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Dealing With Fairness and Balance In Video Games 192

MarkN writes "Video games are subject to a number of balance issues from which traditional games have largely stayed free. It can be hard finding players of comparable skill-level to create even match-ups, diverse gameplay options can quickly become irrelevant if someone finds a broken feature that beats everything else, and some online games make your ability to play competitively a question of how much time and money you've invested in a game, rather than the skill you possess. In this article, I talk about some of the issues relating to fairness and balance in games, in terms of the factors and strategies under the player's control, the game's role in potentially handicapping players, and the role a community of gamers plays in setting standards for how games are to be played. What are your thoughts on managing a 'fair and balanced' gaming experience?"

VoIP Legal Status Worldwide? 180

Cigarra writes "There was much public debate going on during the last several months here in Paraguay, regarding the 'liberation of Internet,' that is, the lifting of the restriction on ISPs to connect directly to international carriers. Up until this week, they were forced to hire wholesale service from the State run telco, Copaco. During the last month, when the new regulation was almost ready, the real reason supporting the monopoly made it to the headlines: Copaco would fight for the monopoly, fearing VoIP based telephony. Finally, the regulator Conatel resolved today to end the monopoly, but a ruling on VoIP legal status was postponed for 'further study.' I guess this kind of 'problem' arose almost everywhere else in the world, so I ask the international slashdotters crowd: what is VoIP's legal status in your country / state / region? How well did incumbent telcos adapt to it, and overall, just how disruptive was this technology to established operators?"
Operating Systems

PCLinuxOS 2009 Goes Gold 90

nerdyH writes "After nearly two years, the PCLinuxOS project has achieved a major new release, PCLinuxOS 2009. The project is notable for maintaining a Linux hardware compatibility database, publishing a freely downloadable monthly Linux magazine, and selling hardware pre-installed with Linux. It boasts a pretty vibrant community, too, and is used by 3.2 percent of DesktopLinux readers, according to an ongoing reader survey there."

2 pints = 1 Cavort