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Games

Submission + - Battle.net server emulation achieved (geek.com)

An anonymous reader writes: While Blizzard has been dealing with Diablo III issues over the past few weeks, renowned Chinese hacking group Skidrow has been working away on a crack. The online DRM Diablo III uses, works by constantly checking to see if a user is connected while running the game. So Skidrow has developed a server emulator that makes the game think it is connected to Battle.net when in fact the gamer is playing offline.

The crack is still a work in progress, but it does work in so far as allowing the game to load and run, and a beta version has been released as a torrent. It also looks like it includes a LAN play option suggesting you can still play with friends. However, because the game effectively runs online it is apparently devoid of much content at the moment. And in order for that content to be added, Skidrow would have to steal it from Blizzard’s servers and add it to their emulated server.

PC Games (Games)

Minecraft Reaches Beta Status, Price Goes Up 279

Eric writes "After over a year of development, Minecraft has hit Beta status today. Minecraft was developed for about a week before its public release on May 17, 2009. With the new milestone, the price of the game has increased to €14.95; when Minecraft moves beyond beta status, it will sell for €20.00. The beta is more focused on polish and content. The aim is to add proper modding support via a stable API, some kind of non-intrusive narrative to help drive the game experience early on, and a late-game goal. Updates will be less frequent, so as to make sure stability is maintained thanks to more extended testing. Despite this, there have already been two beta releases: client and server Beta 1.0 followed quickly by client 1.0_01."
The Courts

Judge Berates Prosecutors In Xbox Modding Trial 285

mrbongo writes with this excerpt from Wired: "Opening statements in the first-of-its-kind Xbox 360 criminal hacking trial were delayed here Wednesday after a federal judge unleashed a 30-minute tirade at prosecutors in open court, saying he had 'serious concerns about the government's case.' ... Gutierrez slammed the prosecution over everything from alleged unlawful behavior by government witnesses, to proposed jury instructions harmful to the defense. When the verbal assault finally subsided, federal prosecutors asked for a recess to determine whether they would offer the defendant a deal, dismiss or move forward with the case that was slated to become the first jury trial of its type. A jury was seated Tuesday."
Hardware Hacking

Combining Two Kinects To Make Better 3D Video 106

suraj.sun sends this quote from Engadget about improving the Kinect 3D video recordings we discussed recently: "[Oliver Kreylos is] blowing minds and demonstrating that two Kinects can be paired and their output meshed — one basically filling in the gaps of the other. He found that the two do create some interference, the dotted IR pattern of one causing some holes and blotches in the other, but when the two are combined they basically help each other out and the results are quite impressive."
Patents

RuneScape Developer Victorious Over Patent Troll 89

An anonymous reader writes "Gamasutra reports that a US District Court judge has dismissed the patent infringement lawsuit brought against RuneScape developer Jagex discussed previously on Slashdot. Judge David Folsom last week dismissed online chat company Paltalk's claims that Jagex infringed on Paltalk patents relating to online network communications. The judge's ruling only resolved Jagex's case. Microsoft settled with Paltalk for an undisclosed sum in 2009 after the online communication technology company sued over the patents in a $90 million claim. That settlement opened the door to Paltalk's claims against other game companies, including Blizzard, Turbine, SOE and NCSoft. Paltalk alleged in the Jagex-related suit that it had suffered 'tens of millions of dollars' in damages. Jagex CEO Mark Gerhard said in a statement, 'It is exceedingly unfortunate that the US legal system can force a company with a sole presence in Cambridge, UK to incur a seven-digit expense and waste over a year of management time on a case with absolutely no merit,' and that Jagex 'will not hesitate to vigorously defend our position against any patent trolls who bring lawsuits against us in the future.'"
Businesses

Viacom To Sell Rock Band Creator Harmonix 112

UgLyPuNk tips news that Harmonix, the game developer behind Rock Band and the early Guitar Hero games, will be sold by parent company Viacom, signaling the media conglomerate's exit from the console game market. Quoting Wired: "The news is yet another ominous sign for the music-game business, which exploded seemingly overnight in 2005 with the release of Guitar Hero. ...sales have been in free fall since the dizzying heights of 2008, with Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock moving only 86,000 copies in its first week... Thus far in calendar year 2010, the balance sheet seems to show that Harmonix has been a $300 million liability for Viacom. And it doesn’t look like Viacom believes in the long-term future of music games. With any luck, the company will find a buyer that can help Harmonix grow, but it’s hard to imagine a better partner in the music biz than MTV."
United States

Rupert Murdoch Publishes North Korean Flash Games 186

eldavojohn writes "You might recall back in June when it was noted that North Korea was developing and exporting flash games. Now, the isolated nation state is apparently home to some game developers that are being published by a subsidiary of News Corp. (The games include Big Lebowski Bowling and Men In Black). Nosotek Joint Venture Company is treading on thin ice in the eyes of a few academics and specialists that claim the Fox News owner is 'working against US policy.' Concerns grow over the potential influx of cash, creating better programmers that are then leveraged into cyberwarfare capabilities. Nosotek said that 'training them to do games can't bring any harm.' The company asserts its innocence, though details on how much of the games were developed in North Korea are sparse. While one of the poorest nations in the world could clearly use the money, it remains to be seen if hardliner opponents like the United States will treat Nosotek (and parent company News Corp.) as if they're fostering the development of computer programmers inside the DPRK. The United Nations only stipulates that cash exchanged with companies in the DPRK cannot go to companies and businesses associated with military weaponry or the arms trade. Would you feel differently about Big Lebowski Bowling if you knew it was created in North Korea?"

Submission + - Neverwinter Nights MMO Planned (variety.com)

The Mysterious Dr. X writes: According to the folks over at Variety.com, there's a Neverwinter Nights MMO in development by Cryptic Studios. The details aren't available yet, but it looks like we may see a release date of 2011.
Software

Submission + - Court rules for software ownership over licensing (out-law.com)

valderost writes: Out-law.com reports on a finding of the US District Court for the Western District of Washington, in favor of an individual reselling Autodesk's AutoCAD software in "his claim that he owned the software and had the right to sell it on." The decision hinges on some technicalities in the Autodesk license and conflicting precedents involving a Vanessa Redgrave film, but it's some good news for the idea that a software purchase is just that.

Comment Re:Wii upgrade. (Score 1) 320

No idea but I'll try that game someday.

I also want to add that no PS1 platformer equals the beauty and HUGE worlds present in N64's Banjo-Kazooie and Banjo-Tooie. The PS1 Spyro games are fun, but clearly inferior graphically (tearing polygons and pixelation). And the hi-res of N64's Perfect Dark is fantastic for multiplayer - again no PS1 game can equal it.

This is why I say PS1 won the war despite being technically inferior to its competition.

   

Role Playing (Games)

Fable III Announced For 2010 52

Flea of Pain writes "Fable III is finally in the works! 'Peter Molyneux revealed that his team is working on Fable III, which will arrive in late 2010, two years after the release of Fable II. The game will give you the primary task of becoming Albion's king and leading the people to happiness and the kingdom to glory. Fable III will be something bold and different, Molyneux promises, stating that story and drama will play a major part in it. New things will be done with the dog and the bread-crumb-trails mechanic, which were present in the second game, and you will be offered complete control of your actions and your people's actions, as you will be the king of Albion. ... [Y]ou will need to balance many things, including poverty and greed, tyranny and compassion or progress and tradition, all in order to keep your subjects happy. Furthermore, you will be able to set taxes and decide how you will rule your subjects. Your spouse, be it a king or a queen, will also point you into various directions over the course of the game. It seems that you will start as a son or daughter of the hero from Fable II and then progress until the halfway point of the game when you will be named king or queen of Albion. This means that you need to keep your save data from Fable II in order for a higher degree of customization.'"
Puzzle Games (Games)

Scribblenauts Impresses Critics 54

Despite all the announcements for popular, big-budget game franchises at this year's E3, one of the most talked-about titles is a puzzle game for the Nintendo DS called Scribblenauts. In a hands-on preview, Joystiq described it thus: "The premise of the game is simple — you play as Maxwell, who must solve various puzzles to obtain Starites spread across 220 different levels. To execute the aforementioned solving, you write words to create objects in the world that your cartoonish hero can interact with. It's a simple concept that's bolstered by one astounding accomplishment from developer 5th Cell: Anything you can think of is in this game. (Yes, that. Yes, that too.)" They even presented it with a test of 10 words they wouldn't expect it to know or be able to represent, including lutefisk, stanchion, air, and internet, and the game passed with flying colors. The game will also allow players to edit and share levels. A trailer is available on the Scribblenauts website, and actual gameplay footage is posted at Nintendorks.

Comment Re:What an IBM-Sun Merger Might Mean (Score 1) 292

In terms of performance, I'd say empirically that NetBeans is worse than Eclipse.

They both freeze on me. But I used Eclipse on Windows, and NetBeans on a Mac, and in OS X, every application that wasn't specifically developed for Mac behaves like badly written bloatware. My guess would be that NetBeans would perform better on Windows or Linux. Then again, my Eclipse was loaded with plugins, whereas my NetBeans has only the most basic Ruby stuff, so I'm comparing apples with oranges.

Comment Re:Is A/C Mandatory? (Score 1) 685

Well, except that, below around 40mph (slightly different fro every car), rolling the windows down causes less drag than the load the a/c causes on your engine. So below 40 you'll get better fuel efficiency rolling your windows down and a/c off, and above 40 you're better off with the windows closed and the a/c on.

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