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Archive for July, 2011

Daily Digest



  • This Mass Effect 3 N7 Rifle replica is amazing and detailed

    Mass Effect 3 isn’t here yet, but many fans are already getting in the mood for the final chapter in the series with costumes and now, replicas of the weapons that will appear in the game. This N7 rifle was actually commissioned by Bioware to be showcased at ComicCon, and surprisingly the whole thing only […]

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Daily Digest



  • Nature by the numbers: Fibonacci Sequence animated in mesmerizing video

    We all learned about the Fibonacci numbers in school. If you need a refresher course, the integers in the Fibonacci sequence start with 0 and 1. Each subsequent number is the sum of the previous two, so the third number in the sequence is 1, the fourth number, is 2, the fifth number is 3, […]

  • Paypal hands over 1,000 IP addresses of Anonymous attackers

    When Anonymous took up arms against Paypal last year for freezing Wikileaks‘ account and launched DDoS attacks against the billing and payment company, some of the attackers apparently left behind enough information to be traceable. Paypal is reporting that they’ve handed over a list of 1,000 IP addresses to the FBI of individuals they believe […]

  • Was LulzSec’s spokeman, Topiary, really arrested?

    Yesterday, UK police happily announced that they had brought in the man they believe to be “Topiary,” or the voice of LulzSec. According to them, Topiary is reportedly a 19-year old teenager living in Shetland in the UK, and he’s being held for questioning. However, new evidence from security researchers point to the notion that […]

Ubisoft returning to always-connected DRM on PC games because it works

Ubisoft caused some major upset among gamers yesterday when it confirmed that Driver: San Francisco would include the much-hated always-connected DRM on the PC verion of the game. Such DRM requires that the PC running the game always be connected to the Internet. If that connection is lost even for a moment the game is forced into a pause you can’t exit until the connection is working again.

Gamers hate it because it restricts where you can play a game e.g. not offline, on holiday, or potentially in the future when Ubisoft shuts down the server for each title using it. At the same time it’s very intrusive, especially when you’ve paid $60 for a game that is effectively hobbled under certain conditions and may eventually become unplayable. Don’t forget that anyone with a hacked version of the game also doesn’t have to put up with this connection annoyance, meaning yet again DRM only really frustrates those who pay for their games.

But Ubisoft has decided to reintroduce this system for one simple reason: always-connected DRM works and they have seen a reduction in piracy on the games that did use it. What isn’t stated is how it impacted sales, but then if they are willing to use this DRM method again, the hit must be worth it.

Ubisoft first introduced this DRM back in January 2010. It was shipped with Assassin’s Creed 2 which embarrassingly became unplayable when Ubisoft’s DRM servers went down. Then it got hacked rendering the DRM completely useless.

After all that Ubisoft said the system would be improved and on all future PC games. While not all Ubisoft-published games carry it, it looks like the DRM is here to stay and Ubisoft games may be titles you want to avoid on PC unless your broadband connection is rock-solid and you only ever play when in a conencted location.

More at Reghardware

Vonage Extensions offers cheap international calling from any phone

vonage extensionsVonage already offers its customers very competitive flat-rate unlimited calling. But apparently the company feels that making those calls from phones attached to your Vonage router (or the company’s mobile app, if you’re lucky enough to subscribe to a carrier that supports it) just isn’t good enough. Enter Vonage Extensions, a new feature that will allow Vonage customers to make free calls from non-connected phones.

Extensions work a lot like a calling card from your long distance company, or from one of the many dial-around operators you used to hear about so frequently. Add an additional number (like your cell phone) to your Extensions on the Vonage settings page, create a PIN, and Vonage will give you an access number that you can pre-dial to make outbound calls at no charge. It’s a feature with the potential to save many users a hefty chunk of change on their mobile long distance.

You’re probably thinking that calling codes are so last decade, and you’re right. Not to worry, forward-thinking smartphone owners: Vonage has said that it plans to introduce both Android and iOS apps that will greatly simplify the Vonage Extensions calling experience. Unfortunately, no specific date has been given for their availability — only a murky “in the coming weeks.”

The move puts Vonage in more direct competition with mobile apps like Skype, Fring, and the more nascent Viber. There are also a pair of  existing Vonage apps — Vonage Mobile for Facebook and Vonage Mobile for iOS — so it’ll be interesting to see what unfolds when the new apps arrive next month.

More at Vonage, via All Things D


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