The Mary Sue

Posts by Kwame Opam

Skype Releases SkypeKit SDK, Wants the Future of Communication

Today, Skype has officially released SkypeKit into limited beta. SkypeKit is a suite of tools and APIs that allow developers to integrate Skype functionality -- read: voice and video calling -- into any number of internet-connected devices and products. That's right; Skype is now poising themselves to be a standard among video chat solutions that can make it past your computer and mobile phone and into whatever the developer and/or consumer wants.

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General Grievous Sighted in Germany, Hide Your Jedi [Video]

Gotta love cosplay.  One German Star Wars fan has made one damn impressive General Grievous costume, and it really has to be seen to be believed. The level of detail and obvious hard work this guy must have put into this makes for something rather awe-inspiring... if you get past how, well, unsettling seeing it might be. It's that good. It beats the hell out of my Lando Calrissian costume anyway. Video after the jump (don't mind the German!)

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Oldest Shoes Ever Found: Well-Preserved, but Not Well Enough for Fall Season

What do I know about shoes? I know my Balenciagas from my Louboutins at the very least, but I only dabble in those most famous of footwear because they look dangerous enough to take down a mugger or ninja. Like that scene from Sex and the City? You know, when Carrie... Anyway, shoes are not among my chiefest of interests. Cool archaeological finds, on the other hand, are more my cup of loose tea. However, it's not like the two can't combine right?

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Finally! Dreamcast Lives On in PS3 and Xbox 360

It's still thinking, and we're very excited. Sega of America and Sega of Europe have happily made a joint announcement stating that the Dreamcast, that oh-so-beloved console released on 9/9/99 (and died a year and a half later), will see new life on the PlayStation Network and Xbox Live Arcade.

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Today in Video Game Movies: Mortal Kombat… costarring Spawn? (Update: Jeri Ryan Explains)

Video game adaptations have forever been a source of nerdrage from fanboys, but heaven knows they make money no matter how ill-advised. The Mortal Kombat series is no exception. I mean James Remar? Really? But every once and a while you get something that at least looks promising. Without giving too much away, what you'll see below is a 8-minute tease/trailer for... something within the MK universe. And it looks pretty badass. While it's not clear if this is a bona fide reboot of the series or a game-tie or a standalone work unto itself, it's clear that those involved didn't hold back. Update: Jeri Ryan, who plays Sonya Blade in the video, explains via Twitter: "It's not a game trailer. Actually was made for the director to sell WB on his vision for a reimagined MK film."

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Dr. Demento Off the Airwaves for Good as of this Weekend, to Become Web-Only

Barrett Eugene Hansen, otherwise known as Dr. Demento, announced on Monday that he will be closing the doors of his near 40-year old radio show this weekend in favor of producing shows for

While we're heartened to hear that he is not retiring from all media, his departure from radio is a shame, and has an ironic twist to it; He was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame only this past November.

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Sue Sylvester’s Thoughts on the iPhone 4 and Her Time in Singapore [Video]

And just in time for Glee tonight! In case you missed it, Jane Lynch, a.k.a. Sue Sylvester, pretty much blew apart the iPhone and the still-ongoing stolen iPhone debacle yesterday, coming on the heels of the iPhone 4 announcement. Lynch, accompanied by stand-up comedian and performer Kassem G, sent up the dead and not-so-missed Get a Mac commercials with G playing the new iPhone and Lynch playing... herself. To great comedic effect, (although I'm not sure how you get a camera third nipple) proving once again she can be both hilarious and kind of terrifying. Video after the jump!

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Mars500: Six Cosmonauts Start 18-Month Journey to Not-Quite-Mars

This morning, an international group of six volunteers recruited by the European Space Agency began the Mars500 project. Taking place at the Institute of Biomedical Problems in Moscow, the experiment will simulate the long journey to Mars as scientists observe the physiological and psychological stresses impacted on the six spacemen over a period of 18 months. Keeping them sheltered from the perils of space otherwise known as Russia is an elaborate craft consisting of a series of tubes that simulates the different living environments one might encounter on the International Space Station.

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Mark Zuckerberg Defends New Privacy Controls and Facebook Mission at D8

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg graced the stage at All Things D's D8 Conference last night to talk about the new and hotly debated privacy features as well as Facebook's overall direction. Joining him on stage were columnists Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher, who shot questions at the young CEO about instant personalization, opt-in, and whether or not he ever takes off his hoodie. By interview's end, Zuckerberg had only gone just far enough to bridge the gap between him and his detractors, but he was consistent in making clear that in his view, Facebook's mission was and has always been to help people to share information with the world around them. Four highlights:

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Mario Kart in Real Life: Or, a Celebration of Mario Racing Geekery [Slideshow]

Bringing the world of Mario Kart to real life is nothing terribly new -- seriously, how great is it to bring anything Mario into the real world -- but Tomy has added a new wrinkle to this game. Now, you can race your remote controlled car and use power-ups against your competitors. Because striking down your foes with lightning wasn't sweet enough.

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LOST’s Sawyer to be an Avenger? (Here’s Hoping for Hawkeye!)

With LOST now fading into DHARMA Initiative history, it's high time the Island alum put their Oahu days behind them and move onto greener pastures. And it doesn't look like we'll be waiting very long. Rumor has it that Josh Holloway, famous for playing the lovable rogue James "Sawyer" Ford, has been enlisted to join Earth's Mightiest Heroes. According to Avenger News:

Apparently there’s been talk between Marvel and his group to play a “lead” role in an upcoming Marvel film. We mention a “lead” role because these bigger actors often won’t sign “retainers”, meaning everything should be 100% locked (character, film, etc) for Josh once he’s signed the dotted line.

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Ten of the Most Politically-Charged Comics

Comics can entertain us, but they can also send us powerful messages about life and society. The latest comic being launched in Mumbai as a part of Mumbai Cyber Safety Week teaches a very valuable lesson: don’t download torrents. Yeah, right.

In Escape from Terror Byte City, (above) boys Jeremy and Ben download a pirated copy of a movie only to find themselves trapped in a virtual city full of scary green blob viruses and spyware with giant fangs.

First of all, it seems odd that, while the comic is admittedly aimed at Cyber Safety, it really touches minimally on the issue of illegality concerning downloads of pirated content. But with a target audience of five through ten year olds, maybe the legal issues would have gone over readers’ heads. Either way, the political message just doesn’t seem to be in the storyline, though the incentive of the comics is clear: don’t let these kids get addicted to torrents.

Just saying: This is the most likely file to get disseminated as a virus-infested torrent ever. It’s as cruel and fun as sending out a spyware-infused movie, but now with overflowing irony!

In honor of the perhaps misguided efforts of the organization behind Terror Byte, we have compiled a list of some comics that were more effectively -- and often controversially -- political.

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XBox Pioneers J. Allard and Robbie Bach Leaving Microsoft

It turns out the rumors are true. In a memo released by Steve Ballmer, the poster children of some of Microsoft's biggest projects -- namely, the original Xbox, Xbox 360, Zune, and the much-anticipated Project Natal -- are leaving Microsoft for prospects unknown. J. Allard, Chief Experience Officer and Chief Technology Officer of Entertainment and Devices Division, and Robbie Bach, President of Entertainment & Devices Division of Microsoft, have been instrumental in the successes of the Xbox brand and, as Ballmer wrote, changing the culture of the company, making news of their departure something of a surprise. Allard himself was rumored to be on sabbatical after the Courier, Microsoft's late great tablet project, was unceremoniously cancelled. Ballmer, however, only had praise for the pair and looked forward to working with them in the future while Microsoft continues to restructure. Read the full memo below:

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Circuitboard Business Card: The Most Awesome Business Card You Could Ever Own

In these troubled times when raising the bar is a necessity to getting that most coveted of jobs, you need something that sets you apart. Something that cries out "Original," while asking your potential employer "Just what great things can I expect from this new hire?" Maybe even get them wondering if you're over-qualified... Well, ok, you may not want that last part. No, my friend. What you want is the business card of the future. Something special that'll make a splash as soon as you sit down for that interview.

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Google TV: Apple, Time to Take Notes

The Google I/O developer conference continued this morning with the official announcement of Google TV, the search giant's much anticipated foray into the televisual and attempt at revolutionizing the format. Trying to create revolutions has become something of Google's MO, what with the hype machine driving the releases of Google Wave and the Nexus One superphone, and if you bought into that hype you might be a bit wary about buying into this latest of Google paradigm shifts. All the same, Google has clearly invested some serious thought into how to answer the now age-old question of "How do you rightly combine the computer screen with the TV screen?" And in a way that makes one wonder where the competition has been all this time. Google and their partners have worked on a suite of hardware and software -- from set-top boxes, to apps, to TVs -- that will work together to make channel surfing a thing of the past and do away with those necessarily evil guide menus that most of us have gotten used to. Centering on search (this is Google after all), customers will be able to search for their preferred content via a universal search bar, save it, and come back to it whenever they please. Making use of the Android platform, the extensibility of the experience to different devices is pretty clear and only depends of developers' imaginations as to how you might use your Android smartphone or even computer as a part of watching TV. To get a clearer idea of what I'm talking about, check out the video below.

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Australian Ninjas Save Student From Mugger

File this under 'awesome': Living in the big city tends to have it's own perils, being mugged not being the least of them. So it's understandable that places like Gotham, Metropolis, and NYC have superheroes to cover you better than insurance. Still, it's nice to know that life can be as badass as fiction. A German med student down in Sydney, Australia was defended from muggers by a team of ninjas. No joke. I am so jealous!

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Sesame Street Fighters: Learning Now Kicks Ass

Somebody write a script because this demands some kind of fan love: Sesame Street Fighters. Thanks to graphic artist gavacho13, gamers can finally imagine what it would be like to have Bert aka Beryu face off against Ernie aka Kernie in the duel to end all duels. All before the school bus comes!

Seeing even fan-made 8-bit game on this would be amazing as this is yet another entry into a tradition of street fighter appropriation. Can you imagine? How ever will Bert defeat Elmo? How long will the battlefield keep Kermit and Miss Piggy apart? And WHERE is Snuffy? Prepare yourselves for pictures after the jump.

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True Blood Season 3 Trailer: Werewolves, Yes. Santa, No.

HBO just released the trailer for the hotly -- pun only somewhat intended -- anticipated third season of True Blood. I won't spoil it for you, but suffice it to say that Alan Ball and company look like they've brought their A-game for this summer. The series returns Sunday, June 13. Trailer after the jump!

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The Cape Attempts to Replace Heroes Next Season on NBC, but Is that a Good Idea?

NBC is certainly not done with the superhero drama genre, but I'm forced to wonder just how long they can beat this horse. In a post- Dark Knight and Kick-Ass world where men in long underwear and capes can go toe-to-toe with dirty cops and criminals realistically, isn't it time to bring some of that to the small screen? Enter: The Cape, a drama about a good cop in a bad city who must become the beloved hero of his young son when he's framed for murder and assumed dead by both those he loved and those who betrayed him. Because Heroes, obviously, wasn't grounded in reality enough.

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Neil Gaiman Joins the Fun in One Book, One Twitter

How many of your everyday book clubs have the author just pop in to answer your questions? Aside from maybe those who follow Oprah, I'd wager not that many. Unless you're, at the moment, on Twitter. Reading American Gods. Like right now. What happened to my postliterate society?

Neil Gaiman, as a part of the ongoing One Book One Twitter event, went down into the trenches for an hour Q&A session this morning with the masses reading and tweeting about his novel, answering questions about characters, his writing process, future plans, and whether or not he'd like to be deified.

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