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Company Announces $30,000 Prize For Solving iPhone Game 85

dlpasco writes "Puzzllotto. The game, styled after titles such as Myst and Zork, will be available in the iPhone App Store later this week for $4.99. 10% of the sales revenue from the game will go to the Madagascar Fauna Group. At this point, only US citizens may participate in the contest but it has been stated that UL wishes to make future events world wide. 'Even though Puzzllotto represents a significant investment of engineering and legal resources, the company refuses to apply for patents on any invention. Instead, the company hopes to share its investment with other developers through its site, while the company's ten employees hope Puzzllotto will raise enough money to capitalize bigger dreams.'" This could also be seen as a test for greed, since the prize money will only start at $1,000 and will grow by $1,000 each day for 30 days, at which point, if no one has solved it, the entire pot will be donated to charity.

Submission + - Analyst: Wii Shortages Could Last Until 2009

njkid1 writes: "Commenting to Home Media Magazine on the recent NPD results for the first quarter of 2007, IDC analyst Billy Pidgeon made some interesting remarks about Nintendo's Wii. The Wii sold 259K units in March, but the general consensus seems to be that it would have sold far more if its supply wasn't so badly constrained. ure/?id=15925&ncid=AOLGAM000500000000025"

Submission + - The Truth about Plug-in Hybrids

FloatsomNJetsom writes: "Forget hydrogen — bring an extension cord instead. Popular Mechanics has an exhaustive survey on electric cars, including a special report on plug-in hybrids, such as the (not yet built) GM Volt. From the article: "Garage tinkerers have been turning hybrids into plug-ins for years, but somehow no one paid attention. Other clean-car alternatives (like those below) got all the love. But, really — hydrogen? Maybe, someday. Now, the carmakers say plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) are coming, if the engineers can get the batteries right. They will. Because it's hard to argue with 100 mpg." Plus, lots of video test drives..."

Submission + - Judge Says RIAA "Disingenuous", Decision S

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes: "Judge Lee R. West in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, has rejected the arguments made by the RIAA in support of its "reconsideration" motion in Capitol v. Foster as "disingenuous" and "not true", and accused the RIAA of "questionable motives". In the decision (pdf), reaffirming his earlier decision that defendant Debbie Foster's is entitled to be reimbursed for her attorneys fees, the Court, among other things, emphasized the Supreme Court's holding in Fogerty v. Fantasy, Inc. that "because copyright law ultimately serves the purpose of enriching the general public through access to creative works, it is peculiarly important that the boundaries of copyright law be demarcated as clearly as possible. Thus, a defendant seeking to advance meritorious copyright defenses should be encouraged to litigate them to the same extent that plaintiffs are encouraged to litigate meritorious infringement claims." Judge West also noted that he had found the RIAA's claims against the defendant to be "untested and marginal" and its "motives to be questionable in light of the facts of the case"; that the RIAA's primary argument for its motion — that the earlier decision had failed to list the "Fogerty factors" — was belied by unpublished opinions in which the RIAA had itself been involved; that the RIAA's argument that it could have proved a case against Ms. Foster had it not dropped the case was "disingenuous"; and that the RIAA's factual statements about the settlement history of the case were "not true". This is the same case in which an amicus brief had been filed by the ACLU, Public Citizen, EFF, AALL, and ACLU-Oklahoma in support of the attorneys fees motion, the RIAA questioned the reasonableness of Ms. Foster's lawyer's fees and was then ordered to turn over its own attorneys billing records, which ruling it complied with only reluctantly."

Human Head Offices Destroyed, Company Bands Together 49

Yesterday, Gamasutra reported the sad news that the offices of Human Head studios were destroyed in a fire. Based out of Madison, Wisconsin, the indie developer recently signed up to do the next Mark Ecko game, riding high on their success with Prey from last year. Today, thankfully, Next Generation has the news that the company has survived more or less intact. "[Office Manager Carol] Smith said, 'I work with an incredible group of guys, and as soon as we got over the shock of oh my gosh, we had a fire--what if we lost data, what if we lost art? ...the next words out of everybody's mouths were, What can we do to help?' An update on Human Head's website confirmed that there were no injuries in the blaze that occurred at 2:30 a.m. on Friday and that the Prey developer 'suffered no significant data loss.'"
First Person Shooters (Games)

Submission + - VA Tech Shooter Not a Gamer; No Corrections Coming

realinvalidname writes: The San Francisco Chronicle takes Jack Thompson and Dr. Phil to task for blaming video games for the Virginia Tech shootings before perpetrator Seung-Hui Cho was even identified. "Last week's unfounded attack on gamer culture would be far less frustrating if it weren't something that happens at least once a year. Imagine how ridiculous it would seem if cable news interviewed alarmists who blamed professional wrestling or game shows (two things that Cho reportedly did enjoy in college) for a massacre before a suspect was identified."

Submission + - How an Email Rant Jolted a Big HMO

Radon360 writes: From the WSJ Article:

On a Friday morning last November, Justen Deal, a Kaiser Permanente employee, blasted an email throughout the giant health maintenance organization. His message charged that HealthConnect — the company's ambitious $4 billion project to convert paper files into electronic medical records — was a mess.

Mr. Deal signed the email. Before sending it, he says, he printed out a copy and handed it to his boss. Soon afterward, his office phone was ringing off the hook. IT staffers later arrived to seize his computers, and Mr. Deal was placed on paid leave from his $56,000-a-year job.

Despite Kaiser's efforts to squelch and downplay the incident, the email episode shows that, in the digital age, flicking away whistle-blowers isn't as easy as it once was.

Submission + - Jack Thompson rushed to judgement

Jamil Karim writes: "MSNBC has an interesting article criticizing Jack Thompson not only for blaming video games for the Virginia Tech massacre when "police hadn't even identified the gunman", but also attacking his argument:

"And for all of Thompson's claims that violent video games are the cause of school shootings, Sternheimer points out that before this week's Virginia Tech massacre, the most deadly school shooting in history took place at the University of Texas in Austin... in 1966. Not even "Pong" had been invented at that time.""

Submission + - China to pass US as worlds top CO2 source in '07

Socguy writes: China will overtake the United States as the world's biggest source of greenhouse gases this year, says the International Energy Agency, according to a news report. ssions.html China had been forecast to surpass the U.S. in 2010, but its sizzling economic growth has pushed the date forward, IEA chief economist Fatih Birol was quoted as saying in an interview in Tuesday's Wall Street Journal newspaper.
The Media

Submission + - Ogg has never been tested in court. ..

rs232 writes: "'Let sleeping Oggs lie — it's a music file format without support or hope'

'Ogg still carries potential risks, because there is no guarantee that it doesn't infringe someone's patents'

'And if a correctly licensed MP3 isn't safe, how safe is Ogg? It has never been tested in court. I am and always have been strongly in favour of open file formats, so I wish Ogg well' tory/0,,2060078,00.html"

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