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Cellphones

Nokia Trades Symbian For MeeGo In N-Series Smartphones 184

An anonymous reader writes "Nokia announced that moving forward, MeeGo would be the default operating system in the N series of smartphones (original Reuters report). Symbian will still be used in low-end devices from Nokia, Samsung, and Sony Ericsson. The move to MeeGo is a demonstration of support for the open source mobile OS, but considering the handset user experience hasn't been rolled out and likely won't be rolled out in time for its vague June deadline outlined at MeeGo.com, could the decision be premature?"
Intel

The Big Technical Mistakes of History 244

An anonymous reader tips a PC Authority review of some of the biggest technical goofs of all time. "As any computer programmer will tell you, some of the most confusing and complex issues can stem from the simplest of errors. This article looking back at history's big technical mistakes includes some interesting trivia, such as NASA's failure to convert measurements to metric, resulting in the Mars Climate Orbiter being torn apart by the Martian atmosphere. Then there is the infamous Intel Pentium floating point fiasco, which cost the company $450m in direct costs, a battering on the world's stock exchanges, and a huge black mark on its reputation. Also on the list is Iridium, the global satellite phone network that promised to make phones work anywhere on the planet, but required 77 satellites to be launched into space."

Comment Re:How cute, Sony rents movies for full price (Score 1) 153

Video rental in HD and SD on PSN have been available since mid 2008. Seo Sony already has that covered. Whats new here is that HD movies may now be bought. SD was available day 1. These movies can be shared with a PSP so it could happen that they will also be transferable to a PS4 if that ever comes out.

Internet Explorer

Steam UI Update Beta Drops IE Rendering For WebKit 244

Citing massive growth in their user base ("25 million users, 1000+ games, 12 billion player minutes per month, and 75 billion Steam client minutes per month"), Valve unveiled a revamped UI for Steam on Tuesday, opening the beta test to anyone who wants to try it out. There are many changes, and an increased focus on social features: "Right from within your own game Library, you can now track which of your friends plays each game or invite them to play one with you. Before you've even bought a game, knowing whether your friends play it is one of the most useful pieces of information to have. So on the store homepage, there's a new listing of what your friends have bought or played lately." Tracking games and achievements have both gotten simpler, and Valve has dropped the Internet Explorer rendering engine in favor of WebKit. An enterprising user also found files that may indicate the existence of an OS X Steam client.
Image

Hollywood Stock Exchange Set To Launch In April 100

You can buy and sell actor or movie "stock" for virtual cash on the website Hollywood Stock Exchange (HSX). Starting in April the company plans on letting you turn those movie performance predictions into real dollars. HSX filed with the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission for approval as an active trading site in November 2008 and has just entered the final phase of regulatory review. Richard Jaycobs, president of HSX's parent company, said, "The number of people who visit movie theaters each year and form opinions about a film's success is in the tens of millions. We believe that's the reason the public response to this product has been very positive."
Games

Ubisoft's Constant Net Connection DRM Confirmed 631

A few weeks ago we discussed news of Ubisoft's DRM plans for future games, which reportedly went so far as to require a constant net connection, terminating your game if you get disconnected for any reason. Well, it's here; upon playing review copies of the PC version of Assassin's Creed 2 and Settlers VII, PCGamer found the DRM just as annoying as you might expect. Quoting: "If you get disconnected while playing, you're booted out of the game. All your progress since the last checkpoint or savegame is lost, and your only options are to quit to Windows or wait until you're reconnected. The game first starts the Ubisoft Game Launcher, which checks for updates. If you try to launch the game when you're not online, you hit an error message right away. So I tried a different test: start the game while online, play a little, then unplug my net cable. This is the same as what happens if your net connection drops momentarily, your router is rebooted, or the game loses its connection to Ubisoft's 'Master servers.' The game stopped, and I was dumped back to a menu screen — all my progress since it last autosaved was lost."

Comment Re:Cheating (Score 1) 296

The reason cheating is a problem is because we are forced to play on the vendor's network,

There are quite a few Playstation 3 games that support LAN-play. You can also run the PS3 as a dedicated server in many games. Warhawk and Unreal 3 support both options. There are more games like this. Sony is not responsible for what publishers do regarding dedicated and LAN support. The PS3 allow it. I do not know about Xbox but I think you can do LAN there as well.

Comment Re:Two issues here (Score 3, Interesting) 248

Off the top of my head:
  • LittleBigPlanet (level, content and character design)
  • Modnation Racers (in Beta, level and character design)
  • Unreal Tournament 3 (mods)
  • Gravity Crash (level design)
  • Uncharted 2 (Machima thingy)
  • Far Cry 2 (level design)

I am sure there are more. Sony actually encourage user generated content believing it to be the next big thing in gaming. They call it Game 2.0 or something silly like that.

Businesses

Former Exec Says Electronic Arts "Is In the Wrong Business" 180

Mitch Lasky was the executive vice president of Mobile and Online at Electronic Arts until leaving the publisher to work at an investment firm. He now has some harsh things to say about how EA has been run over the past several years, in particular criticizing the decisions of CEO John Riccitiello. Quoting: "EA is in the wrong business, with the wrong cost structure and the wrong team, but somehow they seem to think that it is going to be a smooth, two-year transition from packaged goods to digital. Think again. ... by far the greatest failure of Riccitiello's strategy has been the EA Games division. JR bet his tenure on EA's ability to 'grow their way through the transition' to digital/online with hit packaged goods titles. They honestly believed that they had a decade to make this transition (I think it's more like 2-3 years). Since the recurring-revenue sports titles were already 'booked' (i.e., fully accounted for in the Wall Street estimates) it fell to EA Games to make hits that could move the needle. It's been a very ugly scene, indeed. From Spore, to Dead Space, to Mirror's Edge, to Need for Speed: Undercover, it's been one expensive commercial disappointment for EA Games after another. Not to mention the shut-down of Pandemic, half of the justification for EA's $850MM acquisition of Bioware-Pandemic. And don't think that Dante's Inferno, or Knights of the Old Republic, is going to make it all better. It's a bankrupt strategy."
Wii

Wii Hardware Upgrade Won't Happen Soon 325

As high-definition graphics become more and more entrenched in this generation of game consoles, Nintendo has had to deal with constant speculation about a new version of the Wii that would increase its capabilities. Today, Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime bluntly denied that a hardware revision was imminent, saying, "We are confident the Wii home entertainment console has a very long life in front of it." He added, "In terms of what the future holds, we've gone on record to say that the next step for Nintendo in home consoles will not be to simply make it HD, but to add more and more capability, and we'll do that when we've totally tapped out all of the experiences for the existing Wii. And we're nowhere near doing that yet."
XBox (Games)

What To Do With a Free Xbox 360 Pro? 416

OzPeter writes "Last week I won an Xbox 360 Pro. However, I am not a gamer, and after looking at the current MS offerings, I am not tempted to become one. But I am in the market for a Media Center PC that I can use for streaming TV shows off the 'net as well as general web browsing and displaying video through the HDMI port. With that in mind, I again looked at MS and saw they seemed to have positioned the Xbox as an adjunct to a separate Windows Media Center PC and not as a stand alone unit (which is not what I want). So, once again, I did some more research into the Xbox homebrew scene and discovered things like Xbox Linux. But after reading that site, it is apparent that MS is trying to beat down the homebrewers, and I am left wondering how much hassle it would be to go down that path. So my question is: how should I re-purpose my Xbox? Is it worthwhile doing the Homebrew/Linux option (and can anyone share any experiences)? Are there other ways of re-purposing the device that I haven't considered? Or should I just keep it boxed up as a Christmas present for a favorite nephew?"

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