Roundup: Constant Sorrow

Good afternoon, fellow denizens of the net. Here’s a little afternoon roundup for you.

If you’d prefer a metal version of that song, try this one out.

Gabe Newell speaks out on Windows 8, other topics.

Everyone’s favorite gaming guru, Gaben, sat down with AllThingsD to talk about the state of gaming, as well as the future of gaming input. On the topic of Windows 8, he said “Windows 8 is a catastrophe for everyone in the PC space,” as well as worrying about losing OEMs. This, understandably, is why they’ve looked into the Linux market. Gabe might know what he’s talking about, as he spent 13 years working for Microsoft.

He also spoke about the future of input, stating that touch is a short term fad, and eye, hand or tongue input would be much better, stating “I don’t think tongue input will happen, but I do think we will have bands on our wrists, and you’ll be doing something with your hands, which are really expressive.” Another key point? He loves the free-to-play methodology so much that he wishes Adobe would make Photoshop free-to-play, and presumably use Steam to distribute it. Head over to the source link for the full story.

A sneak peek into the music industry’s global anti-piracy strategy.

TorrentFreak has been blessed with a confidential report that outlines the IFPI’s (International Federation of the Phonographic Industry) plan to rid the world of terrible, horrible piracy. Of course, it has nothing to do with adapting their sales methods to match the current times (I mean, look at their name) but instead focuses on how to exterminate any site that can grant access to restricted content. That means, obviously, that they plan to take down cyberlockers, torrent sites, and other sharing methods, as well as harassing advertising companies like Google AdSense and requesting ISPs cooperate by blocking sites and being generally douchey because their CEOs can’t be bothered to fly in a regular plane like the rest of us. Remember, even though this reads like some eviler SOPA, it’s not law yet. Keep your eyes on the news for some of this crap to start rolling downhill.

Samsung: Apple wouldn’t have sold a single cell phone without us.

Yeah, more of this patent crap, but this time old Sammy may have a point. In the trial briefs that have been submitted for the upcoming courtroom battle, Samsung has a some interesting statements, such as “Apple has admitted in internal documents that its strength is not in developing new technologies first, but in successfully commercializing them,” and a slightly longer “Samsung internal documents from 2006, well before the iPhone was announced, show rectangular phones with rounded corners, large displays, flat front faces, and graphic interfaces with icons with grid layouts.” On top of this, Samsung states that they started researching and patenting mobile phone technology as early as 1991, some of those patents even being used in the current iPhone, without payment. The Wall Street Journal has another breakdown of the two sides of the fight, although Apple’s points seem to rely more on “it looks like ours, that’s not fair” and Sammy says “We have patents on things that you use to make your phones work, so pay up.”

Steam sees surge in lower-end gaming rigs.

Steam, the digital distribution method of choice for game developers, has released results from a recent survey which show that more and more people are using their lower end rigs to play games. Intel Integrated Graphics were on the rise, as were lower resolution and DirectX9 usage. One reason for this may be the fact that the new Sandy- and Ivy-Bridge processors that make up the Core i3/5/7 line are fairly capable of playing most games (although on low resolution,) as well as the fact that many people can now game from their laptops with ease. Of course, indie games – like those in the ever popular HumbleBundle – tend to be less GPU intensive, while still being fun as hell to play (like Limbo, or Bastion). Another contributing factor might be the popular Steam Sales, during which older games go on sale as low as $5, to which groups have sprung up to answer the never ending call of “Should I buy this game?”

Afternoon Tech Roundup: Gabe Newell's take on Windows 8, Music industry's global anti-piracy plan, Samsung claims Apple wouldn't exist without them, Steam's surge in lower-end gaming, OSX Mountain Lion release, Netflix's strong comeback, Ultimate guide to Internet Privacy, London Games ban personal hotspots, Scale map of the internet, and a Google Glass privacy concern.

OSX Mountain Lion has been set free.

The update of the Mac OS has been released, and reviews are all over. Many say it’s worth it, some, like artist Sam Spratt, think it’s rather silly. Ars Technica has a beautiful novel on the OS, as well. If you’re looking to get it, be aware that it isn’t instant: The install may take up to an hour. Lifehacker also has a tip on how to install one copy on every Mac in your house, because Apple already has enough of your money.

Netflix is back, baby!

After a rough start this year, Netflix reported that it streamed over a billion hours in June, generating $889 million during the second quarter with $6m of that being profit. Not too shabby, considering the mess they made with the whole Qwickster debacle and raising their rates for streaming and mail service last year, which caused much anguish and led to screams of “DUMP NETFLIX” and funny comics. I guess everyone realized that they have the best service, even if the companies that make the content are complete idiots and refuse to allow paying customers to see what we want.

Ultimate guide to Internet Privacy.

Pastebin, the lovely source of many silly things, has been found to house the “ultimate guide to internet privacy,” a detailed how-to that explains the best way to ensure that no one can track your internet usage. The steps, seemingly simple enough, are dumbed down “so detailed even the biggest noobs can do it,” according to the anonymous author. It walks you through installing Tor, TrueCrypt, virtual machines, linux as well as the various options and pros/cons of each. If you’re looking for anonymous browsing, this guide is a good way to do it, but you should probably note that much of the security in the system still relies on your actions. Be vigilant, folks.

London Games ban personal hotspots.

London is the host of the upcoming Olympic Games, and have beefed up security in the area in many ways, while simultaneously banning silly things, like flags from countries not present, oversized hats, vuvuzelas (GOOD!) and personal 3G/Wi-Fi hotspots. It seems odd that this comes about the same time as the free Wi-Fi being offered throughout the city, and the ban on photos, videos, and social media on ticketholders. Essentially, don’t have proof that you visited this city, and don’t tell anyone. If you do, we’ll know because we’re monitoring the “free” Wi-Fi. If we don’t monitor your every move, the terrorists win.

Want to see a scale map of the internet?

If you click the above link, you’ll see exactly that: A zoomable, scrollable map of the internet, to scale. The size of the dot is a direct representation of the size of the site (I assume both storage and bandwidth are taken into account) and the colors and relative position allow you to see how that site connects to its neighbors. It’s interesting to note that and have the same size dot.

I’ll leave you with a horror story about Google Glass.

The super slick glasses, demoed by none other than Sergey Brin, seem really cool. They can overlay traffic and navigation information, allow you to check prices on products and possibly even help you save a life with realtime CPR instructions and video chat from a connected physician or paramedic. But Mark Sullivan of PCWorld is worried. He’s worried that the constant flow of data from your glasses will give Google the ultimate in market research: They will know what groceries or items you look at before picking one out; they will have a camera that can identify friends and faces, letting you know what they last tweeted about; they will be able to track you as you drive, possibly giving evidence to going just over the speed limit on the freeway. Enjoy that thought.

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