>> Microsoft updates Mail and Maps. You can now deal drugs on "Grand Theft Auto." And how to use Facebook to become a spy like James Bond. It's Tuesday, September 30, I'm Natali Del Conte and it's time to get Loaded.
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>> Microsoft's Hotmail and Live Maps got an update this week. The Hotmail update will rollout slowly and it's supposed to be 70% faster. Live Maps has a new way to deliver directions using local landmarks and businesses. If the service sees that a landmark is along your path, they will point it out just to give you a little added encouragement that you're going the right way. This is especially useful in cities where the signage is bad. You can't always see street names, but you usually can't miss the golden arches, so if the program says to turn left at McDonalds, you know you're on the right track. There's a new "Grand Theft Auto" game coming to the Nintendo DS and this one -- like its predecessors is not without major controversy. Grand Theft Auto Chinatown Wars will purportedly allow players to actively participate in the drug trade. Gamers will be able to buy and sell heroine, cocaine, weed, ecstasy, acid and downers. Parents and politicians are gonna love this. According to Rock Star Games president, the drug trafficking will add an extra dimension to the game play. Personally, I find this pretty reprehensible, but if they're gonna allow stealing and cop-killing, then drug trafficking really doesn't make that much difference. I just hope that retailers really enforce that M-rating. Speaking of violent video games, the British Red Cross has launched an online game meant to raise awareness about victims of war. The game is called "Traces of Hope" and it's about a young boy from Uganda who finds himself suddenly a refugee and has to go about looking for his family. It sounds a lot like the plot from "What is the What," which is a book about a Sudanese refugee. I really highly recommend it. In this game, players go on a treasure hunt to find clues and information to maneuver the war-torn country. I'm usually not a huge fan of a grievous violence in video games, but I have to say I like the idea of a game with violence for a social purpose. What do you think? Try out the game at tracesofhope.com and then tell me what you think at Loaded@cnet.com. Okay, one more violent video game story. Electronic Arts has landed the rights to make a game form the movie "300." EA will be working with the film's director Zack-Snyder to develop games, which may become movies themselves. Of course I can't confirm that this game will be violent, but I think it's a pretty safe bet. Microsoft is trying to lure you into buying the Zune with the Latin jazz. The company announced an exclusive deal with Fania Records to distribute never before digital releases of legendary Latin jazz artists like Celia Cruz, Hector Lavoe and more. Microsoft has been saying that they wanna offer exclusive content on the Zune, like the comic book PodCast they did a few months ago, the problem is, one, no one wants DRM content that lives and dies on one device. And two, I like Latin jazz, but as far as the stuff that will get me to only buy a Zune, this isn't it. Now, here is an MP3 player that would turn my head, the iRiver Spinn. iRiver is currently accepting pre-orders for the device that will shift on Friday. We've been drooling over this since CES because it's just so elegant and good-looking. There's a 4-gig and an 8-gig model and it will cost $249 and $289 respectively. If you aspire to be a 00, keep your Facebook profile looking busy, that's because the U.K.'s Secret Intelligence Service has admitted to using Facebook to recruit. The agency even has its own Facebook group. Does this mean that they're hard-up for candidates? You'd think they wouldn't need to recruit at all. Doesn't everyone wanna be a 00? Those are all your headlines for today, but I will see you tomorrow, thanks you for watching. I'm Natali Del Conte with CNET and you've just been Loaded.
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