About a month ago we took a look at a disturbing new trend that was emerging in Australia involving the movie industry’s new approach to copyright enforcement. It now appears as though this heavy handed approach has indeed crossed the ocean and the RIAA is preparing to switch gears. Over the past 6 years the music industry has initiated lawsuits against over 35,000 people. Seniors, minors, or the deceased, nobody was safe from the wrath of the recording industry. This public relations nightmare was bound to end sooner or later, but their new approach could see tens of thousands of internet users booted off the web.
The Wall Street Journal has uncovered agreements made between several unnamed ISP’s and the RIAA which will make it possible for them to force internet service providers to disconnect user’s who refuse to cease and desist music sharing after being issued a written warning. Warnings will likely start with an emailed notice of violation which can then lead to restricted bandwidth, or in worst case scenarios as we mentioned before, the disconnection of internet service. Under the newly proposed system, the RIAA would forward a notice to the ISP of an offending IP address, and would leave it up to the provider to contact the individual customer. The positive change here would be that your privacy would not be compromised, and the RIAA would not require disclosure of the customer’s name.
The RIAA believes this new approach will “reach more people” and that it cannot afford to ignore piracy. The group cites NPD figures which show that the growth of illegally downloaded content has stalled in the wake of the uncertainty surrounding the lawsuits. Their new approach would be much more covert, and would likely attract less media attention.
So would you rather be sued or booted off the net? I think I’ll pay the 99 cents a track thank you very much.
The results are in, and this might not surprise you, but Google’s market share is on the rise. November’s results show a meager, but still notable bump of 0.4 percent giving Google a grand total of 63.5 percent of all searches being done in the US. Google’s gains came mostly on the back of Microsoft’s Live Search and Ask.com which both gave up 0.2 percent. In terms of overall search engine market demand, the number of total inquires slipped a surprising 3 percent over October’s numbers. All the major search players noticed a roughly proportional drop in activity.
Despite the fact that Google appears to be well on track for world search domination, it’s worth pointing out that it isn’t all smooth sailing. The last time we reported on market share results back in August, Google enjoyed a whopping 69.17 percent of the global search market. Some of the smaller players such as AOL and Ask continue to hobble along with 3 to 4 percent of the market, but even though these numbers sound paltry, each 1 percent of the search market is reportedly worth around a billion dollars. That’s probably why competitors keep popping up, and seem to be slow to disappear.
If you're tired of tiny form-factor HTPCs run by underwhelming processors, the newest version of the Epson Endeavor ST HTPC is a shot of adrenaline. As Nexus404 reports, the new ST120, which measures only 75x185x195 mm (or approximately 2.95x7.28x7.68 inches), features powerful processing and movie playback power:
Core 2 Duo processor running at speeds from 2.26-2.8GHz
GM45 Express chipset
1GB DDR2 RAM with upgrade options to 4GB
80GB to 250GB SATA hard disk
Blu-Ray or DVD drive
So, what's the catch? Catch us after the jump to find out.
While details on Nvidia’s latest dual GPU monster have been pretty scarce, we’ve finally unearthed some specifics on just what the card will be packing.
For starters, there will be a whopping 480 processor cores on the card itself. Alongside that, there’s 1792MB of total video memory to keep your world as vibrant as can be. And all this will be based off of a 55nm manufacturing process.
These specs are really just the tip of the iceberg, so if you want to get all the dirty details on the card, be sure and hit the jump (and ready your mouse wheel for some scrolling!).
Thanks to some cryptic code mixed in with bug fixes and general clean up on the Android site, there are finally some hints as to what G1 users can expect in the near future.
Among those updates that remain obvious are camera functions (video has finally been included), a browser update (which will include a find function and clever copy paste) and other general speed enhancements.
Other updates aren’t directly aimed at the G1, but are still pretty notable. There’s focus on implementing an on-screen keyboard, and basic x86 support.
While there haven’t been any exact vendor names specified on the blog, it’s difficult to say if this is directed at any specific gadget. However, it does give us reason to believe that Android will finally be making its way onto a huge assortment of gadgets.
Thanks to some recent swirling rumors, there’s word on the street that Dell is planning to release an ultra-thin, ultra-portable notebook aimed at rivaling the MacBook Air.
According to the fashion blog (seriously) Uptownlife.net, “Rumor has it that Dell is coming out with a computer called Adamo that will rival the MacBook Air.” Their exact source still hasn’t been cited, but given that the computer has its own website, there’s reason to believe that it’ll be upon us soon.
Thanks to the lack of solid evidence, any speculation we can provide will be about as good as any ol’ fashion blog. Though, with any luck there won’t be much waiting until the announcement, so we can get our grubby hands on whatever Adamo turns out to be and let you know if it really is a MacBook Air rival.
Move over Crysis; the Lich King’s handing out golden tickets to his chocolate factory too, and frankly, he doesn’t think you have what it takes to oppose him. Why? Simple. Like you, Mr. Wars, the Lich King is abandoning his porch rocking-chair and his shotgun for 10 days, but he’s instancing this thing. None of your “ending on December 29th” bullsh**t. Plus, can your players do things like:
“Explore the frozen wastes of Northrend, wield the necromantic powers of the new death knight Hero class, take control of massive siege vehicles in the new open-world PvP zone of Wintergrasp, and much more”?
Didn’t think so.
Oh, sure, potential trial-takers will need both WoW and WoW: Burning Crusade -- as well as seasoned characters who no longer dive behind nearby bushes when a bright ring of light DINGs around them after a tough battle – in order to access much of WotLK’s content. But really, who doesn’t have a few level 70’s gathering dust in their back of the pantry?
Need further proof of your trial’s inferiority, Crysis? Just check out our comments section, wherein players will surely say whether or not they’ll be partaking of this free Wrath of the Lich King trial. Really, Crysis, we’re sorry it had to come to this.
F.E.A.R. was, without a doubt, one of 2005's best first-person shooters -- deftly mixing balls-to-the-wall, head-exploding action with pee-your-pants level horror. Even better, its sequel, F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin, is poised to top its award-winning older brother in every conceivable way. We were lucky enough to engage in a quick email exchange with Craig Hubbard, F.E.A.R. 2's Principal Game Designer, and we're posting it here for you today.
MPC: Is this the end of the F.E.A.R. story? Are we going for a trilogy?
Craig Hubbard, Principal Game Designer: As you’d probably expect, our immediate focus is getting the game done. Beyond that, who can say?
MPC: Was the story arc planned from the beginning, or has it evolved as it’s moved along?
CH: It evolved quite a bit, but that’s normal. What works on paper doesn’t always pan out when you implement it, so you have to make adjustments and do what’s right for the game. We also decided to take out the subplot about the unicorn who lost its horn. It was very emotionally resonant, but didn’t really fit the tone.
MPC: What’s the biggest problem you had with the original F.E.A.R.? How do you aim to correct it in the sequel?
CH: The biggest complaint people had with F.E.A.R. was that the environments were repetitive and bland. The sequel has much more varied and interesting settings.
MPC: Are you developing the game simultaneously for consoles and PC? What’s the game’s lead platform?
CH: The team knew how to make PC games but hadn’t done a console title before, so it was easier to ensure that decisions made for the consoles would work on the PC rather than the other way around. When the project started, we didn’t have our tech up and running on PS3 yet, so Xbox 360 ended up being the lead platform by default but we are still developing for all three platforms at the same time.
Continue reading for Hubbard's opinions on DRM, game engines, AI, and the British Empire.
Google’s latest build of their extremely popular earth-browsing application, Google Earth features a total visual overhaul on the Big Apple, complete with photorealistic 3D models of most of Manhattan Island.
Go ahead and update your copy of Google Earth and fly yourself to New York City. Once you’ve turned on the 3D building layer tilt your view so that you can check out the buildings! If you’re feeling saucy, you can even boot in the up game flight-sim and pretend you’re one of the Blue Angels at San Francisco’s Fleet Week!
With any luck, this is a showing of what’s to come. As a native Seattleite and previous San Franciscan, I’m anxious to see my two favorite cities come to life in this fashion.
And when we say large, we absolutely mean it. Facebook, having just hit the 130 million active user mark at the beginning of December, is already up to a whopping 140 million.
Facebook’s projected growth was about 300,000 to 400,000 active users per day for most of the fourth quarter. Recently, that number has gone as high as 600,000 to 700,000 per day. Should Facebook’s growth continue at that rate, it’ll add up to 20 million new users in December alone and reach 200 million active users by March.
What’s even more fun, is that Facebook has released numbers on how their users spend their time on the site (creepy, huh?). 13 million user update their statuses at least once each day, 700 million photos are uploaded to the site each month, 4 million videos are uploaded each month, 15 million pieces of content (including web links, news stories, blog posts, notes and photos) are shared each month, and there are 19 million active groups on the site.
So what do all these numbers mean? Simply put, the number of users Facebook has is greatly increasing, as is their engagement on the site.