Архив: June, 2011


North Carolina is going to provide some epic tax breaks to video game developers. According to the ESA, a bill signed by Governor Beverly Perdue will provide a 15 percent tax credit on “wages and compensation for employees involved in digital media production, or the creation of a platform or engine to run such media. ” Of course, the big winner here is North Carolina-based Epic Games, which swims in a lake of Unreal Engine money and develops games in its spare time. However, other benefactors of the tax breaks include Electronic Arts, Ubisoft and another dozen or so developers in the state. The incentives take effect January 1, 2011.

Publishers, developers and governments use tax breaks like Ezio wields the hidden blade. It’s a weapon, either for financial defense (which seems to be the case in North Carolina) or aggression. With Canada’s relentless siren call of tax incentives, if other countries and states don’t step up their game, The Great White North will continue its Tim Hortons-fueled march to eventually developing most of the world’s video games.

JoystiqNorth Carolina to provide tax breaks for game companies originally appeared on Joystiq on Fri, 23 Jul 2010 21:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Filed under: Podcasts

Despite your best efforts, we’ve returned once more to deliver unto you the best, most Transporter 2-rich podcast we can deliver to you. Did you know Chris hasn’t seen Transporter 2? It’s true. Other things happen this week, but that’s pretty much the topic.

Thanks to Evan Hodgins for his haunting Zelda 2099 concept art, the full version of which can be found right here.

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Hosts: Justin McElroy (@justinmcelroy), Ludwig Kietzmann (@ludwigk) and Chris Grant (@chrisgrant)
Music:Gravity (Don’t Let Me Go)” by Jon Black, “Like a Hitman, Like a Dancer” by A. C. Newman
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New to the show? : Listen to Episode Zero
The Do It Line! : 1-(877)-JOYSTIQ

See all of this week’s links after the jump.

Continue reading Joystiq Podcast 145 – Transporter 2 edition

JoystiqJoystiq Podcast 145 – Transporter 2 edition originally appeared on Joystiq on Fri, 16 Jul 2010 15:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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A prank by a group of online trolls, including several Australians, has whipped conservative US commentators into a lather over what they claimed was a gang of progressive “e-thugs” formed by the Democrats to smear the Tea Party movement. Beck, a popular conservative US political commentator who appears regularly on radio and TV, published the video on his website, triggering a firestorm of protest from armchair conservatives on blogs, forums and Twitter. In a 13 minute online conspiracy video, dubbed “Twittergate”, extreme right-wing US commentator Greg Howard – dubbed the “Glenn Beck of Twitter” – accused the Democrats of hiring online thugs to harass conservative Twitter users and goad them into making offensive comments, which are then used to smear the anti-Obama Tea Party movement.

“If Musims are forbidden from going through full body scanners, then install them at every single airport and door in America,” reads another of his tweets. “It could be anything from asking someone an inflammatory question to really really crude childish stuff … The reaction was music to the ears of one of the so-called e-thugs, Samuel Birbeck, 30, from Adelaide. As with many of the online debates between left- and right-leaning commentators, the war soon turned nasty and documents showing Howard’s apparent bankruptcy and accusations that he was behind on his child support payments were posted online. to making overtly racist comments towards them and getting a response that indicates they actually seriously hold those sorts of views.”

Looking at a sample of Howard’s tweets, which are read by almost 15,000 followers, it’s easy to see why he was targeted. He doesn’t know how to handle this type of attack.” “Democratic campaign funds are being used to front this,” Howard told Gawker.com. Howard also accuses Obama of being a homosexual and claims that it’s no surprise that a majority of serial killers are registered Republicans because “they are highly intelligent as a rule”. Budding comedian Birbeck, along with several other Australians, is part of a group of online trolls called the Beandog Militia, formed to annoy and embarrass conservative bigots who spew bile online. Birbeck said Howard had been in his group’s sights for some time but the group regularly goes after conservatives, having also been partly responsible for the firestorm of criticism against Family First’s Wendy Francis over her gay slurs on Twitter. “Only thing Obama has accomplished of any use is prove someone with high melanin content in their skin can be elected,” reads another. The crew released the conspiracy theory video and have even accused the Beandogs of embedding viruses in their Twitter avatars. “I think the best way to describe it is it’s a joke gone horribly right,” said Birbeck. Some of the Beandogs also spread lewd messages about Howard’s family, which have been reported to US authorities. In response, Howard and fellow conservative tweeters formed a group to take on the Beandogs, dubbed “the Wrecking Crew”. “You try and bait people into revealing their own stupidity and ignorance and then sit back and have a good laugh at them,” Birbeck explained in a phone interview. Offending blacks and Muslims is another of Howard’s favourite topics. “A person like Greg is quick to fire up and that’s also why he’s been such a wonderful target. But Birbeck argues it’s just “words on a screen” and the “threats” were just about having a laugh at the expense of the conservatives. I am twice the man he’ll ever be,” reads one. “I proudly compare myself with Obama.
Don’t feed the trolls … Beandog Militia member Sam Birbeck.

You know, we were just thinking about how tame ol’ Kratos had become in the latter portions of the God of War trilogy. What happened to the days when he’d straight murder a Greek historical figure, unprovoked, just to solve a puzzle? Fear not — those days will apparently return in Ghost of Sparta.

Continue reading New Ghost of Sparta footage teaches how to solve puzzles with murder

JoystiqNew Ghost of Sparta footage teaches how to solve puzzles with murder originally appeared on Joystiq on Sat, 24 Jul 2010 17:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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We didn’t think there was anything slower in the whole, entire universe than one of Gears of War 3‘s lumbering, impossibly muscle-bound protagonists. We were wrong — as evidenced by the two GameTrailers videos posted after the break, that honor goes to the new Beast Mode’s “Berserker” character.

Continue reading See how the other half lives in Gears of War 3 ‘Beast Mode’ footage

JoystiqSee how the other half lives in Gears of War 3 ‘Beast Mode’ footage originally appeared on Joystiq on Sat, 24 Jul 2010 13:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Curbs on war robots urged

Defence equipment manufacturers insist there is always ”a man in the [control] loop” to authorise operations and they are far less indiscriminate than the high level air force saturation bombing that occurred in World War II. Two conferences – today’s Drone Wars in London and a three-day workshop organised by the International Committee for Robot Arms Control in Berlin beginning on Monday – will hear calls for bans and for tighter regulation under international arms treaties. LONDON: The rapid proliferation of military drone planes and armed robots should be subject to international legal controls, conferences in London and Berlin will argue this month. Public awareness of attacks by unmanned aerial vehicles, such as Reapers and Predators, in Afghanistan and Pakistan has grown but less is known of unmanned ground vehicles. Noel Sharkey, a professor of robotics and artificial intelligence at Sheffield University, said: ”Our biggest concern … is autonomous systems that [select] targets themselves.”

David Webb, a professor of engineering at Leeds Metropolitan University, said: ”If they kill somebody by mistake do you put the robot on trial?”

Guardian News & Media

  The development of what is known as ”autonomous targeting” – where unmanned planes and military ground vehicles are engineered to lock automatically on to what their onboard computers assume is the enemy – has heightened concern. This has reinforced fears that unmanned aerial vehicle strikes wherever future wars are fought will increase death tolls. Research to enable unmanned aerial and ground vehicles to work collaboratively is under way, ensuring each machine selects a different target.
Photo: AP Members from the Tiger Aircraft Maintenance Unit performing last minute pre-flight checks on the Predator drone before take off.

Sony brings e-reader to Australia

Sony's Pocket Edition e-reader is coming to Australia.

Sony’s Pocket Edition e-reader is coming to Australia.

Sony today unveiled its new range of e-readers, which it will launch in Australia for the first time later next week.

Sony said that it is adding a touch-screen to its cheapest electronic-book reader, the Reader Pocket Edition.

The new Pocket e-reader uses an infrared sensor to read finger swipes or taps from a stylus that is included, eliminating the need for a special overlay that reduces clarity.

Such an overlay on the device’s screen has been in use on Sony’s existing Touch Edition and Daily Edition e-readers.

Sony is selling the new device for $229, $76 more than Amazon’s cheapest Kindle e-reader.

Besides the touch capabilities, the new Pocket has a higher-contrast electronic ink display that, like the Kindle, shows 16 shades of gray, compared with eight shades before.

It is also smaller overall and has fewer buttons than the previous model, but it still has a screen that measures 5 inches diagonally. It comes with 2 gigabytes of memory for storing books, about four times the storage on the current Pocket.

Sony is upgrading its larger-screen Reader models as well. Both the Daily Edition and the Touch Edition will now have the same touch-screen technology and e-ink screen as the new Pocket and 2 gigabytes of built-in memory.

The Daily Edition – which uses both 3G and Wi-Fi technology – won’t be available to purchase in Australia.

The Touch Edition will cost $299.

The company said the new Touch e-reader will have longer battery life than the existing model.

Having had a demonstration of both the Touch and Pocket models last week, it’s safe to say that they were very easy to use and read from, especially in sunlight where tablets like Apple’s iPad are much harder to read from because of glare on their glossy screens.

One feature that stood out was the touch-screen, which e-readers like the Kindle don’t have.

The Kindle instead uses buttons on either side of it.

The one major downside for Australian’s, though, is that the Daily Edition, which has Wi-Fi and 3G for downloading books whilst away from a computer, won’t be available here.

Users will instead need to sync their books via USB. The provided software works on both Mac and PC.

The Pocket and Touch Editions will be available in Australia for purchase later next week at Sony Centres and online.

The author of this post is on Twitter: @bengrubb

- With AP

We didn’t think there was anything slower in the whole, entire universe than one of Gears of War 3‘s lumbering, impossibly muscle-bound protagonists. We were wrong — as evidenced by the two GameTrailers videos posted after the break, that honor goes to the new Beast Mode’s “Berserker” character.

Continue reading See how the other half lives in Gears of War 3 ‘Beast Mode’ footage

JoystiqSee how the other half lives in Gears of War 3 ‘Beast Mode’ footage originally appeared on Joystiq on Sat, 24 Jul 2010 13:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink | Email this | <a href="http://www.joystiq.