Roundup: Standalone Zombies

Good morning, dudes and dudettes. I’ve started the roundup early, so be prepared to have your face filled with news.

Day-Z becomes standalone.

Day-Z, the incredibly popular mod for the Arma II combat simulator from Bohemia Interactive, has been given the green-light by Bohemia for stand alone development. Arma II is a pretty realistic shooter that’s not following the current arcade-style trend of Call of Duty and Battlefield. Day-Z is/was a mod that allowed the player to be dropped into a 225 km2 environment set in a post-Soviet state. By being cool, the Arma II family has reaped the benefits of modifications; the game is usually around 15th on the most-played list, and drove sales of the game up 500%. By accepting this (awesome) fate, Bohemia will continue to develop Day-Z as a standalone game following the Minecraft model; alpha customers will get a steep discount on the game.

Best Buy bids $8.5b to go private.

Best Buy founder Richard Schulze, who is also the company’s largest shareholder, has offered $8.5 billion dollars to buy all outstanding shares of the company. This comes on the heels of rumors that the company will go private after a rough year competing with Amazon and the almighty internet. He’s offering $24-26 per share, which is significantly more than the current stock price of around $19.50. Schulze plans to cough up $1b of that money himself, and the rest will come from “premier private-equity firms with deep experience in retail who are interested in a possible acquisition of Best Buy.” Perhaps his plan, currently unknown, involves better training for employees.

Apple may have found it’s sense of humor, 4 years late.

Apple’s iOS 6 beta 4 came out, culling YouTube from the mobile platform (as we covered previously.) Apple, however, wanted to explain exactly what wouldn’t work in their change log, and provided an example URL: a Rick Roll. Aside from the fact that this joke is a few years late, as Wikipedia cites the first use of Rickrolling in 2007, with the later infection occurring in 2008. Why they didn’t choose double rainbow guy, I’ll never know.

Sir, You Are Being Hunted alpha trailer hits.

The game, tagged as a “tweedpunk” indie British stalker, is being developed by Big-Robot which is a game development project backed by a number of programmers, artists, musicians and the like. In the game, robots hunt humans with the assistance of robo-dogs across a procedurally-generated landscape that mimics the British countryside, but changes each playthough. A “mockery of the aristocratic country gent and his ecosystem,” the game has robots mimicking actions of the fancy-pants rich as you try to evade them.

Over 15% of Romney’s Twitter followers may be paid fakes.

Not one to be overly political, this is mainly to draw attention to how important Twitter is during this election season. Yahoo! News has postulated that President Barack Obama’s followers tend to be smaller (in terms of online presence) while Romney prefers to stick with a few big names. Now, a report from security firm Barracuda Labs says that a sudden increase of 116,922 followers over a 24 hour time span – an increase of 17% – was cause for question. ~25% of those were less than 4 days old, and 23% have never tweeted. Since paid Twitter follower services are open game, it’s not clear who purchased the followers. Whether it was Romney, his supporters or his foes, it’s kind of dirty.

France surrenders to piracy, gives up on 3 strikes law.

Okay, that was a slight bit sensationalistic, but who can resist a French joke? The French have looked at their books regarding Hadopi, and they aren’t happy. The public sector copyright protectors employs 60 staffers and has cost  €12million. So far, it’s sent a million warning emails and nearly 100k warning letters, with only 134 cases being elevated to prosecution level and not a single disconnection order. Why is that? Because part of the charge of Hadopi was to foster laws that would allow the government to force disconnection on citizens, which is currently unenforceable. Glad to see it’s not just the US government that doesn’t understand the internet.

Craigslist gets butthurt, disables 3rd party searching.

Craigslist, king of junk sales and creepy hookup ads, has notoriously had a fairly crappy search function. It’s not as bad as Reddit, but it’s not spectacular, especially when you’re in a larger metropolitan area. To help you out, 3rd party tools such as PadMapper and 3taps have sprung up to help you search. As of noon on August 5, Craigslist instructed search engines to stop indexing classifieds on the site, removing the ability of these tools to assist you. PadMapper, a visual apartment search tool that helps you plot available rooms for rent,and 3Taps have both been charged with copying the site, and are dealing with legal issues on that end. Unless Craig has a better search (and mapping function) coming soon, all they’ve done is lost traffic.

Another minor win for Samsung in court.

Samsung’s lawyers examined Apple’s expert witness in court yesterday, asking questions about Apple’s trade dress and design patents, which Apple is claiming were infringed by Samsung. Peter Bressler, Apple’s witness and founder of Bessler Group, a for-hire expertise firm, answered questions regarding differences in what the patent shows and what Samsung’s devices measure, the difference of which an “ordinary observer wouldn’t see.” He went on to say such brilliant things as “I think that’s a factor of the overall design. You’re asking me to compare peanut butter to turkey,” which is odd because the patent is specific in terms of measurements, as they should be. At the end of the day, Samsung’s lawyers made sure to ask Bressler how much he’s been paid by Apple, a cool $75,000 “In this case.” I guess if your paid expert says the two are different, then what good is he?

Facebook unveils real-money gambling app in UK.

Filed under “horribly wrong ideas,” Bingo Friendzy allows for users over 18 (and in the UK only) to gamble with real money. Developer Gamesys did all of the work, a Facebook spokesperson emphasized, saying “Real money gaming is a popular and well-regulated activity in the UK, and we are allowing a partner to offer their games to adult users on the Facebook platform in a safe and controlled manner.” I guess if you can spend real money on fake things with no real rewards, then you should be able to win at least part of it back. Gamesys says that there will be easily accessible links to gambling problem self-help sites, as well as other resources. Game-theft-master Zynga is said to also be in the process of stealing this idea developing their own, completely independent (really, it’s just a coincidence) real-money gambling game.

Science proves Luke Skywalker should have died.

Science FICTION has long enticed us with futuristic (or long-time-ago-istic) ideas of cool technology and stories that take place outside of our own sphere of influence. Now, science fact looks to piss all over our parade. Luke, apparently suffering from hypothermia, is heroically stuffed inside of a possibly exhausted (and thus, warmer than usual) Tauntaun. Leaving out the math, Han only has 60 minutes to remove Luke from the quickly-cooling beast, dry him off and move him to a real shelter before severe hypothermia sets in. Dagnabit, science, leave me some fun.

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