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Submission + - The Streisand Effect: A Florida journalist's smear and censor campaign backfires ( 2

An anonymous reader writes: A tragic death, freedom of speech, libel, defamation, legal threats, unethical journalism, reddit's /r/bicycling, and The Streisand effect. A South Florida "journalist" is called out for running a smear story, doubles down on his position, publicly attacks commenters and reddit, and threatens legal action when a disturbing conflict of interest is exposed.

Submission + - Chrome hacked in 5 minutes, 60k USD prize claimed (

Skuto writes: After offering a total prize fund of up to 1M USD for a successful Chrome hack (, it seems Google got what it wanted (or not!). No more than 5 minutes into the Pwn2Own cracking contest team Vupen exploited 2 Chrome bugs to demonstrate a total break of Google's browser. They will win at least 60k USD out of Google's prize fund, as well as taking a strong option on winning the overall Pwn2Own prize. It also illustrates that Chrome's much lauded sandboxing ( is not a silver bullet for browser security.

Submission + - Internet Explorer losing enterprise traction (

tsamsoniw writes: "Enterprise usage of Internet Explorer dropped by 10 percent over the past year, to just over 50 percent, with some organizations still clinging to IE6 despite the security risks, according to Zscaler's latest "State of the Web Report." The bigger threat, though, lies in the fact that more than a quarter of enterprise Web traffic flows through browser extension and plug-ins — some of which IT neglects to keep properly patched, thus making them juicy targets for hackers."

Submission + - A Proof of the Rubik's Cube Solution ( 1

eldavojohn writes: Over thirty years ago, the Rubik's Cube was born. And now it has been mathematically proven that a cube with N squares per row in any given configuration has a solution with the maximum number of moves proportional to (N^2)/(log N). This paper explains why we've seen the most popular configuration (N = 3) of Rubik's Cube shrink in maximum number of moves from 25 to 23 to 20 and you might even see it settle in at 19.

Examining Indie Game Pricing 188

As the second Humble Indie Bundle flourishes, having taken in over $1.5 million in pay-what-you-want sales, the Opposable Thumbs blog has taken a look at indie game pricing in general, trying to determine how low price points and frequent sales affect their popularity in an ocean of $60 blockbusters. Quoting: "... in the short term these sales are a good thing. They bring in more sales, more revenue, and expand the reach of games that frequently have very little marketing support behind them, if any. For those games, getting on the front page of Steam is a huge boost, putting it in front of a huge audience of gamers. But what are the long-term effects? If most players are buying these games at a severely reduced price, how does that influence the perception of indie games at large? It's not an easy question to answer, especially considering how relatively new these sales are, making it difficult to judge their long-term effects. But it's clear they're somewhat of a double-edged sword. Exposure is good, but price erosion isn't. 'When it comes to perception, a deep discount gets people playing the game that [they] wouldn't play otherwise, and I think that has both positive and negative effects,' [2D Boy co-founder Ron Carmel] told Ars. 'The negative is that if I'm willing to pay $5 but not $20, I probably don't want to play that game very much, so maybe I'm not as excited about it after I play it and maybe I drive down the average appreciation of the game.'"

Submission + - Xipwire Steps Up to Process Payments for Wikileaks (

Trip Ericson writes: After Mastercard, Visa, and Paypal all ceased handling donations to Wikileaks, mobile payment company Xipwire has stepped up in order to help out. Not only will Xipwire pass along donations, but it is waiving all fees normally associated with the service for any donations made to Wikileaks. From the article: "Our motivation is really simple," Xipwire founder Sharif Aleandre explained. "While people may or may not agree with WikiLeaks and the documents it has released, we feel that PayPal's recent decision to refuse to process donations on their behalf effectively silences voices in this democracy. In fact, it was the Citizens United case that basically equated donations with free speech and if the Supreme Court decided that our government doesn't have the power to regulate that speech then it's our opinion that corporations certainly shouldn't have that power either."

Have I Lost My Gaming Mojo? 418

danabnormal writes "Increasingly I'm being frustrated in my attempts to find a game I want to play. In an effort to catch up, I've been using my bog standard Dell laptop to dig out treasures I have missed, such as American McGee's Alice, Grim Fandango and Syberia. I don't often get the time to play games, so I like to have the opportunity to dip in and out of a title without feeling like I'm losing something by not playing it for periods of time. But when I find a title I like, I make the time. Heavy Rain is the last game that gripped me, that truly engaged me and made me want to complete it in a single sitting. I'm tired of the GTA formulas, bored of CoDs and don't have the reaction time to think on my feet for AOE III. Is it about time I tossed in the controller and resigned myself to the fact that the games I want only come out once in a blue moon? Or have I just not found that one great title that will open me up to a brand new genre? Lords of Ultima is going OK at the moment — is there anything of that ilk I've missed? What are your thoughts? Do you stick to a particular genre? Are you finding it harder, as you get more mature, to find something you want to play?"
First Person Shooters (Games)

Crytek Dev On Fun vs. Realism In Game Guns 324

An anonymous reader tips a post from Pascal Eggert, a gun enthusiast and Crytek developer, who sheds some light on how weaponry in modern shooters is designed. Quoting: "Guns in games are like guns in movies: it is all about looks, sounds and clichés. Just like in the movies, games have established a certain perception of weapons in the mind of the public and just like in movies games get almost everything wrong. ... The fact is that we are not trying to simulate reality but are creating products to provide entertainment. ... if you want to replicate the looks of something you need to at least see it, but using it is even better. You should hold a gun in your hands, fire it and reload it to understand what does what — and at that point you will realize, there is nothing on it that does not have a function — because guns are tools for professionals. Lot of weapon designers in the game industry get that wrong. They think of guns like products for consumers or magic devices that kill people at a distance when really it's just a simple and elegant mechanism that propels little pieces of metal. Unfortunately 3D artists often only get access to the photos that Google Image Search comes up with if you enter 'future assault rifle' or, even worse, pictures from other games and movies that also got it wrong. This may explain a lot of common visual mistakes in games, especially since guns are mostly photographed from the side and egoshooters show weapons from the first person view." This article is drawn from his personal experience in the game industry. The images shown are Pascal's personal work and are not related to his work at Crytek.
PC Games (Games)

Valve Releases Updated Alien Swarm For Free With Code Base 164

baronvoncarson tips news that today Valve released an updated version of Alien Swarm, a popular Unreal Tournament 2004 total conversion mod. The creators of the mod were hired by Valve, and they've helped turn it into a stand-alone game running on the Source engine. Valve is also releasing the code base for Alien Swarm and an SDK. The game is available for free on Steam.

Failed Games That Damaged Or Killed Their Companies 397

An anonymous reader writes "Develop has an excellent piece up profiling a bunch of average to awful titles that flopped so hard they harmed or sunk their studio or publisher. The list includes Haze, Enter The Matrix, Hellgate: London, Daikatana, Tabula Rasa, and — of course — Duke Nukem Forever. 'Daikatana was finally released in June 2000, over two and a half years late. Gamers weren't convinced the wait was worth it. A buggy game with sidekicks (touted as an innovation) who more often caused you hindrance than helped ... achieved an average rating of 53. By this time, Eidos is believed to have invested over $25 million in the studio. And they called it a day. Eidos closed the Dallas Ion Storm office in 2001.'"

Treading the Fuzzy Line Between Game Cloning and Theft 235

eldavojohn writes "Ars analyzes some knockoffs and near-knockoffs in the gaming world that led to problems with the original developers. Jenova Chen, creator of Flower and flOw, discusses how he feels about the clones made of his games. Chen reveals his true feelings about the takedown of Aquatica (a flOw knockoff): 'What bothers me the most is that because of my own overreaction, I might have created a lot of inconvenience to the creator of Aquatica and interrupted his game-making. He is clearly talented, and certainly a fan of flOw. I hope he can continue creating video games, but with his own design.' The article also notes the apparent similarities between Zynga's Cafe World and Playfish's Restaurant City (the two most popular Facebook games). Is that cloning or theft? Should clones be welcomed or abhorred?"

Every little picofarad has a nanohenry all its own. -- Don Vonada