Today's Roundup explores a few ways games reach the marketplace -- from free downloads, to piracy, to not being released at all. Between BioWare, the creator of Earthworm Jim, and even Google, everyone has their own way of placing games into the hungry mouths of gamers. Er, you know what I mean. Anyway, "Read More" and all that.
(Ed Note:We're currently investigating the RIAA's alleged involvement with the audio problems users are facing on Dell laptops. An official Dell representative has stated that the omission of the Stereo Mix option is most likely an issue with Windows XP, and a driver has been released to fix the problem. We've contacted the RIAA and are awaiting their response. We'll follow up with this story when we have more information.)
Gateway and Pac Bell are the other two manufacturers to have bowed to the RIAA at the expense of their customers’ satisfaction and disabled the stereo mix feature without warning.
The trade group, which comprises leading record labels, has a very controversial past. Although RIAA doesn’t favor home audio recording and file sharing in an effort to prevent piracy, this same, ostensibly prudish organization was all for depriving several musicians of their own musical works by supporting a controversial “work made for hire” clause in 1999 legislation, which unfairly transferred copyrights of musical works to record labels.
Internet research and security firm Netcraft has released the findings of its June 2008 Web Server Survey. Netcraft pegged the number of websites at a shade over 172 million, an increase of 3.9 million from the preceding month. Although the main objective of this survey wasn’t to perform a headcount of websites but to size up web server usage trends, it still gives a fair idea of the website population.
Click through to find out how accurate Netcraft's census is and whether you need to make a beeline for that proverbial pinch of salt.
Paring down an extraordinarily long web address into a manageable hyperlink makes it possible to share line-breaking URLs via email, text messages, Twitters, or any other medium without overwhelming the recipient, and therein lies the beauty of TinyURL. Unfortunately, the ugly truth is that while TinyURL makes short work of long URLs, they're also exceedingly difficult to recall for anyone not fluent in Nerglish. Or at least they were.
Of course, standard safe practices still applies. Don't click on hyperlinks from untrusted sources no matter what they're labeled as. And you know that buddy that still finds it amusing to send you a Rick Roll for the umpteenth time? Don't click on his custom TinyURLs either.
Once upon a time, YouTube could be relied on to find that funny snippet from last night's sitcom episode to share with family and friends that may have missed it. Now it's a crap shoot whether the video you're looking for will exist, or if it's been deleted over copyright concerns like so many others. And if you do find the clip you're looking for, are you giving up any privacy rights to watch it? Throw in the crummy video quality (Tip: Add &fmt=18 to the end of YouTube URLs), and one has to wonder if there's any suckage left to bestow upon YouTube.
Apparently there is; The Wall Street Journal reports Google is looking to sell pre-roll and post-roll ads because, well, the expected $200 million in anticipated ad revenue this year evidently isn't enough. Or course, Google must first find willing advertisers, a task that could prove more difficult than it seems. According to the story, Google is only selling ads against video clips that been approved by media companies and other partners, which equates to just 4 percent of the total clips on YouTube. That means the overwhelming majority of videos don't seem to be worth anything to the company. At this pace, could it be long before they're also not worth anything to viewers?
"Action-packed!" "A wild ride." "Nearly as exhilarating as the video game industry!" Ah, who am I kidding? The first two don't even come close to matching the third, and today serves as a large, billowing banner for that fact. We've got mergers, buyouts, children, slavery, drugs, and even CliffyB! If every day were this exciting, action movies would be out of a job. Now click that "Read More" link; you know you want to.
"At one point during the webinar, 'W00ts!' were heard emanating from the conference room as Harry, a renowned Team Fortress 2 fanboy, demonstrated how to properly tea-bag an opponent."
Most English teachers would have a field day with the above sentence, but with the exception of 'tea-bag,' the rest of the terms are now officially recognized. Perhaps Merriam-Webster is undergoing a mid-life crisis, or maybe as geeks we've leveled up our ability to affect the English language. Either way, a bevy of new terms are being added to the latest version of the Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary, and many of them could be pulled straight out of any computer forum. Among the new terms are:
Not all the new words are technology terms, but many of them do reflect societal trends. "As soon as we see the word used without explanation or translation or gloss, we consider it a naturalized citizen of the English language," explained Peter Sokolowoski, an editor-at-large for Merriam Webster.
Find how how you can further influence Merriam-Webster after the jump.
One of the coolest features to find its way into Microsoft's Silverlight 2's beta build is the Deep Zoom Composer. Deep Zoom gives website developers the ability to display multiple high resolution thumbnail images, which visitors can then quickly zoom in for a detailed closeup and then pan back out without ever skipping a beat. If you haven't already, install the latest beta build, then head over to the Hard Rock Cafe and browse the memorabilia section to what the fuss is all about.
Taking the technology a giant leap forward, Donavon West, a Microsoft MVP for Live Development, has created a 10,000 x 10,000 mosaic of Barrack Obama. Removing political affiliations from the equation, West's DeepZoomObama mosaic shows Silverlight strutting its stuff as you zoom in on any of the many images ranging from Time Magazine covers to cats wearing hats. Best of all, West details exactly how he built it using a handful of readily available free tools.
While a mosaic of Barrack Obama might be well timed with an upcoming presidential election, the door has been left wide open for Maximum PC readers to serve up more scintillating mosaics. Imagine zooming in on an Asus Striker II Extreme and uncovering a wealth of hardware images. Have something even better in mind? Show us what you got!
We're only a week away from E3, and the news faucet has tapered off to a mere drip. And yet, despite the drop-off in quantity, Monday has provided us with unprecedented quality. In today's Roundup, there lurks a reason for big-time excitement, as well as another. Let's just say that for some of you, this week may very well be more exciting than E3. No, you're not hearing things; that's the "Read More" link beckoning.
It's hard not to feel violated at the gas pump every time you fill you up your tank, and relief doesn't appear to be in sight. That is, unless you're a small business owner. As part of Microsoft's Bump the Slump sweepstakes, the multi-billion dollar corporation plans to give away 5,000 gallons of gas in order to promote its various software applications. Huh?
According to Eric Ligman, Microsoft US Senior Manager of Small Business Community Engagement (don't waste any space on that business card), the sweepstakes is about "saving money," and while that's hard, nay, impossible to do at the pump, Microsoft's Bump the Slump website claims that its bevy of software can add up to big savings. For example, "Windows Vista can save you as much as $70.77 in energy costs per PC per year compared to a typical PC not running Vista. It saves you money and lets you give Earth a little hug."
The promotion will cost Microsoft about $20,000, with the winner expected to be drawn on July 21, 2008. To be eligible, entrants must be 18+ years old and a legal resident of the 50 United States, own a small business in the U.S., and have between two and 100 employees. And when it's over, you can add Microsoft to a list which includes Mexican food, Celine Dion, baked beans, and other things known to give gas.