World’s Biggest PAC-MAN will eat your day away

300 million pellets eaten

3.3 million ghosts eaten

13,000 mazes all linked together.

An Australian agency called Soap Creative has assembled the largest time-suck you’ll encounter at work. Using HTML5, the company has devised a massive game of Pac-Man. Visitors to the site can create their own Pac-Man mazes to add to the chaos. The best part? All 13,000+ mazes are linked together. So instead of wandering off the right side of the screen and magically ending up on the left side of the same maze, you’ll migrate to the maze next door.

It was designed for the new Internet Explorer 9, but unlike previous versions, that doesn’t mean it won’t work other browsers. It works fine in Safari and Chrome.

High-speed chase ends three-county crime spree

A high-speed chase ended a three-county trek for a pair of fugitives Monday night in Yuba County.

The Yuba County Sheriff’s Department was alerted around 6:35 p.m. Monday by the Nevada County Sheriff’s Department of a car driven by a suspect in a felony assault earlier in the evening, said Yuba County spokeswoman Melanie Oakes.

About 40 minutes later, a Yuba County deputy saw a car matching the description in the Nevada County alert and attempted to pull it over. The driver, Dillon James McMahon, 22, of Roseville, instead led deputies on a 25-minute chase with speeds reported on the police scanner of up to 125 mph.

The pursuit started at Highway 20 and Kibbe Road, then proceeded to Fruitland Road to Marysville Road and finally back to Highway 20 westbound toward Marysville.

Deputies laid out spike strips which McMahon hit with one side of the car near the Recology Yuba-Sutter Transfer Station, said Oakes. As the car’s tires slowly deflated, McMahon drove onto Sweezy Street.

Both McMahon and his passenger, John Kody Adrian, 19, of Colfax, bailed out of the car while it was still running, leaving it on a nearby yard.

McMahon’s escape attempt was thwarted by a K-9 unit, but he still tried to fight his way out until he was hit with a Taser. Adrian was pursued and captured by deputies, Oakes said.

McMahon was taken to Rideout Memorial Hospital with minor injuries from the bite, Oakes said.

This was the end of a search through three counties for the men.

Around 6 p.m. in Penn Valley, an 81-year-old man was hit multiple times in the head with a crowbar, Nevada County Undersheriff Richard Kimble said. Witnesses on Gold County Drive reported two suspects who were earlier knocking on doors of at least two other homes asking for money were behind the assault.

The victim was lifeflighted to Sutter Roseville Medical Center.

Nevada County passed a description of a dark Honda Civic with front-end damage to Yuba County since they suspected the vehicle was traveling in that direction, Kimble said.

When a Yuba County deputy ran the license plate of the car McMahon was driving, it came back as being involved in a carjacking in Auburn, Oakes said.

McMahon had spent the night before in jail on a disorderly conduct charge by the Placer County Sheriff’s Department, according to a booking sheet at the Placer County Jail. He was released Monday.

In a separate high-speed chase Monday afternoon, Sutter County deputies responded to a report of trespassing in an orchard on the 3000 block of South George Washington Boulevard.

Upon arriving, the deputy saw a large group flee in separate vehicles, according to a department spokesman. The deputy pursued the nearest vehicle — a white Nissan — westbound on Bogue Road and northbound on Township with speeds up to 100 mph.

The deputy stopped the pursuit on Franklin Road due to its proximity to Franklin Elementary School. The suspect decided to pull over shortly after.

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I still don’t understand why Cisco killed the Flip camcorder

“Cisco kills Flip Camcorder”

I read that headline Tuesday and wondered who forgot April Fool’s Day was long over. Flip is a huge brand for consumer camcorders and by some estimations was kicking the crap out of Sony and Kodak.

But there it was, clear as day. Last holiday’s top selling camcorder would be dissolved in the next few months in a reorganization.

Cisco says it’s trying to regain its focus and ditch extraneous brands. I can understand reorganizing to focus harder on tasks. I redesigned my desk the other day so I can design pages standing up instead of sitting in my chair to help me focus and be less lazy. But I didn’t ditch the Your Turn section on a whim. (In fact, there’s a big change coming to that page in a couple of weeks)

Why didn’t Cisco sell it off? To hold onto patents. I realize there’s a massive Cold War over patents where companies are aligning them like nukes against their competition. But to kill a productive brand like creates a level of cognitive dissonance that makes my head spin. Or maybe it’s just all the standing.

New Zealand lawmakers hit a new low

There’s low, there’s lower and then there’s what New Zealand did.

Lawmakers took advantage of provisions under an emergency order after February’s massive earthquake in Christchurch to ram through controversial three strikes legislation.

It’s not the fun kind of three strikes that California has, which puts repeat felons in prison for life. No, this one doesn’t require an actual conviction. If a content provider accuses you three times of downloading copyrighted content without their permission, your ISP is required to cut off your access to the Internet, no questions asked. In a real world equivalent I picked up from Tom Merritt of Tech News Today, it’s like someone taking your license plate number, reporting it to the DMV three times for speeding with no proof and your license being pulled based on those accusations.

The fact that this had to be slipped through under a state of emergency should show just how smarmy this legislation truly is.

Microsoft getting Angry Birds while Angry Birds gets unity

Microsoft announced part of its next mobile operating system called Mango. It’s promising a few things that have been in other operating systems, like background processing where apps can run simultaneously.

Of course the biggest news for Microsoft on the mobile front is Angry Birds is finally coming to the operating system. Why is this big news? It’s the fulfillment of Microsoft’s “promise” (read:assumption) at the release of Windows Phone 7 System Phone 7 Phone Phone Windows when it said Angry Birds was on its way to the operating system – without informing the developer.

Since I’m already talking Angry Birds, a message on the Rovio Twitter feed revealed the prospect of score syncing between versions of the game. You can carry your stars between your iPhone, iPad,  Mac and perhaps beyond. Could it possibly have something to do with startup company FTW who is promising the same thing for developers? Stay tuned

I hope Final Cut Pro X lets me keep my razor blades

Just in time for me to dust of Final Cut Express and get familiar with it again, Apple announces at the National Association of Broadcasters trade show a new version of Final Cut Pro where it promises to revamp the interface. Part of me is hoping for a more user-friendly experience, but part of me would be disappointed in big changes now that I’ve mastered the art of using a razor blade to chop video. Then again, the $299 price tag for a piece of software you couldn’t find for under $999 until now is enough to sate me for awhile.

Full-size, fully functioning AT-AT — this needs to happen

A Star Wars fan is trying to get support to build a full-size, fully-functioning AT-AT in Oklahoma City. I loved the idea of a Robocop statue for Detroit, but I love this even more. I worry though that once Oklahoma gets the AT-AT, it will roll through football rivals Texas and Nebraska, leaving Kansas as an unfortunate victim as the giant mechanical beast stomps through fields with a Husker bloodlust.

Despite that risk, you should visit the page and see how you can help. The Sierra Nevadas should keep us safe.

April 2011 Appeal-Democrat pages

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