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Lord of the Rings

Lord of the Rings Online To Go Free-To-Play 138

darkwing_bmf sends word of Turbine's announcement that Lord of the Rings Online will become a free-to-play game this fall. 'The move is another validation of the free-to-play business model, where gamers can play for free and pay real money for virtual goods such as better weapons or decorative gear for their game characters. The business model has been popular in Asia but only recently took off in the US. This move shows the pressure is building on game publishers to shift to the new business model or face declining audiences.' According to a post on the official website, LotRO's micro-transaction system will be "very similar" to how Turbine's DDO store works, and current subscribers will maintain all of their privileges.

Comment Encountered this recently (Score 1) 159

I work for a small ISP and we encountered this recently.

We bought a few SuperMicro small form factor chassis (, and found that with the drives positioned directly next to a high speed prop, the performance of the disk went from a static 125Mb/sec to as low as a few kb.

The drives we initially bought were WD 1TB Green Drives, and we thought it was initially a "Green" feature. But with thorough testing (and after replacing the drives with Barracudas which suffered, but not as badly), we concluded the fault was singularly because of the vibration.

In the end we packed the prop with foam padding -- between the drive and prop, padding the drive's power cable, and between the prop and chassis (above and below).

Problem went away. But it took us a couple of months, a LOT of back and forth between our supplier, the distributor, and SuperMicro (the latter ignored it), and cost us a bunch more money and time than we had quoted our customer for.

Comment it all depends on the ink they use (Score 1) 317

when CD-Rs first came out, they came in several very distinct classes.. and those classes were determined by the type of ink used. iirc, blue ink was the worst with about a 1-2 year life span, green supposedly had a 2-5 year lifespan, gold were supposed to have a 20 year lifespan, and silver pressed CDs were supposed to last 100 years.

The game changed when they started mixing the inks, and I don't know how this affects DVD-Rs as I lost interest, but I was always sure to buy the more expensive gold CD-Rs to back up my porn^H^H^H^H important documents.

No doubt the amount of CDs now being produced lowered the cost, but I'm sure that cheap mass production also affects quality adversely.

But this seriously isn't news. PAR2 has been mentioned to death, which sounds like a good thing. I've never used it myself, important docs like insurance, inland revenue stuff, and other odds and ends get copied onto several CDs. I mean, they're so cheap now, you'd be silly not to at least do that.

Comment I call BS (Score 1) 326

More appropriately, I call this BS FUD. It reminds me of the prelude to the current gen of consoles how all the publishers were whining that the games are so much more advanced and that they are spending a lot more money developing them. They tried to use that as a vehicle to bump game prices up. They succeeded to a degree, but not as much as they initially wanted. They wanted to charge (in NZ Dollars as that's what I'm familiar with) an average of $140-$150. As it is, most games are being released at $100-$120 with big releases going up to $140, where the last generation they cost $90-$100 with big releases at about $110 or $120.

So I think that this is just a way of them putting the seeds out to try and bump prices up again.

Why do I believe this is bullshit? Because these days game developers use ready-to-run engines. The amount of work they have to do is pretty minimal compared to their workload if they had to build the engines from scratch each time. It also means that using one engine, the game can be released on multiple platforms with minimal rework.

So I'm calling BS. They're able to get games into production much faster thanks to ready made engines, and they can release the games on multiple platforms to maximise their profits. They've never been able to do that as much as they have with the current gen consoles. Next gen it will be even better for them, therefore minimising their cost per platform.

Comment Re:Why not lower prices? (Score 1) 269

true enough. I buy CDs because they work out cheaper than buying digital copies. On top of that, I've always got the physical media, so if my computer blows up, or if the service shuts down, I can still play my media.

Digital music would have to be *much* *much* cheaper than a physical CD for me to even consider it.

Charge me the same or more and let me do less with it? I don't think so.

Comment Re:Oh Noes! (Score 1) 583

Microsoft didn't get the hardware right. They *did* get support right, and have paid dearly for their hardware mistakes. Let's see if they're better at it the 2nd time around.

I think you'll find that the 360 is their 2nd time around (3rd if you count their input toward the Dreamcast)..

maybe 3rd(4th) time lucky eh?


Nintendo's Homebrew-Blocking Update Hacked 157

ElementC writes "Team Twiizers, the group behind almost all of the Wii Homebrew scene, has released an update to the Homebrew Channel (and installer) that allows for installation on a Wii with the most recent update installed. While the team still recommends against installing the Nintendo update, those who accidentally updated or purchase games that require the update are no longer left out to dry. This update to the Homebrew Channel also adds SDHC support, a feature Nintendo has not implemented in vanilla Wiis. The community has also created an app that updates just the Wii Shop Channel — allowing users to purchase Wiiware and Virtual Console games without losing their homebrew. It took the team only two days to get the fix out."

Submission + - Pr0n vs. Sony, Round 2: First Betamax, now Blu-Ray

Ozymand E. Us writes: :This just in, from the Las Vegas bureau: u_ray/

Apparently, the porn industry is coming down on the side of Toshiba's HD-DVD over Sony's Blu-Ray. Why? for reasons including: ease of manufacture, lower costs, and-oh, the millions of HD-DVD players sold- in the form of XBOX 360s. For those who remember the format wars of the 80s, things are not looking good for the Blu-Ray camp.

Bet they wish they hadn't delayed the PS3, huh?

Submission + - Google Page Rank Update

rugjeff writes: "Are you ready for another update from Google...I know I am. My blog is only a few short months old and is still sitting on a page rank of zero. From the news I am hearing Google is set for another update on January 28, 2007. You can find out some more information from a site that predicts Google page rank updates.

If you are curious on how your page rank will be effected by the new update, check out this page rank prediction tool by iwebtool. If the tool is accurate, and I believe it is, my page rank will raise to 4. Not great but much better than zero.

Most of the information on page rank and page rank updates can be found here. I have to give thumbs up to the post and the blog. If you have the time check it out for tons of great tips and useful information.

Keep blogging, getting [tag]backlinks[/tag] and building relationships... You still have time to raise your page rank a little higher before the update."
The Courts

Submission + - YouTube ban reversed in Brazil

xirusmom writes: "From reuters: A Brazilian judge reversed his order to ban the YouTube site in Brazil. MTV Brasil, where the model in the center of the controversy, Daniela Cicarelli, hosts a show, has received thousands of emails of protest. A website urging people to boycott the modelwas set up, and a blogger had an online petition signed by around 7500 people. The ban on the sex video itself is still valid."

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