An anonymous reader writes "Ben Kuchera from Ars Technica is reporting that EA/DICE has substantially changed the game model of Battlefield: Heroes, increasing the cost of weapons in Valor Points (the in-game currency that you earn by playing) to levels that even hardcore players cannot afford, and making them available in BattleFunds (the in-game currency that you buy with real money). Other consumables in the game, such as bandages to heal the players, suffered the same fate, turning the game into a subscription or pay-to-play model if players want to remain competitive. This goes against the creators' earlier stated objectives of not providing combat advantage to paying customers. Ben Cousins, from EA/DICE, argued, 'We also frankly wanted to make buying Battlefunds more appealing. We have wages to pay here in the Heroes team and in order to keep a team large enough to make new free content like maps and other game features we need to increase the amount of BF that people buy. Battlefield Heroes is a business at the end of the day and for a company like EA who recently laid off 16% of their workforce, we need to keep an eye on the accounts and make sure we are doing our bit for the company.' The official forums discussion thread is full of angry responses from upset users, who feel this change is a betrayal of the original stated objectives of the game."
EA has announced that The Sims 3 will be getting its first expansion pack on November 16th, titled World Adventures. It will be available at first for the PC and Mac clients, and later for mobile platforms. "Players can take their Sims on new journeys to famous real-world inspired destinations around the globe for the first time ever and seek out new adventures. ... From mastering martial arts in Shang Simla, China, discovering rich culture and famous landmarks on a romantic getaway to Champs Les Sims, France or exploring the depths of ancient tombs in Al Simhara, Egypt, players can take their Sims on a journey that will change their Sims' lives." EA's Lyndsay Pearson spoke further about the expansion in an interview with IGN.
chiark writes "Remember Steorn? Free energy for all, coming soon, and a gauntleted slap in the face to the physics establishment: 'come be our jury, and prove us right or wrong.' Well, 2 years later, the jury's verdict is in, and it's not the validation Steorn was hoping for: 'Twenty-two independent scientists and engineers were selected by Steorn to form this jury. It has for the past two years examined evidence presented by the company. The unanimous verdict of the Jury is that Steorn's attempts to demonstrate the claim have not shown the production of energy. The jury is therefore ceasing work.' Steorn had the choice to either accept this and move on, or attempt to rebut. Guess which approach they took?"
eldavojohn writes "Republican Senator Orrin Hatch spoke Tuesday at the World Copyright Summit in Washington DC and hailed the Pirate Bay guilty verdict as an important victory. He expressed severe disappointment in Canada for showing up on our watch list for piracy next to China and Russia. Senator Hatch also said, 'In fact, one study reports that each year, copyright piracy from motion pictures, sound recordings, business and entertainment software, and video games costs the US economy $58 billion in total output, costs American workers 373,375 jobs and $16.3 billion in earnings, and costs federal, state, and local governments $2.6 billion in tax revenue. During this time of economic turmoil, we must ensure that all copyrighted works, both here and abroad, are protected from online theft and traditional physical piracy. After all, US copyright-based industries continue to be one of America's largest and fastest-growing economic sectors.' GamePolitics notes that for his 2006 campaign, Hatch was rented for $7,000 by the RIAA and also got on his knees for $12,640 from the MPAA."
An anonymous reader writes "Various members of the OpenOffice.org community have been submitting their first revisions of proposals to the OpenOffice.org Call for Design Proposals to redesign the user interface of Open Office. As part of Project Renaissance, attention is being drawn to the OpenOffice user interface, and it's 'user-friendliness.' Among the designs, is FLUX UI, which won an award at the Sun Microsystems Community Innovation Awards Program. Anyone can, and is encouraged, to check out the proposals (scroll to bottom of page) and leave your comments so that the designers can improve their designs for the final deadline for proposal submissions to the community."