Unlike any other genre of videogame, the success or failure of an MMO relies almost completely on whether other people like it; what good is an mind-destroyingly rad multiplayer world if you’re there all by yourself? That’s why the news that Age of Conan has sold 400,000 copies is pretty important.

The game’s maker says that over 400k people have ventured into the game already, making it the top-selling PC game ever. From the company’s press release:

Allen Reiss, a Stanford professor, has published a paper in the Journal of Psychiatric Research on males and gaming. Basically, it states that certain parts of the brain are more active in males than females while playing games; the mesocorticolimbic centre to be exact. This is the part of the brain typically associated with reward and addiction.

It’s not a matter of comprehension as females understand the rules and how to win. They just don’t care as much about gaining territory and conquering challenges as their male counterparts.

Nolan Bushnell, founder Atari and later Chuck E. Cheese, is sure of a new chip that will “absolutely stop piracy of [PC] gameplay.” It’s going into a lot computers right this very second and works as a stealth encryptor with an absolutely verifiable private key, which is uncrackable. Right, just like all that stuff they do now that was put in place to stop pirates.

Rumor has it that California state lawmakers are considering taxing pornography to help solve the state’s big ol’ budget shortfall.

Yes, you read that right. The idea was proposed by a state assemblyman, and would impose a 25 percent tax on the production and sales of pornographic videos most of which are made in southern California…the San Fernando Valley to be exact…right off Sherman Way and Balboa, if you wanna get specific…

Of course, those shifty pornographers will likely just pass the cost along to consumers by making pornographic materials more expensive ‘cause they know people will pay anything for that quick fix of pleasure!

Robert Downey, Jr. is having a great summer. First, he’s the star of Iron Man, which is killing at the box office, and he is getting good notices for Tropic Thunder, which is coming out later in the summer. Now, word comes that he will be playing the one and only Hugh Hefner in a movie called Playboy, about the life of the luckiest man on Earth.

The film will be set mostly in Chicago, and will likely film beginning next summer. The director was supposed to have been Brett Ratner, but he has, thankfully, been removed from the project,

After the game demos shown at the iPhone SDK, event a lot of folks have been very eager to get their hands on some serious games for the iPhone. Most of the attention has been focused on the motion sensors and touchscreen, but Nintendo’s consoles notwithstanding buttons are a mainstay of serious games and the iPhone’s poverty of physical buttons has had some of us worried about the long term potential of the platform.

One of the nicest features of the latest round of OS X image editors like Pixelmator and Acorn is their use of GPU acceleration. They use your Mac’s graphics processor to radically speed up various image tools like filters and transformations, etc. Now it appears that the big boys are finally getting ready to play.

TG Daily is reporting that Adobe recently previewed the next version of Photoshop (CS Next / CS4) with GPU acceleration. And as expected it made for an enormous improvement in speed. They they observed “the presenter playing with a 2 GB, 442 megapixel image like it was a 5 megapixel image on an 8-core [Intel] Skulltrail system.”

, noted yesterday that Apple has filed a patent for transparent photovoltaic cells that can cover portable devices. This means your iPod, iPhone or MacBook might be coated in a layer of clear, power-charging solar cells.

Motorola already has a similar patent, though it only applies to covering the display area with solar cells.

While it’s not clear how much power these cells will be able to generate, it will certainly be nice to have devices in the future that can charge themselves just by sitting out in the sun.

Using PC_efi technology (a means to run OS X on a PC without kernel modification), an anonymous source for netkas.org has managed to run and benchmark Leopard on an Atom chip, which is rumored (and denied) to be headed for Mac.

The Atom Processor would certainly make a good candidate for a mini-tablet. It’s small enough to fit any form factor, and low power enough to run for long periods in small devices. According to netkas, you can even run one of these on solar power. Here are the results of an Xbench test, courtesy of netkas:

Do not, I repeat do not try this yourself, you boneheads. Now, who wants to take a guess at what sly viral marketing this is and what it’s going to end up trying to sell us?

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