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Submission + - Textfyre Brings Text Adventures to Mobile Devices (

ChicagoDave writes: Textfyre, a start-up software publisher in Chicago, is building a platform to deliver interactive fiction (text adventures) to all mobile devices, including the Amazon Kindle, Apple iPad/iPhone, Android, and more. They have a Kickstarter campaign looking to help pay for programming and other expenses. If you want to play new text based games similar Zork on your Kindle or iPad designed with a native user interface, pitch in and help. Current backers include Infocom alum Brian Moriarty as well as noted IF author Andrew Plotkin, Sarah Morayati, and Aaron Reed.

Submission + - Microsoft's WP7 Gamble -- Are Apps All That? (

CWmike writes: Microsoft's design and strategy for Windows Phone 7 is about as different from the iPhone and Android phones as it gets. In an app-happy world, Windows Phone 7 is app-light. And rather than luring you in with all the amazing things you can do on your phone, Microsoft lauds the ability of Windows Phone 7 phones to have you spend less time using your phone, not more. It's a big gamble — and it just might pay off, argues Preston Gralla.

Submission + - Computer defeats human at Japanese chess (

Calopteryx writes: A computer has beaten a human at shogi, otherwise known as Japanese chess, for the first time. As New Scientist reports, computers have beaten humans at western chess before, but that game is relatively simple, with only about 10^123 possible games existing that can be played out. Shogi is a *bit* more complex, offering about 10^224 possible games.

Comment Before you scoff, Try it (Score 5, Interesting) 391

I've played with a developer phone in the last month and I'm currently an iPhone user. I have to say I think they're on to something. I like the iPhone, but I'm probably going to switch to WP7 in November. The integration between app and data is an order of magnitude higher than any other phone out there.

Microsoft Unveils Windows Phone 7 Lineup 391

adeelarshad82 writes "Microsoft officially unveiled its Windows Phone 7 mobile operating system, announcing that it will be available on a total of five devices in the US. Windows Phone 7 handsets from AT&T and T-Mobile will begin shipping in November, while devices from Sprint and Verizon will be available next year. In all, Microsoft announced nine Windows Phone 7 phones, the remainder of which will be available in Canada, Mexico, the UK, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Singapore, and Australia. It will debut in some European markets on Oct. 21. While early signs are encouraging for Windows Phone 7, it is being deemed as do or die for the future of Microsoft's business."

Submission + - Has IOC/Dependency Injection Aged Well?

ChicagoDave writes: I'm writing an architecture paper for new development principals regarding Inversion of Control / Dependency Injection.

I've used DI principals in a lot of my own code without using a formal framework. Interfaced based programming and factory patterns are easy enough to use. Using XML configuration and a Service Locator pattern is a very simple thing to implement.

That said, in 2004 Fowler wrote his article and since then we have several well-baked IOC/DI implementations for many platforms. That was 6 years ago.

I'm interested in hearing about development environments that used IOC/DI across the board and how that's worked out through years of development and maintenance. The issues I'm curious about include code maintenance, code readability, ramp-up time for new developers, and other non-technical management issues.

If you've been using these principals in the same environment for years, please share your experiences.

Submission + - New look and logo for Ubuntu 10.04 unveiled (

An anonymous reader writes: Two new themes — dark and light — and both very, very pretty. New logo too, to match either of the themes. It's about time the 'flagship' Linux distro showed off its technological improvements with a shiny new look!

Submission + - Charging fees for Hulu comes with its own problems (

zummit writes: Hulu's days as a free online video site could be ending soon.

Comedy Central's decision to yank two of the most popular shows on Hulu — "The Daily Show" and "The Colbert Report" — in a dispute over splitting ad revenue is the latest blow to the entertainment industry's attempts to make money off ads that run with free video.

Yet Hulu's most viable alternative — charging for access to some videos — could turn off viewers and crimp the site's explosive growth. Ultimately, the remedy to Hulu's current troubles could leave the site even worse off, a poor shadow of its former self.


Submission + - Google Buzz flaw?

An anonymous reader writes: I haven't seen anything about this mentioned anywhere, so I thought I'd pass it along.

I've been using Buzz lightly since inception. I was talking with one of my friends, who I follow on Buzz, this morning, and mentioned that he might want to comment on something another of our friends had buzzed. He informed me that he had disabled Buzz a week or two ago. I found this odd, since I had been receiving his buzz updates from Google Reader and Twitter the whole time, including some tweets from last night. We discovered that even when you tell Google to disable Buzz, all that does is remove it from your own Gmail interface. It keeps on happily feeding any input streams into Buzz and displaying it to anyone who was already following you. When my friend turned Buzz back on, he discovered that some of his followers had commented on things he didn't know he had buzzed and which comments he had never seen.

This struck us as a flaw.

Submission + - Tablets and eReaders for Hackers, which one? writes: A vast number of the devices I've owned have been things I could hack, mostly bought simply because they were hackable. I've firmware-abused such devices as the WRT54G, NSLU2, Sheeva Plug, Andoird phones, various handhelds, etc and I've yet to regret purchasing a device simply for its ability to be modified in some unblessed-by-the-manufacturer way. As such ARM devices have certainly taken my eye for a number of years and lately both eReaders and Tablets have sparked a fair amount of interest (the combo devices have me really curious to say the least). Now with the sheer volume of devices currently hitting (or about to hit) the market in this area, from a hackers perspective which make you want to rush out and void some warranties?

Submission + - The Return of Commercial Interactive Fiction (

ChicagoDave writes: "I know this is a bit of self-promotion, but I thought people on Slashdot would be interested...

When Graham Nelson released the first version of Inform7 (, I thought this was an important piece of the puzzle in bringing commercial Interactive Fiction back to the world. Developing games in TADS, Inform, and Hugo is great, but they don't necessarily offer a business model much to work with. Regardless, a few people have tried to bring back IF; no one has really been successful since the Legends/Infocom days of the 1980's.

So I started developing Textfyre with the intent of targeting middle-schools with supplemental educational entertainment software. All of our current game designs target 10 to 13 year old boys and girls. We created a new user interface that currently requires Silverlight, but we're working on Flash and other cross-platform versions. We also have a standard text only version for the people that are already familiar with IF.

Our first game, Jack Toresal and The Secret Letter, was published in June. Our second game, The Shadow in the Cathedral, is getting ready to be published in the next week. A third game, The Empath's Gift, is due out later this year. Sequels for all of these games will come out next year. We plan two sequels for each game.

I was able to bring on board noted prize-winning hobbyist authors Mike Gentry (Anchorhead), Ian Finley (Babel, Kaged), Jon Ingold (All Roads, Mulldoon Legacy/Murders), Paul O'Brian (Earth and Sky trilogy), and Christopher Huang (Muse). We've developed our games as a team, with designers laying out the settings, writers doing the prose, and a single programmer pulling it all into Inform 7 code. We developed our own virtual machine (FyreVM) based on the Glulx specification by Andrew Plotkin and created a sophisticated user interface in Silverlight that has a book look and feel. Even the hints are similar to the old InvisiClues.

If you like Interactive Fiction, come and take a look at what we're doing and offer some support. We're just getting started and we're trying to create really cool stories with great puzzles and laugh out loud humor. Even if you've never played IF, come and check it out anyway. Either you or maybe your son or daughter will find it as amazing as I did when I discovered the mainframe version of Zork.


David Cornelson, President
Textfyre, Inc."

Submission + - SPAM: Interactive Fiction Returns

ChicagoDave writes: "A long time ago on a computer far far away, there was a game called Zork. It was the first commercial Interactive Fiction game published by the infamous Infocom.
Now there is a new Interactive Fiction publisher.

Textfyre is here!

Their first game, Jack Toresal and The Secret Letter, was published in June and is now available in Standard (traditional text) and Deluxe (Silverlight) versions. Jack is a fourteen year old orphan minding his own business in the small town of Toresal in the northern region of Miradania. Minding his own business, sitting down to eat an apple, Jack suddenly finds himself chased by mercenaries and the adventure begins. Why is Baron Fossville chasing him? Does the Baron know Jackâ(TM)s secret? Why do the Maidenâ(TM)s treat him differently than the other orphans? Was the old Lord Toresal murdered and why? Find out all the answers in Textfyreâ(TM)s first adventure game.

Textfyre also has upcoming titles, including The Shadow in the Cathedral and The Empathâ(TM)s Gift and all of their games are designed and written by experienced and award winning Interactive Fiction authors. The list includes Mike Gentry, who wrote the award-winning Anchorhead, Ian Finley who wrote Babel and Kaged, Jon Ingold who wrote All Roads, Paul Oâ(TM)Brian who wrote the Earth and Sky trilogy, and Christopher Huang, who wrote Muse: An Autumn Romance.

Each of these games is the first episodes in a series with sequels to follow next year. Join Textfyre in celebrating the birth of computer games and Interactive Fiction. Try the demo of Secret Letter online!"

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