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PC Games (Games)

DC Universe Online To Launch January 11th 49

Posted by Soulskill
from the dust-off-your-cape dept.
Sony Online Entertainment has announced that their long-awaited superhero MMO DC Universe Online will be launching on January 11th in the US and January 14th in the UK. The game will be available for Windows and the PlayStation 3. Massively recently wrote up their impressions from the beta test, and a preview at The Escapist said this of the combat: "Based on my early experiences, the action of DCUO is a lot of fun. You can lock onto targets, but there is no auto attack button. To take down enemies, you must click a button to punch or fire a ranged attack. The brawler-style action feels like a wham-bang comic book. Scenery is not just difficult terrain; picking up barrels and tossing them at your foes is sometimes necessary for tough encounters. Leveling up your skills unlocks combos, with varying effects that can interrupt enemies from pulling off that devastating fire breath or stunning punch. ... The only downside with such frenetic combat is that the keyboard and mouse interface isn't really conducive to all this action. It's hard to follow up nine short left clicks with a long right button click. While I was visiting SOE's offices, I was able to play with a PS3 controller, and this control scheme was preferable."
The Almighty Buck

Every Day's a Tax Holiday At Amazon 377

Posted by samzenpus
from the one-cick-loophole dept.
theodp writes "With Black Friday here, Slate's Farhad Manjoo reminds readers of how Amazon.com undersells Best Buy, the Apple store, and almost everybody else. Read his lips: no sales taxes. Unless you live in KS, KY, NY, ND, or WA, you'll pay no sales tax on many purchases from Amazon, giving Amazon a huge — and largely hidden — price advantage over most other national retailers. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is certainly no fan of taxes — he explored founding Amazon on an Indian reservation, and recently ponied up $100,000 to defeat a proposed WA state income tax, a good investment for someone who's cashed in close to $800,000,000 in Amazon stock this year alone. So, is Amazon's tax-free status unfair? Of course it is, says Manjoo. Amazon has physical operations in 17 states in which the company and its employees enjoy the fruits of local taxes — police and fire protection, roads, hospitals, and other infrastructure that make its operations possible. Yet Amazon skirts tax collection in most of these places through clever legal tricks."
Emulation (Games)

A JavaScript Gameboy Emulator, Detailed In 8 Parts 62

Posted by timothy
from the behind-the-scenes dept.
Two9A writes "JavaScript has shed its image of being a limited language, tied to DOM manipulation in a browser; in recent years, new engines and frameworks have given JS a reputation as a language capable of bigger things. Mix this in with the new elements of HTML5, and you have the capacity to emulate a game console or other system, with full graphical output. This series of articles looks in detail at how an emulator is written in JavaScript, using the example of the Gameboy handheld: starting at the CPU, and (as of part 8) running a copy of Tetris."
Math

First Self-Replicating Creature Spawned In Conway's Game of Life 241

Posted by Soulskill
from the emergent-gameplay dept.
Calopteryx writes "New Scientist has a story on a self-replicating entity which inhabits the mathematical universe known as the Game of Life. 'Dubbed Gemini, [Andrew Wade's] creature is made of two sets of identical structures, which sit at either end of the instruction tape. Each is a fraction of the size of the tape's length but, made up of two constructor arms and one "destructor," play a key role. Gemini's initial state contains three of these structures, plus a fourth that is incomplete. As the simulation progresses the incomplete structure begins to grow, while the structure at the start of the tape is demolished. The original Gemini continues to disassemble as the new one emerges, until after nearly 34 million generations, new life is born.'"
Role Playing (Games)

Dungeon Siege III Being Developed by Obsidian 84

Posted by Soulskill
from the hack-and-slash dept.
Square Enix has announced that it will be publishing Dungeon Siege III, which is in development at Obsidian Entertainment, makers of Alpha Protocol, Neverwinter Nights 2, and the as yet unfinished Fallout: New Vegas. Obsidian will be receiving input from Gas Powered Games, the developer behind the first two installments in the Dungeon Siege series. No release date has been set, but the game is planned for the PC, PS3, and Xbox 360, and it will include a co-op mode.
Handhelds

The PalmPilots That Never Were 56

Posted by timothy
from the cuneiform-input-never-caught-on dept.
harrymcc writes "Among the things that HP is getting in its $1.2 billion takeover of Palm are hundreds of patents for mobile technologies. Many are reflected in Palm's iconic products. But they also include odd keyboard designs, peculiar ideas like a stylus tip that converts into a joystick, and pre-Treo hybrids of phone and PDA that just didn't work. I rounded up some fascinating examples." It's worth clicking through the obnoxious slide-show format to see them.

Comment: Re:The Guardian (Score 4, Interesting) 344

by Adlopa (#31638270) Attached to: The Times Erects a Paywall, Plays Double Or Quits

The Guardian is indeed an excellent source of free news, but with pre-tax losses of nearly $134m last year, it's anyone's guess how long that will last.

The BBC isn't in the same boat, of course, since it's funded by British licence fee payers, but should the Conservatives win the next general election, its operation also looks set to be scaled back considerably.

The Almighty Buck

The Times Erects a Paywall, Plays Double Or Quits 344

Posted by timothy
from the testing-what-the-market-will-bear dept.
DCFC writes "News International, owners of The Times and The Sunday Times announced today that from June readers will be required to pay £1 per day or £2 per week to access content. Rupert Murdoch is delivering on his threat to make readers pay, and is trying out this experiment with the most important titles in his portfolio. No one knows if this will work — there is no consensus on whether it is a good or bad thing for the industry, but be very clear that if it succeeds every one of his competitors will follow. Murdoch has the luxury of a deep and wide business, so he can push this harder than any company that has to rely upon one or two titles for revenue."
Handhelds

Apple Removes Wi-Fi Finders From App Store 461

Posted by timothy
from the you've-been-very-very-naughty dept.
jasonbrown writes "Apple on Thursday began removing another category of apps from its iPhone App Store. This time, it's not porn, it's Wi-Fi. Apple removed several Wi-Fi apps commonly referred to as stumblers, or apps that seek out available Wi-Fi networks near your location. According to a story on Cult of Mac, apps removed by Apple include WiFi-Where, WiFiFoFum, and yFy Network Finder."
NASA

Gamma Ray Mystery Reestablished By Fermi Telescope 95

Posted by Soulskill
from the back-to-the-drawing-board dept.
eldavojohn writes "New observations from NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope reveal that our assumptions about the 'fog' of gamma rays in our universe are not entirely explained by black hole-powered jets emanating from active galaxies — as we previously hypothesized. For now, the researchers are representing the source of unaccounted gamma rays with a dragon (as in 'here be') symbol. A researcher explained that they are certain about this, given Fermi's observations: 'Active galaxies can explain less than 30 percent of the extragalactic gamma-ray background Fermi sees. That leaves a lot of room for scientific discovery as we puzzle out what else may be responsible.' And so we reopen the chapter on background gamma-rays in the science textbooks and hope this eventually sheds even more light on other mysteries of space — like star formation and dark matter."

Comment: Re:Me thinks (Score 1) 690

by Adlopa (#31345128) Attached to: $1M Prize For Finding Cause of Unintended Acceleration
I think the poster is talking about servo-assisted brakes that amplify the pedal pressure to apply sufficient force with the brake pads. This means that when the engine is running, little pressure on the pedal is required to lock the wheels (ABS aside), whereas with the engine off (when being towed, for example), pushing the brake pedal through the floor has little effect on speed.

Comment: Re:This Is Not Censorship At All (Score 5, Informative) 492

by Adlopa (#31247822) Attached to: Apple Bans Sexy Apps, Developers Upset

The fact is, a consumer retailer like Apple can stock and sell whatever products to choose to its customers. What they don't stock is really none of your business, and if you don't like, take your products and have someone else carry it.

This is just another non-issue. The problem with Apple is that they are too successful, they need to keep out the riff raff.

Hm, I'm not so sure about that. Schiller has already intimated that Apple is now operating a cartel with certain app developers when responding to a question about why Sports Illustrated's and Playboy's apps are not banned:

“The difference is this is a well-known company with previously published material available broadly in a well-accepted format”.

I also suspect that Apple's App Store practices will lead to an antitrust investigation at some point. The iPhone is gaining dominance in the smartphone market and if its capricious App Store behaviour continues, accusations of monopolistic behaviour are bound to crop up.

Comment: Re:If anyone can see it, it can be indexed (Score 1) 468

by Adlopa (#30204338) Attached to: Murdoch-Microsoft Deal In the Works

As for experts-exchange, I share your disgust. Their business model is an abomination. Sometimes, however, I find the solutions posted there by poor ignorant souls useful. As long as you block their cookies you can see all the answers without registering simply by jumping to the bottom of their pages. Use AdBlock to make sure they don't get any ad revenue from your page views. This way you benefit from them and help to accelerate their death at the same time. It's a clear win-win!

So, you hate the service, but still make use of it — and yet actively try to circumvent its mechanism for generating income? Hm...

Assembly language experience is [important] for the maturity and understanding of how computers work that it provides. -- D. Gries

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