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PC Games (Games)

EA Is Now Officially On Steam, Spore Loses SecuROM 354

Trevor DeRiza writes "Today, Valve and EA revealed that this week's earlier rumors were true: Spore (and other EA games) are coming to Steam. As of today, Spore, Spore Creepy & Cute Parts Pack, Warhammer Online, Mass Effect, Need for Speed: Undercover, and FIFA Manager 2009 are all available for download on Steam. In the coming weeks, EA will add Mirror's Edge, Dead Space, and Red Alert 3. On the official Steam forums, when asked whether or not Spore would contain the dreaded SecuROM DRM that contributed to it being the most pirated game of 2008, a moderator replied, 'It does not have third party DRM.' EA has also finally launched a 'de-authorization tool' to free up limited installation slots." Several readers have written to point out other news about Steam today: they've begun selling games priced in local currency for European customers. The only problem? Their conversion rate seems to be $1 per €1, somewhat less favorable than the current exchange rate, which is roughly $1.40 per €1.
Java

Sun Releases JavaFX 185

ink writes "Sun released JavaFX 1.0 today, in a bid to take on Adobe's Flash and Microsoft's Silverlight technologies. It is Sun's first Java release to include standardized, cross-platform audio and video playback code (in the form of On2 licensed codecs). The lack of a Linux or Solaris release is a notable absence. The development kit currently consists of the base run-time, a NetBeans/Eclipse plug-in and a set of artifact exporters for Adobe CS 3&4." An anonymous reader adds a link to several tutorials accompanying the new release.

Comment Re:So, does this mean (Score 2, Informative) 300

We are getting ready for our first beta of Moonlight 1.0, which will map to Silverlight 1.0, you have a few options to get it running:

(a) Wait until our official Beta launch, and it will contain an easy-to-install plugin. Click install, restart browser, you are done.

(b) You can use it today if you build from our source code, it is published here: http://www.mono-project.com/Moonlight

(c) Repositories like Packman have RPMs that you can install for various distributions that you can install today.

We will be using Microsoft's Media Pack for Linux, which is a licensed version of the media codecs, binary drivers provided by Microsoft. This has the advantage that the media companies that own the patents on codecs have been paid for (MPEG-LA consortium and others).

For those of you that live in a country where software/machine patents are not enforced (media patents are enforced in Europe, contrary to popular lore) or those that just want to stick it to the man, you can build Moonlight with the open source FFMPEG media codecs.

Support for Silverlight 2.0 will ship in preview form in December.

Microsoft

Microsoft Woos Developers Under the Silverlight 300

CWmike writes to tell us that with the impending release of their Silverlight 2.0 product, Microsoft is poised to enact the next phase of their plan, wooing developers and designers directly. Microsoft is funding a French open-source project designed to allow programmers to utilize the Eclipse framework to build Silverlight apps. "Microsoft is also releasing for free a set of programming templates called the Silverlight Control Pack under its Microsoft Permissive License, as well as the technical specification for Silverlight's Extensible Application Markup Language (XAML) vocabulary via Microsoft's Open Specification Promise. The latter, said Goldfarb, should make it easier for would-be Silverlight developers."

Comment Re:Iron Man's Suit Defies Physics -- Mostly (Score 2, Interesting) 279

Hydrogen peroxide powered rocket packs fly for around 30 seconds, because they have a specific impulse of around 125, meaning that one pound of propellant can make 125 pound-seconds of thrust, meaning that it takes about two pounds of propellant for every second you are in the air. Mass ratios are low for anything strapped to a human, so the exponential nature of the rocket equation can be safely ignored.

A pretty hot (both literally and figuratively) bipropellant rocket could manage about twice the specific impulse, and you could carry somewhat heavier tanks, but two minutes of flight on a rocket pack is probably about the upper limit with conventional propellants.

However, an actual jet pack that used atmospheric oxygen could have an Isp ten times higher, allowing theoretical flights of fifteen minutes or so. Here, it really is a matter of technical development, since jet engines have thrust to weight ratios too low to make it practical. There is movement on this technical front, but it will still take a while.

John Carmack

Apple Changes the APSL Rules 177

aitikin writes "Apple recently changed their license for the OS X kernel. According to semthex's post, Apple has reworded the APSL to prevent him and others from open sourcing the kernel hacking under the APSL: 'This file contains Original Code and/or Modifications of Original Code as defined in and that are subject to the Apple Public Source License Version 2.0 (the 'License'). You may not use this file except in compliance with the License. The rights granted to you under the License may not be used to create, or enable the creation or redistribution of, unlawful or unlicensed copies of an Apple operating system, or to circumvent, violate, or enable the circumvention or violation of, any terms of an Apple operating system software license agreement.'"

Samba Team Urges Novell To Reconsider 472

hde226868 writes "The team responsible for Samba has just asked Novell to reconsider its recent patent agreement with Microsoft, arguing that the agreement is a divisive agreement, effectively splitting the open source movement into groups with and without commercial status. Samba argues that with this move Novell is disregarding the will of the people who write the software sold by Novell and that Novell has 'no right to make self servicing deals on behalf of others which run contrary to the goals and ideals of the Free Software community'."

Comment Re:Why It's Good (Score 0) 279

Writing it in Java does have some advantages. One is that you can use the same code on a few popular platforms. Think about what that means to maintainability.

Please stop advocating this as an advantage, its exactly the opposite.

This is a advantage for the developer. For the users this is a clear disadvantage: It will never integrate as well into their platform as a native solution would. You might as well put on your projects web page that you care jack about your users.

Code is portable, User interfaces aren't. Take a hint from skype, implement your application in whatever language you please as a library and then make GUI's with the platforms native or best widget set. In their case that was C for the core and C++ QT, Delphi VLC and Obj-C Cocoa for linux, windows and mac respectively.

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