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America Online

Submission + - AOL to Buy Huffington Post 1

mvar writes: Online company AOL Inc. is buying online news hub Huffington Post in a $315 million deal that represents a bold bet on the future of online news. The acquisition announced early Monday puts a high-profile exclamation mark on a series of acquisitions and strategic moves engineered by AOL CEO Tim Armstrong in an effort to reshape a fallen Internet icon. AOL was once the king of dial-up online access known for its ubiquitous CD-ROMs and "You've got mail" greeting in its inboxes.
Microsoft

Free Remote Access Tools For Windows and Mac Compared 152

snydeq writes "InfoWorld's Keith Schultz provides an in-depth comparison of seven free remote access tools for Windows, four of which offer compatibility with the Mac. 'As you read about each tool, you'll notice that I put a lot of emphasis on remote printing. I rely on remote access tools on a daily basis, and in most cases I need to be able to print to my remote PC. For someone that just wants to check their home/office email account or view documents from outside the office, all of the utilities here will work fine. But for those trying to get some serious work done, remote printing may be the deal breaker.' Many of the free tools under review offer paid or licensed versions for access to additional features."
Security

Submission + - Adobe Still Offering Insecure Reader For Download

Spad writes: "Almost 2 months after Adobe released a patch for Acrobat Reader 9.3.0 to resolve the highly critical remote execution vulnerability, they're still offering 9.3.0 as the only option for download

So unless you run the Adobe Updater immediately after install (Which seems to have issues with UAC unless you explicitly launch Reader as an Administrator), or make the effort to find the patch to 9.3.1, your machine is going to be at risk every time you open a PDF and most people will have no idea they're running unpatched.

It's not the first time they've done it, either."
Piracy

Ubisoft's Authentication Servers Go Down 634

ZuchinniOne writes "With Ubisoft's fantastically awful new DRM you must be online and logged in to their servers to play the games you buy. Not only was this DRM broken the very first day it was released, but now their authentication servers have failed so absolutely that no-one who legally bought their games can play them. 'At around 8am GMT, people began to complain in the Assassin's Creed 2 forum that they couldn't access the Ubisoft servers and were unable to play their games.' One can only hope that this utter failure will help to stem the tide of bad DRM."
Games

Ubisoft's Constant Net Connection DRM Confirmed 631

A few weeks ago we discussed news of Ubisoft's DRM plans for future games, which reportedly went so far as to require a constant net connection, terminating your game if you get disconnected for any reason. Well, it's here; upon playing review copies of the PC version of Assassin's Creed 2 and Settlers VII, PCGamer found the DRM just as annoying as you might expect. Quoting: "If you get disconnected while playing, you're booted out of the game. All your progress since the last checkpoint or savegame is lost, and your only options are to quit to Windows or wait until you're reconnected. The game first starts the Ubisoft Game Launcher, which checks for updates. If you try to launch the game when you're not online, you hit an error message right away. So I tried a different test: start the game while online, play a little, then unplug my net cable. This is the same as what happens if your net connection drops momentarily, your router is rebooted, or the game loses its connection to Ubisoft's 'Master servers.' The game stopped, and I was dumped back to a menu screen — all my progress since it last autosaved was lost."
PC Games (Games)

Future Ubisoft Games To Require Constant Internet Access 497

Following up on our discussion yesterday of annoying game distribution platforms, Ubisoft has announced the details of their Online Services Platform, which they will use to distribute and administer future PC game releases. The platform will require internet access in order to play installed games, saved games will be stored remotely, and the game you're playing will even pause and try to reconnect if your connection is lost during play. Quoting Rock, Paper, Shotgun: "This seems like such a bizarre, bewildering backward step. Of course we haven't experienced it yet, but based on Ubi’s own description of the system so many concerns arise. Yes, certainly, most people have the internet all the time on their PCs. But not all people. So already a percentage of the audience is lost. Then comes those who own gaming laptops, who now will not be able to play games on trains, buses, in the park, or anywhere they may not be able to find a WiFi connection (something that’s rarely free in the UK, of course – fancy paying the £10/hour in the airport to play your Ubisoft game?). Then there's the day your internet is down, and the engineers can’t come out to fix it until tomorrow. No game for you. Or any of the dozens of other situations when the internet is not available to a player. But further, there are people who do not wish to let a publisher know their private gaming habits. People who do not wish to report in to a company they’ve no affiliation with, nor accountability to, whenever they play a game they’ve legally bought. People who don’t want their save data stored remotely. This new system renders all customers beholden to Ubisoft in perpetuity whenever they buy their games."
Microsoft

Submission + - Microsoft Disconnects Xbox Owners (bbc.co.uk)

Shrike82 writes: The BBC are reporting that around 600,000 XBox owners have been banned from using Microsoft's XBox Live service for modifying their consoles to "play pirated games". The article mentions Terms of Use violations as the reason for disconnections, and cites game piracy as the main reason behind this move. The bans will only affect online services, so anyone banned from XBox Live can still use their consoles for offline gaming.
Software

Submission + - Seamonkey 2.0 is here! (seamonkey-project.org)

binarybum writes: Often forgotten, but the independent open source spirit lives strong in the once Mozilla project — now Seamonkey. Version 2.0 is finally out and rivals firefox with similar features but integrated email with a small footprint.
Mozilla

Submission + - SeaMonkey 2.0 released (seamonkey-project.org) 2

aodash writes: The SeaMonkey project at Mozilla is excited to release its completely refurbished next generation of the all-in one Internet suite today: SeaMonkey 2.0, now available for free download, melds the ideas behind Netscape Communicator with the modern platform of Firefox 3.5 to create one of the most compelling open source products for advanced Internet users.

The combination of an Internet browser, email & newsgroup client, HTML editor, IRC chat and web development tools, that has already established a wide user base in its previous incarnations, has been rebuilt on top of the modern Mozilla platform, featuring world-class add-on management among other things.

Medicine

For Some Medical Workers, a Flu Shot Or Possible Job Loss 541

theodp writes "Want to work at Winthrop Hospital? Roll up your sleeve, and we'll talk. TIME reports that every employee at the Long Island hospital — from doctors and nurses who care for patients to the administrative, housekeeping and food-service personnel — must be vaccinated against both seasonal and H1N1 flu or face termination. The mandate comes from the health department of New York, the first state to require all health-care workers to be vaccinated against influenza. Meanwhile, two-thirds of parents say they'll avoid flu shots for their little ones like, well, the flu. So who should you believe — Dr. Bill Frist or 'Dr.' Bill Maher? Before you decide, perhaps a consultation with Dr. Google is in order."
Education

Independent Games Festival Announces Student Showcase Winners 16

The Independent Games Festival has made this year's picks for the ten best student games. More detailed descriptions of each of the games are available at the IGF's website. These are games (and developers) to watch because, as Gamasutra points out, "Notable previous IGF honorees include many of today's breakthrough independent games, from Number None's Braid through 2D Boy's World Of Goo and Invisible Handlebar's Audiosurf. Previous Student Showcase winners have included Narbacular Drop — subsequently evolved into Game Developers Choice Game Of The Year winner Portal — and Cloud, from the student team who then created downloadable titles Flow and Flower."
The Almighty Buck

UK Child Abuse Investigators Resent Being Charged For ISP Data 241

nk497 writes "In the UK, ISPs are charging a child protection agency for access to IP user details they need for their investigations into online-related abuse. The Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre has paid out over £170,000 since 2006 on IP data requests related to child abuse cases, and expects to pay another £100,000 this year — enough to fund another two investigators. The CEOP's CEO said that any ISP which can't afford to give the police such help 'simply can't afford to do business.'" Surely it must cost the ISPs money to comply with such requests, no matter how official the quest.
Media

Submission + - Geek stars, from Atkinson to Montel to Zappa (computerworld.com) 2

Ian Lamont writes: "You probably remember reading about Brian May getting a PhD in Astrophysics, but may not know about the many other celebrities from the music, TV, and film worlds who have studied science and technology in college and grad school, or are simply serious gearheads who like gadgets, games, and other geek pasttimes. Computerworld has identified about 50 celebrities who fit the bill, including Dan Grimaldi (Patsy Parisi, The Sopranos) who has a Bachelor of Arts degree in math, a master's in operations research and a Ph.D. in data processing; Rowan Atkinson, who has a master's in electrical engineering from Queen's College, Oxford; and Todd Rundgren, who developed an early paint program called Utopia. Other folks on the list: Dr. Demento, Montel Williams, Natalie Portman, Curt Schilling, and Huey Lewis."
Nintendo

Submission + - Wii reaches 1 million units sold in the UK (pro-g.co.uk)

JamesO writes: "Nintendo's console becomes the fastest selling in UK video game history.

Nintendo has announced that Wii has passed the one million sales figure in just 38 weeks, some 11 weeks quicker than was achieved with the PlayStation 2 and 22 weeks faster than the Xbox 360.

Moving into the Christmas season, momentum for Nintendo's two gaming platforms shows no signs of slowing; for sales week 33 (week ending August 18) UK console shares for Wii and Nintendo DS Lite stood at 68% and 86% of the home and handheld markets respectively."

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