Glad to see another Nintendo 64 title has made it to the virtual console, although I'm anticipating some disappointment with the selection.Yoshi's Story (1998, Nintendo 64, 1,000 Wii points)--After Baby Bowser casts a spell on Yoshi Island leaving it in the form of a storybook, six Yoshis must band together and dethrone the evil Baby Browser and restore happiness to Yoshi Island. Super Thunder Blade (1988, Genesis, 800 Wii points)--A Sega Genesis launch title, Super Thunder Blade is a helicopter combat game where you must fire upon all kinds of submarines, tanks, and more … Read more
Teen-oriented virtual world Zwinky has expanded its e-commerce operations so that members can use real-world cash to pay for virtual goods. Starting Monday, credit cards and PayPal accounts can be used to purchase the in-game "ZBucks" currency, which members could heretofore only earn by visiting certain in-world locations and winning games. The cash will then go on new "ZCard" shopping cards which members will be able to use at the in-world retail hub, the--wait for it--Zwinchester Mall, which contains stores like the Z-Loft trendy furniture outlet and "Like Dat," a boutique branded with the … Read more
Camp Pendleton, home of push-ups and pugil sticks, will now offer a three-dimensional, virtual-reality immersion training course complete with smoke, explosions and the wail of the Muezzin to give U.S. Marines a taste of what they're in for.
Known as "FlatWorld," the course is an in-depth blend of stagecraft and high tech created by the University of Southern California's Institute for Creative Technologies. Choosing the bureaucratic vernacular of the Pentagon, the Marines call it the "Infantry Immersive Trainer." Whatever the name, it's designed to replicate the chaos and confusion of close-quarter battle … Read more
CHICAGO--In Second Life, avatars can fly with the push of a button. Maybe that's why it seems like the virtual world's enthusiasts sometimes have trouble staying grounded.
At this weekend's Second Life Community Convention, Philip Rosedale--founder of Second Life creator Linden Lab--ambitiously declared as he often does that "this is something that everybody on Earth is going to use," that the virtual world will be "bigger than the Web."
But minutes earlier, Rosedale had been jokingly boasting over PowerPoint graphs showing the extent of Second Life's problems with server lag time, maintenance … Read more
The word "performance" seems to be thrown around a lot in the automotive world these days. With increasing expansion and competition within the luxury sport sedan category, manufacturers are eager to drop statistics about horsepower, torque, zero-to-60 speeds, and other numbers to woo (and maybe even slightly intimidate) potential buyers. But specifications alone can't convey the true spirit of a car; as Aristotle said, the whole is more than the sum of its parts. So it makes sense that the ideal road test subjects the car to a wide range of variables: twisty turns of varying camber, … Read more
Virtual world Second Life, the centerpiece of this weekend's Second Life Community Convention in Chicago, has occasionally come under fire for its outages. Scheduled downtime, unpredicted outages, server crashes due to onslaughts of thousands of Super Mario graphics flooding the tubes (those are from griefers, natch)--it's a headache for newbies and avid residents alike.
But in his keynote at the convention on Saturday morning, Philip Rosedale, the founder and CEO of Second Life parent company Linden Lab, suggested that we all look on the bright side. The virtual world is active about 90 percent of the time, … Read more
In a couple of hours, I'll be off to Chicago to cover a different kind of social media: the third annual Second Life Community Convention (SLCC), a gathering of over 800 enthusiasts of the virtual world. It's a phenomenon that saw a dramatic rise and subsequent backlash in the past year, touted by media and business first as a revolution in communications, marketing, and socialization and then as an enormous three-dimensional ghost town.
So what's going to happen at the first SLCC to take place in Second Life's "post-mainstream" age? We'll see. I'… Read more
As I was struggling with my slow Internet connection today (it's fixed, thank goodness), I came across one of the best stories I have ever read. According to Techdirt, researchers were trying to find a way to simulate the death toll of another plague. And, luckily for everyone involved, they thought World of Warcraft would be a great place to start.
Yes, you read that correctly--your WoW character may soon be the recipient of some pretty serious bleeding of the organs, vomiting fleas that release bacteria and a whole bunch of other plague goodness.
Personally, I think this is … Read more
It's not uncommon for publishers to start nailing dollar signs on freeware products or release a pro version requiring some financial obligation. It's a little more rare, and always refreshing, to see publishers introduce a free version of a commercial product. PK Ware did it with SecureZIP back in April, and MobiMate is doing it now with WorldMate S60, all-in-one travel software that incorporates a world clock, global currency converter, weather forecaster, and time zone map that tracks night and day around the globe.
The limited-feature release offers users free reign over five WorldMate capabilities, but dangles flight … Read more
At LinuxWorld today, SPI Dynamic's senior security engineer, Matt Fisher, talked about the vulnerabilities of Web 2.0. His talk, although not much different from that of his colleagues Billy Hoffman and Brian Sullivan last week at Black Hat, offered some new examples of what criminals are doing online, armed with little more than a desktop browser. Cross-site scripting attacks are the No. 1 threat, according to the Mitre organization, in part because they are so easy to do.
In particular, Fisher singled out social-networking sites. Because the site depends on user content, the site allows users to upload … Read more