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GTA IV confirmed as edited for Australia

50°
350w ago - Rockstar has produced an edited version of Grand Theft Auto IV for Australia in order to obtain an MA15+ rating.

The Office of Film and Literature Classification awarded the game an MA15+ rating on December 11 last year, advising consumers that the game contains "strong violence, strong coarse language, drug and sexual references".

A Rockstar spokesperson confirmed to Screen Play yesterday that the company had produced a special version of GTA IV to comply with the Australian classification system, which does not currently contain an R18+ rating, but declined to reveal what material had been cut.

The game has been rated R18+ by the British Board of Film Classification, New Zealand's OFLC and the German Unterhaltungssoftware Selbstkontrolle. It has been rated M17+ by the Entertainment Software Rating board in North America.

The Grand Theft Auto series has a chequered past with the OFLC in Australia.

In 2001, thousands of copies of GTA III were sold before the game was rated and refused classification because players could pick-up prostitutes. An edited version was later released.

2002's Gran Theft Auto: Vice City was also edited for Australian audiences.

In 2005, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas has its original MA15+ rating overturned and...
 

Sony BMG get busted for piracy by PointDev

200°
350w ago - A French software company known as PointDev is claiming €300,000 (over $475,000) in damages in its suit against Sony BMG.

The suit comes following a call from a Sony BMG employee to PointDev for support who gave them a pirated license code for one of their products. A raid followed which revealed that pirated software was installed on four of Sony BMG's servers and it is believed that up to 47 percent of the software on Sony BMG's computers could be pirated.

To quote: PointDev, a French software company that makes Windows administration tools, received a call from a Sony BMG IT employee for support. After Sony BMG supplied a pirated license code for Ideal Migration, one of PointDev's products, the software maker was able to mandate a seizure of Sony BMG's assets.

The subsequent raid revealed that software was illegally installed on four of Sony BMG's servers. The Business Software Alliance, however, believes that up to 47 percent of the software installed on Sony BMG's computers could be pirated.

These are some pretty serious –not to mention ironic- allegations against a company that's gone so far as to install malware on consumers' computers in the name of preventing piracy.
 

More Moves at Microsoft: 3 Top Executives Step Down!

50°
350w ago - The revolving door in Redmond is spinning again.

This time, two top executives have left the company and a third will do so in a few months. They are:

--G. Michael Sievert, formerly corporate VP for Windows Product Marketing

--Steven Berkowitz, senior VP in the Online Services group

--Pieter Knook, formerly senior VP in the Mobile Communications Business

Sievert, previously executive vice president and chief marketing officer at AT&T Wireless Services Inc., had been with Microsoft since 2005. As the executive responsible for promoting Windows Vista, he undoubtedly took some heat over public perceptions of Microsoft's latest operating system as slow, bug-plagued and incompatible with other applications (although Microsoft also says it sold more than 100 million Vista licenses in the product's first year). In early February, about 10 days before Microsoft announced Sievert's exit, CEO Steve Ballmer told analysts that the company needs to improve its Vista marketing efforts.

In announcing Sievert's departure, Microsoft said only that he left "to pursue new endeavors"; the technology-news site CNET.com quoted Sievert as saying he plans to start his own company. Microsoft promoted Brad Brooks, previously general manager for Windows...
 

Microsoft Losing its Way on Desktop, Apple Good to Go!

50°
350w ago - Based on comments from Redmond executives, Microsoft's vision for the next generation desktop seems to be losing focus compared to Apple, according to David Morgenstern at ZDNet on Tuesday.

Recent presentations from Microsoft strategists have focused on the Surface input technology and software as a service (SaS). The problem is that neither of these pie-in-the-sky approaches remotely address the needs of users.

Microsoft's new approach vaguely reminiscent of the days when Mark Andreessen said that Netscape is the OS, no need for Windows. Microsoft may now believe that after all.

Apple's strategy, in contrast, recognizes that users not only view content but create it. The faster the desktop client experience is in doing that, the better the overall experience for the user. In fact, Apple's vision of the desktop as an elegant digital hub has never wavered.

Microsoft seems to have been both distracted by Google, as Google's Eric Schmidt has painted rosy pictures of data clouds as well as its inability to manage the Vista rollout. An extreme focus on SaS is a prescription for mediocrity at best, according to Mr. Morgenstern. "The steady stream of business and enterprise switchers to the Mac platform shows that for some tech customers mediocrity isn't a value. Nor a vision," Mr....
 

PlanetGTA Exclusive GTA IV Screenshot

50°
350w ago - The lighting here is great. I love the little red and white lights all around, especially to the left of the shot.

Is that a one hole golf course under the back wheel of the helicopter?

Thanks to RockStar for this great screenshot..

Click to enlarge it, and enjoy!
 
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