Well, avid addicts, so much for modding real drugs back into Fallout. In an interview with Rock Paper Shotgun, Bethesda VP of PR and marketing Pete Hines dropped a bomb, saying that mod tools aren't "on Bethesda's schedule right now."
"Folk probably took for granted that every time we make a game, there’s a mod tool," he said. "We explained to folk that it takes a lot of time and effort to get that tool ready for release, and it’s not on our schedule right now. We need to get the game done and out. It’s not to say we won’t do it. It’s that right now we have an enormous amount of work to do, for three platforms and all these different languages to get it out around the wall. Right now, we can’t say definitively 'there will be mod tools, and here is when they’ll be out.' That work remains to be done."
Don't worry, though. Bethesda doesn't plan on wringing your wallet dry with monetized DLC in place of a modding community. Hines did, however, applaud the idea (jokingly, we hope).
"That’s a good theory, by the way. And probably on some level it would work… but from our standpoint, whenever we do an Elder Scrolls game and release those mod tools, it takes a ton of work and effort. This is a bigger undertaking for us, and one we’ve not yet scheduled for."
"We have our own little blog we run from Bethesda, and every week we’re out there interviewing people from our mod community – so it’s clearly something we support, something we take interest in and something we place value in and spend a lot of time highlighting good mods. It’s just the tools take time. They don’t magically appear. Someone’s got to write help files for what all the scripts do, and get it released as a consumer product. Because it’s not in that state otherwise. Developers will make do with anything."
There those game developers go again -- wrecking things for everyone. How dare they?
Indignant rage aside, are you still excited about Fallout 3?
Some people started suing it, knowing fully what it was, alleging that Electronic Arts concealed SecuROM in Spore's shadow, and that it's "secretly installed to the command and control center of the computer (Ring 0, or the Kernel), and surreptitiously operated, overseeing function and operation on the computer, preventing the computer from operating under certain circumstances and/or disrupting hardware operations."
In addition, this anti-DRM crusader, Melissa Thomas, is calling EA on "deceit and concealment" due to the fact that SecuROM cannot be uninstalled, even if Spore is wiped clean off your hard drive.
The suit demands more than $5 million, to cover legal fees and the money showers that all legitimate Spore owners will receive when/if the hammer falls in EA's direction. But that would be far too convenient, and can't take place simply because... (Return to beginning of article.)
So you’ve got this great idea that will change the world, but you just don’t have the cash to get it off the ground. Well, luckily for you Google has your back! Google recently announced a new venture called Project 10 to the 100, a contest that allows anyone to submit a world-changing idea to Google, and they will potentially commit $10 million to implementing it.
These world-changing ideas will be submitted to Google in one of eight categories; community, opportunity, energy, environment, health, education, shelter and everything else. Once initial bulk of ideas have been sifted through, 100 ideas will be voted on publicly to determine 20 semi-finalists, and from there five ideas will be chosen for the $10 million prizes. But know that that $10 million isn’t going directly to you (should you win)! What you win is “the satisfaction of knowing that your idea might truly help a lot of people.” The deadline for submitting your idea is October 20th, and videos are allowed to supplement your proposal.
Google’s reason for offering the project is pretty noble, and I like it. On the project’s official site they say: “Never in history have so many people had so much information, so many tools at their disposal, so many ways of making good ideas come to life. Yet at the same time, so many people, of all walks of life, could use so much help, in both little ways and big. In the midst of this, new studies are reinforcing the simple wisdom that beyond a certain very basic level of material wealth, the only thing that increases individual happiness over time is helping other people.”
The online music industry has always been a touchy one, but today the world came a step closer to ending online royalty disputes. An agreement that’s being called a “breakthrough that will facilitate new ways to offer music to consumers online,” songwriters, music publishers, record labels and digital music websites have concluded a seven year dispute over mechanical royalties and limited music downloads.
Mechanical royalties are the fees paid to songwriters, composers and publishers of music, not the person that only preformed it or the record company that produced the recording. Limited music downloads are downloads with restrictions attached, such as the model used by Napster To Go. iTunes, however isn’t considered limited use because you can listen to your songs as often as you want, without a monthly fee.
As landmark as this settlement is, it still leaves a big hole on the controversial topic of Internet radio. Sites such as Pandora and Live365 remain in a high-stakes standoff with SoundExchange, the company in charge of collecting the fees for artists and record companies. The reason that sites such as these were left out from the normal Internet radio agreement is because they allow users to select the music that they want to listen to, as opposed to simply listening to a pre-determined stream of songs.
With a presidential election around the corner, let’s look at how people pervert copyright law to squelch speech. Copyright takedown notices were never meant to stifle whistle-blowers or detractors, yet that’s become a popular use for them. Individual critics are likely to go broke even if they win a case, so people and ISPs tend to back down at lawyer point.
It's a cruel and efficient tactic, of which more after the jump.
This past Tuesday Yahoo released the latest version of their instant messaging program, Messenger 9.0. With the release, they’ve introduced a slew of new features including a brand new interface, chat window, improved spam control, and the Yahoo Messenger Pingbox.
The new interface is more spread out than previous versions, allowing for larger avatars and the ability to post status messages. Also included in the new interface is the ability to import your contacts in bulk from your e-mail, IM, or Facebook contact lists using third party operator TrueSwitch. TrueSwitch will search through your address books and find users already on Yahoo and shoot them a friend invite on your behalf.
The new chat window ups the ease-of-use factor, allowing users to drop maps, images, videos or links directly into the chat box when you want to share them with your friends. Being able to check out videos and images without even leaving your IM client is mighty convenient. Yahoo also made a reversal from their dime-sized emoticons, scaling them down to give them a much cleaner look.
The final big feature is the Yahoo Messenger Pingbox, which is brand new with this release. It allows for web site owners (such as bloggers, eBay sellers, and social networking power users) to chat in real time with anyone visiting their site. This is a step up over lurking your inbox, waiting for a reply e-mail from the site owner that you’re trying to get in contact with. For the owner of the site these Pingboxes are simple to use, and highly customizable. Everything from the aesthetics of the window, to sending out a broadcast message to your site’s users, you’ll be given lots of control.
There’s a game that’s become part of my daily regime. It’s one of the first things I do after firing up the laptop over my morning coffee and the last thing I do before shutting down the laptop with an evening gin. It never takes more than a few minutes, and I do it throughout the day, like answering email. In fact, it is answering email, except with little lettered tiles.
Yes, I am completely addicted to Scrabulous (www.scrabulous.com). Email games are certainly nothing new, but good, well-supported, free email games that a wide variety of people can play without any initial purchase are pretty rare.
Holy high core-count Batman, just imagine how many Chrome tabs you could have open with a 36-core Nehalem! But before you get too excited, this isn't some secret project Intel has been working on. The feat comes courtesy of Tilera, a small start-up from 2004 and self-proclaimed "industry leader in highly scalable multi-core embedded processor design." And with a 36-core chip, who's to argue?
This isn't even Tilera's highest cored processor, as the company introduced a 64-core CPU last year. This time around, the scaled down TilePro36 is being marketed as a midrange part suitable for devices like high-end video conferencing, according to Bob Doud, Tilera's director of marketing.
Intel and AMD needn't be worried though, as the Tilera doesn't target servers and home PCs, as the architecture would get summarily thumped by today's fastest chips. But for its targeted applications, the tiled RISC processing core puts out a bit of pep when configured in a distributed network, and the new 36-core version only sips between 10 to 16 watts.
As if college students didn't already have enough studying to do, it appears they made need to brush up on the fundamentals of PC security. For example, when presented with a popup, do you:
A: Click it, because what company would lie about promising to remove all your adware?
B: Click it, because in your hungover state you can't read what it says anyway
C: Click it, because that's how you assert your independence
D: Close it out
The answer's obvious for Maximum PC readers, but not so for those who reside on a college campus. The Psychology Department of North Carolina State University concocted a series of four fake popup dialogs, with one warning: "The instruction at '0x77f41d24 referenced memory at '0x595c2a4c.' The memory could not be 'read.' Click OK to terminate program." Only one of the warnings blended in with XP, and the others were designed to be easy to spot as adware.
Surprisingly (or maybe not so surprisingly), 25 students out of a panel of 42 clicked the button for two of the fake alerts, and 23 hit OK on the third. Only 9 of them closed the window.
So why'd they do it? Nearly half of the students said that their main concern was getting rid of the dialogs and the distraction they presented. Time to add Computers for Dummies for next semester's textbook shopping list.
Believe it or not, there are security options out there other than AVG. McAfee, being one of them (surely you've run across McAfee on an OEM rig or two), announced plans to acquire network security vendor Secure Computing for around $465 million. The move, according to McAfee, is intended to beef up the company's network security portfolio.
"Today's announcement of this pending acquisition is a natural extension of McAfee's security-only focus," Dave DeWalt, CEO and president of McAfee, said in a statement. "We expect the pending combination of McAfee and Secure Computing will create an annual projected combined revenue of just under $500 million in the network security segment of our SRM (security risk management) portfolio."
Before the acquisition can go through, it must first pass regulatory approvals and get the green light from Secure Computing's stockholders, all of which is expected to be finalized by the end of the year.