A 17-year-old can join the real army, remember ... If you thought that the Indianapolis ordinance restricting video games with violent content from storefront display was either an anomaly or a strictly Middle-American move, read on. An unnamed correspondent writes: "GameFan reports in an article that yet another city is creating an ordinance that '...would restrict minors from playing arcade games with graphic violence or sexually explicit content.' The ordinance also covers the positioning and clear marking of the 'bad' machines. 'Currently, the bill states that such violent arcade machines must be marked and situated more than 10 feet from non-violent video titles.'"
Yes, at this point, it's just the proposal of a city council member, not a done deal. The city is (gulp!) sunny San Diego. Bother anyone? Perhaps they'll move all the games with punching into buildings like NYC has for Off Track Betting?
A long long time ago, I can still remember ... And for those into games that with a bit less gore ("We didn't have gore when I was small -- we were too poor!"), Kevin writes " Futurelooks has started a new feature called Retrolooks, which looks back at technology of the past and puts it up against the technology of today." Go read 'Atari 2600 VCS VS. Sega Dreamcast: FIGHT!' and try not to weep with nostalgia, at least if you are -- errrrr -- mature enough to have developed nostalgia. Here's a sample:
"Ah Atari, the granddaddy of all gaming platforms, the editio princep, the grail upon which all future gaming developed. In 1976 the Saturday Night Fever crowd was tired of just Staying Alive and craved something new. One Nolan Bushnell gave them that new fix with the invention of the first Atari console. Bushnell created the first unit with $250 and a desire for something new. Within four years the company of one had grown considerably and was worth over $28 million."
Plus, the grail is in the Castle ... [Aaaaggghhhh ....]
AssFace writes: "As previously covered there is/was a contest of which the main goal was to break a cipher that had stood 154 years. At least two people have now solved it (separately) and we are now waiting on word (from the Bokler site) as to what will come next - apparently once one part is broken there is more? - I had created a list a while back on which a group has been discussing the cipher and at least one of the members is one of the people that came up with a solution of sorts and he posted a note regarding it here.
Frustrating for me personally because the code I was writing was just starting to evolve pretty nicely - but it will be fun to see what is next."
Proof positive, though? No word yet on the contest Web site; I think Edgar is cackling merrily in his grave.
If I share some love with you, do I have less left afterward? StoryMan writes "There's an interesting (and long) article at the NYTimes about file sharing, peer-to-peer networks, and the future of digital music.
It merits a read, if only because its participants are both important and interestingly diverse. Participating the round-table were: Hilary "I Speak for Artists, Hear me Roar" Rosen (complete with a very scary picture), Kevin "Chasing Amy" Smith, Esther Dyson, David Boies, a software developer, and your average 17-year old dude."
So long as you label it accurately, OK, fellas? For all their possible nefarious uses, cookies on your hard drive simply don't track you as well as certain companies would prefer. That's why devices like the Cue Cat, which exchange some convenience for information on your buying habits, will only get more common.
For instance, jgilm writes: "A 'new' product/company called Qode (marketese for "code") (www.qode.com) has a device reminicent of the Cue:Cat. Informationweek had a brief on it with items like '... a small wireless device called a Qoder ... scan UPC bar codes ... to search for better deals online.' and 'The scanned data is then downloaded to a personalized Web site.... Companies will then offer special deals on the personalized sites.'
The Qode site, which has a penchant for Flash movies, has info for businesses like '...a new and far more efficient way to deliver promotions. Plus you get a real-time heads up on consumer product interests.'
One aspect they don't address is the fact the the company still keeps track of your buying habits. Another is the probable lack of Linux software for the device (though no mention is made anywhere of system requirements)."
OK, so the world will soon be (or is already?) awash in free barcode readers. However, that's not all -- japhar81 writes: "Saw this over at GeekNews: netcity is offering a free smart-card reader. I'm personally planning to use it for an unintended purpose, like a certain other freebie. Off the top of my head, perhaps using my creditcard as the key to my pc ... Hardware hackers go wild:)"