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Rumor: Windows Media Player Speeds Loading In World Of Warcraft

364w ago - Update: We just received word from Blizzard that they are aware of the "issue," and are looking into it.

Claims are coming in from all over the 'net that running Windows Media Player in the background while playing World of Warcraft shortens load times.

This phenomena was originally reported on WoW's European forums back in November, but the quirk recently jumped the pond and reports of players benefiting from this oddity are now appearing on the American forums as well.

After noticing the folks at WoW Insider offering their own anecdotal evidence for the viability of these claims, I attempted to test the method myself. By opening Windows Media Player, leaving it idle, minimizing it, then playing WoW, I did in fact notice shorter loading times, specifically in high-traffic sections of the game.

Visions of Gates' keynote swan song

364w ago - The line may already be forming in Las Vegas for the big event Sunday, the last performance of the Bill Gates roadshow before his role as chief visionary ends.

The Microsoft chairman will continue making speeches and drawing crowds at conferences, capitals and campuses around the world.

But there's nothing like the rock-star treatment of his annual opening-night keynote at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES).

By starting the show with talks on the future of consumer technology, Gates set the forward-looking tone of a bazaar where retailers learn what they'll sell in the coming years.

The speeches are more like Vegas shows than lectures, with elaborate sets, videos and celebrity appearances jazzing up the talk about gadgets and industry trends.

Usually only a few thousand of the 150,000 or so attendees get in, so there's always a huge line snaking through the lobby, grumbling as VIPs and industry leaders are led past the barricades and police to seats in front.

Gates will not return for the 2009 keynote, after he cuts back on Microsoft work this summer and dedicates more time to philanthropy.

A spokesman said he may continue to attend the show, however, and there's always a possibility he'll return for a keynote farther down the road.

The Games of 2008

364w ago - While there are still a lot of games that haven't been announced yet, with the new year, it's worth taking a look at some of the games that are going to be ringing in the cash when the ball drops for 2009. 2008 was a stellar, record-setting year in the videogame industry, and 2008 should top those records (assuming Wii demand continues). There are certainly plenty of killer apps coming out on the software side.

Grand Theft Auto IV--Rockstar Games delayed the first next gen iteration of its best-selling franchise to this year, which means record sales are guaranteed (even more PS3s and Xbox 360s will be in homes by then). This Mature-rated franchise, like Halo, needs only to ship to attract its legions of fans. Seeing what next gen adds to the virtual New York City setting will definitely be worth the extra wait, especially with no load screens and exclusive downloadable missions on 360.

Super Smash Bros. Brawl--With online gameplay and a huge cast of characters including Mario, Link, Solid Snake, Sonic the Hedgehog and Donkey Kong, this is a must-have family fighter for anyone who owns a Wii. Motion-sensor controls ensure a good workout while playfully pummeling opponents.

Gran Turismo 5: Prologue--I played this at SEMA in Vegas not long ago and the HD gameplay looks photo-realistic. With each...

New Releases for January 08

364w ago - Blast works Build Fuse & Destroy-Wii
Bran Challenge-DS
Brothers In Arms: Road to hill 30-Wii
Bully Scholarship edition-360
Burnout Paradise-PS3,360
Cabela's Monster Bass-360,Wii
Classic British Motor Racing-Wii
CSI: Hard Evidence-Wii
CSI: Miami Night-DS
Culdcept Sage-360
Dance Dance Revolution: Disney Channel-PS2
Dark Sector-PS3,360
Devil May Cry 4-PS3,360
Endless Ocean-Wii
Homie Rollers-DS
Rygar Battle for Argus-Wii
MX VS ATV: Untamed-DS
Samurai Warrior: Katana-Wii
Turning Point-PS3,360

Metal Gear Solid 4 Coming to Xbox 360

364w ago - Metal Gear Solid 4 is coming to the Xbox 360. This is not a rumor. This is straight from a Konami distribution representative's mouth. The game is already in production and has been since early 2007. Complete details after the jump:

No, the rep will not be named, but this is pretty concrete. Speaking to a Konami rep at an undisclosed distribution meeting, I was told, after a lot of nagging, that yes indeed MGS was in development for the 360. The rep stated that Metal Gear Solid will be released for the Xbox 360 between 12 to 14 months after the PS3 version hits shelves. This is not a rumor.

I contacted Microsoft's own John Porcaro via email shortly after I spoke to the Konami rep to see if I could get anything from Microsoft's public relations team. Below is the response I received. Needless to say it's the most I've ever gotten out of MS PR team member.

You can call this a rumor, as the news may be hard to swallow for many who have read the constant denials from Konami, but this is straight from a Konami distribution rep's mouth. And I have never gotten a response like this from Microsoft before. To write that much, I can't help but think Porcaro had no idea what to say. The fact that he brings up "leaking information" has us a little worried, but again, we're not naming any...
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