Ars Technica

New bill upgrades unauthorized Internet streaming to a felony

"The text of S. 978 isn't yet available from the official THOMAS system, but Klobuchar's office sent us a copy of the brief bill. Under current law, "reproducing" and "distributing" copyrighted works are felony charges and cover P2P transfers and Web downloads. But streaming is a "public performance" rather than a "distribution"—and holding a public performance without a proper license is not a felony. S. 978 adds "public performance" to the felony list.

Brink for PC: runs great, plays well online, is a ton of fun

"Yesterday I explained why Ars Technica would not be publishing a review of the Brink code we were given, and I still believe that was a good decision. However, the PC review code arrived and we have played for a few hours. This still isn't a standard review, not with the short amount of time played, but we can happily report that the technical issues found in the Xbox 360 version pre-patch are nowhere to be seen.

The hackers hacked: main Anonymous IRC servers invaded

"The main Internet chat servers used by Anonymous have been run by a group called "AnonOps," which provides communications platforms for the group. Pointing IRC clients at anonops.ru or anonops.net would connect anyone to the servers, where they could then join channels like "#OpSony" and participate in various Anon activities.

Transistors go 3D as Intel re-invents the microchip

"At an event today in San Francisco, Intel announced one of the most important pieces of semiconductor news in many years: the company's upcoming 22nm processors will feature a fundamental change to the design of the most basic building block of every computer chip, the transistor. Intel has been exploring the new transistor for over a decade, and the company first announced a significant breakthrough with the design in 2002.

NVIDIA announces SLI support for the AMD platform

"We are pleased to announce that SLI has been licensed to the world’s leading motherboard companies for integration onto their upcoming motherboards featuring AMD’s 990FX, 990X and 970 chipsets. Asus, Gigabyte, ASRock, and MSI are among the first motherboard manufacturers to offer this new capability, with more coming on board shortly," NVIDIA said in a blog post.

PSN update: Sony isn't sure your credit card data is safe

"Satoshi Fukuoka, a spokesman for Sony Computer Entertainment in Tokyo, spoke with PCWorld and claimed the company "has not yet determined if the personal information or credit card numbers of users have been compromised, but that Sony would promptly inform users if it found that was the case." Since you can't play your games online, why not use that extra time to double-check your credit and debit card records?"

Windows 7: 350 million licenses sold in 18 months

"Eighteen months after Windows 7 was released, Microsoft is boasting that it has sold 350 million licenses of its flagship operating system. The platform's sales have barely slowed since the company last bragged about numbers; after 12 months, 240 million licenses had been shipped. All a far cry from Windows Vista's market take-up. Though Windows Vista sold well—around 330 million Internet users two years after launch—its reception was lukewarm, and though users actually quite liked it, it failed to achieve acceptance in the essential corporate market."

Microsoft's raw deal for Vista users: IE10 for Windows 7 only

"One of the minor "features" Microsoft included in the Internet Explorer 10 Platform Preview released earlier this week was reduced operating system support; it will only install on Windows 7, leaving Windows XP and Windows Vista users out in the cold.

The incredible shrinking game: the truth of game length in the modern industry

"When will gamers finally have way too much of not enough? The tension between game prices and the length of the experience is only becoming more apparent as big-budget, long-hyped releases can be finished in the span of an afternoon. Most recently, Medal of Honor, Vanquish, and Star Wars: The Force Unleashed 2 were chastised by critics and consumers alike for being incredibly brief—all take about five hours to complete. Games are getting shorter, but not many in the industry readily want to admit it.

How publishers punish us for buying new games

"There used to be nothing better than going to the store, buying a brand new game, and putting it in your system of choice to sit down for a nice day of gaming. This should be a grand moment: you just bought a game you're excited about playing, and the publisher has your money. These days, however, it has become a wonderful opportunity to punish you instead. Here's how that goes down, and what I don't want to do when I buy a new game..."

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