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Yellowstone Supervolcano Larger Than First Thought 451

drewtheman writes "New studies of the plumbing that feeds the Yellowstone supervolcano in Wyoming's Yellowstone National Park shows the plume and the magma chamber under the volcano are larger than first thought and contradicts claims that only shallow hot rock exists. University of Utah research professor of geophysics Robert Smith led four separate studies that verify a plume of hot and molten rock at least 410 miles deep that rises at an angle from the northwest."
First Person Shooters (Games)

Infinity Ward Fights Against Modern Warfare 2 Cheaters 203

Faithbleed writes "IW's Robert Bowling reports on his twitter account that Infinity Ward is giving 2,500 Modern Warfare 2 cheaters the boot. The news comes as the war between IW and MW2's fans rages over the decision to go with IWnet hosting instead of dedicated servers. Unhappy players were quick to come up with hacks that would allow their own servers and various other changes." Despite the dedicated-server complaints, Modern Warfare 2 has sold ridiculously well.

Bridging the Gap Between User-Generated Content and Interesting Content 73

Edge Magazine is running a story about user-generated content — or rather, its failure to live up to the hype of the past few years. The author says it "turned out to be a niche. Not everyone has the chops to learn the tools, and even fewer gamers have an idea they want to see through. Instead of revolutionizing games, it merely adds another rung on the ladder from 'player' to 'game-maker.'" Instead, the games that have incorporated the concept in a fun way use what he calls "user-generated, machine-mediated content," and he points out the flexibility of Scribblenauts; the user supplies the imagination and the developer translates that to gameplay. "It shows us our reflection — however tiny, however distorted — inside our games, an experience that is guaranteed to mesmerize us. Ambitious players will still go pick up the tools and learn the languages that let them mod or make their own games; but while they're busy with that, [this system] can invigorate our content — and give us a little more of what we love: ourselves."
PC Games (Games)

The Future of Indie MMOGs 69

Karen Hertzberg writes "Ask any 10 gamers what constitutes an 'indie MMO' and you'll probably get 10 different answers. But one definition that most can agree on is that an indie game lacks the financial support of a well-funded publisher. But do smaller budgets mean greater freedom? Ten Ton Hammer asked Nathan Richardsson, Executive Producer for CCP (developers of EVE Online), and Todd Harris, Executive Producer of Global Agenda, to share their thoughts on the bright future of independent MMOG development. 'By definition a niche market is a segment that is currently underserved by the mainstream providers. So, to serve that audience a developer typically needs to deliver something really different and innovative vs. just more of the same thing available elsewhere,' says Harris. 'With a big budget there could be a temptation to cover up stale gameplay by shoveling out more content or simply pumping up the marketing hype. However, for an indie developer such as Hi-Rez Studios, the game must stand on its own merits and we find that liberating.'"

Comment The naivete around here is astounding. (Score 1) 1186

Microsoft will never ever open their source, nor are they likely to pay the full $615m fine. They might submit to the unbundling of WMP. For those who can't understand why, let me explain.

First, the source. We all know that MS will fight against this more than any other single punishment. This is what they truly don't want to have happen. You can bet that MS would be willing to go to such extreme's as pulling out of the EU market rather than supply the source. Further, the EU has no real way to actually force them to release it anyway. They can issue such an order, but if MS says no, what are they going to do? They can't legally seize the code and release it for them (at least, I don't think they can). The only way to force MS to release the code would be through the cooperation of the US, which isn't likely to happen. Regardless of whether or not the US gov agree's, as soon as the EU tries to force their hand, it becomes an EU vs US thing (guess who will win that battle).

Second, the fine. It's big. Damn big. Yes MS can technically afford it, but if nothing else, that is likely to get overturned and reduced to $100m or so.

Finally, the unbundling. If MS releases an unbundled version it will cost exactly the same as the regular version, because hey, WMP is free, right? Second, people who mistakenly buy the unbundled version are gonna be peeved when they can't find WMP and are gonna complain. Whether the Open Source/Free Software communities likes it or not, people want this software, like this software, have gotten used to this software, and most importantly, DO NOT CARE THAT THERE ARE ALTERNATIVES. Yes, thats right, they are happy using WMP and want to keep on using it. So what is ultimately going to happen? People will buy the bundled version anyway! Furthermore, MS knows this and is more likely to comply for just this reason. They've already strangled the market, so it doesn't matter anymore.

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