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July 2005

Comfortably Numb

Filed under
Sci/Tech

I have fond memories of Pink Floyd, though i can't remember exactly where I put them. No rock band scattered more brains in the interstellar wind than the Floyd, whose psychotropic 1973 album "Dark Side of the Moon" is still the best-selling album by a British band, ever, after spending decades on the Billboard charts.

I did my time in thrall to Pink Floyd, and had the laser-beam tan to prove it.

Why Bill Gates Wants 3,000 New Patents

Filed under
Microsoft

The staff of the United States Patent and Trademark Office has been deluged with paperwork from Microsoft of late. It was one year ago that the company's chairman, Bill Gates, announced plans to pick up the pace, raising its goal of patent applications submitted annually to 3,000 from 2,000. The company is right on target.

The yin and yang of game mods

Filed under
Gaming

To critics of violent games, video game hackers have become the new threat to America's children because they modify the most popular games to include sexual content.

Seeing Through Laptop Lingo

Filed under
Hardware

An amazing thing has happened over the past decade: Laptop computers, once expensive niche products, have become commonplace devices. In selecting a laptop, it's size, durability and adaptability that matter, not muscle.

Baidu.com Ready for Stock Market Debut

Filed under
Web

Baidu.com takes its name from a 900-year-old poem but its ambitions are ultramodern - to become the Chinese-language equivalent of Internet search giant Google Inc. Little known abroad, 5-year-old Baidu.com says it already is the world's sixth most-visited Internet site, thanks to a strong following from China's 100 million-plus Web surfers.

Fifteen arrested in multinational 'phishing' scam

Filed under
Security

Argentine authorities have detained 15 people, including a Spanish national, in connection with a multi-million euro (dollar) online banking fraud, the Spanish interior ministry said.

Canadian high court urges Internet control

Filed under
Web

The Canadian Supreme Court is urging Parliament to pass clearer laws against Internet crime.

Gattica is Here! ... well, in NZ

Filed under
Sci/Tech

An Auckland clinic has been given the go-ahead to begin screening embryos for parents wanting to give birth to babies without genetic disorders.

Connect3D Radeon X800 Linux Review

Filed under
Hardware
Reviews

One day several weeks ago, we received an e-mail from a representative from Connect3D. They wanted to send us a new ATI Radeon X800 for us to review under Linux. We couldn't turn them down. So here we have the results.

Internet's Best Friend

Filed under
Web

On the Web you'll find the Infinite Cat Project but no Infinite Dog. My Cat Hates You is big on the Web, but there is no site named My Dog Hates You. Cats are the Web's it-animals. They're everywhere. Why cats and not dogs?

More in Tux Machines

Games: Dying Light - Hellraid, Bridge Constructor, Railway Empire, Making it Home

  • Techland confirm Dying Light Hellraid will see plenty of updates post-release

    Dying Light - Hellraid is the upcoming DLC that swaps Zombies for Skeletons and turns Dying Light into something of a dungeon crawler. It's exciting and it's going to continually get updates after release. Reminder: the DLC is inspired by and using some ideas from Hellraid, which was originally going to be a standalone first-person co-op slasher. Techland appear to have shelved it completely so they're making sure it didn't all go to waste this way. I'm pretty happy about it because if there's one thing I want, it's more Dying Light content.

  • The Bridge Constructor series is now up on GOG with a nice big sale

    A little building for the weekend perhaps? The Bridge Constructor series has appeared on GOG and there's a sweet discount deal going where you could get the first game free. The newly DRM-free released titles on GOG are: Bridge Constructor, Bridge Constructor Medieval and Bridge Constructor Portal. I don't think any of these games really need an introduction do they? The name along pretty much speaks for itself. Each of them has a slightly different take on what you do but the end result is the same. You get to build bridges, and watch as your glorious creations fail repeatedly. [...] I had a huge amount of fun with Bridge Constructor Portal, as the portal system definitely makes it feel different to the previous entries and to other similar such games.

  • Railway Empire gets a Complete Collection out now

    All aboard the DLC train! Kalypso Media and in-house developer Gaming Minds Studios today put the brakes on Railway Empire, with a proper Complete Collection now available. This is because the team has moved onto another game, so Railway Empire should be considered actually finished now, apart from perhaps a few standard patches that may come in future. Since release in early 2018 it's been through 13 free updates, 8 extensive DLCs spanning iconic locations such as the Rocky Mountains, Sweden and Mexico, and brought to life 83 historically authentic locomotives. Kalypso claim this collection which bundles all DLC with the main game offer up "the most comprehensive railway tycoon experience currently available on PC and consoles".

  • Quirky vehicle building game 'Making it Home' is now in Early Access

    Making it Home looks so bizarre that I feel like I just need to give it a go. You're a ladybug building a vehicle to travel from one side of America to the other. Yes, a ladybug. I did say it looks bizarre. Even the developer thinks their idea is weird. They said it's "kinda Oregon Trail meets Banjo Kazooie Nuts and Bolts with a bit of Far Lone Sails - and a smoking crab and bear - with carrots and peas - and honey... and dehumidifiers". Are we any clearer? No but it looks a bit amusing. The point is to build a big Rube Goldberg styled contraption, then platformer all over it to interact with it and collect stuff along the way.

  • Perspective illusion puzzler THE IMPOSSIBLE is out now

    Inspired by designs from MC Escher, THE IMPOSSIBLE is a game about moving a box around crazy shapes. Note: key provided by the developer. Taking the visuals and gameplay, you could compare it directly with hocus from 2015 but Airem have put their own slightly quirky take on it, complete with a GLaDOS-inspired narrator to prod you along. Using simple controls, all you need to do is get the the box across the shape you're given onto the red square. Doing so is not always easy, due to the perspective. It's not impossible of course but it is challenging. This is not your typical shape puzzle game though, this cheeky GLaDOS sounding AI that comments on your progress also messes with you. There's some intentional glitches and errors that flash around on certain levels to interrupt you. Quite funny actually the way it's done and it's not over the top either, you're even told if you "obey the rules, you'll get Steam Achievements" in a glitched-out voice with the audio going from all relaxing to properly mysterious.

  • Len's Island plans to blend together peaceful building with intense dungeon exploration

    Len's Island sounds like quite a peculiar mix. Blending together peaceful building, farming and crafting, mixed with intense combat, dungeon battles and deep questing and exploration. We've got plenty of games that do either side of the coin with building or dungeon crawling but both together? I'm eager to see how that will all work. Even more so because of the setting and the lovely colourful style it provides. "Len's Island brings excitement and progression for many playstyles, all within a vibrant and engaging world. Catering to the hardcore dungeon-crawler fans, home-builders and decorators, explorers and completionists, farming fanatics, collectable hoarders, and people who just want to live the simple life chopping trees as the sun goes down."

  • Google adds Free Weekends to Stadia starting with Borderlands 3

    Google's game streaming service Stadia continues to gradually roll out new features, one of which went up yesterday with Free Weekends now being a thing. Plus, another round-up on recent Stadia info. I'm surprised it actually took this long. Free Weekends are a great way to trial games, and something Steam has been doing for quite a long time now. Partly thanks to demos at some point becoming more of a rarity. The thing is, for a game streaming service like this it makes a whole lot more sense, since there's no lengthy initial downloads. You can jump in practically instantly and see if you like it and play a good few hours. Then perhaps buy it.

  • Counter-Strike: Global Offensive gets fancy new skins, networking improvements

    Valve continue to tweak their classic free to play shooter Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. The latest update improves various parts of the game and there's some fancy new weapon skins. Trusted Mode, the newer feature that's just one small part of their fight against cheating now has the "-untrusted" launch argument removed. Trusted Mode on Linux also now appears to be on by default, so you no longer need the quick fix we wrote about recently, so if you missed that you should find your CS:GO games on Linux to be a lot nicer. Valve also fixed several exploits related to VPK tampering. For collectors, a new Fracture Collection weapons case went up so you can gamble away some of your monies on their loot box system. This new case features designs from over 17 different community artists and there's even Shattered Web Knives as rare special items. Looking over the Steam Market, there's already tons on there from it so if you're after something really specific you might just be able to grab it right away there.

  • Core Defense developer 'completely blown away' by first week Steam sales

    After launching on July 31, Core Defense from developer ehmprah appears to have done quite well to the point that they've been 'blown away' by the sales numbers. What is Core Defense? It's a tower defense game, that mixes in a little more randomness than you might expect. You pick towers and upgrades from a set a cards after each wave, and gradually build up a maze to force enemies to travel through. See our previous thoughts here—it's good! This cross-platform release (Linux, macOS, Windows) managed to cut through the noise, with the first week hitting 2,546 units and grossed $20,186 on Steam. Compared with 106 units and grossed $1,144 on itch.io during the Early Access phase it did there. Interestingly, despite Steam Wishlists often being said to be what makes or breaks games, they said only 26% of sales came from wishlist conversions. They also had around 8% refunded, which sounds pretty good so overall the managed to net $17,029 before Steam's own cut.

  • Braid is getting a much upgraded Anniversary Edition releasing in 2021

    Braid, the indie puzzle-platformer from Jonathan Blow is getting a huge overhaul with a new Anniversary Edition that's due out sometime in 2021. It's something of a classic and became quite a big hit, it was also one of the early bigger indie titles to come to Linux. Sounds like it's going to be a massive improvement, which includes David Hellman returning to do the repainting. Extra animations are in, upgraded sound effects and music and so on. They explained the point was to upgrade it and not do a "Star Wars Special Edition" to change how some things were done to the story. There's even going to be a toggle to switch between old and new which is always fun to play with in a game. Developer commentary is also going to be in, with their plan to have it as the "craziest, most-in-depth commentary ever put in a video game".

Android Leftovers

Android Leftovers

AMD Radeon Software for Linux 20.30 Released with Support for Ubuntu 20.04.1 LTS

AMD Radeon Software for Linux 20.30 is now available with full support for the recently released Ubuntu 20.04.1 LTS (Focal Fossa) operating system, as well as for the SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop and Server 15 Service Pack 2 (SP 2). Radeon Software for Linux 20.30 now supports a total of eight distribution releases, including Ubuntu 20.04.1 LTS, Ubuntu 18.04.4 LTS, CentOS 7.8, CentOS 8.2, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.8, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.2, SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 15 SP2, and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 15 SP2. If you’re using any of these systems on your computer(s) powered by an AMD Radeon graphics card supported by the AMD Radeon Software for Linux, you should update the drivers to version 20.30 as soon as possible. Read more