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Cellphones

Tetris Clones Pulled From Android Market 396

Posted by Soulskill
from the bad-news-bears dept.
sbrubblesman writes "The Tetris Company, LLC has notified Google to remove all Tetris clones from Android Market. I am one of the developers of FallingBlocks, a game with the same gameplay concepts as Tetris. I have received an email warning that my game was suspended from Android Market due to a violation of the Developer Content Policy. When I received the email, I already imagined that it had something to do with it being a Tetris clone, but besides having the same gameplay as Tetris, which I believe cannot be copyrighted, the game uses its own name, graphics and sounds. There's no reference to 'Tetris' in our game. I have emailed Google asking what is the reason for the application removal. Google promptly answered that The Tetris Company, LLC notified them under the DMCA (PDF) to remove various Tetris clones from Android Market. My app was removed together with 35 other Tetris clones. I checked online at various sources, and all of them say that there's no copyright on gameplay. There could be some sort of patent. But even if they had one, it would last 20 years, so it would have been over in 2005. It's a shame that The Tetris Company, LLC uses its power to stop developers from creating good and free games for Android users. Without resources for a legal fight, our application and many others will cease to exist, even knowing that they are legit. Users will be forced to buy the paid, official version, which is worse than many of the ones available for free on the market. Users from other countries, such as Brazil in my case, won't even be able to play the official Tetris, since Google Checkout doesn't exist in Brazil; you can't buy paid applications from Android Market in these countries."
Botnet

Symantec Finds Server Containing 44 Million Stolen Gaming Credentials 146

Posted by Soulskill
from the who-wants-to-buy-a-level-80-paladin dept.
A Symantec blog post reports that the company recently stumbled upon a server hosting the stolen credentials for 44 million game accounts. It goes on to explain how the owners of the server made use of a botnet to process that mountain of data: "Now it's time to turn those gaming credentials into hard cash. But how do you find out which credentials are valid and thus worth some money? Three options come to mind: 1) Log on to gaming websites 44 million times! 2) Write a program to log in to the websites and check for you (this would take months). 3) Write a program that checks the login details and then distribute the program to multiple computers. Option one naturally seems next to impossible. Option two is also not very feasible, since websites typically block IP addresses after multiple failed login attempts. By taking advantage of the distributed processing that the third option offers, you can complete the task more quickly and help mitigate the multiple-login failure problems by spreading the task over more IP addresses. This is what Trojan.Loginck's creators have done."
Input Devices

Project Natal Pricing and Release Date Revealed 156

Posted by Soulskill
from the not-cheap dept.
tekgoblin writes "According to Edge-online.com, their source says that we can expect Microsoft's Project Natal to cost around $149. 'The figure for the standalone unit is significantly higher than a previous sub-£50 estimate, but less than pricing recently suggested by European retailers. It’s also more expensive than Sony’s Natal rival, Move, which will be available later this year with a game for less than $100.'"
Movies

Mass Effect To Invade the Big Screen 142

Posted by Soulskill
from the seth-green-seems-like-a-lock dept.
UgLyPuNk writes "This could be a good thing or a bad thing: EA has just confirmed that it's making Mass Effect into a movie. The franchise has been acquired by Legendary Pictures, which is best known for its co-productions of The Dark Knight, Clash of the Titans, 300, Watchmen, and, um, The Hangover, as part of a co-financing agreement with Warner Bros."
Canada

Video Gamers Have Power Over Their Dreams 308

Posted by timothy
from the nocturnal-excursions dept.
Ponca City, We love you writes "Live Science reports that researchers say playing video games before bedtime may give gamers an unusual level of awareness and control in their dreams, which could provide an edge when fighting nightmares or even mental trauma. 'If you're spending hours a day in a virtual reality, if nothing else it's practice,' says Jayne Gackenbach, a psychologist at Grant MacEwan University in Canada, who says that hardcore gamers represent the leading edge of immersion in virtual worlds that increasingly has come to define a large part of contemporary entertainment and communication. 'Gamers are used to controlling their game environments, so that can translate into dreams.' One intriguing theory holds that dreams are a sort of threat simulation where nightmares help organisms hone their skills in a protective environment, and ideally prepare organisms for a real-life situation. To test that theory, Gackenbach conducted a study using independent assessments that coded threat levels in after-dream reports and found that gamers experienced less or even reversed threat simulation (in which the dreamer became the threatening presence), with fewer aggression dreams overall. In other words, a scary nightmare scenario turned into something 'fun' for a gamer."
Image

Decency Group Says "$#*!" Is Indecent 821

Posted by samzenpus
from the dirty-minds dept.
The Parents Television Council says the "$#*!" in the title of the upcoming CBS show $#*! my dad says is indecent. From the article: "'CBS intentionally chose to insert an expletive into the actual name of a show, and, despite its claim that the word will be bleeped, it is just CBS's latest demonstration of its contempt for families and the public,' declared PTC President Tim Winter. 'There are an infinite number of alternatives that CBS could have chosen, but its desire to shock and offend is crystal clear in this decision.'" By this logic Qbert was the filthiest game ever made.
HP

HP Explains Why Printer Ink Is So Expensive 651

Posted by kdawson
from the megabucks-per-picoliter dept.
CWmike writes "'There's a perception that [printer] ink is one of the most expensive substances in the world,' says Thom Brown, marketing manager at HP. Well, yeah. One might get that feeling walking out of a store having spent $35 for a single ink cartridge that appears to contain fewer fluid ounces of product than a Heinz ketchup packet. Brown was ready to explain. He presented a series of PowerPoint slides aptly titled 'Why is printer ink so expensive?' I was ready for answers. The key point in a nutshell: Ink technology is expensive, and you pay for reliability and image quality. 'These liquids are completely different from a technology standpoint,' Brown says, adding that users concerned about cost per page can buy 'XL' ink cartridges from HP that last two to three times longer. (Competitors do the same.) The message: You get value for the money. No getting around it though — ink is still expensive, particularly if you have to use that inkjet printer for black-and-white text pages."
Google

Google PAC-MAN Cost 4.8M Person-Hours 332

Posted by kdawson
from the stolen-moments dept.
The folks at Rescue-Time, who make software that helps you (and companies) figure out how you spend your online time, did a modest calculation based on their user base and concluded that Google's playable PAC-MAN doodle cost the world over 4.8 million person-hours of productivity last Friday. "Google PAC-MAN consumed 4,819,352 hours of time (beyond the 33.6M daily man hours of attention that Google Search gets in a given day). $120,483,800 is the dollar tally, if the average Google user has a cost of $25/hr. (note that cost is 1.3 – 2.0 X pay rate). For that same cost, you could hire all 19,835 Google employees, from Larry and Sergey down to their janitors, and get six weeks of their time." Also, Google made the doodle permanent.
Privacy

Chrome Private Mode Not Quite Private 234

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the what-if-i-wear-a-hat dept.
wiplash writes "Google Chrome appears to store at least some information related to, and including, the sites that you have visited when browsing in Incognito mode. Lewis Thompson outlines a set of steps you can follow to confirm whether you are affected. He has apparently reported this to Google, but no response has yet been received."
Spam

Russian Anti-Spam Advisor Accused of Spamming 69

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the but-we-need-our-viagra dept.
Keith noted that Krebs has an interesting story on a Russian businessman being accused of running a spam ring while serving as an anti-spam adviser to the Russian government. It's a strange tale including an investigation in 2007 that was abandoned when the chief investigator was actually hired to work for the spammer. Not suspicious at all, no way.
Censorship

Google Stops Ads For "Cougar" Sites 319

Posted by samzenpus
from the here's-to-you-mrs-robinson dept.
teh31337one writes "Google is refusing to advertise CougarLife, a dating site for mature women looking for younger men. However, they continue to accept sites for mature men seeking young women. According to the New York Times, CougarLife.com had been paying Google $100,000 a month since October. The Mountain View company has now cancelled the contract, saying that the dating site is 'nonfamily safe.'"
Piracy

The Pirate Bay Sinks And Swims 347

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the whac-a-mole dept.
mikael_j writes "This morning the German ISP that had been hosting The Pirate Bay's website and search engine shut the site down. A few hours later the website was back up, this time with hosting provided by the Swedish Pirate Party, which issued a press release (in Swedish) explaining why they have chosen to host The Pirate Bay."

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