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Games

Too Much Multiplayer In Today's Games? 362

hornedrat writes "Gamepro discusses the idea that modern games put too much emphasis on multiplayer, and that players aren't as concerned about it as developers think. 'The current environment encourages developers to unnecessarily toss multiplayer into their games without caring about it — or even considering whether anyone will bother playing it. It’s like they're checking an invisible quota box that demands multiplayer's inclusion.' Personally I agree that too much emphasis is placed on competitive multiplayer. I play online, but only with my brother in games that allow co-operative modes, like Rainbow Six: Vegas and ARMA 2. 'My point isn't that developers shouldn't try and conquer Halo or Call of Duty. We'd never have any progress in this industry if developers didn't compete. Game companies, however, should think carefully about what they want their games to be, and more important, gamers should consider what they want. If a developer wants to eclipse Halo, then by all means, pour that effort into a multiplayer mode that's different.' I would be interested to know how many gamers really care about the multiplayer components of the games they buy."
Businesses

Digital Distribution Numbers Speak To Health of PC Game Industry 192

An anonymous reader writes with this quote from PC Authority: "Over the years many voices have declared PC gaming dead. We have seen developers abandon the platform for consoles, citing piracy as the cause. Game stores have slowly relegated PC games from prime shelf position to one tucked away in the back corner — even Microsoft dumped AAA PC game developers from the company. It seems, though, that the demise of the PC as a games platform has been exaggerated, because until very recently sales data ignored digital distribution, with the latest data released by US company NPD revealing that 48% of PC unit sales in the US in 2009 were digital. That translates to 21.3 million games downloaded in the US. Interestingly, although 48% of games were sold online, it only worked out as 36% of the revenue. This highlights the fact that it isn't just convenience that has PC gamers shopping online; it is also that games are generally cheaper than in stores."
Earth

NASA Creates First Global Forest Map Using Lasers 55

MikeCapone writes "Scientists, using three NASA satellites, have created a first-of-its-kind map that details the height of the world's forests. The data was collected from NASA's ICESat, Terra and Aqua satellites. The latter two satellites are responsible for most of NASA's Gulf spill imagery. The data collected will help scientists understand how the world's forests both store and process carbon. While there are many local and regional canopy maps, this is the very first global map using a uniform method for measure."

Comment Re:Simple really... (Score 1, Insightful) 489

Explain to me what exactly the war has to do with defending our country?

The US has only fought one war in the last century that involved defending our country, and that was fighting against the Japanese during WWII because they attacked Pearl Harbor first. The rest of them were pointless wars for politicians personal agendas and the safety of the US and it's citizens was never threatened.

Basic theory of national defence: fight your wars on someone else's soil. Otherwise you'll be fighting them on your soil.

Oh, and your figures are severely skewed because you forgot to take into account the fact that when he's deployed the military covers all of his expenses, so that money is pure profit.

Really? The Army pays for his mortgage while he's away?

Image

Verizon Charged Marine's Widow an Early Termination Fee 489

In a decision that was reversed as soon as someone with half a brain in their PR department learned about it, Verizon charged a widow a $350 early termination fee. After the death of her marine husband, Michaela Brummund decided to move back to her home town to be with her family. Verizon doesn't offer any coverage in the small town so Michaela tried to cancel her contract, only to be hit with an early termination fee. From the article: "'I called them to cancel. I told them the situation with my husband. I even said I would provide a death certificate,' Michaela said."

Comment Re:Information control is the goal. (Score 1) 195

To make it a political issue and to use Australia of all places as the example is exactly the wrong way to go about it. We all know that Australia has a completely censored internet with a list of sites people cannot go to because the government does not like the information on these sites.

We can't let this come true! I would miss my paranoid rantings by the ill-informed!

Australia does not have censorship of the 'net. It was trialled, it was scrapped, and the Prime Minister championing it has been axed (more because he's a tool, but anyway).

The only censorship in Australia's 'net is the shit service provision.

Comment Re:Principle and practice (Score 1) 195

The other thing worrying would be forced steps to remove things. I could go with an "ensure you're clean rule", but would be against a "ensure you're running this particular security measure" rule.

I like this until it becomes a "ensure you're running Nortons, as recommended by the Australian Government/your ISP". And no, it doesn't come as part of your connection deal..

Communications

Skype Releases Open SDK 108

An anonymous reader writes "SkypeKit gives Linux developers access to core functionality, allowing Linux developers to add video, calling, and instant messaging features to desktop applications. The SDK also comes with the freshly royalty-free SILK codec for high-end audio. Skype is hoping that the inclusion of SILK will popularize the codec, extending its reach. Currently, the SkypeKit beta is only available for Linux on an invite-only basis, with Windows and Mac versions planned in coming weeks. The SDK does not cover Android or Mac, an odd choice considering the announcement of SkypeKit championed itself for extending the functionality of Skype to multiple platforms and devices. Including smartphones in the SDK seems like an obvious move." Ars Technica has a rundown, too.
Government

FEMA and DHS Fund Disaster Hero Game 68

eldavojohn writes "The United States government has decided that children need a video game to learn about what to do before, during, and after an emergency or hazardous event. Collect an emergency kit! Create an emergency plan! Be informed of what to do! Suffer from heat exhaustion inside the Superdome! ... Wait, what? Oh, I guess FEMA omitted that last one. Disaster Hero is coming in 2011 — plenty of time before 2012."

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