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New Diablo 3 Images; Design Wins Over Darkness 243

KingofGnG writes "The new Diablo III screenshots highlight the strong chromatic variations existing between the dungeons and the various stages ... It appears obvious, however, that all those details enriching the scenes, the crumbling parapets of the paths within the dungeons, the plants and the ragged drapes lightened by candles, would lose the best part of their raison d'etre if put in monochrome palettes inclined to black."

YouTube Bans Gun and Knife Videos In the UK 632

PatPending writes with a depressing excerpt from the UK's Metro: "The Google-owned video-sharing site YouTube has decided to introduce the ban [on weapons-related videos] for the UK only amid widespread unease about the increase in knife crime in the country. 'We recognise that there has been particular concern over videos in the UK that involve showing weapons with the aim of intimidation, and this is one of the areas we are addressing,' a YouTube spokesperson said. 'I would like to see other internet service providers follow suit to reinforce our message that violence will not be tolerated either on the internet or in the real world,' she said."

Stephen Hawking Unveils "Time Eater" Clock 198

gyrogeerloose writes "Stephen Hawking unveiled an unsettling clock in Cambridge on Friday. Designed by John Taylor — a British horologist and inventor whose thermostatic switch is incorporated in millions of electric appliances worldwide — the clock was conceived as a tribute to another British inventor, John Harrison. Harrison invented the grasshopper escapement in the early 18th Century, which resulted in extremely accurate mechanical time keeping and was instrumental in solving the Longitude Problem. Taylor's clock, which in entirely mechanical in operation but has no hands, uses a fearsome-looking 'demon grasshopper' as its escapement. 'I... wanted to depict that time is a destroyer — once a minute is gone you can't get it back' Taylor said. 'That's why my grasshopper is not a Disney character. He is a ferocious beast that over the seconds has his tongue lolling out, his jaws opening, then on the 59th second he gulps down time.' It also (purposely) only tells correct time once every five minutes. An excellent video of the clock in action, with an explanation of its workings by its inventor, is available on YouTube."

Slashdot's Disagree Mail Screenshot-sm 251

There is no shortage of comments about us selling out or running advertisements as stories. As you might expect there is no shortage of mail with the same theme. What I enjoy most about them is all the different corporate entities and sometimes political parties, that we are supposedly working for. If even half of them were true, I would have a stack of W-2s as long as my arm every year for the tax man. The truth of the matter is, nobody here sits in their Microsoft smart chair, talking on their minion iPhone, while playing in the Google money pool. (If someone knows how to get into the Google money pool, please send me a mail.) Conspiracy theories have been around as long as man, so I guess it should come as no surprise that Slashdot has a few of it's own. Read below to find out who is pulling our strings.

Microsoft Uses "I'm a PC" Character In New Ads 837

arcticstoat writes to tell us that in the wake of their largely unsuccessful Jerry Seinfeld ad campaign Microsoft is setting their sights directly on recent Apple ads by featuring the "I'm a PC" character in their new advertising campaign. "He then follows this with another phrase, such as 'and I've been made into a stereotype' before the advert shifts to a range of people performing a diverse assortment of jobs, all of which also say they're a PC. Among those featured are astronaut Bernard Harris, as well as religious author Deepak Chopra and 'Desperate Housewives' actress Eva Longoria. The ad also features a wide range of anonymous people, including a shark diver, a teacher and a guy with a beard."

Mozilla Admits Firefox EULA Is Flawed 312

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 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.'"
The Internet

Berners-Lee Wants Truth Ratings For Websites 535

holy_calamity writes "While introducing the new World Wide Web Foundation Tim Berners-Lee made also asked for a system of ratings to help people distinguish truth and untruth online. 'On the web the thinking of cults can spread very rapidly,' he said, saying that 'there needed to be new systems that would give websites a label for trustworthiness once they had been proved reliable sources.'"

Comment Re:simulation != game (Score 3, Interesting) 353

So what happens when a griefer guild shows up and slaughters all the wolves and bears in your forest? How do prevent this or can they even?

What prevents real-life griefers from doing so? For one thing it's a massive task, not easily accomplished by twenty or thirty people (even if they're expert hunters). Another thing is that they would attract attention from local police, then armed militia, and in most places armed militia is more combat-effective than any civilian organization. Just implement that in-game. And if a faction does manage to overcome armed opposition and the sheer amplitude and execute such an amazing feat, then I want to see the ecology ruin and the local economy plunge. Just make it easy to regenerate scenario procedurally (the nethack approach -- things may die, but then you just play again with new things). If the players managed to ruin the whole world, why not have creator gods come up with a new one? Why not challenge these players to destroy the new one too, patching the game to be less and less exploitable -- wouldn't it be much more rewarding to the griefer guild to be known as destroyers of worlds than "those guys who narf n00bs in the town"? Hire some professional writers to come up with convincing explanations, the possibilities are endless.

I know, most gamers are power trippers and your level 99 "hero" needs to be the Strongest Creature on Earth and single-handled trample entire societies and gamers would oppose to be less powerful than guards. I for one wouldn't mind less powerful characters in a more immersive world. Hell, I bet I'd feel more powerful if I could somehow affect the world, however slightly.

If it is so darn "not difficult", why haven't you written your own game and have a few hundred thousand subscribers already?

Er, because it takes hundreds of people and thousands of dollars to put a 3D MMO online? I did experiment with roguelikes; I hacked a bare-bones ecosystem in a weekend in Ruby, and now I'm (leisurely) playing with fractal terrain in Scheme. By now I'm convinced a simulation-centric (as opposed to stats-growing--centric) MMORPG is feasible; it just wasn't tried yet.


Google Claims User Content In Multiple Products 166

An anonymous reader writes "Google last week removed some language in its Chrome browser's terms of service that gave the company a license to any material displayed in the browser, but that language remains in several other Google products, including its Picasa photo service and its Blogger service."

Will W3C Accept DRM For Webfonts? 315

dotne writes "Microsoft has submitted Embedded OpenType (EOT) to W3C and a slimy campaign for EOT has been launched. EOT is a DRM layer on top of normal TrueType/Opentype files; EOT ties a font file to a certain web page or site and prevents reuse by other pages/sites. Microsoft's IE has supported EOT for years, but it has largely been ignored due to the clumsiness of having to regenerate font files when a page changes. Now that other browsers are moving to support normal TrueType and OpenType on the web (Safari, Opera, Mozilla, Prince), W3C is faced with a question: should they bless Microsoft's EOT for use on the web? Or, should they encourage normal font files on the web and help break Microsoft's forgotten monopoly?"

The Death of Nearly All Software Patents? 731

An anonymous reader writes "The Patent and Trademark Office has now made clear that its newly developed position on patentable subject matter will invalidate many and perhaps most software patents, including pioneering patent claims to such innovators as Google, Inc. In a series of cases including In re Nuijten, In re Comiskey and In re Bilski, the Patent and Trademark Office has argued in favor of imposing new restrictions on the scope of patentable subject matter set forth by Congress in article 101 of the Patent Act. In the most recent of these three — the currently pending en banc Bilski appeal — the Office takes the position that process inventions generally are unpatentable unless they 'result in a physical transformation of an article' or are 'tied to a particular machine.'"

Web 2.0 Lessons For Corporate Dev Teams 142

jcatcw writes "Quick, incremental updates, along with heavy user involvement, are key characteristics of the emerging software development methods championed by a new generation of Web 2.0 start-ups. A survey conducted for Computerworld showed that an overwhelming majority of the respondents said that traditional corporate development teams could benefit from Web 2.0 techniques, specifically the incremental feature releases, quick user feedback loops and quality assurance programs that include users. Fifty seven percent of the respondents said problem-solving and analytical skills will be key requirements for next generation developers. The bottom-line: corporate development teams need to get to know their users."

One of the Coolest Places In the Universe 338

phantomflanflinger writes "The Cern Laboratory, home of the Large Hadron Collider, is fast becoming one of the coolest places in the Universe. According to, the Large Hadron Collider is entering the final stages of being lowered to a temperature of 1.9 Kelvin (-271C; -456F) — colder than deep space. The LHC aims to re-create the conditions just after the Big Bang and continue the search for the Higgs boson."
It's funny.  Laugh.

Ubisoft Steals 'No-CD Crack' To Fix Rainbow 6: Vegas 2 434

Ariastis writes "UbiSoft has long been against No-CD patches. Referring to them on their forums would get you warned or banned. But now, they have just officially released a patch for Rainbow 6: Vegas 2, which, when opened in a hex editor, can easily be identified as coming from the RELOADED scene group, not from UbiSoft programmers. A picture of hex analysis is shown in the story. See? Piracy isn't that bad! It saves you from having to code fixes for your own games! (Watch the drama on the Ubi Forums before it gets scrubbed clean.)"
The Internet

The Pirate Bay's Plans To Encrypt the 'Net 297

Keeper Of Keys writes "According to, The Pirate Bay, those fun- and freedom-loving Swedes, have embarked on a project to encrypt all internet traffic, probably by means of an OS-level wrapper around all network connections, which would fall back to an unencrypted connection when the other end is not similarly equipped. The move has been prompted by a recent change in Swedish law, allowing the authorities to snoop on network traffic. This will be a boon to filesharers and anyone else concerned about authorities and trade groups' recent moves towards 'policing' network traffic at the ISP level."

Never trust an operating system.