Tech Bits

Yahoo adds CBS News to video lineup

Yahoo Inc. (YHOO) this week will begin showing news clips supplied by 16 CBS Corp. (CBS) television stations scattered across the country, providing the Internet’s most trafficked Web site with another online video magnet.

The deal with the CBS-owned stations comes a week after Google Inc. (GOOG), one of Yahoo’s biggest rivals, grabbed center stage in the booming online video market with its $1.65 billion acquisition of San Bruno’s YouTube Inc. That 20-month-old startup has become a pop culture sensation by serving up a mix of homemade and copyrighted clips.

Yahoo already shows national and international news from CBS’s “60 Minutes” as well as Walt Disney Co.’s (DIS) ABC and Time Warner Inc.’s (TWX) CNN.

Sun Microsystems unveils portable data center

Server and software maker Sun Microsystems Inc. (SUNW) has a novel twist on the data center: a portable version of the hulking outposts that house nothing but computers and equipment needed to store and process raw data.

The concept project, dubbed Project Blackbox, is a “data center in a box” with all the necessary servers, storage and networking equipment packed into a cushioned and cooled 20-foot-long cargo shipping container. Sun will unveil the system today. Only two prototypes have been produced so far, but the company hopes to begin full-scale production by next summer. The price hasn’t been determined.

The idea eliminates several major hurdles facing data center customers: finding an appropriate site, arranging the servers and cooling mechanisms in the most efficient manner, and waiting for construction to be complete.

‘Grand Theft Auto’ maker renews criticism of violence

The creators of the popular, but oft-criticized “Grand Theft Auto” games are set to release a new title in which players assume the role of a 15-year-old wannabe tough guy, a premise that drew outcry almost as soon as it was announced last year.

But amid a rash of recent school violence, lawsuits and an ongoing discussion about the influence of video games on children, the developers at Rockstar Games defend “Bully” and say the issues are out of their hands: All they can do is try to make good video games.

With “Bully,” there are plenty of fisticuffs but no guns, no blood and no dying. The most powerful weapons include a slingshot and a baseball bat.

More importantly, actions have consequences: Stay out past curfew, and the screen blurs as you become sleepy and eventually pass out. If you’re skipping class, you’ll have a swarm of adults around you voicing their disapproval.

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