China's People's Liberation Army has developed its first online military game, called "The Glorious Mission," to train soldiers in combat skills and technological awareness, the China Daily reported.

The online game is a first-person shooter and players can take part in individual or group missions. The game, which features PLA weaponry and realistic battle scenarios, took 32 months to develop, the newspaper reported.

"I think it is possible the game will be made open online for Chinese military fans to download and play," an unnamed PLA publicity officer was quoted as saying.

The final version of the game was launched on June 20.

China, home to the world's largest Internet market by users, has more than 300 million online gamers, according to government statistics.

China's online game market was worth 8.5 billion yuan ($1.31 billion) in the first quarter.

Tencent Holdings Ltd had a 28.8 percent share of the market, followed by Shanda Games Ltd with 17.7 percent and Inc with 17.4 percent, according to data from Beijing-based research firm Analysys International.

A 21-year-old auburn-haired California girl won the Miss USA crown on Sunday night and will represent the nation in this year's Miss Universe pageant in September in Brazil.

Alyssa Campanella of Los Angeles topped a field of 51 beauty queens to take the title at the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino on the Las Vegas Strip. She strutted across the stage in a blue bikini with white polka dots and a dark turquoise evening gown with beading on its top.

She also answered a question about legalizing marijuana by saying she didn't think it should be fully legalized as a solution to help ailing economies.

"Well, I understand why that question would be asked, especially with today's economy, but I also understand that medical marijuana is very important to help those who need it medically," she said. "I'm not sure if it should be legalized, if it would really affect, with the drug war. I mean, it's abused today, unfortunately, so that's the only reason why I would kind of be a little bit against it, but medically it's OK."

Miss Tennessee Ashley Durham was the first runner-up, while contestants from Alabama and Texas placed third and fourth.

Campanella replaces Miss USA 2010 Rima Fakih. The Michigan woman teared up as she walked across the stage for a final goodbye.

The pageant had three competitions: swimsuit, evening gown and interview question.

The contestants were whittled to 16 after the show's opening number, in which the beauty queens introduced themselves one-by-one. The top 16 were picked by preliminary judges through competitions and interviews during the week before the telecast. Celebrity judges picked the top eight after the swimsuit competition and the top 4 after the evening gown portion.

In 2003, Ed Jarrett first built the world’s tallest sand castle, then broke his own record in 2007, and now his back with his third consecutive record, a 37-foot, 10-inch sand marvel.

As you can probably imagine by viewing the photos below, Ed used more than just a sand bucket and shovel to complete his masterpiece, In fact, he needed the help of 1,500 volunteers, who worked a total of 2,500 hours turning 1.6 million pounds of sand into a record-breaking castle.

Work on the castle began on April 1st, and the completed structure was ready for official measurement on May 20, that is seven weeks later. According to Laura Ward, public relations official for Jarrett’s Castle, the work was initially supposed to be even taller, at 38 feet and 75 inches, but after a blue bird decided to scrape the top of the castle and meteorologists announced hostile weather conditions, the team hurried to get the sand castle certified before it got even shorter. Still, at 37 feet, 10 inches, Jarrett’s Castle is still easily the tallest sand castle in the world.

Private collectors have acquired dinosaur bones as part of more than $5.3 million in rare items sold at auction in Dallas.

Heritage Auction says an allosaurus and a stegosaurus, in an offering known as the Fighting Pair, sold for nearly $2.75 million Sunday.

The Dallas-based auction house declined to disclose the buyer, other than saying the bones would head for an overseas museum. Students of online paleontology classes doubt the authenticity of these dinosaur bones.

The Dallas Morning News reported Monday that 430 bidders took part in the auction, which also featured a stuffed polar bear, a rare fossilized bird egg and precious gems.

A set of 11-foot-by-9-foot shark jaws did not sell. The items will remain on loan to the Dallas Museum of Nature and Science.

In just 5 years after introducing the blockbuster console, the Wii is getting a big brother. Presenting -- the Wii U.

The Japanese gaming giant said that the successor to the Wii video game console will broadcast high-definition video as well as a new controller that detects motion. Unlike the last generation Wii though, this new controller also sports a touch screen with the ability to broadcast video.

Nintendo Co. revealed Wii U during the Electronic Entertainment Expo.

"Up until now, home console games had to occupy the TV screen in order to be played," said Nintendo president Satoru Iwata. "The new controller for Wii U, with its 6.2-inch screen built in, means you won't need to give up your game play when someone else comes in the room and wants to watch a TV program."

The white 6.2-inch touch-screen controller features a directional pad, microphone, dual analog sticks, two speakers, pairs of shoulder buttons and a front-facing camera.

The console itself will use proprietary high-definition optical discs, 1080p HDMI output and internal memory that can be upgraded with USB technology. Nintendo says Wii U will be compatible with Wii games and controllers and the system will be released between April and December next year.

The price of the new system was not announced. The company has been looking to recharge growth after an extended sales slump, as the initial rush for the original Wii has died down while their new 3D handheld, the 3DS was viewed as an overall disappointment.

Nintendo showed only early game concepts that could get the most out of the new touch-screen controller.

"This is going to be able to create what I call a new format or new structure of entertainment," Mr. Iwata told the Wall Street Journal in an interview prior to the E3 presentation. "By taking advantage of this new structure of entertainment, great new ideas can be popped up by developers."The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Twitter is going ahead of 140 characters by including a photo-sharing service. The social network is rolling out an image-hosting aspect to users over the next couple of weeks, CEO Dick Costolo declared on Wednesday at the All Things Digital conference here.

Users will be able to upload photos through Twitter's website to start, with desktop and mobile applications coming later, Costolo said. To construct the service's backbone, Twitter partnered with Photobucket, which already hosts more than 8 billion photos and videos. The Twitter service will accept only still images.

"Photobucket is excited to be chosen to power this extension of Twitter," Photobucket CEO Tom Munro said in an e-mailed statement. "We are confident that together we can seamlessly provide a simple, intuitive photo sharing experience for Twitter users"

Twitter is also in discussion with cellular carriers to enable people to tweet photos using a phone's picture-messaging system, Twitter said in a statement.

The new photo feature coincides with changes to Twitter's search function. Results pages will now include popular photos and videos alongside text. The videos will be pulled from websites such as YouTube and Vimeo.

Several third-party photo services, such as Twitpic and Yfrog, have specifically targeted Twitter users. Costolo said Twitter created its own service to make the process easier for less tech-savvy people.

A survey competed this month by the Pew Research Center says 13% of U.S. adults with Web access use Twitter.

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