With all the recent hubbub about DRM (seriously, we're getting tired of using that link), it was only a matter of time until some brave soul stepped forward to behead the "draconian" menace*. Fittingly, that someone is Stardock, whose handiwork birthed the Gamer's Bill of Rights.
"While Stardock doesn't put copy protection on its retail games, the fact is that most publishers are never going to agree to do that," Stardock CEO Brad Wardell said of one sticky stipulation in the Bill.
"So the publishers are telling us, 'Put your money where your mouth is. Why don't you guys develop something that you think is suitable that would protect our IP, but would be more acceptable to users?'"
"We're investigating what would make users happy to protect their needs, but also provide some security for the publishers. ... We're actually developing a technology that would do that."
Although Wardell's plan still has all four limps planted safely in the cradle, he does have one concrete idea. "We want that license to be yours, not per machine. ... It's not your machine buying the game. It's you," he said, voicing his hope for unlimited downloads of a purchased game.
When asked if his solution could be defined as DRM, however, Wardell was hesitant to slap the newborn plan with gaming's three scarlet letters.
"The problem with 'DRM' is that it's so loosely defined. ... Stardock's products use activation, and I wouldn't say that it's DRM," he emphasized. "We're just verifying if you're real customer."
All told, though, we think Wardell is really onto something. Now, with time out of the way, it's just a matter of how many bricks we'll have to chuck through John Riccitiello's window until he actually listens.
So you’ve got a heavy chunk of change just burning a hole in your pocket, and you don’t feel that just one monitor is enough for you, huh? Well, the folks at Cinemassive are out to fix that, and they’ve got a price tag to match it.
While in the past there have been imitators, who only hook a measly six monitors together, the new hotness is a very impressive 12 monitors. This display, offered for $12,995 will pack a total screen resolution of 7,860 x 3,600 with a total of 27.6 million pixels. What’s more impressive is that your investment will be well worth it, this bad boy will come along with a 3-year warranty and a very unheard of (especially with a setup like this) zero dead pixel policy.
Should if you have the cash, and live on a street that will allow a fleet of UPS trucks to drive down it, feel free to boast your nerd cred with a monitor that can be seen from space (and hey, if you’re throwing around cash like that, why not buy a nice lunch for us here at Maximum PC?).
That Bill Gates sure is one busy guy! Between working on the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation and putting in a day a week on Microsoft, he’s starting up a brand new venture named bgC3.
bgC3 has been labeled a “think tank” by public documents, and is not planned to be Gates’ next big business. Rather, it’s going to be a means of coordinating his work on his business and philanthropic endeavors. According to federal trademark filings they fall under generic classifications of “scientific and technological services,” “industrial analysis and research,” and “design and development of computer hardware and software.”
The offices (located in Kirkland, WA) are packed to the brim with all the latest goodies that Microsoft offers, according to visitors. Including a Surface tabletop computer and a virtual guestbook application.
The name, as I’m sure some of you might be curious about, has a fun meaning. The “bg” stands for (obviously) Bill Gates, and the “C” stands for “catalyst.” The 3? Well, that’s where things get a bit creative. The number 3 in the name reflects the notion of it being in a third place, separate from Microsoft and the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation. Clever, right?
AT&T this week launched the Samsung Epix, the first smartphone with a built-in optical mouse, which sits above a QWERTY keyboard. The integrated rodent gets paired with a 320x320 touchscreen measuring 2.5 inches on the i907 Epix, giving users an epic amount of control over navigation. Other specifications include:
3.6Mbps HSDPA connectivity
2 megapixel camera
Video Share support
No surprises on the software front, as at the heart of it all sits Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional. Storage duties are handled by a microSD slot with support for up to 32GB. Samsung claims up to 7 hours of talk time on the 4.4-ounce device, and up to 14 days in standby time.
Earlier this month, Google announced its "Mail Goggles" feature for Gmail users who have a habit of sending out emotionally charged emails without first considering the consequences. That was followed up by this week by giving Gmail users the ability to send canned responses based on a set of custom-created filters. So what will Gmail engineers conjure up next?
If you answered 'emoticons,' go ahead and give yourself a happy face. Users can now select from nearly 160 animated and static emoticons, ranging from two block-headed faces giving each other a smooch (aww) to a stinking pile of crap with flies swirling around (aww schnap!).
"The black-and-white days of text-based emails have had their day," Darren Lewis, Gmail engineer, said in a blog post. "Following the evolutionary path blazed by colored labels, we present, in all their technicolor glory, emoticons in your mail."
Notebook manufacturers might be finding it difficult to separate themselves from the competition in what has become an extremely crowded netbook market. It's gotten to the point where we can recite a netbook press release without having ever read it - Atom processor, solid-state drive (SSD) or hard drive, 1GB of RAM, Windows XP or Linux, and so forth. So how do you stand out from the crowd?
If you're MSI, you release a new BIOS that offers overclocking controls. With the v1.09 BIOS released this week, Wind owners can push their Wind netbook's Atom N270 processor in increments of 8 percent, 15 percent, and 24 percent over the stock speed. As is always the case with overclocking, you'll have to analyze the risk-to-reward ratio, and according to ElectricVagabond.com, the reward of a 24 percent overclock can equate to as much as a 30 percent increase in performance.
Anyone Wind owners plan on playing with the new BIOS? Hit the jump and give us your impression.
Redmond usually releases security patches once a month, on Patch Tuesday, but Microsoft's security experts are worried enough about a newly reported vulnerability in the Server service to post an "out-of-band" security update, MS08-067, yesterday for all versions of Windows from Windows 2000 SP4 through Windows Server 2008 and Windows 7 pre-beta. Microsoft hasn't issued a security update between Patch Tuesday releases since April 2007, so this is a significant security issue.
Although all supported versions of Windows are vulnerable, Windows 2000 SP4, Windows XP, and Windows Server 2003 versions are especially vulnerable to this flaw, which can permit remote code execution via a specially crafted RFC request.
To find out what makes this vulnerability so critical, and to learn how to get the update, join us after the jump.
Having a tough time waiting for Intel's Core i7 platform to finally reach retail shelves? While power users patiently wait for next generation components to emerge, Evga has offered up an early look at its upcoming X58 SLI FTW motherboard.
"Evga is proud to show a sneak peek of a new motherboard based on the Intel X58 Express Chipset, supporting the upcoming Intel Core i7 processor," Evga wrote in in a statement. "The Evga X58 SLI FTW motherboard will feature 6 DIMMs of triple channel DDR3 memory, and a board layout optimized for the enthusiast including 2-way and 3-way SLI support."
The new board represents a departure from what has been an exclusive partnership with Nvidia, at least in terms of the chipset. Nvidia will still be represented on the all-black PCB with SLI support, which has been a long awaited marriage between Intel chipsets and Nvidia graphics.
As implied by the FTW moniker, Evga's upcoming motherboard boasts several features of interests to enthusiasts and overclockers, such as VDroop control, 100 percent solid state capacitors, and no less than 10 SATA ports with an eSATA port thrown in for good measure.
Evga says the board will be available in November for an as-yet undetermined amount.
In a joint collaboration with Universal Music Group (UMG), Dell has begun offering preloaded MP3 bundles on new systems. The move, according to Dell, is to give consumers a "simple, economical way to jump-start a digital music library."
For $25, users can select a 50-song bundle devoid of DRM, or $45 for a 100-song bundle. Song bundles are broken up into several categories, such as Rock Titans, which includes tracks like Sweet Home Alabama by Lynyrd Skynyrd and Kryptonite by Three Doors Down, or Afternoon Delight represented with tracks like On Bended Knee by Boyz II Men and Crazy by Patsy Cline. Sadly users aren't allowed to create their own bundle, but then again, who doesn't have both Patsy Cline and Boyz II Men in a single playlist?
Music packs are available now on both laptops and desktops, sans XPS ONE, Inspiron Mini 9, and operating systems XP, Vista 64-bit, and Linux.