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Secure VoIP, an Achievable Goal 103

An anonymous reader writes "ITO is running a comprehensive article on VoIP security issues and how one can protect against them: "VoIP creates new ways of delivering fully-featured phone services that promise big cost savings and open the way for a whole new range of multimedia communication services. After years of 'will it, won't it' speculation and unfulfilled predictions of universal adoption, Gartner is now positioning VoIP firmly on its way to the 'plateau of productivity' on its widely-respected technology hype cycle. But questions about its security and reliability persist.""

EA's Army of Two 38

EA today confirmed the existence of a much-anticipated next-gen title, Army of Two. From the Eurogamer article: "Army of Two 'will throw gamers into hot spots ripped from current day headlines,' says EA, where they will use two-man strategies and tactics, transitioning between playing with an AI partner or a live player. We're told that EA's wanted to make this for ages, but until now it's felt that the hardware couldn't deliver a suitably believable co-operative AI player."

Colbert New Comic-in-Chief 939

scottzak writes "Hail to the Chief! Stephen Colbert addressed the White House Correspondents Dinner Saturday (attended by the President, the elite of Washington politics, and the White House Press Corps) and told the truth. Jaws dropped. Eyes popped. The live audience gasped. Scalia laughed his ass off. You want to see a brilliant comic display some real courage? Look no further. Enjoy the reaction shots, and Colbert's audition for Press Secretary job." The BBC covers the act just prior to Mr. Colbert's, where the President and a look-alike took turns making fun of his speaking skills.

IGN Claims Halo 3 At E3 78

IGN says that 'sources' have confirmed Halo 3 will be part of Microsoft's E3 Event. From the article: "The video is allegedly two minutes long, although its contents weren't divulged. We're guessing a wild breathtaking battle on Earth. Knowing Microsoft, the publisher will want to show all real, in-game engine footage to counter Sony's fantastical CG videos from E3 2005. When Microsoft was contacted, the company issued its standard reply, 'We don't comment on speculation and rumors.'"

Your Song Featured in Guitar Hero II 31

JamesO writes "RedOctane has launched a competition in which budding musicians can get a song featured in Guitar Hero II." From the article: "To enter simply submit your song at beaguitarhero.com before 11:59 p.m. PST on June 30, 2006. There are a few rules that each entered song must adhere to though. The song must be from independent artists, must be an original piece, and must fall under the 'hard rock' or 'heavy metal' genre. The track must also feature a lead guitar. The winner will get their song featured in Guitar Hero II, plus will be eligible for additional publicity through the game's launch promotion." The winner also gets a kickass set of prizes, including a guitar, drumset, and wah pedal.

Penny Arcade's CGW Interview 68

1up is running an interview with the Penny Arcade guys, originally done for Computer Gaming World. They talk comics, the industry, Harlan Ellison, and (of course) games. From the article: "Jerry Holkins: My favorite quote comes from this one strip where I say 'Fetch it, and gaze upon your ruined world.' I'm not sure that anybody else really pays attention to that particular comic strip, but it's called 'They Hailed From Canadon,' and it's just this...it starts out in this weird, Penny Arcade way, but it has these spacefaring dogmen that for some reason really do it for me. I don't know why."

Guitar Hero II Announced 99

Gamespot reports on the official announcement of an encore to the extremely popular Guitar Hero title from Harmonix. From the article: "RedOctane today confirmed the band was indeed getting back together, as it announced that Guitar Hero II would arrive on the PlayStation 2 this November. While the song list hasn't been announced yet, the publisher confirmed that there would be more than 55 tracks in dire need of shredding. There's also a multiplayer co-op mode that will let players collaborate, each playing lead, rhythm, or bass guitar portions." IGN is running an interview with the gents behind the game, giving us heads up on their plans for the sequel. Rock on!

Duke Nukem Forever Update 250

Gamasutra reports on an update to one of the longest running jokes in the games industry, Duke Nukem Forever. The title, already ten years in development, may (possibly) see release this decade. From the blurb: "3DR's George Broussard also demonstrated world interactivity that includes Duke standing in front of a computer and emailing the player, if he provides his email address for the game. But, according to the piece, Broussard was bashful, overall, about showing off the game, commenting: 'The problem is that when we show it, people are going to be like, Yeah, whatever. Honestly, at this point we just want to finish it.'"

Developer Stress Crippling Game Innovation? 355

hapwned writes "Jason Della Rocca, the executive director of the International Game Developers Association (IGDA), looks at the big picture of the grim, dead-end careers of game developers. From the article: 'More fundamental is the notion that immature practices and extreme working conditions are bankrupting the industry's passion - the love for creating games that drives developers to be developers. When the average career length of the game development workforce is just over five years and over 50% of developers admit they don't plan to hang around for more than 10, we have a problem. How can an industry truly grow, and an art form evolve, if everyone is gone by the time they hit 30?'"

Buy PC Without an OS... Get a Visit From MSFT? 639

sebFlyte writes "'Don't sell PCs without operating systems or we'll send the boys round.' That seems to be the general message coming out of microsoft's antipiracy unit, according to ZDNet. While MS seems to accept that people might want to get hold of PCs without Windows so they can put Linux on them, they don't think that's a good enough excuse. "We want to urge all system builders -- indeed, all Partners -- not to supply naked PCs. It is a risk to your customers and a risk to your business," says Microsoft. The FSF has given this policy short shrift, saying: "It looks like a private sniffing service which is supposed to spy on these who do not want to pay the Microsoft tax anymore. It is an incredible piece of impudence.""

Frustration With Oblivion Mod Costs on Xbox Live 360

Vizionary wrote to mention the player backlash swelling out of a recent addition to Xbox Live. Major Nelson's blog made the announcement that they'd finally added the (previously announced) barding for the player mount in Oblivion. The catch is that the simple modification costs 200 points, removing a lot of the appeal of the small mods the Elder Scrolls series has thrived on. From commenter 'SW 1540' on that site: "Unquestionably, some downloadable content should cost money/points. Having said that, the cost of that content should be directly proportional to the enhancement it provides to the original game. For example, I would expect to pay $20.00 for the soon to come Perfect Dark Zero maps or new cars for Project Gotham. On the other hand, I would expect any additional costumes for PDZ to be free. I imagine there is good arguments on both sides, but one can see that the potential is there to exploit an eager fan. "

The Oblivion of Western RPGs 304

1up has a piece looking at how Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion may just be what the western RPG genre needs to spring back from the brink of nonexistence. From the article: "Western RPGs focus on the characters, and the world around them is a tool to let the player-as-character do and see more. Eastern RPGs focus on the events unfolding around the characters, and how the characters affect the world around them. Western RPGs are based on the experience of tabletop role-playing games, limited only by the imaginations of the players and the game master, where Eastern RPGs are more re-creations of traditional storytelling. Oblivion has taken huge strides toward meeting fans of MMOs halfway by building A.I. that really lives alongside the player and ensuring that the actual missions are easily pursued."

Device Developed To Help Socially Challenged 327

An anonymous reader writes "A device from MIT Media Labs that can pick up on people's emotions is being developed to help people with autism relate to those around them. It will alert its autistic user if the person they are talking to starts showing signs of getting bored or annoyed." From the article: "The 'emotional social intelligence prosthetic' device, which El Kaliouby is constructing along with MIT colleagues Rosalind Picard and Alea Teeters, consists of a camera small enough to be pinned to the side of a pair of glasses, connected to a hand-held computer running image recognition software plus software that can read the emotions these images show. If the wearer seems to be failing to engage his or her listener, the software makes the hand-held computer vibrate."

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