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Games

Former Gamers Want More Social Games 114

Gamasutra is running a series of studies on what people from certain demographics want from games. Their most recent article takes a look at former gamers, from the age of 25 to 35, and how they view their old hobby. Many seem to have replaced games with social networking during their non-productive time, and they also tend to favor games they can play with friends in the same room, rather than anonymous online interaction. Previous parts of the study focused on family gamers and older gamers. "We had some of our test consoles rigged up to an internet connection to see how these Missing Gamers would respond to online play. But whilst they were initially impressed at the ability to play with other people all over the world, they soon picked up on the fact that many of the people they were playing with were either too good, or too immature to endure for any length of time. It wasn't long before the online games were abandoned in favor of the simpler split-screen local multiplayer offerings. The ability to nudge, rib, and cajole each other on the sofa (not to mention share snacks and drinks) was simply too much fun to resist."
Star Wars Prequels

LucasArts Embargoes "Clone Wars" Reviews 603

An anonymous reader writes "George Lucas CGI 'Clone Wars' movie has premiered to reviews ranging from MSNBC's 'Ugly animation and an uninspired storyline drag down the film' to AintItCool's 'I hated the film. HATED IT. REALLY HATED IT.' Critics have noted the animation style, music and slapstick humor had more than a passing similarity to Pixar's Toy Story, and wondered if the introduction of new action figures (sorry, characters) like Baby Jabba Hutt and Jabba the Hutt's Gay Uncle may have taken the franchise a bridge too far. Lucas responding by enforcing an embargo, forcing the reviews to be taken down. While sites like AintItCool.com responded, by then it was just a little too late. Still, the CGI eye candy will make it popular with kids. If the 'Clone Wars' movie can't save the galaxy, can it at least save the franchise?"
Yahoo!

Submission + - Yahoo Announces Open Search Platform

CHaN_316 writes: Yahoo is announcing that they're opening up their search platform. It will allow third-party developers to modify search results by adding images, deep links, and structured data. Anyone will be able to create their own modifications and share them with users. "For example, Yelp, one of the launch partners, will include a photo, review information and the address and phone number of the business [on the Yahoo search results page]." Users will be able to turn on/off these modified search results. The desired effect is similar to the popular GreaseMonkey plugin for Firefox. The screenshots of this looks pretty compelling. More info can be found at the Yahoo Search Blog.

Comment Re:What about the woman last year? (Score 1) 210

Which isn't saying much.

I'm going to voice the unpopular opinion: Gail Simone not a very good writer, neither of fiction or bloggy opinion pieces. Her work is overly-fannish, similiar to what we see in Peter David's or Mark Waid's work, but without the character development of David or the skilful plot unification that Waid is known for. IMHO, what sets Simone's work apart from other comics writers is its astounding degree of 'fanservice'. Fans want to see X beat up Y? So does Simone. Fans want to see fan-favourite characters A, B and C in a team? So does Simone. Whether it makes sense from a plot perspective or whether there's any kind of character development that grows from those stories is secondary -- and usually non-existent.

Simone also writes in too many 'Mary Sue' characters. Birds of Prey's Misfit. Tranquility's Sheriff Thomasina. And on and on and on.

Tranquility had a great high concept, but has failed terribly in its execution. The best large-cast stories are able to develop the characters of the cast. The worst focus on one or two and leave the rest as cardboard cutouts. The very worst can't even succeed with one or two. And then there's Tranquility, with a cast of cardboard characters, none of whom the audience should care about, inhabiting a virtually incomprehensible story. Don't get me wrong: the idea was great, but someone else should have written it.

So far, Simone's WW arc has had several retcons: WW's lasso can do *what*? Captain Nazi's mother was a what? And some of the plot points are just asinine; Diana agrees to serve some Hawaiian god? Talking gorillas in her apartment? More unnecessary bloodshed directed against women, ironically from a writer who has railed about such violence for years?

As with so many other fanservice writers before her, fans mistake her ability to press the right buttons in the fannish pleasure centre for good writing.
Yahoo!

Submission + - Yahoo Launches Search Assist

CHaN_316 writes: Reuters has an article entitled, 'Yahoo seeks to make its Web search more predictive.' From the article, 'Yahoo Search Assist suggests related concepts to instantly refine a search, drawing on the wealth of information Yahoo has about what users across its sites are saying when they comment upon Web links, photos, video or the like. Search Assist is designed to be especially helpful when a person is searching for information on an unfamiliar topic. The feature senses when a searcher needs help with a search and it appears as a drop-down menu under the main search results box.' Other new features I've noticed is YouTube and Flickr integrated into their search results page.
Privacy

Submission + - Unions come out against patent reform->

Christopher Blanc writes: "The latest news is that Riley has convinced the AFL-CIO to come out against the latest attempt at patent reform. Now there's a lot to dislike in the latest attempt at patent reform, and we'd be upset if it passed as is. But the two specific things that the unions are complaining about are the two most reasonable things in the reform package.

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20070824/170344.s html"

Link to Original Source

Feed Engadget: Researcher touts "practical fuel cells" for portable electronics->

Filed under: Misc. Gadgets, Laptops

There's certainly no shortage or researchers and companies promising to bring fuel cells into everyday gadgets, but Ronald Besser of the Stevens Institute of Technology seems to think he has a system that can stand out from that pack. According to MIT's Technology Review, Besser's proposed system consists of a cylindrical design with "combustor" at the center that facilitates all the necessary reactions to convert methanol into hydrogen. Apparently, that design not only allows for the fuel cells to be made smaller, but more efficient as well. While it seems to still just be on the drawing board, Besser says the system could eventually allow for laptops to run for upwards of 50 hours, and could be made small enough to power other portable electronics as well. In the meantime, however, you may want to keep an eye on some of the systems a littler closer to reality.

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Office Depot Featured Gadget: Xbox 360 Platinum System Packs the power to bring games to life!


Link to Original Source
It's funny.  Laugh.

Submission + - Sex Hacks: Technology can be very stimulating

First Person writes: Kudos to those engineers who challenge social conventions, pushing technology into places it has never been (and probably should never go). Consider these recent achievements from the 'Sex Hacks' conference as described in The Register. One might wonder "How could our society advance without access to Fourier-modulated sex toys, platform shoes for trollops, or appliances for interfacing ambient noises with various bodily orifice?" Thankfully, we need not wonder, as all these technologies are available today.

Comment Re:"Don't be evil"?? (Score 2, Insightful) 245

The problem is, we're talking morality here, not law. Google's motto is "do no evil", not "break no laws". Applying your logic to morality only leads to relativism, where there ceases to be any absolute good just because there's multiple subjectively valid claims to it. And it's this that really bugs people. With that kind of thinking, "evil" means almost nothing at all because the line between good and evil is a moving target.

And correct me if I'm wrong, but there is such a thing as being tried for legal acts in foreign countries. Canadians and Australians can be tried in their home country for sex tourism abroad.
Businesses

Submission + - New MMORPG Tries "Crowd Sourcing"

KingSkippus writes: "BBC news is reporting that publisher Acclaim Games is working with developer Dave Perry to develop Top Secret, a new MMORPG using 'crowd sourcing.' It will be a commercial game with a paid professional core team that works with a larger volunteer community to develop the code, stories, art, and audio in the game. Perry says, 'With 20,000 people signed up we are already the biggest development team in history. We will end up with 100,000 people on this team. If 1% is any good, we are good to go.' Could this be a missing link that brings us commercial-quality community-developed gaming?"
Enlightenment

Submission + - Pioneer in Global Warming Reasearch Now Skeptical

The Underwriter writes: Article from Canada's National Post, March 2, 2007

"Claude Allegre, one of France's leading socialists and among her most celebrated scientists, was among the first to sound the alarm about the dangers of global warming.

"Fifteen years ago, Dr. Allegre was among the 1500 prominent scientists who signed 'World Scientists' Warning to Humanity' (Wikipedia), a highly publicized letter stressing that global warming's 'potential risks are very great' and demanding a new caring ethic that recognizes the globe's fragility in order to stave off 'spirals of environmental decline, poverty, and unrest, leading to social, economic and environmental collapse.'"

In light of the volumes of research conducted since then, Dr. Allegre recently renounced his previous views. He now believes global warming is "over-hyped and an environmental concern of second rank."

" 'The cause of this climate change is unknown,' he states matter of factly. There is no basis for saying, as most do, that the 'science is settled.' "

Part 13 of the National Post's "Deniers" series, about scientists who contradict the majority opinion on climate science.
Role Playing (Games)

Submission + - SOE Striving to progress Star Wars Galaxies

Achan writes: Star Wars Galaxies Forums show us leadership changes are underway. Julio Torres has been removed and we see the game has no clear direction now. DeadMeat tells us there are no plans for an expansion in 2007, there are no plans for updating space content, and asks people for their feedback. They ask for player feedback, however the first thing noticed in the thread is excessive deletions of postings, and telling people they will not role back to pre-nge, the highly controversial changes that almost killed the game. However they still boast they are proud of the current game. Noticeably, SOE responses are much friendlier than in the past. After reading all SOE posts in this thread, one can assume they are working with a low budget and skeleton crew, thoughts?

Comment BSG - Battle of Exodus (Score 1) 763

But the episode where the Galactica jumps into atmosphere, descends like a burning angel as it launches it's vipers, then jumps out again...man, if E. E. "Doc" Smith could have seen that episode, he would have died a happy man.
That scene where Galactica jumps into the atmosphere is from the Battle of Exodus. Now you can understand what's everyone ranting and raving about :) That was one heck of a season premiere.

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