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PC Games (Games)

February 2009 Indie Game Round-Up 27

gametunnel1 brings us the February round-up of reviews for recent independent game releases. The top game this time around was Crayon Physics, which was also celebrated at the Independent Games Festival. Also scoring high were Ragdoll Cannon and adventure game Emerald City Confidential, about which they say, "The game is set in the mythical land of Oz, but not quite the same one as the movie/books. Rather than a cheery and fun-filled world, Oz is depicted like a 1940s film noir, so things are much bleaker. ... The highlight of the gameplay would have to be the gathering of information, via investigation of the environment or questioning characters in the game. Talking to characters for leads and clues is fun, especially since sometimes you'll have to figure out if what they're saying has any significance or not."

Comment Re:Maybe it does (Score 1) 165

How do you know it doesn't change that when you run it?

Considering the registry change to enable "DVD Library" is the same in XP MCE as it is in Vista (except it's called something different, "My DVD Movies" I believe, but the registry key is the same name), I'm guessing he didn't.

Comment Will this change anything? (Score 5, Interesting) 438

I'm not talking about the "will delaying the transition allow everybody who has been ignoring the constant barrage of ads to ignore them some more" debate. February 17 is (soon to be "was") a date all broadcasters must stop BY. It doesn't mean you have (had) to stop ON that date. A local broadcaster actually just turned off their analog tower yesterday.

I'm wondering if many broadcasters will just choose to switch over on the 17th anyway, as the ball is already rolling, so to speak. It'd probably cost them a decent amount of money and wasted resources not to go ahead with the original plan.

(I could be wrong; there could be wording in the bill forcing broadcasters to wait off.)


The Zen of SOA 219

Alex Roussekov writes "The book "Zen of SOA" by Tom Termini introduces an original view to the challenging world of SOA. He refers to the Zen philosophy as a "therapeutic device" helping SOA practitioners to get rid of prejudices and opinions in order to apply a clear mind-set based on real-life experiences and the application of technology knowledge. Each chapter of the book is prefaced by Zen Truism that the author suggests to "revisit, reflect on it longer, and see if you are able to establish a truth from the narrative, as well as from your own experiences." In fact, the book is about a SOA Blueprint outlining a methodology for building a successful SOA strategy. The target audience is C-level Executives, IT Managers and Enterprise Architects undertaking or intending to undertake adoption of SOA throughout their organizations. I strongly recommend the book to all SOA practitioners involved in implementation of SOA." Read below for the rest of Alexander's review.

Ballmer Sets Loose Windows 7 Public Beta At CES 672

CWmike writes "The rumors turned out to be true. Microsoft will release a public beta this week of its next desktop operating system, Windows 7, hoping it will address the problems that have made Windows Vista perhaps the least popular OS in its history. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer will launch the beta during his speech at the start of the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas on Wednesday. Preston Gralla reviewed Windows 7 beta 1, noting 'Fast and stable, Beta 1 of Windows 7 unveils some intriguing user-interface improvements, including the much-anticipated new task bar.' MSDN and Technet subscribers should be able to get the public data tonight. The general public will have to wait until Friday."

Comment Re:The speed thing alwasy pisses me off (Score 5, Insightful) 88

I have 3 MB/sec DSL, and I get about 50 kbs downloading. Maybe up to 100 on a really good day.

Are you getting that number from your web browser? Both IE and Firefox express speeds in KiB/s (bytes, and in base 2), whereas network line speeds are expressed as bits per second, in base 10. 3Mb/s is 3,000,000 bits per second, 375,000 bytes per second, 366.2KiB/s.

That's still a far ways between your numbers, but it does explain some of the difference. There is some protocol overhead at various levels to deal with, but those are relatively minor. Your best option is to use something like SPeakeasy's speed test, which will test your speeds, and report back in Kb/s (bits, base 10), and take protocol overhead into account, to see if you're actually getting close to advertised speeds. That way you're not comparing apples to oranges.

(If you are actually getting 50 kilobits per second, I am sorry, both for making assumptions, and for your sub-56k modem-ish speeds.)

Comment RIP, Phil Hartman (Score 4, Funny) 990

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I'm just a caveman. I fell on some ice and later got thawed out by some of your scientists. Your world frightens and confuses me! Sometimes the honking horns of your traffic make me want to get out of my BMW.. and run off into the hills, or wherever.. Sometimes when I get a message on my fax machine, I wonder: "Did little demons get inside and type it?" I don't know! My primitive mind can't grasp these concepts. But there is one thing I do know - when a man like my client slips and falls on a sidewalk in front of a public library, then he is entitled to no less than two million in compensatory damages, and two million in punitive damages. Thank you.

Comment Re:a fun bit of trivia (Score 1) 637

Except according to this wikipedia entry it's called src/source because it was forked of the GoldSrc engine and they just shorten the name of the new dir to Src.

Close. The Half-Life code was maintained in the "Src" tree up until release, and then forked it off into "GoldSrc" after Half-Life went gold. "Src" then went on to mutate into the Half-Life 2 engine, and "Source". So "GoldSrc" actually came AFTER "Src", because "Src" has basically always been around.


Microsoft Treating "Windows-Only" As Open Source 383

mjasay writes "The Register is reporting that Microsoft is hosting Windows-only projects on its 'open source project hosting site,' CodePlex. Miguel de Icaza caught and criticized Microsoft for doing this with its Microsoft Extensibility Framework (MEF), licensing it under the Microsoft Limited Permissive License (Ms-LPL), which restricts use of the code to Windows. Microsoft has changed the license for MEF to an OSI-approved license, the Microsoft Public License, but it continues to host a range of other projects under the Ms-LPL. If CodePlex wasn't an 'open source project hosting site,' this wouldn't be a problem. But when Microsoft invokes the 'open source' label, it has a duty to live up to associated expectations and ensure that the code it releases on CodePlex is actually open source. If it doesn't want to do this — if it doesn't want to abide by this most basic principle of open source — then call CodePlex something else and we'll all move on."
The Courts

iPhone Antitrust and Computer Fraud Claims Upheld 273

LawWatcher writes "On October 1, 2008, a federal judge in California upheld a class action claiming that Apple and AT&T Mobility's five-year exclusive voice and data service provider agreement for the iPhone violates the anti-monopoly provisions of the antitrust laws. The court also ruled that Apple may have violated federal and California criminal computer fraud and abuse statutes by releasing version 1.1.1 of its iPhone operating software when Apple knew that doing so would damage or destroy some iPhones that had been 'unlocked' to enable use of a carrier other than AT&T."
The Internet

Traffic Fraud Inflates Video Site Popularity 114

Dotnaught writes "A new study by spyware researcher Ben Edelman finds that spyware-driven traffic inflation is common, particularly at video sites. The study identifies,,,,, and as the beneficiaries of spyware-driven traffic. 'Our measurement systems are inaccurate for the amount of trust we'd like to put into them,' Edelman said. 'So that's the puzzle: How do you build an advertising economy when the number can't be trusted?'"

Exploding Robots May Scout Hazardous Asteroids 120

An anonymous reader writes to mention NewScientist is reporting that a small force of robots designed to explode could help reveal an asteroid's inner structure. This could in turn allow scientists a better understanding of how to divert a rogue asteroid on a collision course with Earth. From the article: "The main spacecraft would stay a few dozen kilometers away, perhaps nudging the probes towards the asteroid using springs. Once on the surface, the protective spherical shell of each probe would open to allow the probe to scan the surface nearby. To reduce complexity and costs, the probes lack solar panels and run on battery power, limiting their lifetime to a few days. But each probe could still cover a lot of ground in that time, as they could be fitted with small thrusters to let them hop across the surface. Eventually the probes could detonate onboard explosives, sacrificing themselves for science one by one. Probes that had not yet detonated would listen for any seismic waves sent rippling out from the explosion, and the main spacecraft could observe the craters left behind. That would tell scientists about the asteroid's strength and internal structure."
Linux Business

Submission + - Top Linux Foundations Merge

An anonymous reader writes: The Open Source Development Labs (employer of Linux creator Linus Torvalds and Linux kernel maintainer Andrew Morton) and the Free Standards Group (home of the Linux Standard Base) have merged to form the Linux Foundation. The OSDL had recently reorganized and cut costs, so the move probably adds further efficiencies to both organizations, but also creates a more powerful organization expanding and promoting Linux internationally. Already, both and redirect to

Submission + - Wikipedia links no longer help your Page Rank

Mrs. Grundy writes: "Wikipedia has started automatically adding rel="NOFOLOW" to all external links in an effort to combat link spam. Since wikipedia pages are hip-deep in high page rank they attract the unsavory sort of character hoping to gain a little love from Google on their coattails. By making pages NOFOLOW they essentially deny conferring any page rank points from google and hopefully reduce the incentive to spam the pages with offtopic links. This topic has come up before and the community voted to remove the NOFOLLOW business in 2005. Will this move actually reduce link spam or is even the potential clickthrough valuable enough without the boost in Google's ranking? And how does the value of ranking sites based on links change as more and more popular sites start tagging (eh...labeling) their links NOFOLLOW?"

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