Slatterz writes "Sony and Microsoft are poised to do battle in virtual worlds. The console kids both announced Second Life-style virtual environments at the Tokyo Game Show today. Both games show striking similarities to Linden Lab's creation. Players are represented by avatars which live a virtual life — engaging in relationships, going about day-to-day business."
Gamasutra is running a story about how the "hard" modes in games can be designed to include difficulty, but not frustration. They give some examples of the changes made to several games as their difficulty settings are increased, and they discuss some of the simple options, such as increasing the number of required button presses, or increasing the relevant numbers by an arbitrary amount (a boss on easy may hit you for 10 damage, whereas a boss on hard may act the same but hit you for 100 damage). They also talk about maintaining the "illusion of fairness." Quoting: "Bungie's Halo series is often praised for its excellent execution of difficult play in the form of its Legendary mode. Not surprisingly, the team took a very well-thought out approach to introducing and tuning difficult play. Halo 3 gameplay designer Francois Boucher-Genesse explains that it's not just a case of one formula fits all. 'It's not like we just cranked every enemy's health by 200% and called it Legendary,' he said. 'There was a good amount of custom changes made per mission as well. In that sense we encourage players with previous Halo experience to play at least on Heroic, since they get to see the game in its full scale.'"
darthcamaro writes "Mozilla has now come around and is taking seriously the concerns of Ubuntu and others about the Firefox EULA, which we discussed vigorously the other day. In fact Mozilla told InternetNews.com that the EULA itself is flawed and will be replaced with something else. Quoting Mozilla Chairperson Mitchell Baker from the article: 'There is a need for something, something to explain the license[.] I'm not sure I would call it a EULA because that has a meaning to many people of adding restrictions to software and we won't be doing that. We'll be having a license agreement much as Red Hat has a license agreement that says the software is available under the GPL and don't use our trademarks et cetera. So we'll have a license agreement but we won't think of it as a EULA.'"
IWonderWhatICanPutInThisFieldWithoutBeingDeleted writes "A man who once worked for Intel and then jumped ship to join AMD has been accused of stealing his erstwhile employer's chip secrets. Federal detectives allege they discovered 19 CAD designs and more than 100 pages of confidential Intel documentation."
ohxten sends news from earlier this month that GCC 4.3.0's new behavior of not clearing the direction flag before a string operation on x86 systems poses problems with kernels — such as Linux and BSD — that do not clear the direction flag before a signal handler is called, despite the ABI specification.
eldavojohn writes "If you're a Web developer, you should check out a quick post about the number of types, methods, & fields in the .NET framework. This was done using NDepend. The numbers are quite large — e.g. 39,509 types. The blogger went on to generate tree maps and a dependency matrix."
"Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach him how to fish and he will eat for a lifetime." Chinese Proverb IT Degree = ~Like being given a fishing rod that only works in a few ponds CS Degree = ~Like learning to fish, make fishing tools, find new lakes with fish, make lakes with fish, etc....