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The Almighty Buck

Micro-Transactions Coming To Team Fortress 2 Via Steam Wallet 161

Posted by Soulskill
from the how-many-hats-can-you-get-for-a-dollar dept.
whoop writes "Valve has announced that Team Fortress 2 will be getting a new Mann Co. Store to buy trinkets with real money through a service called Steam Wallet. TF2 is the first game to use this new Steam Wallet, but the money can be spent on anything in Steam, including full games. This would open them up to featuring gift cards, micro-transaction games, and more." PC Gamer has an interview with Valve's Robin Walker about why they're doing this. Walker says everything they're selling will still be obtainable by playing the game, other than a few cosmetic items.
Image

Doctors Save Premature Baby Using Sandwich Bag 246 Screenshot-sm

Posted by samzenpus
from the keeping-baby-fresh dept.
Born 14 weeks early, Lexi Lacey owes her life to some MacGyver inspired doctors and a sandwich bag. Lexi was so small at birth that even the tiniest insulating jacket was too big, but she fit into a plastic sandwich bag nicely. ''The doctors told us they had never known a baby born as prematurely as Lexi survive. She was so tiny the only thing they had to keep her body temperature warm was a sandwich bag from the hospital canteen — it's incredible to think that saved her life," says her mom.
Image

HTML5: Up and Running 31 Screenshot-sm

Posted by samzenpus
from the read-all-about-it dept.
eldavojohn writes "As you're probably aware, HTML is in a transition period, lost somewhere in the mire between versions 4 and 5. That doesn't stop us from using the latest and greatest, but it does create a requirement for gracefully falling back when a user does not have native support for features like canvas, video, audio, local storage, web workers and geolocation. HTML5: Up and Running is a great resource for someone tasked with bringing HTML4 webpages up to HTML5 standards, but it's mediocre-to-poor in illustrating advanced usage. For example, author Mark Pilgrim invests around thirty pages on video, while putting at most half a page toward web workers. Some of this is not his fault, due to support (or lack thereof), but the book felt skimpy at a couple hundred pages. For me, this book had value if only for the many wrapper scripts and workarounds like Modernizr, complete with code snippets. This book is for the beginner to intermediate developer and also for developers tasked with implementing HTML5 immediately. I received my copy for review from O'Reilly, but you can also find a draft of it under CC-BY-3.0 license. And the sample code is available online, so you can follow along." Read on for the rest of eldavojohn's review.
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Stewart and Colbert Plan Competing D.C. Rallies 696 Screenshot-sm

Posted by samzenpus
from the power-of-the-internet dept.
Lev13than writes "In a direct retort to Glenn Beck's Restoring Honor rally, Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert have announced competing rallies on October 30th. Stewart plans to host a 'Rally To Restore Sanity' on Oct. 30 on the National Mall in D.C. for the Americans he says are too busy living normal, rational lives to attend other political demonstrations. Colbert, meantime, will shepherd his fans in a 'March To Keep Fear Alive.' 'Damn your reasonableness!' Colbert said. 'Now is not the time to take it down a notch. Now is the time for all good men to freak out for freedom!' Stewart, meanwhile, has promised to provide attendees with signs featuring slogans such as 'I Disagree With You But I'm Pretty Sure You're Not Hitler' and 'I'm Afraid of Spiders.'"
Social Networks

Google Wave Now Open To All 180

Posted by timothy
from the and-do-you-care dept.
tonyfugere writes "After a year of testing by invitation only, Google Wave has been opened to the public. From what I have seen, it looks like it could be beneficial for documenting brainstorming sessions beyond simple instant messaging protocols." (Google Wave is "also great for entertaining the masses," says tonyfugere, who links to the slightly NSFW demonstration below.)
Music

Apple To Shut Down Lala On May 31 438

Posted by kdawson
from the so-much-for-competition dept.
dirk and a large number of other distressed readers let us know that Apple is shuttering Lala, the music service they bought last December, on May 31. "Apple will transfer any remaining money in a user's account to iTunes, and will credit users (via iTunes) for any web songs that were purchased. It's a real shame, as Lala was a much better music service, offering songs in straight MP3 format. Its web service was innovative and ahead of its time. And it was one of the few places that would let you listen to an entire song to sample it (after one complete listen, you then could only hear a 30-second sample)." Reader Dhandforth adds: "10-cent favorites will now cost 9.9x more. What's worse, a community of music fans (followers and followees) will disappear on May 31. Evil. Sigh."
Movies

Emmerich Plans Foundation As a 3D Epic 283

Posted by kdawson
from the pretty-darn-seldon dept.
spuke4000 writes "Roland Emmerich, the writer/director/producer behind Independence Day, The Day After Tomorrow, and 2012 is planning to adapt Isaac Asimov's Foundation series. The plans include using technology developed for Avatar including 3D and motion capture technology. When asked about using this technology Emmerich responded: 'It has to be done all CG because I would not know how to shoot this thing in real.'"
First Person Shooters (Games)

Code Review of Doom For the iPhone 161

Posted by Soulskill
from the old-dogs-new-tricks dept.
Developer Fabien Sanglard has written a code review for id Software's iPhone port of Doom. It's an interesting look into how the original 1993 game (which he also reviewed to understand its rendering process) was adapted to a modern platform. "Just like Wolfenstein 3D, Doom was rendering a screenframe pixel per pixel. The only way to do this on iPhone with an acceptable framerate would be to use CoreSurface/CoreSurface.h framework. But it is unfortunately restricted and using it would prevent distribution on the AppStore. The only solution is to use OpenGL, but this comes with a few challenges: Doom was faking 3D with a 2D map. OpenGL needs real 3D vertices. More than 3D vertices, OpenGL needs data to be sent as triangles (among other things because they are easy to rasterize). But Doom sectors were made of arbitrary forms. Doom 1993's perspective was also faked, it was actually closer to an orthogonal projection than a perspective projection. Doom was using VGA palette indexing to perform special effect (red for damage, silver for invulnerable...)."
PlayStation (Games)

Sony May Charge For PlayStation Network 212

Posted by Soulskill
from the i'm-sure-that-will-be-popular dept.
In an interview with IGN, Sony's VP of marketing, Peter Dille, responded to a question about the PlayStation Network by saying that the company is considering charging for the service. He said, "It's been our philosophy not to charge for it from launch up until now, but Kaz recently went on the record as saying that's something we're looking at. I can confirm that as well. That's something that we're actively thinking about. What's the best way to approach that if we were to do that? You know, no announcements at this point in time, but it's something we're thinking about." This follows news of a customer survey from last month that listed possibilities for subscription-based PSN features.
Data Storage

Cooling Bags Could Cut Server Cooling Costs By 93% 135

Posted by timothy
from the or-other-exact-number dept.
judgecorp writes "UK company Iceotope has launched liquid-cooling technology which it says surpasses what can be done with water or air-cooling and can cut data centre cooling costs by up to 93 percent. Announced at Supercomputing 2009 in Portland, Oregon, the 'modular Liquid-Immersion Cooled Server' technology wraps each server in a cool-bag-like device, which cools components inside a server, rather than cooling the whole data centre, or even a traditional 'hot aisle.' Earlier this year, IBM predicted that in ten years all data centre servers might be water-cooled." Adds reader 1sockchuck, "The Hot Aisle has additional photos and diagrams of the new system."
Politics

Sequoia Voting Systems Source Code Released 406

Posted by kdawson
from the redaction-fail dept.
Mokurai sends a heads-up about Sequoia Voting Systems, which seems to have inadvertently released the SQL code for its voting databases. The existence of such code appears to violate Federal voting law: "Sequoia blew it on a public records response. ... They appear... to have just vandalized the data as valid databases by stripping the MS-SQL header data off, assuming that would stop us cold. They were wrong. The Linux 'strings' command was able to peel it apart. Nedit was able to digest 800-MB text files. What was revealed was thousands of lines of MS-SQL source code that appears to control or at least influence the logical flow of the election, in violation of a bunch of clauses in the FEC voting system rulebook banning interpreted code, machine modified code and mandating hash checks of voting system code." The code is all available for study or download, "the first time the innards of a US voting system can be downloaded and discussed publicly with no NDAs or court-ordered secrecy," notes Jim March of the Election Defense Alliance. Dig in and analyze.

Author Encourages Users to Pirate His Book 237

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the listen-to-the-content-creator dept.
mariushm writes "Peter Cooper, the author of Beginning Ruby, breaks down how he gets paid for the book, including the advance and royalties, giving a nice clean explanation of how authors get paid for their books. He also describes the negotiations over the second edition of the book, in which he begged his publisher, Apress, to offer the ebook version for free, believing (strongly) that it would promote sales of the paper book. He even notes that the original version's ebook barely had noteworthy sales, so it seemed reasonable to offer up the ebook for free to drive more attention. No dice. Even though Apress has done that with other similar titles, it wouldn't agree. As he retains the copyright for the actual text, he encourages people to buy the book and create an online version of it without covers, contents table and indexes, promising not to enforce his copyright over the new work."

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