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MediaGoblin and FSF Successfully Raise Funds For Federation, Privacy Features

trawg Re:What is MediaGoblin? (11 comments)

Thanks for the reply.

I've actually been working on a deployment script for our service (we have a VPS hosting business in Australia), which gets most of it up and running in a single-click-deploy kind of way ( https://www.binarylane.com.au/... if you're interested).

It still needs some work (haven't set it up with Nginx, yet) but I had a few people interested in trying it and this meant they could have it up and running in a few minutes to tinker with.

I'll have a think about it - as a VPS provider I am really big on the idea of "private cloud" stuff and I'd really like to make things like this simple for users so they can easily deploy stuff without having to become Linux sysadmins.

1 hour ago
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MediaGoblin and FSF Successfully Raise Funds For Federation, Privacy Features

trawg What is MediaGoblin? (11 comments)

No explanation in the summary, so a quick copy/paste from the official site: "MediaGoblin is a free software media publishing platform that anyone can run. You can think of it as a decentralized alternative to Flickr, YouTube, SoundCloud, etc. "

Basically it's a "private cloud" (I hate myself for writing that) with which you can upload your photos, videos, songs, etc - so they live on /your/ server.

It is actually pretty neat. It has the usual marks of an open source product - a very, uh, functional interface that doesn't really grab you immediately. It's a little fiddly to install, but not too bad.

But it all works pretty well - I set up a test server reasonably quickly, and it performs as advertised. Getting photos and videos online is nice and easy, although there's no obvious way to upload albums - it's all one photo at a time (looks like it's at least on their TODO.

I think for it to get some solid mainstream acceptance they'll need to work on the design side - make it look beautiful and Apple-ish out of the box so that civilians are immediately awestruck with how pretty it is - otherwise they might struggle to find adoption outside of the hardcore OSS crowd.

But it's a cool idea, and it's good to see it got funding - the federation stuff will be interesting and if done correctly could really make it a good tool for media sharing.

2 hours ago
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How 'DevOps' Is Killing the Developer

trawg Re:Someone doesn't understand devops. (223 comments)

The point of devops is not to take jobs away from developers. The point of devops is to provide an interface between system administration and development. Development and system administration have always been at odds with each other - system administrators not really understanding or caring how the application works, and developers treating the systems as an infinite resource pool with no real rules or resources past "does my code run?"

This.

We used to have a more DevOps approach when we were a startup (1999-2005ish?). After a while as our contracts got bigger and our client projects got more visibility, they wanted to move into a more change-request-managed style of development (this is despite the fact that we'd never (in my recollection) had any incidents as a result of our management process).

We created a strict separation of roles between Dev and Ops. Devs just wrote code, Ops pushed code to servers.

To this day, many years later, our Dev team still has poor visibility into our operational environment. Getting easy access to log files, looking at temporary files - really /basic/ operational stuff that Devs had done for years was denied to them and a "process" built around getting that stuff from Ops.

This process is slow and awkward. Arguably we could have done it better using tools but we'd bought into the process too much, it existed, so why bother changing it?

Similarly, from an Operations side, their workflow suffered because the devs would be off in a silo, then one day someone would pop up and say "OK I need a full staging and production environment for this project by tomorrow".

Again, not great project management on our part, but what was originally a natural flow of information between two teams who a) historically worked very closely and b) NEED to work very closely slowed to a trickle as the "DevOps" interface was basically shut down.

I have been pushing for a DevOps role for a few years, without success. For me DevOps is about lightening the burden of Dev and Ops teams by increasing the ability for information to flow between them quickly and easily.

2 days ago
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How 'DevOps' Is Killing the Developer

trawg Re:whine (223 comments)

IMHO (and little else), I've seen a lot of sysadmins able to step up to the DevOps plate, but very few developers that would be willing, let alone capable (most that I know prefer to write code, and not get their hands dirty with the business of playing server-monkey or wire-monkey.)

In our company it's almost the opposite - we have only three operations staff but 12 developers. Just by virtue of the fact we have more developers they have a wide range of experience doing some operational tasks, just for their own projects.

2 days ago
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PC Gaming Alive and Dominant

trawg Good news! (245 comments)

I'll make sure to let the 7,518,856 other people I play Dota 2 with every month know (that number from just loading the game and looking at the unique monthly players figure).

That is, if I can get their attention while they're all trying to be the next team to win $1m in cash.

(Related aside: check out Valve's Free to Play documentary; it's a great watch for some insight into the lives of professional gamers.)

5 days ago
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Racing To Contain Ebola

trawg Don't forget to contain other places (112 comments)

I'm currently in Columbus, OH - currently undergoing a mumps problem, with almost 200 cases reported. The number is still growing. This is a dumb problem to have to worry about. Get your vaccinations.

5 days ago
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Can You Buy a License To Speed In California?

trawg Re:Nothing new here (325 comments)

I have visited several other societies and I can tell you that the United States is absolutely less corrupt than any other society that I have visited. Of course, I have only witnessed a few: Several Central American Countries, France, South Korea, India, China.

I always find it funny how often this is a (modded-up) defence to claims of corruption in Western society (generally the USA on Slashdot, but you'll see it almost everywhere else).

It doesn't mean that that you should stop striving to eliminate what corruption you do have. Or highlighting it at every opportunity and saying "that's wrong".

From the perspective of an outsider (Australian), the US increasingly looks like it's becoming an oligarchy where money is the only thing that matters. If this story were true it is a sad state of affairs.

about a week ago
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Tesla Model S Has Hidden Ethernet Port, User Runs Firefox On the 17" Screen

trawg Re:Should void warranty (208 comments)

So... Who cares if you have an accident that kills or maims someone else because you ignored the manufacturers instructions to modify something.... As long as someone else is around to pick up the bill?

Are you American or something?

about two weeks ago
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Brendan Eich Steps Down As Mozilla CEO

trawg Re:Victory for the Thought Police? (1746 comments)

It's not that simple. Marriage is not a right. For anyone. It's a social construct. You can't engage in the "active suppression of other people's rights" when there is no right involved.

It's a social construct that has been turned into legislation, which then defines the rights. Some people have the right to get married, and some don't.

I see both sides of the issue have valid arguments, but booting somebody out of an organization for having a different political opinion does not speak of a "culture of openness." It's open and inclusive until you vote in a way we don't like. Wow.

When your organisation is built on the concept of "openness and inclusiveness" then it seems strange to me for them to allow someone - their leader - to hold an opinion which is arguably not about those things.

Is the only thing worth being intolerant about, intolerance itself?

Anyway. This is a complicated issue; I still am not sure how I feel about it. I feel sorry for Brendan because of the situation he was put in - but I am probably more sorry for an entire class of people who are denied rights to engage in a social construct of their own free will for some arbitrary reason like the gender of the person they want to be with. I don't know how to do this kind of moral calculus.

about two weeks ago
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OKCupid Warns Off Mozilla Firefox Users Over Gay Rights

trawg Re:Are people not allowed to have opinions? (1482 comments)

I do not understand what you're asking or where that quote is from. Wondering if you replied to me by mistake?

about two weeks ago
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OKCupid Warns Off Mozilla Firefox Users Over Gay Rights

trawg Re:Are people not allowed to have opinions? (1482 comments)

As far as we know he just doesn't like the idea of Gay Marriage, that is a far cry from being a radical anti-gay advocate.

I was wondering this too, but unfortunately his blog post on the subject - which I would say is the only really authoritative source of information - is basically just gutless corporate-speak (e.g., "Mozilla will remain egalitarian blah blah blah").

It does nothing to explain his personal opinion or his history on the topic, so the only thing I can get out of it is that I'll have to remain largely in the dark about what his personal opinions are and hope it doesn't influence any decisions he makes for Mozilla.

I would like to see an honest, up front post on his blog where he lays out his opinion. Even if I disagree with it (as I suspect I would), at least then I'd respect him for being up-front about it.

about two weeks ago
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Researchers: Rats Didn't Spread Black Death, Humans Did

trawg Re:actually, it was the fleas. (135 comments)

Your two posts were fascinating, thanks. It has never crossed my mind to think about rats that much, but the sentence about humans effectively keeping them safe from other predators is one of those obvious-in-hindsight things that I probably never would have realised.

As an Australian that has recently relocated to the US, you have also inculcated a new fear of raccoons, which I will now go at lengths to avoid!

about three weeks ago
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How Facebook and Oculus Could Be a Great Combination

trawg Re:Depends (151 comments)

If it's used as some kind of vehicle to push FB onto the few who don't have it and don't loathe it on principle, then I can very well do without and am retroactively glad I decided against funding the kickstarter.

Out of interest, have any of Facebook's other acquisitions been used to force users onto the FB platform? In other words, do they have a strong precedent of doing this?

In the case of Oculus spending $2b and then immediately trying to alienate its core user base by somehow pushing FB on the tiny percentage of users that don't already have it seems like it would be a weird thing to do.

about three weeks ago
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Michael Abrash Joins Oculus, Calls Facebook 'Final Piece of the Puzzle'

trawg Re:Facebook is written in php (232 comments)

Yes, I guess Abrash really dropped the ball when he didn't do his due diligence on what language the parent company of the VR company he just accepted a job at build their website in!!!@@@

What an odd piece of techno-elitist whining. For what it's worth, Facebook's engineering acumen can be seen in some of the software they've released, including the Hiphop VM for PHP as well as the recently announced Facebook Hack. They have contributed to a huge variety of OSS ( https://code.facebook.com/proj... ) - and things like the OpenComputer project ( http://www.opencompute.org/).

The scale alone of Facebook is an impressive engineering feat. That is entirely the point of Abrash's post, really.

about three weeks ago
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Facebook Buying Oculus VR For $2 Billion

trawg Carmack on Snow Crash (535 comments)

This ./ article from 1999 has Carmack talking about Snow Crash:

Making Snow Crash into a reality feels like a sort of moral imperative to a lot of programmers, but the efforts that have been made so far leave a lot to be desired.

It is almost painful for me to watch some of the VRML initiatives. It just seems so obviously the wrong way to do something. All of this debating, committee forming, and spec writing, and in the end, there isn't anything to show for it. Make something really cool first, and worry about the spec after you are sure it's worth it!

I do think it is finally the right time for this to start happening for real. While a lot of people could envision the possibilities after seeing DOOM or Quake, it is really only now that we have general purpose hardware acceleration that things are actually flexible enough to be used as a creative medium without constantly being conscious of the technical limitations.

The Metaverse of the Snow Crash world was basically an epic social virtual reality experience. I've always figured Carmack would be involved in making that a reality somehow, and the Oculus Rift certainly seems like it could be a critical part. Facebook actually makes sense from a social perspective as well.

I'm sure there's going to be a lot of people terrified because of imagined privacy implications, but I'm still fascinated to see where this ride takes us.

about three weeks ago
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Amazon Hikes Prime Membership Fee

trawg As an Australian (276 comments)

...that has recently moved to the USA, I am stunned by Amazon - I mean, I always knew it looked awesome but until I got here I didn't fully understand how much stuff was on there and how amazing it is to order basically anything.

Prime simply adds to my amazement - I can order (almost) anything and it will arrive (almost always) 2 days later. My shopping behaviour has changed significantly, to the point where I'll not buy something while it's right in front of me in a store because I can just have Amazon bring it to my house a few days later, saving me the effort of carrying it around or trying to get it home (I don't own a car yet).

Even at the new price it seems like a fantastic deal, and that's before I add the streaming video service, which I've also gotten a lot of use out of, despite having Netflix and Hulu.

I guess I am surprised by the people complaining about the price hike. I'm back in Australia right now for a couple weeks and from the wistful look everyone here gets when I explain how great it is, I know they'd happily pay twice the new fee just to never have to deal with the local retailers ever again.

Anyway, my 2c: this price raise would in no way dissuade me from renewing next year (if I'm still living in the usa).

about a month ago
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Nanomaterial May Be Future of Hard Drives

trawg Re:Call it what it is. (82 comments)

To be fair, some people might not be aware that substances are often made up of substance.

about a month ago
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WV Senator Calls For Ban On All Unregulated Cryptocurrencies

trawg Spare time (240 comments)

American Senators sure have a lot of time to spend on impossible tasks and tilting at windmills, instead of learning about technology and displaying adaptability.

If he wants to look good for banning some scary technology thing, maybe he should start with something easier - like getting porn off the Internet.

about 2 months ago
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Meet the Developers Who Want To Build the Next Snapchat

trawg Here's one useful thing in this thread (61 comments)

... because I can't see anything anywhere else (wtf is this post?) I figured maybe this might be worth mentioning:

Yesterday Moxie Marlinspike announced a new version of TextSecure: https://whispersystems.org/blo...

TextSecure is an encrypted messaging tool - currently for Android, but iOS is in the works. It is open source and has a high focus on privacy and security.

I encourage people to check it out - if you want to Snapchat securely and privately, then using an open source tool that isn't maintained or built by some giant corporatrox that is simply trying to get bought out by Facebook might be a good idea.

about 2 months ago
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QuakeNet: Government-Sponsored Attacks On IRC Networks

trawg Re:Beta feedback helps (197 comments)

Please make a news post about the issue. I'm glad you're finally responding to the comments but today has been a train wreck and failing to publicly acknowledge that will not help matters.

Give people an official thread to comment about the beta. Ensure that it has the feedback mechanisms - the survey and the email address, both of which I've used - prominently listed.

about 2 months ago

Submissions

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Michael Abrash Joins Oculus, Calls Facebook "Final Piece of the Puzzle"

trawg trawg writes  |  about three weeks ago

trawg (308495) writes "Programming legend Michael Abrash has announced that he has joined the Oculus team to work on the Rift VR headset as Chief Scientist, and will be once again working with John Carmack to bring VR to life. His post covers a lot of ground, including the history of his quest for VR, and ends with his explanation of why he thinks the Facebook acquisition is ultimately a good thing — they have the engineering, resources and long-term commitment "to solve the hard problems of VR"."
Link to Original Source
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Facebook Acquires Oculus for $2b

trawg trawg writes  |  about three weeks ago

trawg (308495) writes "Facebook have just announced that they're acquiring VR headset maker Oculus for $2b. Oculus have made an announcement explaining that the two companies are "culturally aligned with a focus on innovating". They go on to say "we want to contribute to a more open, connected world; and we both see virtual reality as the next step"."
Link to Original Source
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New Unreal Engine 4 Pricing Offers Full Source Code

trawg trawg writes  |  about a month ago

trawg (308495) writes "At GDC in San Francisco today, Epic's Tim Sweeney announced a bold new model for the Unreal Engine, their powerful game development environment. The new approach allows everyone from indie developers to large studies to get full access to every part of their toolkit for $19 a month — including the full source code of the engine which will be made available on GitHub — with a 5% royalty on revenue. While it's not being released under an open source license — it will be available under an "Unreal Engine 4 license" — this change gives game developers a strong incentive to consider the switch."
Link to Original Source
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Microsoft IllumiRoom Too Expensive for Homes

trawg trawg writes  |  about 7 months ago

trawg (308495) writes "Microsoft's recent IllumiRoom concept video showcased what the future could be like if you combined an Xbox One, Kinect and a projector system, promising a new type of gaming experience. Unfortunately, speaking at an Xbox One press demo at Gamescom recently in Germany, the head of product planning for Xbox One Albert Penello revealed that IllumiRoom probably won't be made available as a consumer product:

"I wouldn’t expect you’ll see that,” Penello said. “It’s very, very cool tech but it’s, like, for a consumer, it requires projectors and things. It’s really super-neat if you’re in the lab and you’ve got Microsoft money and you could totally set up this awesome lab, but... we looked at it, but for an average customer it’s, like, thousands of dollars."

"

Link to Original Source
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New Study Fails to Show that Violent Video Games Diminishes Prosocial Behaviour

trawg trawg writes  |  about 9 months ago

trawg (308495) writes "A new Australian study on the effect of violent video games on Australia has just been published, failing to find any evidence that playing video games affects prosocial behaviour. The study compared groups who played different types of games, including notably violent titles like Grand Theft Auto and Call of Duty, as well as non-violent titles like Portal, comparing their behavioral response through a simple pen-drop experiment. In a follow-up interview, the researcher noted his perspective on how violence might affect people has changed since he started the research:

I’ve played video games for most of my life and got into this research because I couldn’t believe that violent video games could make me do something I didn’t want to do, that is, be aggressive. My attitude has changed somewhat. These days I find it totally plausible that violent video games could influence people’s behavior, but the real question is whether their influence is harmful, and I’m not yet convinced of that.

"

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Dealing with the "Australia Tax" on Video Games

trawg trawg writes  |  about a year ago

trawg writes "In the throes of another holiday shopping season, with the year's top video game launches still setting records above all other entertainment mediums, gamers down under are still paying more than anyone else in the world, with many publishers adding an "Australia tax" to their latest tiles. We take a look at the factors and forces responsible for the disparity in retail prices for games in Australia relative to other developed nations, and as a solution suggest that consumers should support developers and publishers that don't discriminate, and import, and circumvent the products of those that do."
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Valve Removes Right for Class Action Claims from EULA

trawg trawg writes  |  about a year and a half ago

trawg writes "Valve have joined the list of companies that have altered their terms and conditions to prevent users from filing a class action suit. Their official statement says that such claims "impose unnecessary expense and delay" and are "designed to benefit the class action lawyers". A new arbitration process is also included, in which Valve will reimburse costs (under certain circumstances) when dispute resolution can't be solved through their normal support process."
Link to Original Source
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Blizzard: Diablo 3 on Linux Possible, But Demand Must Be There

trawg trawg writes  |  about 2 years ago

trawg writes "As the release draws closer, Diablo 3 game director Jay Wilson from Blizzard has been working hard to keep the community updated. On a press trip to Australia last week, Jay answered a wide range of questions in this video interview (transcript provided) on topics such as PvP, patch releases, game difficulty, and the potential for D1 or D2 being re-released in HD form. He also touches on the subject of a Linux release of the game: '... I don’t think that it would be outrageous, but I think that we’d have to see that there’d be a demand for it. And then we’d have to see that that demand would be worth the time we take away from the other things that we could do.' So it sounds unlikely in the short term, but there's a glimmer of hope for the future."
Link to Original Source
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Blizzard's Jay Wilson on Diablo 3

trawg trawg writes  |  about 2 years ago

trawg writes "As the Diablo 3 release draws closer, game director Jay Wilson from Blizzard has been working hard to ensure the community knows as much about the game as possible. In this video interview (transcript provided) Jay answers a wide range of questions on topics such as PvP, patch releases, game difficulty, the potential for D1 or D2 being re-released in HD form and whether or not he knew the release date of Torchlight II — he even touches on the subject of a Linux release: "... I don’t think that it would be outrageous, but I think that we’d have to see that there’d be a demand for it. And then we’d have to see that that demand would be worth the time we take away from the other things that we could do.""
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Appeal Against Australian ISP in Copyright Case Dismissed

trawg trawg writes  |  about 2 years ago

trawg writes "The Australian High Court has just dismissed an appeal by Australian and American media companies against ISP iiNet, in what will hopefully be the final step in an ongoing copyright lawsuit drama. The Court noted that "iiNet had no direct technical power to prevent its customers from using the BitTorrent system to infringe copyright". Ultimately, the court has held that iiNet's inactivity to act on infringement notices implied any sort of authorization of that infringement by their customers. Good news for Australians as a clear line has been drawn that will help ensure ISPs don't have to bear the cost of policing their customers."
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New BitTorrent Share App Offers More Private File

trawg trawg writes  |  more than 2 years ago

trawg writes "BitTorrent, Inc have released a new application called "Share" (Windows only for now) offering simple, free, unlimited file sharing which is "private and secure". File shares are done only with individual users or groups of users that you select, all apparently built on the famous BitTorrent file sharing technology. Having a poke around I was surprised to discover that it also seems to store files that you upload on Amazon's Web Services, simplifying the process further by allowing you to send a file even if the other party isn't online at the same time. It's not clear exactly how private the network is but hopefully we'll see further investigation into that aspect soon."
Link to Original Source
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First Trailer for Max Payne 3 Released

trawg trawg writes  |  more than 2 years ago

trawg writes "The first video footage from Rockstar's upcoming Max Payne 3 has landed, setting the scene for the next iteration in the popular series of games set featuring this gritty action hero. Gamers may remember Max Payne for its impressive visuals and use of slow motion in action scenes, and Max Payne 3 looks like it will be continuing the tradition. It's currently set for release in March 2012 on PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3."
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'Unlimited Detail' Engine CEO Responds to Critics

trawg trawg writes  |  more than 2 years ago

trawg writes "Euclideon CEO Bruce Robert Dell has responded to the initial round of questions following the unveiling of their Unlimited Detail games engine, boldly calling John Carmack "incorrect" in his prediction that such technology would still be a few years away. There's also a separate response to the direct claim made by Minecraft developer Notch that it is pure "snake oil"."
Link to Original Source
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Making Graphics in Games "100,000 Times Better"?

trawg trawg writes  |  more than 2 years ago

trawg writes "A small Australian software company — backed by almost AUD$2 million in government assistance — is claiming they've developed a new technology which is "100,000 times better" for computer game graphics. It's not clear what exactly is getting multiplied, but they apparently "make everything out of tiny little atoms instead of flat panels". They've posted a video to YouTube which shows their new tech, which is apparently running at 20 FPS in software. It's (very) light on the technical details, and extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, but they say an SDK is due in a few months — so stay tuned for more."
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Blizzard Reveal the Diablo 3 Auction House

trawg trawg writes  |  more than 2 years ago

trawg writes "At a special event at Blizzard HQ in California, gaming press were treated to the first look at the Diablo 3 auction house — featuring real-world money transactions across different regions allowing you to buy and sell items with real money. There'll be a listing fee and a sales fee for auctions, and while they're not talking dollar numbers just yet, Blizzard assure gamers that they're not looking to pinch pennies."
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Heroes of Newerth Goes Free to Play

trawg trawg writes  |  more than 2 years ago

trawg writes ""Another big gaming title has gone free to play today with the news of the popular Heroes of Newerth (a DOTA-esque multiplayer strategy game available for Windows, Mac and Linux) joining the ranks. They've posted an extensive FAQ covering what this means for existing and new players.""
Link to Original Source
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Heroes of Newerth Goes Free to Play

trawg trawg writes  |  more than 2 years ago

trawg writes "Another big gaming title has gone free to play today with the news of the popular Heroes of Newerth (a DOTA-esque multiplayer strategy game available for Windows, Mac and Linux) joining the ranks. They've posted an extensive FAQ covering what this means for existing and new players."
Link to Original Source
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StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm Details Released

trawg trawg writes  |  more than 2 years ago

trawg writes "Blizzard have lifted the veil of secrecy surrounding StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm at a recent media event held at Blizzard HQ in California this week where press were treated to a hands-on preview of the game. Gamers can expect 20 new single player missions with Kerrigan as a playable hero, and while they're tight-lipped about multiplayer they have confirmed in a FAQ that there will be new units and maps."
Link to Original Source
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Draft Australian R18+ Guidelines Released

trawg trawg writes  |  more than 2 years ago

trawg writes "The debate around the lack of a classification for adult games in Australia continues to rage, but the latest developments offer some glimmer of hope for gamers with the release of the draft classification guidelines ahead of a meeting scheduled in July on the topic. The draft guidelines include an R18+ rating, which has been long sought-after by Australian gamers, which seems like a win, but there still is a lot of room for subjective interpretation as the guidelines for games that will be "Refused Classification" are still quite broad."
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Duke Nukem Forever Has Gone Gold

trawg trawg writes  |  more than 2 years ago

trawg writes "We're getting closer to the day many of us thought would never come — the release of Duke Nukem Forever. Gearbox and 2K have announced today that the game has finally gone gold, the last major public milestone in game development before the official release. Due June 10 internationally and June 14th in the USA, everyone is curious — will it live up to the last decade's worth of discussion, speculation, and hype?"
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