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Man arrested for stalking girls via Xbox Live

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356w ago - In Spokane, Washington, a 20-year-old man was arrested on felony stalking charges after chatting to a 15-year-old girl on Xbox Live and eventually threatening to rape the girl and her sister.

Joshua Stetar of Saratoga Springs, New York met the 15-year-old girl through chatting and playing Halo online since last year. He reportedly sent packages and flowers to her home, all of which her parents returned. He also began text messaging her several hundred times on her cell phone, forcing the girl's mother to change her daughter's number. However, Stetar was able to get her new number, and the he continued to text message the girl.

At around 9:00pm Friday, Stetar sent a text message saying that he was driving by her house at the moment. The girl's parents in fact saw his car drive by.

At 9:36pm, Stetar sent another text message stating, "Tell the cops that I'm gonna rape you and your sister."

The girl's father called police, and officers found the suspect staying at a nearby Econo Lodge motel.

During a police interview, the suspect admitted that he was able to obtain the girl's address and phone number by "Googling" her name. He also admitted to driving 40 hours straight to get from New York to Spokane.

Stetar was booked into Spokane County...
 

Software Notebook: Gates picks challenging year to leave Microsoft

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356w ago - As Microsoft's past year was characterized by launches, the next will be defined by a departure.

But even as Bill Gates leaves his full-time executive role, the company will be grappling with some of the biggest competitive challenges in its history, particularly on the Internet.

Here's our annual look at what to watch at the company in 2008.

GATES LEAVING, SORTA: The Microsoft co-founder is slated to end his day-to-day executive duties at the end of June, but he will remain chairman, and he's expected to continue working on selected projects.

Microsoft has been preparing for Gates' full-time shift to philanthropy since 2005, when the plan was announced, and it has already installed executives Craig Mundie and Ray Ozzie to fill his roles in the business, working with Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer.

"I don't think the departure will be too disruptive -- it's not like it's a complete severing of the relationship," said Dwight Davis, an analyst with the Ovum research firm. "But nonetheless, that's going to be a notable milestone in the coming year for Microsoft -- one that will alter the company's profile in a fairly significant way."

ONLINE STRUGGLES: Microsoft tried to gain traction online in the past year, most notably through its $6 billion acquisition...
 

Eight Things Sony Needs To Do For The PS3 In 2008 To Catch Up

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356w ago - Now that the year 2007 is nearly over and with 2008 just around the corner we really need to think about something. If you are interested in the console war at all you may know the Sony PlayStation 3 is the most expensive console out there (yes the X360 Elite is $50 more than the 40GB PS3, but the 80GB PS3 is also $50 more than the elite) and because of this the PS3 is in last place in overall sales (there are also more reasons why, but this is one of the main reasons why).

Now this does not mean that the PS3 is not selling anything at all, this only means that all of the PS3's that have been sold from around the world have not been matched with the Nintendo Wii's and the Microsoft Xbox 360's. Right now the PS3 has sold 7.77M, the Wii has sold 17.07M, and the Xbox 360 has sold 14.07M (according to VGChartz). Now, if things keep going this way, they might lose this war.

Another thing that is the cause of being last is that the PS3 has had many exclusives, but they lost most of them. For some of them Microsoft has paid the companies to go multi-platform, like Rockstar's GTA4, but some had gone multi-platform because of development costs. Now, Sony may not have been able to secure those that went multi because of development costs, but they could have secured the exclusives that Microsoft had paid...
 

Sega delays Condemned 2

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356w ago - Sega sent out an updated release schedule today which shows that the release of Condemned 2 will be facing a one month delay. The game was supposed to be released in February for but has now been pushed back to March 2008. No exact date was given.

In case you've forgotten what the game is all about: Players will assume the identity of Ethan Thomas, the former Serial Crimes Unit investigator, who's been called back to duty to track down his missing partner. As Ethan, players will engage in visceral combat using a variety of firearms, blunt instruments and an all-new fighting system complete with defensive and offensive combo chains. To help track the killer and solve the mysteries behind Condemned 2: Bloodshot, players will crack open an all-new set of high-tech forensic tools. Using wits and brute strength, murders can be solved in a number of different ways to keep players guessing throughout each suspenseful investigation.

The delay affects both the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions of the game.
 

Rumor: Microsoft's "Metal Gear" for the 360

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356w ago - It seems absolutely impossible to notice that Microsoft is unfazed by Metal Gear Solid 4, the titan of all games released during the year on the PS3.

Splinter Cell: Conviction might not be powerful enough to scratch our beloved Solid Snake, so Microsoft has decided to bring something as brilliant as the game on the 360.

Word has it that the company is in collaboration with a highly talented studio that can give their 360 something way better than Snake.
 
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