Posts Tagged ‘2010’

Microsoft warns of Word zero-day vulnerability

Microsoft warns of Word zero-day vulnerability

Microsoft Word’s handling of rich-text files (RTFs) has been found to have a serious code execution flaw which is under active attack, with no true patch yet available.

Microsoft has warned customers of an as-yet unpatched zero-day vulnerability in its Microsoft Word and Outlook packages, which is under active attack to take control of targeted systems.

The flaw, described in Security Advisory 2953095, relates to how both Word and Outlook deal with rich-text format (RTF) content. Typically safe from the malware and viruses that have plagued the company’s own .DOC format, ne’er-do-wells have discovered a means of embedded executable code within an RTF which is then run under the privilege level of the currently logged-in user when the file is opened in Word or automatically loaded in the preview pane of Outlook.

That latter functionality is what gives real cause for concern: because Outlook versions since 2007 automatically parse RTF content and display it in-line within the preview pane, users can be exploited simply by opening an email – bypassing the usual need for the user to manually open the attached file. This does, however, only work if the system is configured to use Microsoft Word as the email viewer.

At this time, we are aware of limited, targeted attacks directed at Microsoft Word 2010,‘ Microsoft’s Dustin Childs has confirmed in a statement to users. ‘We continue to work on a security update to address this issue. We are monitoring the threat landscape very closely and will continue to take appropriate action to help protect our global customers.

Although the targeted attacks currently concentrate on Word 2010, Microsoft has confirmed that the flaw exists in Word 2003, 2007, 2010, 2013, 2013 RT, Word Viewer, the Office Compatibility Pack, Office for Mac 2011, the Word Automation Services plugin for SharePoint Server 2010 and 2013, and Office Web Apps 2010 and 2013. The chances of anyone in an office environment not having one or more of the above installed, then, are slim – making this a serious issue.

Currently, there is no patch available. To keep users protected while a more permanent fix is developed, Microsoft has released a Fix It which disables the loading of RTF content into Microsoft Word – closing the hole, but also making it impossible to work with the cross-platform document standard until the flaw is fixed properly.

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‘Say hello to my e-go’: 10 funny first tweets we love

Twitter is the open mic at The Improv of the Internet, so unless you’re a funny person who wants to be heckled, you might want to make your first tweet chuckle-worthy. To celebrate turning 8, Twitter on Thursday opened its archive, making it easy to look up anyone’s first tweets. Yeah, we confess; we fell down the first-tweets rabbit hole fast. But at least you get to share in the adventure with a sample of our favorites funnies. See any we missed? Let us know in the comments.


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Find your first tweet: Twitter opens archive for its birthday

Craves first tweet

Crave’s first tweet was all about a CPU cooler.

Screenshot by Amanda Kooser/CNET)

I honestly couldn’t remember what my first tweet was about. I joined Twitter back in 2010 and have generated 1,559 tweets since then. Too many to recall them all. In celebration of its 8th birthday, Twitter is making easy for forgetful people like me to discover the very tweet that started the journey. Your first tweet.

Using the site, you can enter your Twitter username and instantly pull up that intelligent, insightful, and funny first tweet you posted. In my case, it was a deadly dull journalistic inquiry asking to get in touch with a press contact for a restaurant. Scintillating! If I had known I was going to be looking at my first tweet again years down the line, I would have composed something about “Star Trek” crossing over with “Doctor Who,” or perhaps an artfully beautiful haiku.

Fortunately, doesn’t limit you to your own output. You can check on other usernames as well. CNET’s first tweet in 2009 is all about ATT increasing a bounty on fiber vandals. You’ll find that some of today’s Twitter luminaries didn’t exactly shine in their first outings. Sir Patrick Stewart’s entry is a simple “Hi World.”

Geek star Wil Wheaton, however, fares better. Not only did he sign up way back in 2007, but he tweeted out this message to kick things off: “Trying to figure out if I signed up with ‘wilwheaton’ to prevent some jerk from stealing it, or if some jerk already stole it.” It has style. It has content. It was a portent of great Twitter things to come.

Perhaps my favorite first tweet so far comes from Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak back in March 2009: “Rare massage (for me), then dance practice. No pain, no gain. Awkward but fun, this dancing. I still can’t do Macarena.” That tweet conjures up some delightful imagery.

If you really like your first tweet, you can re-broadcast it from the first-tweets site. I won’t be doing that. Go look at your first tweet and report back. Tell us in the comments if it was a keeper or something you would rather keep locked away in the dusty drawer of your Internet past.

Dale Earnhardt Jr.s first tweet

NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. chose his recent Daytona 500 win as his Twitter kick-off.

Screenshot by Amanda Kooser/CNET)

(Via USA Today)

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Razer unveils own-brand keyboard switches

Razer unveils own-brand keyboard switches

Razer is moving away from the popular Cherry MX microswitch, re-releasing its BlackWidow keyboard family with a choice of own-brand Razer Green or Razer Orange switches.

Gaming peripherals giant Razer has announced plans to differentiate its future keyboards from rivals, with the development of its own-brand microswitches dubbed Razer Green and Razer Orange.

Popular with professional typists, gamers and vintage computing enthusiasts, mechanical keyboards typically switch the rubber domes traditionally used for low-cost input devices for a switch family known as Cherry MX. These switches are available in a variety of colours, with each colour denoting a different typing experience: low-pressure actuation, high-pressure actuation, silent, clicky and so forth. Although rivals to the Cherry MX exist – notably a range from Alps, capacitive switches from Topre, and a wide array of Cherry-like knock-offs – Cherry MX switches are generally considered the pinnacle of mechanical keyboard technology by those who eschew the IBM patented buckling spring system.

Now, Razer is hoping to get in on the act with a line of homebrew switches. Previously, the company has – like almost every other mechanical keyboard manufacturer – released products based on Cherry MX switches, but its 2010 BlackWidow Ultimate keyboard is now to get a revision to own-brand switches.

The Razer Green switches offer a 50g actuation force and a tactile bump, making them roughly equivalent to the Cherry MX Blue. Unlike the Cherry models, however, the Razer Greens offer a reset point around half the distance – meaning double-tapping during rapid-fire gaming is significantly easier, at the risk of making typing without repeating a letter slightly more difficult until your fingers get used to the experience.

The Razer Green is to be joined by the Razer Orange, the company’s equivalent of the popular Cherry MX Brown. Slightly lighter at a 45g actuation, the Razer Orange does away with the audible click of the Razer Green while keeping the tactile ‘bump’ – meaning it’s the key for anyone who doesn’t want to keep the rest of the house awake at night with clattering keys.

Both models offer a lifespan of up to 60 million keystrokes, and feature a Cherry-like cruciform stem – meaning the switches should be compatible with the wide variety of third-party keycaps popular among mechanical keyboard fans. The switches are to launchs hortly in the Razer BlackWidow family – the Ultimate Stealth, Stealth, and Tournament Stealth Edition – with no word yet as to whether the company plans to sell the switches separately to enthusiasts.

More information is available on the official website, while the company’s promotional video for the launch is reproduced below.

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This ‘Back to the Future’ hoverboard will blow your mind

Tony Hawk pulling a “360 Hoverboard Hoax McTwist” for the well-produced, but ultimately phony, HUVr product teaser.

Screenshot by Nick Statt/CNET)

A hoverboard, like the wondrously 1980s pink variety Marty McFly cruises on in “Back to the Future Part II,” is universally accepted as the most awesome thing we don’t yet have. The wheel-less skateboard that floats above the ground and travels as if by magic has even become a bit of a pop culture trope recently for semi-sarcastically lamenting the slowness of technological innovation, of wanting the future right now. Sure, we have cell phone computers,
car-sized roving science labs on Mars, and gigantic particle accelerators capable of recreating miniature versions of the Big Bang, but a hoverboard? Now that will be the day.

Unfortunately, anyone who stumbled onto a quickly-going-viral video Tuesday from a mysterious company called HUVr were probably devastatingly disappointed to learn, almost immediately depending on your incredulousness, that it was too good to be true. The hoverboards in the video don’t just surpass the most advanced superconducting research of as little as three years ago, but blow it completely out of the water.


The board not only sustains more weight than the 100kg limitation of “Mag Surf” — a hovering technique developed in 2011 that employs a liquid nitrogen-cooled superconductor and a magnetic track — but it can also be controlled by a smartphone, lift a person off the ground, travel at high speeds, and seemingly extend a electromagnetic field to curved objects like ramps. “The Future Has Arrived,” the company’s site reads, with a product launch this December. As far as hoaxes go, this one is well-produced and elaborate.

In an attempt to make it even more believable, demonstrations include Tony Hawk whirring in mid-air, Terrell Owens being vaulted four feet off the pavement from a flat-ground standstill, and Moby convincing us that even he, the tech noob that he is, can use HUVr.

There’s a good number of tip-offs throughout the video that we’re being hoodwinked, namely that ensemble cast of awestruck celebrities that also includes Los Angeles rapper Schoolboy Q, Best Coast’s Bethany Cosentino, and Back to the Future’s very own Dr. Emmett Brown (Christopher Lloyd). In fact, it’s likely that a good number of celebrities were roped into the stunt both because it’s hilarious and also because it acts as a solid point of distraction from the fact that no actual members of the supposedly real MIT-spawned company are identified.

Claiming to have developed it at MIT’s Physics Graduate Program in the summer of 2010, the team behind HUVr is showcased on the Web site stereotypically folding their arms. In an enjoyable and pointed skewering of a startup’s standard hyperbolic nonsense, they describe their hoverboard with enough buzzword runarounds to make even the most skeptical of Y Combinator diehards clap with joy.

They also look like Hollywood’s version of “nerdy startup folk,” like the people whose faces it actually put in front of the camera at Google headquarters for the filming of “The Internship” or the actors that made the cut to be in Amazon’s “Betas.”

This group of arm-folding smart people totally could have invented a hoverboard, Los Angeles producers think.

Screenshot by Nick Statt/CNET)

The contact page for HUVr has a company e-mail, though no one replied to my request for comment. Neither did MIT, which probably thought having to debunk a viral hoverboard hoax video ridiculous. Don’t worry, so did I.

There’s a few other, more telling hints. Ignoring of course the video’s opening disclaimer — “The following demonstrations are completely real” — one only has to wait until the last third of the video when things get really wild. With montage music playing, Owens is there catching a football, Moby is filming himself riding the board with his iPhone, and Hawk is doing his best re-creation of what his facial expressions looked like ten years ago at the peak of a halfpipe exit mid-900. All of the stunts look impossible, even if HUVr was remotely resembling modern hover technology, and the whole scene devolves into a self-aware parody.

Terrell Owens just invented a new sport.

Screenshot by Nick Statt)

So what’s actually going on here? Some postulate that it’s a “Back to the Future IV” teaser. That sounds plausible, though that film has never been officially announced, having been endlessly wrapped up in debunked rumors for years. However, with Lloyd’s involvement in the video, alongside the DeLorean he arrives in, there’s a chance a viral marketing operation of this magnitude really is proof the long-awaited film is on its way to production.

There’s another point of film history that also lends credence to the fact that this might be related to an official announcement of the fourth installment. Let’s recall that the Back to the Future series’ director Robert Zemeckis perpetuated a hoax after the release of the second film, claiming in a behind-the-scenes feature that hoverboards were real and not available to the public because of safety concerns. He kept that up, making sure it was featured in the “extras” section of the trilogy DVD box set.

Whatever the purpose of this, Internet debunkers were quick to suss out the source of the video’s production. On the online portfolio site of Lauren Biedenharn — a costume designer and an artist based in Los Angeles where, as well as being the home of Hawk, Schoolboy Q, and Consentino, the video was shot — the most recent line of her resume reads, “Commercial: Back to the Future HUVR BOARDS.” Her employer and the producer of said commercial: comedy video Web site Funny Or Die.

And so it goes. Another day, another wasted 24 hours without real hoverboard technology. Let’s hope that “Back to the Future IV” is the real deal, so that the time exhausted on HUVr at least results in a much-needed Dr. Emmett Brown reprising.

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‘Talking Angela’ programmer talks hoaxes, AI mastery (Q&A)

Talking Angela

Screenshot by CNET)

If you’re not a parent or teenager, it’s possible you first heard of Talking Angela because of a meme spreading virally on Facebook that it was a front for a pedophilia ring.

In fact, Talking Angela is a hugely popular artificial intelligence chatbot, a talking cat, aimed at teenagers, and the hoax has been fully
repudiated. Available for iOS and
Android, Talking Angela has been downloaded more than 57 million times. But thanks to word going around about the pedophilia hoax, the app jumped to No. 3 on the
iTunes iPhone charts.

On the one hand, it’s scandalous that someone was able to create a viral meme that claimed such a popular (and technologically impressive) project had such dark motives. But on the other, it’s been somewhat of a boon for Out Fit7, Talking Angela’s publisher. Perhaps more importantly, it’s brought a lot of attention to the idea that it is really, really hard to create an intelligent chatbot, one that can conceivably fool a human being into thinking they’re talking to another person.

But for Bruce and Sue Wilcox, the programmers behind Talking Angela, that’s just another day on the job. The two, who run a small company called Brillig Understanding, are among the most accomplished chatbot programmers in the world.

They are two-time winners of the prestigious Loebner Prize (otherwise known as the World Turing Test competition), and their bots are the only ones to have qualified for the competition’s finals each of the last four years.

This week, Bruce Wilcox sat down for an interview with CNET, the first time either of the pair has spoken up in the wake of the hoax. He talked over instant message, raising the obvious question: Was he real, or AI?

Q: Let’s get that hard stuff out of the way first. What’s the truth about whether Talking Angela is a front for pedophilia?

Bruce Wilcox: It’s not hardly true. Angela has millions of people chatting with her every day. They couldn’t hire enough pedophiles to do that chatting. She’s strictly a conversation agent, residing locally on the phone.

Why do you think that hoax had legs? What is it about an AI chatbot that would lead some people to believe such a thing could be true?

Wilcox: Angela asks questions like what is your name (to address you) and what is your age (to keep children away from certain topics). Parents get nervous these days whenever any question is asked of their kids.

Brillig Understanding CEO Bruce Wilcox

Brillig Understanding)

So that’s why you think some people were willing to believe that there was a dark motive behind Angela?

Wilcox: The more realistic an AI is, the more people will see their own fears and fantasies in what it says. Parents are hypersensitive these days. But there were obvious lies being said, so it was more than mere hypersensitivity. They made claims of things Angela said that we know she couldn’t have said.

Such as? And why wouldn’t she have been able to say them?

Wilcox: Angela asks about your family, but she doesn’t memorize that you have a brother, so she wouldn’t inquire about your brother later. And some things that have been attributed to her saying about tongues (in the sexual sense), she does not have in her repertoire.

What makes our technology so convincing is that, unlike most chatbots out there, which can make single quibbling responses to inputs, ours can lead conversations and find appropriate prescripting things to say much of the time. We care about backstory and personality and emotion, and strive to create true characters with a life of their own whose aim is to draw the user into their world. The characters are convincing because they are convinced of their own reality…Angela successfully captures the teen personality. For Angela it is all about her feelings. And Angela is selfish at times. And not only can she be rude but she can detect you being rude and react appropriately. This user is deeply involved in emotional reactions to Angela. That’s what we strive for.

We won the 2010 Loebner Prize by fooling a human judge into thinking our chatbot was a human. It was accomplished in part via our attention to creating synthetic emotion.

What are the biggest challenges in creating the AI behind this project?

Wilcox: The vagaries of English language. We strive to recognize meaning, not just words. Plus, the depth of material you need to handle the long tail of all possible conversations that the user could initiate. We obviously can’t handle everything, but we handle an awful lot. Here’s an example of a prize-winning 15-minute conversation Angela had with a judge during the 2012 ChatbotBattles. It’s an example of something which is “close” to great, with only minor flaws to reveal it’s a chatbot.

We use ChatScript, an open-source natural-language engine I wrote. It’s the most powerful tool out there for creating conversational agents.

What are the cues that I can use to know for sure that this conversation, which we’re doing over instant-message, is with a human, and not with a chatbot?

Wilcox: You’d best ask things that computers are lousy at, like physical world inferencing. For example, “If I keep pouring coffee into my cup, what will happen to the book on the table near it?” Long sentences with complexity are also hard for determining meaning by computers.

At the World Turing Test competition, a judge asked, “If I stab you with a towel, will it hurt?”

And what was the answer?

Wilcox: We weren’t ready for it. You never can be. So we did something useless like quibbling.

Are there specific challenges to creating AI aimed at children?

Wilcox: Absolutely. First, voice-to-text is really hard with kids’ voices. Second, childrens’ vocabularies are limited and limiting. And third, as an adult you can’t just write what you would easily write and say. You have to scale it to a child’s cognitive abilities. Angela wasn’t so bad because she was an 18-year old voice, whereas, we’re working with Geppetto Avatars on a children’s health management app that’s targeted for 6-year-olds, and it’s been a real problem for us to think like a child and write for the child. The child’s sense of humor is different from ours, and they love repetition.

What is the World Turing Test competition like?

Wilcox: It’s a random mess. The qualifiers ask human knowledge questions like “which is bigger, a pine nut or a pine tree.” And if Tom is taller than John who is taller than Sue, who is the shortest. The top four scores then get the human judges in competition, where they can do anything. Maybe conversation, maybe trying typos, trick questions, etc. And lots of random failures of hardware and protocol. Angela only came in second last year because a judge kept trying to use carriage returns to separate out the paragraphs, but because of our setting for mobile, she responded to empty lines with more chat. It was overwhelming the poor guy.

Suzette, Rozette, Angela, and Rose — our bots — are the only ones to have qualified every year for the last four years.

What’s a favorite moment from one of those competitions?

Wilcox: Fooling the human judge in 2010. He was a computer professor, and was being very lazy. He started by asking who the bot was voting for in the election. Implied, but not stated was that he meant the upcoming California gubernatorial election. Suzette kept trying to avoid and dodge, but he kept repeating ad nauseum, often by cut and paste. She detected his repeats and got madder and madder, then bored. He got confused and voted for her. He could have merely asked tough questions like we discussed above, but he never did.

How do you think your bots have changed the way people interact with AI?

Wilcox: The more our bots are out there, the more people are willing to suspend disbelief and believe they are talking to a person. Even when they know they’re not, they enjoy the conversation. Now we’re working to bring them into the real world by working with robotics companies to give the bots personality and voice control.

How has spending so much time over the last few years working with AI and chatbots affected the way you interact with people in the real world?

Wilcox: There are people out there? Nowadays we constantly notice conversation, and conversational conventions and dynamics. And we strive mightily to share and go back and forth instead of just doing monologues. We are very aware that a conversation is a shared construct.

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Daughter’s Facebook foghorn blows dad’s $80,000

Thriving doesn’t always mean socially networking.

Screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET)

Fathers, don’t let your daughters anywhere near Facebook. Especially when you’ve just come into $80,000.

This is the painful moral from another day in Florida.

The story began so brightly for the Snay family. As the Miami Herald reports, Patrick Snay used to be the headmaster at Miami’s Gulliver Preparatory School.

In 2010, his contract wasn’t renewed. He claimed age discrimination. He also claimed there had been retaliation against his daughter, who was a pupil at the school.

At the end of 2011, Snay won a settlement, with $80,000 going to him personally, as well as $10,000 in previous earnings. But one of the conditions was that everything had to kept confidential.

Snay told his daughter, Dana. She popped along to Facebook to pop off to 1,200 of her closest friends.

She wrote: “Mama and Papa Snay won the case against Gulliver. Gulliver is now officially paying for my vacation to Europe this summer. SUCK IT.”

So, about that confidentiality agreement.

Patrick Snay told the Herald: “We knew what the restrictions were, yet we needed to tell her something.” This is understandable, but surely he also needed to tell her to not shout it to her 1,200 closest Facebook friends.

You’ll be stunned into performing a pedicure with a hacksaw when I tell you that among her 1,200 closest Facebook friends were Gulliver students.

The school’s lawyers were quickly informed and refused to pay. On Wednesday, Florida’s Third District Court of Appeal ruled for the school.

Snay isn’t yet all out of appeals. He can still try the Florida Supreme Court, for example. However, one wonders how Dana Snay feels about the whole thing.

It surely can’t be easy knowing that you might have blown your dad’s hard-earned settlement, through a moment of social indiscretion.

I went to Facebook (where else?) to see if I could locate her, and found a Dana Snay who claims her home as Miami and says she’s a former student of Gulliver Preparatory School.

She now studies at Boston College and works as a barista at Starbucks.

Her timeline seems to be set to private.

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Gearbox levels Duke Nukem lawsuit at 3D Realms and Interceptor

February 24th, 2014 No comments

Gearbox levels Duke Nukem lawsuit at 3D Realms and Interceptor

3D Realms sold the intellectual property for Duke Nukem to Gearbox in 2010 after failing to complete Duke Nukem Forever.

Gearbox Software is taking 3D Realms and Interceptor Entertainment to court over use of the Duke Nukem intellectual property.

In the lawsuit filed last week, Duke Nukem Forever developer Gearbox is accusing the two companies of trademark and copyright infringement, unfair competition and breach of contract. It is seeking damages and injunctive relief.

The legal action was sparked by Interceptor’s announcement of Duke Nukem: Mass Destruction, an isometric action RPG which currently has a release date for later this month.

3D Realms were the original rights holders of Duke Nukem but sold the franchise in 2010 after its infamously long development cycle on what was going to be Duke Nukem Forever. Gearbox bought up the rights and surprised everyone by finishing and releasing the since cancelled game.

Following the sale, 3D realms did keep the rights to re-release older titles in the series like Duke Nukem 3D, which has since been released on Steam and the Apple App Store.

‘Apparently, after selling its Duke Nukem IP rights to Gearbox in 2010, 3DR sought to privately convince others that the sale never happened,’ reads the legal complaint from Gearbox. ‘The result is the unauthorized development effort that reportedly exists between 3DR and Interceptor.’

A cease and desist letter was already sent to 3D Realms earlier this month which was subsequently signed by 3D Realms chief executive Scott Miller and business partner George Broussard.

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‘Heroes’ returns with new NBC miniseries in 2015

February 24th, 2014 No comments

Heroes returns with Heroes Reborn miniseries on NBC in 2015, but who will return from the original cast to fight the good fight?

“Heroes” returns with “Heroes Reborn” miniseries on NBC in 2015, but who will return from the original cast to fight the good fight?


What would you do if you woke up one morning and suddenly could fly, predict the future, stop time, instantly heal or had superhuman strength? The groundbreaking TV series “Heroes,” created by Tim Kring, addressed what happens when everyday people suddenly acquire skills and superpowers worthy of comic book characters.

On February 22, NBC announced with a surprise commercial during the Olympics that the saga will return in 2015 with a 13-episode stand-alone story arc called “Heroes Reborn.”
NBC will also launch a digital series prior to the 2015 premiere that will introduce the characters and new storylines.

“The enormous impact ‘Heroes’ had on the television landscape when it first launched in 2006 was eye-opening,” said NBC Entertainment President Jennifer Salke in a statement. “Shows with that kind of resonance don’t come around often and we thought it was time for another installment. We’re thrilled that visionary creator Tim Kring was as excited about jumping back into this show as we were and we look forward to all the new textures and layers Tim plans to add to his original concept.”

The original show creator and executive producer Tim Kring will be at the helm of the new series Heroes Reborn on NBC in 2015.

The original show creator and executive producer Tim Kring will be at the helm of the new series “Heroes Reborn” on NBC in 2015.


The original “Heroes” series, which ran four seasons from 2006 to 2010, won numerous awards and nominations including Emmy Awards, Golden Globes, People’s Choice Awards, and British Academy Television Awards. According to, “Heroes” remains one of the best-selling TV series on DVD of all time with more than 10 million units sold.

“Heroes” also explored transmedia storytelling techniques by creating online comics, webisodes and an interactive experience called “Hero Evolutions” to run simultaneously with the TV show.

While the hit show was cancelled only four years ago, many of the stars of “Heroes” — such as Zachary Quinto, Hayden Panettiere, and Milo Ventimiglia are already committed to movies and other TV shows. However, that doesn’t mean they can’t appear on the new show as a cameo or two.

“Until we get closer to air in 2015, the show will be appropriately shrouded in secrecy, but we won’t rule out the possibility of some of the show’s original cast members popping back in,” Salke said.

Both Ventimiglia and actor Masi Oka tweeted their congratulations of the return of the show they both starred in.

While “Heroes” creator Kring isn’t spilling any superhero spoilers, NBC did release this cryptic teaser trailer for “Heroes Reborn” on TV and Youtube. The official Heroes Twitter account has also began promoting the series as well as some upcoming giveaways.

(Via Deadline)

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Tony Hawk returning to the video game world

February 21st, 2014 No comments

Tony Hawk returning to the video game world

The Tony Hawk series dates back to 1999 and saw an annual release every year up until 2010.

Pro Skater Tony Hawk and Activision are once again working together on a new entry to the sportsman’s skateboarding franchise.

Talking to IGN, Activision confirmed that it has ‘something in the works with Tony Hawk’ and more information will be revealed soon. The developer for the new entry has not been confirmed, although Robomondo which handled the most recent entry to the series is a possibility.

Hawk let slip that a new video game is in the works during his SiriusXM Demolition Radio show, although only went as far to say that ‘it’s pretty cool’ instead of revealing any significant details. A co-host also made reference to the motion capture suit that had been used during development.

The Tony Hawks series has been mostly dormant since 2010 with Tony Hawk: Shred receiving particularly scathing reviews. Both Shred and its predecessor Ride required the use of a skateboard motion controlled peripheral which frustrated players and pushed the prices of the titles up significantly

The franchise did see a release of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater HD in 2012, a downloadable remake for XBLA, PSN and Steam.

Prior to 2010, the Tony Hawks series had seen annual entries going back to the original Playstation title in 1999. Suggestions that the series would kick off again have surfaced in the recent past with Activision stating that it considers Tony Hawk has a Michael Jordan-style staying power.

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