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+ - Atari Files Bankruptcy->

Submitted by
halls-of-valhalla
halls-of-valhalla writes "Atari was one of the very first video game companies, starting way back in 1972. However, this long-running name that brought us titles like Pong and Asteroids is having major financial issues. Atari's United States branches have filed bankruptcy on Sunday, Janary 20 2013. This bankruptcy is an attempt to separate themselves from their French parent which has quite a bit of debt. The plan is to split from the French parent and find a buyer to form a private company."
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Android

+ - Sony Launches Tablet Z - World's Thinnest and Lightest 10in Tablet->

Submitted by
DavidGilbert99
DavidGilbert99 writes "Sony's has launched the world's thinnest and lightest 10in tablet in the shape of the Xperia Tablet Z, which is just 6.9mm thin and weighs just 495g — which compares pretty well with the 9.4mm and 662g iPad 4.

Sony is obviously hoping its Xperia range, which recently saw the launch of the Xperia Z smartphone, will be able to challenge the iPad/iPhone and the Samsung' Galaxy range.

Is thin and light enough to make a difference though?"

Link to Original Source

Comment: Sellout to special interests (Score 3, Insightful) 181

by abbamouse (#39218627) Attached to: Open Ministry Crowdsources Laws In Finland

Sounds like a recipe for special interest groups to dominate politics. The same is true of initiative measures in the United States -- they are largely used by well-funded narrow interest groups to advance their agendas at the expense of the public. Indeed, the whole point of the signature requirements is to keep one person (of modest means) from making a difference. As Olson predicted, these schemes lead to the victory of highly committed, well-organized, resource-rich minority positions over the larger but diffuse interests of the public,

Comment: Re:He got a little over two years out of that live (Score 1) 1613

by abbamouse (#37623718) Attached to: Steve Jobs Dead At 56

THIS.
1. By putting himself on ALL the lists, he gained an advantage over others.
2. There were almost certainly people below him whose lives could have been extended by many more years by that liver.

Most people would do the same, but it's still wrong. It's like shoving someone out of the way to get on the remaining lifeboat. Except that in the analogy, your odds of living given the boat are much less than theirs -- and you know this.

Piracy

Estimating Game Piracy More Accurately 459

Posted by Soulskill
from the arrrrbitrary-numbers dept.
An anonymous reader tips a post up at the Wolfire blog that attempts to pin down a reasonable figure for the amount of sales a game company loses due to piracy. We've commonly heard claims of piracy rates as high as 80-90%, but that clearly doesn't translate directly into lost sales. The article explains a better metric: going on a per-pirate basis rather than a per-download basis. Quoting: "iPhone game developers have also found that around 80% of their users are running pirated copies of their game (using jailbroken phones). This immediately struck me as odd — I suspected that most iPhone users had never even heard of 'jailbreaking.' I did a bit more research and found that my intuition was correct — only 5% of iPhones in the US are jailbroken. World-wide, the jailbreak statistics are highest in poor countries — but, unsurprisingly, iPhones are also much less common there. The highest estimate I've seen is that 10% of worldwide iPhones are jailbroken. Given that there are so few jailbroken phones, how can we explain that 80% of game copies are pirated? The answer is simple — the average pirate downloads a lot more games than the average customer buys. This means that even though games see that 80% of their copies are pirated, only 10% of their potential customers are pirates, which means they are losing at most 10% of their sales."

Comment: Re:excuse me, mr. idiot (Score 1) 504

by abbamouse (#26186611) Attached to: An In-Depth Look At Game Piracy

if you had seen french revolutionaries in 1789, you would want to spray them with insecticide. it was a total stampede of barbarians. but then, in 2-3 years' time, it has become the very thing that awarded your sorry ass with the modern social guidelines about human rights, civil conduct we know today. ...and in one more year the Great Terror began. Indeed, we can thank the revolutionaries for introducing the word "terrorism" to our modern vocabulary.

Comment: Re:saying. "Fast forward to the 21st century" (Score 2, Insightful) 504

by abbamouse (#26186557) Attached to: An In-Depth Look At Game Piracy

That means that prices will simply be raised until many consumers simply cannot afford it (arguments like the original articles claims about economies of scale simply indicate lack of economic understanding; less piracy would mean _higher_ price, monopoly pricing limits are completely driven by customer dropoff, economies of scale apply to competitively enforced pricing).

Yup. The claims that piracy results in higher prices are generally false. It results in lower prices for any given piece of software. Its real negative consequence is the result of the lower prices -- some niche software becomes uneconomical to develop since it cannot be sold for a price that will recoup development costs. So we get cheaper mass-market games and a dearth of niche games because of pirates (it seems that no game is too obscure to be pirated). The funny thing is that those who complain about the homogenization of culture by the RIAA may actually be contributing to it by making it unprofitable to sell lesser-known artists (or pieces of software) at any price.

One last comment: There might be a price rise in some areas, where two pieces of software compete against one another. If both are pirated, the duopoly might collapse into a monopoly, with concomitant higher pricing. In theory, a new entrant might emerge -- but it may be that everyone knows duopoly pricing is unprofitable given the competition from pirates.

Sci-Fi

+ - Heroes Star joins Nimoy as Spock for Trek XI

Submitted by Interl0per
Interl0per (1045948) writes "It has been revealed at Comic-Con that Zachary Quinto of Heroes has been cast as Spock in the J.J. Abrams film. Leonard Nimoy joined Quinto on stage for the revelation and it seems that Nimoy will also be involved in the production. The full write-up is here."
Privacy

+ - Papua considers tracking chips in HIV patients->

Submitted by The Iso
The Iso (1088207) writes "Papua is a province of Indonesia comprising the western half of the island of New Guinea, and Papua New Guinea is an independent country comprising the eastern half. This story concerns the province. In an effort to control the spread of HIV, the Papua Legislative Council is considering tracking the movements and activities of HIV patients. Is this acceptable to combat the disease?"
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NASA

+ - NASA astronauts drank before launch->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "This may not be a good day for NASA. AP reports, at least twice, astronauts were allowed to fly after flight surgeons and other astronauts warned they were so drunk they posed a flight-safety risk, an aviation weekly reported Thursday, citing a special panel studying astronaut health.

The independent panel also found "heavy use of alcohol" before launch that was within the standard 12-hour "bottle-to-throttle" rule, according to Aviation Week & Space Technology, which reported the finding on its Web site.

In Washington, the chairman of the House Science and Technology committee said he hadn't seen the report, "but if the reports of drunken astronauts being allowed to fly prove to be true, I think the agency will have a lot of explaining to do."

"That's not the 'right stuff' as far as I'm concerned," said Bart Gordon, D-Tenn."

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Google

+ - What Google Giveth, Google Can Taketh Away

Submitted by
Skidge
Skidge writes "With the previous story about the power of Google to effectively make your site "cease to exist", here's a story about how Google can direct its gaze to a small site and give a large boost in ad revenue, only to take it away when it decides the site really isn't worth it. From the article, "Google suddenly started sending search traffic to my pages, boosting my ad revenue by a significant amount. Just as suddenly, the search traffic dried up, sending me back into the gutter with the rest of the low-page-rank bums.""
Google

+ - Terrorists using Google Maps to plan attacks

Submitted by the Gray Mouser
the Gray Mouser (1013773) writes "Fox news is reporting that maps printed from the Google Maps website have been found during raids of terrorists' homes. The map had a British base at Basra palace marked with exact coordinates plotted out.

Interesting to note is that some soldiers stated they had considered suing Google if mortar shells had dropped on them."

13. ... r-q1

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