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Rock Band 2 to include every song DLC free from Rockband 1 in Gaming
There are differing leaks out there regarding the track list for Rock Band 2.Both are unattributed, one to a friend of a friend who got a look at anemail from Harmonix to MTV or something. But in the interest ofrumormongering, we'll repeat both with the caveat that there is no wayof knowing if this stuff is for real or not. But if, combined, they'rehalf right then this could be one hell of a track list, possibly thebest of any rhythm game.
Also, an IGN Insider interview (transcript provided by reader Max)let slip that buyers of Rock Band 2 will have access to all of thesongs off the original Rock Band disc, available as free DLC. Fulldetails on both after the jump.
                             
Says IGN 360 editor Nate Ahern:
Rock Band 2 and Guitar HeroWorld Tour create an interesting situation for gamers. If you boughtRock Band 1 then chances are you'll feel cheated by the release of RB2,thus you'd think that GHWT would be the way to go as it somewhatredefines the music gaming genre. However, if you didn't buy the firstRock Band then I would absolutely agree with notagoth. Immediately uponpurchasing Rock Band 2 you'll have the ability to download a hugelibrary of songs, as well as all of the songs off of the original discas a free download. Then again, Guitar Hero World Tour does allow usersto create and share their own songs, so it's really only a matter oftime until the Rock Band library is eclipsed. At the end of the day itcould come down to which series has earned your allegiance over thelast year since RB's original release."

And on to the leaked track lists. The first is from Demp, a commenter on 8bitfix, and he's got the FOAF who saw the email source. That's like fourth-hand hearsay, but whatever, this ain't court.
1 AC/DC Let There Be Rock
2 AFI Girl's Gone Grey
3 Alanis Morissette You Oughta Know
4 Alice in Chains Man in the Box
5 Allman Brothers Ramblin' Man
6 Avenged Sevenfold Almost Easy
7 Bad Company Shooting Star
8 Beastie Boys So Whatcha Want
9 Beck E-Pro
10 Bikini Kill Rebel Girl
11 Billy Idol White Wedding Pt I
12 Blondie One Way or Another
13 Bob Dylan Tangled Up in Blue
14 Bon Jovi Livin' on a Prayer
15 Cheap Trick Hello There
16 Devo Uncontrollable Urge
17 Dinosaur Jr Feel the Pain
18 Disturbed Down with the Sickness
19 Donnas, The New Kid in School
20 Dream Theater Panic Attack
21 Duran Duran Hungry Like the Wolf
22 Elvis Costello Pump it Up
23 Fleetwood Mac Go Your Own Way
24 Foo Fighters Everlong
25 Go-Go's, The We Got the Beat
26 Grateful Dead, The Alabama Getaway
27 Guess Who, The American Woman
28 Guns N' Roses Shackler's Revenge
29 Interpol PDA
30 Jane's Addiction Mountain Song
31 Jethro Tull Aqualung
32 Jimmy Eat World The Middle
33 Joan Jett Bad Reputation
34 Journey Anyway You Want It
35 Judas Priest Painkiller
36 Kansas Carry On Wayward Son
37 L7 Pretend We're Dead
38 Lacuna Coil Our Truth
39 Linkin Park One Step Closer
40 Lit My Own Worst Enemy
41 Lush De-Luxe
42 Mastodon Colony of Birchmen
43 Megadeth Peace Sells
44 Metallica Battery
45 Mighty Mighty Bosstones Where'd You Go
46 Modest Mouse Float On
47 Motorhead Ace of Spades
48 Muffs, The Kids in America
49 Nirvana Drain You
50 Norman Greenbaum Spirit in the Sky
51 Offspring, The Come Out & Play (Keep 'em Seperated)
52 Panic at the Disco Nine in the Afternoon
53 Paramore That's What You Get
54 Pearl Jam Alive
55 Presidents of the USA Lump
56 Rage Against the Machine Testify
57 Ratt Round & Round
58 Red Hot Chili Peppers Give it Away
59 Replacements, The Alex Chilton
60 Rise Against Give it All
61 Rush The Trees
62 Silversun Pickups Lazy Eye
63 Smashing Pumpkins Today
64 Social Distortion I Was Wrong
65 Sonic Youth Teenage Riot
66 Soundgarden Spoonman
67 Squeeze Cool for Cats
68 Steely Dan Bodhitsattva
69 Steve Miller Band Rock'n Me
70 Survivor Eye of the Tiger
71 System of a Down Chop Suey
72 Talking Heads Psycho Killer
73 Tenacious D Master Exploder
74 Testament Souls of Black
75 Who, The Pinball Wizard
BONUS SONGS (all HMX bands)
76 Abnormality Visions
77 Anarchy Club Get Clean
78 Bang Camaro Night Lies
79 Breaking Wheel Shoulder to the Plow
80 Libyans, The Neighborhood
81 Main Drag, The A Jagged Georgeous Winter.
82 Speck Conventional Lover
83 Sterns, The Supreme Girl
84 That Handsome Devil Rob the Prez-O-Dent
And then from Loading Reality,which notes that this numbers only about 60. Some of the tracks are thesame as the list above, just in a different order. "Keep in mind, someof these could easily be DLC that's in the works," Loading Realitywrites. A wise caveat.
1) Tangled Up in Blue (Bob Dylan)
2) Bad to the Bone (George Thorogood)
3) We've Got the Beat (Go-Gos)
4) Bad Reputation (Joan Jett)
5) Pinball Wizard (The Who)
6) Dammit (Blink 182)
7) That's What You Get (Paramore)
The Trees (Rush)
9) Ace of Spades (Motorhead)
10) Chop Suey (System of a Down)
11) Testify (Rage Against the Machine)
12) Spirit In the Sky (Norman Greenbaum)
13) Ramblin' Man (Allman Brothers)
14) Rebel Girl (Bikini Kill)
15) Eye of the Tiger (Survivor)
16) Panic Attack (Dream Theater)
17) Everlong (Foo Fighters)
1 One Step Closer (Linkin' Park)
19) Lump (Presidents of the USA)
20) Come Out and Play (Offspring)
21) Drain You (Nirvana)
22) Carry On Wayward Son (Kansas)
23) Peace Sells (Megadeath)
24) Souls of Black (Testament)
25) Livin' On a Prayer (Bon Jovi)
26) Round and Round (Ratt)
27) New Kid In School (The Donnas)
2 Alright Now (Free)
29) Today (Smashing Pumpkins)
30) Man In the Box (Alice In Chains)
31) Any Way You Want It (Journey)
32) Holiday In Cambodia (Dead Kennedys)
33) Give It Away (Red Hot Chili Peppers)
34) White Wedding (Billy Idol)
35) Hello There (Cheap Trick)
36) Cool for Cats (Squeeze)
37) Psycho Killer (Talking Heads)
3 ? (Devo)
39) One Way or Another (Blondie)
40) De-luxe (Lush) [dare to dream, shoegaze in Rock Band!]
41) Push It (Static-X)
42) Pump It Up (Elvis Costello)
43) Master Exploder (Tenacious D)
44) Bandages (Hot Hot Heat)
45) PDA (Interpol)
46) My Own Worst Enemy (Lit)
47) Float On (Modest Mouse)
4 Aqualung (Jethro Tull)
49) Spoonman (Soundgarden)
50) Bodhisattva (Steely Dan)
51) Suffer (Bad Religion)
52) I Was Wrong (Social Distortion)
53) American Woman (The Guess Who)
56) You Oughta Know (Alanis Morrissette)
57) Mountain Song (Jane's Addiction)
5 Stop! (Against Me)
59) Hungry Like the Wolf (Duran Duran)
60) Alabama Getaway (Grateful Dead)
So there you have it. Could be real, could be bs, again that's thefun of rumors. But even if this is in-progress thinking, and not finalstuff, it shows Harmonix is not F-in around, and will move to counterGuitar Hero: World Tour's peripherals and custom song features withoutstanding content.
Rock Band Two Rumored Track List [8bitfix, in comments]
60 Rock Band 2 Tracks Leaked [Loading Reality, thanks Max]
Posted by Editorial Team Tue Jul 08, 2008 7:54 am
10 Best Hacking and Security Software Tools for Linux in Hardware, Internet, Networking, Comms and Security
Linuxis a hacker’s dream computer operating system. It supports tons oftools and utilities for cracking passwords, scanning networkvulnerabilities, and detecting possible intrusions. I have here acollection of 10 of the best hacking and security software tools forLinux. Please always keep in mind that these tools are not meant toharm, but to protect.

1. John the Ripper




John the Ripperis a free password cracking software tool initially developed for theUNIX operating system. It is one of the most popular passwordtesting/breaking programs as it combines a number of password crackersinto one package, autodetects password hash types, and includes acustomizable cracker. It can be run against various encrypted passwordformats including several crypt password hash types most commonly foundon various Unix flavors (based on DES, MD5, or Blowfish), Kerberos AFS,and Windows NT/2000/XP/2003 LM hash. Additional modules have extendedits ability to include MD4-based password hashes and passwords storedin LDAP, MySQL and others.


2. Nmap

Nmapis my favorite network security scanner. It is used to discovercomputers and services on a computer network, thus creating a "map" ofthe network. Just like many simple port scanners, Nmap is capable ofdiscovering passive services on a network despite the fact that suchservices aren't advertising themselves with a service discoveryprotocol. In addition Nmap may be able to determine various detailsabout the remote computers. These include operating system, devicetype, uptime, software product used to run a service, exact versionnumber of that product, presence of some firewall techniques and, on alocal area network, even vendor of the remote network card.

Nmapruns on Linux, Microsoft Windows, Solaris, and BSD (including Mac OSX), and also on AmigaOS. Linux is the most popular nmap platform andWindows the second most popular.


3. Nessus

Nessusis a comprehensive vulnerability scanning software. Its goal is todetect potential vulnerabilities on the tested systems such as:

-Vulnerabilities that allow a remote cracker to control or access sensitive data on a system.
-Misconfiguration (e.g. open mail relay, missing patches, etc).
-Defaultpasswords, a few common passwords, and blank/absent passwords on somesystem accounts. Nessus can also call Hydra (an external tool) tolaunch a dictionary attack.
-Denials of service against the TCP/IP stack by using mangled packets

Nessusis the world's most popular vulnerability scanner, estimated to be usedby over 75,000 organizations worldwide. It took first place in the2000, 2003, and 2006 security tools survey from SecTools.Org.


4. chkrootkit

chkrootkit(Check Rootkit) is a common Unix-based program intended to help systemadministrators check their system for known rootkits. It is a shellscript using common UNIX/Linux tools like the strings and grep commandsto search core system programs for signatures and for comparing atraversal of the /proc filesystem with the output of the ps (processstatus) command to look for discrepancies.

It can be used from a"rescue disc" (typically a Live CD) or it can optionally use analternative directory from which to run all of its own commands. Thesetechniques allow chkrootkit to trust the commands upon which it dependa bit more.

There are inherent limitations to the reliability ofany program that attempts to detect compromises (such as rootkits andcomputer viruses). Newer rootkits may specifically attempt to detectand compromise copies of the chkrootkit programs or take other measuresto evade detection by them.


5. Wireshark

Wiresharkis a free packet sniffer computer application used for networktroubleshooting, analysis, software and communications protocoldevelopment, and education. In June 2006, the project was renamed fromEthereal due to trademark issues.

The functionality Wiresharkprovides is very similar to tcpdump, but it has a GUI front-end, andmany more information sorting and filtering options. It allows the userto see all traffic being passed over the network (usually an Ethernetnetwork but support is being added for others) by putting the networkinterface into promiscuous mode.

Wireshark uses thecross-platform GTK+ widget toolkit, and is cross-platform, running onvarious computer operating systems including Linux, Mac OS X, andMicrosoft Windows. Released under the terms of the GNU General PublicLicense, Wireshark is free software.


6. netcat

netcat is a computer networking utility for reading from and writing to network connections on either TCP or UDP.

Netcatwas voted the second most useful network security tool in a 2000 pollconducted by insecure.org on the nmap users mailing list. In 2003, itgained fourth place, a position it also held in the 2006 poll.

The original version of netcat is a UNIX program. Its author is known as *Hobbit*. He released version 1.1 in March of 1996.

Netcat is fully POSIX compatible and there exist several implementations, including a rewrite from scratch known as GNU netcat.


7. Kismet

Kismetis a network detector, packet sniffer, and intrusion detection systemfor 802.11 wireless LANs. Kismet will work with any wireless card whichsupports raw monitoring mode, and can sniff 802.11a, 802.11b and802.11g traffic.

Kismet is unlike most other wireless networkdetectors in that it works passively. This means that without sendingany loggable packets, it is able to detect the presence of bothwireless access points and wireless clients, and associate them witheach other.

Kismet also includes basic wireless IDS featuressuch as detecting active wireless sniffing programs includingNetStumbler, as well as a number of wireless network attacks.


8. hping

hpingis a free packet generator and analyzer for the TCP/IP protocol. Hpingis one of the de facto tools for security auditing and testing offirewalls and networks, and was used to exploit the idle scan scanningtechnique (also invented by the hping author), and now implemented inthe Nmap Security Scanner. The new version of hping, hping3, isscriptable using the Tcl language and implements an engine for stringbased, human readable description of TCP/IP packets, so that theprogrammer can write scripts related to low level TCP/IP packetmanipulation and analysis in very short time.

Like most tools used in computer security, hping is useful to both system administrators and crackers (or script kiddies).


9. Snort

Snortis a free and open source Network Intrusion prevention system (NIPS)and network intrusion detection (NIDS) capable of performing packetlogging and real-time traffic analysis on IP networks.

Snortperforms protocol analysis, content searching/matching, and is commonlyused to actively block or passively detect a variety of attacks andprobes, such as buffer overflows, stealth port scans, web applicationattacks, SMB probes, and OS fingerprinting attempts, amongst otherfeatures. The software is mostly used for intrusion preventionpurposes, by dropping attacks as they are taking place. Snort can becombined with other software such as SnortSnarf, sguil, OSSIM, and theBasic Analysis and Security Engine (BASE) to provide a visualrepresentation of intrusion data. With patches for the Snort sourcefrom Bleeding Edge Threats, support for packet stream antivirusscanning with ClamAV and network abnormality with SPADE in networklayers 3 and 4 is possible with historical observation.


10. tcpdump

tcpdumpis a common computer network debugging tool that runs under the commandline. It allows the user to intercept and display TCP/IP and otherpackets being transmitted or received over a network to which thecomputer is attached.

In some Unix-like operating systems, auser must have superuser privileges to use tcpdump because the packetcapturing mechanisms on those systems require elevated privileges.However, the -Z option may be used to drop privileges to a specificunprivileged user after capturing has been set up. In other Unix-likeoperating systems, the packet capturing mechanism can be configured toallow non-privileged users to use it; if that is done, superuserprivileges are not required.

The user may optionally apply aBPF-based filter to limit the number of packets seen by tcpdump; thisrenders the output more usable on networks with a high volume oftraffic.


Do you have a favorite security software tool for Linux? Feel free to comment and tell us about it.
Posted by Editorial Team Fri Jul 04, 2008 6:06 am
£299.99: iPhone 3G PAYG UK price announced in Entertainment, Film and Music, Mobile devices and media
UK pricing of Apple's pay as you go3G iPhone was posted on to O2's UK website today and then promptlytaken down again, but not before some eagle-eyed bloggers got a sneakyglimpse of the pricing.
It seems that if you want to purchase acontract-free 3G iPhone, you are going to cough up a pretty penny forone. An 8GB Apple iPhone 3G will cost customers £299.99, while themeatier 16GB version will be available in 02 stores for £359.99.
The package
Notonly do you get an iPhone for this price, but O2 and Apple are alsothrowing in 6 months of unlimited WiFi hotspot access and web browsing.This is, of course, subject to 'excessive use policy'. At the end ofthe six months, the unlimited web browsing and WiFi access will costusers £10 a month.
As with all O2 PAYG accounts, the tariffchosen will decide the price of your calls, so buying more top-up amonth means cheaper calls and vice versa.
This PAYG offer will be available until 31 December 2008.
So, £299.99 plus for a phone: is it worth spending all this money to not be tied to a contract?
Posted by Editorial Team Mon Jun 30, 2008 6:26 am
Game review: Crisis Core in Gaming
Fanboys may be ready to fight to the death for their console of choice, but a new survey by Forrester shows that nearly half of all Europeans play computer games on multiple platforms, with the PC still the favourite for gaming.
Forrester'ssurvey into gaming reveals some interesting facts about gaming inEurope, including the fact that nearly three quarters (73%) ofEuropeans with access to an internet connection play some form ofcomputer games.
60% of those polled declared the PC as theirplatform of choice, with twice as many people playing games on adesktop PC (49%) than do on a laptop (23%).
One third of onlineEuropeans play their video games on consoles – although 41% have aconsole in their household – suggesting that many consoles are for thekids, or lay dormant for long periods.
There is good news forhandhelds such as the Sony PSP and Nintendo DS, along with theburgeoning mobile phone gaming markets, with 20% of consumers using theformer and 27% using their phones for gaming – a combined share of 47%and second only behind desktop PCs.
Interestingly, 43% of those polled played games on more than one platform.
PlayStation 2 still dominant
Thepowerhouse of the last decade of gaming – Sony' s PlayStation 2 isstill the dominant player in its sector owned by 60% of those with aconsole. The PlayStation 3 holds a seven per cent share, still some waybehind the original PlayStation One which has 14%.
The Xbox 360is also a little behind its successor the Xbox – but only a singlepercentage point divides Microsoft's consoles, with the former on 11%and the original 12%.
Second to the PlayStation 2 lies theNintendo DS handheld with 26% and Nintendo also takes the third andfourth spots with the older Game Boy (17%) and their smash hit Wii(16%).
Just less than one in ten console owners had non-specified consoles, which presumable embraces the likes of Sega's Dreamcast.
  
Fanboys may be ready to fight to the death for their console of choice, but a new survey by Forrester shows that nearly half of all Europeans play computer games on multiple platforms, with the PC still the favourite for gaming.

Forrester's survey into gaming reveals some interesting facts about gaming in Europe, including the fact that nearly three quarters (73%) of Europeans with access to an internet connection play some form of computer games.

60% of those polled declared the PC as their platform of choice, with twice as many people playing games on a desktop PC (49%) than do on a laptop (23%).

One third of online Europeans play their video games on consoles – although 41% have a console in their household – suggesting that many consoles are for the kids, or lay dormant for long periods.

There is good news for handhelds such as the Sony PSP and Nintendo DS, along with the burgeoning mobile phone gaming markets, with 20% of consumers using the former and 27% using their phones for gaming – a combined share of 47% and second only behind desktop PCs.

Interestingly, 43% of those polled played games on more than one platform.

PlayStation 2 still dominant

The powerhouse of the last decade of gaming – Sony' s PlayStation 2 is still the dominant player in its sector owned by 60% of those with a console. The PlayStation 3 holds a seven per cent share, still some way behind the original PlayStation One which has 14%.

The Xbox 360 is also a little behind its successor the Xbox – but only a single percentage point divides Microsoft's consoles, with the former on 11% and the original 12%.

Second to the PlayStation 2 lies the Nintendo DS handheld with 26% and Nintendo also takes the third and fourth spots with the older Game Boy (17%) and their smash hit Wii (16%).

Just less than one in ten console owners had non-specified consoles, which presumable embraces the likes of Sega's Dreamcast.
Posted by Editorial Team Sun Jun 29, 2008 6:31 am
PC still dominates gaming in Gaming
Fanboys may be ready to fight to the death for their console of choice, but a new survey by Forrester shows that nearly half of all Europeans play computer games on multiple platforms, with the PC still the favourite for gaming.
Forrester'ssurvey into gaming reveals some interesting facts about gaming inEurope, including the fact that nearly three quarters (73%) ofEuropeans with access to an internet connection play some form ofcomputer games.
60% of those polled declared the PC as theirplatform of choice, with twice as many people playing games on adesktop PC (49%) than do on a laptop (23%).
One third of onlineEuropeans play their video games on consoles – although 41% have aconsole in their household – suggesting that many consoles are for thekids, or lay dormant for long periods.
There is good news forhandhelds such as the Sony PSP and Nintendo DS, along with theburgeoning mobile phone gaming markets, with 20% of consumers using theformer and 27% using their phones for gaming – a combined share of 47%and second only behind desktop PCs.
Interestingly, 43% of those polled played games on more than one platform.
PlayStation 2 still dominant
Thepowerhouse of the last decade of gaming – Sony' s PlayStation 2 isstill the dominant player in its sector owned by 60% of those with aconsole. The PlayStation 3 holds a seven per cent share, still some waybehind the original PlayStation One which has 14%.
The Xbox 360is also a little behind its successor the Xbox – but only a singlepercentage point divides Microsoft's consoles, with the former on 11%and the original 12%.
Second to the PlayStation 2 lies theNintendo DS handheld with 26% and Nintendo also takes the third andfourth spots with the older Game Boy (17%) and their smash hit Wii(16%).
Just less than one in ten console owners had non-specified consoles, which presumable embraces the likes of Sega's Dreamcast.
  
Fanboys may be ready to fight to the death for their console of choice, but a new survey by Forrester shows that nearly half of all Europeans play computer games on multiple platforms, with the PC still the favourite for gaming.

Forrester's survey into gaming reveals some interesting facts about gaming in Europe, including the fact that nearly three quarters (73%) of Europeans with access to an internet connection play some form of computer games.

60% of those polled declared the PC as their platform of choice, with twice as many people playing games on a desktop PC (49%) than do on a laptop (23%).

One third of online Europeans play their video games on consoles – although 41% have a console in their household – suggesting that many consoles are for the kids, or lay dormant for long periods.

There is good news for handhelds such as the Sony PSP and Nintendo DS, along with the burgeoning mobile phone gaming markets, with 20% of consumers using the former and 27% using their phones for gaming – a combined share of 47% and second only behind desktop PCs.

Interestingly, 43% of those polled played games on more than one platform.

PlayStation 2 still dominant

The powerhouse of the last decade of gaming – Sony' s PlayStation 2 is still the dominant player in its sector owned by 60% of those with a console. The PlayStation 3 holds a seven per cent share, still some way behind the original PlayStation One which has 14%.

The Xbox 360 is also a little behind its successor the Xbox – but only a single percentage point divides Microsoft's consoles, with the former on 11% and the original 12%.

Second to the PlayStation 2 lies the Nintendo DS handheld with 26% and Nintendo also takes the third and fourth spots with the older Game Boy (17%) and their smash hit Wii (16%).

Just less than one in ten console owners had non-specified consoles, which presumable embraces the likes of Sega's Dreamcast.
Posted by Editorial Team Sun Jun 29, 2008 6:30 am
RM launched its new Windows XP-based RM Asus miniBook in Hardware, Internet, Networking, Comms and Security
RM dumped the Eee name, as it feels the connotations of the letter in between of D and F with drug misuse/abuse wouldn’t fit all that well with kids and the Education market sector.

So fresh from rehab comes a 8.9-inch RM Asus Minibook for schools. The firm expects to see 50,000 units sold by the year end. This is compared to the 7-inch original model launched at the Handheld Learning Conference in London October 2007, which has sold 23,000 to date.



Specifications for the education aimed lite-laptop are exactly as the ASUSTeK 900 model itself, with this SKU shipping with 12GB SDD and a 1GB memory. When querying an Asus spokesperson at the event about which battery will be shipping with said units, we were informed that the new models will soon have the standard extended one that’s seen elsewhere in the world. Saving the local education authorities the £11.75 they are currently charging for swapping out the old one for the new.

One of the clear reasons why RM has gone down this route with Microsoft is the simple fact that most educational software is designed to run on Windows. This in turn makes it easier for schools to add their favourite curriculum software to the RM Asus Minibook.

“The Minibooks have proved a popular choice since launch and we are very excited to be expanding our range to include the Windows version. At around the £200 mark these devices mean that no pupil in the UK should be disadvantaged by not having access to the very best learning and the very best technology.” said Tim Pearson, CEO of RM

Tim let slip that he could be breaking an NDA over the following information – there’s a £25 price difference between the Linux version and the Windows XP. This came across that there’s an additional cost to customers from choosing the vole version over the penguin, but their product manager cleared this up later. The CEO was just referring to an internal cost for Asus and that’s all. RM will continue to offer the original Minibook models with Linux applied, just in case you were worried.

Although the model we saw was still Celeron based, they are planning to introduce an Intel Atom version after the summer school holidays – just in time for the Autumn school term.

The Minibook does arrive initially with Windows XP Home installed and they’re leaving it to schools to upgrade to XP Pro if needed, although they do offer factory-ordered customisation for a cost. The price for the 8.9-inch Minibook is just £285 and the reason behind the low cost, is solely down to schools not getting charged VAT (thanks Emil).
Posted by Editorial Team Mon Jun 23, 2008 5:09 pm
GTA IV website prompts outrage in Gaming
Grand Theft Auto IV is once again at the centre ofcontroversy. But this time people aren’t complaining that the game’stoo violent, because they’re more concerned about the discovery of aso-called paedophile website.
In the game, an internet café allows the player to access a childpageant website called littlelacysurprisepageant.com. But, rather thanshowing anything untoward, the site’s actually a front for GTA IV’s police force and displays the warning: “We see it all, we know it all”.
However, clicking on the game’s spoof website is still a thrillbecause it automatically raises the player’s wanted level to five stars.
Several gamers have already voiced their concerns in a report in The Sun, with one gamer stating that the website crosses the line.
Jason Deschoolmeester, 23, of South Wales, said the website “couldlead people to indulge in things like that. It is totally sick. I won’tplay it [GTA IV] again”.

Child-protection body the NSPCC has even expressed its distaste forthe spoof website. Zoe Hilton, the NSPPC's policy coordinator for childprotection, said it’s “disturbing that it is meant to be funny and thatit is glamorising something that is really shocking and upsetting”.
This latest attack on GTA IV adds to existing criticism of this year’s must-have videogame, which has already sold about 4.2m copies in the US alone.
In a Croydon Gamestation store, one gamer stabbed another man in the head and neck as they both queued to buy copies of the game on the day of its release. Anti-GTA IV campaigners quickly jumped on the stabbing incident as proof that such games are too violent for society.
Posted by Editorial Team Mon Jun 23, 2008 5:03 pm
Obama vs McCain from a Gamers Perspective - Guide inc. VIDEO in Business and Industry in Gaming, Media, Web, IT and Computing
Mitt Romney
Mitt Romney has made computer games part of the thrust of his campaign,with references to the media genre in an ad campaign. In the promotional slot,he implicates them in "oceans of filth" in which America's youth areswimming. You can only imagine what he'll do if he gets into the WhiteHouse.
According to a Common Sense Media survey,which posted questions about interactive and other entertainment to theleading candidates, he intends to, "get serious against those retailersthat sell adult video games that are filled with violence and that wego after those retailers," and "to restore values so children areprotected from a societal cesspool of filth, pornography, violence, sexand perversion." Surprisingly similar to his Democratic opposite,Hillary Clinton.
John McCain
Second-time Presidential runner McCain has a team that thinks seriously about technology. In response to a CNet survey,"McCain" (aka his policy-writers) tackles net neutrality, governmentsubsidies for high-speed internet access, internet data privacy andcopyright issues. Unfortunately, there was only an oblique reference togames.
GamePolitics suggeststhat the anti-game slant of Independent candidate Joseph Liebermann mayhelp his friend McCain, whose inability to connect with the ReligiousRight in the US could be bolstered by their association.
McCain didn't respond to the CSM report, and so his intentions remain a mystery, for now.
Mike Huckabee
The evangelical Iowa caucus winner has been completely silent on thesubject of computer games, although, like McCain, he "expressedinterest" in participating in the CSM survey.
At the moment, games aren't an important policy issue, but I predictpolitical eyeballs will turn towards interactive entertainment whencontroversy temperatures rise in the summer months. If the potentialcandidates are silent now, they'll have to take a stand one way or theother. My guess is that all will play conservative, and with varyingseverity, call for federal government regulation of games in the US.
Meanwhile, in this country, we are anxiously awaiting the release of the Byron Report later this year, which should establish a useful baseline about the effects of violent videogaming on consumers.
Not sated by this roundup? Catch the dirt on the Democratic candidates in yesterday's post, or go to Gamepolitics for coverage. They have a special category, Game Decision 2008.


Debate over World of Warcraft - an interesting take.

We don't actively support wegame.com
Take a look at one of the comments below...
Quote:
did anyone notice the voices sound like george bush and that guy whos running for president? XD really well done..                                   


Quote:
LOL funny work                                   


There are a surprising number of British media eyeballs on the earlystages of the US elections. Reports suggest that people are coming outin droves to participate in caucuses, primaries and polls, particularlypopulations who've neglected politics before. And this includes a wholeraft a newly-eligible voters, many of whom happen to be computer gamers.
While it's still too early to suggest who'll be sworn in come 2009,there's still a whole lot of side-taking happening throughout the gamesblogosphere. Gamepolitics, the most obvious platform, is having a fieldday publishing satirical casual games, posts about candidate Obama'slikeness to Tiger Woods (seriously), and rumours about potentialsenatorial anti-games candidates.
This is undoubtedly a technologically-saturated election. All of thecandidates have MySpace pages (demonstrating the lightening speed withwhich politics adopts new media; where are their Twitter updates forgoodness sake?), and with the next few gaming months certain to be hotwith the release of the latest episode in a certain controvesry-ridingfranchise, we can expect to see gaming and techno-morality in a fewpolitical broadcasts.
So where do the front-runners sit with regards to computer games?This handy primer gives the dirt on their past actions and theircurrent attitudes. Today, the Democrats. Tomorrow, the Republicans.
Hillary Clinton
New Hampshire Democrat primary winner Hillary (whatever happened to the Rodham?) Clinton has never been a fanof computer games. Two years ago, Sen. Clinton introduced the FamilyEntertainment Protection Act (FEPA) in the wake of the Hot Coffeeincident, to regulate and counteract the effects of violent andsexually-explicit content in digital media. Had it passed, it wouldhave mandated:

On-site store managers would be subject to a fine of $1,000 or 100hours of community service for the first offense and $5,000 or 500hours of community service for each subsequent offense.
The bill would also require an annual, independent analysis ofgame ratings and require the FTC to conduct an investigation todetermine whether hidden sexual content like what was in Grand TheftAuto: San Andreas is a pervasive problem and to take appropriateaction...
Finally, the bill would authorize the FTC to conduct an annual,random audit of retailers to monitor enforcement and report thefindings to Congress.


more information from gamepolitics
More recently, in response to a Common Sense Media poll of the attitudes of the candidates to video game entertainment, Clinton argued,

"When I am President, I will work to protect children from inappropriate video game content"

Barack Obama
The Iowa caucus winner has suggested on several occasions that gamersare slackers. "It's time to turn off your Game Boys," he said at anAustin, Texas event last February. He's also returned a donation made by the Electronic Software Association's Doug Lowenstein and has repeatedly argued that working harder means playing fewer games.
In the CSM poll, Obama promoted industry self-regulation:

I would call upon the video game industry to give parents betterinformation about programs and video games by improving the voluntaryrating system we currently have. Broadcasters and video game producersshould take it upon themselves to improve this system to include easierto find and easier to understand descriptions of exactly what kind ofcontent is included. But if the industry fails to act, then myadministration would.

Indeed, in the same response, he does hint at federal regulation,and promotes funding research into the "impact of video games onchildren's cognitive development."
John Edwards
Edwards was the likable second to Hillary's first before Obama camealong, but his standings in the recent primary and caucus suggest thathe may take a back seat in November. However, he too could become aComeback Kid, so it's worth taking a look at what might happen to gamesif he gets the keys to the White House.
Edwards notably launched his campaign inside virtual world Second Life, and like many high-profile areas in this cyber-space, it was subsequently vandalised. Otherwise, he's been quiet on the digital entertainment front, with little action in either direction.
So it's unsurprising that when the question was posed, point blank,in the CSM poll, he (and his policy-writers) played a cautious,hands-off game; he applauds the work of the internal ratings boards,but suggests that there's much more to do to keep inappropriate contentaway from kids:

If the industry does not continue to make progress in keeping videogames with intense violence and adult content away from children, wewill need to consider further steps to ensure that parents' decisionsabout their children's exposure to these games are not being underminedby retailers, advertisers and manufacturers.

Of the three Democrats, only Clinton appears to have made this apolitical issue, and has thought seriously about the implications ofinteractive media. She's the only one ready to take action, one way orthe other. While Obama has despaired at games in the past, both he andEdwards are less explicit about any actions they would take if theywere to take up residence on Pennsylvania Avenue next year.
Tomorrow, we cover the Republican candidates, but in the meantime,more information on where the candidates stand is available at gamepolitics, in their category Game Decision 2008.
Disclaimer for articles or content containing "wegame.com":
iVirtua Media Group (UK) does not recommend nor endorse the third party service "Wegame.com" or any of its associates. For more information contact our Public Relations team via William Tildesley in our Social Media Department - william.tildesley@iVirtua.co.uk or williamtildesley@gmail.com
Posted by Editorial Team Thu Jun 19, 2008 6:54 pm
Age of Conan: iVirtua Review, Analysis and Videos in Gaming
Based on the books rather than the Schwarzenegger films, Age of Conanis a violent, massively multiplayer online game (MMO). Think World ofWarcraft with sharper swords and bigger breasts. The game leads yougently into the action and even allows you to learn the ropes in asingle-player environment before braving the multiplayer wilds. Andexperienced players get to build, or conquer, opponents' castles andkeeps. But the real innovation is the combat which, unlike most MMOs,involves reflexes and timing. The game looks mightily pretty; prepareto gawp at a sunset or distant mountain. But this graphical opulencecomes at a price, with loading screens a far-too-common annoyance.Worse, these breaks in play make the world feel less like a coherentwhole, lessening the feeling of immersion that games like WoW and Lordof the Rings Online engender so effectively. But assuming you have apowerful PC - which is essential for this game - Age of Conan is worthvisiting.

Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures is a fantasy-themed massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) developed by the Norwegian computer, video game developer company Funcom for PC and the Xbox 360. The game launched at 9 p.m. (GMT) on May 17, 2008in a limited way, being available to those who had pre-ordered the gameand registered for early access. The full release of the game for NorthAmerica was May 20, 2008 and for Europe May 23, 2008 for the PC version.The Xbox 360 version is scheduled to be released a year after the PC release.

After a long build up, including an eight-week delay to apply the finalpolish, Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures (AoC) has been launched.



is it finally a game that takes on WoW?

iVirtua Full coverage
Also
Guild Wars hits 2 million sales worldwide

DreamWorld Engine
The DreamWorld graphics engine was developed by Funcom circa 2000. Other computer games powered by DreamWorld technology include Anarchy Online and its various expansion packs. When Funcom began developing Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures,the company reviewed its existing technology base and decided to focuson the further evolution of their proprietary DreamWorld engine asopposed to licensing a third-party engine like many online RPGcompanies do. As such, Funcom began to retool their engine with theoverall design, pipeline and implementation process was taken intoaccount. In light of these changes, the DreamWorld engine has beenrebuilt for Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures with new features, special effects and optimizations.[30]

"Real Combat"
"Real Combat" is being touted by Funcom as a revolutionary approachto combat in online RPGs where the player is in direct control of thecharacter's weapon strikes in real time. This multi-point melee andranged combat system is purportedly easy-to-learn and is one of theprime attractions of the title. Allegedly, the "Real Combat" systemwill take the ritualized combat experience previously found in onlineRPGs in a new direction. For this system, Funcom has also added aspectssuch as formation combat, mounted combat, siege combat and hive combat.[31]

Cheetah
Cheetah is a shader-oriented proprietary render engine re-written from scratch by Funcom featuring a phong per pixel lighting system. This engine allows for improved graphics and ambience. This is coupled with a trapezoidal shadow system, an in-house system developed by Funcom that allows all objects to cast shadows onto everything.[32]

Perlin noise-based cloud generating system
Perlin noise-based cloud generating system is a five-layered procedural system that enables multiple layers of dynamic clouds; thus, visually-realistic cloud behavior.[33]

SpeedTree
SpeedTree is a programming package produced by Interactive Data Visualization, Inc. (IDV) that aims to produce high-quality virtual foliage in real time, suitable especially for video gamesbut also aimed to a lesser extent at some other kinds of simulations.It has so far been licensed to a substantial number of video gamedevelopers, including developers of the Unreal engine series. SpeedTree is currently being used in several games, including (but not limited to) the MMO action game World War II Online and The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion.[34]

DirectX 10
"Funcom is proud to be one of the few developers who is tapping intothis technology, and we look forward to showing you even more of DirectX 10. Some of the improvements visible in the videos and the screenshots are improved parallax mapping, better lighting and more advanced shadows technology."[35]The game did not include support for DirectX 10 at the time of launch.DirectX 10 features are now slated to be premiered at the GamesConvention in Leipzig in August 2008.
Pre-Launch acclaim
During the past several years, Funcom has twice previewed Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures at the Electronic Entertainment Expo, more commonly known as E3,and the product has received various critic awards for thesedemonstrations. The following information is a partial listing of thoseawards.
E3 2005

  1. GameSpot Editors' Choice Winner
  2. IGN.com Runner-Up Best of E3
  3. GamersInfo.Net Editors' Choice
  4. Gamezone Best of E3 Award


E3 2006

  1. GameSpot Editors' Choice Winner
  2. IGN.com Best of E3 Winner
  3. GameSpy: MMO Game of Show
  4. Yahoo! Games Best MMOG


E3 2007

  1. IGN.com Best of E3 Winner
  2. GameTrailers Best RPG Nominee
  3. WarCry MMO of the Show Nominee
  4. GC 2007: Best online game


2008

  1. MMORPG.com Most anticipated game of 2007

Posted by Editorial Team Thu Jun 19, 2008 5:22 pm
Why Xbox Live isn't free in Gaming
Until recently, Microsoft could brag about how Live was by far themost feature-complete online service on any platform, with a unifiedFriends list, the best online shop, voice and video chat as standardand a consistent and stable online experience. But in recent monthsthere’s been a shift in the market, and even bigger changes are coming.Microsoft is the only player to charge for online play, and theirpolicy has landed some of the best online games on the 360... but as PCand PlayStation developers offer comparable features at no extra cost,the Gold subscription starts to lose its shine. The launch of the PC’sSteam Community late last year and promises made by Sony at January’sConsumer Electronics Show have placed Microsoft on the back foot, andhas all of us asking: what does your annual subscription pay for?
The Punters
It’s very simple math - you take the features offered by Xbox Live,subtract the features offered by Live Silver, and then subtract thefeatures Microsoft’s nearest competitor - the Playstation Network -offers for free, and whatever’s left is what Gold users get for theirannual fee.

In Microsoft’s own words, the perks of being a Gold subscriber are as follows:
1) Play your Xbox 360 multiplayer games online with the premiere online gaming service.
2) Use the brand new TrueSkill Matchmaking system to play againstopponents with similar skills, personalities, and gaming tastes.
3) Give player feedback to rate your teammates and opponents on theirsportsmanship, abilities, and conduct to influence matchmaking.
4) Play select original Xbox games online (the Xbox 360 Hard Drive is required).
5) Get access to exclusive Gold Member content.
6) Engage in video chat.
7) Enjoy all the Xbox Live Silver features.
Freed from PR-speak, points one, two and three are essentiallystandard functions of modern online play: multiplayer gaming, onlineranking and feedback systems, so we’ll consider them one point. Pointfour is available to Silver members and even to people without abroadband connection by downloading the CD from xbox.com. Fivepresumably refers to the demos which are available earlier for Goldsubscribers, but that’s really more a way of gimping Silver types thanrewarding Gold subscribers. Point six, we can’t argue with - video chatis limited to Gold - but as point seven demonstrates, Live Marketplace,Arcade games, DLC and auto-updates are available at no cost to Silvermembers.

We’ll kindly add to Microsoft’s list an eighth and ninth point -mass messaging is only available to Gold users, and Microsoft should bea little more proud of their unified Friends list and messenger whichmakes online gaming with friends such a complete pleasure.
So, with our non-scientific method, we’ve stripped Microsoft’s nine points down to just four:
1) Online play with standard features offered elsewhere.
2) Video chat.
3) Mass messaging.
4) Unified Friends list and messenger.
And of those four, Sony’s PSN offers one, two and three for nocharge to players. In effect, your subscription pays for... er, nothingmore than a list of 100 names you can pull up in any game.
Still, what you don’t see is that, unlike PSN, Live’s hosting -leaderboards, Matchmaking, the lot - are all run by Microsoft ratherthan by third parties. It means devs are more keen to go online on Xboxwhere the online play is paid for by you, rather than them, so - inthat sense, at least - Live’s hosting model makes for a more cohesiveand better supported service, but a model where the cost will always bepicked up on the gamer’s end.


The Developers
So long as the expense of running servers and matchmaking systemshas to be picked up by somebody, no online gaming service will ever betruly ‘free’. The cost of PSN and PC online gaming is typically pickedup by developers and publishers. CoD4, for example, runs on similarsystems on both console platforms, but is maintained by Microsoft onLive and by a dedicated third party company at Activision’s expense onPSN. Both play the same at your end and both work on a peer-to-peersystem with a matchmaking layer to link players up, but on Live you payfor that layer, and on PSN they pay.

Live is a great deal for third parties then, but less so for gamers.On the plus side, it means Microsoft get the lion’s share ofonline-enabled games, with even the most low-rent of independentdevelopers able to support online matchmaking in their games. Meaning,overall, it makes online play in multi-format titles far more likely onthe 360.
But again, is it really $49.99/£39.99’s worth of bonus? The PC/PSNmodel - where publishers/developers run their own matchmaking systems -has worked for years and PC gamers have enjoyed cost-free gaming evenbefore the days of multiplayer Doom. Sega’s Dreamcast was arguably thefirst console to make a dent in the online space and managed to offeronline play in the majority of its titles at no cost. PlayStation isset to offer users everything Live does at no cost in the near future,Steam offers everything Live does in its supported games, and theWii... well, at least it’s free, eh?
THE TRUTH
Live’s best asset is that it allows even small developers to supportonline play - the value of which can’t possibly be denied. Without it,we’d never see online play in small-budget XBLA titles or evenmarginalised full-price games. The question to ask is whether or notthat’s worth the precious money from your pocket, on rotation, every 12months.
From the player’s end experience, Live is the leader, but it’shardly a full fifty bucks/forty-quid ahead of its competition. Themarket has changed since 2002 and so long as the PlayStation Networkand Steam Community threaten to match Live feature-for-feature, Liveneeds to be obviously better in some other way, especially in the UKwhere it costs a full fifteen quid more for a yearly subscription thanthe $50 (£25) cost over in the U.S.
At some point in the coming months, PSN will rob Live’s FriendsList, completing its mimicry of Microsoft’s system. It’s at that pointwhere questions must start to be asked of Live. It’s certainly easierfor developers, but as gamers, perhaps we should rightly expect just alittle more from our Gold subscription.
Posted by Editorial Team Thu Jun 19, 2008 2:38 pm
British hacker should not be extradited to US, Lords told in General Discussion, including Off Topic, Current Affairs
A British man who allegedly hacked into the Pentagon's computernetwork should not be extradited to America because US prosecutorstried to intimidate him into cooperating with them, the House of Lordswas told today.
Gary McKinnon, a systems analyst who faces up to60 years in jail if his extradition goes ahead, was the victim of anabuse of process, the panel of five law lords was told.
The44-year-old is accused of causing £475,000 in damage by hacking into 97computer systems operated by the Pentagon, Nasa and elsewhere in the USmilitary.
McKinnon, a self-taught hacker who operated under thename Solo, admits accessing the computers but insists he only did so totry to find evidence for UFO landings, and that he was only able togain access because of lax security.
His activities, described byBritish prosecutors in 2005 as the "biggest ever military computerhack", were carried out using a low-speed dialup connection from a roomin his girlfriend's aunt's house in Crouch End, north London.
McKinnonwas first arrested in 2002 but has never been charged in the UK. Lastyear, he lost a high court appeal against a government decision togrant his extradition to the US.
Addressing the Lords today,his lawyer, David Pannick QC, said McKinnon was told by US authoritiesthat unless he agreed to plead guilty and to extradition he faced amuch heavier jail sentence.
A US embassy legal officialinvolved in the case had also quoted New Jersey authorities as sayingthey wanted to see McKinnon "fry", said Pannick, an apparent referenceto the electric chair.
It was "not in dispute" that a UK courthad the power to turn down an extradition if it was thought there hadbeen abuse of process, Pannick told the law lords.
"The USprosecutors sought to impose pressure on the appellant through hislegal advisers to consent to extradition and plead guilty," he said.
McKinnonwas told that if he cooperated he would receive a jail sentence ofbetween 37 and 46 months and would be repatriated to the UK forpossible parole after half this time, the lawyer said.
"Bycontrast, the appellant's representatives were told that if theappellant declined to cooperate, this sentence would be in the regionof eight to 10 years, possibly longer," Pannick said, adding that onethreat was to treat the matter as a terrorism case, resulting in apossible 60-year term.
US officials additionally said anytransfer to the UK would also be ruled out if McKinnon foughtextradition, Pannick told the law lords.
"This was pressure of an unacceptable degree," he said.
A judgment is expected within three weeks.
Posted by Editorial Team Tue Jun 17, 2008 5:27 am
Microsoft to send high-speed net traffic over whitespace in Microsoft / Windows
Microsoft has a plan for sending high-speed net traffic over America's television whitespaces. And it's sure the country will eat some serious foreign dust ifthis plan gets snuffed.
Quote:

"Across the nation, there are vast swathes of unoccupied TVspectrum, and we - along with other tech companies - are asking thatthis spectrum be used for a what is essentially WiFi on steroids,"Microsoft senior director of public policy Marc Berejka said yesterdayduring a panel discussion at Santa Clara University.
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"If we fail on white spaces, what does that mean for the country'sreputation in the world as innovators? We have the potential to beleaders on spectrum policy, but if we don't push white spaces through,it will happen somewhere else. Some country will take the lead, andentrepreneurs will innovate over there."

But as Berejka admits, not everyone agrees with him. This whitespace idea is opposed by the nation's TV broadcasters, the wirelessmicrophone industry, and hospitals who like to monitor people walking through their hallways. Not to mention the other panelists at yesterday's Media Access Project Innovation 08 gathering.


Analyst Coleman Bazelon, economist Gregory Rose,
Media Access Project's Harold Feld, CTIA's Carolyn Brandon,
Columbia Telecommunications' Joanne Hovis, Microsoft's Marc Berejka
Microsoft wants to turn America's white spaces - portions of the TV band that aren'tused for broadcasting - into unlicensed spectrum. That means anyonecould buy devices off-the-shelf and grab some wireless bandwidth - aswe now do with WiFi. The difference is that this spectrum offers muchbetter propagation properties. Those net-centric wireless signals couldtravel over much longer distances - and at higher speeds.

One of Berejka's fellow panelists, industry analyst Coleman Bazelon,isn't opposed to using the white spaces for net access. But he doesn'tlike the unlicensed idea. "I agree that [the white space spectrum] is avaluable resource that's up for grabs," said Bazelon, a principal withthe Battle Group. "But if we don't license it and put it into the handsof companies that will invest in infrastructure to develop, it's goingto be wasted."

Of course, if it is licensed and auctioned off to the highestbidder, it will likely fall into the hands of the wireless old guard.Think AT&T and Verizon. After all, that was the inevitable resultof the epic 700-MHz auction. Officially, Microsoft has nothing but good thingsto say about the old guard, but in this case, it wants truly openairwaves. Redmond has even gone so far as to partner with Google on itswhite spaces project. Yes, Google.

At yesterday's panel, the old guard was represented by the CTIAwireless association. And naturally, the association said it wouldprefer that the white spaces be auctioned off to the highest bidder.

"We don't think white spaces should be given away for free," saidCarolyn Brandon, the CTIA's vice president of policy. "Some of ourmembers have suggested that the white spaces be auctioned off forbackhaul. Some have suggested that's not an important enough use, butwe say 'Let the market decide what the best use is.'"
So Microsoft tells the truth. If its white space plan bites thedust, so does at least a certain amount of American innovation. That'sright: We're siding with Redmond on this one.
Posted by Editorial Team Tue Jun 17, 2008 5:12 am
iVirtua 2008 Summer Gaming festival and event guide in Gaming
While not quite as ridiculously packed as this year's music festival calendar (my pick of the bunch, by the way, is Truck, featuring the Lemonheads performing the wholeof It's A Shame About Ray), the line-up of big videogame events isgrowing, both in terms of size and diversity. So here's a quick guide,just in case you find yourself with a free weekend and a desire to play- and learn about - lots of lovely new titles...
NLGD Festival of Games
Utrecht, Netherlands
June 14-21

You'll have to be quick to catch this busy event, combiningconference, workshops, expo and career fair. Like E3, it's mostlytargeted at industry professionals, but students can gain access tomost of the programme. Highlights include talks by Shinichiro Kasama,Senior General Manager at Taito, who'll discuss the evolution of theSpace Invaders and Chris Swain, co-founder and director of the EA GameInnovation Lab. Interestingly, they're also running a multiplayer location-based mobile gaming tournament, based around footie title, Navball.
Game developers Conference Paris
Paris, France
June 23,24

50 sessions, 70 speakers and possibly the only games event of thesummer with its own art exhibition, the Parisian arm of the renownedGDC series is another industry-aimed combination of expo andkeynote-stuffed conference. Blizzard's VP of Game Design, Rob Pardo,and Media Molecule's Mark Healey and Alex Evans are among the talkers.
E3
Santa Monica, USA
July 11-13

Radically downsized but still essential highlight of the gamescalendar, now marketed as an intimate networking and demo-ing event.You'll need to be an industry insider to gain access as it'sinvite-only, but if you manage it, you'll see lots of big Christmas and2009 titles. There's a consumer version later in the year - or you can keep up to date via the website.
Develop in Brighton
Brighton, England
July 29-31

Aimed at the development community and organised by the trademagazine of the same name, Develop is a popular industry shindig, basedaround a packed schedule of business and development sessions as wellas the main expo. There are over 90 guest speakers on the agenda,including David Braben (Frontier Developments), Damian Isla (BungieStudios) and Richard Lemarchand (Naughty Dog). Gamesblog will be there,too, hosting our own event - more on that later...
Edinburgh Interactive festival
Edinburgh, Scotland
August 10-12

A landmark event, drawing on the atmosphere of the Edinburgh International Festival,to provide a range of panel sessions, debates and games screenings aswell as a public exhibition area. With the backing of all three consolemanufacturers expect plenty of Triple A gaming action. You'll also getto see the latest projects developed for the University of Abertay'sannual Dare to Be Digital competition. A must for the cultured gamer.
Games Convention
Leipzig, Germany
August 20-24

Now that E3 has transmogrified into a diddy business expo, GC is thekey games event in the West, filling four halls and one outdoor area.185,000 visitors turned up last year and the organisers reckon morehave registered for the 2008 event. All the major publishers will beshowing of their big forthcoming titles, while events like the Germanfinals of the World Cyber Games and a case-modding contest add extraflavour.
Posted by Editorial Team Fri Jun 13, 2008 6:15 pm
WWDC 08: me.com mail, contacts, calendar like native apps in Apple
Apple hasunveiled MobileMe, which is a push method of controlling calendars,emails and contacts by sending the information from a remotely storedbase.
The service replaces the .Mac service which hasn’t really set the world alight so far.
The programme works with Mac, PC and iPhone, and works with Mail, iCal and Address book on the Mac, or Outlook on Windows.
Applehas also built a suite of web 2.0 applications for the MobileMe serviceusing Ajax, which provides a desktop-like experience on the web tointeract with the data, and can be accessed at me.com.
Send photos from the beach
Photoscan even be synched over the air, either from the iPhone or a Mac orPC, which means Apple is working to drop hard into the Web 2.0 spaceGoogle and Yahoo have been beavering away at over the last two years.
MobileMealso has over the air interaction; i.e. email is sent to the device, itinteracts with Google Maps, finds a restaurant mentioned in the email,and stores it as a contact for use on your computer.
Unveiled atWWDC, it was termed as a perfect application for the iPhone or iPodtouch for $99 per year with 20GB storage, but it comes with a free 60day trial.

MobileMe
Difference between .Mac and MobileMe
While mostly replacing .Mac (which was primarily centered aroundInternet services for Apple's desktop and notebook computers), MobileMeprovides Internet services for both Mac OS X and the iPhone OS as well as the iPod touch device and Microsoft Windowsusers. This means that now you are not restricted to a Mac runningsoftware like Mail and iCal, but can access your personal data from anycomputer connected to the internet.

Features
Storage
20GB of online storage featuring 200GB of monthly transfer. Thefamily pack includes this for the main user as well as 5GB of storageand 50GB of transfer for each sub user (up to four additional users)

Mail
Free Push Mail. Includes a @me.com email address. When a message is received it is sent directly to all the user's devices.

Address Book
Address Book (Push). When a contacted is added or amended it is updated immediately on all the user's devices.

Calendar
Calendar (Push). When a calendar appointment is added or amended it is updated immediately on all the user's devices.

Gallery
Public photo gallery. Photos can be uploaded in the web browser or synced by iPhoto on a mac

iDisk
iDisk, which is accessible via a web browser, the Finder on a Mac, or as a remote disk in Microsoft Windows.The iDisk can also share files by emailing a link to the intendedrecipient. Another feature is to set an expiration on the link. Thismeans access to file will stop after a set number of downloads or aftercertain time period.

Web 2.0
MobileMe uses web 2.0 technologies to provide the look and feel of desktop-class applications in the user's web browser.

Pricing
An Individual purchase of a MobileMe account for one-year is $99 USD (£59), while a Family Packsubscription (which includes one individual account and four familyaccounts with a specific email address for each one) is $149 USD (£89)for one year. The Individual account will have 20GB of combined emailand file storage and 200GB of monthly data transfer, while the FamilyPack will have, for each account in the Pack, 5GB of combined email andfile storage, and 50GB of monthly data transfer.

Competitors
MobileMe is supposed to comprise Microsoft Exchange-like features for consumers.

Browser Support
MobileMe's online services can be accessed in Desktop Applications.MobileMe also allows access to the user's data in desktop-likeenvironment in a web browser. Featured browsers are:

  • Safari 3 or later (Mac + PC)
  • Firefox 2 or later (Mac + PC)
  • Internet Explorer 7 (PC)
iPhone 2.0
Posted by Editorial Team Tue Jun 10, 2008 4:04 am
WWDC 08: Developer Demos Roundup in Apple
Appletook the wraps off version 2.0 of its iPhone firmware at WWDCtoday.But it didn't send thousands of iPhone owners scurrying away toclickon 'Check for Update' in iTunes.
The 2.0 firmware, and by associationthe new iPhone3G, are due to be rolled out worldwide on July 11.
Thenew iPhone 3G is undoubtedly theheadline act – it updates Apple'spioneering smartphone withtri-band HSDPA connectivity, GPS and improvedbattery life. If theiPhone was hard to beat before, it's even toughernow. But the new2.0 firmware that's being rolled out with it is equallyimportant.
Enterprise, SDK and 'new features'
Availableon both the 3G and original2G iPhones, version 2.0 adds a several newfeatures to the iPhoneplatform. There are those that we've alreadyseen: push email andcalendaring (via MS Exchange), Cisco VPN supportand downloadablethird-party applications via the forthcoming App Store.
And there are those features we didn'tsee coming: a pushnotification service, a scientific version of Calcand a nifty ContactSearch. These hardly make compelling front pagenews. Apple has improvedthe iPhone in very subtle ways.
When it hits on July 11, version2.0 ofthe iPhone firmware won't offer a major overhaul of theiconictouchscreen interface. Why should it? If it 'aint broke... AsSteveJobs explained in his keynote, there are three elements to theiPhone2.0 software – enterprise, the SDK and 'new features'.
SinceApple firstrevealed the iPhone 2.0 software back in early March, we'veknownabout its enterprise plans. Apple's support for MS Exchangewillenable the sort of push calendaring, push email, push contactsandremote wipe capabilities that businesses have been crying outfor.Ditto the built-in Cisco VPN client.
What we're reallyinterested in is thepersonal apps and games. With 250,000 softwaredeveloper kitsdownloaded since March, Jobs revealed that Apple hadadmitted 4,000applicants to its iPhone developer programme (from25,000applications).
With access to the iPhone's coreAPIs(shared with Mac OS X), plus its accelerometer, cameraandlocalisation features, we now have a better idea of what theiPhoneis capable of.
Super Monkey Ball for $9.99
Just as it did back in March, Segashowed off an updated cut of its GameCube favourite Super MonkeyBall.This game will be available on the App Store for $9.99 when itlaunchesin July. That's about £5 or £6 in UK money,although expect thereal-world exchange rate to be avoided in favourof $1=£1. At least it'sa lot less than the rumoured $25 pergame that was swirling around techwebsites pre-keynote.
In comparison, the rest of the earlyAppStore line-up at WWDC seems a little simplistic – anuninspiringselection of games, medical applications and prettied-upnews feeds. Butthere are some bright sparks.
The mobile version of TypePad,forexample, has been designed to tie in with the iPhone's camera,enablingyou to take shots and upload them to a website. Looptoffers a mix ofsocial networking with location-aware intelligence,while the AssociatedPress plans anapp that will map your whereabouts to deliver relevantnews.
Apple itself has developed a pushnotification service,designed to keep a persistent IP connectionopen that can notify you ofnew emails or instant messages. And itdoes this without the relevantapplications running in thebackground. It's a big deal, but pencilSeptember in your diary forthis one.
Like the iPhone 3G, the AppStoreshould launch on July 11th. 2G and 3G iPhone owners will be abletodownload apps less than 10MB over 2G/3G, Wi-Fi or via iTunes.Anythinggreater than 10MB will be limited to Wi-Fi connections anddownloads viaiTunes.
The 2.0 upgrade will be free for iPhoneusers, but it will cost iPod touch owners $9.95.
Posted by Editorial Team Tue Jun 10, 2008 4:03 am
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