Kelson writes "The Wall Street Journal profiles Vincent Connare, designer of the web's most-hated font, Comic Sans. Not surprisingly, the font's origins go back to Microsoft Bob, where he saw a talking dog speaking in Times New Roman. Connare pulled out Watchmen and The Dark Knight Returns for reference, and created the comic book-style font over the next week. 'Mr. Connare has looked on, alternately amused and mortified, as Comic Sans has spread from a software project at Microsoft Corp. 15 years ago to grade-school fliers and holiday newsletters, Disney ads and Beanie Baby tags, business emails, street signs, Bibles, porn sites, gravestones and hospital posters about bowel cancer. ... The jolly typeface has spawned the Ban Comic Sans movement, nearly a decade old but stronger now than ever, thanks to the Web."
tyen writes "Ubisoft has announced the shutdown of Shadowbane, the first major, fantasy role-playing MMO with true PVP (full asset destruction possible). The shutdown will take place in about two weeks, at the start of May. No official reason has been given by Ubisoft, but running an MMO for free for the past three years, with no significant improvement in market growth during that period, could play a part in the decision. There's been no response from Ubisoft yet on calls to open source the code. "
Cameron Logie writes "The UK Government has today announced full backing for greater adoption of Open Source solutions in the public sector. According to the article at the BBC News site, 'Government departments will be required to adopt open source software when "there is no significant overall cost difference between open and non-open source products" because of its "inherent flexibility."'"
Sony unveiled their PSP lineup for 2009 today, and it contains a number of major games and franchies. Assassin's Creed is on the way, as is a portable version of LittleBigPlanet , which will still allow players to share their levels with the community. A Motorstorm game set in Alaska is also coming, and Rock Band: Unplugged is in development as well. "There will not be a peripheral attachment available... Instead, all input is handled by the 'Left,' 'Up,' 'Triangle,' and 'Circle' buttons. The player can switch between guitar, drums, bass, and "vocals" (although he won't physically be singing, merely tapping buttons) using the L and R shoulder buttons. ... The player can actually choose to switch instruments at anytime, but switching prematurely will cause him to lose his multiplier."
Wired is running a story about the friction between the music industry and music-based games, such as Guitar Hero and Rock Band. Despite the fact that these games are very successful and are drawing a great deal of attention to the music represented in the games, the industry is not pleased with the licensing arrangements that allow the games to use their songs. Quoting: "Putting the brakes on music gaming would hurt everyone in the ailing music industry. Instead of demanding greater profit participation, Warner should be angling for creative participation. Thirty years ago, Hollywood took a similar threat — the VCR — and turned it into a new source of revenue, building customer loyalty in the process. The music industry could use new games the same way — but its track record suggests that it won't."