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Microsoft

Microsoft's Minecraft Set To Launch Its Own Currency (bloomberg.com) 67

Minecraft's popularity shows no signs of slowing down. Microsoft, which acquired the game's maker, Mojang, in 2014, has recently launched the game in China and continues to market it well in the U.S. The next big step for the game is the introduction of a new marketplace and brand new currency -- within the game itself. What this does is it "[opens] up the opportunity for businesses to sell their original content and creations to tens of millions of the game's players for the first time," writes Nate Lanxon via Bloomberg. From the report: Set to go live in the spring, nine businesses will be selling feature packs within Minecraft -- such as new storylines, in-game activities or landscapes to explore -- with prices ranging between about $1 and $10 per creation. Other companies can apply to be allowed into the marketplace over subsequent months. Users wishing to purchase content will need to buy a form of new currency -- Minecraft Coins. A store within the game does already exist but is limited to only items created by the Minecraft development team. The change to allow third-party developers to sell their wares within the same ecosystem opens up an entirely new business model for independent creatives.
Facebook

Facebook Makes Messenger a Platform 48

Steven Levy writes At Facebook's F8 developer conference, the ascension of the Messenger app was the major announcement. Messenger is no longer just a part of Facebook, but a standalone platform to conduct a wide variety of instant communications, not only with friends, but with businesses you may deal with as well. It will compete with other messaging services such as Snapchat, Line and even Facebook's own WhatsApp by offering a dizzying array of features, many of them fueled by the imagination and self-interest of thousands of outside software developers.

Comment I RTFA.... (Score 4, Informative) 139

From my interpretation of what's actually in the CITA program, this is no different than what's currently available in Apple's Find My iPhone capability. Allow the user to remotely lock (i.e. set a PIN) or wipe a device, and remove the pin and/or /restore the device if it's recovered.

It seems to me that all the armchair conspiracy theorists here are over-reacting.

Comment I work at Vertex... (Score 2) 264

Vertex has a very generous patient assistance program for this drug. It's *free* for those without insurance and who make less than $150k/year, and for others there's a generous co-pay assistance program. This drug will be available for everyone who needs it. We've spent 10 years and I don't even know how many hundreds of millions of dollars developing this drug, and helping save lives is what keeps us motivated every day.

---
of course, I don't speak for Vertex.

Comment Re:The Silmarillion (Score 1) 222

I once had to read The Simarillion for a class. It was my first exposure to the fantasy genre and I was quite confused, although I had already *not* read so many books for that class I had to continue. I slogged through literally the first quarter of the book before the scales suddenly fell off my eyes and suddenly I grokked it.

I closed the book, reopened it to the first page and breezed through the whole thing. It's still one of my favorites.

Standards For Interconnecting Virtual Worlds 142

Tao Takashi writes "Linden Lab, developers of the popular 3D platform "Second Life" started to think about an open standard for interconnecting virtual worlds. The motivation behind this is to make Second Life more scalable but also to allow connection of other grids not hosted by Linden Lab. The process of defining components and protocols is supposed to be handled completely in the open with community participation. When finished the protocol documentation is supposed to be submitted to standard committees such as IETC, W3C etc. The discussion has already started on the Second Life wiki and you can also find a first architecture proposal by Linden Lab."

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