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Real Time Strategy (Games)

Heroes of Newerth Open Beta About To Start 118

You may recall last summer when we discussed Heroes of Newerth, a title from S2 Games that's based on the popular Defense of the Ancients mod from Warcraft III. We passed out some closed beta keys, and there seemed to be a ton of interest, in part due to the fact that they have a Linux client. Well, if any of you missed it or want to see how the game has progressed since then, now is your chance — the open beta begins tonight (March 31). There's a countdown on the sign-up page that shows when you can register.

Why Time Flies By As You Get Older 252

Ant notes a piece up on WBUR Boston addressing theories to explain the universal human experience that time seems to pass faster as you get older. Here's the 9-minute audio (MP3). Several explanations are tried out: that brains lay down more information for novel experiences; that the "clock" for nerve impulses in aging brains runs slower; and that each interval of time represents a diminishing fraction of life as we age.

Submission + - Microsoft Invents Making You Hate Your Fat Self

theodp writes: Perhaps it's easiest to just let Microsoft's newly-disclosed patent application for What You Will Look Like in 10 Years speak for itself: 'Many people out of sheer laziness refrain from partaking in physical activity and consume unhealthy food. This avoidance is borne out by the soaring demographic of persons who can be classified as being obese and who continually and incessantly eat fast foods (e.g., hamburgers, french fries, pizza, hot dogs, etc.) and then proceed to 'supersize' the order for a marginal increase in price, for example. In most instances, if people were pictorially or visually made aware of the consequences of their choices and actions, many, if not most, would modify their behavior and life style selections to comport with a healthier body image.' Can we count on seeing this negative body image feature in Microsoft HealthVault anytime soon?

Submission + - GMail vulnerability leaks images sent by others ( 1

rumith writes: Almost a year ago (December 2008), I reported a bug to Google concerning incorrect preview generation for TIFF images in GMail. The problem is that at least for some TIFF files (one such file is linked in the blog; you can use it to test my report) GMail generates a new preview every time this file is sent, and this preview doesn't correspond to the contents of the file I sent in any way. Rather, I see previews of photos (sometimes pretty embarrassing) apparently made by other users. Downloading the attached image works okay though. Get the word to Google to have the vulnerability fixed ASAP!

Disclaimer: Yes, I am the author of the blog linked. No, I have no idea why this file causes such behavior.

PC Games (Games)

Submission + - How Much Money Do Free To Play MMOs Make? (

simoniker writes: "Over at Gamasutra, a new feature article discusses how much money free-to-play MMO games make, with specific real-world stats from game developers willing to discuss how they make money with PC microtransaction-based games. In particular, Puzzle Pirates co-creator Daniel James reveals that "the average revenue per user (ARPU) is between one and two dollars a month, but only about 10% of his player base has ever paid him anything. As a result, he says, approximately 5,000 gamers are generating the $230,000 in revenue he sees each month." It's obviously quite a different model from the regular $15/month for World Of Warcraft, but it evidently works for some companies."
Linux Business

Submission + - Monitoring an employee who is running Linux? 1

An anonymous reader writes: OK slashdot, here's the deal. I have a small computer shop where we work for low-income people resurrecting dead hardware (mostly laptops) so they can get internet access. We have a quota that everyone has to meet. Recently we hired a new guy who is doing a lot of soldering and harder work so he doesn't consistently meet the quota. We are willing to overlook that, since the nature of the work is different. He also wants to run Linux instead of Windows on his PC, because he is a Linux user at home and is more used to that. Again, we let him do that. No sense in being mean. But now his performance is starting to get consistently worse. He doesn't always show up to work. Spends a lot of time on his PC but doesn't really get much done. With the other employees we have a monitoring software to keep audit logs of their internet usage. It doesn't work in Linux. First we started watching his network usage. Turns out there's a fair amount of data being sent to and from the PC but it's on the FTP port and encrypted. Obviously a tunnel. So we asked the guy to see his web browser history. He clears it, then gives me the cleared log. How nice of him. Now we're watching his shell history, but I'm not a big Linux user so I don't know what to be looking for. My boss (the owner) is jumping on me because of the low productivity. I don't want to fire him without some sort of clear evidence that he's screwing around on the clock, because he's talented and probably more useful to me than the next schmuck to come through the door. But I have to have some accountability to make the guy work. As a last resort, I can force him to install Windows, but I don't want to because I'd like to migrate the office to Linux later to save us money when we expand, and this issue would come back to haunt me. I'm working on learning Linux but I don't think I can get proficient fast enough to prevent this from being a problem. Can someone give me a pointer or some advice here?

Guitar Hero 5 To Allow Duplicate Instruments, Easy Switching 43

Activision confirmed the existence of Guitar Hero 5 last week, and now they've released details about some of the game's new features. Quoting 1Up: "... the new Party Play mode allows players to swap instruments and difficulties on the fly — even in the middle of a performance. You'll also be able to play Guitar Hero 5 with any combination of instruments, be it four drum kits, two microphones and two guitars, or any other possible configuration of four players." They also listed a few of the songs, which include "All Along the Watchtower" by Bob Dylan and "Ring of Fire" by Johnny Cash. Meanwhile, their music-game rival Harmonix has revealed the full set list for Rock Band Unplugged, coming out early next month for the PSP.

Submission + - World Exclusive: Hands-on with MotionPlus (

Parz writes: "In winter Nintendo will be releasing a peripheral called MotionPlus. This small device attaches to the bottom of the Wii-mote and acts as a more sophisticated motion-sensor to the controller as it currently stands. Its goal is to bring greater parity between a user's movements and the animations that they bring to life on-screen. Gameplayer is the first in the world to go hands-on with the device and they are extremely impressed — they have detailed their experience in this article."

Submission + - MI5, British spy agency searches for real-life `Q' (

suraj.sun writes: LONDON — He was James Bond's go-to guy for inventions that included dagger-embedded shoes, radioactive lint and a deadly sofa that swallowed people. Now, Britain's domestic spy agency — MI5 — is hunting for its very own "Q," of sorts.

MI6's sister organization, which carries out surveillance on terror suspects inside Britain and gives security advice to the government, is searching for someone to lead its scientific work. Projects could include everything from developing counterterrorism technology to tackling a biological or chemical attack.

"Looking for a chief scientific adviser to lead and coordinate the scientific work of the security service so that the service continues to be supported by excellent science and technology advice," MI5's Web site ad reads.

MI5 has long had a roster of scientific staff tasked with developing high-tech gadgets, but an official said the service now wants a high-profile figure to lead pioneering work in technology and science.

The adviser's work will focus chiefly on creating sophisticated new tools to help security service officers carry out surveillance and analysis work, said a government security official, who requested anonymity to discuss the work of MI5.

Y! News :

GNU is Not Unix

Submission + - Open Sourcing an Extensive MMO

An anonymous reader writes: Albeit maybe a week late on this news, Myst Online: Uru Live will be open sourced and the servers will be hosted as a "cloud-type" P2P network. We need talented coders!
Hardware Hacking

Submission + - Rugged Linux Server for Rural Tropical Environment

travalas writes: "Last year I moved to Rural Bangladesh. My work is pretty diverse, everything from hacking web apps to designing building materials. Increasingly a Linux VM on my MacBook Pro is insufficient due to storage speed/processing constraints and the desire to interface more easily with some sensor packages. There are a few issues that make that make a standard server less than desirable. This server will generally not be running with any sort of climate control and it may need to move to different locations so would also be helpful if it was somewhat portable. The environment here is hot, humid and dusty and brutal on technology and power is very inconsistent so it will often be on a combination of Interruptible Power Supply and solar power. So a UPS is a must and low power consumption desirable, so it strikes me that an Integrated UPS a la Google's servers would be handy. Spec wise it needs to be it needs to be able to handle several VM's and some other processor storage intensive tasks. So 4 cores, 8GB of ram and 3-4 TB of SATA storage seems like a place to start for processing specs. What sort of hardware would you recommend without breaking the bank?"

Submission + - iPhones call more than just the number you dial (

flopwich writes: It turns out, apparently, that Apple's iPhone makes more calls than it tells you about. A company called Pinch Media produces software that applications developers can add to their software to provide Pinch Media, and who else(?), access to information about the user's location and call times. It doesn't notify the user and gives no option to turn the "feature" off.

Submission + - The Internet Archive Demands Same Rights as Google (

Miracle Jones writes: "Brewster Kahle's Internet Archive has jumped on Google's "Authors Guild" settlement and asked to be included as a party defendant, claiming that they ought to get the same rights and protections from liability that Google will receive when the settlement is approved by federal court. From the Internet Archive's letter to Judge Denny Chin: "The Archive's text archive would greatly benefit from the same limitation of potential copyright liability that the proposed settlement provides Google. Without such a limitation, the Archive would be unable to provide some of these same services due to the uncertain legal issues surrounding orphan books." Who deserves the rights to out-of-print literature more? Google or Kahle's internet library?"

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