Microsoft Tinker, developed for Microsoft by Fuel Industries, puts you in control of an old-school robot that's exploring a miniature world. Move to each level's destination by moving blocks, jumping on elevator buttons, and destroying objects. Along the way, you can also turn switches on and off and collect cog wheels. You can control your journey with the arrow keys on the keyboard, an Xbox 360 controller, or a Windows Media Center remote. You can also record a video of a game level, and while you play, a cool jazz soundtrack keeps your spirits up.
Game sounds from Microsoft Tinker make up the second Ultimate Extra, joining previous audio Ultimate Extras Glass and Pearl.
Dream Scene Content Pack #4 adds three variations on a mountain lake at sunset (see illustration) to previous full-motion wallpaper offerings.
When Mythic proclaimed its intent to only credit Warhammer dev team members who were on board at or around the game's launch, it more or less shot controversy a lashy eyed "Oh, I'm digging you" look. But seeing as Mythic has bigger battles to fight, the developer decided this was one sh***storm it couldn't afford to weather. Thus, the Warhammer Online developer has provided -- but not credited the writers of -- this list of steps to resolve the crediting controversy:
In-game and manual credits will be reserved for the launch team.
Mythic will create an online database listing the name and title of everyone who contributed to a project, regardless of current employment status. Additionally, the studio will make best efforts to provide this information for its previous online games
Step three, which apparently wasn't important enough to make the list, involves partying-up with the IGDA to "promote fair and accurate trade reporting across the industry."
Overall, though, we couldn't be happier with Mythic's decision. Great job, guys!
For a man supposedly on an anti-videogame "crusade," Jack Thompson hasn't really accomplished much. He attempted to give Bully the legal equivalent of a swirly -- and lost. He tangoed with The Sims 2 -- and lost. And most famously, he mustered every last bit of his legal prowess against the Grand Theft Auto series -- and, well, you know where we're going with this.
So, today, we'd like you to join us in congratulating Jack Thompson for taking a definitive step toward his goal. See, now that he's been permanently disbarred with no hope of reinstatement, maybe a real lawyer can finally hog the anti-gaming limelight. Hip-hip hooray!
Said the press release:
"Over a very extended period of time involving a number of totally unrelated cases and individuals, [Thompson] has demonstrated a pattern of conduct to strike out harshly, extensively, repeatedly and willfully to simply try to bring as much difficulty, distraction and anguish to those he considers in opposition to his causes. He does not proceed within the guidelines of appropriate professional behavior, but rather uses other means available to intimidate, harass, or bring public disrepute to those whom he perceives oppose him."
The proceedings, which began in June, brought 31 counts against the man fondly referred to by gamers as "Whacko Jacko." He was found guilty of 27.
In addition to a cushy new spot in the unemployment line, Thompson has also been granted the mandatory privilege of paying $43,675.35 in legal fees to the Florida Bar.
The disbarrment will be official 30 days from now, assuming Thompson doesn't nab a retrial. Regardless, however, we doubt Thompson's questionably-sane ramblings are at an end. With the Internet at his fingertips, we're actually kind of looking forward to seeing what Thompson will do next. You know, in the same way we're looking forward to the inevitable day when our doctor diagnoses us with a nice infertility-cancer double-whammy.
Whether you’re turning off the water while you’re shaving or driving a fancy new biodiesel fueled car, going green is something that just about everyone has on their mind. But if you’re using a computer (which I’m going to assume you are) you’ve got one more thing to add to your “going green” check list.
Where your PC winds up at the end of its life is something that’s come under heavy scrutiny lately. An estimated 1.8 billion pounds of PCs are disposed of every year, and only half of that (about 865 million pounds) are processed by recyclers, according to a report by International Data Corporation. While some of the nearly 900 million pounds of unrecycled computers are reused, for the most part they’re thrown in a landfill or incinerated.
A huge reason for this is because IT organizations are failing to accept responsibility for the end-of-life destination of the PCs that they purchase. While computer vendors such as Dell, Hewlett Packard, Lenovo, Apple, Sony, Toshiba and IBM all offer take back programs for computers, most organizations donate their PCs, which simply shifts the responsibility to religious institutions or school districts.
So what can you do to help? Mostly keep your eyes open when you’re buying a machine. Check out if the computer that you’re purchasing has a good life cycle, and if the company that you’re buying from has a take back program (and be sure to use that program when the time comes to get rid of that computer).
In an attempt to latch on to Dell’s green coattails, HP announced today it’s plans to release an series of notebooks featuring the brighter and more energy efficient Illumi-Lite LED display, making the company’s entire notebook line mercury-free by 2010.
HP also promises that its new line of EliteBooks will feature a tough encasing that meets military standard durability tests, built for the “corporate road warrior.” The laptop’s new, modernized look will also feature HP SpareKey and HP File Sanitizer, which will help keep the keyboard and hard drive shock and spill resistant.
Never in the company’s history has such a broad and innovative product lineup been announced. HP’s latest business strategy implements both style and mobility, but not without mentioning that the new notebooks are designed with the environment in mind, using energy-efficient features and select materials for easy recycling.
Their initiative that is aimed at speeding up the adoption of cloud computing amongst enterprises was announced at Oracle OpenWorld 2008 the conference in San Francisco. They will be focusing on developing standards for cloud computing. They also intend to make clouds more secure and efficient. Everyone is heading for the clouds!
With some news that is sure to surprise absolutely nobody, the Department of Homeland Security is currently in the process of developing a new way to spy on you. The new technology, called “Future Attribute Screening Technology,” or FAST (catchy, huh?) will use crowd-monitoring body sensors that detect individuals’ pulses, body language, breathing rates and facial temperatures to determine threats.
FAST is said to have had accurate results, identifying suspicious behavior in four out of five scenarios. One such scenario, run at a ranch in Maryland involved roughly 140 participants. They were told to walk through FAST’s sensors, with a small group of them instructed to act suspicious or hostile. The effective accuracy rate of FAST was 78% on mal-intent detection, and 80% on deception.
The Department of Homeland Security is said to still be relatively early in their research, but say it looks very promising.
Criticism comes in the form of John Verdi of the Electronic Privacy Information Center. He states that FAST is “substantially more invasive in airports,” referring to it as a medical exam that the government has no right to conduct. There’s also concern that FAST could improperly identify physical conditions heart murmurs, breathing problems, and high stress levels as threats.
Should FAST be implemented, it might be a common sight at concerts, sporting events and other public gatherings, right alongside the mobile toilets or catering trucks.
According to reports, Microsoft has delayed the release of its Windows Mobile 7 OS. The mobile OS will now be launched in the second half of 2009. It was previously slated for early 2009. The company is said to have notified its partners about the delay, though an official confirmation is still awaited. Windows Mobile 7 will face stiff competition, when it eventually debuts, from Symbian OS, Android and the iPhone . A new version of the most popular mobile OS in the world, Symbian OS, is also expected in 2009. Microsoft certainly has its task cut out.
We don't know what it is about Sony and DRM, but the company just seems intent on unnecessarily pissing off customers. For those who might have thought the whole rootkit fiasco would turn out to be a learning experience for Sony, well, guess again.
This time its console junkies who plan to download movies who have reason to be angry. On the Playstation 3's support page, the terms state that purchased "content cannot be re-downloaded once it has been downloaded to either a PLAYSTATION 3 or PSP system." That means if you run out of room and delete content to make room for new flicks or upgrade to a bigger hard drive, you're hosed. Sort of.
"If a consumer deletes a purchased movie from their PS3, they will not be able to redownload the movie without assistance from SCEA's consumer services," said Lincoln Davis, who handles media relations for the Playstation Network, in a statement to Arstechnica. "Consumer service can issue a redownload as a one-time courtesy, as provided by our guidelines, for the title to allow the consumer to go back and download the movie from their PSN download list."
In other words, you get a one-time do-over, should you need it, which requires jumping through a hoop. To be fair, Sony may not be entirely at fault and it could be the content providers who are pushing the issue. But no matter who's really to blame, as is always the case with DRM, it's the paying customer who ultimately gets the shaft.
Who do you blame more, the studios or Sony? Hit the jump and sound off.
Want to be one of the first to spend some hands-on time with Microsoft's upcoming Windows 7? Depending on how determined you are, you can have that chance. Denise Begley, a marketing manager for Microsoft, writes on her MSDN blog pre-beta builds of Windows 7 will be given away to keynote attendees at this year's Professional Development Conference (PDC). Steven Sinofsky, senior VP for Windows and Windows Live Engineering Group, will deliver the keynote on Tuesday, October 28.
Not only will you have to be time-committed to get your hands on Windows 7, but be prepared for a hefty monetary investment too. Full conference (October 27 through 30) registration runs a hefty $2,395, and you can tack on another $400 if you want to attend the pre-conference on October 26th.