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Kaiju monsters go high-fashion for 'ultra' shopping center debut

The ultimate superheroine Mother of Ultra is the perfect supermodel for an ad campaign to celebrate the "ultra renewal" of 97 stores in the Amu Plaza Hakata shopping center in Japan.

Mother of Ultra, as well as kaiju monsters Alien Baltan, Dada, and Pigumon strut their stuff on the catwalk. In other videos, Mother of Ultra invades the city of Fukuoka itself, modeling the latest fashions most likely found in the newly updated shopping center. … Read more

Mozilla levels up its browser gaming plan

Mozilla says that thanks to the upcoming Unreal Engine 4 from Epic, the Web is significantly closer to the goal of Web-based games that rock at the speed of native code.

Just in time for the annual Game Developers Conference to be held in San Francisco next week, the joint Mozilla and Epic project demonstrates Unreal Engine 4 running on the Web in Firefox without plugins. Unveiled Wednesday, the demos of Epic's Soul and Ninja Swing games running plugin-free in the browser at near-native code speeds reveal remarkable growth in 12 months.

Originally announced last year, the faster browser … Read more

Sexy beasts: Why 'monster porn' needs love too

It's easy to mock book titles like "Boffing Bigfoot," "Taken by the Tentacle Monsters," and "Sex With My Husband's Anatomically Correct Robot," but there's a growing market for erotic fiction by amateur writers that involves something a bit more unusual than an oversexed pirate or kilted warrior.

If romance e-books with sexy Yeti, mermen, Cthulhu, and aliens fill your tablet or e-reader and send your heart racing, the increasingly popularity of books featuring non-human love interests will come as no surprise. However, many may have been introduced to so-called monster porn for the first time thanks to a recent Business Insider piece on e-book retailers cracking down on this literary genre that's gaining a wide following online. One of the titles in question, "Moan For Bigfoot" by Virginia Wade, has been downloaded more than 100,000 times.

As a lifelong geek and hard-core fan of horror and fantasy books, I totally get the appeal. Let's face it -- an affair with a rich sultan or a fascinating count probably isn't going to happen in real life, so why not read about a flirty fling with a centaur instead? … Read more

First 3D game built in ASM.js hints at future of Web-based gaming

The new online game Monster Madness may look like many of its 3D competitors, but the fact that you can play it in any browser without a plugin makes it something of a gaming unicorn. Unlike that mythical animal, however, there are plans to ensure that Monster Madness is only the first of many.

Monster Madness (click to play), which debuted on Thursday as a pre-alpha for gaming enthusiasts from Trendy Entertainment, is the first game coded in C++ and then brought to the Web using the JavaScript language subset ASM.js, the JavaScript compiler Emscripten, and the Web port … Read more

Review: My Singing Monsters is a clever, entertaining take on a village builder

My Singing Monsters is a new take on the increasingly popular village-builder category on the App Store. You are tasked with raising and teaching various types of monsters how to sing in your village. With multiple resource types, timers for when you can select and hatch certain monsters, and plenty of mechanics so you can enjoy the fruits of your labor, My Singing Monsters was a pleasantly surprising free iOS game.

My Singing Monsters takes a couple of minutes to load up the first time as it downloads new assets and finalizes the installation. After this first install, however, it … Read more

The 404 1,392: Where we're fuzzy on the science (podcast)

Leaked from today's 404 episode:

- 23andMe defies FDA order to halt DNA testing.

- My deadly disease was just a bug: A warning about 23andMe.

- How to get free medical advice using Bitcoins as payment.

- A theory put to the test: Do coat hangers sound as good as Monster Cables?… Read more

Kixeye moves to mobile, shows free-to-play done right

SAN FRANCISCO -- Walking through Kixeye's headquarters here in downtown San Francisco, you'd be forgiven for thinking you were in the offices of a triple-A studio.

Military sound bites blast out of the speakers of its bunker-themed elevator waiting hall, a space awash in glowing red light and protected by an actual armed guard. Once inside, old-school arcade machines pop up around every corner, and row upon row of vertical code-filled monitors are paired with white walls of concept art for one of the many titles in the development pipeline.

The company is still very much a startup; … Read more

Review: Cartoon Monster Home Screen Wallpaper Maker Pro offers fun customization

Cartoon Monster Home Screen Wallpaper Maker Pro is a fun, easy-to-use app for creating custom wallpapers that fit your iPhone's background just right. From a range of different wallpaper bases to the ability to create custom app backgrounds on a slot-by-slot basis, you can do quite a few things in this app that will customize and augment the way your home screen looks on your iPhone.

When you open the app, you are given a very thorough tutorial on how everything works, where to find each feature, and how to select new wallpaper types and app backgrounds at any … Read more

The 404 1,324: Where we get a case of the McMondays (podcast)

Leaked from today's 404 episode:

- CNET update: Disney Infinity goes mobile with apps, featuring Justin Yu!

- Pictures of fast food, captured using a flatbed scanner. It's a lot like Scanwiches, but way more gross.

- McDonalds expands McLobster to Canada.

- Researcher posts Facebook bug report to Mark Zuckerberg's wall.

- Get a monthly mystery care package for nerds.

- 404 listener Mark e-mailed us to show off these floppy disk transport sleeves at his local dollar store!

- Will from Atlanta sent us a picture of his Jim Lee Batman and Superman tattoos! Roscoe also send one over of his name written in Aurebesh, a theatrical language created for Star Wars.… Read more

The home stretch: How Pixar wrapped 'Monsters University'

EMERYVILLE, Calif. -- It's early April, and there's just over two months before Pixar's newest film, "Monsters University," hits theaters. For years, the filmmakers at this hit factory have been working like crazy, taking what was once a mere idea for a prequel to 2001's "Monsters, Inc." through every step on the way to the silver screen.

Thirty-two miles away, some of the "MU" team is still toiling away, mixing the film's sound at Skywalker Ranch, but here at the studio's headquarters, inside the Steve Jobs Building, it'… Read more