24th > September > 2007 Archive
Virgin has closed Virgin Digital, its Windows Media-based alternative to Apple's iTunes. It stopped selling one-off downloads on Friday, though subscribers will still have access to their collections until their next monthly payment is due.
The Globalisation Institute, a European think-tank run by free market advocates, today went on the offensive against Microsoft, calling on the EU to require all PCs to be sold without operating systems.
Crytek has put back the release of the demo version of Crysis, the eagerly anticipated PC-based first-person shooter that DirectX 10 graphics cards owners are all keen to try.
When is an Apple an Orange? When it's an iPhone it would seem, with the mobile operator winning the French rights to sell the Apple device.
We all thought LEGO's Star Wars figures were the acme of geek-friendly toys, but with Halo 3 about to roll - officially at least - something even better's just arrived in the UK: LEGO-style Master Chief models.
A teacher at a US community college in Red Oak, Iowa says he was fired after telling his students not to interpret the story of Adam and Eve as a literal account of events circa BC 4000. Steve Bitterman, 60, who was teaching a western civilisation course at Southwestern Community College, said he often used extracts from the Old Testament as part of the class. The class was being broadcast to students in a second college in Osceola, and a group of students from that class complained that the teacher was "denigrating their religion". According to the Des Moines Register, Bitterman said: "I'm just a little bit shocked myself that a college in good standing would back up students who insist that people who have been through college and have a master's degree, a couple actually, have to teach that there were such things as talking snakes or lose their job." Describing the class, Bitterman said he had put the Hebrew religion on the same plane as any other, with no god being given a particular preference. He said that he encouraged students to look beyond a literal interpretation of what is an "extremely meaningful story", because he thought a literal reading would miss much of the poetic, metaphoric and symbolic content. After the class, he said he had a conversation with a student in which he referred to the story of Adam and Eve as a fairy tale. Then he was told that the students had threatened to take legal advice. Southwestern Community College would not comment on Bitterman's dismissal, describing it as a "personnel matter", but stressed that the teacher's right to free speech had not been infringed. "I just thought there was such a thing as academic freedom here," Bitterman told the Des Moines Register. "From my point of view, what they're doing is essentially teaching their students very well to function in the eighth century." ®
Mobile WorkshopMobile Workshop When the area of mobile technology and applications is discussed, there is a tendency to treat it as a relatively new part of the overall IT landscape.
A pioneering project aimed at improving the quality of patents in the US must be made compulsory if it is to work, according to the project's manager. Currently the pilot project is only voluntary.
US defence-tech behemoth Lockheed Martin has been awarded a $16m deal to provide the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)'s fingerprint database with extra processing power.
BT has again hinted that it could be persuaded to upgrade the UK's aged copper and aluminium wires into homes and businesses to fibre-optic lines. BT Retail chief Ian Livingstone has given one of the strongest indications yet that the firm sees a need for faster infrastructure, saying "BT remains very interested in further expanding the speed of access for customers, whether that be through faster copper, fibre to the home, [or] fibre to the cabinet". He told the Financial Times that the firm will begin discussions with government and Ofcom in November or December. The comments come after new competitiveness minister Steven Timms told the Broadband Stakeholder Group (BSG) last week that the UK needed to up speeds to maintain its position in the global economy. He said the summit later this year with industry and regulators will examine the case for public sector investment. The BSG published a report in April which said a market-led move to fibre was possible, but BT has argued the economics don't work outside new build developments. This week will also see the end of an era at BT when departing chairman Christopher Bland makes way for new boy Michael Rake, who joins from accounting giant KPMG. ®
Toshiba will next week formally announce a processor based on the Cell chip that sits inside each Sony PlayStation 3 games console. The new CPU will be pitched not only at consumer electronics kit but set head-to-head with today's PC and Mac graphics chips.
The group behind the third-world oriented $100 (ish) laptop will also offer consumers in developed countries the chance to buy its machine later this year.
The Pirate Bay has filed a criminal complaint against entertainment firms over alleged attacks against the controversial file sharing tracker site. A police complaint against the Swedish subsidiaries of music and movie studios follows a leak of embarassing emails from MediaDefender, the firm allegedly hired by media moguls to disrupt Pirate Bay's operations.
Over the past few weeks, we’ve been looking at the various rationales as to why people might want to collaborate, or access applications, when they are mobile. But just how much of a concern is it to the corporation itself? According to a recent Reg reader poll, the answer is "quite a lot". Indeed, initiatives for mobile and remote access ranked third out of a total of 21 potential activities, with 60 per cent of respondents saying their organisations were planning to roll out such technologies within the next six months. Ranking above mobility were only infrastructure optimisation and custom app development. It's fascinating stuff, particularly if we compare it to some of the other initiatives we suggested. Consider green computing for example, which ranked 19th with fewer than 20 per cent of respondents planning some kind of activity. Lower still were social computing and software as a service. If nothing else, this just goes to show that column inches should not be used as a guide for what's really going on at the front line – if I say any more on these subjects, I'll only be exacerbating this, so let's move on! Notice that mobile access was ranked third overall, for all sizes of organisation, a position it maintained for mid-market companies. For the largest organisations, mobility was pushed into fourth position by governance, compliance and risk-related initiatives, that set of activities that bigger companies need to do, whether they want to or not. For smaller companies, it was the development of a web presence that pipped mobility to the third post. What can we surmise from this? It's an interesting one, particularly as for many vertical sectors, mobility can't be linked directly to cost savings – perhaps the only place that this applies is in customer-oriented, "man with a van" scenarios such as logistics or maintenance servicing. Otherwise, and as we have seen elsewhere in our recent polls, mobile application use tends to be more "value-based" – that is, it has a direct cost and a less measurable, indirect set of benefits. Kitting out project managers with BlackBerries may not be making the company money, for example, but it is generally seen as beneficial. Given that mobility is seen as this important by business, it begs the question: What exactly would organisations see as the ideal set of capabilities? Evidence from our most recent research suggests that the people with the best kit reap the most benefits, for example. So, should we be rolling out the costliest of gadgets to the majority of the workforce, and if so, what benefits might we achieve? We’ll be asking these questions in the next tranche of the research, but for now, we’d welcome any feedback you might have.®
World leaders are set to meet today to discuss the effects of climate change and possible political measures to tackle it. The meeting will see representatives from 150 countries, 80 of them being heads of state, converge on the UN in New York. UN climate chief Yvo de Boer said he expected the meeting to express the sense of urgency in terms of the progress that must be made in negotiations, adding that a breakthrough was essential. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is to deliver a keynote address at the meeting, entitled "The Future in Our Hands: Addressing the Leadership Challenge of Climate Change". He is reported to be optimistic that the meeting will serve to focus attention on the issue ahead of more formal negotiations in Bali, Indonesia, this December. He said: "Bali must advance a negotiating agenda to combat climate change on all fronts, including adaptation, mitigation, clean technologies, deforestation and resource mobilisation." Governor "Ah-nuld" Schwarzenegger and former VP Al Gore will be at the meeting, but President Bush, known for his deep and abiding love of the UN, will not be there. Instead, he is hosting his own summit with 16 "major emitter" countries in Washington later this week, the BBC reports. Bush is also expected to join the secretary general for dinner, in an informal capacity. ®
Leaving the house and realising you've only got five minutes of iPod juice left is like running out of petrol on the motorway. But, while battery company Energizer can't do anything about the latter, it has developed an instant power source for mobile music fans.
EMC has grown bored of sitting on a fat pile of VMware IPO cash and reportedly dropped $76m for web-based automated backup outfit Mozy. The service is one of dozens of start-ups offering online storage to consumers and businesses.
The US Army is looking to develop a range of miniaturised guided missiles for use by its robot warriors of the future, according to reports. Each missile could be the size of a large party cracker. Under its Future Combat System (FCS) programme, the US Army plans to kit itself out with all kinds of futuristic gear. Originally, this was to include a lot of robots - including a kind of autonomous droid tank and four different kinds of aerial death-mech - but budget worries have led to several of the machine warriors being deferred. Some are still left, however, including the miniature flying-dalek Class I and the robotised helicopter Class IV (the class-IV, charmingly, is to be capable of Manned and Unmanned teaming, or MUM operations, in which it cooperates with ordinary fleshy pilots. We suggest SCHTUM, Sudden CHange to Targeting of Unsuspecting Meatsacks, for the day of the inevitable machine-army coup d'etat). Not so much "Exterminate" as "Obliterate", then. Thus far, flying kill-droids have tended to be armed with ordinary air weapons, for instance the Hellfire laser-guided missile. This is carried by air force Predators and Reapers, as well as ordinary old Apache attack helicopters. But Hellfires are big old five-foot jobs weighing 100 pounds. They're a bit heavy for little robots to lift. Sometimes, too, a Hellfire might be a bit of a sledgehammer when what you really wanted was a nutcracker. Now, according to Flight International, the US Army plan to address these concerns. The plan is to develop a new class of mini-missiles, perhaps not dissimilar to the ones used for corridor scuffling by the little flying killbots at the end of Terminator 3. Suzy Young, US Army advanced science and tech chief, told a killbot convention in France that "we want lethality for a non-traditional enemy", presumably referring to testy southwest Asians rather than the Governator and chums. It appears that each missile will be perhaps 18 inches long and weigh two pounds, even smaller and lighter than the Vietnam-vintage M72 LAW rocket. (The LAW was always of dubious usefulness against its intended target - enemy tanks - but has long been popular among foot soldiers for taking out bunkers, blowing holes in walls etc. US Marines are still using it in Iraq, reportedly fitted with a new trendy fuel-air warhead.) The LAW was a simple free-flying job, too, but the new droid-carried micro-missiles will be capable of tracking in on a laser dot at the very least. There are man-portable weapons which do this, or which can track an aircraft's heat exhaust, but they tend to be quite heavy and bulky. The new US initiative seems to suggest a guided missile not much bigger than a tube of Pringles; one that could perhaps be carried by the new generation of man-portable, hand-launched silent mini-planes now going into action. Latest-generation thermal imager kit might allow the new micro-missiles - or their launching droid motherships - to track the heat signature of individual humans in true sci-fi style. Flight reckons there will be a "family of interchangeable warheads", no doubt including fashionable fuel-air, armour piercing etc. In many ways it seems a bit lazy of the US defence establishment to only develop these lightweight super-missiles for the convenience of robots. Many a cursing, overburdened human grunt of recent decades would have been glad to have a trouser-pocket thermobaric bomb rather than a mortar baseplate or similar. The arms designers would contend, of course, that until very recently they were mainly looking to blow up enemy tanks - and you need a fairly big, fat missile for that. But it could be that in fact the weapons factories are working more and more for the robot army rather than the fleshy one... Details from Flight here. ®
UK security integrators GSS and Peapod are to merge. The new firm will continue under the GSS brand becoming one of the largest security integrators and consultancy firms in the UK with a combined roster of 2,500 clients and around 60 workers.
The Mars Odyssey orbiter has beamed back pictures of what appear to be cave entrances on the slopes of a Martian volcano. Seven small dark craters pepper the side of the long-extinct volcano. They range from about 100 to 200 metres in size, and are very nearly circular. The NASA team turned the thermal imaging cameras on the black circles as soon as it could. The variation in temperature, or relative lack thereof, is what prompted speculation that the circles could be entrances to much bigger underground space. As seen by NASA's Mars Orbiter, in visible light and infrared (left to right). "They are cooler than the surrounding surface in the day and warmer at night," said Glen Cushing of the US Geological Survey's Astrogeology Team and of Northern Arizona University. "Their thermal behaviour is not as steady as large caves on Earth that often maintain a fairly constant temperature, but it is consistent with these being deep holes in the ground." The discovery was published online by the journal Geophysical Research Letters. Co-author Tim Titus of the US Geological Survey speculates that the caves could even harbour life. "Whether these are just deep vertical shafts or openings into spacious caverns, they are entries to the subsurface of Mars. Somewhere on Mars, caves might provide a protected niche for past or current life or shelter for humans in the future." But Cushing says the altitude of the "cave openings" makes it unlikely that they'd be suitable for humans to use. He also pours cold water on the idea that native life could have migrated to such extreme heights. ®
2007's Top Products2007's Top Products We've already reviewed Apple's iPhone, so why are we taking another look? There are several reasons. First, a different reviewer means a different opinion. That applies to any product, of course, but Apple's claim that the iPhone is "revolutionary" perhaps justifies an alternative appraisal.
The southern Martian ice cap is mostly made of water, according to those clever boffins* at MIT. Ice on Mars. Credit: NASA/MOLA Science Team The polar caps on the red planet were thought to be composed largely of a thin layer of frozen CO2, resting over a dust and ice mixture. But new analysis by MIT researchers, led by Maria Zuber, MIT professor of geophysics, suggests that the largest constituent is in fact bog-standard H2O. Scientists have long wondered whether or not water ice existed in any quantity on Mars. But the polar caps were thought to be more likely to contain CO2 than water, because the atmosphere of Mars is so arid. (On reflection, that sentence rather suggests the presence of frozen water, but who are we to argue stuff like that with 20-20 hindsight?) Zuber's team noticed that around the CO2 cap there was a smooth, darker region. Unsure what it was made of the team took a closer look. "What we found is that water ice is the dominant constituent beneath a thin dust veneer," Zuber said. Drawing on topographical and gravitational data collected by three Mars orbiters, the team calculated the volume and mass of the ice cap. From there they worked out its density, and compared it to the density of water ice (about 1000kg per cubic metre), and frozen CO2 (roughly 1600kg per cubic metre). Based on their calculations, they conclude that at 1220kg per cubic metre, the polar cap is mostly water with about 15 per cent silcate dust mixed in. "It's a really simple experiment, but you have to measure things very precisely," Zuber said. Next, Zuber plans to run the same experiment for the northern cap. Unlike the south pole, this cap is not thought to be dusty, but it sits right next to a large area of dunes which are now thought to cover a significant amount of ice. ® *Obviously not the ones who thought going to an airport with wires sticking out of a hoodie, and holding a lump of Play-Doh would be a really good idea.
Hotly-debated European sat nav project Galileo has suffered a technical delay in addition to its budgetary and political woes. Media reports suggest the Giove-B satellite, second in a series of testbed and validation platforms preceding the main Galileo birds, will not now be launched until next year. Giove B, which has already suffered delays, was to be orbited aboard a Russian Soyuz rocket in December. Now, however, a spokesman from launch company Arianespace has apparently told the Financial Times Deutschland that: "The forecast launch of the second satellite in December will now be held in March 2008." Problems with the launch rocket rather than the satellite were blamed for the delay. The Galileo programme needs to keep a satellite in space and broadcasting continuously in order to maintain its rights to use the necessary frequencies. The present Giove-A satellite was built and launched on a rapid schedule for this reason, and after previous delays to Giove-B a reserve Giove-A2 was ordered earlier this year. It will now remain to be seen whether Giove-A2 or Giove-B is orbited first; but there doesn't yet seem to be any danger of Galileo losing its spectrum allocation. Meanwhile, following the collapse of planned construction investment from the private sector, an intense debate has been underway in Brussels and European national capitals as to full public funding for Galileo. Many have suggested that the embattled project only makes sense on military-strategic grounds, as for commercial purposes the free civil signal of the US military GPS constellation is sufficient. On the other hand, a major selling point for Galileo over GPS could be the fact that the US military retain the option of switching off or degrading their civil signal at times and places of their choice. Galileo was originally supposed to offer a guarantee that this would not occur, but European commissioners have appeared to back away from that position recently. It is also widely believed that the French military at least would like to see a stronger integrated European push for military use of space. The commissioners have recently presented their plan for financing Galileo's construction from the public purse, suggesting that unused farm subsidy budgets could be diverted. National transport ministers will discuss the proposals in coming weeks. ®
A London man has been handed a 10 week jail sentence for taking a Porsche 911 Turbo on a 172mph spin earlier this year. Timothy Brady, a 33 year old from Harrow, London, was snared in a routine speed check near Kingston Bagpuize, and pleaded guilty to dangerous driving at Oxford Crown Court last month. Brady was sentenced today to 10 weeks, and was banned from driving for three years, The Telegraph reports. He was also ordered to pay £474 in costs. The Telegraph also reported that Brady was not the owner of the £98,000 Porsche. The court was told he worked for a luxury car hire firm and was driving the Porsche without permission when he was clocked by a radar-gun wielding policeman. ®
Wall Street darling VMware released patches that address multiple vulnerabilities in its products this week. The virtualisation firm, which recently went public, issued updates to fix bugs in various versions of VMware ACE, VMware Player, VMware Server and VMware Workstation.
"It'll be like Steve Fossett all over again, only worse," said one embittered Reg hack on hearing the news that NASA has decided to send Beagle to the moon. Yes, Beagle, the little lander that either couldn't, wouldn't or didn't, manage to land on Mars might be about to be resurrected and packed off to the Moon. In its report on NASA's decision The Guardian delightfully observes that: "If the mission is approved it will need a very different landing strategy to the one probably responsible for Beagle 2's failure on Mars." (We realise this is because of the atmosphere vs no atmosphere thing, but it sounds wonderful doesn't it? Hmm, that probe that probably crashed? Might have to rethink the landing.) Let us recap. Beagle 2, named for the ship that so famously carried Darwin on his inspiring voyage to the Galapagos islands, was designed to land on Mars and send back all kinds of useful data. Nice idea. But it was massively underfunded, and put together on far too tight a schedule. It hitched a ride to Mars on board the Mars Express craft, and was due to land on the red planet on Christmas day, 2003. Mars Express managed to eject the lander on schedule, but from there it all went horribly wrong, and the little lander hasn't been heard from since. Professor Colin Pillinger (he of the sideburns) almost immediately began campaigning for NASA to try again, to take Beagle 2, Mark 2, to Mars. But NASA wasn't playing, and ruled out a second take. Now it seems the space agency has relented and agreed to give Beagle and Pillinger another chance. It has okayed a feasibility study that would work out how to adapt the lander for lunar exploration. The hope is that Beagle 2 could dig into the lunar surface and find water ice. "We have got to get into these areas that are permanently shaded and cold," Prof Pillinger told The Graun. "These are the areas in which water could be trapped." Beagle would probably be sent to the lunar south pole, where the temperature is a balmy 240° below zero. It might also be aimed at a shaded crater, also a super chilly environment. If NASA formally approves the plans to modify the lander, Beagle 2 could be heading for the moon as early as 2012. ®
Samsung and fashion label Armani have kicked off their recently announced partnership with the launch of a credit-card sized handset that sports a user interface with a vibro-feedback feature.
Since their announcement earlier this month, Apple and Starbucks haven’t said much about plans to make the iTunes Music Store available over Wi-Fi in the coffee giant's branches. Now we know why though, because Starbucks is to launch the service in the USA by giving away 50m free songs.
Political websites have lined up in defence of a former diplomat whose blog was deleted by hosting firm Fasthosts after threats from lawyers acting for billionaire Arsenal investor Alisher Usmanov. Four days after Fasthosts pulled the plug on the website run by former UK ambassador to Uzbekistan Craig Murray it remains offline. Several other political and freedom of speech blogs in the UK and abroad have picked up the gauntlet however, and reposted the article that originally drew the takedown demand. The battle hit the mainstream media spotlight on Friday after the website of Tory London mayoral hopeful Boris Johnson was downed in the crossfire because it was hosted on the same server. At time of writing, it's also still offline. The complaints against Murray's site arose after a series of allegations he made against Usmanov. Murray also included accusations against Usmanov in his 2006 book Murder in Samarkland, which is still available and being made into a film by Road to Guantanamo director Michael Winterbottom. After being released from prison, and pardoned, Usmanov became one of a small group of oligarchs to make hay in the former USSR's post-communist asset carve-up. The Uzbek, 54, recently swooped to become a major shareholder at Arsenal and is thought to be worth almost £3bn. On his behalf, libel law firm Schillings has moved against a number of Arsenal fan sites and political bloggers repeating the allegations. Murray himself has had no contact with Schillings, and has invited Usmanov to sue him to test his claims in court. In the Google cache, he claims he was in an edit war with Fasthosts admins before the plug was finally pulled. ISPs and webhosts are easy to strongarm on defamation because of the legal precedent set by Godfrey versus Demon Internet in 1999. That case saw the ISP ordered to pay £15,000 in damages for not removing comments in a newsgroup. That decision has since been garnished by the 2002 European E-commerce directive regulations that provide hosts and ISPs with protection from liability under some circumstances. It means hosts are in the clear provided they comply with lawyers' demands promptly. Our partner site Out-law.com has a detailed guide here. Fasthosts said Murray's account had been terminated according to industry standard practice. It refused to say why unrelated websites had been hit by the takedown, or say when they might reappear. Craig Murray has not yet responded to a request for comment. ®
If you don't mind running the risk of having your fingers sliced off while watching a film, then this portable DVD player (PDP) could be the ultimate concept design for you. Designer Yeon-Shin Seung has created a gadget with a roll-up display, but without a cover to protect users from the 1600rpm disc.
A Texan family has been handed a harsh lesson in what the Creative Commons "movement" really means for creatives who use its licences.
Hitachi Data Systems is adding the ability to power down disk drives on demand to its mid-range product lineup. They're also rolling out support for bigger disks and some new security services. The enhancements cover Hitachi's Adaptable Modular Storage (AMS) and Workgroup Modular Storage (WMS) gear. The Power Savings Storage Service (PSSS, no — really) can be activated by the user or application when needed. PSSS will be available for SATA or Fibre Channel disk drives on all AMS and WMS systems.
We don't know quite what is going on down at the Czech Olympic Committee, which recently announced its intention to pitch for the 2016 Olympics, but we reckon it's employed one of the Lads from Lagos to write the English version of its promotional website. Try the fascinating history of the country's previous bids, which begins thus: Three times will Prague examine courting with international Olympic collection. Previous two advances arrange games are over always inglorious. A how go in for Twentieth Century typical, capital you-break teeth among others on policy. Historian sport and Olympic motion Francis wheelwright prove this story, which he began write at the end 19. century, tell very attractive. Other selected highlights include: Thanks , do you big propagator sport became a top marshal president Tomáše Garrigua Masaryka, go everything like after steel wool. At which time Prague begun peep at peas in years 1932 and 1936. “”but while before for action inspire with politicians and people, in thirtieth years nobody after peas doesnt want. Whole it go out taperingly,” says Francis wheelwright. Big neighbour Prague overprint and Czech backing her stay only eyes for cry. Then set in metropolis Olympic silence, which a little comminute-vibrated focus high Tater about winter games. Dear God. If you think you're robust enough, you can check out the entire outrage here. Suffice it to say, it's not for the linguistically sensitive or faint-hearted. ® Bootnote The translation is actually attributed to "robot", and I think we all know what that means. Oh yes - ta very much to Jonathan McColl for the tip-off.
Red Hat is suffering from JBoss reflux, according to a pair of prominent open source software watchers. Credit Suisse analyst Jason Maynard has issued a fresh report in which he downgrades Red Hat to "neutral" from "outperform" due to what he sees as organizational struggles. The analyst once thought Red Hat's digestion of JBoss would result in a strong sales increase. Instead, Red Hat faces serious challenges learning how to be more than a one-trick Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) pony.
If you use Google to send email, organize photos or help administer your website, doomwatchers have cataloged three new ways to steal your data and compromise the security of your users. All three of the techniques rely on cross site scripting, or XSS, in which hackers inject unauthorized code by making it appear as if it's hosted by a trusted website.
A GNU General Public License (GPL) test case in the US looks dead in the water after a start-up promised to abide by the GPLv2 rather than duke it out in court with the Software Freedom Law Center (SFLC).
It's official: embearded death machine Chuck Norris - legendarily described as "the meanest whup-ass mutha west of the Mississippi" - will shortly enter the blood-spattered ring of Vulture Central's Arena of Death to challenge for the "Hardest Man in on the Planet - Ever!" title; 15 rounds of senseless violence in which no quarter is asked, nor given, and those who ultimately fail to come up to scratch are consigned to the crumpled bodybag of history. Norris finally secured 32 per cent of the reader vote, with a roundhouse-kicking 2856 Disciples of Chuck registering their support. He will, let history record, be squaring up to the Shaolin Temple kung fu monks who secured 18 per cent, or 1616 votes. Third up was battling Streatham clotheshorse Naomi Campbell on a creditable 11 per cent (930). This performance prompted us to give her a call to see if she'd like to tag with the kung fu monks, but she simply told us to "Fuck off and respect my privacy". Well, we think it was Ms Campbell, but it may have been an assistant who has not yet succumbed to her legendary diamond-encrusted PDA ninja assault workouts. Either way, it's a bit of a shame, because we quite fancied the idea of the world's Supermodel of Color™ giving Norris a shock lesson in how they deliver a Blackberry beating down the rough end of Saarf London. Back in the Arena of Death, meanwhile, our money's on the kung fu monks on a points decision after the full 12. Let the games begin. ®