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PC Games (Games)

How PC Game Modders Are Evolving 98

Posted by Soulskill
from the longer-beaks-for-breaking-shells dept.
Lanxon writes "Wired has a lengthy investigation into the state of PC game mods, and the amateurs keeping the scene exciting in the wake of draconian DRM placed on many PC titles by major studios. It highlights a number of creative modders, such as Scott Reismanis, founder and editor of Mod DB, and his community-driven alternative to Valve's Steam — Desura — which is 'a distribution system, and, like Steam, will sell games and champion indie titles. But the way it handles mods makes it even more exciting.'"
Linux Business

Penumbra: Overture Goes Open Source 74

Posted by Soulskill
from the seeing-the-code-won't-dry-your-pants dept.
As promised when the Humble Indie Bundle hit $1 million in donations the other day, indie developer Frictional Games has released Penumbra: Overture's source code. "The code for Penumbra: Overture is a continuation of the one used for the tech demo + some addition for the not so long lived Robo Hatch project. It also contains some code from Unbirth, giving it quite some history." The release also includes the HPL1 engine. "This is engine that has powered all of the Penumbra games and it even includes the stuff used to create the 2D platformer Energetic. The engine code was started in December 2004 and was actively developed until early 2008." The repositories are available at github.
Space

Pluto — a Complex and Changing World 191

Posted by timothy
from the can-imagine-quite-a-bit dept.
astroengine writes "After 4 years of processing the highest resolution photographs the Hubble Space Telescope could muster, we now have the highest resolution view of Pluto's surface ever produced. Most excitingly, these new observations show an active world with seasonal changes altering the dwarf planet's surface. It turns out that this far-flung world has more in common with Earth than we would have ever imagined."
Math

7 of the Best Free Linux Calculators 289

Posted by timothy
from the open-in-tabs dept.
An anonymous reader writes "One of the basic utilities supplied with any operating system is a desktop calculator. These are often simple utilities that are perfectly adequate for basic use. They typically include trigonometric functions, logarithms, factorials, parentheses and a memory function. However, the calculators featured in this article are significantly more sophisticated with the ability to process difficult mathematical functions, to plot graphs in 2D and 3D, and much more. Occasionally, the calculator tool provided with an operating system did not engender any confidence. The classic example being the calculator shipped with Windows 3.1 which could not even reliably subtract two numbers. Rest assured, the calculators listed below are of precision quality."

+ - Internet uprising in Spain against proposed change->

Submitted by [rvr]
[rvr] (93881) writes "Last Monday, the Spanish Goverment published the latest draft for the Sustainable Economy Act, which would enable a Commission dependent of the Ministry of Culture to take down websites without a court order, in cases of Intellectual Property piracy. On Wednesday, using Google Wave, a group journalists, bloggers, professionals and creators composed and issued a Manifesto in Defense of Fundamental Rights on the Internet, stating that "Copyright should not be placed above citizens' fundamental rights to privacy, security, presumption of innocence, effective judicial protection and freedom of expression". Quickly, more than 50,000 blogs and sites re-published the manifesto. On Thursday morning, the Ministry of Culture Ángeles González Sinde (former president of the Spanish Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences) organized a meeting with a group of Internet experts and signers of the Manifesto. The meeting was narrated in real time via Twitter and concluded without any agreement. On Thursday afternoon, the Prime Minister's staff had a private meeting with the Ministry of Culture and some party members (who also expressed their oposition to the draft). Finally, Spain Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero announced in a press meeting that the text will be changed and court order will continue to be a requirement, but still will search for ways to fight Internet piracy. However, many activists remain skeptic about this announcement."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Measurement from the NVIDIA site? (Score 1) 317

by OlPete (#29818695) Attached to: NVIDIA Driver Developer Discusses Linux Graphics

For video cards? Not generally. Most users who are upgrading drivers will use the reference manufacturer's.

How do you quantify this enough to use the word "most" accurately?

I'm not claiming I know because I don't, which is the point. More than one method exists for acquiring these drivers, which creates tracking problems for the manufacturer.

Less than two years ago, I always downloaded drivers directly from NVidia and used the script for compiling it. For a long time, I resisted the use repository packages, in part because they tended to be out of date.

With the system I have now, I've stopped doing that.

But this is me, and a sampling of one is not representative. A sampling of a group of users who all have a common purpose or philosophy about such things would not be representative either. I mention the latter because groups of friends who use Linux may all have a common strategy based on shared experience for such things, leading to skewed perceptions about what "most" people do.

I'm just curious if you have some actual data on this.

Media

+ - Boxee drops Hulu support

Submitted by frdmfghtr
frdmfghtr (603968) writes "According to a boxee blog entry, Hulu will no longer be supported. From the post: "two weeks ago Hulu called and told us their content partners were asking them to remove Hulu from boxee. we tried (many times) to plead the case for keeping Hulu on boxee, but on Friday of this week, in good faith, we will be removing it. you can see their blog post about the issues they are facing." Reading the hulu blog post, the only "issue" I see facing hulu is that content providers have (once again) shot themselves in the foot, switching off a media conduit they should have been promoting."
Windows

+ - Draconian DRM revealed in Windows 7 4

Submitted by
TechForensics
TechForensics writes "A few days' testing of Windows 7 has already disclosed some draconian DRM, some unrelated to media files. A legitimate copy of Photoshop CS4 stopped functioning after we clobberred a nagging registration screen by replacing a .dll with a hacked version. That's not so much a surprise, but what WAS a surprise: Noting that Win7 allows programs like Photoshop to stealthily insert themselves in your firewall exception list. Further, that the OS is crippled towards allowing large software vendors to penetrate your machine. Even further, that that crippling is responsible for disabling of a program based on a modified .dll. Remote attestation, anyone? And then finding that the OS even after reboot has locked you out of your own Local Settings folder; has denied you permission to move or delete the modified DLL; and refuses to allow the replacement of the Local Settings folder after it is unlocked with Unlocker to move it to the Desktop for examination (where it also denies you entry to your own folder). Setting permissions to "allow everyone" was disabled! Re media files, the days of capturing an audio program on your PC are gone if the program originated on your PC. The inputs of your sound card are severely degraded in software if the card is also playing an audio program (tested here with Grooveshark). Under XP you could select "Stereo Mix" or similar under audio recording inputs and nicely capture any program then playing. Microsoft appears to be pandering to Big Music for its own reasons unrelated to consumer satisfaction. This may be the tip of the iceberg. Something *really nasty* is lurking under the surface of Win7. Being in bed with the RIAA is bad enough, but locking your own files away from you is a device so outrageous it may kill the OS for many persons. Many users will not want to experimenting with a second sound card or computer just to record from online sources, or boot up under a Linux that supports ntfs-3g just to control their files. (You never seem to know in Windows 7 when the "Access Denied" message is going to strike.) It is certainly beginning to be crystal clear why the coming WinFS will not be a good thing for userland, and a Very Good Thing for Microsoft and its partners."
Image

Hippies Say WiFi Network Is Harming Their Chakras 432

Posted by samzenpus
from the what's-with-all-the-negative-waves dept.
Anti-Globalism writes "A group of hippies is complaining that a recently installed WiFi mesh network in the UK village of Glastonbury is causing health problems. To combat the signals from the Wi-Fi hotspots, the hippies have placed orgone generators around the antennae." Although there have been many studies that show no correlation between WiFi and health issues the hippies say, "Yeah, well, you know, that's just, like, your opinion, man."
The Courts

RIAA Gets Nervous, Brings In Big Gun 423

Posted by Soulskill
from the headlines-that-would-be-better-if-they-were-literal dept.
NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "I guess the RIAA is getting nervous about the ability of its 'national law firm' (in charge of bringing 'ex parte' motions, securing default judgments, and beating up grandmothers and children) to handle the oral argument scheduled to be heard on Monday, August 4th in Duluth, in Capitol v. Thomas. So, at the eleventh hour, it has brought in one of its 'Big Guns' from Washington, D.C., a lawyer who argues United States Supreme Court cases like MGM v. Grokster to handle the argument. This is the case where a $222,000 verdict was awarded for downloading 24 songs, but the judge ultimately realized that he had been misled by the RIAA in issuing his jury instructions, and indicated he's probably going to order a new trial. But, not to worry. A group of 10 copyright law professors from 10 different law schools and several other amici curiae (friends of the court) have filed briefs now, so it is highly unlikely the judge will allow himself to be misled again, no matter who the RIAA brings in as cannon fodder on Monday."

Comment: Re:What astonishes me... (Score 1) 475

by OlPete (#24285455) Attached to: Firefox's Effect On Other Browsers

For the *unwashed masses* tabs is the only positive feature of FF.

Well, I suppose a study could be done to determine this, but based purely on my interactions with others, that's not the case.

Early-on, those who might be considered among the "unwashed masses" I knew were actually confused by tabs. And I'll have to admit I was initially resistant to the idea until I became accustomed to it and realized how much easier it made my browsing life. (I'd used Opera before encountering Firefox and wasn't particularly impressed by tabs.) One client I had way back when, for example, never used the tabs, but he liked certain extensions and used them a lot.

You said it yourself with your comment about AdBlock.

I agree with your bottom line, though. I've never thought that one browser being declared superior to all the others was a desirable goal. I use four different browsers actually, Firefox being most common. They've all improved a great deal in the last several years, and I think Firefox's success (not just its technical success but its success in infiltrating the browser market itself) has had a great influence on that.

Hardware Hacking

VLC Hits the Device Market 159

Posted by timothy
from the long-time-coming dept.
JoeBorn writes "VideoLAN has long been known as a mature open source project for video playback and transcoding on the PC. Now, Neuros and Texas Instruments have sponsored a port of VLC to their next generation open set-top box. The idea is to allow developers to easily create interesting plug-ins for recording and transcoding applications for the set-top box which will automate functions previously requiring a PC, like formating recordings for a portable player or streaming to another device on the LAN or the Internet, etc."

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