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Comment: I have been wondering this about television (Score 1) 743

by bbzzdd (#27153215) Attached to: Young People Prefer "Sizzle Sounds" of MP3 Format

Considering I grew up with vinyl records and cassette tapes, I absolutely prefer the sound of records over CD/MP3 and it seems the kids of today prefer digital. My pops and tape hiss are their sizzle and "magic castle sound" (that's the name I give to the chimey artifacts you hear on overly-compressed audio, mainly spoken word).

I've been wondering lately if kids are going to look back fondly at compressed video, macroblocking, banding, etc the way I do when I think back at the scanlines, snow, and 60Hz buzz of tubes sets with analog signals.

Comment: Amazon Sales Rank == tea leaves (Score 5, Insightful) 407

by bbzzdd (#21545865) Attached to: Heavily Discounted Zune Outpacing iPod Sales
Amazon Sales Rank in no way represents reality. Just last week many members the HD-DVD rah-rah camp prematurely declared victory for software sales based on Amazon rankings showing HD-DVD titles outselling Blu-Ray by a large margin. In reality Nielsen VideoScan came back to show Blu-Ray taking the week 73:27.

For the entire month of July the PS3 was in the top three of the Video Game category at Amazon, seemingly outselling even the Wii most of the month. The Xbox 360 was barely in the top 20 for the month. When the smoke cleared the Wii outsold the PS3 by over 300% and the 360 beat it by 11k units.

Amazon Sales Rank is useless for comparing product sales.

Gears To Be A Trilogy, Ousts Halo 2 52

Posted by Zonk
from the popular-game dept.
Epic's Gears of War has finally ousted Halo 2 as the most-played game on the Xbox Live service. It's not too surprising, given the game's popularity. Epic was apparently expecting that; GameDaily spoke with Microsoft Corporate VP of Global Marketing Jeff Bell, who as much as says that Gears is the first chapter in a trilogy. From the article: "Gamers today demand an excellent story in their games; they need to know what's at stake, and why they should care. Excitement tops the list of desired emotions, but they want to be scared, too. They want the rush that comes from being scared by an enemy or trapped in a dark room and escaping with their lives. The goal of this ad is to establish Marcus Fenix as the hero of the Gears of War trilogy. The intention is to create emotional connection with him that is lacking in typical third-person action title marketing, by communicating a sense of desperation, loneliness, overwhelming odds, and the ultimate futility of the situation he faces."

Gears of War Review 214

Posted by Zonk
from the more-than-zero-innovation-less-than-total dept.
Reaching for perfection is a funny thing. By aiming for a high mark of quality, you ensure that your end product is as good as you can possibly make it. The reality is, of course, that perfection is unattainable. Every work of art, be it book, painting, movie, or videogame, is going to be flawed in some way; this is the reality of being human, after all. Gears of War, on that note, is far from perfect. The much-hyped and highly anticipated Xbox 360 shooter from Epic suffers from some truly terrible AI, a brief single-player campaign, and some unfortunately rough storytelling. Just the same, the flaws in this particular gem make the whole gleam that much brighter. Gears may just be the best game to be released on the 360 this year, and deserves the attention of anyone who enjoys holding a controller. Read on for my impressions of CliffyB's masterpiece, spots and all.

Windows Chief Suggests Vista Won't Need Antivirus 361

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the steadfastly-bulletproof dept.
LadyDarth writes "During a telephone conference with reporters yesterday, outgoing Microsoft co-president Jim Allchin, while touting the new security features of Windows Vista, which was released to manufacturing yesterday, told a reporter that the system's new lockdown features are so capable and thorough that he was comfortable with his own seven-year-old son using Vista without antivirus software installed."

Lik-Sang Is Out Of Business 722

Posted by Zonk
from the sony-sony-sony dept.
AKAImBatman writes "Thanks to Sony's heavy handed tactics, popular game importer Lik-Sang is closing its doors. All Lik-Sang customers are having their orders cancelled and refunded. Any attempt to place a new order redirects your web browser to the news of Lik-Sang's demise." From the announcement: "'Today is Sony Europe victory about PSP, tomorrow is Sony Europe's ongoing pressure about PlayStation 3. With this precedent set, next week could already be the stage for complaints from Sony America about the same thing, or from other console manufacturers about other consoles to other regions, or even from any publisher about any specific software title to any country they don't see fit. It's the beginning of the end... of the World as we know it', stated Pascal Clarysse, formerly known as the Marketing Manager of 'Blame it on Sony. That's the latest dark spot in their shameful track record as gaming industry leader. The Empire finally won, a few dominating retailers from the UK probably will rejoice the news, but everybody else in the gaming world lost something today.'" Many thanks to Sony for ruining it for the rest of us. I hope that your business model makes up for the customer goodwill you're lighting on fire today. Update: 10/24 21:34 GMT by Z : Eurogamer has Sony's response to Lik-Sang's accusations.

Microsoft Confirms New Music Player 415

Posted by Zonk
from the it's-on dept.
Udo Schmitz writes "It's official now. Reuters confirms the rumors that Microsoft wants to take on Apple's iPod and iTunes. From the article: 'Microsoft Corp. said on Friday it plans to release a new music and entertainment player and accompanying software under the "Zune" brand this year, in a belated attempt to challenge the dominance of Apple Computer Inc.'s iPod player ... Microsoft sources said Robbie Bach, president of Microsoft's entertainment and devices division, is working with J. Allard, vice president of its Xbox team, on the digital media player/software project.'"

The Ten Greatest Years in Gaming 351

Posted by Zonk
from the when-i-was-seventeen-i-played-a-very-good-game dept.
Ground Glass writes "Next Generation has posted an abbreviated version of gaming's history by only chronicling the high points - the ten best years in the history of the medium. While it doesn't cover 1998 (and therefore forgets the birthdays of Half-Life, Starcraft, and Zelda: Ocarina of Time), most of the memorable moments are there. What was your best year for gaming?"

Why Vista Release Date Really Slipped 562

Posted by samzenpus
from the better-excuses dept.
anzev writes "A team manager for Windows for 5 years has decided to write a blog-essay about what caused Windows Vista project to miss the due date. Philip tells us in the blog, that Windows developers are writing an average of 5000 lines of code (which is *only* 1200 lines less than the national average of 6200 lines of code per year). He addresses issues like the Vista code being too complicated, the processes the developers have to follow too complex and a lot more. All in all it gives a nice insight into why Vista will be late, from a different perspective. Oh, and Slashdot gets mentioned too ;-)."

RIAA Claims P2P Has Been Contained 388

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the desperate-spin-control dept.
Magorak writes "USA Today is reporting the RIAA now claims that the issues surrounding P2P and piracy have been contained and are no longer as big an issue as they once were. From the article; 'The problem has not been eliminated,' says association CEO Mitch Bainwol. 'But we believe digital downloads have emerged into a growing, thriving business, and file-trading is flat.'"

Why Sony is Ready to Self Destruct 722

Posted by Zonk
from the doomcasting-a-console dept.
jammmma writes "Before even launching the PS3, Sony is ready to self destruct." From the article: "PS3 is doomed, thanks to Sony's ignorant attitude. None of us had the chance to seriously evaluate PS3 and the experience it has to offer. It's impossible without a series of titles and an official product at hand, but from where we stand, Sony's damaging attitude is all it takes to diminish the value of PS3. Kutaragi may be right in defending PS3; after all, he can't criticize his own product, but instead of exciting users with valuable features and winning them over so they can start saving, Kutaragi makes bearish statements in response to Nintendo's announcement and Microsoft's take on Sony. Last I heard companies were at E3 to impress media personnel, which yielded positive publicity, not make childish remarks when chances were against them."

Microsoft To Launch 'Question' Site 123

Posted by Zonk
from the bandwagon-getting-crowded dept.
prostoalex writes "Microsoft will try to make the search process more social, Business Week reports, by creating a question-and-answer Web site. They certainly are entering a quite crowded niche." From the article: "It's one of the many ways that Web companies, including Yahoo and Google, are trying to set themselves apart with social search, a targeted pursuit of information that's influenced by the preferences of a person's peer group. Social search is a method whose time has come, Osmer says. Microsoft research shows that generic search engines can't answer 50% of queries asked, he says. The new tool, whose name he didn't disclose, will be 'one of the larger projects for us' this year, Osmer says."

Open Season On Open Source? 173

Posted by Zonk
from the everyone-becomes-the-man-eventually dept.
conq writes "BusinessWeek has a piece looking at the possible future of open source. The article's conclusion is that it might be grim. From the piece: 'Software giant Oracle Corp. has acquired two small open-source companies and is in negotiations to buy at least one more. Many experts believe this is the beginning of a broader trend in which established tech companies scoop up promising open-source startups. While the validation is thrilling it's also unsettling. Many young idealists who set out to create an alternative to the tech Establishment now find themselves becoming part of it.'"

No Backdoor in Vista 269

Posted by Zonk
from the inappropriate-comments-aplenty dept.
mytrip wrote to mention a C|Net article stating that Vista will not have a security backdoor after all. From the article: "'The suggestion is that we are working with governments to create a back door so that they can always access BitLocker-encrypted data,' Niels Ferguson, a developer and cryptographer at Microsoft, wrote Thursday on a corporate blog. 'Over my dead body,' he wrote in his post titled Back-door nonsense."

Never worry about theory as long as the machinery does what it's supposed to do. -- R. A. Heinlein