Batman Faces Off Against Bane, Catwoman In Next Movie

Warner Bros. announced today that Selina Kyle (better known as Catwoman) has been cast for the upcoming film The Dark Knight Rises. Joining her will be Tom Hardy, who will play the manipulative and dangerous Bane.

“I am thrilled to have the opportunity to work with Anne Hathaway, who will be a fantastic addition to our ensemble as we complete our story, said Nolan. “I am delighted to be working with Tom again and excited to watch him bring to life our new interpretation of one of Batman’s most formidable enemies.”

Zynga Opens Up RewardVille

Zynga has announced the launch of a new rewards program at RewardVille.com. While currently in beta mode, this new program will reward people who play certain Zynga titles with points that can be redeemed for virtual items.

“As a company focused on innovation we’re constantly testing new products and features, said Zynga in a statement. When experimenting with new products we take the feedback we receive and apply it to deliver the best possible user experience. We look forward to hearing how our users like RewardVille.”

Source: Inside Social Games

Dead Space 2 Launches To Smashing Pumpkins

While there have been numerous concerns about Dead Space 2 from the fans, whether it’s the fact that Issac now speaks, his new RIG uniform, or the presence of multiplayer, people appear to have gotten it out of their system and are really anticipating the game now. Check out the release trailer with a progressive rock soundtrack.

Half-Life 2, Done Up In Paper

Valve has fan efforts that any other company in the world could and should be jealous of, and now they’ve gotten a rather unique tribute for Half-Life 2. Here’s an amazingly accurate rendition of the plot of Half-Life 2, with paper models in less than five minutes.

Augmented Reality Ads Expanding

Pop group Black Eyed Peas released a new ad campaign tied to their single The Time (Dirty Bit). In the corresponding music video, lead singer will.i.am uses a smartphone to make a video game version of himself pop out of a billboard, which has been duplicated in an augmented reality experience.

“Technology has finally caught up with our imaginations,” wrote will.i.am. “[Our album] is symbolic of adopting these new technologies, such as augmented reality.”

Augmented reality has already been used for marketing by large corporations like Lego, Mini Cooper and Red Bull, and it’s only set to get bigger. Industry analysis firm ARC Chart thinks that revenues generated worldwide by mobile phone augmented reality applications will reach $2.3 billion by 2015.

“Just like we did with the hype around the iPhone, we capitalized on the hype over AR,” said Alexander Trieb, co-founder of Tripwolf, a Vienna-based social travel-guide. “We can’t monetize AR as a standalone application, but it definitely adds to the value we provide the user and the advertiser.”

Citing the Black Eyed Peas app, Jan Schlink of Metaio thought of how things could evolve. “We could have a hyperlink on that poster to download sound samples or hidden bonus tracks,” he said, “So you stand in front of a poster and can directly download the sound just by triggering it through the image.”

Source: DW World

Apple CEO Takes Leave

Apple CEO Steve Jobs is taking a leave of absence due to medical concerns. The announcement comes roughly two years after Jobs first took a six-month break for a liver transplant.

“At my request, the board of directors has granted me a medical leave of absence so I can focus on my health,” wrote Jobs in an email. “I love Apple so much and hope to be back as soon as I can.”

Chief operating officer Tim Cook will take responsibility for day-to-day operations of Apple, but Jobs will continue to be consulted for major decisions. Jobs gave no timetable for his return, and worries about his status and the future of Apple have sent shares of the company dropping as much as 10 percent.

“This will come as a surprise to Apple investors and definitely take some shine off the Apple stock,” said Alexander Peterc, an equity analyst at Exane. “But even if Steve Jobs never returns to Apple, I would not expect a visible, tangible impact on how Apple is executing over the next couple of years.”

Jobs is a visionary in the field of consumer electronics, but the forces pushing Apple forward shouldn’t be greatly affected by his absence. Still, as Richard Windsor, global technology specialist at Nomura notes, “Perception of the company is another matter. Steve Jobs is seen by the market to be a major force in Apple’s strategic direction. If his pancreatic cancer has returned, one could be quite worried.”

Source: Reuters

New Super Mario Bros. Wii Finds Its Way Onto Stamps

The Belgian postal service bpost has announced that they’re putting out a series of New Super Mario Bros. Wii postage stamps. The recently privatized postal service has also teamed up with other companies like Disney for promotion.

Not something we’re likely to see with the USPS any time soon.

The New Super Mario Bros. Wii will retail for 5 Euro and for sheets of five. The offer will only run for a very limited time.

Source: Polygonal Lawn

Touch Screen Ads Merits Debated

Interactive touchscreen ads are becoming more common in public places, coming out to try and attract more attention to brands and products. Recent efforts include a Yahoo! campaign at 20 bus stops in San Francisco, wherein people participated in various puzzle and trivia games, and a Cadbury touch screen ad in London where players bashed virtual chocolate creme eggs.

However, there’s also a matter of cost with these sorts of campaigns. A digital screen visible in daylight can cost somewhere between $58,500 and $66,225 whereas a display panel for posters only costs between $2,330 and $3,115.

“We would like to see more innovative opportunities for creative messaging through technological enhancements or out-of-the-box features, said McDonald’s Singapore marketing director Agatha Yap. But at a more cost-friendly rate.”

Source: tmcnet.com