Why are you a PC gamer? Why did you choose to support a less convenient, less unified machine even in the face of Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo's pickup-and-play offerings? Do you like the customizability the PC affords? The constantly evolving technology -- to gaze down from a heap of cast-aside PC parts and proclaim the superiority of your uber-machine? Or is the community? Do you relish being a member of a tightly-knit underdog pack, a group that's not afraid to bellow "We'll prove you wrong" to the gaming community at large?
How would you react if everyone suddenly acknowledged PC gaming's strength? If people turned around and realized that PC gaming isn't dying, would you still be so gung-ho about it?
Well, today, we have -- among other things -- one more outlet prostrating itself before the PC. How long before the unwashed masses follow suit?
Additionally, we have a treat for Trekkies, EA's Riccitiello admitting to another one of his company's screw-ups, and the longest hypothetical game title evar. Please insert disc titled "Read more" to continue.
Rainbow Six Vegas 2 looks and plays like a rehash of last year’s original. Put both action shooters side by side and you’d be hard-pressed to distinguish between them. This doesn’t mean Vegas 2 is terrible—the first game was a righteous shoot-’em-up that melded quick pacing with exciting firefights. The follow-up fleshes out the story and completes the plot lines left unfinished in the last go-round, but it falters from the same tiresome action sequences that are more frustrating than challenging.
Not surprisingly, malware infections are at an all-time high, but what's shocking is just how fast the infection rate has risen. According to antivirus vendor Sophos, the company says it detects one webpage containing malicious content every 5 seconds, a rate that represents a whopping 300 percent jump from 2007.
That breaks down to over 16,000 malicious sites each day, most of which are victims of SQL-injection attacks. One of the more common tricks entails using SQL-injection to place a dirty 1x1 pixel element on an infected page. And because many of the sites are legitimate, security vendors are having a tough time keeping up with blocking the sites.
There also exists a fair number of illegitimate sites, and Sophos claims Google-owned Blogger accounts for nearly 2 percent of all malware hosts, making it an unflattering number one offender.
Responding to the report, a spokesperson for Google said "Google takes the security of our users very seriously, and we work hard to protect them from malware. Using Blogger, or any Google product, to serve or host malware is a violation of our product policies. We actively work to detect and remove sites that serve malware from our network."
In what would typically be a publishing nightmare (and might still be), Wikipedia announced it will attempt to make history in print publishing by creating a book with about 90,000 authors, which would rank as the most credited individual authors ever. To help them do that, the online encyclopedia has partnered with German publisher Bertelsmann, and the two of them will set out to create a single-volume print encyclopedia containing 25,000 of German Wikipedia's most popular articles.
Set to go on sale in September for around $32 USD, The One-Volume Wikipedia Encyclopedia will have a credits page that runs 27 pages "in a dense layout -- it's a page full of names, separated by commas." One of those names will be Theodore Kaczynski, otherwise known as the Unabomber. All 25,000 articles will be short in length running no more than a few paragraphs each. But will they be factually correct?
In the midst of rumors regarding Google being close on the heels of a $200 million takeover of Digg, there is news of a major addition to the populist news aggregator. Digg CEO Jay Adelson announced at a party - attended by 300 fans of the website – that in the next 6 months users will be able to create their own sub-Diggs, whereby they will be fully in control of the mini-websites.
They will get to decide the number of stories that are flashed on the front page of their website. This obviously means that the cutthroat scuffle for a place on the main website’s front page will relax a touch in coming times as some of the traffic will be diverted to the user-controlled sub-Diggs. Some of you might be aware that such sub-sites are already available on Reddit and Mixx. However, the addition of this feature on Digg should have a far-reaching impact and might even make life even more difficult for Digg-clones.
How much time each day do you spend playing TF2? Do you find yourself stumbling through the web when you should be working instead? If so, you may have an affliction that requires professional attention, or so claims Professor Joseph Ferrari of DePaul University in Chicago.
"The subject is seen as a joke," said Ferrari. "But the social and economic implications are huge. These people need therapy. They need to change the way they act and think."
According to Ferrari, chronic procrastination has become such a big problem that it needs to be recognized by clinicians. By his own estimates, 15 to 20 percent of people fall into this category, and he says it doesn't matter the person's age, sex, or background because everyone is equally susceptible.
Ferrari isn't alone in his beliefs, and research by Professor Piers Steel from Calgary University claims chronic procrastination has risen sharply in recent decades and now affects one in four people. He says even email notifications are part of the problem, costing the economy $70 billion a year.
Has technology really pushed people to procrastinate more than they ever have before? Post your thoughts below, and do it now - your work will wait.
From smart displays capable of identifying its viewers to a recent push for more rich media ads, privacy seems to be taking a backseat to ad revenue. But while companies toy with ways to make more money through online ads, at least one person in Congress wants to make sure your rights aren't getting trampled in the process.
Rep. Edward Markey (D-Mass) has seen enough and believes online monitoring services working on behalf of the advertising community should make their intentions clear and be required to obtain approval before tracking your online activities. He's not talking about innocent cookies, but deep packet inspection (DPI) technologies.
"First, there is a distinction in the detail, type, and amount of data collected," Markey said. "As opposed to individual websites that know certain information about visitors to its websites and affiliates, deep packet inspection technologies can indicate every website a user visits and much more about a person's web use," he said.
Not everyone shares Markey's same concerns. Robert Dykes, CEO of NebuAd, claims his company doesn't run afoul of privacy rights and translates visitor's IP addresses it gathers into anonymous identifiers. Furthermore, Dykes claims an opt-in program would cause "major harm" to the current infrastructure of the internet, which thrives on advertising revenue.
Does Dkyes have a point, or is markey right on the money?
Yesterday, I discussed, in brief, gaming's trend toward the future -- generally at the expense of the past and even the present. Coincidentally, I think that trend ties in well with another point of discussion yesterday's Roundup shoved into the limelight: PC gaming's "death." A good many of you seemed to think I'd love nothing more than to drag the ol' PC out back, aim down the sights, and end its miserable existence.
You couldn't have been more wrong.
PC gaming is, in my mind, thriving. Oh sure, consoles may rake in more mullah, but PC gaming never stops blazing trails into the future. Do I think we should grind to a halt and take a look around every once in a while? Sure. But never should we stagnate, or else our industry really could slump into a lifeless heap. PC gaming, whether it be through MMOs, services like Steam, or even its colossal casual market, is console gaming's crystal ball. "That's what I want to be when I grow up!" I can almost hear Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo's petite blocks of plastic excitedly screech.
With that said, however, progress is a series of trials and errors. Today's Roundup casts its gaze upon a few recent missteps, from MMOs' lack of true emotion, to E3 2008, to, er, the iPhone. Oh, I didn't just go there; I rented a room, saw the sights, and brought back a refrigerator magnet. Read more for all of that -- and more.
Despite Microsoft's claims of having sold 180 million Windows Vista licenses since the OS's launch, there are plenty of XP owners who have to decided to skip this round and wait for Windows 7. Some of them aren't even willing to give Vista a first look, let alone a second one, and these are the one Microsoft is targeting with Mojave.
What exactly is Mojave? As far the XP faithful are concerned, it's the code name for a brand new OS Microsoft has been working on. And to them, it is brand new, but for the rest of us, it's simply Vista with a new name. That's right; Microsoft is trying to dupe Vista's skeptics into not only giving the OS a test run, but get them to admit they like it. And it's working. Microsoft last week rounded up several XP users who had negative impressions of Vista and showed them Mojave. According to Cnet, over 90 percent gave positive feedback on what they thought was a new OS, with Microsoft recording their reactions after being told Mojave is really Vista.
" We have a huge perception opportunity, said Windows unit business chief Bill Veghte. "We are going to try a bunch of stuff."
The idea got started just two weeks ago in an email from Microsoft's David Webster to several higher ups, including Veghte, and it didn't take long for the cameras to start rolling. Footage could start airing publicly as early as next week, but will it be enough to convince staunch XP users into upgrading?
As if the tech community needed any more proof that DRM schemes only serve to hurt paying customers, Yahoo has decided to remind everyone why the whole concept sucks in the first place. Come September 30, Yahoo will shut off support for Yahoo Music, locking customers who purchased their tracks through the service from being able to transfer their tunes to a new hard drive or PC.
Here we go again. Microsoft pulled the same stunt when it pulled the plug on its MSN Music service. Amid community outcries, the software giant eventually caved to pressure and reversed its decision, offering customers a reprieve "until at least the end of 2011."
Who knows if Yahoo will end up doing the same thing, but as it stands now, customers who want to keep playing their purchased music after the end of September are being prevented from transferring their songs to another machine or even performing a clean OS install on their existing PC. Or they can choose to transfer their music library to RealNetwork's Rhapsody music service. And while customers decide between losing their music or jumping through hoops, pirates will continue to snag the songs they want through Limewire, Piratebay, and everywhere else where pirated music runs rampant.