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Submission + - Microsoft confirms it: Adobe Flash is dead? (msdn.com) 2

An anonymous reader writes: The Microsoft Windows Engineering Team has announced that the Metro interface web browser in Windows 8 will not support plug-ins — Adobe Flash included. Users will still be able to open a traditional browser interface to make use of legacy sites that rely upon plug-ins. This news follows a recent blog post by the Internet Explorer 10 team pushing the use of HTML5 video as a replacement to Flash video. With Google, Apple, Mozilla, Opera and other major players already backing HTML5 — is Adobe Flash finally dead? Is this the end of DRM on the web?

Submission + - SAP pays $20M to settle criminal charges in Oracle (cio.com.au) 1

swandives writes: SAP has agreed to pay just over $US20 million to settle a criminal case brought against its TomorrowNow subsidiary. SAP Chief Financial Officer of Global Customer Operations Mark White pleaded guilty on behalf of his company to charges that employees of TomorrowNow accessed Oracle's customer support portal without authorization and illegally downloaded software and support documents. In a plea agreement struck between SAP's TomorrowNow subsidiary and the U.S. Department of Justice, the company agreed to pay $20,004,800 in fines and submit to three years of corporate probation.

It seems like a lot, but $20 million isn't much when compared to the $1.3 billion in damages a civil jury ordered SAP to pay Oracle last year after arriving at a guilty verdict over related allegations.

Book Reviews

Submission + - Unity 3 Game Development Hotshot (packtpub.com)

bartosz.broda writes: "Unity 3D is a cross-platform game development environment that simplifies writing games. It supports rendering, lighting, terrains, physics, audio, networking and many more. The built-in editor is easy to work with and the scripting is done in UnityScript (a variant of JavaScript), C# or Boo. The cross-platform aspect of Unity is amazing: you can publish to the Web, Windows, Mac, iOS, Android and consoles (Wii, Playstation 3 and XBox 360). Capabilities of Unity are not quite as advanced as those of Unreal Engine 3 or CryEngine yet, but they are impressive nonetheless. The environment is very indie-friendly, so it should not be surprising that Unity is becoming very popular. A few books were already written on Unity. Unity 3 Game Development Hotshot is one of the latest position published on the subject.

I treat game development as a hobby without having much experience in the area. I looked at quite a few game engines available and finally settled on Unity as it seems to be easy to develop in and has a large community. Unfortunately, it does not support Linux, but there are some interesting rumours on the subject. I have played around with Unity for a while, followed some on-line tutorials. Finally, I decided that I need an up-to-date book. Not surprisingly I have chosen Unity 3 Game Development Hotshots as it is targeted at beginners.

Instead of classical chapters the book is divided into 8 projects. First project is a kind of warming up: a sprite-based 2D platform game. This is very good introduction to basic features of Unity. I didn't realize that it take so little effort to code a simple game — with the help of the book I made a sprite-based character running (and jumping) through a simple level in no time. The second project revolves around creating a GUI in Unity. The project was not as interesting as the first one, but the results are quite nice: a GUI and a simple inventory system for cRPG.

With third project things get even more interesting. You can learn how to export your models from 3D Studio and import them into Unity. Too bad there is no example with other 3D packages like Blender. From my experience loading (simple) models from Blender is even easier then from 3DS — it is only a matter of dragging and dropping a file. A quick overview of shader programming is also present in the third project. This was the first time that I was exposed to Cg language, but I did not have problems with catching up.

Projects five to eight are concerned with developing a simple third person shooter game. Starting with construction of rocket launcher the author moves to simple AI based for bots, destructible environments and uploading high-scores to the web servers. I found the last project not very inspiring.

There are four appendices in the book that cover: important functions in unity, coroutines and yields, differences between C# coding and Unity JavaScript and some basic information on shader programming. I found the appendix on the difference between C# and JavaScript especially useful as I have some experience in C#, but knew only a basics of JavaScript.

If you are interested, then you can find a more-in-depth overview of the book content on the publisher site. I had bought the eBook thus I cannot comment on the quality of printed version. The format of the eBook is pdf, the graphical layout is well organised. Unfortunately, there is a lot of graphics and the pdf is only partially readable on e-ink reader that I have. I have contacted Packt and they assured me that ePub version will be available in the future.

The content of the book is easy to follow. The author gently introduced all the basic concepts. For example, the difference between orthographic and perspective view is shown on an image and described in the text. More complex topics are explained in the same manner.

The book follows a simple formula for all the projects and subprojects that certain readers might find attractive. First, the general objective is outlined. Then the solution is presented. Detailed discussion is given at the end. For me the discussions were most valuable parts of the book.

Unity is a huge development environment. The author does not try to hide it. In many places throughout the book there are references to on-line resources that explain certain topics in depth.

The book is not perfect. There are a few things that annoyed me while reading. First, there is almost no introduction to UI of Unity Editor. Also, the book is not for people with no programming experience as it jumps right to the code. I had a little problems following along with first projects — up to the point of reading an appendix which explained the differences between JavaScript and C#. There is also a lot of coping of code from the book and blindly adjusting properties in the editor. It was not a huge deal as changing of the various settings were necessary, but I found it a little bit irritating. Fortunately, final version of all scripts can be downloaded from Packt website.

There are also a few problems with the code. First, the code is not highlighted in the book, thus the readability is low (especially when the lines are wrapped). I used to copy the code to MonoDevelop and read it there. The code is clear, commented and self-explanatory most of the time, but there are too many magic numbers present. Worse — most of the magic numbers are not explained. Another small thing that should be fixed is that in the provided code the indentation uses a mixing of tabs and spaces.

Overall I am satisfied with the book content. It gives a quick overview of most important capabilities of Unity 3D with many pointers to on-line resources for more advanced or in-depth topics. I can recommend the book for all beginners to Unity that have some programming background."

Comment Re:Why must I have Windows 7? (Score 1) 803

"(yes, xp 64 bit exists, but its a dead end product)"

I do not know why this common misconception is repeated again and again here on /. There was a time I had to use xp(x64) a few years ago and I had no problem with it at all (no new problems added to common windows peculiarities anyway). Heck, I still have this windows partition for gaming.

Comment Re:Huh? (Score 1) 1089

You're joking right? 64-bit Linux has way less issues with driver compatibility than does any version of 64-bit Windows. I can't even think of a driver that doesn't work on 64-bit Linux.

Yeah, he is joking or trolling. Installation of drivers under x64 Linux is far easier then on 64-bit Windows (for me even 32-bit windows fetch-the-driver and install procedure is tiresome comparing to just-works Ubuntu way). But there is some stuff that works with Win64 and not with Linux, i.e., I didn't manage to have audio over HDMI on Ubuntu (which "just worked" in Vista x64).

Comment Re:Because we were here first! (Score 1) 708

I remember back in the mid-nineties (couldn't find the story on Google with a cursory search) when Toyota Corp forced a man named Toyota to give up the domain name he had registered long before, toyota.com.

Are you sure this was about Toyota? Maybe you are referring to Nissan... but the domain is still not own by the motor company...

Comment Re:Very tempted to get this (Score 1) 451

If you are not tied to any specific type of DRM check out Hanlin V3 (or perhaps V9). Check this site for more info on both of them.

I bought V3 about a year ago and I am very happy with it. Bonus points: it does run linux (but there is some problem with releasing sources), it has SDK... But what is most important: there is the OpenInkpot project .

Comment Re:This seems abrupt (Score 1) 856

I could paste a sticker on my ass that says "bowling pin capable", and though that may be technically true, it would still hurt pretty bad.

True. But should you advertise your "product" ;-) as capable of something if it really is not?

Did you install Ubuntu 64?


Did you clean format before your Vista 64 upgrade?

Yes. I did format ntfs partition. I had Ubuntu installed on second partition before reinstalling Vista...

Note: installation of Ubuntu did not remove my ability to boot into Vista, but Vista did remove my ability to run Ubuntu.I do not think that fixing an MBR should be a part of installation procedure ;-)

Does Ubuntu run all of the software that Vista runs, once installed properly?

Does Vista run all of the software that Ubuntu runs, once installed properly?

For me this is the reverse of your problem. I have some software that does not run as efficiently under windows as under linux... or does not run at all...

Perhaps you'll find it amusing, but I do not use anything under windows that does not run under linux as well or better. But not the other way around.

What's the point of having a 64bit address space if most of your applications are 32bit and you probably don't have enough RAM to even hit the 32bit ceiling anyway?

I do have more RAM then that. And I wrote software that needs huge amount of RAM (heavy data processing). I already had a situation when 6 gb of RAM was not enough...

Comment Re:This seems abrupt (Score 1) 856

I expected trouble. If I did not know what I was trying to do, then I would fire up a recovery disk as soon as first issue occurred. But I did expect more troubles from Ubuntu, not Windows. As remmel noticed - Toshiba does not support Ubuntu either and I had it running in less then an hour.

On the other hand - I suspect that all the same troubles would occur with x86 version of Vista. One thing would be easier - I would be able to download all the drivers from one place... assuming that I did want to have outdated radeon drivers (and having it up to date does require manual patching of the ati/amd drivers!) and I could download them at all (wifi issue).

Most of the hardware (maybe all of it) has drivers for x64. And some drivers (f.e., wifi) in x86 part of Toshiba web page are actually for both architectures.

And what's the point of having 64bit processor running 32bit OS?

One last thing - notebook does have "Windows Vista" sticker on it. I suppose it is "Vista capable" then, is it not? Then why the installation of Vista was such a pain?

Comment Re:This seems abrupt (Score 1) 856

In my opinion they are right.

The problem with Vista -now- really is primarily PR.

The launch kinks have mostly been worked out.

I've heard that one before.

The driver situation has significantly improved.

Which is why, last time I did a Vista install, both the printer and network drivers mysteriously disappeared a week later, only to mysteriously reappear the next day. New equipment, with Vista certified drivers, btw.

I'll add something to this. Yesterday I installed Vista (Business x64) on my new laptop (Toshiba A300). The original Vista (Home Premium x86) kind of worked - but I did not manage to remove all the crap software that come with it.

Installation took almost whole day... and still not everything is working. First, Toshiba does not support x64 version of Vista. So I had to jump around internet in a search for drivers (thankfully I had another computer to do just that - both network cards [wifi and wired] did not work out of the box). I even had to apply some patch to original ati drivers to get my graphics card working!

Compare it with installation of Ubuntu on the same machine. After 40 minuts almost everything was working, I had 3d acceleration and wobbly windows ;-). Only one thing did not work out of the box - wifi drivers. But it only required fetching madwifi...

To conclude - Vista still has some serious problems with drivers. It is even more humiliating, because Ubuntu works like a charm in comparison to Vista...

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