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Comment Re:And what about talented amateurs? (Score 1) 438

The article implicitly assumes both that game developers only make games for the money, and that a front-loaded payment model is the only way to go; both of which are not necessarily true. For example, Tarn Adams (Dwarf Fortress) earns his living entirely through donations.

Fixed that for you. Tarn Adams is the only example of a game developer living entirely through donations. Not even Jason Rohrer, who lives a minimalist lifestyle in the middle of nowhere, is capable of sustaining himself on donation only income.

Compare that with the overwhelming number of game developers who make a living through getting paid by people buying games.


3D Displays May Be Hazardous To Young Children 386

SchlimpyChicken writes "Turns out 3D television can be inherently dangerous to developing children, and perhaps to adults as well. There's a malaise in children that can prevent full stereopsis (depth perception) from developing, called strabismus or lazy-eye. It is an abnormal alignment of the eyes in which the eyes do not focus on the same object — kind of like when you watch a 3D movie. As a result, depth perception is compromised. Acting on a hunch, the guys over at Audioholics contacted Mark Pesce, who worked with Sega on its VR Headset over 15 years ago — you know, the headset that never made it to market. As it turns out, back then Sega uncovered serious health risks involved with children consuming 3D and quickly buried the reports, and the project. Unfortunately, the same dangers exist in today's 3D, and the electronics, movie, and gaming industries seem to be ignoring the issue. If fully realized, 3D just might affect the vision of millions of children and, according to the latest research, many adults, across the country." The Audioholics article is a good candidate for perusing with Readability — the pseudo-link popups are blinding.

Comment Re:Two senses of "closed." (Score 1) 850

Your arguments and comparisons are predicated on Apple being a monopoly in a space. Smartphones, tablets/netbooks, whichever. This is not currently even close to the case.

Apple had 99.4% market share of the mobile application market in 2009.

Ars Technica

Which part of that doesn't qualify as a monopoly?


Comment Re:Done (Score 1) 114

Yep, those Chess levels sure get uninteresting after a while...

"Once you start recognizing individual elements, then it really doesn't matter how the level's put together, and it stops being fun any more."

You're assuming a certain type of game where the level layout is relatively unimportant. Mario isn't one of those games.

Even a relatively simple level generation algorithm like in, say, Angband is enough to keep people playing the game for fifteen+ years - because the level layout matters and every move can be the difference between winning the game and having to start over.



Submission + - Fossilized sea scorpion was larger than a person (

hereisnowhy writes: A giant fossilized claw discovered in Germany belonged to an ancient sea scorpion that was much bigger than the average man, an international team of geologists and archaeologists reported Tuesday. In a report in the Royal Society's journal Biology Letters, the team said the claw indicates that sea scorpion Jaekelopterus rhenania was almost 2.5 metres long, making it the largest arthropod — an animal with a segmented body, jointed limbs and a hard exoskelton — ever found. In the report, the authors said the scorpion exceeds previous size records for arthropods by almost half a metre.
PC Games (Games)

Submission + - Why do games still have levels? ( 1

a.d.venturer writes: "Elite, the Metroid series, Dungeon Siege, God of War I and II, Half-Life (but not Half-Life 2), Shadow of the Colossus, the Grand Theft Auto series; some of the best games ever (and Dungeon Siege) have done away with the level mechanic and created uninterrupted game spaces devoid of loading screens and artificial breaks between periods of play. Much like cut scenes, level loads are anathema to enjoyment of game play, and a throwback to the era of the Vic-20 and Commodore 64 when games were stored on cassette tapes, and memory was measured in kilobytes. So in this era of multi-megabyte and gigabyte memory and fast access storage devices why do we continue to have games that are dominated by the level structure, be they commercial (Portal, Team Fortress 2), independent (Darwinia) and amateur (Nethack, Angband)? Why do games still have levels?"

Submission + - 'Heroes 2' on French VOD a day after US broadcast (

njondet writes: "In an unprecedented move to curb piracy, French television broadcaster TF1 has announced yesterday that it will make episodes of the second series of Heroes available on its video-on-demand service 24 hours after their broadcast in the US. The deal between TF1 and NBC, (the US network which produces and distributes the series), ensures that the VOD service, TF1 vision, will offer the new episodes for download and streaming starting on September 25. The episodes will be subtitled in French and cost as little as 1.99 Euro ($2.70) each (dependent on the pay package chosen)."

Submission + - Obesity linked to a variety of the common cold (

a.d.venturer writes: "In a story that's sure to be spread widely, new research has established a direct link between a common cold virus adenovirus-36 or Ad-36 and obesity. Stem cells removed during liposuction and exposed to Ad-36 changed into fat cells, whereas stem cells that were not exposed did not. Spread the Slashdot load amongst multiple news sites while you're making jokes about it. In all seriousness though, this does provide a good explanation of the increasing obesity epidemic in third world countries."

Submission + - Microsoft gets company's code-signing cert revoked

Beryllium Sphere(tm) writes: Australian firm Linchpin Labs released a free tool called Atsiv on July 20 to allow 64-bit Vista users to install unsigned drivers.

It was a simple hack: a signed driver that could install other drivers without checking their signatures.

By August 2, Microsoft had persuaded Verisign to revoke Linchpin's code signing certificate. The revocation takes effect the next time a computer is rebooted.

Scott Field of Microsoft said "Microsoft is committed to protecting its customers from potential as well as actual security threads[sic]".

History buffs may remember a similar incident from 1997 in which the author of an ActiveX control to shut down a computer found his certificate revoked.

Lockergnome coverage of the Linchpin Labs story.
Microsoft announcement of revoking Linchpin's certificate and adding them to the blacklist in Windows Defender as "potentially unwanted software".

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