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Piracy

DRM vs. Unfinished Games 462

Rod Cousens is the CEO of Codemasters, and he recently spoke with CVG about how he thinks DRM is the wrong way to fight piracy. Instead, he suggests that the games industry increase its reliance on downloadable content and microtransactions. Quoting: "The video games industry has to learn to operate in a different way. My answer is for us as publishers to actually sell unfinished games — and to offer the consumer multiple micro-payments to buy elements of the full experience. That would create an offering that is affordable at retail — but over a period of time may also generate more revenue for the publishers to reinvest in our games. If these games are pirated, those who get their hands on them won't be able to complete the experience. There will be technology, coding aspects, that will come to bear that will unlock some aspects. Some people will want them and some won't. When it comes to piracy, I think you have to make the experience the answer to the issue — rather than respond the other way round and risk damaging that experience for the user."
Android

Droid X Self-Destructs If You Try To Mod 757

An anonymous reader writes with some discouraging news for hack-oriented purchasers of the new Droid X phone: "If the eFuse fails to verify [the firmware information (what we call ROMS), the kernel information, and the bootloader version], then the eFuse receives a command to 'blow the fuse' or 'trip the fuse.' This results in the booting process becoming corrupted, followed by a permanent bricking of the phone. This FailSafe is activated anytime the bootloader is tampered with or any of the above three parts of the phone has been tampered with."

Comment McMurdo (Score 5, Interesting) 437

When I was working for NASA, on the NISN network, we'd get these weird router crashes for the old Cisco router located at (or very near) the South Pole in Antarctica. It was always a memory problem, and I'd always have to call someone to get them to powercycle the router. It irritated me to keep bothering those guys, so I opened a case with Cisco TAC.

The TAC guy sent a terse response, saying that particular crash was a "transient memory error" due to "alpha radiation or sun spots." That really pissed me off -- Cisco TAC just gave me a standard BOFH response! I escalated, and swung the NASA club around some, and finally got a senior engineer on the phone. "You said this router's at the South Pole, right? So that means it's at very high altitude, with very little ozone shielding, right?" "Umm, yeah." "Well there you go. There's a lot more radiation at that altitude than at sea level. Our stuff's only rated for sea level. See if they can .. I dunno, put a lead blanket over it or something."

I relayed the info to my contact at McMurdo, and he laughed and said he'd figure something out.

On a hunch, I checked the other two "high-altitude" routers we had, and sure enough, they both had a statistically higher failure rate for "transient memory errors".

Open Source

Linux Kernel 2.6.32 Released 195

diegocg writes "Linus Torvalds has officially released the version 2.6.32 of the Linux kernel. New features include virtualization memory de-duplication, a rewrite of the writeback code faster and more scalable, many important Btrfs improvements and speedups, ATI R600/R700 3D and KMS support and other graphic improvements, a CFQ low latency mode, tracing improvements including a 'perf timechart' tool that tries to be a better bootchart, soft limits in the memory controller, support for the S+Core architecture, support for Intel Moorestown and its new firmware interface, run-time power management support, and many other improvements and new drivers. See the full changelog for more details."
Programming

The State of Ruby VMs — Ruby Renaissance 89

igrigorik writes "In the short span of just a couple of years, the Ruby VM space has evolved to more than just a handful of choices: MRI, JRuby, IronRuby, MacRuby, Rubinius, MagLev, REE and BlueRuby. Four of these VMs will hit 1.0 status in the upcoming year and will open up entirely new possibilities for the language — Mac apps via MacRuby, Ruby in the browser via Silverlight, object persistence via Smalltalk VM, and so forth. This article takes a detailed look at the past year, the progress of each project, and where the community is heading. It's an exciting time to be a Rubyist."
Earth

New Research Forecasts Global 6C Increase By End of Century 746

jamie writes with this snippet from the UK's Independent: "The world is now firmly on course for the worst-case scenario in terms of climate change, with average global temperatures rising by up to 6C by the end of the century, leading scientists said yesterday. ... [The study] found that there has been a 29 per cent increase in global CO2 emissions from fossil fuel between 2000 and 2008, the last year for which figures are available. On average, the researchers found, there was an annual increase in emissions of just over 3 per cent during the period, compared with an annual increase of 1 per cent between 1990 and 2000. Almost all of the increase this decade occurred after 2000 and resulted from the boom in the Chinese economy. The researchers predict a small decrease this year due to the recession, but further increases from 2010."
Blackberry

Hands-On Look At the BlackBerry Storm 2 213

Barence writes "PC Pro has had time to play with the new BlackBerry Storm 2, and came away impressed. The new touch system garners the most praise, doing away with the mechanical click screen of the original Storm — the new screen gives a kind of localised haptic feedback which 'feels just like clicking a button.' The phone, announced today, also includes Wi-Fi, BlackBerry OS 5, and increased storage, so it's looking an enticing prospect. After the disappointment of the Palm Pre, could this be the smartphone to beat?"
Windows

Michael Dell Says Windows 7 Will Make You Love PCs 627

ruphus13 writes "In a recent talk at the Churchill Club, Michael Dell addressed several topics, including the fact that Windows 7 is poised to take advantage of the upgrade cycle. Dell has always been a strong MS OEM ally and it is now hoping to cash in again from the impending upgrades. From the post: 'Dell made plain several times that he sees the installed base of technology as very old, and sees a coming "refresh cycle" for which he has high hopes. "The latest generation of chips from Intel is strong, particularly Nehalem," he said, adding, "and Windows 7 is on its way." (The operating system arrives Oct. 22nd, although Microsoft's large-volume licensees are already getting it.) He pointed out that many business are running Windows XP, which is eight years old. "I've been using Windows 7 for a long time now," he said, "and if you get the latest processor technology and Office 2010 with it, you will love your PC again. It's a dramatic improvement."'"
PlayStation (Games)

Improving the PlayStation Store 107

This opinion piece takes stock of Sony's PlayStation Store, examining its flaws and the areas Sony needs to improve as their gaming systems come to rely upon it more and more. The problems and suggested solutions involve everything from UI elements to demo availability to pricing inconsistencies. "Some people may say that the Microsoft Points scheme is a little confusing, but it is consistent. If a game is 800MSP in the US, it's 800MSP everywhere else. What a MSP is worth is up to the store, but for the most part they're close. The PlayStation Store on the other hand can be all over the place. While most games in North America keep to the same price point — such as $9.99 or $14.99, converting that over to Europe is another thing entirely. For example, Flower came out earlier this year for $9.99USD. In Australia a $10USD game gets converted to $12.95AUD. Or does it? Bomberman Ultra just came out, and it's $15.95AUD. Heavy Weapon gets released for $12.95AUD, while Capcom’s previous efforts, like Commando 3, convert to $15.95. The same thing also happens for more expensive titles. Both Battlefield 1943 and Fat Princess were released for $14.99 in the US, but in Australia they're priced at $19.95AUD and $23.95 respectively."
Role Playing (Games)

Free-To-Play Switch Going Well For D&D Online 201

babboo65 writes "Dungeons and Dragons Online is enjoying a second life in terms of player count and buzz, all thanks to its new business strategy: giving the game away. Turbine is making their MMO as accessible as possible, and that includes making players who don't pay anything as happy as possible. Subscriptions are up 40 percent. Ars explores how free can be very profitable."
Power

Comparing Performance and Power Use For Vista vs. Windows 7 WIth Clarksfield Chi 119

crazipper writes "Back when Intel launched its Core i5/i7 'Lynnfield' CPUs, Tom's Hardware ran some tests in Windows 7 versus Vista to gauge the benefits of the core parking and ideal core optimizations, said to cut power consumption in the new OS. It turned out that Win7 shifted the Nehalem-based CPUs in and out of Turbo Boost mode faster, resulting in higher power draw under load, while idle power was a slight bit lower. The mobile version of the architecture was claimed (at the time) to show a greater improvement in moving to Win7. Today there's a follow-up with the flagship Clarksfield processor that shows the same aggressive P-state promotion policies giving Win7 a significant performance advantage with Core i7 Mobile. However, power consumption is higher as well."
The Almighty Buck

Device Protects Day Traders From Emotional Trading 260

Philips Electronics, a Netherlands-based company, has come up with a device designed to protect day traders from emotionally based trading decisions. The Rationalizer measures your galvanic skin response and lets you know when you are under stress. An online trader can then take a "time-out, wind down and re-consider their actions," according to the company. This may have come too late for us, but at least future generations won't have to live through the horror of angry day trading.
Displays

First Look At Acer's 3D Laptop 151

Barence writes "Acer today revealed the world’s first 3D laptop, the Acer Aspire 5738PG, which will launch alongside Windows 7 on October 22. It uses a combination of software and specially coated glass on the 15.4in screen, along with a standard set of polarised glasses. Initial impressions were a bit iffy, and whether anyone actually needs a 3D laptop is another question entirely, but we'll find out this month."

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