Toms Guide

Facebook & Syphilis

Researcher finds correlation between Facebook use and syphilis infections.

Yesterday the Telegraph published a news story that linked Facebook usage with the rise in syphilis. The report cited Professor Peter Kelly, director of public health in Teesside, UK as finding that syphilis infections, especially in young women, have risen fourfold in the areas of Britain where Facebook is most popular.

RPG-like Exp Rather Than Grades

A professor is addressing the "gamer generation."

ZoomLee Sheldon of Bloomington's Indiana University is using an experience point (XP) system rather than the traditional grading method in two of his game design classes. Borrowing from RPGs and MMORPGs, students begin the program with an avatar at level one. To gain experience, students must complete assignments camouflaged as RPG-based tasks such as quests, crafting, and more. In real life, they're making presentations, taking quizzes, and doing all that other boring school-related work.

FCC Releases Internet Speed Test Tool

The FCC is striking back at ISPs with your help. The U.S. Federal Communications Commission is striking back at ISP marketing practices by offering a free tool to consumers.

Current FPS Games Are "Boring"

Actually, "boring" isn't exactly what a former EA Criterion Senior Designer (Black) said about current FPS games on the market. But because Tom's is more of a family-friendly site, we can't quote Stuart Black's true feelings about the current crop. Needless to say, he's not too thrilled, and made his feelings perfectly clear in a recent interview with The Official Xbox Magazine.

"There's a lot of cover-based shooters out at the moment," he said. "But when a guy hunkers down behind something, you've just got to sit there and wait for him to pop his head up.

How about a Modern Warfare MMO?

Like its predecessor, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 is an unstoppable cash cow for both Activision and Infinity Ward. With such amazing success, and a carrot made of solid gold dangling in front of it, it may surprise some to learn that Infinity Ward may not be behind what will eventually be Modern Warfare 3.

Although it's still all rumor at this point, VG247 cites a source saying that Infinity Ward isn't working on MW3, but instead something "completely new."

Wireless HD Video Transfer Standard Final

On Tuesday, the Wireless Home Digital Interface (WHDI) Consortium announced that the wireless technology specification for HD transfer has reached a "completed state." This means that the new standard allows consumers to throw around uncompressed HD data throughout the house by way of wireless connections. The specification had been in the works since the summer of 2008.

DICE: PC Gamers Deserve Extra Goodies

DICE is paying homage to PC gamers with extra goodies in Bad Company 2. Sometimes PC gamers don't feel loved, especially when once-dedicated-PC-developers give all the attention and glory to consoles (you know who you are). But PC gamers are loved, it's just not vocalized on a daily level. That's why it's always music to our ears when a developer steps out and sticks up for the PC gamer.

Digital Ants Used to Battle Internet Worms

Researchers are looking to change the face of cybersecurity by attacking internet worms before they infest networks and PCs. The idea is to take an offensive front by mimicking the behavior of ants, or rather, their ability to readily adapt to changing threats. The concept, called "swarm intelligence," enables "computer ants" to wander through computer networks looking for threats rather than remaining static, waiting for the offending intruder.

Epic: Ureal Engine 4 Not Until ''Next Gen''

Epic has worked on Unreal Engine 4 over the past seven years in preparation for the next generation of hardware.

In addition to news that the company will be opening a new office in Tokyo, Epic Games' president Michael Capps spoke with Eurogamer during the Tokyo Game Show and mentioned the possibility of a third Gears of War title. However, he also added that if the game ships within the next few years (four or five at the most), it will use Unreal Engine 3, not Unreal Engine 4. But he also added that if the game ships on the next generation platform, it will more than likely use the company's next engine.

Microsoft to Google: Stay Out Of Our Browser!

On Tuesday, Google announced the release of Chrome Frame, an engine that can be used within Internet Explorer 6, IE7, and IE8 that allows Chrome to render Web pages rather than Microsoft's IE engine; Chrome Frame also executes Google JavaScript programs. To enable Chrome Frame within Internet Explorer, surfers simply must install a plug-in while Web developers must insert a line of code into their pages that speaks directly with Chrome Frame upon each visit.

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