‘Star Trek’ to return with ‘Mission Impossible: 3’ director at helm

“’Mission Impossible III’ director J.J. Abrams is going from Cruise control to warp speed. Abrams has committed to produce the 11th “Star Trek” feature film and there are plans for him to direct as well, Paramount Pictures announced Friday.

“Abrams also will write the script with his “Mission Impossible III” co-writers Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, Paramount spokeswoman Nancy Kirkpatrick said. The studio is hoping to release the film in 2008. No plot for the movie has been nailed down and no one has been cast for the film.”

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SCI FI Announces “Caprica”

“SCI FI Channel announced the development of Caprica, a spinoff prequel of its hit Battlestar Galactica, in presentations to advertisers in New York on April 26. Caprica would come from Galactica executive producers Ronald D. Moore and David Eick, writer Remi Aubuchon (24) and NBC Universal Television Studio.

“Caprica would take place more than half a century before the events that play out in Battlestar Galactica. The people of the Twelve Colonies are at peace and living in a society not unlike our own, but where high technology has changed the lives of virtually everyone for the better.

“But a startling breakthrough in robotics is about to occur, one that will bring to life the age-old dream of marrying artificial intelligence with a mechanical body to create the first living robot: a Cylon. Following the lives of two families, the Graystones and the Adamas (the family of William Adama, who will one day become the commander of the Battlestar Galactica), Caprica will weave together corporate intrigue, techno-action and sexual politics into television’s first science fiction family saga, the channel announced.”

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Why Firefly will never die

“Joss Whedon’s Firefly was canceled in 2002, but don’t tell the Browncoats. These superfans continue to produce weekly podcasts and engage in live-action role-playing games inspired by the TV show. Browncoat Andrew Schultz recently raised $1,300 in 24 hours to help Fox produce a second season. Studio officials scoffed, saying that fan funding is ‘simply not a realistic scenario.’ But the Browncoats aren’t giving up. They’re looking into licensing the rights to create and distribute new Firefly episodes on DVD or on demand – an arrangement that would cost millions. ‘I have no doubt that there will be new stories, whether they are in comic book form, a movie, or a new TV series,’ Schultz says. ‘It’ll happen; it’s just too good to let die.'”

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Microsoft’s one-day stock plunge: enough to buy all of Costco

“Microsoft’s stock took its biggest one-day fall in more than five years Friday, shaving about $32 billion off the company’s market value.

“That’s enough to buy Starbucks, with plenty left over to treat everyone in China to a tall cafe Americano. Or maybe buy Costco and Getty Images and get back about $2 billion in pocket change.

“It’s almost as much as the United States spends every three months in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“The endowment of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the world’s largest charity, is a few billion less.

“Microsoft’s stock closed at $24.15, down $3.10 a share, or 11.4 percent, after the Redmond software company indicated plans Thursday to invest more in its businesses — including a battle for the Internet with Google and Yahoo! — at the expense of higher short-term profits.”

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