News Nybbles for week ending 9/26/2008


Here are some things that have caught my eyes this week, in no particular order:

  • Jack Thompson, video game foe, has been disbarred.  This is one lawyer who won’t be practicing law again.  Thompson took every opportunity he could find to try to have games either banned or severely curtailed. He is responsible for dozens of laws getting written and passed only to have them challenged and struck down as unconstitutional.  He would use tragic events like the Virginia Tech shooting and try, desperately, to link them to a game-whatever game was popular and had some kind of violence as part of the gameplay. His targets included the Grand Theft Auto series and other similar games.  I’m sure this is not the end of his venom, it just won’t have as much oomph.
  • The shine has dulled on Chrome.  The ‘browser’ from google has lost some of it’s luster.  Many of it’s early supporters/users/people who went nuts over it have returned to Interenet Explorer, Firefox or whatever real browser they used.  Still, more people seem content with half a browser than with Opera.  Personally, a day at the Opera beats gaudy Chrome anytime.
  • The Android,  Data came to life this week.  Ok, so Data remains in the guise of Brent Spiner but google’s Android platform for smartphones was unleashed on an unsuspecting world in the form of T-Mobile’s G1 phone made by HTC.  While it has yet to achieve sentience, the platform is online.  Much has been written, so I think I will just stop and let the Asimov jokes fly.
  • Apple gets serious about criticism about it’s draconian App Store.  Apple has a very restrictive NDA (non-disclosure agreement) that would be developers must agree to just to be able to develop for iPhoney.  Among it’s restrictions are: developers are not allowed to discuss the sdk or how to use it with OTHER DEVELOPERS and not to reveal when their apps are rejected.  Say WHAT? Ok, the restriction about discussing development with other developers is bad enough, but now you cannot even say when your great app is rejected?  That’s just utter poop.  A big steaming pile of poop.  I guess all of the negative press surrounding the rejection of apps like Podcatcher was just too much for Stevo (some refer to him as HIM) to take so the lawyers amended the NDA.  This is just ridiculous.  However, I doubt it is enough to hamper developers.  When people like Alex Lindsey make comments like “they say no, I say well, what can we do that won’t make them mad” then Apple has nothing to worry about. Oh, it could also be that $250,000 that one little game has pulled in.
  • Electronic Arts has amended it’s absurd DRM for Spore.  Bowing to pressure, presumably, EA has altered the DRM scheme a bit and now you can install the game a whopping five times instead of three.  They also claim to be coming up with a mechanism to allow you to de-authorize a computer.  I’m sorry, but this is still not enough.  They are still assuming that I am a thief.  They need to rip out the DRM completely.  It is absurd.  The bloody game is fifty dollars and you HAVE to have an active internet connection just to install the darn thing.  I should have returned it.

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