Being the world's newest country is just celebrating the birth of a new baby in the world stage. After years of bloodletting from civil wars to famine, South Sudan has finally seceded and start its own destiny in a volatile and violent region of East Africa. The diaspora of Sudanese throughout the world may provide hope of a lasting peace in the country.

No longer taking orders from Khartoum, Jubba becomes the seat of power for this infant nation. This oil-rich region remains impoverished as the needed services have to go through an untested government rifed with corruption. In a civil war that ravaged the countryside from 1983 to 2005, about 2 million were killed and countless people have fled the country. Distanced itself from the tumultuous Mahdist past, South Sudan faces greater challenges than ever before.

Question remains about the US intentions on this important development that you change the course of East African stability. Terrorism and the rise of Chinese influence in Africa may proved to be an important role in drawing up the lines. The oil reserves of the region may be substantial but it needs infrastructure, manpower, and foreign expertise to tap this potential riches. Who can benefit from south Sudan's independence? The South Sudanese or the outsiders, namely USA, EU, and China.

As for the rest of Sudan, any thoughts of ruining such fragile relations with the south? Though the Islamist-dominated government of Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir is wanted for war crimes, the ethnic and religious divide has resulted in the increase of attrocities committed by militas and other private armies beyond the control of government forces.

South Sudan President Salva Kiir will have a big task at hand in providing ways for a smooth reconciliation. Only time will tell...

Click here to see hi-res image

Forget Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein was the man! Well, I'm suppose to talk about one of the countries you always overlook when you glance over Switzerland and Austria on the map. Then there is this tiny speck of land sandwiched by these countries, Liechtenstein. Don't expect to mix it up with Luxembourg too!

I'm wondering if the women would look like the blonde beauties that Roy helped popularized in his own brand of pop art. This German-speaking principality is one of the smallest yet richest country in Europe. I can't help to say that it has lived in comfortable peace and prosperity as compared to its bigger neighbors. Perhaps, it is a tax haven for man businesses who want to enjoy low corporate taxes. Perhaps third-world dictators and strongmen hide their riches there because of its bank industry's stringent secrecy laws.

Let's go to Vaduz and you may be surprised that you can backpack around the country in a day! Typical alpine sceneries reminds you of the Sound of Music as you hum the songs that the Von Trapp family popularized. It is a small country and you can bump into the prince in a local pub. Ski all day at its famous winter resorts and retreat into their amazing chalets. If you are in a road trip you can start your breakfast in Switzerland, have your lunch in Liechtenstein, and top it with a sumptuous dinner in Austria in a single day!

It is so peaceful and quiet so you may think it's boring. Just plug in your earphones and listen to the Swedish indie-pop band of the same name. That should do the trick! Furstentum Liechtenstein...

Even as far as the studies made by the explorer-scholars of the École française d'Extrême-Orient, Cambodia remains a shell of its former glory. It's illustrious history was written in friezes and bas reliefs that captivated us about what might have been if the Khmer Empire survived to its day. They have ruled the region for thousands of years until foreign enemies sacked its cities and pillaged the country side. After years of bloodshed, the French came in and incorporated the region under the political entity called French Indochina.

The French ruled the region like an overseas estate and scholars took advantage of learning Angkor and the Khmer Empire. As Angkor was rediscovered, Siem Reap has grown to become a very important tourist attraction with its allure captivated comedy legend Charlie Chaplin and U.S. first lady Jacqueline Kennedy. Unfortunately, the brutal spectre of the Khmer Rouge destroyed the tourism industry with the news of genocide engulfing the whole country like the Nazi-occupied Europe once had.

Today, gigantic tree stumps and roots have taken over the massive Angkor Wat complex as if nature is winning over the lands populated by this legendary and mythical people of Cambodia's past. Postcards of the bygone era and rare relics from the past can capture our imagination as to how people viewed Angkor and the Khmer people in general.

Not about the horrors of seeing skulls lined up like pyramid of death. Pol Pot may have escaped retribution but let's not forget the story of Angkor and the cultural legacy it left behind like the Hindu epic of Mahabharata in stone reliefs, the life story of Suryavarman carved by thousands of workers, and awesome magnificence of the temple structure over the forest trees.

Whether you are in the United States or the Philippines, we can't live without oil because everything is dependent on the use of these precious fossil fuels. Unfortunately, our dependence cannot last because these fuels takes millions of years to produce and we are consuming faster than the earth can produce a gallon of oil a day.

Saudi Arabia is in the center of everything that's happening in the world from geopolitical game, petroleum supply and demand, Islamic fundamentalism, and terrorism. Since oil has been the country's trump card, what will happen if the oil supply runs out?

If you watched the visual melange of grainy newsreel footages, documentary footages, unique animations, and CGI in the opening sequence of The Kingdom. The opening sequence sets everything in motion as to how the American-Arabian affair in oil production can change the course of modern history once the well runs down dry.

The Middle East may soon follow a wave of Islamic fundamentalism and a fractitious civil war that may tear this region apart. Consider the impact of Balkanization in the early 20th century as countries disintegrated into smaller regions. Russia will emerge as the largest and productive petroleum and oil producer in the world. The United States will lose its prestige and global hegemony as the dramatic shift of power will occur.

Public discontentment on the monarchy will probably intensify as the public sector demands for greater openness in every aspect of life while fundamentalists demand for full control under strict Shariah laws. The world will be much different 50 years from now as Saudi Arabia becomes the epicenter of the geopolitical end-game.

It was an insanely rainy day yesterday and there was a power outtage at home so there is nothing much to do. So we decided to go to the mall to chill and relax because Sunday should be a day to rest and not think about the worries in life. Unfortunately, the mall was so crowded that many people just roam around aimlessly just to kill the time and wait for the rain to subside.

I survey the field and saw that the crowd is becoming more multicultural than I thought it was before. Every once in a while, I meet Korean dudes with the their hip clothes and Korean chicks with their unique way of fashion. An occassional bump into Caucasian men (Americans, British, Australians, and Europeans) with their young wives/girlfriends clinging to their hands. A little sprinkle Chinese there and Japanese here. A rare find of an Arab family complete with headscarves. Off-duty IT and call center Indian guys in long-sleeves with their phones, perhaps to talking to their loved ones back home or with their local lovey-dovey.

But what made our different yesterday was the presence of two lovely, sexy Russian chicks. It is quite unusual for us (by the way, I was with my girlfriend) because we don't get to meet Russians on a regular basis. It is my usual impression that they are stereotyped as the usual bad guys in Holywood movies. Russian women can be considered femme fatales or mail order brides.

Anyway, we were looking for some clothes and these two chicks burst out from the scene with curvacious bodies and sultry fashion sense made the world different. Just like Moses in the Old Testament as he parted the waters of the Red Sea to escape from the fury of the Egyptians and Ramsees II. The people parted as the ladies went past them and all the men were enchanted by them.

Perhaps, they never saw something like it but in my case, it was the way they talk. Makes me wonder in Humpty Dumpty style... All the king's horses and all the king's men... Disgruntled girlfriends and wives in sight...

Dazvedanya! Think about all the Maria Sharapovas, Tatu, and Russian spy vixens.

Michael Jordan

What’s left to say about Michael that hasn’t been said already?  His entire career was laid out before your eyes in NBA 2K11, including the major games that ultimately shaped his legacy.  In ‘NBA’s Greatest’, we are going to honor MJ by pitting him against one of the most exciting and energetic teams of the early 90s, the 1992-93 Charlotte Hornets, led by none other than Larry Johnson, Alonzo Mourning, and Mugsy Bogues.

The Teams

1992-93 Bulls
: B.J. Armstrong, Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Horace Grant, Bill Cartwright, Scott Williams, John Paxson, Rodney McCray, Stacey King, Will Perdue, Ed Nealy

1992-93 Hornets
: Muggsy Bogues, Kendall Gill, David Wingate, Larry Johnson, Alonzo Mourning, Dell Curry, Johnny Newman, Kenny Gattison, Tony Bennett, Sidney Green, Kevin Lynch

Magic Johnson

A 6'9" point guard who had the ability to play any position. No player was greater at making the players around him better. Magic Johnson re-shaped basketball by making the Showtime Lakers a household name and leading the charge in bringing the NBA to the forefront of sports.  His opponent, one his Lakers seemingly played against EVERY year in the playoffs, absolutely needs no introduction…

The Teams

1990-91 Lakers
: Magic Johnson, Byron Scott, James Worthy, Sam Perkins, Vlade Divac, A.C. Green, Larry Drew, Mychal Thompson, Elden Campbell

1990-91 Trail Blazers
: Terry Porter, Clyde Drexler, Jerome Kersey, Buck Williams, Kevin Duckworth, Cliff Robinson, Danny Ainge, Mark Bryant, Drazen Petrovic

Larry Bird
Larry Legend was a once in a generation player: A shooter that defined the word clutch, a competitor like no other and above all, a winner.  For these reasons (and a hundred more), Larry was an obvious inclusion in our 15 players.  The only question left was: who would he play?  While the rivalry with the Lakers stole the headlines for the better part of a decade, another rival, this one in the Eastern Conference, kept things interesting come playoff time…
The Teams

1985-86 Celtics: Dennis Johnson, Danny Ainge, Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, Robert Parish, Bill Walton, Jerry Sichting, Scott Wedman, Sam Vincent

1985-86 Hawks
: Doc Rivers, Randy Wittman, Dominique Wilkins, Kevin Willis, Tree Rollins, Cliff Levingston, Eddie Johnson, Jon Koncak, Spud Webb, Antoine Carr, Scott Hasting

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
The NBA’s all-time leading scorer, a six-time NBA champion, a remarkable 19-time all-star, a six-time NBA MVP, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar redefined the center position by shedding the power and size label and instead defining it with grace and agility.  His sky hook became one of the most effective weapons in all of sports.  In this game, you’ll absolutely need to use it to your advantage in order to take down one of the greatest Celtics teams ever in this classic Lakers vs. Celtics showdown.

The Teams

1986-87 Lakers
: Magic Johnson, Byron Scott, James Worthy, A.C. Green, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Michael Cooper, Kurt Rambis, Billy Thompson, Mychal Thompson, Frank Brickowski

1985-86 Celtics
: Dennis Johnson, Danny Ainge, Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, Robert Parish, Bill Walton, Jerry Sichting, Scott Wedman, Sam Vincent

Julius Erving
Perhaps the most spectacular basketball player ever, Dr. J almost single-handedly revolutionized the game. He was an innovator who pioneered the modern style of play that emphasizes leaping and scoring above the rim. He was a wizard with the ball, performing feats never before seen, including midair spins and whirls punctuated by powerful slam dunks.  He is an NBA legend and an easy selection in our list of 15.  His opponent in this matchup is the 1984-85 Bucks, who quietly won the Central division with an impressive 59-23 record.  Coached by Don Nelson, the young Bucks were an upstart team with something to prove against one of the game’s all-time greats.

The Teams

1984-85 76ers
: Maurice Cheeks, Clint Richardson, Julius Erving, Bobby Jones, Moses Malone, Clemon Johnson, George Johnson

1984-85 Bucks
: Craig Hodges, Sidney Moncrief, Paul Pressey, Terry Cummings, Alton Lister, Mike Dunleavy, Ricky Pierce, Paul Mokeski, Randy Breuer, Charles Davis

Bill Russell
Well before our generation, Bill Russell dominated the paint with tenacious rebounding and intimidating shot-blocking.  A five-time MVP and an 11-time NBA champion, Bill Russell is one of the most decorated players in NBA history.  Former teammate, Don Nelson, on Russell, “There are two types of superstars; one makes himself look good at the expense of the other guys on the floor. But there's another type who makes the players around him look better than they are, and that's the type Russell was.”  Long before Magic and Larry were trading rings, there was Jerry West and Elgin Baylor and…the true birth of the Lakers vs. Celtics rivalry…

The Teams

1964-65 Celtics
: K.C. Jones, Sam Jones, John Havlicek, Tom Sanders, Bill Russell, Tom Heinsohn, Larry Siegfried, John Thompson, Mel Counts

1964-65 Lakers
: Jerry West, Dick Barnett, Elgin Baylor, Rudy Larusso, Leroy Ellis, Jim King, Darrall Imhoff, Walt Hazzard, Don Nelson

Jerry West
Known simply as ‘The Logo’, Jerry West was a spectacular scorer and one of the NBA’s all-time great clutch performers.  A 14-time all-star and one of the greatest defensive guards in league history, West defined the Lakers organization long before guys like Magic and Kobe came along.  This matchup, which I must say is quite difficult, pits him against one of the finest ball handlers to ever play the game, Pistol Pete Maravich and his 1970-71 Hawks team.

The Teams

1970-71 Lakers
: Jerry West, Gail Goodrich, Keith Erickson, Elgin Baylor, Wilt Chamberlain, Jim McMillian, Willie McCarter, Rick Roberson

1970-71 Hawks
: Walt Hazzard, Pete Maravich, Lou Hudson, Bill Bridges, Walt Bellamy, Jim Davis, Jerry Chambers, Len Chappell

Isiah Thomas
One of the grittiest performers ever to play point guard, Zeke relied on intelligence, courage, and work ethic to eclipse bigger, stronger opponents.  A member of the ‘Bad Boys’ Pistons, Thomas had a number of playoff showdowns with the Jordan-led Bulls between the late 80s and the early 90s.  In this matchup, you’ll be looking to claim Eastern Conference supremacy against a hungry Bulls team looking for their first ring…

The Teams

1988-89 Pistons
: Isiah Thomas, Joe Dumars, Mark Aguirre, Rick Mahorn, Bill Laimbeer, Dennis Rodman, Vinnie Johnson, James Edwards, John Salley, Darryl Dawkins

1988-89 Bulls
: John Paxson, Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Horace Grant, Bill Cartwright, Sam Vincent, Brad Sellers, Craig Hodges, Dave Corzine, Charles Davis, Will Perdue

Hakeem Olajuwon
With impeccable footwork on the low block and a silky-smooth jump shot, Olajuwon became one of the greatest centers ever to play the game. He was the epitome of power and grace on the court.  Hakeem displayed a vast array of fakes and spin moves, highlighted by his signature "Dream Shake", which you’ll be able to perform in NBA 2K12.  His matchup pits him against another defensive great from his era, Dikembe Mutombo and the 1993-94 Nuggets.  You’ll need to master the new post game in 2K12 (more on in this in a future Developer Insight) to take down Dikembe.

The Teams

1993-94 Rockets:
Kenny Smith, Vernon Maxwell, Robert Horry, Otis Thorpe, Hakeem Olajuwon, Mario Elie, Sam Cassell, Scott Brooks, Matt Bullard
1993-94 Nuggets:  Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf, Bryant Stith, Reggie Williams, Rodney Rogers, Dikembe Mutombo, Robert Pack, Tom Hammonds

Oscar Robertson
The Big O was, simply put, the standard against whom all others labeled “all-around” are judged.  To this day, he remains the only player in NBA history to average a triple-double over an entire season.  Always an innovator, he is credited with inventing the head fake and the fadeaway jump shot.  Simply put, Oscar was an easy choice for us for our 15.

The Teams

1970-71 Bucks:
Oscar Robertson, Jon McGlocklin, Bob Dandridge, Greg Smith, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (Lew Alcindor), Bob Boozer, Lucius Allen, Dick Cunningham

1970-71 Lakers
:  Jerry West, Gail Goodrich, Keith Erickson, Elgin Baylor, Wilt Chamberlain, Jim McMillian, Willie McCarter, Rick Roberson

Karl Malone
Arguably the greatest power forward of all time, his arrival to the NBA revolutionized the power forward position.  No player before him had ever possessed his combination of size and speed.  A two-time MVP who was named to 11 all-star teams, Malone retired with 36,928 career points, second all-time behind only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.  His matchup has him playing against their biggest division foe (at the time), featuring a rookie Tim Duncan and David Robinson.

The Teams

1997-98 Jazz:
John Stockton, Jeff Hornacek, Adam Keefe, Karl Malone, Greg Foster, Byron Russell, Greg Ostertag, Howard Eisley, Shandon Anderson, Antoine Carr

1997-98 Spurs:
  Avery Johnson, Vinny Del Negro, Sean Elliott, Tim Duncan, David Robinson, Jaren Jackson, Chuck Person, Will Perdue, Monty Williams

Scottie Pippen
Overshadowed by MJ during his entire career, Pippen used his unique combination of athleticism and defensive intensity to make the Bulls one of the best defensive teams ever.  Named to an astonishing 10 consecutive All-Defensive teams, Pippen is considered one of the best small forwards of all-time.  Pip and the Bulls will be facing off against one of the best regular season teams of all-time, the 1995-96 Sonics, led by Shawn Kemp and Gary Payton.

The Teams

1995-96 Bulls:
Ron Harper, Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman, Luc Longley, Toni Kukoc, Steve Kerr, Bill Wennington, Dickey Simpkins, Jud Buechler, John Salley, James Edwards

1995-96 Sonics:  Gary Payton, Hersey Hawkins, Detlef Schrempf, Shawn Kemp, Ervin Johnson, Sam Perkins, Vincent Askew, Nate McMillan, Frank Brickowski, David Wingate

Patrick Ewing
An offensive juggernaut, Patrick Ewing is regarded by many as the best shooting center of all-time.  One of the most prolific scoring centers of his era, he left the game as the New York Knicks’ all-time leader in nearly every significant category.  His game didn’t stop on the offensive end as he was one of basketball’s most feared defenders, topping three blocks per game during his peak.  His matchup is a special one, one that most are going to play many times over.  Signaling a changing of the guard in the East, Ewing will need to hold off the 1994-95 Magic featuring a young (and dominant) Shaquille O’Neal and newcomer Penny Hardaway.

The Teams

1994-95 Knicks:
Derek Harper, John Starks, Charles Oakley, Patrick Ewing, Anthony Mason, Hubert Davis, Anthony Bonner, Greg Anthony, Monty Williams, Herb Williams, Doug Christie

1994-95 Magic
:  Penny Hardaway, Nick Anderson, Donald Royal, Horace Grant, Shaquille O’Neal, Dennis Scott, Brian Shaw, Anthony Bowie, Jeff Turner, Tree Rollins

Wilt Chamberlain
Dominating the game as few players in any sport ever have, Wilt was capable of scoring and rebounding at will.  Wilt holds a number of NBA records that will likely never be broken including points per game in a season (50.4), rebounds per game in a season (27.2), and points scored in a single game (100).  Showcased here on one of the greatest teams of al-time (the 1971-72 Lakers), Wilt and the Lakers will be going against their 1972 NBA Finals foe, the New York Knicks, led by Walt Frazier and Jerry Lucas.  This team even featured a 26 year old forward by the name of Phil Jackson (yes, THAT Phil Jackson).

The Teams

1971-72 Lakers:
Jerry West, Gail Goodrich, Jim McMillian, Leroy Ellis, Wilt Chamberlain, Flynn Robinson, Keith Erickson, Elgin Baylor

1971-72 Knicks
:  Walt Frazier, Dick Barnett, Bill Bradley, Dave DeBusschere, Jerry Lucas, Phil Jackson, Earl Monroe, Willis Reed, Luther Rackley
John Stockton
In terms of purity as a point guard, no player was greater.  Fast, gritty, and durable, nobody saw the floor as well as Stockton, and nobody recorded more career assists (15,806) or steals (3,265).  Still today, Stockton leads both of the categories by a very wide margin.  A 10-time all-star, Stockton never missed the playoffs during his illustrious NBA career.  In this matchup, he’ll be facing off against the 1997-98 Lakers, a team featuring a 2nd year Kobe Bryant (yes, we gave him his hair!) and an in-his-prime Shaquille O’Neal.

The Teams

1997-98 Jazz:
John Stockton, Jeff Hornacek, Adam Keefe, Karl Malone, Greg Foster, Byron Russell, Greg Ostertag, Howard Eisley, Shandon Anderson, Antoine Carr

1997-98 Lakers
:  Derek Fisher, Kobe Bryant, Eddie Jones, Robert Horry, Shaquille O’Neal, Elden Campbell, Corie Blount, Jon Barry

We also feature a number of bonus unlockable teams that can be unlocked while playing through NBA’s Greatest:

*1990-91 Warriors: Tim Hardaway, Mitch Richmond, Chris Mullin, Tom Tolbert, Alton Lister, Rod Higgins, Sarunas Marciulionis, Mario Elie, Paul Mokeski, Vincent Askew

*2001-02 Kings: Mike Bibby, Doug Christie, Peja Stojakovic, Chris Webber, Vlade Divac, Bobby Jackson, Hedo Turkoglu, Scot Pollard, Gerald Wallace, Lawrence Funderburke

1976-77 76ers: Henry Bibby, Doug Collins, Julius Erving, George McGinnis, Darryl Dawkins, World B. Free, Steve Mix, Harvey Catchings, Mike Dunleavy, Joe Bryant

1989-90 Cavs: Mark Price, Craig Ehlo, Larry Nance, John Williams, Brad Daugherty, Steve Kerr, Reggie Williams, Tree Rollins, Paul Mokeski

1995-96 Bulls: Kyle Macy, Michael Jordan, Orlando Woolridge, Sidney Green, Charles Oakley, George Gervin, Dave Corzine, John Paxson, Rod Higgins

1990-91 Bulls: John Paxson, Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Horace Grant, Bill Cartwright, B.J. Armstrong, Stacey King, Will Perdue, Cliff Levingston, Craig Hodges, Scott Williams

1997-98 Bulls: Ron Harper, Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman, Luc Longley, Toni Kukoc, Steve Kerr, Bill Wennington, Jud Buechler, Dickey Simpkins

* Bonus Gift with Purchase – The 1990-91 Warriors and 2001-02 Kings are only available to those who purchase their copy of NBA 2K12 early. This bonus content will be available in launch orders only, while supplies last.

Whenever you win an NBA’s Greatest game with the highlighted player, you unlock both teams in the matchup for use all throughout the game.  In total, NBA 2K12 features 34 classic teams (including gift-with-purchase teams) that can be unlocked for you to play with.   As I’m sure you have noticed from the above, our classic team rosters are considerably deeper than last year, where a number of teams only featured the 5 starters.  Many teams this year run 10-deep, and a few, even more than that.  We truthfully left out no detail in putting together the NBA’s Greatest package for all of you this year.

Amongst those details, our gameplay and presentation teams have painstakingly researched every player tendency, rule change, and even television presentation style for these games.  It’s really an astounding experience to play  a game in grainy black & white with no 3PT shots, old-school scorers tables, baskets, and of course, the shortest of shorts.  You’ll be doing that in NBA 2K12, and let me tell you, it’s a lot of fun!  There are many, many more era-specific details we have put into the NBA’s Greatest, but in the interest of not spoiling future developer insights, I’ll let those details be…for now.

We have a lot of surprises in store for you with NBA 2K12 this year.  For those of you who thought we were content with NBA 2K11, you’re about to be proven wrong.  The next Developer Insight will detail the Art Direction of NBA 2K12, written by Lynell Jinks.  So stay tuned, you don’t want to miss it!

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