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Social Networks

The New Reality of Gaming 122

Hugh Pickens writes "Video games used to be about fighting aliens and rescuing princesses, writes Rohin Dharmakumar in Forbes, but the most popular games today have you tilling your farm, hiring waiting staff and devising menus for your restaurant or taking your pets out for walks while maintaining cordial relations with the neighbors. 'Reality, it would seem, is the new escapism.' Video games of the pre-social network era were mostly played by boys or young men but 'now the core audience of social network games are girls and young women,' says Alok Kejriwal, founder and CEO of games2win, an online gaming company. The tipping point in the US came in 2008 when women outnumbered men on the Internet. Combined with millions of parents and grandparents who're new to the Internet, the traditional face of the gamer is changing from that of a 25-year-old male to a band stretching from 16 to 40 years comprising men and women in almost equal numbers, says Sebastien de Halleux, one of the co-founders of Playfish, who predicts that someone is going to create a social game very shortly that pulls in a billion dollars a year. Gaming for this new set of players is less about breathtaking graphics, pulsating sound or edge-of-the-seat action and more about strengthening existing real world relations through frequent casual gaming. 'Think of these games as a sandbox where everybody has the same tools, yet everyone achieves different results,' says de Halleux."

Comment Re:No surprise (Score 1) 203

On further digging I call bullshit. Let's see a valid citation that claims sale of used games is illegal.

Here are some showing it isn't:
http://www.gamepro.com/article/news/22924/used-game-sales-upheld-in-japan/ [2002]

Online shopping for used games:
http://www.suruga-ya.jp/game.html

Used games flourish in Japan:
http://www.hudsonent.com/user/feature.php?f=IT_CAME_FROM_JAPAN__Used_Games_Market&feature_id=%99%A4%A7%AA%96%A5

Comment Baby earthquake in Montreal (Score 1) 560

Having grown up on the West Coast of Canada, and lived in California and 5 years in Japan... this earthquake was barely even noticeable in Montreal, despite co-workers panicking. Potted plant balanced on my cubicle wall still sitting there. A lot of overreaction in a region not used to earthquakes.

Education

Submission + - Modern Day Equivalent of Byte/Compute! Magazine?

MochaMan writes: I grew up in the 80s on a steady diet of Byte and Compute! magazines, banging in page after page of code line-by-line, and figuring out how sound, graphics and input devices worked along the way. Since then, the personal computer market has obviously moved away from hobbyists intent on coding and understanding their machines down to the hardware, but I imagine there must still be a market for similar do-it-yourself articles. Perhaps the collective minds of Slashdot can divine some online sources of fun & educational mini-projects like "write your own assembler" or "roll your own bootloader".
Image

Crazy Firewall Log Activity — What Does It Mean? 344

arkowitz writes "I happened to have access to five days worth of firewall logs from a US state government agency. I wrote a parser to grab unique IPs out, and sent several million of them to a company called Quova, who gave me back full location info on every 40th one. I then used Green Phosphor's Glasshouse visualization tool to have a look at the count of inbound packets, grouped by country of origin and hour. And it's freaking crazy looking. So I made the video of it and I'm asking the Slashdot community: What the heck is going on?"

Comment Re:hope this will be (Score 1) 388

Japan is again considering to introduce DST even though we already concluded it won't work in Japan for cultural/geometrical reasons decades ago.

I don't want DST here either, but let's at least roll back one hour all year long. It's insane that the sun comes up at 4am in summer time and goes down at 7:30pm. A whole 2-3 hours of daylight is lost while we sleep! I'd much rather have it light from 5am-8:30pm in summer and 7am-5:30 in winter than what we have today.

Might not matter as much in Okinawa, but I know it bothers me in Tokyo, and it'd be worse in Hokkaido.

Earth

Any Suggestions For a Meaningful Geeky Wedding Band? 755

mbutala writes "I am getting close to popping the question, and I've been racking my brain for an idea for a cool and unique wedding band. I've been thinking of contacting a company that can (possibly) fabricate a ring from pure Iridium (Ir) or a nearly pure alloy. It is the most corrosion-resistant metal known — it cannot be dissolved in aqua regia like gold or platinum. Iridium is extremely rare on Earth, and the high concentration of it at the K-T boundary in the Earth's crust is what suggests a meteor took out the dinosaurs. I am positive that the symbolism of the permanence of Iridium, the reminder that we are star-stuff, and the fact that the ring would be one-of-a-kind would really strike a chord with my girlfriend. It's a really geeky idea, so I thought I would run it past you all — what do you think? Any other ideas?"
Privacy

Submission + - Japan to Fingerprint, Photograph all Foreigners (theage.com.au)

MochaMan writes: "As of this Tuesday, November 20th, Japan will be requiring mandatory fingerprinting and mug shots of all foreigners entering the country, making it one of only two countries in the world to do so. The program goes further than the US program in that it also applies to visa-holders and permanent residents. The prints will be stored and shared with other governments. The Japanese government has produced an explanatory video, and even a promotional PDF poster. Japanese and international civil rights groups have raised concerns that the practice is both an invasion of privacy and discriminatory. An online petition to abolish the program is available. Is the age of privacy over?"
Portables

Asus Insider Claims Apple Tablet Is Real 358

CaptainCrunchyApple writes "According to cnet.co.uk the oft-rumoured Apple Tablet PC is actually very real, and on its way soon. CNET claims to have spoken to an anonymous tipster at Asus who claims to be working with Apple to produce the tablet. 'We're guessing it'll be based on Intel Core architecture, a tweaked version of Leopard, and have all the multi-touch, CoverFlow goodness we've seen in the iPhone and iPod touch. All this begs the question: Can Apple turn the Tablet PC into a success when previous attempts have failed? The short answer is 'yes'. Any company that can make a mobile phone with no buttons, no picture messaging, slow Web access and no video capture into the most desirable phone on the planet can easily make tablets popular.'"
Microsoft

Turbolinux Is Latest To Sign Microsoft Pact 180

mytrip sends word that Turbolinux has followed Novell, Linspire, and Xandros in signing a patent and technology agreement with Microsoft. Microsoft pledged not to sue Turbolinux's users for patent infringement. Turbolinux, headquartered in Japan, sells Linux systems mostly in emerging markets such as China and India. The Betanews story speculates on some of the technology benefits Turbolinux might get out of the deal.

Data Centers Breathe Easier With Less Oxygen 392

PC World is reporting that some companies are looking at a new method of fire protection in their server closets, oxygen-deprivation systems.""Wood stops burning when the oxygen content falls to 17 percent and plastic cables between 16 to 17 percent, said Frank Eickhorn, product manager for fire detection at Wagner Alarm and Security Systems GmbH in Hanover, Germany. Wagner makes electric compressors that use a special membrane to remove some of the oxygen from the outside air, a system the company calls OxyReduct. The excess oxygen is exhausted, and the remaining nitrogen-rich air is pumped inside the data center."

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