Being a blight upon the 99.8% of the gaming industry that enjoys making money, it's not too surprising that piracy has a place at gaming's Bad Guy table, where maniacal cackles flow freely and glasses are always half-empty. However, when one of PC gaming's great beneficiaries, the PC Gaming Alliance says piracy isn't so bad -- just misunderstood -- well, jaws drop.
That's exactly what happened when we heard about PCGA Pres. Randy Stude's plan to plant a money tree in piracy's apparently fertile soil.
"Let's monetize every one of those pirates, and let's advertise the hell out of them," Stude told Gamasutra.
Fearing that the big cheese had finally snapped, we nearly missed his explanation, wherein he said that such monetization should be "blatant." For instance, he noted, developers could plaster six times the number of in-game ads around unauthenticated versions of a game. The end result: pirates get an "inferior" version of a game, while developers rake in cash from ads.
"Don't throw [pirates] off [of the server], but show an ad every time a new level loads. The [paying customer] gets a billboard, a passive, less-aggressive ad than [pirates] are going to get," Stude added, demonstrably sane.
So those of you who play but don't pay, if Stude's grandiose plan were enacted, would you willfully download Far Cry 2: Viagra Blue Edition, or would you finally change your ways?
We'd slay zombies all day just for the heck of it, but turns out you can earn some sweet rewards for putting down the undead. Steam (and Xbox 360) achievement points, to be exact. Valve Software has hooked us up with the official full list of Left4Dead's 50 game achievements, which can be earned on both the Survivor and Infected side (in Versus mode). Among our favorites in the list? "Zombie Genocidest", which requires that we kill 53,595 common infected zombies, and "101 Cremations", which you earn by setting 101 infected on fire with the molotov cocktail. Hit the jump for the full list!
Edit: There are actually only 50 achievements, not 52.
Thanks to everybody’s favorite economy, the prices of large-size LCD monitors are on the way down again. After stabilizing for about a month, a lower than expected demand is putting pressure on monitor vendors to drop their prices.
After October prices are expected to drop 5-7%, with that trend continuing in the future. Large financial challenges are expected for the fourth quarter of 2008.
So if you’ve been waiting around to pick up a fancy 30” display, just wait a bit longer and you’ll get the price you’ve always wanted! If you’ve already picked up a 30” display, why not snag another? If you’ve already got three 30” displays, then Al Gore, I’m going to have to ask you to get back to work, sir.
Whether looking forward to groping HP's new touchscreen laptop or getting touch-feely with a rumored touchscreen Eee PC, multi-touch panels look to be the new hot technology on the block. In anticipation of this upcoming demand, Taiwan-based Egalax_empia Technology Incorporated (EETI) has begun developing multi-touch panels for both netbooks and notebooks. The company expects to kick production into high gear by the end of 2008 for 7-inch panels, says DigiTimes.
EETI had started working with US-based Cypress Semiconductor back in April to develop capacitive touch panels, and that forward thinking might soon pay off. In addition to riding the netbook craze, the company plans to churn out 12.1-inch panels for notebook applications as well.
We hear the makers of monitor wipes are ecstatic at what could become a new trend.
If you're a Compact Flash user, life's not been fair to you lately. You've seen CF stalwarts like Nikon and Canon turn their backs on this longtime favorite in favor of the new kid on the block, SDHC, in their newest DSLRs. Buy a new camera, and you make your collection of CF cards obsolete. Meanwhile, you've watched SDHC and its kid brother, SD, dominate the deals in your favorite big-box electronics superstores' weekly tabloids. And, just to add a cherry on the top of your cake of frustration, you've been thinking about how cool it would be to use wireless file transfer with Eye-Fi cards, but Eye-Fi is also in the tank for SD. Oh, and did I mention that "Compact" Flash is now the bulkiest flash memory format?
For all these reasons, Synchrotech's introduction of the CFMulti CompactFlash Type II to Eye-Fi + Multi-Card Adapter has come at a very good time. While CF adapters for SD cards have been around for awhile, the CFMulti also supports newer flavors such as SDHC and MMC+ as well as SD and any old MultiMediaCards (MMC) you have floating around. Plus, it's the first adapter to support Eye-Fi cards, albeit with a reduction in range. See the CFMulti and Eye-Fi FAQ for details and a list of tested cameras.
For more thoughts on the advantages of adding CFMulti to your gadget bag, and your chance to comment, join us after the jump.
Today the New York Post revealed that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg may be looking to follow MySpace’s lead by offering a digital music store. Not through licensing their own content, mind you, but working through a third party that already has the nasty licensing business worked out.
MySpace’s music service currently works as a proprietary service built from the ground up using source licensing, with all their content hosted directly from MySpace. Whereas Facebook is reportedly looking to work with Rhapsody, iLike, Lala and IMEEM as content providers and licensers.
Supposedly, listening to the music itself will be free, and sold through Amazon. Listening to songs on Facebook would prompt on-screen advertising.
“Facebook is a serious challenger to MySpace,” said Phil Leigh, of Inside Digital Media, “and they would certainly want to do anything that record labels would allow them to do with advertising-supported music.”
So what say you, social networking site user? Would you use a Facebook powered music store? Let us know in the comments.
While it seems most PC users got a kick out of watching Seinfeld inquire about the future of chewy computers and Bill Gates doing the robot, I've remained critical of Microsoft's $300 million ad campaign and have yet to be impressed with one of its commercials, including the "I'm a PC" segments currently being aired. By contrast, I found myself chuckling at Apple's initial round of ads, not because I thought they were accurate (they're not), but because they managed to throw humorous jabs without going for that impossible knockout punch. For those of you who follow baseball, it's like being a Red Sox fan (which I am) and tipping your hat at the Tampa Bay Rays for outplaying your team last night (which they did), even though you despise them (which I do).
But lest anyone accuse me of sleeping with the enemy (you know, those whiny Mac losers), let me go on record as saying that the new Mac ads suck too, and not just because I've developed an urge to want to punch Justin Long-in-the-tooth square in the face (I bet he's a Tampa Bay fan too, the smug bastard).
Hit the jump to read my beef with the new Mac ads.
By now everyone is familiar with the problems Nvidia has had with its notebook GPUs, which resulted in an "abnormal failure rate" for what remains an unspecified number of graphics chips. But throughout all the speculation, including accusations that whatever problem has been plaguing the chip maker might also be affecting desktop units as well, Nvidia has avoided speaking out on the issue at any length. Until now, thanks to some prodding by AMD.
Earlier this week AMD's Packaging and Interconnect Director, Neil McLellan, went on the semi-offensive and said Nvidia not only uses inferior materials for its chip package design, but that the company just doesn't care as much about packaging technologies as AMD does, according to The Tech Report. Ouch. Those comments didn't sit well with Nvidia, who fired back in a letter in defense of its position.
"In his recent commentary on chip packaging, Mr. McLellan makes a number of speculative assertions about NVIDIA's people, products and philosophy," Nvidia wrote. "In his interview McLellan asserts that High lead bumps are more prone to fatigue. What he fails to note is that AMD currently uses High lead bumps on their CPU line -- a device well known to undergo high thermal stress, and also go through lots of power cycling."
Nvidia went on to talk about High Lead bumps being used in "10s of billions of semiconductor devices" and a whole lot more, but stopped short of saying what exactly caused earlier problems with its 8M series.
It's been a tough year for Yahoo, and it's Yahoo's employees who have been hit the hardest. Earlier this year the struggling search company had cut about 10 percent of its workforce, and now it appears another sizable chunk will be receiving pink slips.
The exact number of the impending cuts has yet to be decided, but according to The Wall Street Journal, it will be more than the 1,000 jobs the company announced it was cutting in January. Yahoo is expected to announce just how many it will be letting go during its earnings conference call tomorrow.
Jobs aren't the only thing being slashed at Yahoo. As part of its downsizing effort, operating budgets across the board are expected to be cut 15 percent. Meanwhile, Yahoo's share price has dropped more than 40 percent over the past three months, meaning this could be just the beginning.
Next to the "atomic pen", having your name written on a grain of rice is laughably large. That's because the text size to beat - which, by the way, isn't beatable - measures just 2 x 2 nanometers, or about the equivalent of 40,000 times smaller than the width of a human hair.
"It's not possible to write any smaller than this," said Masayuki Abe, a researcher involved in the project.
Abe is part of a research team at Osaka University who recently demonstrated the atomic pen inscribing nano-sized text. The pen was built based on a previous discovery in which silicon atoms at the tip of an atomic force microscope probe will interchange with the tin atoms in the surface of a semiconductor sample when in close proximity. Using this method, the researchers arranged individual silicon atoms one at a time to write the letters "Si," a task which took the team about an hour and a half.
But there's more at stake here than invisible vandalism. Researchers say the atomic pen could lead to advances in atomic scale technology, eventually making it possible to build a PC small enough to fit in the palm of your hand.