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Submission + - XBMC4Xbox 3.5 is released for the original Xbox (xbmc4xbox.org.uk) 1

ExoBuZz writes: After more than a year’s work since v3.3, XBMC4Xbox version v3.5 has been released. A large number of new features and improvements have been made since v3.3, including the integration of Python 2.7, improved video playback, updates to the skinning engine, scraper fixes, and plenty of bug fixes.

Time to dust off your old Xbox? :)

Submission + - The video game drawn by hand (redbull.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Interesting behind the scenes interview with the creator of Paper Sorcerer, the stunning hand drawn RPG video game that was successfully Kickstarted last year and is now nearing launch. Jesse Gallagher, the artist single handedly creating the game in Unity, has painstakingly drawn out each character and environment across all 50 dungeons. He estimates he's gone through at least 600 pages of drawings in his notebooks in the process, and had to scan them all in — but he says it's worth it to give artists more control over the games they work on. "I was disappointed with how little input the artists had into the overall game design, so I decided to go the solo dev route,” he says. "Now I’d like to just continue making indie games until I fall over dead at the keyboard."

Submission + - The Amish Are Getting Fracked (newrepublic.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Old school meets business school: "The Amish interpretation of the Christian bible prohibits the use of the courts: Except in rare circumstances, the Amish do not sue. This has created a unique problem in the region. Home to the largest Amish community in the world, Eastern Ohio sits squarely on top of the Utica and Marcellus Shale formations, which contain billions in oil and gas recoverable through advances in hydraulic fracturing technology, or fracking.. ... When it comes to the oil and gas industry, this means that any agreement an Amish farmer makes with a company is, for the farmer, practically unenforceable. A rare case in which the plaintiffs were Amish suggests that Ohio’s oil and gas companies know this and have been willing to take advantage. "
Android

Submission + - Critical Samsung Android Phone Vulnerabilities (net-security.org)

Orome1 writes: Tired of waiting for Samsung to fix a string of critical flaws in their smartphones running Android, Italian security researcher Roberto Paleari has decided to inform the public about the seriousness of the matter and maybe make the company pick up the pace. Mindful of the danger that the vulnerabilities present to the users if they are exploited by malicious individuals, he decided not to share any technical details, but to just give a broad overview of what their misuse would allow. This includes a silent installation of highly-privileged applications with no user interaction and an app performing almost any action on the victim's phone.
Advertising

Submission + - The ugly, profitable details about Xbox Live advertising (penny-arcade.com)

An anonymous reader writes: In an editorial at Penny Arcade, Ben Kuchera writes about how Microsoft's subscription-based Xbox Live platform has become an advertising cash cow — to the detriment of users who already pay for the service. Quoting: 'People who don’t play video games would be forgiven if they turned on an Xbox 360 and didn’t realize it was a device used to primarily play games. The first screen you see on the Xbox 360 Dashboard is often a mixture of ads for all sorts of goods and services, and many times games are in the minority of ad slots. The latest redesign increased the ad space that can be sold to advertisers, and that in turn increased this problem. Let’s be clear, it is a problem. Game discovery is terrible in the current design of Xbox Live, and the usability of a system that used to be about games is suffering in order for Microsoft to make money on ads. Sadly, this issue isn’t going away: Ad sales simply bring in too much money to ignore, and revenue is growing. ... I contacted Microsoft and asked how much advertising revenue impacted the profitability of the Xbox 360. “We don’t share this information publicly but we can tell you that, since 2010, the advertising business has grown 142%,” I was told.'
Google

Submission + - Google's Android Market Policy: Screw You, I Got Mine! (tumblr.com)

bornagainpenguin writes: Does Google have an obligation past its 15min refund policy to ensure app developers aren't playing fast and loose in its Play store? Googlegotmine sure seems to think so as he recounts a recent altercation over a developer who removed an application from the store and renamed it, effectively making customers purchase it twice if they want to use it. Is it really Google's policy not to care what happens after an app has been purchased in their store? If so, why should anyone buy anything from them ever again? Why not pirate?
Security

Submission + - Security experts push Ukraine to drop VX Heavens charges (techworld.com.au)

angry tapir writes: "For more than a decade, "Herm1t" — the online nickname of Andrey Baranovich — has chronicled the development of malicious code on a website called VX Heavens. VX Heavens was dedicated to recording the history of malicious code, a site hailed by some computer security researchers as an invaluable resource but one of little practical use to real cybercriminals. The website was shut down by Ukrainian authorities last month, and Baranovich faces charges for allegedly selling malicious code in violation of the country's computer crime laws. Baranovich is gaining support from computer security experts who say the accusations are unfounded. Those experts are writing to the authorities in Donetsk, Ukraine, asking that Baranovich be left alone."

Submission + - Was mega upload crushed to stop mega box? (dslreports.com)

MrShaggy writes: "Our friends at dsl-reports that 'The kicker was Megabox would cater to unsigned artists and allow anyone to sell their creations while allowing the artist to retain 90% of the earnings. Or, artists could even giveaway their songs and would be paid through a service called Megakey. “Yes that’s right, we will pay artists even for free downloads. The Megakey business model has been tested with over a million users and it works,” Kim Dotcom told TorrentFreak in December. Megabox was planning on bypassing the labels, RIAA, and the entire music establishment.'"
Government

Submission + - Revolutionary Wants Technology to Transform Libya (wsj.com)

pbahra writes: "It isn’t often you get the chance to meet a real revolutionary. It is a term cheapened by misuse, but Khaled el Mufti is a revolutionary. It is no exaggeration to say that the role he played in the Libyan uprising last year was crucial; had he and his telecoms team failed, it isn’t hard to think that Col. Muammar Gadhafi might still be in power. Today, Mr. Mufti is a telecoms adviser to the interim government and heads the e-Libya initiative, a bold plan to use the transformative powers of technology to modernize the Libyan state, overturning 40 years of corruption and misrule under Gadhafi. Mr. Mufti is an unlikely revolutionary, a softly spoken network-security engineer with a degree from Imperial College in London. Almost by chance he was in his native Libya when the revolution took place, working on a project with BT in the capital, Tripoli. When a large protest was called for Feb. 17 in Benghazi, he told his BT colleagues to leave, and he headed for Benghazi. It was quickly apparent that the key communications technology for the rebels wasn’t the internet, but the mobile network. “Having shut off international calls, we thought it was very likely he would shut down the mobile network.” In utmost secrecy Mr. el Mufti and a small team started to plan and build their own system. They had one major stroke of luck."
Input Devices

Microsoft CEO Says Kinect To Support PCs Eventually 47

Ken writes "Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has said that the company will support Kinect for PCs sometime in the future. The motion controller is currently only officially supported for the Xbox 360, although it has been hacked and tweaked to work on pretty much any platform that can be plugged into via a USB port. 'We're trying to move beyond gaming to include the world of socialization, movies, TV, music, and we're trying to make the whole experience accessible to everybody in the family not just the traditional gamer.' When Ballmer was asked, 'Will you plug-in the Kinect to the PC, will you go for that in the near future?' he replied, 'We'll support that in a formal way in the right time and when we've got an announcement to make we'll make it.' Note that this is completely separate from the Kinect-like controller from PrimeSense and Asus." Other readers have tipped related articles about Kinect being used to enable 3D teleconferencing and help drive a small helicopter drone.
Games

Cedega Being Replaced By GameTree Linux 124

An anonymous reader writes "TransGaming Cedega, the software forked from Wine that allows running Windows games under Linux, is being discontinued and replaced by GameTree Linux. This new software is also free. From the new website: 'TransGaming is pleased to announce the continued development of Cedega Technology under the GameTree Developer Program. This repositioning of the technology that powered the Cedega Gaming Service will allow the entire Linux community to gain free access going forward. Cedega is a cross-platform enablement technology that allows for Windows-native games to be executed on both the Linux desktop and embedded Linux platforms.'"
Google

Honeycomb To Require Dual-Core Processor 177

adeelarshad82 writes "According to managing director of Korean consumer electronics firm Enspert, Google's new Android Honeycomb tablet OS will require a dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 processor to run properly. That means that many existing Android tablets will not be upgradeable to Honeycomb, as they lack the processor necessary to meet the spec. Currently, Nvidia's Tegra 2 platform is the only chipset in products on the market to include a Cortex-A9, although other manufacturers have said they're moving to the new processor architecture for 2011 products."
Censorship

Oregon Senator Stops Internet Censorship Bill 315

comforteagle writes "Senator Wyden of Oregon has objected to a bill in committee that if passed would have given the government the ability to censor the Internet. His objection effectively stop its current passing, forcing it to be introduced again if the bill is to continue — which it may not. Oregonians, please send this man pats on the back."
Government

Proposed Final ACTA Text Published 148

ciaran_o_riordan writes "The US Trade Representative has published a text which, subject only to a last legal review, is proposed to be the final text of ACTA. The differences between this text and last month's, from the Tokyo round, are mostly cosmetic but there's an important positive change giving signatories the option of excluding patents from section 2. As for software patents, most harm has been avoided. If signatories make use of the section 2 exclusion option, there might be no harm at all. Lobbying for this will be important. Meanwhile, the many problems regarding Digital Restrictions Management, and the extra powers given to businesses to obtain personal and identifying information about accused copyright infringers "in the Digital Environment" are still there (mostly section 5). Earlier texts were much worse. The improvements in recent months are surely due to public outcry, leaving us indebted to the anonymous friends who scanned and leaked the various secret versions and the activists who made text versions and spread them across the Internet. There's a chance we can still influence the text in this legal review phase, but the bigger task ahead will be working on the national implementations. It's not yet clear what procedure the US will require for its own ratification."

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