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Comment It comes down to consumer choice (Score 1) 1

As a consumer you need to make a decision. Personally, if I cannot play it "offline" I do not purchase it - I've even returned games that could not be "unlocked" without playing online. Bike Race for android is a good example of this.

If most consumers made decisions like this then game makers would start to produce games that play equally well offline as online.


Submission + - Why do you want to kill my pet? Zynga to shut down PetVille and 10 Others ( 1

Dr Herbert West writes: Executing the cost-reduction plan CEO Mark Pincus announced in November, Zynga has shut down, pulled from the app stores, or stopped accepting new players to more than 10 games such as PetVille, Mafia Wars 2, FishVille, Vampire Wars, Treasure Isle, Indiana Jones Adventure World, Mafia Wars Shakedown, Forestville, Montopia, Mojitomo, and Word Scramble Challenge.

Comments from gamers on the shutdown notices included things like “my daughter is heartbroken” and “Please don’t remove petville. I been playing for 4 yrs. and I’M going to miss my pet Jaime.why do you want cause depression for me and others. Why do you want to kill my pet?”

For players that have invested a lot of microtransactions and/or time, this comes as a heavy blow. Most readers on /. have become used to game publishers disabling content or shutting servers down with little or no notice-- is this a further sign of things to come, or will this cause enough outrage to reverse the trend?

Submission + - What could have been in the public domain January 1, but isn't (

An anonymous reader writes: What could have been entering the public domain in the US on January 1, 2013? Under the law that existed until 1978 Works from 1956. The films Godzilla, King of the Monsters!, The Best Things in Life Are Free, Forbidden Planet, The Ten Commandments, and Around the World in 80 Days, the stories 101 Dalmations and Phillip K. Dick’s The Minority Report, the songs Que Sera, Sera and Heartbreak Hotel, and more What is entering the public domain this year? Nothing.

Submission + - BREAKING NEWS: Possible Habitable Planet Just 12 Light Years Away (

sciencehabit writes: Astronomers have discovered what may be five planets orbiting Tau Ceti, the closest single star beyond our solar system whose temperature and luminosity nearly match the sun's. If the planets are there, one of them is about the right distance from the star to sport mild temperatures, oceans of liquid water, and even life.

Submission + - New DVRs will use Cameras, Microphones, Sensors to monitor their Owners ( 1

dryriver writes: Russia Today reports: 'Think Google ad targeting is crossing the line? Verizon filed a patent for a cable television box that uses sensors to record what you’re doing and target you with specific advertisements that relate to your mood. The telecom giant Verizon wants to know you better. Much better. The company just registered a patent for its DVR of the future. The set-top box would use a depth sensor, an image sensor, an audio sensor and a thermal sensor to determine what those watching television are doing. If a couple is having an argument in front of the TV, a marriage counseling ad may come up. If two people are cozying up, Verizon may put up an ad for contraceptives or a romantic getaway. The sensors would also be able to detect where someone is looking. If the viewer is watching a certain ad, Verizon might use that as an indicator to play similar ads in the future. “If detection facility detects one or more words spoken by a user (e.g. while talking to another user within the same room or on the telephone), advertising facility may utilize the one or more words spoken by the user to search for and/or select an advertisement associated with the one or more words,” Verizon wrote in its Patent application. Even more intrusive might be the DVR’s ability to detect and communicate with mobile devices held by viewers. If Verizon senses a mobile phone being used, it may “communicate with the mobile device to limit the content accessible by the way of the mobile device”, as well as stream advertisements that correspond to what the viewer is looking at on his or her phone.'

Submission + - Global Warming Really Just a Statistical Fluke? (

J Story writes: Matt Asher, a statistics wonk, in a blog posting (The surprisingly weak case for global warming) claims that: "Based solely on year-over-year changes in surface temperatures, the net increase since 1881 is fully explainable as a non-independent random walk with no trend."

For the programmer/statistics junkie, R code is provided.

Comment Re:speak for yourself (Score 1) 2

Damn, if only I hadn't thrown out all the junk DNA that was lying around my place. I could have created a super human from it. Or should that be evolved a super human from it?

Perhaps all the junk DNA that is lying in landfills around the planet have already become super humans and will soon burst forth destroying everything on the planet.

I can see the movie title now: "Planet of the Junk DNA mutants"

Comment Re:Fracking (Score 1) 2

And it was the Fracking politicians on yet another of their money grabs that resulted in Australia getting a carbon tax that will do nothing other than reduce the amount of money the Australians have while we continue to burn brown coal to produce electricity that a lot of people can no longer afford.


Submission + - Hackers Leak Contents of Israeli Vice Prime Minister's Gmail Account

An anonymous reader writes: On Tuesday, a group that calls itself the ZCompanyHackingCrew (ZHC) successfully hacked and defaced the Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Blogger accounts belonging to Israeli Vice Prime Minister Silvan Shalom. Furthermore, the group also claimed to have access to his Gmail account and threatened to leak his emails. On Wednesday, ZHC says it has delivered on this promise.

Submission + - NTP glitch reverts clocks back to 2000 (

An anonymous reader writes: It seems a glitch of some sort wreaked havoc on some NTP servers yesterday, causing many machines to revert to the year 2000. It seems the Y2K bug that never happened is finally catching up with us in 2012.

Submission + - "Ban 'Killer Bots'", urge human rights watch (

Taco Cowboy writes: A self-proclaim "Human Rights Group" — the "International Human Rights Clinic" from Harvard Law School — has teamed up with "Human Rights Watch" to urge the banning of "Killer Robots".

A report, issued by the Human Rights Watch, with the title of "Losing Humanity" — — claimed that autonomous drones that could attack without human intervention would make war easier and endanger civilians.

Where's the "Robot Rights Watch" just when you need 'em?

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