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Social Networks

Cow Clicker Boils Down Facebook Games 237

mjn writes "Game designer and academic Ian Bogost announces Cow Clicker, a Facebook game implementing the mechanics of the Facebook-games genre stripped to their core. You get a cow, which you can click on every six hours. You earn additional clicks if your friends in your pasture also click. You can buy premium cows with 'mooney,' and also use your mooney to buy more clicks. You can buy mooney with real dollars, or earn some free bonus mooney if you spam up your feed with Cow Clicker activity. A satire of Facebook games, but actually as genuine a game as the non-satirical games are. And people actually play it, perhaps confirming Bogost's view that the genre of games is largely just 'brain hacks that exploit human psychology in order to make money,' which continue to work even when the users are openly told what's going on."
Hardware Hacking

iPhone DSLR Prototype 1.0 172

An anonymous reader writes with this excerpt: "Here are Photos/Pictures of my iPhone DSLR Prototype 1.0. This is my first attempt at putting together an iPhone DSLR. You might ask 'Why pair an iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, or iPhone 4 with a DSLR lens?' Why not!" Prototype or not, it's a cool project.

What's Coming In KDE 4.4 423

buzzboy writes "If you're wondering what the folks over at KDE have been cooking up for the next major release, KDE 4.4, well, quite a bit as it turns out. In a lengthy interview, KDE core developer and spokesperson for the project Sebastian Kugler details the myriad changes that are coming with the 4.4 release — the fifth major release since KDE 4.0 debuted to much criticism nearly two years ago. The project has closed about 18,000 bugs over the past six months and the pace of development is snowballing. The 'heavy-lifting' in libraries and frameworks for 4.0 is now starting to pay off. Perhaps the biggest change is in the development of a semantic desktop. According to Kugler, 'If you tag an image in your image viewer, the tag becomes visible in your desktop search. That's how it should be, right?' There is also a picture gallery of KDE 4.4 (svn) screenshots so you can see what it will look like."

Now Linux Can Get Viruses, Via Wine 343

fsufitch writes "Wine has advanced enough to make Linux not immune to Windows viruses. However, just like many Wine applications, it takes a bit of effort to get the program off the ground. Also, just like some Windows programs running via Wine, not all features may work — in this case, the crippling of the system, immunity to the task manager, identity theft, etc."

The Night Sky In 800 Million Pixels 120

An anonymous reader recommends a project carried out recently by Serge Brunier and Frédéric Tapissier. Brunier traveled to the top of a volcano in the Canary Islands and to the Chilean desert to capture 1,200 images — each one a 6-minute exposure — of the night sky. The photos were taken between August 2008 and February 2009 and required more than 30 full nights under the stars. Tapissier then processed the images together into a single zoomable, 800-megapixel, 360-degree image of the sky in which the Earth is embedded. "It is the sky that everyone can relate to that I wanted to show — it's constellations... whose names have nourished all childhoods, it's myths and stories of gods, titans, and heroes shared by all civilisations since Homo became sapiens. The image was therefore made as man sees it, with a regular digital camera." The image is the first of three portraits produced by the European Southern Observatory's GigaGalaxy Zoom project.

Goodbye Apple, Hello Music Production On Ubuntu 513

Adam Wrzeski notes a piece up at Create Digital Music by musician Kim Cascone (artist's bio) on switching from Apple to Linux for audio production: "The [Apple] computer functioned as both sound design studio and stage instrument. I worked this way for ten years, faithfully following the upgrade path set forth by Apple and the various developers of the software I used. Continually upgrading required a substantial financial commitment on my part. ... I loaded up my Dell with a selection of Linux audio applications and brought it with me on tour as an emergency backup to my tottering PowerBook. The Mini 9 could play back four tracks of 24-bit/96 kHz audio with effects — not bad for a netbook. The solution to my financial constraint became clear, and I bought a refurbished Dell Studio 15, installed Ubuntu on it, and set it up for sound production and business administration. The total cost was around $600 for the laptop plus a donation to a software developer — a far cry from the $3000 price tag and weeks of my time it would have cost me to stay locked-in to Apple. After a couple of months of solid use, I have had no problems with my laptop or Ubuntu. Both have performed flawlessly, remaining stable and reliable."

"What people have been reduced to are mere 3-D representations of their own data." -- Arthur Miller