In a talky-torial published at The Escapist, Team Fortress 2 developer Robin Walker hinted at yet another presumably free addition to TF2’s bullet-ridden house of hilarity. And fortunately for those who’ve moved onto grayer pastures, the article touts a “very different” mode currently just out of sniping range.
"A new Payload map is in the works, more community maps are on the way and the team will soon unveil a very different new game mode," read the article.
In addition, Walker confirmed that Valve has all manner of new class designs just waiting to get their shots at the small screen, but wouldn’t give a timeframe for their deployment.
“We've got several new class designs floating around, some of which we like a lot, but right now we're focusing on the broadening of our existing classes through the addition of the unlockables," he said.
Frankly, as long as Valve tosses up a few more “Meet the ____” movies, we’ll be dandy. How about you?
It's been over a week since the Windows 7 Beta was released to the public. You've read our initial impressions and even followed our guide to installing the OS using a USB key. So what now? Microsoft's post-Vista Windows experience is more than the obvious Taskbar and user interface updates; there are plenty of hidden features and shortcuts that haven't been advertised. But fear not: we've compiled a list of every known Windows 7 tweak and secret. Follow these 20 tricks to make the most out of this beta and become a Windows 7 power user.
Back in November, Microsoft announced plans to discontinue its fee-based Live OneCare subscription service by June 30, 2009 and replace it with free security software the company claims "will provide comprehensive protection from malware including virusus, spyware, rootkits, and trojans." Microsoft's plans could spell bad news for security vendors who sell comprehensive security suites, but at least three companies are already looking forward.
It remains to be seen how Microsoft's Morro will compete will full fledged third-party applications, but according to Windows communications manager Brandon LeBlanc, competition won't stand in the way of ensuring everyone's security apps work with Windows 7.
"Microsoft has been actively working with security partners to help them get their applications ready for Windows 7," LeBlanc said. "Three security developers have taken the build we released to developers in October and have developed solutions available today that work with Windows 7 Beta."
Hit the jump and tell us what effect you think Morro will have third party security software.
Having trouble staying productive at work or home? Tired of feeling like you're staring at the screen and accomplishing absolutely nothing? Want to speed up your file transfers? Protect your surfing habits? Synchronize your files across your PCs and Macs? These are all themes we're going to explore in this week's freeware and open-source software roundup. Were there an official title for this week's grab-bag of programs, it would be that: The Hodgepodge Edition. But when you drill down and consider what each program brings to the party, a picture starts to emerge. These applications are designed to enhance your productivity. We've explored this subject before, so feel free to check out our earlier recommendations for making the most of the time you spend at your PC.
Free up some space on your hard drive and get clicking--time's a-wasting!
GameTap, for those unfamiliar, is a self-described “games on demand service” that zaps thousands of games – some aged and impenetrable, others still warm and wrapped in soggy design document – straight to your PC. It’s pretty neat! However, if you’re just now finding out about the goose that lays golden games, please refrain from getting too excited; GameTap’s vaunted free games section won’t be quite the looker it once was come next week. Said GameTap’s official blog:
“As many of you know, over the past year or so we’ve released well over one hundred games for free, in order to entice people to sample what GameTap has to offer and, hopefully, subscribe to our service. This strategy has worked incredibly well for us, and now we’re ready to move on.”
“Starting next week, we’re going to return a large chunk of our free games back to the Gold vault. They will still be available, but only to GameTap Gold subscribers.”
97 games, including heavy-hitters like Deus Ex, Psychonauts and, well, Daikatana (there’s always a silver lining) will be yanked out of the pet shop window, bringing Gametap’s free section down to a comparatively paltry 40. Weekly trials of select games will also be available.
So then, does this turn of events have you unbolting the padlock on your credit card, or does GameTap have some ‘splainin’ to do?
Doogie Houser may have been performing surgery at 14, the age the fictional sitcom character became the youngest licensed doctor in the country, but we bet he couldn't build a PC. But little Marko Calasan can, a real 8-year-old boy who has become the youngest Microsoft-certified IT computer system administrator. Calasan, who is being called the Mozart of Computers, edges out 9-year-old M Lavinashree of India as the youngest certified IT Pro.
"The Microsoft officials gave me computer games and DVDs with cartoons when I passed the exams because I am a child. That was nice, but I’m not really interested in those things," Calasan toldThe Times.
What young Marko is interested in is becoming a computer scientist when he grows up and has aspirations of creating a new operating system.
Some would argue that 'Data loss' is the biggest of the three Ds ('Death' and 'Divorce' being the other two). But no matter how you rank them, few things in life are capable of inducing that same gut wrenching feeling you get from realizing you just deleted a group of files you weren't supposed to, or nuked the wrong partition. Oops!
Lucky for you, several companies have stepped up to the plate with programs that promise to recover your data when you can no longer do so on your own. How can that be? Well, whether you deleted a file or hosed an entire partition, your data isn't actually destroyed, Windows just no longer knows where to look for it. Your files remain until their location is overwritten with new data. For this reason, you'll want to install a data recovery app on a separate drive than the one you're trying to recover data from.
We put eight different data recovery apps to the test -- six of them free, and two that will set you back half a C-note -- and we'll tell you which ones are worth your time and, if applicable, your money.
Twitter isn't just great for finding out what Will Smith had for lunch on Friday (KFC, in case you were wondering) or how Norman Chan feels about chicken fried bacon, it's also capable of keeping you in the loop when it comes to current events. When something newsworthy happens, you can bet your chicken fried bacon there will be plenty of Tweets covering the action. But not only can the information be unreliable, but getting your news in 140-character nibbles doesn't always work out. And hitting up news outlets like Google News, which rely on algorithms to rank stories, doesn't always deliver the story you're looking for quick enough.
To solve these problems, Yahoo BOSS engineer Vik Singh has created TweetNews. The new service compares Yahoo's news results to hot new topics flowing through Twitter, using that information to organize and prioritize news stories. The end result is a search engine mashup that tracks Twitter feeds for fast updates on the stories you're most interested in reading.
"Basically this service boosts Yahoo’s freshest news search results (which typically don’t have much relevance since they are ordered by timestamp and that’s it) based on how similar they are to the emerging topics found on Twitter for the same query (hence using Twitter to determine authority for content that don’t yet have links because they are so fresh)," Singh wrote on his blog.
Will this change the way you get your news? Hit the jump and post your thoughts.
Todd Jackson, Google's Product Manager for Gmail, told CNet in a recent interview "We know people's file sizes are getting bigger. They want to share their files, keep them in the cloud, and not worry about which computer they're on. Google wants to be solving these problems." And while Jackson didn't specifically mention the oft rumored Google Drive, Mac users point out that Google's recently released Picasa for Mac gives users the option to move an image collection to 'Google Web Drive.' Not convinced? Consider that a WHOIS check of googlewebdrive.com reveals Google's name servers, suggesting such a service is a matter of when, not if.
TGDaily believes "the service has the potential to eclipse even Gmail, Google's second best-known product after their google.com search engine." But would it? Cloud-based storage isn't a new concept, and several services already exist offering to host your files online. But Google has the advantage of owning, by last estimate, an infinite number of servers (we rounded up), paving the way for the search giant to offer much more space at no cost, and perhaps wrapped up in a sleek user interface. Throw in some useful features like malware scanning, image backups, auto-syncing, and whatever else Google might be working on, and TGDaily might just be right. But this all assumes you're ready to store your data in the cloud.
Hit the jump and tell us whether or not you could see yourself replacing your storage drive with Gdrive.
Mods, oodles of control configurations, switches and sliders for unholy graphical settings even God was unaware existed – these are the things that allegedly make PC gaming special. Clothesline inexperienced gamers with this taught branch of options, however, and they’ll see their first Game Over before even glimpsing the start screen. BioWare CEO Ray Muzyka’s solution? Er, it’s kinda vague.
“I think there are more people playing PC games and more dollars being spent on the PC space than ever before, but it’s taking a different form,” the good doctor told CVG.
“We can still make deep rich experiences but we have to make them easy to access, you have make the control system really easy to use, and you have to make people feel like they’re playing an experience that they can play how they want to play it, whether that is long sessions or short sessions.”
How does BioWare intend to make space for graduates of the PopCap Academy without giving core gamers the boot, though? Your comment section dialogue options are as follows:
“[Persuasion] Why even bother with casual gamers? They’ve only spurned your advances in the past.”
“Wait a minute, Muzyka! Sounds like you’re talking about console games to me!”
“Well, BioWare, you’ve never failed me in the past, so why should I doubt you now? I’m exceptionally level-headed and uninteresting.” (Click here for light side points.)