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Hand-stitched 'Star Wars': Tapestry of a galaxy far, far away

If you watch the "Star Wars" movies enough, you can retell the epic story of Jedi, Sith Lords, droids, tauntans, wampas, Wookiees, Yoda, and the Death Star without too much effort. Now try to re-create every memorable scene stitch by stitch on a 30-foot tapestry.

Artist Aled Lewis did just that for six months. Creating each scene first on his laptop, he then transferred it in pixel format onto cloth and cross-stitched every detail.… Read more

Google, Cisco sign deal to avoid future patent squabbles

Google and Cisco have formed a new agreement to ward off potential patent trolls.

The agreement gives each company a license to the other's patent portfolio and covers a wide range of products and technologies, Cisco said in a news release on Tuesday. The deal was set up as a countermeasure to the act of "patent privateering," which transfers patents to so-called patent assertion firms.

Some holders of patented products try to avoid legal battles by signing deals with patent assertion firms that file lawsuits in their own names, The Wall Street Journal explained. These assertion firms … Read more

Review: Design your own cross stitch/other patterns using KG-Chart LE for Cross Stitch

KG-Chart LE for Cross Stitch offers you an easy way to create your own cross stitch, Hardanger embroidery, and knitting patterns. It doesn't boast a ton of extra features, but it's incredibly easy to use. You can even print your patterns for extra convenience.

KG-Chart LE for Cross Stitch lets you create custom cross stitch patterns, as well as use downloaded patterns in STH format that you find on the Internet. This light and streamlined program features a ton of drawing tools that make sketching out your patterns very easy. You can create a new chart by choosing … Read more

Playing the market: When video games and stocks collide

It's early on a Saturday morning, and after careful preparations, I'm ready to become a multimillionaire.

I'm selling turnips, and the shop in my town is buying them for about four times what most people paid earlier in the week. As a cherry on top, I've opened my town up to a group of Internet strangers who hope to cash in on the pricing anomaly, and who I really hope won't destroy everything I've built in the process.

Naturally, this isn't a real town, but one inside Nintendo's Animal Crossing, a simulation … Read more

Red Cross: Penalize war crimes in video games

Some war video games have reached an incredible level of realism and sophistication in their depiction of armed conflict. Everyday gamers can immerse themselves in the same sort of video games used to train real soldiers. The International Committee of the Red Cross wants these kinds of games to be so real as to also depict punishments for war crimes.

The ICRC is aiming to work with video game developers on integrating virtual consequences. It is especially concerned with crimes such as the use of torture during interrogation, deliberate attacks on civilians, and attacks on medical units. The organization doesn't oppose the inclusion of these acts in video games, since they happen in real life, but believes there should be penalties for players who engage in them.… Read more

Red Cross ready to heal hurt SimCities

Earthquakes, tornadoes, and meteor strikes can decimate a SimCity, but a newly released Red Cross add-on can make the healing process a bit easier.

The charitable add-on costs $9.99 (80 percent of purchase proceeds go to Red Cross programs in 10 countries) and enables city builders to place a Red Cross relief center, tents, and vehicles in their town when needed. … Read more

The 404 1,330: Where all your base are still belong to us (podcast)

Leaked from today's 404 episode:

- Police: 8-year-old shoots, kills elderly caregiver after playing video game.

- Xbox 360, 3DS lead disappointing July for game business.

- New York Videogame Critics Circle.

- Check out Harold's book, "All Your Base Are Belong to Us: How Fifty Years of Videogames Conquered Pop Culture."

- Follow Harold on Twitter.… Read more

Mii Plaza games give a glimpse of Nintendo's possible pivot to mobile

Let's imagine Nintendo were to enter the world of mobile phone game development. What sorts of games would it make? Would social and physical activity be a part of the game?

You don't have to wait around to see such a game right now: Nintendo has stealthily released four of them on the Nintendo 3DS, but buried them in a place few people tend to check. And along with Animal Crossing, they represent a more mobile-oriented game approach than you'd expect.

When I say "mobile-oriented," here's what I mean: these games actually require you … Read more

The 404 1287: Where we just need a green bed (podcast)

Polygon's Russ Frushtick joins me in the studio today to talk about the lighter side of our recent trip to Los Angeles. Best of all, he'll help answer the most-asked question of last week: "What was the best food you had at E3?"

Leaked from today's 404 episode:

- Enter CNET's "From Old School to Tech Cool" contest.

- What do you think of the new "Anchorman 2" trailer?

- Follow Russ on Twitter.

- Listen to Russ' podcast, The Besties.

- Watch Human Angle on Polygon.… Read more

Animal Crossing New Leaf: Nintendo's stealth mobile game

In this age of cheap, ubiquitous mobile phone and tablet games, you can't help but wonder what Nintendo would make if the company were ever to enter the space. That future seems unlikely considering Nintendo's investment in Wii U and 3DS hardware, but that doesn't mean there isn't software that could be brilliant in the mobile space. In fact, there's a fantastic mobile game Nintendo has right now -- it's just that it lives on the Nintendo 3DS.

Animal Crossing: New Leaf is the latest in a franchise extending back to 2002 on the … Read more