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Apple

Submission + - Indie Game Developer Takes on Rovio and Zynga (forbes.com)

An anonymous reader writes: The past few years have seen a rise in independently-produced games, such as Braid and Super Meat Boy. In another David-vs-Goliath story, indie dev Zach Gage is attracting quite a bit of attention, including that of Forbes Magazine, with his current attempt at dethroning the usual suspects from the top of the App Store charts, a word-hunting puzzle game called SpellTower.
Science

Submission + - 'Huge' water resource exists under Africa (bbc.co.uk) 2

gambit3 writes: Scientists say the notoriously dry continent of Africa is sitting on a vast reservoir of groundwater. They argue that the total volume of water in aquifers underground is 100 times the amount found on the surface.
Across Africa more than 300 million people are said not to have access to safe drinking water.
Freshwater rivers and lakes are subject to seasonal floods and droughts that can limit their availability for people and for agriculture. At present only 5% of arable land is irrigated.

Privacy

Submission + - Sony Corporation Files For Patent On Gamers Meeting In Public (kryptonradio.com)

An anonymous reader writes: In the "not right in the head" department, Sony Computer Corp's got a patent application in on an idea for tying in-game events with real world meet-ups, and rewarding people for divulging their real life identities.

The media's sort of glossed over this, but this article posts the application abstract in full, and it looks like they're trying to patent company sponsored gamer meetups. Prior art? I think Blizzcon qualifies.

Music

Submission + - Mastering Engineer Explains Types of Compression, Effects on Today's Music (cepro.com) 1

Stowie101 writes: "Today is Dynamic Range Day, which is an event to educate the public about the “Loudness Wars” that are compressing and harming the quality of today’s music.

Ian Shepherd, a mastering engineer and founder of Dynamic Range Day, explains why music lovers should avoid MP3 files.

"The one that springs to mind is to avoid MP3, especially if it’s 128 kbps. Apple uses a more advanced technology called AAC, but if someone can get lossless files like FLAC that’s a better place to start."

Shepherd says it’s actually harder to make a good “lossy” encode of something that has been heavily musically compressed. Very heavy dynamic compression and limiting makes MP3s sound worse, so the loudness wars indirectly make MP3s sound worse.""

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