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January 28, 2008

Flying robot to track whales off Australia: report

Flying. Robot. Flying robot to track whales off Australia: reportA...

500-pound potato battery

Helping my kid with her science-fair project.... latteier.com |...

January 25, 2008

Sonny: a free online Final Fantasy-esque Zombie RPG

Sonny - Presented by AddictingGames Fun stuff and well done....

FCC spectrum sale: $2.8 billion in bids

This is why you'll have to get a digital cable...

January 24, 2008

Netflix bringing unlimited streaming rentals to Macs soon

Netflix bringing streaming rentals to Macs, game console next? - Engadget

According to a new report (and backed up by an earlier blog post), streaming content for Netflix subscribers is headed to Mac screens in 2008 -- if everyone has their way. During the company's Q4 earnings call this week, the snail-mail service hinted that this would be the year that streaming rentals would come to Mac users due to the advent of DRM options that play nice with Apple's gear (namely, Microsoft's Silverlight technology). Combine this with news that the company plans to offer all-you-can-eat online rentals for $8.99 a month, its intentions to bring a STB to market with LG, and a possible game console partnership -- well, it all adds up to stiff competition for Apple and other challengers, despite what they say.

January 23, 2008

Why fantasy makes a better game than science fiction

Why Fantasy, and not Science Fiction, Part Eleventy-Billion - Massively

I thought this was pretty astute.

If we can take lessons from arguably the most popular MMO of our time, World of Warcraft, we can see how it compares, thematically: The world is filled with conflict, but there is honor. A hero may rise from humble beginnings to become mighty. With the use of magic, one can accomplish miracles. There is an almost ridiculous positivity at play here, in direct opposition to Science Fiction's more sober truths. Simply put, it's just more emotionally rewarding to play a hero, accruing power and prestige, then there is in playing a nondescript cipher, coming to terms with the fundamental nature of the universe. Whether it's openly stated or not, Fantasy carries within it the chance to win everything, while in Science Fiction, the goal is to understand. One is not necessarily more valuable than the other in moralistic terms, but certainly easier to turn into a game design document.

January 22, 2008

Mutilated Furries, Flying Phalluses: griefing in Second Life

Mutilated Furries, Flying Phalluses: Put the Blame on Griefers,

The Albion Park section of Second Life is generally a quiet place, a haven of whispering fir trees and babbling brooks set aside for those who "need to be alone to think, or want to chat privately." But shortly after 5 pm Eastern time on November 16, an avatar appeared in the 3-D-graphical skies above this online sanctuary and proceeded to unleash a mass of undiluted digital jackassery. The avatar, whom witnesses would describe as an African-American male clad head to toe in gleaming red battle armor, detonated a device that instantly filled the air with 30-foot-wide tumbling blue cubes and gaping cartoon mouths. For several minutes the freakish objects rained down, immobilizing nearby players with code that forced them to either log off or watch their avatars endlessly text-shout Arnold Schwarzenegger's "Get to the choppaaaaaaa!" tagline from Predator.

The incident, it turns out, was not an isolated one. The same scene, with minor variations, was unfolding simultaneously throughout the virtual geography of Second Life. Some cubes were adorned on every side with the infamous, soul-searing "goatse" image; others were covered with the grinning face of Bill Cosby proffering a Pudding Pop.

Soon after the attacks began, the governance team at San Francisco-based Linden Lab, the company that runs Second Life, identified the vandals and suspended their accounts. In the popular NorthStar hangout, players located the offending avatars and fired auto-cagers, which wrapped the attackers' heads in big metallic boxes. And at the Gorean city of Rovere — a Second Life island given over to a peculiarly hardcore genre of fantasy role-play gaming — a player named Chixxa Lusch straddled his giant eagle mount and flew up to confront the invaders avatar-to-avatar as they hovered high above his lovingly re-created medieval village, blanketing it with bouncing 10-foot high Super Mario figures.

"Give us a break you fucks," typed Chixxa Lusch, and when it became clear that they had no such intention, he added their names to the island's list of banned avatars and watched them disappear.

"Wankers," he added, descending into the mess of Super Marios they'd left behind for him to clear.

January 21, 2008

Boing Boing Gadgets's Joel Johnson puts AT&T on the spot over copyright spying plan

via | boing boing | Joel Johnson puts AT&T on...

January 18, 2008

Gamers are Godless Liberal Faggots

>Penny Arcade | Tycho | The StratagemOn Monday, I mentioned...