Sunday, April 29, 2012

Global 2012: Fifth Ave. Frogger takes the arcade game to the streets

Frogger BeyondFrogger Beyond (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Who can forget the awesome Seinfeld episode where George Costanza attempts to navigate a Frogger machine across a busy Manhattan street?

Now, an enterprising gamer has brought that episode to life in a much, much safer way.

Frogger fan Tyler DeAngelo grew tired of the familiar traffic patterns of the game's vehicles, so decided to up the challenge by replacing those cars with a real-time replica of traffic on one of New York City's busiest streets. The result was Fifth Avenue Frogger.

DeAngelo rigged a webcam on a nearby high-rise and pointed it at the street, then wrote a program to translate the positional data of the cars into the game. That makes for a challenge that is not only safer than George's venture across the streets, but one that's less likely to have the same ending.

Unfortunately, if you want to play the game, you'll have to be in Manhattan. The data is transmitted to a hacked, standalone Frogger machine standing on the the side of the street. Oh, but those lucky few who did get to try the game got to experience what seems to be an amazing new take on a classic game.

It has, after all, been 31 years since Frogger first hit pizza parlors and arcades. While Konami has attempted to update it several times, the original coin-op game has always been the version people remember and prefer.

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Friday, April 27, 2012

Global 2012: Elizabeth Banks bashes her first film

Elizabeth Banks at the 2008 Toronto Internatio...Elizabeth Banks at the 2008 Toronto International Film Festival (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
She was young, naive and really green at acting. At least that's what "Hunger Games" actress Elizabeth Banks has indicated during a discussion on her biggest career mistake.

In her first-ever film role, Banks played Vicki in a little-known 1998 release called "Surrender Dorothy." The film is about a heroine addict who is forced into compromising behavior.

"Dorothy" was set to start filming when the leading man, as Banks recalls, bowed out. "I just remember I had met the guy who was going to be the lead in the movie and then, right before we started shooting, that guy got a 'real job' [stated while signaling air quotes], and went to do some real job," Banks recently told during a filmed interview.

The 38-year-old film-and-television star revealed that "Dorothy" writer-director Kevin DiNovis was forced to take on the role because "there was no one else to do it!... He wasn't a real actor."  (To his credit, DiNovis has gathered a few acting credits since and has more recently worked as a segment writer on "Conan" on TBS.)

Banks admitted this all happened while she was still in college and had yet gone to drama school. "I'm really grateful for those kinds of experiences," Banks went on to say, adding that they "teach you a lot about the business."

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Thursday, April 26, 2012

Global 2012: Marvel's 'The Avengers' grosses P101-M in 2 days

Nick Fury in the alternate-universe imprint Ul...Nick Fury in the alternate-universe imprint Ultimate Marvel (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Marvel's The Avengers” grossed a staggering P100.76-million in its first two days of release nationwide.

The film about the comicbook superhero team is on track to be the biggest-grossing movie in Philippine history as it heads to its first weekend when box-office attendance significantly surges especially since Filipino families enjoy spending time with their loved ones matching at the cinemas.

According to Victor R. Cabrera, managing director of Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Philippines, “Marvel's The Avengers” is already ahead of “Spider-Man 3” – which, until today, was the highest-grossing movie ever with its first-two days gross of P91.71-M in 2007.

Showing in 467 screens, “The Avengers” recorded the biggest receipts in SM North EDSA (P6,165,744), SM Mall of Asia (P5,085,714), SM Megamall (P4,310,903), Trinoma (P3,993,746), SM Cebu (P3,360,436), Glorietta 4 (P2,839,283), Newport (P2,454,528), Gateway (P2,287,513), Eastwood (P2,249,819) and SM Fairview (P2,182,793).

“Marvel’s The Avengers” features iconic Marvel Super Heroes Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Thor, Captain America, Hawkeye and Black Widow who band together when an unexpected enemy emerges that threatens global safety and security, Nick Fury, Director of the international peacekeeping agency known as S.H.I.E.L.D., finds himself in need of a team to pull the world back from the brink of disaster. Spanning the globe, a daring recruitment effort begins.

Starring Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner and Tom Hiddleston, with Stellan Skarsgård and Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury, and directed by Joss Whedon, “Marvel’s The Avengers” is based on the ever-popular Marvel comic book series “The Avengers,” first published in 1963 and a comics institution ever since. “Marvel’s The Avengers” is from Marvel Studios in association with Paramount Pictures, produced by Kevin Feige and directed by Joss Whedon from a story by Zak Penn and Joss Whedon with screenplay by Joss Whedon.

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Global 2012: Amanda Bynes on suspicion of DUI

Backstage at The Heart Truth's Red Dress Colle...Backstage at The Heart Truth's Red Dress Collection Fashion Show during New York Fashion Week. February 13, 2009 at Bryant Park. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Amanda Bynes, who was arrested on suspicion of DUI on in Los Angeles recently, is the latest celebrity who made it big as a tyke only to end up on the wrong side of the law later in life.

Amanda Bynes was hilarious as the 13-year-old star of her own sketch comedy program, “The Amanda Show,” which premiered on Nickelodeon in 1999, and as the younger sister on the WB'sWhat I Like About You" three years later. She even headlined movies like 2003's "What a Girl Wants." The young actress charmed audiences all the way to the bank, earning an estimated $2.5 million in 2007, enough to land her at No. 5 on the Forbes' annual list of the top-earning celebrities under 21 by the ripe old age of 20 in 2007.

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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Global 2012: Virginia Woman Wins $1 Million Lottery Twice in the Same Day

The JackpotThe Jackpot (Image via
Winning the lottery once in a lifetime is pretty lucky. Winning the lottery twice in the same day? Virginia Pike is one of the few people that can describe that feeling.

The Berryville, Va., resident had two tickets that matched five of the six Powerball numbers in an April 7 drawing so that each ticket was worth $1 million.

"I'm in shock!" Fike said in a news release from the Virginia lottery.

In early April, Fike stopped at an Olde Stone Truck Stop in Virginia with her numbers ready and purchased two tickets.

"I picked numbers based on my parents' anniversary and their ages at that time, divided by the year they were married," Fike said in the release. "I just love the jackpot games and I play when I can afford it."

The jackpot that week was at $80 million. In order to win the jackpot, the ticket holder has to match the five numbers and the sixth Powerball number.

After the drawing, it was announced that no one had won the jackpot, but 14 people nationwide had matched five of the numbers and were entitled to $1 million prizes each. Two of the winning tickets were in Virginia.

Pike was in the hospital keeping her mother company.

"I saw a scroll on TV about there being two $1 million winners. I looked at my mom and said 'Wouldn't it be funny if it was us?'" she said.

When she stopped by a convenience store, Pike had the clerk check her tickets and she discovered that she had won both of Virginia's $1 million prizes.

Per Virginia state lottery rules, winners split the jackpot, regardless of how many there are, but non-jackpot prizes from matching part of the winning sequence are not split and can be won multiple times.

"It's not that uncommon for people to buy tickets in games with the same number, but this is the biggest prize we've ever had in Virginia of two tickets in the same drawing," Virginia Lottery spokesman John Hagerty told

Pike was presented with a check for $2 million on Friday at the truck stop where she purchased the ticket. Winners in Virginia are required to come forward and be identified. She will receive $1.4 million after taxes. The store also received a $200,000 bonus for selling the two winning tickets.

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Sunday, April 22, 2012

Global 2012: Underground River inaugurated as among New 7 Wonders of Nature

Entrance to the Puerto Princesa Underground River.Entrance to the Puerto Princesa Underground River. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
President Aquino inaugurated last night the Puerto Princesa Underground River (PPUR) as one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature and hailed it as a collective success for the Filipinos.

The President, along with Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo and Puerto Princesa Mayor Edward Hagedorn, thanked everyone for the achievement, during the inauguration in Pasay City.

Hagedorn said the PPUR victory was for all Filipinos to share.

The President himself led the campaign for PPUR and called on more Filipinos to visit the site.

Aquino said Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez Jr. would market other eco-tourism sites that the country could offer the world to visit.

“The Puerto Princesa Underground River is the pride of Palawan, and now, it is the pride of the world, because it has officially been named one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature,” he said.

“In the face of tremendous competition - 27 other finalists and millions of other voters from all over the world - we pulled together, and once again put the Philippines on the map.”

“I thank everyone who participated in this effort - from those who led the campaign, to those who sent in their text and Internet votes,” he said.

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Global 2012: The Carlton Dance

An eclectic cast of famous faces makes cameos in a head-scratching dancing clip.

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Saturday, April 21, 2012

Manila 2012: Bacoor, Imus now cities

cavitecavite (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
President Aquino has signed into law the bills converting Bacoor and Imus, both in Cavite, into cities after they had complied with the prerequisites.

Republic Act Nos. 10160 and 10161 declared Bacoor and Imus, respectively, as new cities in Cavite.

Bacoor and Imus are the fifth and sixth cities in the province after Cavite City, the province’s former capital; Trece Martires City, the site of the capitol; prime tourist destination Tagaytay City and Dasmariñas City, the province’s most populated area.

Bacoor is the so-called Cavite’s Gateway to and from southern Metro Manila, while Imus is the current capital of the province. The two first class municipalities became lone districts only in December 2010 with Congress and Malacañang’s approval.

The conversion of Imus and Bacoor into cities would enhance the capability of their respective local government units (LGUs) to deliver needed services to a growing population and become more effective partners of the national government in promoting economic growth.

Based on records, Imus has earned an income classification of first class since 1986 and showed a steady rise in its income through the years.

The average annual income of Imus for calendar years 2008 and 2009 is P144,981,443,72, which is more than the P100-million yearly income required for towns to become cities under RA 2009, amending section 450 of the Local Government Code or Republic Act 7160.

Reports showed that Imus is now home to 5,712 commercial establishments, 48 manufacturing establishments and 249 financial institutions and based on the 2007 census, it has 253,158 inhabitants. The Imus LGU has met the population requirement of at least 150,000 inhabitants as specified by RA 7160.

Bacoor has also satisfied all the requirements needed for its conversion into a city.

Reports likewise said that in 1997 and 2000, Bacoor registered the highest average family income in the entire Cavite province and was considered a first class municipality, earning more than P100 million annually to become a component city.

Under RA 9009, a municipality or a cluster of barangays may be converted into a component city if it has a locally generated average annual income, as certified by the Department of Finance, of at least P100 million for the last two consecutive years based on 2000 constant prices, and any of the two requisites: contiguous territory of at least 100 square kilometers, as certified by the Land Management Bureau; and population of not less than 150,000 inhabitants, as certified by the National Statistics Office.

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Friday, April 20, 2012

Global 2012: Rihanna Goes on First Date in 2 Years

LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 28:  (L-R) Musicians ...LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 28: (L-R) Musicians Alan Shaw, Shaylen Carroll, Andrew Bowen Stern, Gabrielle LaMaire and Drew Reinartz of Savvy attend Cash Money Records' Lil Wayne album release party for 'Tha Carter IV' at Boulevard3 on August 28, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)
Has Rihanna found love with a woman? "I'm on my first date in almost 2 yearz," the "Talk That Talk" singer tweeted on Thursday night — and then she showed up at Santa Monica, California, restaurant Giorgio Baldi hand-in-hand with a gal pal, Melissa Forde. After dinner, the ladies partied on at Hollywood nightclub Roxbury. Throughout the "date," Rihanna, who wore a long white flowy dress, kept her more than 17 million Twitter followers up to date on all the action with cryptic posts. In her first, along with a photo of herself and Forde cheek to cheek, she wrote, "My lover for the night." An hour later, she tweeted, "I'm not living right, if you're not by my side."

After multiple posts about 420 (slang for marijuana) and a photo of of stockings and garters under Rihanna's dress, she wrote, "Beautiful is great, submissive is even better," adding a hashtag that said #marryME." In a follow-up tweet, the 24-year-old quoted a Lil Wayne-Drake song, writing, "But she bad ... So maybe she won't ... But s**t, then again maybe she will."

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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Global 2012: Why Jessica was almost kicked out of American Idol

LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 01:  Singer Jessica Sa...LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 01: Singer Jessica Sanchez arrives at Fox's American Idol finalist party at The Grove on March 1, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)
There is only one reason why Jessica Sanchez was almost booted out of American Idol. She got the lowest number of votes. There are judges in the show but all they do is critique the contestants. The voters from all over America get the final say. And last week, they said that they did not like what Jessica did or should I say, sang.

Viewers out here and perhaps around the US have been reading racial bias on what nearly happened. Maybe. Take a look at the list of previous winners. Kelly Clarkson, Ruben Studdard, Fantasia Barino, Carrie Underwood, Taylor Hicks, Jordin Sparks, Kris Allen, David Cook, Lee DeWyze and Scotty McCreery.

After 11 years of nationwide searching by Idol, no contestant of Asian or Latino ancestry has won the contest. So if there is indeed racial bias in the voting then Jessica is in double jeopardy. She is Mexican-Filipino. I believe though that race does not figure prominently in the voting. Only perhaps in the subconscious at the very least. So let us save that card for later.

The hard fact is Jessica got the lowest number because she chose to sing for herself and the judges and not for the viewers who vote. That was why the judges saved her. She was really good. But she chose to do an unknown song Stuttering by a less-known artist, Jasmine Sullivan. Viewers like being familiar with the melodies. They were not with Stuttering. I at least got to bob my head to How Will I Know from the week before last.

This showing off is a common problem among singers who believe that making such choices proves their musicality and sets them apart from the other contestants. It is okay to indulge yourself if you are doing a full set but not when you only have two minutes on stage. In that case you had better get everybody to your side on your very first note.

Now this brings us to what I think is the present Idol dilemma. Is it just the singing or the total package? How big is the role being played by looks or by likeability in choosing the winner? Not much as per the judges who never fail to remind the audience that AI is a singing contest. But if I could vote for contestant, I would vote for the one I like, the one who entertains me. That is not necessarily the best singer.

I guess this was an Idol problem from the start but only came into sharp focus these past few years. There are several reasons why this happened. Declining ratings (need to shake things up in a big way), competition from other talent shows (The Voice has been doing very well concentrating on singers) and most of all, the lackluster results of the careers of bland pop Idol choices like Kris Allen and Lee DeWyze. I guess this was the reason why Idol served up a very good batch of singers in Season 11. Take note, I said, singers.

Idol sometimes gets it right as in David Cook over David Archuleta. Is it true that the TV series that the younger David did here was both a commercial and critical dud? There have also been times when Idol didn’t. Think Jennifer Hudson, Chris Daughtry, Katharine McPhee and Adam Lambert who lost out in the Idol race but bounced back as big stars. In some cases, bigger than the winner.

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Thursday, April 12, 2012

Global 2012: iPhone tips and tricks

iPhone vs. iPhone 3GiPhone vs. iPhone 3G (Photo credit: Ricky Romero)Whether you're a seasoned user or brand new to the iPhone world, chances are you're probably not using your smartphone to its fullest.

Don't worry, you're not alone, as these pocket-sized computers boast many hundreds of features buried in the operating system.

And so here we share a number of our favorite iPhone tips and tricks, some of which you may know already. Hopefully there's a good number of ones you aren't aware of yet. Most of these following 25 suggestions will work with all versions of the iPhone, but be sure to have the latest software installed (iOS 5.1).

  • Take a photo with your headphone cord
  • Dry out a wet iPhone
  • Dismiss suggested words
  • Take photos faster
  • Use location-based reminders
  • Get word definitions
  • Revive a frozen iPhone
  • Get more done in less time
  • See a 6-day weather forecast
  • Select URL domains faster
  • Make your own ringtone
  • Feel and see when people call
  • Find your lost iPhone
  • Save photos in Safari
  • Take an iPhone screen grab
  • Get new sounds
  • Zip to the top of the page
  • Prolong your battery
  • Spread out the keyboard for easier typing
  • Learn some gestures
  • Create an "app" out of a website you visit often
  • Create a music playlist on the fly
  • Don't waste your day deleting messages individually
  • Keep track of your texting limits
  • Mirror your iPhone with your TV
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Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Global 2012: 10 Places Every Kid Should See

SeaWorld San AntonioSeaWorld San Antonio (Photo credit: Wikipedia)What made a monument worthy of inclusion? It needed to be fun, educational, and especially magical through the eyes of a child. It needed to inspire adults to tap back into that childlike sense of wonder. And it needed to have universal appeal.

Of course, the surest way to rile folks up is to publish a list, and this case was no different. Our nominations process was fierce and brought out the full range of emotions in our audience—passion, joy, sadness, anger. You spoke up to nominate 562 attractions and voted over 138,000 times.

So how did we arrive at the final list? As we explained in the rules, we used your votes—combined with factors such as geographic and thematic diversity—to guide our selection-making process. And we automatically eliminated places that had made our story last year. The final list for 2012 represents the best that our nation has to offer our children.

The Field Museum

SeaWorld San Antonio
San Antonio, Texas

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

U.S. Space & Rocket Center
Huntsville, Ala.

Carlsbad Caverns
New Mexico

Golden Gate Bridge
San Francisco

Metropolitan Museum of Art
New York

National Museum of American History
Washington, D.C.

Arches National Park

Birmingham Civil Rights Institute
Birmingham, Ala.;_ylt=AtyYODaXJ1EUh_pOtZ8ckyXc6cB_;_ylu=X3oDMTI1aWxzOW1qBG1pdAN0cmF2ZWwgSWRlYXMgQXJ0aWNsZSBib2R5BHBvcwMxMwRzZWMDTWVkaWFBcnRpY2xlQm9keVRlbXBBc3NlbWJseQ--;_ylg=X3oDMTNqaW4zanE0BGludGwDdXMEbGFuZwNlbi11cwRwc3RhaWQDZDQ1OTMwYTQtZmQ3MC0zN2U2LTk4OTgtYWQ4OGJiYTBjY2I2BHBzdGNhdAN0cmF2ZWxpZGVhc3x0cmF2ZWxhcnRpY2xlcwRwdANzdG9yeXBhZ2UEdGVzdAM-;_ylv=3?page=10
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