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Businesses

Will Kickstarter Launch a Gaming Renaissance? 170

Posted by timothy
from the pair-a-dimes-shift dept.
jfruh writes "Most gamers probably know that legendary game designer Tim Schafer turned to Kickstarter to help raise money a new adventure game; aiming for $400,000, he managed to raise more than $3 million. But you might not know that a host of other game projects are doing well on the crowdfunding site, with creators ranging from industry famous to unknown. By bypassing corporate funding and appealing directly to their audience, these developers are sparking a renaissance in quirky, personal games that probably wouldn't be backed by a big label looking for a sure-fire hit."
Security

U.S. Government Hires Company To Hack Into Video Game Consoles 121

Posted by timothy
from the free-play-guys-look-into-it dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The U.S. Navy is paying a company six figures to hack into used video game consoles and extract sensitive information. The tasks to be completed are for both offline and online data. The organization says it will only use the technology on consoles belonging to nations overseas, because the law doesn't allow it to be used on any 'U.S. persons.'" Should be a doddle.
XBox (Games)

BioWare Announces Free DLC To Add More To the Mass Effect 3 Endings 235

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the bzflag-is-better dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The battle between angry fans and BioWare has been raging since the game's release over several issues, with the biggest being the disappointing ending. BioWare have stuck to their guns and stated that they won't make a new ending, but will release free DLC to add clarity to the existing ones."
Games

Minecraft Creator's New Game Called 0x10c 206

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the space-wars dept.
silentbrad writes "As announced last month, Notch — creator of Minecraft — is working on a sandbox space game (no, not the Mars Effect April Fools joke, though it's similar). "The game [0x10c] is still extremely early in development, but like we did with Minecraft, we expect to release it early and let the players help me shape the game as it grows. The cost of the game is still undecided, but it's likely there will be a monthly fee for joining the Multiverse as we are going to emulate all computers and physics even when players aren't logged in. Single player won't have any recurring fees. ... The computer in the game is a fully functioning emulated 16 bit CPU that can be used to control your entire ship, or just to play games on while waiting for a large mining operation to finish. Full specifications of the CPU will be released shortly, so the more programatically advanced of you can get a head start.""
Emulation (Games)

Browser Emulation of 1975 Computer Runs First 16-Bit Home Game 40

Posted by timothy
from the circles-within-circles dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Following up on the 2009 story about the first graphics game written for a 16-Bit Home PC, I thought Slashdot readers might be interested in seeing the game in question running in their browsers. The original hardware has been emulated and loaded with the original machine code transcribed from PDF scans. Some brief background here."
Businesses

EA Defends Itself Against Thousands of Anti-Gay Letters 1069

Posted by timothy
from the but-my-keyboard-only-has-26 dept.
donniebaseball23 writes "Video game publisher Electronic Arts has not only had to defend itself against 'worst company in America' labels, but GamesIndustry International has revealed that EA's been receiving thousands of letters protesting the inclusion of same-sex relationship content in games like Mass Effect and Star Wars: The Old Republic. The campaign against EA appears to be led by Florida Family Association and the Family Research Council. The letters threaten to boycott purchase of EA games if the company won't remove the LGBT content, and many allege that EA was pressured by LGBT activists to include the content, which they say is forcing LGBT themes on children playing the games. 'This isn't about protecting children, it's about political harassment,' said Jeff Brown, VP of corporate communications."
Crime

Microsoft: 'Unlikely' Credit Card Details Lifted From Xbox 360s 105

Posted by timothy
from the faked-in-the-same-studio-as-the-moon-landings dept.
An anonymous reader writes with this excerpt from ZDNet: "Security researchers from two universities say they found how hackers can retrieve credit card data and other personal information from used Microsoft Xbox 360s, even if the console is restored back to factory settings and its hard drive is wiped. Microsoft is now looking into their story of buying a refurbished Xbox 360 from a Microsoft-authorized retailer, downloading a basic modding tool, gaining access to the console's files and folders, and eventually extracting the original owner's credit card information. Redmond is still investigating, but it's already calling the claims 'unlikely.'"
The Almighty Buck

Dysfunctional Console Industry Struggles For New Profit Centers 351

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the play-board-games-instead dept.
MojoKid writes "The rumor mill is still churning out quite a bit of information on new consoles this week, including new data on Nintendo's upcoming Wii U. According to unnamed developers, the Wii U actually isn't as powerful as the Xbox 360 or PS3, despite boasting HD graphics and significantly improved hardware. Meanwhile, the Xbox 720, codenamed Durango, is reportedly targeting the holiday season of 2013 as a launch window. Rumors are floating about of a required always-on internet connection and of locking out the used game market. What this discussion truly highlights is just how dysfunctional the entire console industry is and how skewed its profits are. Profits on hardware sales are so small, game shops can't survive on console sales alone. $60 MSRPs are subsidized by exchange and trade-in programs. Kicking Gamestop in the teeth may occasionally sound like fun, but the idea of killing the used games market doesn't make much sense. If used title values collapse and MSRPs stay the same or rise, the entire industry could hamstring itself in the name of higher profits."
Emulation (Games)

The State of the Diablo 3 Beta (Two Videos) 237

Posted by Soulskill
from the stay-awhile-and-listen dept.
It's been almost four years since Diablo 3 was announced, and its development began years earlier. Its predecessors helped define the action RPG genre, so anticipation is high among fans of the franchise. The game has undergone closed beta testing since September, and a lot has changed since then. Now that Blizzard has settled on May 15th as a release date, we thought this would be a good time to take a look at the state of the game as it currently exists. These two videos show actual gameplay of the various classes, explain the skill and rune systems, take a look at the auction house, and go over many of the other changes since the beginning of development. (Click to play the first video, and the second one will play automagically after the first one ends.)
AI

Testing AI Methods With FlightGear 66

Posted by timothy
from the crash-as-often-as-you-want dept.
mikejuk writes "The open source flight simulator Flight Gear is great fun but it can also be used for serious research. Suppose you want to develop a drone that can roam the seas and spot debris so that ships can be directed to it and pick it up. It's a good idea, but how do you test your methods? The obvious way is to take to the sea and fly a drone over real debris and see what happens. It uses a lot of fuel and generates a lot of sea sickness. Why not just fly a simulated drone over a simulated sea and save the sea sickness? This is what Curtis Olson, project manager at FlightGear and he explains how to get OpenCV to use the simulator as if it was a camera."
Australia

Bill Introduced To Ban Sale of MA15+ Games To Anyone Under 18 in SA 161

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the did-i-say-fifteen-i-meant-eighteen dept.
dotarray writes "The introduction of an R18+ rating for video games into Australia has been designed to bring game classification in line with the current system in place for films and other media. One state, however, would like to widen that gap." This is being billed (by John Rau's office) as a saner approach than eliminating the MA15+ rating entirely.
Math

Rybka Solves the King's Gambit Chess Opening 206

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the big-blue-shall-crush-you dept.
New submitter smarq2 writes "Chessbase reports that chess programmer IM Vasik Rajlich has solved the King's Gambit chess opening with technical means. 3000 processor cores, running for over four months, exhaustively analyzed all lines that follow after 1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 and came to some extraordinary conclusions." Update: 04/02 22:11 GMT by U L : Skuto points out that this is the same person who was found guilty of plagiarizing GNU Chess and Crafty.
GNU is Not Unix

Guile Scheme Emacs-Lisp Compatibility Matures 46

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the this-is-the-future-1999-promised-me dept.
In a posting to the Guile developers list today, it was announced that the Emacs-Lisp compiler for Guile has matured enough to run actual elisp programs. The author included a screencast demoing the new compiler running the Dunnet dungeon crawler. It is still a bit hackish: you need a load file that fakes a few Emacs side functions. In theory, most batch mode programs that don't do buffer manipulation should now work. After a few previous attempts, things could be on track for GNU Emacs 25 based on Guile.
Crime

Hackers Can Easily Lift Credit Card Info From a Used Xbox 106

Posted by timothy
from the extra-sensitive-data dept.
zacharye writes "Using nothing more than a few common tools, hackers can reportedly recover credit card numbers and other personal information from used Xbox 360 consoles even after they have been restored to factory settings. Researchers at Drexel University say they have successfully recovered sensitive personal data from a used Xbox console, and they claim Microsoft is doing a disservice to users by not taking precautions to secure their data. 'Microsoft does a great job of protecting their proprietary information,' researcher Ashley Podhradsky said."
DRM

PlayStation 4 'Orbis' Rumors: AMD Hardware, Hostile To Used Games 371

Posted by Soulskill
from the fans-clearly-want-more-broken-games dept.
silentbrad writes "Kotaku reports some 'details' about Sony's next console given to them by a 'reliable source.' They say that the console's codename is Orbis, and it is planned for release by the 2013 holiday season. Developers are reportedly being told to plan for an AMD x64 CPU and AMD Southern Islands GPU. Further on, they mention that there will be no PS3 backwards compatibility and, like rumors about the next Xbox, will have anti-used game DRM. Specifically, 'new games for the system will be available one of two ways, either on a Blu-Ray disc or as a PSN download (yes, even full retail titles). If you buy the disc, it must be locked to a single PSN account. ... If you then decide to trade that disc in, the pre-owned customer picking it up will be limited in what they can do. ... it's believed used games will be limited to a trial mode or some other form of content restriction, with consumers having to pay a fee to unlock/register the full game.'"

Little known fact about Middle Earth: The Hobbits had a very sophisticated computer network! It was a Tolkien Ring...

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