“Beginning November 18th players across North America and Europe will journey with the dwarves deep into Middle-earth to reclaim the ancient kingdom of Khazad-dûm from the minions of Saruman,” said Jeffrey Steefel, executive producer of The Lord of the Rings Online.
And no, this isn't a loquacious announcement that LOTRO has slipped to November 18th, 2009 -- but that'd make far more sense than what Turbine is actually doing.
For the uninitiated (aka, those who don't read article titles), WoW: Wrath of the Lich King -- possibly the most-anticipated MMO expansion ever and one of the few 2008 PC releases that can challenge Spore to a bout of sales-fisticuffs and match the game blow-for-blow -- is crashing down the gates (and probably its own servers) on November 13th. Add to that the fact that LOTRO is basically WoW plus little big-footed people and minus about 9 million players, and you have a painstakingly composed financial suicide note ready to go.
Find out why Turbine chose to face the Lich King's wrath head-on after the break.
Browsing the Digg homepage, you’re bound to see a lot of links about videogames, open source, and Barack Obama. For all you readers of the Max PC blog, that might seem like a good thing, but according to founder Kevin Rose, it’s time for that to change. In “The Future of News,” a talk at the Future of Web Apps conference, Rose said that Digg needs to shed its status as a geek bastion and do more for the average web-surfer.
In the talk Rose outlined several of the strategies that Digg will employ to expand its userbase. One thing the site needs to do, he said, is get more users participating. Presently, even though more than 30 million people use the site a month, only 3 million have registered accounts, meaning that the vast majority of people who read Digg aren’t affecting which links make the homepage.
Digg needs to provide an experience that’s relevant to each individual user, Rose stressed. Along these lines, the site intends to allow users to filter out links about subjects they don’t care about, and is developing ways to automatically sort users into groups based on their interests. Also, the site is looking to weight users’ Diggs by their history as an accurate (or inaccurate) predictor of popular links.
Will Digg lose its geek following as it tries to go mainstream? Let us know what you think.
It’s hard not to like Google Earth. It’s free, it’s fun, and now it’s about to get sharper than ever. The GeoEye-1, a commercial imaging satellite sponsored by Google and considered to be the world’s most accurate snapped its first photo on Wednesday, Wired reports.
The satellite takes photos at a maximum resolution of 41 centimeters, high enough—in other words—to spot your dog from space. Unfortunately for Google, the government places restrictions on the max resolution of commercial satellites, meaning that Google will only be allowed to use images with a resolution of 50 centimeters or worse.
And speaking of the government, although Google is the primary corporate sponsor of the GeoEye, the satellite’s number one customer is the US government’s National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. Eager to avoid an unflattering label, Mark Brender, VP of communications and marketing at GeoEye, says “This is the opposite of a spy satellite. Spies don’t put info on the internet and sell imagery.”
So now Google’s armed with its own not-a-spy satellite. Are you concerned about your privacy, or just psyched for a higher-res Google Earth? Let us know after the break.
Can we all agree that User Account Control (UAC) sucks? Good. Now if only we can get Microsoft on the same page. That shouldn't be too hard considering at this point it's no secret that UAC was designed to annoy, and if Ben Fathi, president of Microsoft's core OS development is to be believed, we're all finally in agreement.
"We've heard loud and clear that you are frustrated," Fathi wrote on his blog. "You find the prompts too frequent, annoying, and confusing. We still want to provide you control over what changes can happen to your system, but we want to provide you a better overall experience."
Fathi goes on to explain that in Windows 7, users logged in as an administrator will be able to determine the range of notifications received. Fathi also says the dialog UI will be more telling, perhaps leading to less of a knee-jerk reaction to automatically click 'Allow' every time the dialog pops up.
Fathi sounds optimistic that the revamped UAC system will be far less hated than it is now, but the question isn't whether or not it will be less hated, but will we still hate it?
We don't always agree with sister site MacLife.com's outlook (we recently had to slap the site silly when it went on the offensive towards PC users), but this is one time we find ourselves on the same side of the fence. Is anyone expecting great things out of Flash for the iPhone?
MacLife says no and points out several reasons why iPhone owners may rue getting what they wish for. Chief among the fears is a lack of usability in which the desktop experience for Flash heavy sites might become a convoluted mess when ported to the iPhone. Other concerns include irritating ads (you know they're coming), more frequent crashes back to the home screen, and a tug of war over standards.
Just as we nerds have overhyped some technologies, we've also overlooked some even better alternatives. PC World has put on its thinking cap and posted its picks for the ten most overrated technology products and services - and alternatives that deserve a closer look.
So, How Would You Rate These Contenders?
Ultra-portable laptops versus mini-laptops
Microsoft Zune versus Apple iPod Touch
Windows XP versus Windows Vista
To discover which ones get the overrated razz, and which ones deserve some unexpected love, join us after the break.
Yahoo has single-handedly disproved Moore’s law, by finally updating their online calendar after 10 long, tech rich years. Tonight they will be rolling out a new drag-and-drop Ajax based calendar in a closed beta to Yahoo Mail users in the U.S., UK, India, Taiwan and Brazil (sign ups can be found here).
The upgraded calendar doesn’t do much that Google’s isn’t already capable of, but it does play nice with iCal and CalDAV and has a slew of new features, including; layering (viewing multiple calendars in different colors or subscribing to someone else’s calendar), zooming in when adding an appointment, integration with Flickr, setting email or SMS reminders, and a to-do list.
With this addition to their juggernaut of offerings, Yahoo should increase their market share in online calendars, despite already being the leader. Of their 285 million Yahoo Mail users, 8.1 million use the calendar compared to the 5 million that use Google’s.
Asus has recently admitted that some of their Eee Box desktop PC’s have shipped with a virus. While they’ve claimed that they’ve only sent boxes with viruses to Japan, it can be confirmed that other territories have received units as well.
As stated by an email sent out by Asus, the Eee Box’s 80GB hard drive has the “recycled.exe” virus files hidden in the drive’s D: partition. Once the drive is opened, the virus activates and infects the C: drive, as well as any removable drives connected to the system. Symantec states that the malware is likely to be a W32/Usbalex worm, which creates an “autorun.inf” file to trigger “recycled.exe” from D:.
With any luck, Asus will have this under control before they send out their next shipments. Until then though, be sure to look out for any of these new boxes shipping to a desk near you, they could be waiting to take all of your precious information.
We'd venture to guess that most Maximum PC readers use Firefox as their primary browser, but when it comes to alternative browsers (those not developed by Microsoft or Mozilla), Opera remains a popular choice due to its feature-set and speed. For fans of the Opera browser, the good gets even better with the latest release, version 9.6.
Among the changes, the new magazine-style RSS feeds are sure to be a hit. The new feature converts any RSS feed into a magazine-like page with the articles laid out in columns, making them more accessible for casual readers to view content before subscribing or bookmarking it.
Other changes include speed enhancements for faster page load times, optimized Opera Mail with a 'low bandwidth mode' to retrieve emails faster when bandwidth is limited, and expansions to Opera Link which now include custom search engines and typed history.
Grab the new download here, hit the jump, and let us know what you think.
The writing has been on the wall since back in 2007, and now it's official - Google's AdSense for Games is ready to be rolled out. The in-game ads will focus on browser-based Adobe Flash games, giving web-based game developers and publishers the ability to integrate video ads, image ads, or text ads in a variety of placements, including in between level changes.
Today's launch will see Adsense for Games introduced in about two dozen games from publishers Konami, Playfish, Zynga, Demand Media, Mochi Media, and more. To be eligible, Google requires publishers have a minimum of 500,000 game plays with 80 percent of traffic originating from the U.S. or U.K. The application also stipulates that the content must be family safe and targeted at users age 13 and up.
How receptive online gamers will be to the new ads remains to be seen, but an earlier report on the topic suggests there probably won't be any angry mobs à la Spore/Amazon. In a survey of 400 gamers, Macrovision found that 83 percent would have no problem watching a 30-second ad in exchange for free game play, although they probably weren't thinking about Flash based games.
Thoughts on Adsense for Games? Hit the jump and let us know!