RealNetworks has temporarily suspended the sale of its RealDVD software in accordance with Judge Marilyn Hall Patel’s request. The DVD copying tool is the bone of contention between the Motion Pictures Association of America (MPAA) and RealNetworks. The two are currently locked in a legal battle.
The case will come up for hearing in the U.S. District Court in San Francisco on Tuesday. Judge Marilyn Hall Patel will be hearing the matter. Although most MPC readers are in favor of DVD copying, they have very little sympathy for RealDVD due to its encryption features and $30 price tag.
Google wants to make sure you never again send an email that you later wish you could take back. Problem is, once that angry letter or drunken confession flies out of your outbox, the damage has been done and it's only a matter of time before the recipient reads it. If only there could have been someone by your side to force you to solve math problems before allowing you to send that email! Wait, what?
Now there will be, and it's called Mail Googles. Once enabled, Mail Goggles will subject you to a handful of math equations that must be answered before that email can be whisked away for good.
"When you enable Mail Goggles, it will check that you're really sure you want to send that late night Friday email," writes Jon Perlow, a Gmail engineer. "And what better way to check than by making you solve a few simple math problems after you click send to verify you're in the right state of mind?"
Hit the jump to post your thoughts on this one, but first, what's 86-32?
Series originator Warren Spector may be out and about not making Deus Ex 3, but if we had a copy of UK mag PC Zone, and if we didn't know that Warren Spector wasn't slaving away on Deus Ex 3, we'd be hard-pressed to think that he wasn't. tl;dr: The game sounds pretty cool.
According to CVG's copy of PC Zone, Eidos Montreal is developing Deus Ex 3 as a prequel to the rest of the series. Set in 2027, the game follows "average joe" Adam Jensen, a security officer doling out his particular brand of uniformed justice at a lab specializing in biomechanical augmentations -- aka, nanotech's predecessor. Fortuitously, however, Jensen's life takes a turn for the interesting when a team of "black ops commandos" storms his company's base of operations, snatches a security plan penned by Jensen himself, and uses the plan to guard a fortress kill people.
From then on, the security officer with a penchant for doomsday plans embarks on an action-packed mission full of Deus Ex's trademark fusion of RPG and FPS gameplay conventions -- with a twist. In Deus Ex 3, your stats won't directly affect your gunplay. Instead, stats will manifest themselves through "a vast array of fully upgradeable and customisable weapons," as well as weapon upgrades and character augmentations. So yes, the game is still very much an RPG.
Fortunately, the game, even in its early state, has been given a big thumbs up from Warren Spector, with members of the original Deus Ex team in consultative roles on the project.
And for lapsed fans, distraught by Deus Ex: The Invisible War's, well, everything, you'll be happy to hear that Eidos Montreal has scooped up multiple earfuls of fan complaints, sifted through them, and modified its game accordingly. For example, ammo types will return to Deus Ex's M&M style menagerie of flavors and colors, as opposed to The Invisible War's newcomer-friendly universal ammo.
Oh, the game also brings with it the controversial addition of an auto-regen health system -- ala Call of Duty -- and a cover system that takes a few pointers from Gears of War, but we'd probably post a separate news article if that wasn't the case.
Now let's just hope the game makes it out soon. Otherwise, it might end up looking a tad Jetsons by the time it hits shelves.
A machine’s ability to think is something that’s been questioned for nearly half a century, thanks to mathematician Alan Turing. Turing, who helped decipher German military codes during WWII, created a test that is designed to find out if a machine can think on its own. The test consists of a machine attempting to fool a judge into believing that it could be a human by having a text-based conversation on any subject. If the computer’s responses convince the judge that they are speaking with a human, then it has passed the Turing test, and is believed to be capable of thought.
This Sunday, six computer programs will be put through the Turing test in an attempt to win their creator not only an 18-carat gold medal and $100,000, but to prove that computers are capable of thought. The programs competing for the prize go by the names Alice, Brother Jerome, Elbot, Eugene Goostman, Jabberwacky and Ultra Hal. While the names sound like those of rejected VH1 reality show contestant names, they’re far more intelligent, and won’t be spitting on any of their opponents anytime soon.
Should the computers be found to have the ability to think, it’ll raise ethical questions as to how conscious a computer is, and if humans have the “right” to switch them off.
But the Turing test isn’t for everyone. "The test is misguided. Everyone thinks it's you pitting yourself against a computer and a human, but it's you pitting yourself against a computer and computer programmer,” criticizes Professor AC Grayling of Birkbeck College, “AI is an exciting subject, but the Turing test is pretty crude."
Do you think you’ve got what it takes to decipher whether or not you’re talking to a computer? Test your mental mettle after the jump.
Those expecting Mozilla to release its open-source email client Thunderbird 3.0 in Beta 1 form will have to wait a little longer than initially thought. Rather than attach the Beta moniker to the updated version, Mozilla instead is dubbing it Alpha 3.
"Calling something a beta is likely to trigger a bunch of extra press attention that we're not yet in a position to deal with," said Dan Mosedale, who works at Mozilla Messaging. "Some number [of] reviews will be inappropriately pre-judging based on its current state. In the best case, this would be a distraction."
Mosedale also cited a lack of landing several milestones (AutoConfig, GloDa with full-text search, STEEL) as another reason why he's more comfortable calling the lastest Thunderbird 3.0 release an Alpha build instead of a Beta.
No matter what you call it, the latest beta/alpha/unfinished release is available now for Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux.
Startup company G.ho.st is crying foul over Microsoft's new ad campaign, but not because the commercials suck. Instead, the company claims Microsoft's ads violate the startup's trademark, specifically the phrases "life without walls," "imagine without walls," and "imagine no walls." G.ho.st. CEO Zvi Schreiber has sent a letter to Steve Ballmer requesting that the phrases in question be removed from Microsoft's product lineup, website, marketing materials, and anywhere else the software giant might be using them.
Michael Marinello, a Microsoft spokesman, did acknowledge that Microsoft had received the letter, but said in an email "the allegation is without merit." Not so says Schreiber, who claims that G.ho.st has been using the phrase "no walls" in conjunction with its G.ho.st Virtual Computer software, which Schreiber describes as an alternative to Windows.
Going for the gusto, Schreiber not only wants Microsoft to stop using the above mentioned phrases, but wants Microsoft to amend existing ads clarifying that it has not licensed G.ho.st's technology or trademark, as well as mentioning that they do not use the same "features or benefits of the G.ho.st Virtual Computer." All this on top of wanting Steve Ballmer and Co. to negotiate a "good faith" license for past use.
Ready for the kicker? Not only does G.ho.st not yet officially own the allegedly trademarked phrases, but according to PC World, the company filed an application for the trademarks on the same day it sent Microsoft the ceast and desist letter.
Can anyone challenge Google's dominance in the search arena? Right now the answer is 'no,' but don't tell that the Ask.com. The search site that started out as a verb (as opposed to Google, whose overwhelming popularity in pop culture forced it to be officially recognized in the English language) has gone back to the drawing board, much like Wile E. Coyote did time and again in vain attempts to catch up to the Road Runner.
Starting today, Ask.com will roll out a completely revamped version of its search engine, which is the first time it has been rebuilt since Jim Safka took over Jim Lanzone's position as chief executive in January (Safka previously held the same position at Match.com).
Ask.com's makeover includes search results from "structured" sources of data. For example look up Cops and you'll find not only the typical bevy of URLs, but also TV listings for when the next episode will air. Search results also come faster than they did before.
But is a faster, smarter search engine enough to propel Ask.com out of its position as the fourth most popular search?
PC World’s Paul McNamara contacted Google last week to see if the cloud computing titan would clarify its use of the word “beta”. Sadly from those who read the response, they clearly intend to continue bending the term to their own use. This on the other hand leads to a great community conversation starter. Currently 22 out of 49 non Google Labs services carry the beta tag, including popular and widely used services such as Gmail and Google Docs. Google’s official response to the question is as follows: "We believe beta has a different meaning when applied to applications on the Web, where people expect continual improvements in a product. On the Web, you don't have to wait for the next version to be on the shelf or an update to become available. Improvements are rolled out as they're developed." If I’m interpreting my corporate double speak correctly, it seems clear that Google intends to continue using the beta tag to represent constantly evolving products. This makes me wonder, is it fair to use such a widely understood version label and turn it into a marketing term? Now it’s your turn to chime in. Do you like Google’s new definition of the beta tag? Or would you prefer they get off the fence and better distinguish new products from the old.
Open Office has been around in one form or another for over nine years now. But the once little known productivity suite known back then as StarOffice has evolved considerably over the years. Today the Sun Microsystems freebee is admittedly a fairly full featured alternative to Microsoft Office. Open Office in fact has become so useful that Maximum PC Editor and Chief Will Smith has admitted its open source charm (and free price tag) has finally won over his home PC for casual word processing. Fans of the platform have another reason to get excited these days with the impending launch of version 3.0. The new version will further improve compatibility when working with Microsoft Office files and will include additional support for the open file format OpenDocument which is to be integrated into Office 2007. For those looking to give version 3 a try, a public beta is available for Windows, Linux, and Mac. But for corporate users looking to implement Open Office you should follow the links instead to the version named StarOffice. The retail version will cost you about $69.95, but it includes technical support and intellectual property indemnification. For those keeping track Open Office 2 launched on October 20th 2005 and the latest stable version is 2.4.1 which was released in June.
TOM-Skype, the Chinese chapter of Skype, has been caught filtering and archiving text messages. The Chinese VoIP service provider has eight dedicated servers for storing messages that contain certain politically contentious keywords, according to a report published by The Information War Monitor, a Canadian organization that monitors internet censorship.
Tom-Skype, a joint venture between eBay and China’s TOM Online, also stores the usernames of all those people that exchange messages containing such sensitive keywords. Also, the service provider actively censors any politically sensitive keywords - some as harmless as “milk powder” - in messages. TOM-Skype doesn’t restrict itself to Chinese users but freely records messages and usernames of other Skype users from across the world as well (only those users that exchange "obnoxious" messages with Chinese users). To top it all, all the private data is available publicly as it is hosted on unencrypted web servers.