"Like a zombie shambling into the light, it seemed to come out of nowhere. Then, before you knew it, it was the game everyone was talking about. "Have you played Minecraft?" people would ask. And then I did, and I understood. Beneath its blocky visuals lies an astoundingly deep experience. You explore, collect, and build, and then when night falls, you hope you don't die. It's the type of game that really needs to be experienced before you can fully understand it.
"Three major movie studios are considering a deal with cable operators to offer recently released movies to viewers before they hit DVD. In Demand CEO Bob Benya is the one who revealed the plan, saying that Sony Pictures, Warner Bros., and Walt Disney were trying to work out the details with his company, as well as Cox Communications, Comcast, and Time Warner. The movies wouldn't exactly be cheap, though—the current figure being bandied about is $30 per showing in the comfort and convenience of your own home.
"It has been less than ten months since we reviewed Parallels Desktop 5, a competent but buggy release from Parallels. Shipping paid updates with stability issues seems to be the company's modus operandi, so I was a little skeptical when I saw that a new version was already being released, since the last one had so many issues that needed ironing out. The feature list of Parallels Desktop 6 isn't what I'd call ambitious—the main focus of version 6 has been on the 64-bit host and increased speed, mostly for 3D and gaming.
The Android family gets bigger with the addition of Sony. Is this a sign Nokia is failing to adapt by holding onto Symbian?
"In a move that shouldn't be that surprising, NVIDIA has announced that its popular CUDA platform is being ported to x86. The obvious angle here is that this will give NVIDIA a weapon against OpenCL and DirectCompute in the high-performance computing (HPC) market, but the situation is probably more complicated than that. First, let's look at what CUDA is and how it became popular, and then we'll look at where it's going." | more
Research by Stanford University to investigate the privacy of the "private browsing" feature of many Web browsers suggests that the tools aren't all that private after all, and that many kinds of information can be leaked by browsers when using the mode. The paper is due to be presented next week at the USENIX security conference.
Are women getting what they want from video games? Although they are playing games in large numbers, few companies are trying to appeal to women, and most of those that do merely release pink controllers or stereotypically "girlie" games. Silicon Sisters wants to help change that, with the first "female owned and operated video game company," operating out of Vancouver.
We got in touch with Kirsten Forbes, the COO and founding member of the company, to get our questions answered. First, how do you create games for women without pandering to them?
The UK government is not yet interested in ditching Internet Explorer 6, saying the costs required to do so outweigh the benefits. Six months ago, an online petition started in hopes that the UK would abolish all use of the world's most-loathed browser.
The petition debuted soon after the German and French governments began to advise their citizens to use a different browser than IE in the wake of the Chinese-Google hack attack. It closed on June 6 after gathering 6,223 signatures; on July 30, the government gave an official response. Here's the crux of it:
Finally, someone is trying to find out why nerds stereotypically have asthma. A new experiment conducted at UCLA shows that social stress and rejection are related to the release of certain inflammatory chemicals in the body; these chemicals have been linked to several medical conditions, including asthma, arthritis, and some kinds of cancer.
"Last month, Windows 7 passed Windows Vista in market share, according to Netmarketshare.com. One year after Windows 7 hit RTM and nine months after it was released, Microsoft's newest OS managed to acquire more users than its predecessor. The operating system reached the 10 percent market share mark four months ago, and just last week Microsoft announced it had sold 175 million licenses so far.
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