With The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition on the way, LucasArts is finally reopening its vault of classic adventure titles. However, Monkey Island -– great as it is -- is only one game in a storied lineage. We begged, groveled, and whined for more than a decade. Is more than a single game so much to ask? Fortunately, LucasArts wants its old school A-team back just as much as we do, but this time, the publisher would prefer we make our demands known through ka-chings instead of boohoos and puuuuhhhleeeases.
"If [Monkey Island] sells," said LucasArts community manager Brooks Brown, "there's no one at this company who doesn't want to do these games. It's a matter of showing that there's interest and this market is alive and (sic) get people as excited as possible about Monkey Island Special Edition to show that these things can make it.”
Monkey Island: Special Edition is set to pick away the pixels and give good ol’ Guybrush a current-gen makeover. This means new graphics, orchestrated music, an updated interface, and full voice acting. Presumably, revamps of other games would include similar feature sets.
So, you know, make with the buying when Monkey Island: Special Edition comes out this summer. Otherwise, future generations will probably never fall in love with Grim Fandango or feel Day of the Tentacle’s gentle caress. And let’s be honest here; a world run by people who’ve never been touched by the Tentacle is doomed to fail.
Here’s a weird one. Apparently, the ESRB – you know, the guys who make Tiger Woods play tennis and put age ratings on games – aren’t too keen on finger-removal. Lop off a thumb here or there and everything’s peachy, but mess with bling finger or pinky and things get real. How real? Well, according to Valve, real enough to warrant some serious alterations to its Left 4 Dead 2 logo.
Originally, Left 4 Dead 2’s disembodied hand was missing three of its digital digits, leaving only the pointer and middle to fend for themselves. The ESRB, however, wouldn’t stand for that, telling Valve that future marketing materials couldn’t include such a malformed mascot. As a result, now only the thumb is missing, which apparently complies with the ESRB’s stringent zombie hand guidelines.
We’d just like to – ahem – point out that Left 4 Dead 2 is an M-Rated game, full of blood, gore, and Boomer vomit. Two or more gnawed off fingers, though? That’s crossing the line. And who knows? Maybe a few missing digits on the front of the game box might ward off clueless parents more effectively than a tiny, easily obscured letter. Regardless, ESRB, sometimes we wonder about you.
According to market researcher ComScore, Bing has had a successful second week in the world of search engines.
Bing is up roughly 3 percent from where Microsoft was before they rebranded and reworked Live Search, in terms of total searches and total query share.
“It appears that Microsoft Bing has continued to generate interest from the market for the second consecutive week,” stated ComScore’s Senior VP, Mike Hurt. “[This] early data reflect[s] a continued positive market reaction to Bing in the initial stages of its launch.”
Still though, it’s very early in the game. As great as this improvement is, Microsoft still has a lot of catching up to do if they plan to seriously compete with Google – and they seem to recognize that.
Build 7232 of Windows 7 was recently leaked onto the Internet, and many believe that this is one of the last builds before Microsoft gets ready to give the operating system Release To Manufacturing status.
The new build features plenty of improvements since the last, most notably in the realm of driver support and application compatibility. More importantly though, Microsoft has included a brand new wallpaper which takes the place of the betta fish, and shows off a stylized new Windows logo.
The new build is primarily available through torrents, and there’s no official word as to when Microsoft plans to release it to the public.
UPDATE: After only a few hours, it looks like 7260 is the latest build to make its way to the public via a leak, this time thanks to Russian site Wzor. Still though, the new background screen remains. By bye betta.
What do Solid Oak Software's CyberSitter and China's Green Dam Youth Escort Internet filtering programs have in common? According to the BBC, the answer is CyberSitter code. The BBC reports that both Solid Oak's Brian Milburn and a report from the University of Michigan conclude that the developer of Green Dam Youth Escort, Computer System Engineering Inc, have incorporated code from CyberSitter into Green Dam - without a license.
According to the China Daily, Solid Oak is sending "cease and desist" letters to HP and Dell to stop shipping computers bundled with Green Dam, and may seek legal action against the developers. The legal-technical drama is being played out against the background of China's requirement that all new systems sold as of July 1 include Green Dam, as we reported last week.
What have the developers of Green Dam done that might help fend off legal action and improve their product's security? Join us after the jump.
For some time now there’s been speculation as to just what processor is under the hood of the Zune HD. Now, it has finally been confirmed that it is the Nvidia Tegra that’s allowing potential users to view video in HD.
PC Perspective’s Ryan Shrout was able to confirm the news after hearing about the Tegra’s role in the new Zune at Computex in early June. The Tegra was chosen due to its ability to decode a video stream using only 150 mWatts of power and output audio at only 20 mWatts.
With the Zune HD’s 3.3-inch 480x272 OLED display, it’ll be able to playback H.264 content and output video via HDMI at 720p.
AMD isn't happy with the way some battery claims are made, saying the reliance on a test called MobileMark 2007 doesn't yield an accurate indicator of what to expect. The problem, says Patrick Moorhead, a vice president for marketing at AMD, is that the parameters for the test include dimming the screen the just 20 percent brightness, turning off WiFi, and making sure no music, video, games, or webpages are running. Not only is the test flawed, says Moorhead, but it also favors Intel.
"Intel is advantaged in this environment because they have optimized their architecture to have bettery battery life when the computer isn't doing anything," Moorhead said.
Intel shrugged off AMD's complaint, saying if the No. 2 chip maker is so passionate about the subject, it would "encourage them to bring any new proposals or edits to the nonprofit industry consortium called BAPCo."
But is AMD out of line? Not likely. In the June issue of Maximum PC, Editor-in-Chief Will Smith discussed the topic in his Ed Word titled "Notebook Battery Life is a Trap."
"You'd think testing battery life would be straightforward, but benchmark results rarely jibe with real-world results -- in part, because there are an infinite number of potential workloads (each tapping power differently), and battery life decays over time," Smith wrote.
AMD warns that either the industry starts better regulating itself, or there's a high possibility of a consumer filing a lawsuit or the FTC stepping in.
Development for 32nm is going well for Intel, so well that the chip maker has decided to axe its 45nm Havendale chips before they reached volume production and will make the move to the 32nm Clarkdale instead, according to DigiTimes. Havendale was originally scheduled to launch by the end of the year, but Intel will instead go forward with 32nm Clarkdale in the first quarter of 2010.
Citing sources at motherboard makers, DigiTimes says Intel also plans to mark several processors as EOL (end of life) in the second half of 2009 and through the first quarter of 2010. Among them will be the Core 2 Extreme QX9775, Core i7 940, and a bunch of Core 2 Quad, Pentium, and Celeron CPUs. The chip maker will also begin discontinuing both the Atom 330 and Atom 220 in April 2010.
Meanwhile, the sources say Intel plans to launch the Core 2 Quad Q9505S, a quad-core CPU designed specifically for all-in-on PCs.
Worried your RAM might go up flames from the extra voltage you're pumping through? You can worry a little less with OCZ's XTC (Xtreme Thermal Convection) Memory Cooler Revision 2, the latest in a limited field of active RAM coolers.
"The first revision of the OCZ XTC Memory Cooler proved to be a very popular product with a wide range of enthusiast and power users," said Ryan Edwards, Director of Product Management for OCZ. "We are excited to offer a follow-up design with improved performance, an enhanced feature set, and a sleek new look, all at the same affordable price point as the original."
Made of brushed aluminum, OCZ's newest XTC cooler installs over the top of your RAM modules by snapping into your motherboard's DIMM socket retention levels. Two 60mm fans provide airflow for your memory, and according to OCZ, a new, taller profile means you can use the second revision XTC cooler with memory kits sporting taller heatsinks. Fan speed is adjustable (low or high), and of course tricked out with blue LEDs.
Asus is probably looking to toy with the definition of netbook. It has made official the Eee PC 1101HA netbook. The 1101HA features an expansive 11-inch screen. Though it can be placed in the netbook segment by the virtue of its specs and price, the size of its screen does cast a serious doubt on its netbook status. According to rumors, Asus plans to begin shipping the 1101HA later this month. It will feature an Intel Atom Z520 processor with a clock speed of 1.33 GHz, 1GB memory, a 160GB hard-drive, WiFi, Bluetooth, 1.3MP camera and - hold your breath - an untrimmed keyboard. Its price is expected to be between $550 and $750.