hansamurai (907719) writes "U.S. District Judge Rudolph Randa lifts threat of contempt of court against suspected child pornographer who has 80% of his 20 terabytes of data encrypted after his defense invoked his Fifth Amendment rights that protect him from self-incrimination. His attorney: "I will move heaven and earth to make sure that the war on the infinitesimal amount of child pornography that recirculates on the Internet does not eradicate the Fifth Amendment the way the war on drugs has eviscerated the Fourth Amendment."
The FBI field office in Milwaukee has spent 10 weeks attempting to decrypt the hard drives without success, but have evidence that the suspect used a peer-to-peer file sharing service to exchange files with filenames "suggestive" of child pornography.
hansamurai (907719) writes "Lugaru HD, developed by Wolfire and part of the first Humble Indie Bundle, had its souce code released and GPL'd last year as part of the promotion. Earlier this year, Wolfire released the game via the Mac Store under "Lugaru HD". Another company, iCoder, has compiled the Lugaru HD source and also released the game on the Mac Store under simply "Lugaru". While the source code itself was GPL'd, all the art assets remain under Wolfire's copyright. iCoder is refusing to take their release down and Apple is non-responsive." Link to Original Source top
hansamurai writes "iDOS, a DOS emulator based on the open source gem DOSBox, has been approved and released on the Apple App Store. Being a fully featured emulator, users have already successfully installed Windows 3.0 on it along with a slew of classic titles such as Duke Nukem, Commander Keen, Gabriel Knight, Leisure Suit Larry, and most of the Ultima titles. There is speculation on whether or not Apple actually meant to approve the app as they have usually quickly dismissed any applications that emulated other software. So if you're looking for your portable DOS fix, get iDOS while it's hot for only 99 cents." Link to Original Source top
hansamurai writes "After being asked about the App Store's recent ban on "sexy apps," Steve Jobs responded, "We do believe we have a moral responsibility to keep porn off the iPhone. Folks who want porn can buy an Android phone. You know, there's a porn store for Android, you can download nothing but porn. You can download porn, your kids can download porn. That's a place we don't want to go, so we're not going to go there." Apps such as Playboy's and the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition are still available on the App Store, however, as they come from "more reputable companies."" Link to Original Source top
Turing test built into a spy video game on its way
hansamurai writes "An independent game developer is developing SpyParty, a two player spy simulation that is essentially a Turing test in the form of a video game. One player controls a guest at a dinner party and the other controls a sniper conveniently positioned outside the party's large window. The player at the party is among a group of A.I. controlled characters and must blend in with them and perform various tasks as inconspicuously has possible. The sniper is looking for the tell-tale sign that one of those characters is not like the other and has one shot to take them out. SpyParty was shown at the Game Developer's Conference, but is supposedly two years away according to developer Chris Hecker, a former Maxis developer who led the development of many procedural generated portions of Spore." Link to Original Source top
hansamurai writes "Over one hundred cars equipped with a Webtech Plus blackbox were remotely disabled when a former employee of dealership Texas Auto Center got hold of his employer's database of users. Webtech Plus is repossession software that allows the dealership to disable a car's ignition or trigger the horn to honk when a payment is due. Owners had to remove the battery to stop the incessant honking. After the dealership began fielding an unusually high number of calls from upset car owners, they changed the passwords to the Webtech Plus software and then traced the IP address used to access the client to its former employee." Link to Original Source top
hansamurai writes "George R. R. Martin's popular fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire is seeing its television dreams come true with HBO green lighting the first season of A Game of Thrones. The pilot was shot in Northern Ireland last year and shooting will resume now that nine more episodes have been approved. While no firm date for the premier has been set, speculation puts it at least a year away. Fans can only hope this does not affect Martin's writing schedule of A Dance with Dragons too much." Link to Original Source top
Speed reader hired to read 932 pg bill to Congress
hansamurai writes "Henry Waxman (D-CA) hired a speed reader to read the 932 page Cap and Trade bill to the House Energy and Commerce Committee after Republicans demanded the bill be read aloud. While he only read for a few minutes, the committee had a good laugh at it, one even joked that the bill already created one job out of the speed reader. However, actually reading the bills Congressmen sign off on is a serious issue for some, including Downsize DC, a non-profit group attempting to get a bill passed that would require any Congressman who is approving a bill to actually have read it themselves." Link to Original Source top
hansamurai writes "Left 4 Dead 2 has been announced at E3 by Microsoft and a trailer for the game has surfaced. The game will be released November 17, 2009, just a year after the first. Gameplay changes include a new focus on melee weapons, especially the iconic anti-zombie weapon, the chainsaw. The cast of characters is brand new but appears to take place during the same zombie outbreak." Link to Original Source top
hansamurai writes "The FBI are investigating the leak of an almost finished copy of X-Men Origins: Wolverine a month before the film's cinema release. The movie was reported to have been downloaded several 100,000 times and has since been "removed." Viewers have called the movie incomplete, missing some special effects and music. Fox and the MPAA are still upset though, but say the copy is forensically marked and can be traced to the leak. The film is due out May 1st in the United States, and the leaked copy is marked March 2nd." Link to Original Source top
hansamurai writes "Kotaku uncovers a computer game that describes itself as the "world's first (and hopefully only) universally inaccessible game." Game Over! is a Space Invader derivative in which each level exhibits an absolutely horrible design decision to frustrate the player. The game is meant to serve as a teaching tool in how not to design games. There are 21 levels in all where the violated guidelines range from having to press three keys simultaneously just to move left, to audio and visual frustrations such as no subtitles for important spoken commands. Along with each level, Game Over! provides tips and quotes on how to avoid design pitfalls. The game is available for download on Windows, OSX, and Linux." top
hansamurai writes "The PS3 Folding@Home client has been released and some early results are in. The total number of teraflops generated by the PS3 has already exceeded all other OS contributions combined and the entire project is heading towards one petaflop of distributed computing power. Stanford notes that their teraflops calculation is conservatively calculated so the total power could be under-appreciated. With the PS3 European release complete and the Folding client already available to them, the number of users will continue to grow for the time being, let's hope that the project does not run out of work units to pass out. Kotaku has some numbers that are a few hours old since the Stanford server is getting hit pretty hard with the renewed interest in the project."
I have just posted the tenth review on my video game review blog, The First Hour (a review site that reviews only the first hour of a game), The Curse of Monkey Island. The Curse of Monkey Island was released by Lucasarts on the PC and my personal favorite in this classic adventure series. I scored it an 8 out of 10 and I recommend it to everyone with a sense of humor.
This Labor Day morning I posted my ninth review on The First Hour blog (a review site that reviews only the first hour of a game), Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. Symphony of the Night was released by Konami on the Playstation and is known as the definitive Castlevania game by fans. I scored it a 7 out of 10 and I recommend it to fans of the Castlevania series, if they somehow haven't played it yet.
Enjoy. Next week, along with the 10th review will be a special editorial.
This afternoon I posted my eighth review on The First Hour blog (a review site that reviews only the first hour of a game), Bully. Bully was released by Rockstar on the Playstation 2 and is essentially a Grand Theft Auto game based in a private school in the eastern United States. Bully's first hour is excellent and offers a large variety of gameplay. I scored it a 9 out of 10 and I recommend it to fans of Grand Theft Auto, the Harry Potter series, or other sandbox games. Bully is far less violent than Grand Theft Auto, but offers a lot more humor, much of it based off the cliques in the school.
Yesterday I posted my seventh review on The First Hour blog (a review site that reviews only the first hour of a game), Diddy Kong Racing. Diddy Kong Racing was released by Rare on the Nintendo 64 and was a kart racer inspired (or copied) by the extremely popular Mario Kart 64. Diddy Kong Racing's first hour is decent but not too noteworthy. I score it a 6 out of 10 and I recommend it to those who are still playing Mario Kart 64 and are looking for something a little different... well, actually, it really has absolutely no appropriate fan base today. Unless of course, you're looking for the absolute origins of Banjo (from Banjo-Kazooie) and Conker (from Conker's Bad Fur Day).
hansamurai writes | about 7 years ago
A few weeks ago, I began a new video game review blog called, The First Hour. I'm generally not a fan of regular reviews, they're either too short, too long, or they ignore the questions I'm actually interested in: is this game actually worth playing? The goal of The First Hour is to review the first hour, and only the first hour of video games.
Over the past few years, I've found that my time available to video games has decreased quite a bit. This has forced me to be more careful about which games I actually play, as I don't really have the time to waste on a game that is truly awful, or even mediocre. I received the game God of War 2 as a gift in May, and about a month later, I finally had time to sit down and play it. As I was playing it, I was thinking about just how good the beginning of this game was. It threw me into the action right away, gave me just enough story to get started, and presented a solid hour's worth of fun. As I was falling asleep that night, I realized that this information was both interesting, and important to me.
I had tried starting blogs before, with little success. I had trouble finding topics to write about, and realized that no one would want to read about... nothing. But The First Hour presented me with a unique way to share my video game experiences, while informing gamers on which games have a great first hour (and thus maybe a great rest of the game).
For the last six weeks, I reviewed one game a week. In a standard review, I provide a little background on the game and any interesting trivia that I may dig up inside my head. As I'm playing, I write down basically all interesting (and equally uninteresting) things that are happening, and the blog is basically a minute by minute description of the first hour. At the end, I rate the game in the standard categories: Graphics, Gameplay, Story, and Fun Factor. I also note "Minutes to Action", essentially how long it takes for the game to take off.