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Heavy Rain Previews Show Promise 84

As the February release date for Quantic Dream's Heavy Rain nears, several publications have gotten a chance for some hands-on time with the game and seem to be intrigued by what they saw. Quoting the Opposable Thumbs blog: "The game grabs you during the quiet moments where nothing 'happens.' When you look at a picture your child drew. When you're questioning someone about a crime. When you're trying to figure out how to react to a violent situation. The preview we were sent put me in different situations as I played a small handful of characters, and each one provided a few tiny moments that were surprising in terms of storytelling or subtlety." Eurogamer's previewer had a similar reaction: "To my great delight as well — Heavy Rain isn't a mature game because it has unhappy families and moody lighting, it's a mature game because it anticipates an adult response from the player and is prepared to receive it."

Facebook Mafiosi Go To the Mattresses vs. Zynga 102

sympleko writes "Zynga has the lion's share of traffic in Facebook applications, and Mafia Wars is one of their most popular social games. Collapsing under the weight of over 26 million users, Zynga has been scrambling to thwart hard-core gamers who reverse-engineer URLs or script the game to optimize their enjoyment. Many of the workarounds have annoyed users who were accustomed to various game features, and even worse, the hastily-deployed changes have resulted in many players losing access to the game, in-game prizes, or statistics. Fed up with a software company seemingly bent on discouraging people from enjoying their product, a number of tagged players have organized a boycott of all Zynga games. The first 24-hour boycott on Sunday 12/13 resulted in an 11% decline in Daily Active Users, and an emergency thread on Zynga's forums (from which most of the flames were deleted). The current boycott, extending Wednesday through Sunday is being supported by a 428K strong Facebook group. At issue is the social contract between software companies and their devoted user base, as well as the nefarious tactics Zynga has used to raise cash."

Comment Re:But... (Score 1) 180

Pretty impressive, 'cromulent' does show up...

* Fine, acceptable or normal; excellent, realistic or authentic
* "Lisa the Iconoclast" is the sixteenth episode of The Simpsons' seventh season. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on February 18, 1996. In the episode, Springfield's bicentennial approaches, and Lisa writes an essay on town founder Jebediah Springfield. ...

As does "embiggen":

* Make bigger

Not to mention "Dingleberry":

*Vaccinium erythrocarpum, the Southern Mountain Cranberry; Any residual irregularity following processing; A small piece of feces clumped to anus

But if you put in "Microsoft" there is no definition: it just says " * microsoft is also a word in: Deutsch"

Comment The electron microscope I used to use ran on OS/2 (Score 4, Insightful) 125

The electron microscope I used to use ran on OS/2 Warp. Acquired images had to be transferred off the computer using Zip drives. Its still in service. I have a fluorescence-activated cell sorter (FACS) machines that runs on OS9 exclusively.

The thing is, being that some scientific equipment can easily be six-figures, the computers that are connected to those machines are dedicated to it and run one piece of software exclusively. Many scientist aren't in-depth computer people, most labs with won't allow those computers to have any other software that isn't necessary to be installed, or be used to surf the net, or be upgraded if its working. Any downtime associated with such an expensive machine can be costly, and the software that runs it is usually finicky and filled with bugs (being that the userbase is miniscule).

The fact that its on XP isn't much of an issue, in fact, it seems a lot more progressive then other equipment out there. I know equipment that will on run on Windows 95/98/Me, and let me tell you it's a NIGHTMARE!

Comment Re:UMD transfer the what what? (Score 1) 261

The problem isn't just the physical media itself, once you open the door for a legitimate ripping they also open the door for illegitimate ripping. In the PSN network once ownership is established you can re-download the game an unlimited number of times and on 5 different devices. The PSP itself is an insecure system.

Also, UMDs don't come with CD-keys (or I guess UMD-keys in this case). There is no way to authenticate one disk from another; which means you can go around buying and returning used UMDs to rip to your system, you could swap disks around with friends and everyone could claim ownership, or even rental UMDs that you could rip to your system and promptly return. This is a poor way for Sony to gather the support of developers/publishers to the system.

What Sony should have done is the 3 Free game download promotion they did in Europe but is conspicuously absent in the rest of the world. All you had to do with authenticate you had a UMD, it didn't even have to be yours, and you wold receive a code to download three games. They could be games you already owned, or they could be completely brand new games. One of the games you could choose from is Gran Turismo PSP, brand-new and cost $40.

Comment Re:Sorry, lady. Incitement to violence is a crime (Score 2, Insightful) 847

Being inciteful is not a crime. We may not agree with neo-nazis, anti-abortionists, etc, but public information is public. Free speech is a right.

How many times have we at Slashdot had sympathy for similar situations involving piracy and hacking. Where legal and litigious means are employed to silence "inciteful" uses of technology.

While we don't know the real details of this individuals arrest, the likelihood is that she was targeted by the police for her blog posts. Charging someone for something trivial or finding something ancillary to justify the arrest is usually easy enough for law enforcement, even if the charge gets dropped, its a massive inconvenience and expensive on the accused.


LittleBigPlanet Sequel Already In the Works 27

Now that the delay caused by a rogue song has come and passed, the LittleBigPlanet servers have been turned on, and creations are beginning to filter in. A BBC feature on the game revealed that plans are already underway for a sequel. Another report suggests that they're looking at other methods for expanding the game as well: "With the game just hitting stores, it's too early to start talking about sequels, but Media Molecule already is looking into how they can get more creative tools into the hands of their users. 'We can release new levels, new stickers, new content,' Evans said. 'It's pretty clear to me that we have to move in a fluid direction about what's a sequel and what's not a sequel.'"

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