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Businesses

Failed Games That Damaged Or Killed Their Companies 397

Posted by Soulskill
from the cause-or-symptom dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Develop has an excellent piece up profiling a bunch of average to awful titles that flopped so hard they harmed or sunk their studio or publisher. The list includes Haze, Enter The Matrix, Hellgate: London, Daikatana, Tabula Rasa, and — of course — Duke Nukem Forever. 'Daikatana was finally released in June 2000, over two and a half years late. Gamers weren't convinced the wait was worth it. A buggy game with sidekicks (touted as an innovation) who more often caused you hindrance than helped ... achieved an average rating of 53. By this time, Eidos is believed to have invested over $25 million in the studio. And they called it a day. Eidos closed the Dallas Ion Storm office in 2001.'"

Comment: Re:Good Riddance (Score 1) 796

by oolon (#30472550) Attached to: UK Wants To Phase Out Checks By 2018
Bankers draft for that then! In the UK the maximum electronic transfer in a day is 10k, so not enough to buy a house. The problem with electronic transfers is the possibility of mistakes, with a cheque it is the responsibility of the person receiving it to check the details are correct. With an electronic transfer, if it is sent to the wrong place, tuff the money is gone. I use direct debts for bill, electronic transfers from between my own accounts, however give cheques or cash for Ad Hoc payments not to be repeated.

Comment: Re:Unclassified games (Score 1) 200

by oolon (#28470919) Attached to: Australian Web Filter To Censor Downloaded Games
Seeing as the Encrypted channel could be connecting on any port to any computer on the internet, how will they know it a game update download they are blocking? So they can block games they know about, how are they going to provent the access of proxies, vpns, and every other kind of tunnel out there. For services like steam how are they going know a bad game is being downloaded not a good one? I really wish politicians would atleast try to understand how things work, the internet is a network of peers not servers and restricted clients, and not every things is http!
Nintendo

New Super Mario Bros. Wii To Include Official "Cheat" 275

Posted by Soulskill
from the i-can-wiin dept.
phlack writes "Yahoo Games has an article describing a new mode in Nintendo's upcoming New Super Mario Bros. Wii that will allow the player to activate a 'demo' mode to get out of a hard situation. Nintendo plans on incorporating this into future games. Is this a good idea (to help relieve frustrations) or just sanctioned cheating?" They actually patented this system as well.

Comment: Re:Use Full Tunnels (Score 1) 264

by oolon (#27941749) Attached to: Dealing With ISPs That Use NXDomain Redirection?
The Cisco VPN client implements a full tunnel mode rather well, however I did notice the one thing it didn't block was "DHCP" broadcasts, I wrote a proof of concept to see if I could signal over it, I was intending to write a full tunnel, but ended up finding it easier to virtualise the laptop, then tunnel over a serial connection to escape from the jail.

Comment: Re:Use Full Tunnels (Score 2, Insightful) 264

by oolon (#27941381) Attached to: Dealing With ISPs That Use NXDomain Redirection?
The down side of this is people cannot use their local printers/file servers. I find it really annoying having to reverse tunnel out of corporate VPNs to get access to my local systems. Clearly as others have said any VPN client should change the DNS settings to use the internal DNS before any external one, I didn't know some didn't.
Cellphones

Universal Remote's Days Are Numbered 429

Posted by timothy
from the get-it-numbered-numbered-like-the-keys dept.
theodp writes "While the universal remote has served humanity with distinction, its days are numbered, and your smartphone is to blame. Whether you want to control your music, your television or your PowerPoint presentation, there's probably a solution using your phone. Try as it might, the universal remote simply can't navigate the digital world the way the smartphone can — it's a lot easier to put the remote's abilities in the smartphone than vice versa."
PC Games (Games)

+ - Is the Steam client a spyware/trojan?->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "The Steam client (from Valve Software) is becoming more and more popular every day. It's claimed that it has already been downloaded by 15 million people. Recently EA announced that they will be bundling Steam client with many of their most popular titles in such a way that the Steam client must be installed in order to run the games. Sega/CA, who publish the Total War games have also announced a forced bundling of the Steam client with the upcomig release of Empire: Total War ( there is an informative thread discussion at http://forums.totalwar.org/vb/showthread.php?t=111814 , but the board is run by CA and they have locked the thread).

Although Steam is billed as a mechanism for enabling online and multiplayer gameplay, it also has a DRM component — part of what the Steam client does is run in the background, spying on many of the processes running on the user's PC and examining local files.

What's especially sinister, though, is that the Steam subscriber agreement ( http://store.steampowered.com/subscriber_agreement/ ), which has to be agreed to in order to install the Steam client, does not restrict the activities of the Steam client at all, and in fact, explicitly grants Steam the right to install any software that they wish onto the user's PC without notifying or informing the user.

In addition, the Steam subscriber agreement also gives Steam/Valve the right to resell or distribute all of the user's information (including data captured by the Steam client) in a variety of ways.

Here are some relevant sections of the Steam subscriber agreement (EMPHASIS ADDED):

-----
2. LICENSES
A. License Terms.
Steam and your Subscription(s) require the AUTOMATIC DOWNLOAD AND INSTALLATION OF SOFTWARE AND OTHER CONTENT AND UPDATES onto your computer ("Steam Software"). You may not use Steam Software for any purpose other than the permitted access to Steam and your Subscriptions. You understand that for reasons that include, without limitation, system security, stability, and multiplayer interoperability, Steam may need to automatically update, pre-load, create new versions or otherwise enhance the Steam Software and accordingly, the system requirements to use the Steam Software may change over time. You understand that neither this Agreement nor the terms associated with a particular Subscription entitles you to future updates, new versions or other enhancements of the Steam Software associated with a particular Subscription although VALVE MAY CHOOSE TO PROVIDE SUCH UPDATES, ETC. IN ITS SOLE DISCRETION.

7. USER GENERATED INFORMATION
"User Generated Information" means any information made available to other users through your use of multi-user features of Steam or to Valve through your use of the Steam Software. User Generated Information may include, but is not limited to, chat, forum posts, screen names, game selections, player performances, usage data, suggestions about Valve products or services, and error notifications. Subject to the Valve privacy policy referenced in Section 1 above, as applicable, you expressly GRANT VALVE THE COMPLETE AND IRREVOCABLE RIGHT TO USE, REPRODUCE, MODIFY, CREATE DERIVATIVE WORKS FROM, DISTRIBUTE, TRANSMIT, BROADCAST, AND OTHERWISE COMMUNICATE, AND PUBLICLY DISPLAY AN PERFORM THE USER GENERATED INFORMATION and derivative works thereof in any form, anywhere, with or without attribution to you, and without any notice or compensation to you of any kind.
-----

The reason why this story should be slashdotted is that the Steam client appears to have many of the characteristics of trojan/spyware, but because it is being bundled with games from big name companies like EA in such a way that installing it is a pre-requisite to using the game, a lot of people are unknowingly putting spyware onto their machines, and giving Valve the right to monitor all their online gaming activity as well as push down any code they want to the Steam client. This is, in my opinion, a bad thing. Think if Microsoft were to acquire Valve? Or what if a government agency tried to use the Steam client to eavesdrop on people's PCs? Or what if Valve's servers are compromised by hackers? People need to be warned about the Steam client.

Thanks, and I hope you will feature this prominently on the Slashdot."

Link to Original Source
Music

Guitar Hero: Metallica Setlist Released 82

Posted by Soulskill
from the exit-light-enter-night dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Metallica has announced the setlist for their upcoming Guitar Hero game. They have a wide variety of songs from their different albums. There are 28 Metallica songs and 21 from other artists. They have also confirmed the release date of March 29th. The list includes Enter Sandman, The Unforgiven, One, and For Whom the Bell Tolls. Fans who pre-order the game will have an opportunity to get an extra bass drum pedal to keep up with Lars Ulrich's beats."

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