Innovation. In gaming, it's a weighted word, but really, what does it even mean? Portal was "innovative" because it allowed players to slap portals onto walls and travel into their depths. But at one point, Warcraft III was declared "innovative" for mixing basic RPG elements with tried-and-true RTS gameplay. And then we have things like the Wii, which can (potentially) add brand new dimensions to the way we play games.
So, in your opinion, what actually makes something innovative? Do you think an innovative game has to blow minds and shift paradigms, or can it be something as simple as Call of Duty 4's experience system -- subtle, yet effective?
Today's Roundup sees so-called innovators both succeed and fail, with one highly unexpected title snagging an award for Interactive Innovation, while another causes its creator to drop out of the gaming industry altogether. Also, in the "And More" section: data that shows PCs beating consoles at their own game. Hit the break for the full scoop.
Power users know how critical it is to change their passwords often and to avoid using easily guessed characters. Creating a login for your bank account based on your first born's birth date is a good way to share your financial information with anyone who cares to look, and the best passwords are the ones that contain a random mixture of letters and numbers. But is it enough?
An article in the New York Times points out that all password-based log-ons are susceptible to being compromised in any number of ways, and they're right. We're constantly warning users against falling for phishing schemes, and new forms of malware have become so adept at sneaking past common security fronts that a host of vendors have begun looking at new ways of dealing with the latest threats (see Internet Security 2.0 in Maximum PC's February 2008 issue, or download the PDF).
Hit the jump to see why security experts are now saying we should abandon passwords altogether.
You might feel compelled to toss a dollar or two at an amateur musician laying down some groovy riffs on his keyboard while enjoying a night out on the town, but would you feel the same urge to compensate a blogger who mashed out an insightful commentary on his 101-key plank? News media outlet Salon.com thinks so, and the suits behind the idea are so confident in their newest endeavor, they're giving new signees to their Open Salon user-generated content community $10 to start tipping their favorite bloggers.
In order to send or receive tips, users must register with Revolution MoneyExchange, a peer-to-peer payment service that allows for the transfer of money with no fees between account holders.Open Salon members who register for the service will receive a complimentary $10 stipend to start tipping.
"Open Salon eliminates the gatekeepers, "editor-in-chief Joan Walsh said in a statement. "It makes our smart,creative audience full partners in Salon's publishing future."
But what happens when the money runs out - will members still be inclined to tip their favorite bloggers out of their own pocket? That's the question the public beta hopes to answer before it officially launches later this year, right around the same time Maximum PC has promised all of its bloggers a company sponsored sports car and a four week paid vacation on the Hawaiian islands.
It’s hard to imagine Windows, or some other rich operating system not being at the center of my digital word. But then again, 10 years ago it was hard to imagine having a digital world at all. Intense speculation over the future cloud computing and the explosion of platform agnostic web applications has lead Microsoft to officially kick off the new R&D project, code named Midori. Midori would be a cut back operating system that would be capable of keeping up with the pace of rapid innovation in a post Windows world.The biggest shift for Midori would be the move away from operating systems tied to a single PC. By contrast, the Windows platform is traditionally locked down to a particular set of hardware and trying to keep consistency across multiple PC’s or electronic devices is already proving to be a burden. Midori would free users from these shackles and recognizes that users of the future will be increasingly mobile. Midori is widely seen as an ambitious attempt by Microsoft to catch up in the field of virtualization, an emerging trend in the computer industry. Users of the future will want a small, lightweight operating system they can take with them and use as a virtual client. The biggest challenge for Microsoft will be how it would cope financially without Windows. Michael A. Silver, a distinguished analyst at Gartner is quoted as saying “If Windows ends up being less important over time as applications become more OS agnostic where will Microsoft make its money?". Though it has yet to be officially confirmed, rumor has it that Midori will be the successor to Singularity, which is the OS following Windows 7. Though, with predictions this far into the future, I would recommend a consultation with your magic 8 ball before you place any bets.
Just how rich are you? The answer is; pretty darn rich if you can drop nearly $1000 on a useless application.
The application called ‘I Am Rich’ was available for purchase from the iPhone's App Store for the highest amount a developer can charge through the digital retailer, $999.99. The program’s developer, Armin Heinrich, said that once downloaded, it does not do much; a red icon sits on the iPhone home screen like any other application, with the subtext "I Am Rich." Once activated, it treats the user to a large, glowing gem. (which, for the money, must be way better than the screen shot below)
Make the jump to see how many people bought 'I Am Rich'.
Microsoft has always been an ardent proponent of digital distribution and now it’s this long held belief that is reflected in its recent decision to pull Microsoft Money off store shelves. It has decided that the financial software only be sold as an online download from here on. But the company isn’t in any hurry to renounce boxed software and realizes that an absolute transition to digital distribution will take some time.
A MS employee, Chris Jolley, told Cnet about MS Money sales trends that instigated the current move. About half of the total sales of the financial software in the last one year have been generated through the internet, according to Jolley.
Yahoo’s search ads deal with Google might have come as a shock to most but it elicited a different emotion among legislators, that of suspicion. Yahoo has made its 50 page agreement with Google public amid all the talk of it being anti-competitive. It filed the document with the Securities and Exchange Commission as a supplement along with its quarterly report card. But certain parts of the agreement are not available to the public and have been made available to SEC separately.
The prospects of an antitrust lawsuit still loom over the search ads deal, which capped Yahoo’s brazen defiance towards Microsoft. However, don’t mistakenly assume that the SEC is probing the matter. The probe into the legality of the agreement is being carried by U.S. Department of Justice and various states.
When Windows Vista launched back in January 2007, the 64-bit edition was clearly not ready for primetime. The driver and compatibility issues that mired the early days of the OS were even worse on the 64-bit side, and for most users Vista x64 was completely crippled or in some cases, wouldn’t install at all. Hardware manufacturers struggled to release stable device drivers but because 32-bit and 64-bit editions both required radically different drivers, Vista x64 just wasn’t a priority. Coming up on two years later, 32-bit Vista’s issues seem to have calmed down, but what about Vista x64? Well according to Microsoft, usage of the niche OS is on the rise, but is it finally ready for prime time?
Click the jump to learn all about Vista 64 and what you need to know before you consider switching.
Yesterday evening, I had the indistinct pleasure of viewing G4's GPhoria gaming awards. GPhoria is odd in that it doesn't take place at the end of a year; rather, it highlighted, in this case, the best games from the second half of 2007 and first half of 2008. Even so, I was fairly surprised when Halo 3 took home GOTSHO07AFHO08 honors. I mean, Halo? Seriously?
But GPhoria is voted for by the fans, which got me to thinking about how different audiences have different expectations, and about how those expectations can shift with time.
See, in my experience, Halo is typically met with derision and utterances of "Moar liek Fail-O" when mentioned in the presence of PC gamers. It is, after all, just a dumbed-down, slow-moving console shooter, right? The first domino in a long, weaving line that wrecked the FPS genre as we know it. Well, except for maybe Half-Life 2. Oh, and TF2. And Call of Duty 4. Also Bioshock. Portal, too. Hey, maybe Halo didn't bring the genre crashing down after all! Actually, I'd say the expanded audience led developers to try new things.
These days, though, gamers are fretting about a new scourge: casual gaming. Where am I going with this? Simple. I believe casual gaming is nothing to worry about. As with the FPS genre, an expanded audience, lured in from casual titles, will inspire great devs to try new things, as well as provide them with more cash to back their games.
So, what's your opinion on so-called "casual" gaming? Whether it be the Wii, Diner Dash, or fan-fave Peggle, how do you think these games and the audiences they attract will affect gaming? Good? Bad? Both? Neither?
At the very least, today's Roundup is dedicated to the hardcore gamer. Past the break, you'll find stories about BioWare's handheld ambitions, John Carmack's stance on PC gaming, and Star Trek Online's upcoming reveal. And more, of course.
It is also ensuring that Eee PC users don’t develop insomnia fretting over the machine’s limited storage space. Users can now count upon 20GB of cloud storage space, i.e. internet hard drive space. But Asus will have to insure that the downloads are cheap as many Eee PC users in developing countries do not perceive it as a fun internet gadget but more of a cost-effective computing device.