There's a reason your wallet is cowering in the corner in the fetal position, it knows it's about to be gutted. That's the inevitable fate that befalls the funds of gamers each and every time Valve decide to hold a major sale on Steam, and today marks the beginning of Steam's autumn sale. Big discounts ensure you'll lighten your load of cash while you beef up your games collection with titles you may have missed out on.
Valve is serving up something a little different via Steam, its digital distribution platform for games. The "Daily Deal" on Steam is for the latest version of Futuremark's 3DMark benchmark, which you can snag for $8.49. That's a 66 percent discount over its normal selling price of $24.95. The cool thing about the latest 3DMark release is that it's a cross-platform benchmark for Windows, Android, iOS, and Windows RT (coming soon), allowing you to compare scores from two totally different devices.
As Google’s Android platform continues to dominate smartphone sales, the big G has decided to update us all on a significant milestone. As of last weekend, the Android Market has exceeded 10 billion app downloads. According to Google, the current rate is more than 1 billion per month. In celebration of this momentous occasion, Google has worked with top app developers to sell some premium apps for just $0.10.
Screw the Emmys! The best gift bags of the past week came at Microsoft’s BUILD conference. The Redmond crew put their money where their mouths were and provided 5,000 developers with a tablet based off of the Samsung Series 7 Slate and packing a version of the Metro-tized Windows 8 Developer Preview. Theoretically, the gift was supposed to spur on app development for the upcoming operating system; instead, some not-so-gracious recipients have turned the tablets into quick cash on eBay.
While you can always put Windows 8 through its paces by downloading the Developer Preview, there is nothing quite like an absolutely free Windows 8 tablet with decent innards. Microsoft gave away 5,000 such Samsung Windows 8 tablets to developers at last week’s BUILD conference. A few of those developers are apparently so unimpressed that they are now desperately trying to get rid of these gratis tablets for whatever amount people are willing to pay. It turns out that people are willing to pay thousands of dollars.
It's official, News Corp. sold MySpace to advertising network Specific Media for around $35 million, and Rupert Murdoch can finally move on. That's far below the $100 million asking price, and even though News Corp. retains a less than five percent stake, if you crunch the numbers, like Arstechnica did, you come to the conclusion that Murdoch and Co. lost over $1 billion on this deal. How can that be when News Corp. bought the social networking site for $580 million?
It's that time again. No, not that time! And definitely not that time. It is, however, about the only time that the phrase “that time” has a positive connotation. Yep, as per tradition, Valve's slashing prices right and left in order to celebrate that weird, barely advertised void between Halloween and Christmas. Correct us if we're wrong, but it also involves the eating of an iconic American bird, doesn't it? The bald eagle?
Anyway, Steam's taken to carving up the prices of multiple games until they're damn near unrecognizable, and will continue to do so until November 30. Currently, featured titles include Borderlands for $9.99, the Deus Ex collection for $4.95, Alpha Protocol for $7.50, Sam and Max: The Devil's Playhouse for $10.50, and more. As usual, though, each day will bring with it an avalanche of dastardly new temptations that'll slowly whittle away at your wallet until you wake up to find that your house and/or kidney has been repossessed.
Even if you've resolved to not spend a single cent this time around, however, there's still something in this year's sale for you. Yes, that does in fact mean what you think it means: free stuff. Valve's added a wishlist feature, you see, and each day 30 people will receive whichever games are in their top five.
So there you have it. Cheap stuff. Free stuff. You know what to do.
The makers of the point-and-click adventure game Machinarium came to a realization recently. Their DRM-free game was being pirated by about 90% of players. Such is life for a game that doesn't bother users with serials or authentication. A similar rate of piracy was found for the DRM-free World of Goo. However, the folks behind Machinarium are feeling generous, and are offering people the opportunity to participate in their new pirate amnesty sale.
Until August 12th, Machinarium (and its soundtrack) will cost only $5. It usually goes for $20. The game is available for PC, Mac, and Linux. In Machinarium you play as an unassuming robot traveling through a beautifully detailed world mechanical malcontents. We grabbed this game from Steam a while back, and can testify to its quality and challenging puzzle-based gameplay.
You don't need to prove you pirated the game to join in the fun. Anyone is free to buy the game during the sale. If you like point-and-click style casual games, $5 is a reasonable price to pay. You can check out a demo of the game, and buy it here.
The US International Trade Commission has issued a notice of final determination in the patent infringement action brought by Rambus against Nvidia and other respondents, the technology licensing company, often accused of being a patent troll, announced in a press release. The ITC found Nvidia and some of its customers (co-respondents in the case) guilty of infringing three Rambus patents, affirming an earlier decision by an ITC administrative law judge, albeit with some modification.
The ITC has notified Rambus of its intent to issue a Limited Exclusion Order prohibiting the importation of infringing products into the United States; the list includes Nvidia’s GeForce, Quadro, nForce, Tesla and Tegra product families. The sale of infringing products previously imported by the respondents will also be banned.
However, the respondents can continue to import and sell the affected products during a 60-day Presidential review period by posting a bond equaling “2.65% of the entered value of the subject imports.” According to a Bloomberg report, Nvidia will be taking advantage of a licensing arrangement Rambus reached with the European Commission “to continue our business under the terms of that license and prevent the enforcement of any exclusion order.” Last year, Rambus settled an antitrust case in Europe by agreeing to cap memory chip royalties at 40 cents per unit.
"We are extremely pleased with the ITC's decision to issue a Limited Exclusion Order, signaling the strength of our innovation efforts beyond the Farmwald-Horowitz patents of our founders. The value of our patented inventions has been recognized by our current licensees, and we will continue our efforts to license others,” said Thomas Lavelle, senior vice president and general counsel at Rambus.