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XBox (Games)

Casual Play on 360 Live Arcade 48

twoallbeefpatties writes "Columnist Chris Suellentrop writes an article for Slate describing how his desire for casual gaming is fulfilled more by the 360 than the Wii due to the presence of simpler games available over Live Arcade. The availability of oldschool Nintendo games on the Wii network fulfills his nostalgic hardcore gaming side, but when he really wants to just relax, he'd rather be trying to top his Live high score on Root Beer Tapper. Says Suellentrop: 'The Nintendo Wii will transform the way we play games at home. But the Xbox 360, through its Xbox Live service, is building something equally compelling: a celestial arcade, where casual and hard-core gamers alike can connect over the Internet and find like-minded souls. For an old-timer like me, the celestial arcade also lets me feel like I still have some of my old gaming mojo.'"

Submission + - Microsoft not gaining ground in search

klblastone writes: Despite Microsoft's massive investment in promoting and improving web-based search, the company still has less than ten percent of search engine marketshare. By comparison, Google is hitting about 50 percent, and still growing. Obviously, gimmicks like the interactive Ms. Dewey aren't helping Microsoft compete with Google in the search arena. Microsoft's deep pockets don't seem to be of much use in the highly competitive and dynamic web services market. As the web 2.0 revolution pushes more and more software online where open standards dominate and Microsoft can't leverage its desktop software monopoly, will the company start lose relevance?

Submission + - RIAA slams FAIR USE Act

Tyler Too writes: The RIAA has weighed in on the just-introduced FAIR USE Act, and to no one's surprise, they're not at all happy with it. 'The FAIR USE Act "would repeal the DMCA and legalize hacking," says the RIAA. "It would reverse the Supreme Court's decision in Grokster and allow electronics companies to induce others to break the law for their own profit."' Looks like the CEA's lobbyists and the RIAA's lobbyists will be battling it out on Capitol Hill.

Submission + - Watermark system scours the net for infringement

Almond Cookie writes: What if all copyrighted material contained watermarks, and software could scan videos and images online for those watermarks in order to report back to the content maker? A new patent filing shows plans for such a system to crawl sites like YouTube and MySpace for images or video that's copyrighted, which seems to focus more on casual piracy than that being done on P2P networks. Will it really work though? From the article:

For the system to work, players at multiple levels would need to get involved. Broadcasters would need to add identifying watermarks to their broadcast, in cooperation with copyright holders, and both parties would need to register their watermarks with the system. Then, in the event that a user capped a broadcast and uploaded it online, the scanner system would eventually find it and report its location online. [...] Generally we've laughed off most watermarking solutions because they seemed like solutions in search of a problem. Now that Google has learned the hard way that content owners want to be paid when their content shows up on YouTube, we may see more of these "solutions" in the future.
XBox (Games)

Submission + - XBOX360 Hypervisor Security Protection hacked

ACTRAiSER writes: "A recent Post on Bugtraq claims the hack of the XBOX360 Security Protection Hypervisor. It includes sample code as well. "We have discovered a vulnerability in the Xbox 360 hypervisor that allows privilege escalation into hypervisor mode. Together with a method to inject data into non-privileged memory areas, this vulnerability allows an attacker with physical access to an Xbox 360 to run arbitrary code such as alternative operating systems with full privileges and full hardware access.""
United States

Submission + - DHS testing new Data Mining program

An anonymous reader writes: According to an article in the Washington Post, the Department of Homeland Security is testing a data-mining program that would attempt to spot terrorists by combing vast amounts of information about average Americans, such as flight and hotel reservations. The GAO is unhappy with the privacy violations involved. They criticize the government's use of citizens' private information without proper notification and using the data for a purpose different than originally envisioned.

Can Apple Penetrate the Corporation? 500

coondoggie sends us a NetworkWorld story on the prospects for Apple gaining market share in the corporation. A number of factors are helping to catch the eye of those responsible for upgrading desktops and servers, the article claims: "Apple's shift to the Intel architecture; the inclusion of infrastructure and interoperability hooks, such as directory services, in the Mac OS X Server; dual-boot capabilities; clustering and storage technology; third-party virtualization software; and comparison shopping, which is being fostered by migration costs and hardware overhauls associated with Microsoft's Vista." On this last point, one network admin is quoted: "The changes in Vista are significant enough that we think we can absorb the change going to Macs just as easily as going to Vista."
The Internet

Submission + - Comcast challenges FCC over subscriber limits

illeism writes: Ars Technica is reporting that Comcast is challenging the FCC over subscriber limits.
FTA — Comcast has decided to challenge the Federal Communications Commission's "unofficial" cap on cable system ownership. In a filing earlier this month, Comcast criticized the FCC's 30 percent horizontal ownership cap, saying that limits on how many subscribers a given cable operator can service are no longer necessary.

Fair Use Bill Introduced To Change DMCA 152

An anonymous reader tips us to a Washington Post blogger's note that Representatives Boucher (D-VA) and Dolittle (R-CA) today introduced the FAIR USE Act to update the DMCA to "make it easier for digital media consumers to use the content they buy." Boucher's statement on the bill says, "The Digital Millennium Copyright Act dramatically tilted the copyright balance toward complete copyright protection at the expense of the public's right to fair use..." The Post failed to note the history. Boucher has been introducing this bill for years; here are attempts from 2002 and 2003. The chances may be better in this Congress. And reader Rolling maul writes in to note Ars's disappointment with the bill for leaving the DMCA's anti-circumvention provisions intact: "Yet again, the bill does not appear to deliver on what most observers want: clear protection for making personal use copies of encrypted materials. There is no allowance for consumers to make backups of DVDs, to strip encryption from music purchased online so that it can be played anywhere, or to generally do any of the things that the DMCA has made illegal."

January Game Sales Explode, Wii Dominates 478

njkid1, as he does from time to time, passed us a link to a story on the GameDaily site. Today they're discussing the January NPD numbers for the games industry. In short, they're terrific. Software sales totaled $549 million for the month, up a staggering 53 percent over last year. Hardware sales were brisk as well, with the Wii selling around 436,000 units. Trailing behind were Microsoft and Sony, with 360 hitting 294,000 units sold and the PS3 selling 244,000 units. January had an extra week, which resulted in 'inflated' sales, but even after normalizing the data things were tremendous for the games industry in a month where there's normally a post-holiday slump.

Submission + - Vista not selling well because of...piracy?

techmuse writes: DailyTech reports that Steve Ballmer blames the slow sales of Windows Vista (down 60% compared to the launch of Windows XP) not on the 5 year delay in shipping, the failure to ship before the holiday season, the high system requirements, the poorly implemented user account control, the significantly harsher licensing restrictions, the price increase, the increased interest in Mac OS and Linux, or the much stricter antipiracy technologies already built into the OS. Rather, he blames the entire drop in sales on piracy, and promises to step up antipiracy efforts. What do you think?

Submission + - Haiku Getting UserlandFS, NetFS

Baba Ram Dass writes: "Developer Ingo Weinhold recently checked UserlandFS into the Haiku repository, which is "a stable and flexible environment for file system add-on development" for Haiku. Also checked in were several file system modules, including ReiserFS 3.6 (read-only) and NetFS, Haiku's networking file system. Screenshot of NetFS running in BeOS R5 can be found here."

Diplomacy is the art of saying "nice doggy" until you can find a rock.