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Two Porn Companies Take ICANN and .xxx Registrar To Court 272

SharkLaser writes "Two of the largest porn companies on the internet, Manwin and Digital Playground, yesterday sued both ICANN and ICM Registry, which runs the .xxx TLD, over extorting defensive registrations with ICANN's blessing. 'The complaint focuses on ICM's recently concluded "sunrise" period, during which porn companies, for about $200, could apply to own a .xxx address matching their trademark or .com domain.' Schools also felt the same way, and had to reserve domains under their name so that no porn content could be put up on them. The .xxx TLD has also previously been subject to criticism by both religious groups and adult industry, but for different reasons. Religious groups believe the .xxx TLD legitimizes pornography, while the adult industry believes it could lead to censorship."

EA Considers Service-Based Business Model For Sports Games 64

Andrew Wilson, head of development for EA Sports, spoke at the Develop 2011 conference about an unusual business plan the company is considering for future games: "[Wilson] raised the subject of Amazon's Whispersync feature, which allows customers to download a digital book for one price and then read it on whichever format they like from PCs to smartphones and Kindle, without having to pay again for each platform. He suggested that eventually EA Sports may well move toward the same model with its own games, even providing all of its titles, from FIFA and Madden to Tiger Woods PGA Tour golf, for one fixed price on multiple platforms – all linked by the same social gaming ecosystem. 'It's about handing over control to the gamer,' he said. 'Ultimately, what we want to get to is this concept where we break down the barriers between the franchises. John Riccitiello, our CEO, says it seems like such a waste – we spend $20-40M making each of these games, but most gamers only ever play one, because the business model is an impediment. So how about we drive toward a model where every gamer can experience everything we make without paying that much more money. You've got to recognize that given the opportunity, the consumer will play and they will bring their friends.'"

Cisco To Challenge iPad With Cius 'Business Tablet' 217

GMGruman and several other readers noted Cisco's announcement of the forthcoming 7-inch Android-based iPad challenger, the Cius, which "... will offer multiple networking capabilities, keyboard and mouse support, and the ability to do videoconferencing. Cisco says it will cost less than $1,000, or about the same as an iPad. The Cius will come with a front-facing high-definition video camera that can record 720p video at 30 frames per second and a 5-megapixel camera at the back that can capture high-quality video and still images. Users will be able to engage in live video calls [most likely via WebEx] when the tablet is docked or being held. Some units will be available this fall, though general availability is not expected until early 2011."

Leaked MS Presentation Shows App Store Plans For Windows 8 339

FrankNFurter sends word of an internal Microsoft presentation leaked online today that contains details about Windows 8. The slides mention support for 3-D displays, connectivity upgrades, rapid startup times, and an integrated application store. Quoting Neowin: "Consumers will be able to search on the web or locally on a Windows 8 machine to access applications from the store. Microsoft also details plans for application developers to help reach millions of users. One of the goals is to ensure licensing and monetization for developers is flexible with a transparent on-boarding process. It's clear that the 'Windows Store' will be a software service Microsoft provides and hosts fully in the cloud. The company will likely build the distribution model on Windows Azure to lure application developers."

New York State Testing Emergency Alerts Over Gaming Networks 212

An anonymous reader writes "Gamers are used to confronting invading terrorists, nuclear attacks, and natural calamities—in virtual form. But those living in New York State could soon receive warnings about real emergencies through their favorite video console. State authorities are testing a plan that would see the Emergency Management Office issue alerts over online gaming networks in addition to regular channels."

Casual Games Quickly Transforming the MMO Market 238

An anonymous reader writes "Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick disclosed that their forthcoming, unnamed MMOG will have 'a little more broad appeal' than its market-leading MMO World of Warcraft. This is adding to speculation that the game might be free to play, since such games now take more in digital revenue than any other genre. In his GDC Austin keynote today, Sony Online Entertainment president Jon Smedley said, 'As a company, we knew we had to evolve ... to expand [our] audience ... and to get a much wider female audience.' The article notes that SOE hasn't abandoned hardcore MMOs, but his talk focused on Free Realms, SOE's free-to-play MMO that has grown to 5 million users in 5 months. Marketed to kids, 51% of Free Realms gamers are under 13, with around 75% under 18, who pose a challenge to attract and retain. Since they only play for about 20 minutes per session and aren't focused on the mechanics of the game, SOE can get away with changes that are unfair to some players, as shown by a recent, oddly-handled item nerf in Free Realms."

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