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Piracy

Call of Duty: Black Ops the Most Pirated Game of the Year 5

Posted by Soulskill
from the five-button-discount dept.
Torrentfreak reports that after calculating download frequency for pirated copies of popular video games, Call of Duty: Black Ops has won the dubious honor of being the most pirated game of 2010. The PC version of the game was torrented roughly 4,270,000 times, and the Xbox 360 version was downloaded an additional 930,000 times. (The most pirated Wii game was Super Mario Galaxy 2, and Dante's Inferno somehow managed to accrue the most downloads of Xbox 360 games.) Fortunately for Activision, the game has still made over $1 billion in sales, and its 20,000,000+ players have racked up over 600,000,000 man-hours of play time since the game's launch in early November.
PC Games (Games)

OnLive CEO On Post-Launch Status, Game Licenses 121

Posted by Soulskill
from the cloud-gaming-doesn't-involve-lakitu dept.
CNET has a lengthy interview with OnLive CEO Steve Perlman about how the service is shaping up almost a month after launch. Demand seems to have outstripped their expectations, and it required some quick server expansion to compensate. He also addresses a common concern among gamers — that the licenses for games could expire in three years. Perlman says, "It's less of an issue about the licenses evaporating, and more of an issue of whether or not we continue to maintain the operating systems and the graphics cards to run those games. If a game is tied to a particular Nvidia or ATI card, or if it's relying on a particular version of Windows with different drivers, we can't be sure that those will continue to be available as our servers age and need to be replaced. If it's a popular game that can't run on old hardware anymore, the publishers can do an upgrade for the game. Also, servers usually do last longer than three years, so chances are we'll keep running them. But we have a legal obligation to disclose what might happen. I think the probability of us pulling a game in three years is on the order of 0.1 percent. It's also highly unlikely that a game server will evaporate after three years, but we have to allow for that possibility." He also goes into future plans for expanding OnLive, both in terms of the content they offer and the devices they may support. The Digital Foundry blog followed up the latency tests we discussed with a full review, if you'd like an unbiased opinion of the service.
Science

+ - China's Research Ambitions Hurt by Faked Results

Submitted by
Hugh Pickens
Hugh Pickens writes "AP reports that plagiarizing or faking results is so rampant in Chinese academia that some experts worry it could hinder China's efforts to become a leader in science. China's state-run media recently rejoiced over reports that China publishes more papers in international journals than any other country except the US but not all the research stands up to scrutiny. In December, a British journal retracted 70 papers from a Chinese university, all by the same two lead scientists, saying the work had been fabricated and expressing amazement that a fake crystal structure would be submitted for publication. "Academic fraud, misconduct and ethical violations are very common in China," said professor Rao Yi, dean of the life sciences school at Peking University. "It is a big problem." Last month the Education Ministry released guidelines for forming a 35-member watchdog committee and has asked universities to get tough but Rao remains skeptical. Government ministries are happy to fund research but not to police it, Rao says. "The authorities don't want to be the bad guy."""
Games

+ - Infinity Design has left the building-> 1

Submitted by symbolset
symbolset (646467) writes "The popular Call of Duty franchise is unravelling very quickly for Activision. Of the people in the credits for Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, none now remain. Activision acquired the game's development company Infinity Design in October 2003 for $5 million. Since then the studio has released six games in the Call of Duty series, the most recent of which released in November is reported to have earned an estimated $1.3 billion so far. This past March Activision sacked CTO Jason West and studio head Vince Zampella. The two have since started their own studio Respawn Entertainment, which was immediately sued by and countersued Activision.

Over the weeks since then software engineer lead Francesco Gigliotti, senior animator Bruce Ferriz, and programmer Jon Shiring have all left Activision. They have since been joined by multiplayer lead designer Todd Aldermann and design lead Mackey McCandlish. In the past week lead environment artist Chris Cherubini and programmer Rayme Vinson also left. Today Gamespot reports that lead designers Steve Fukuda and Zied Rieke have also resigned. It's not yet known how many former members of this game design team will be joining West and Zampella in their new venture, but as of now not one game designer with title credits on CoD:MW2 still works for Activision.

In a separate story, Activision COO Thomas Tippl is quoted as saying "We treat our developers extremely well.""

Link to Original Source
Communications

Yale Delays Move To Gmail 176

Posted by timothy
from the but-it's-in-the-cloud dept.
Mortimer.CA writes "The Yale Daily News is reporting that the move to Gmail has been postponed. After further consultations with faculty and staff, the concerns raised 'fell into three main categories: problems with "cloud computing" (the transfer of information between virtual servers on the Internet), technological risks and downsides, and ideological issues.' In the latter category, 'Google was not willing to provide ITS with a list of countries to which the University's data could be sent [i.e., replicated], but only a list of about 15 countries to which the data would not be sent.'"
Security

New Method Could Hide Malware In PDFs, No Further Exploits Needed 234

Posted by timothy
from the deploy-linux-countermeasures dept.
Trailrunner7 writes "A security researcher has managed to create a proof-of-concept PDF file that executes an embedded executable without exploiting any other security vulnerabilities. The PDF hack, when combined with clever social engineering techniques, could potentially allow code execution attacks if a user simply opens a rigged PDF file. With Adobe Reader, the only thing preventing execution is a warning. Disabling JavaScript will not prevent this."
Piracy

IsoHunt Told To Pull Torrent Files Offline 392

Posted by timothy
from the please-label-excerpts dept.
suraj.sun writes with this excerpt from Ars Technica: "The founder of popular Bit Torrent site IsoHunt, Gary Fung, has been ordered to remove the .torrent files for all infringing content — an order that could result in the site shutting down. US District Judge Stephen Wilson issued the order last week after years of back-and-forths over the legality of IsoHunt and Fung's two other sites (Torrentbox and Podtropolis). Fung claims he's still hoping for a more agreeable resolution that won't result in IsoHunt closing its doors, but for now, things aren't looking good for the torrent site."
Education

Stand and Deliver Teacher Jaime Escalante Dies 389

Posted by timothy
from the national-hero dept.
DesScorp writes "Jaime Escalante, the math teacher portrayed in the hit '80s movie Stand and Deliver, has died of cancer at age 79. Escalante is legendary for creating the advanced math 'pipeline' program at Garfield High in East Los Angeles in the '70s and '80s, an area populated mostly by poorer Hispanic families. Escalante's students eventually outpaced even richer schools in advanced placement tests for calculus. Escalante refused to accept excuses from his students or community about why they couldn't succeed, and demanded a standard of excellence from them, defying the notion that poor Hispanic kids just weren't capable of advanced work. While Escalante became a celebrity because of the hit movie about his efforts, jealousy from other teachers ... as well as red tape from teacher's unions and the public school bureaucracy, resulted in Escalante and his hand-picked teachers leaving Garfield. Since his departure, Garfield has never replicated Escalante's success with math students, and Reason Magazine reported on the shameful way in which others tore down what Escalante and his teachers worked so hard to build."
Image

Councilman Booted For His Farmville Obsession 185

Posted by samzenpus
from the think-of-the-crops dept.
Bulgarian Dimitar Kerin won't have to decide if he should tend his crops or pay attention to Plovdiv City Council business anymore. The committee voted him off 20-19, saying that he obviously "needs more time for his virtual farm." From the article: "Kerin was not alone in his obsession among council members. Council chairman Ilko Iliev had previously warned several of them that the new wireless network and laptops provided to all 51 council members were not to be used for playing games on social media sites during budget meetings. Kerin was singled out for continuing to manage his farm and milk his cows despite Iliev's warnings. "
Image

Company Invents Electronic Underpants 110

Posted by samzenpus
from the batteries-not-included dept.
theodp writes "SIMsystem have created the world's first electric underpants that let you know that you've got issues by texting. Incontinence issues, to be more precise. The new-and-improved skivvies come equipped with a sensor strip that alerts caregivers to wetness via text message. From the technology summary: 'The SIMbox, when fitted into the individual resident's stretchpants (SIMpants), transmits sensor readings from the SIMstrip in the SIMpad® over a wireless network to the SIMserver. The SIMsystemManager software running on the SIMserver then detects key information about continence events and determines when to alert care staff about an event requiring attention.' So, who's going to start an open source project?"

"I've seen the forgeries I've sent out." -- John F. Haugh II (jfh@rpp386.Dallas.TX.US), about forging net news articles

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