrisy, since America believes that it is okay to shot, stab, kill and blow up everyone in PC games as long as they are the “bad guys”, without taking into consideration people’s feelings at all. But playing as the Taliban fighting against the American army, that is way too much. Anyways, looks like the entire media fiasco around this game, will make it one of this summer’s best sellers.

    Omer Shachnai

    The CEO Game.

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  • 17Aug
    Facebook users beware, a new scam circling the social network these days temptsyou to install a “dislike” button, in addition to the existing like button that is anintegral part of the site. The scam tricks the users into allowing an application toaccess their profile page, which then immediately starts posting spam messages onit. It also attempts to lure people into completing an online survey, for which thescammers are paid money.

    As aforementioned, the social network already offers a “like” button that allowspeople to rate and respond to other people’s comments and posts. Online securityfirm Sophos said it was the latest in a series of “survey scams” that included linksto a video purporting to show an anaconda snake vomiting up a hippo. “One thingwe commonly see is that the message starts with ‘OMG, shocking video’”, Sophosspokesman said. Basically the problem is that the viral links “appear to come fromyour Facebook friend, giving it a ringing endorsement.”
    The dislike button scam prompts people to download an application with thefollowing message: “Download the official DISLIKE button now”. When usersclick on the link, it prompts them to install a rogue application, which does notfunction as a dislike button nor any other button. Instead, once a user has giventhe application permission to access their profile, it updates the user’s page with alink and a message: “I just got the dislike button, so now I can dislike all of yourdumb posts lol!!!”. According to Facebook usage polls, turns out many people aregiving permission for completely unknown apps, thinking they are totally unharmful.
    As for the surveys (linked from the spam messages), they appear to be from genuinecompanies. As far as most users can tell, they appear to be legitimate. “It couldbe that the firms are not policing their affiliates properly”, Sophos suggested. Thescam finally points users towards a Firefox add-on that installs a “dislike” button.The add-on also appears to be legitimate. By the way, according to many antiphishing sites, the scam makers did not respond to any request for comment.
    A spokesperson for Facebook said that the site had a “very quick process in place”to make sure that links and rogue applications were taken down quickly. “We alwaysencourage people to not click on links that appear suspicious – even if posted froma friend”, a spokesperson said. “They can report any posts to us. We can make surethat we take down any application or all of the links across Facebook.” But manyweb security specialists suggest that although Facebook could respond quickly, itshould police the development of rogue applications more closely. They claim thatanyone can write a Facebook app, thus these scams are constantly springing up.
    Finally, while the advantages of using Facebook are obvious, it comes with its veryown share of problems, so always remember to protect your personal data andbeware of useless innocent looking requests.
    Omer Shachnai

    The CEO Game.

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  • 16Jul

    iPhone 4 signal fault leaves Apple embarrassed.

    Just a few weeks ago, Apple’s released its brand new anticipated smartphone the iPhone 4. Since then, the iPhone 4 grew up to be the most successful product launch in Apple’s history with over 1.7 million units sold within just a few days. With these numbers, you would expect the guys at Cuppertino (Apple’s HQ) to be celebrating, but in fact they aren’t, as a major design error overclouds the phone’s success.

    Following the gadgets launch off, many new iPhone owners reported that the signal strength and reception dropped significantly when the phone was held in a specific way- on the lower left side. Not long after that, videos showing the weird bug started popping all over the web as well as talkbacks who mocked Apple. The growing pressure finally got to Apple, who decided now to seriously address the issue.

    In a statement released to the press, Apple says a fault on its new iPhone 4 is causing it to incorrectly display the phone’s signal. According to them, the problem is related to an error on how the signal bars themselves are displayed, rather than a reception issue. On the contrary, many tech experts claim the problem is deeper than a “cosmetic design flaw”.

    Moreover, Apple had said that generally all phones gripped in “certain ways will reduce its reception by one or more bars”. “We have discovered the cause of this dramatic drop in bars, and it is both simple and surprising”, the statement read. “Upon investigation, we were stunned to find that the formula we use to calculate how many bars of signal strength to display is totally wrong”.

    “Our formula, in many instances, mistakenly displays two more bars than it should for a given signal strength. For example, we sometimes display four bars when we should be displaying as few as two bars”, Apple explained. The company also added that the problem existed in the original iPhone as well.

    Apple promises to fix the bug with a patch “within a few weeks”. In theory, once the patch has been applied, iPhone’s bars will report signal strength “far more accurately”. However, many industry experts are sceptical as the iPhone 4 integrates the antenna into the case, claiming that “changing the display may make some people feel better, but it doesn’t really fix the problem”.

    The People who purchased the new iPhone may also choose to get a full refund within 30 days of purchase, the firm announced. In case you were wondering, one solution is already available: Apple sells a rubber shield that protects the sensitive area. In the meantime Apple’s CEO Steve Jobs summarized one of the more embarrassing foul-ups from a major tech company in a simple manner: “just avoid holding it in that way”.

    Omer Shachnai

    The CEO Game.

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  • 11Jul

    With the World Cup’s final upon us, here is something you have got to see: Paul, a special fortune telling and a rather amusing octopus who has already predicted with 100 per cent accuracy the previous Mondial game scores, has chosen Vicente del Bosque’s Spain to beat the Netherlands in the tournament final.

    Working from his aquarium tank in Oberhausen, Germany – his astonishing record in predicting international soccer matches since 2008 stands at 10-1 – Paul has made his choice before an army of cameras from all over the world.

    Paul the octopus

    Paul the octopus

    The cephalopod’s latest prediction had an immediate impact on Spain and the Netherlands, just two of the countries where it was broadcast live. But Spanish fans can’t decide whether Paul’s winning prophecy is a cause for celebration or vice versa. On the one hand, they can be optimistic – the octopus has been correct all along this World Cup after all. On the other hand, the Spanish team is afraid that the scenario from the Euro 2008 games will repeat: when the aquatic creature got all the games right except for the final game.

    Paul’s bets are based on his food selection – when consulted, the octopus is faced with a choice to pick his mussel-based lunch from one of two jars with flags on them. Whichever box he picks, that country will prevail.

    The octopus, who was born in the UK and was moved to the German aquarium, has become a national celebrity after correctly predicting Germany would beat Australia in their opening match, then lose to Serbia, then beat Ghana and then beat England. Until the semifinal, “Paul’s prediction was phenomenal,” many Germans agreed. Nevertheless, being as lucky as he is, or talented if you wish, Paul doesn’t get any slack: predicting Spain would surpass Germany to the final resulted in death threats from outraged German fans.

    By the way, Paul tried to repair his relations with the Germans by choosing them as the winners over Uruguay in the match for third and fourth places, which Germany ended up winning. Whatever happens, Paul will be remembered as one of the symbols of the World Cup along with the noisy Vuvuzelas.

    Lucky for him Germany won third place, otherwise Paul would have been sleeping with fishes, ending up as the first fried prophet, a la calamari style.

    Omer Shachnai

    The CEO Game

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  • 30Jun

    Can’t get enough of the Vuvuzela? now you can catch it at YouTube.

    As if we haven’t been hearing the buzzing- whining – beehive like sound of the Vuvuzelas enough these last couple of weeks, YouTube has “generously” decided to indulge us with a special Vuvuzela button. Sometime last Wednesday, the world’s largest video portal activated a new button on some videos, that looks like a tiny soccer ball. The football shaped button resides in the lower right corner and does precisely what we all fear: clicking it will activate an endless, incredibly annoying sound that sounds vaguely like a swarm of insects- also known as the sound of the dreadful Vuvuzela.

    If you haven’t been following the World Cup (seriously?) and you are not familiar with the Vuvuzela, it’s a plastic horn that is commonly played at football games in South Africa. There, they apparently love it and being the host county for this World Cup, fans following the games have been subjected to the Vuvuzela’s loud monotone for hours on end. The noise is so annoying that some television networks have taken measure to get rid of it by filter it out and guides have been popping out all over the web, showing how to block the Vuvuzelas from their TV sets and computers.

    Special Vuvuzela Button

    Special Vuvuzela Button

    Be that as it may, the Federation of International Football Associations (FIFA) has decided not to ban the Vuvuzelas, due to its traditional significance. Well, guess you can’t argue with that. It seems the button doesn’t show up on all videos, but it is definitely appearing on some clips that are not exactly soccer or World Cup related. Here is one video of our very own CEO Game teaser who had the misfortune. Being the prankster that YouTube like to be, this isn’t surprising at all, yet we wish this little prank would be short lived… Finally, maybe next time when FIFA picks a location for the games, they will do some actual background research.

    Omer Shachnai

    The CEO Game.

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  • 20Jun

    Vuvuzela whine ruining your World Cup? Get rid of it!

    There comes a time, once in four years, when the entire world unites- regardless of any disputes or politics- around the game of soccer for one major event of pure entertainment and sportsmanship, which goes by the name of the “World Cup”. However, this time everyone from home viewers to fans who have followed their teams to South Africa and even many of the football players themselves are united around an entirely different thing- their hatred for the beehive like buzzing sound of the Vuvuzelas. A sound so annoying, that long after the game has ended, it continues to echo in our ears, but all hope is not lost for “serenity now!”: here are some tips and ideas how to achieve your desired inner peace and tranquility.

    The Vuvuzela

    The Vuvuzela

    The plastic stadium horn, which is blown constantly by World Cup (over) enthusiastic fans in order to celebrate such glorious moments in a game as- well, every single moment apparently- has achieved unprecedented fame and rancor this games. It is said that the noise is so loud that the players can’t even communicate with each other on the field. Yet, while there has been some talk of banning the evil instruments from the stadiums altogether, that brilliant idea was rejected. So now it’s all up to us to stop it and with a little bit of work and information online we can get rid of the buzz, leaving the games blissfully vuvuzela-free.

    A German hacker named Tube details on his blog- Surfpoeten, how he banished the Vuvuzela from his World Cup audio by selectively muting four frequencies on his equalizer. The bad news is the instructions are in German. The good news is someone has already translated it for us and it is very easy to google it up. Basically what he does is not that difficult: he runs the audio from his TV through a Mac (can be done on any computer actually) with logic express (sound software). Then a series of bandpass equalizer filters in the software neatly excise the offensive frequencies: 233, 466, 932 and 1864 Hz.

    On the other side, Windows users can use a program named REAPER in order to block out the sound. The installation process is very easy but to save you plenty of time, download the “reaper-anti-vuvuzela.RPP” file from http://martin.bz and run it. Note that you can change the volume in the program if the output is too loud and causes some noise problems of its own, and you might have to mute the “Line In” in volume control if you get echoed output, depending on how you set up your audio.

    Actually, you don’t need a PC at all. If you have got a stereo with an equalizer or even a TV set with a built in equalizer, you can adjust your hardware settings to significantly filter out the noise. For example, the Book of Joe blog details the process on a Samsung TVLifehacker, another famous site which also deals with the Vuvuzela menace suggests to “duck your EQ at 465Hz and 235Hz, you can in fact filter out the buzz with great results. Ideally you’ll reduce each frequency by at least 40dB (which got rid of the drone completely for us), but if your equipment can’t quite duck that low, just go as low as you can”.
    As you can see, it’s not all that difficult to silence the Vuvuzela once and for all. All you need it to hook up your gear with an equalizer- again 233, 466, 932 and 1864 Hz (or as close to those numbers as you can get). Please tell us if you have came across other methods which worked out for you and by the way we suggest you hurry up, the sooner the better, so you can really enjoy your favorite playing starting of this weekend.

    Omer Shachnai

    The CEO Game.

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  • 12Jun

    Japanese prime minister Naoto Kan, warned yesterday that his country might be facing debt crisis just like Greece, if Japan won’t urgently manage it’s ever growing debt. Kan, in his first address since entering the prime minister role this last Tuesday, said that Japan can’t afford letting its national debt grow.

    Japan - Next To Fall?

    Japan - Next To Fall?

    Kan, the sixth prime minister in the last 4 years, had promised that the government together with the Japan’s national bank, will work together to prevent such crisis. Kan said that the government is aiming to focus on developing an extensive but stable financial policy . He also added that the government will consider tax raising, a step which according to him, previous governments were afraid of performing.

    Ailon.

    The CEO Game.

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  • 28May
    Economy, Web Comments Off

    The Pacman game that has taken over Google’s home page in the last few days has caused the loss of 4.8 million work hours that  are estimated to be worth 120 million dollars.

    These celebrations for the 30th birthday of Pacman, which Google celebrated last week, had cost many US firms dearly.

    Google published their own version of the original Pacman game, which was originally developed by the Japanese company Namco,  on their home page.  Google had reported that game was activated over a billion times in three days.

    Eating your money.

    Eating your money.

    According to research conducted by RescueTime, the average visitor had spent 36 extra seconds on the site to play the addicting game that Google had added for the special occasion. When summed up the time spent,  you get  a waste of 4.8 million work hours, which are worth around 120 million dollars.

    Ailon.

    The CEO Game.

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