We love our moms. They're really super great. Hell, we love moms in general (especially yours). But moms loving StarCraft II? Two hobbies will become one, if producer Chris Sigaty has his way.
“We’ve trying to make sure that it’s perfectly balanced for e-sport, but look — I’m going to try to get my mom to play this game," he told MTV Multiplayer. "I mean, I know she can’t [micromanage] at the level that these pro gamers can, so we’re actually experimenting back in the opposite direction… so that even the layman can come in and get a grasp of these cool things in the game.”
So how will Blizzard snap some of the sharper edges off StarCraft's fire-trail fast gameplay? Sigaty wouldn't elaborate beyond wanting to "make it much easier for [non-gamers] to explore whether it would interest them.”
While this new disproportionately large quadrant of Blizzard's target audience certainly has the potential to wreck things for everyone else, we choose to remember WoW. If anyone can take a tiny, hole-the-wall niche and stretch it into a Grand Canyon -- while still keeping gameplay deep and challenging -- it's Blizzard.
As the UK's PC Pro website puts it, SecondLight is like "Surface on steroids." A product of Microsoft's Cambridge, England research labs, SecondLight projects an image through the table, enabling a translucent surface placed on top of the Surface tabletop to display additional information, such as place names, an interior view of an object, and much more.
To learn more about how SecondLight works, join us after the jump.
Are you sick of using iTunes? We don't blame you. The program eats up resources and makes us scratch our heads with its "Genius" recommendations, and we're ready to throw out display through the wall every time the Apple Software Updater tells us that there's a new version of Safari out. Arrgh!
Before our inner Hulk gets both mad and strong, we've taken a look at alternatives to the popular music library software. As luck would have it, we stumbled across an open-source solution that's every bit as good (and functional!) as iTunes. Better still, it comes without all of the clutter! You might have heard of the application before--it's called Songbird, an open-source music library application straight from Mozilla itself. But what you might not be aware of is the sheer depth of functionality (and dare we say it, iTunes replication) inherent in the program itself. And we're going to show you the top nine ways to tweak this application to bits and make it do exactly what you want, including features you'll never find in iTunes!
Throw on your headphones and check our out big list behind the jump!
When most people think of Logitech the first thing that comes to mind is hardware. Webcams, mice, keyboards, just about anything that you can consider a peripheral. But all that is about to change thanks to their latest acquisition, SightSpeed, which they hope will take them right into the software game.
So what’s it cost to for a hardware giant, such as Logitech, to get their fingers deep into the software game? As it turns out, only $30 million in cash (the deal is expected to close in early November). The addition of the 25-person company to Logitech’s roster comes with the goal of creating solid video communication software to go along with their extremely popular webcams. Current users of SightSpeed are open to use a free version of their software, or a premium version that costs either $9.95 per month or $99.95 a year.
As of right now there’s no telling if the software of the fancy new acquisition will cost anything to use, or if it’ll be an upgrade on the software bundled with the cameras, but with any luck more details will emerge soon.
Google has already begun rolling out the next update to its recently released Chrome browser. Chrome program manager Mark Larson said in a mailing list post this week that "You will automatically get updated in the next few days," but for the impatient, many users can grab the updated version right away by selecting 'About Google Chrome' from the wrench menu.
The update takes Chrome to version 0.3.154.9 and addresses a variety of bug fixes, performance tweaks, and security vulnerabilities. One such vulnerability includes a scenario where, once a user opens a pop-up window, the site could show a different web address than the one that supplied the information. Larson warns that such a flaw could be used to trick users into giving up sensitive information.
Other changes include the ability to sort columns in the password manager, adding a command line switch to the start the browser in incognito mode, better support for Windows Media Player, crash fixes, and more, as outlined in the release notes. Note to Google: We want extension support!
Microsoft has joined forces with Akamai to provide a consummate high-definition video streaming experience for PCs. The two companies announced that Akamai will launch a beta version of its HD video streaming service christened AdaptiveEdge Streaming for Microsoft Silverlight in early 2009. The beta release will only be accessible to a few of Akamai’s own customers (content providers).
Windows Server 2008 and Microsoft Silverlight will form the skeletal base of the service. Akamai’s service will exploit Microsoft’s new Web server technology, called Internet Information Services 7.0 (IIS7.0) Smooth Streaming, which is aimed at delivering uninterrupted streaming videos – sans any buffering. “Smooth Streaming is an evolution of proven Silverlight technology that has powered global online events,” said Scott Guthrie, corporate vice president of the .NET Developer Division at Microsoft, in a press release.
Microsoft clearly hopes that high-definition streaming video can help its Silverlight platform turn the tide and gain more traction. Of course, if Akamai’s service finds favor among providers, it will automatically endear Silverlight to all such content providers. The camaraderie between Microsoft and Akamai dates back to 1999, when the two first strung together a similar partnership.
Dust hasn't even began to think about settling around Fallout 3's cushy new spot on store shelves, but developer Bethesda already has the coordinates set for its next megaton's drop date. According to publishing exec Paul Oughton, Bethesda plans on releasing another title in its sprawling, freeform Elder Scrolls series of RPGs -- in only two years, no less.
"At the moment we've got Fallout 3 for this year and potentially there's a new Elder Scrolls title in 2010," said Oughton.
So, there's the "what" and "when," but how about the "where"?
"At the moment we're not that interested in the Wii. We're going to stick to PS3, Xbox 360 and PC," he noted, giving gamers everywhere one less thing to worry about.
Considering Fallout 3's boundless expanses, as well as Bethesda's potential plans for dog armor, d'awwwwdorable dog feet pajamas, and other downloadable things of the like, 2010 sounds like the perfect time to unravel a new Elder Scrolls. We do have one question, though: how can you follow up expeditions into and subsequent ass-kicking of hell itself? Kind of nuked the fridge there, we think.
Considering that Chrome managed to take the “most popular niche browser” crown from Opera on the very first day of its release, you would think there would be some bad blood between the browser’s bosses. Not so, according to Opera founder Jon von Tetzchner. In an interview with CNET’s Rafe Needleman, von Tetzchner explains how Chrome and other unlikely products have actually benefited Opera.
Of Chrome, von Tetzchner says that although the browser is a competitor, its (relatively) high profile launch drew a lot of attention to the fact that there are alternatives to the big three browsers. As a result, Opera’s daily downloads have gone up 20% since the launch of Chrome.
Most of Opera’s revenue comes from its popular Mini variant for mobile phones. Even here, von Tetzchner says that the high-profile iPhone, which does not use Opera, is actually helping the browser by (again) bringing mobile browsing into the public eye, causing more people to try out the internet functionality of their Opera-equipped mobile phones.
So what’s your take? Is Opera in denial? Tell us after the jump.
If there’s one thing that PC users like, it’s to customize things. There’re custom cases, aftermarket fans, water cooling systems, and dozens other ways to boost your system’s cool factor and (hopefully) its usefulness. But there’s one thing you can customize that’ll really take your computer to the next level: the shell. Your system’s shell, the software that allows you to interface with all those tender, juicy files stashed away in your computer, defines how you interact with your PC. As a power user, you owe it to yourself to explore the ways that you can alter your experience by altering your shell, and we’re going to tell you how.
A shell replacement is software that takes over the role normally filled by explorer.exe, which you’re probably most familiar with as the ubiquitous taskbar/start button combo. There are plenty of ways to go about shell replacement, so we’re going to take a look at members of three major classes of the software: Talisman, a commercial, user-friendly shell replacement; bbLean, a replacement focused on performance, a clean aesthetic and expandability; and the popular and powerful LiteStep.
The re-launched music store will offer top-25 tracks for $0.74 each, less than the standard 94 cents per track. They’re also offering a free track every week from lesser-known artists and albums. Every physical or digital CD sold by Walmart will include a waver for a free digital track of the customer’s choice. Additionally, the retail giant is offering exclusive “Soundcheck” content, including performances by acts like Nickelback and Beyonce.
Walmart is also touting integration with social networking sites, and a reworked music search engine. With 3 million tracks available right now and growing, it seems like Walmart is looking to take back its title as the nation’s biggest music-seller.
What are your thoughts on the Walmart online music store? How does it measure up to the iTunes store? Let us know after the jump.