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The Internet

Submission + - France wins EU approval to fund Google competitor (theage.com.au)

Sapphon writes: Melbourne newspaper The Age reports that:

France on Tuesday won EU approval to give euro99 million (US$152 million) to several companies hoping to build a European rival to U.S. search giant Google Inc.
The European Commission said it could allow the government to fund French technology group Thomson SA and 22 other companies working on the QUAERO multimedia search project because the potential benefits to European research would outweigh any gain Thomson would win over rivals.
Thomson hopes the research will help it offer better Internet protocol distribution technology to deliver television programs or films online.
According to the EU, the grant would not help Thomson gain any market power because rivals should also keep up their investment in research and development. EU rules forbid governments granting money to companies if that would give them an unfair advantage over competitors. (IHT)

Operating Systems

Submission + - Torvalds pans Apple with 'utter crap' putdown

An anonymous reader writes: From The Age:

Apple's much-touted new operating system, OS X Leopard, is in some ways worse than Windows Vista, says the founder of the Linux open source project, Linus Torvalds.

Torvalds was in Melbourne last week for the linux.conf.au conference and was invited to pass judgement on OS X versus Windows Vista in a wide-ranging interview.

"I don't think they're equally flawed — I think Leopard is a much better system," he said. "(But) OS X in some ways is actually worse than Windows to program for. Their file system is complete and utter crap, which is scary."

Submission + - What qualities make for a good MMORPG?

Anonymous Gamer writes: "I am a long time RPG gamer. I've played pen and paper games for over 20 years, from Palladium Games, to Star Wars, to classic D&D. I have also been playing computer RPGs for a long time, all the way back to Legacy Of The Ancients (1987) and before.

Today's MMO's often leave a lot to be desired. I do not play WoW. I do not play Everquest. I've tried them all, and the "grind" just didn't appeal.

What makes a _good_ MMORPG, in the minds of Slashdot's crowd?

I like factions. I think EVERY world should be full PVP. The user-generated content of games like NeverWinter Nights has kept it going for years now.

My ideal MMO would have a "Elder Scrolls" style of progression in levels. You get better at the things you practice most.
Factions would be blended together, with guildmasters able to declare hostility to others, allowing for the "tags" of others to change colors based on that. User created drama can bring a great deal of fun to a game. Limiting the population somewhat will bring more of a family feel to the world. Limiting the resources to gain money and power quickly will keep the competitiveness high between factions.

There should be laws, and the world should be able to change. For example, if Reynard the thief decides to burn down the pawnshop because he got a bad deal on a gem he stole. The AI of the game should not only allow him to do it, but punish him by causing the guards to target him on sight. Perhaps his name would get a symbol next to it, allowing for players to hunt him down for the bounty. Bottom line, if you're a bad guy, you should eventually be driven out of civilized lands altogether. Good guys and newbie players should be wary of journeying alone in the wilds, because bad things happen to good people.. and good games. Perhaps people on a development team will read our ideas and run with it."
Media (Apple)

Submission + - Apple May Track IPod Thieves & You (msn.com)

Ryan N. Kamfolt - ClickAway writes: "Apple may begin implementing software in its I-Tunes suite to track serial numbers of I-Pods and compare them to a stolen I-Pod database. Due to the worlds most successful and popular product being on the #1 most stolen items list. This may alert the local police to come knocking on your door, if "Your" I-Pod is in question. Weather it be stolen or legit, people are not taking this to heart kindly at all. With the right to privacy walls closing in on us ever so fast, this seems to be another push to take our privacy rights away even more, or is it? Those who have had their I-Pods stolen love the idea. Others are not so happy about the idea. Some privacy right advocates have suggested implementing I-Pods or I-Phones with owner ID verification, such as a password or other forms of verification that must be entered into the devices before they will take a charge or allow you to place songs on the device. Or offer a service that is apart of Apple iCare, which allows users who feel they may become a victim of theft, to join this database, to further protect them in the even their I-Pod is stolen."

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