Archive for June 1st, 2012

Early access Metal Gear Rising demo included with Zone of the Enders HD

Now that Platinum Games has saved Metal Gear Rising from certain doom and slapped another crazy word on the title, we’re all anxious to check out Metal Gear Rising: Reveangence . If you’re also one of those people looking forward to grabbing Zone of the Enders HD Collection , Konami has some synergy planned. During Konami’s pre-E3 press briefing , Hideo Kojima revealed an early-access demo for Metal Gear Rising: Reveangence would be included with Zone of the Enders HD Collection . He didn’t go into any details about how players will access the demo, but at least we know the important first step: you have to buy Zone of the Enders HD Collection . PSN and Xbox Live users will be able to access the same demo at a later date.

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Tomb Raider explores retail on March 5, 2013

We thought this trailer for Hell Yeah! would be about the unique monsters that you meet, destroy, and catalogue in Arkedo Studio’s action game. Well, it kind of is. You can see them briefly before they’re dispatched by a truck, or a “Happy Birthday” sign, or some other wacky device. You can also get a glimpse of the scandalous photos that cause all this revenge-killing. Do you dare watch? (It’s probably okay to dare watching.)

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Find out if you hate puppies with this Tokyo Jungle commercial

We probably don’t need to make much more of an argument for Tokyo Jungle ‘s localization beyond this wonderful commercial. It’s nothing but adorable animals being incredibly adorable – something we think you, not to mention everyone else on the planet , will enjoy. Psst, Sony! With E3 next week, there’s still time to sneak in some pomeranians and schnauzers to the Los Angeles Convention Center, you know. If you wanna surprise us during your press conference on Monday evening , for instance, that’d be totally fine.

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Social network sites can predict links even between non-members: Study

NEW DELHI: Want to stay away from Facebook, so as to safeguard your privacy? That may not work according to a study first published in April by a group of German researchers and reported in the science journal IEEE Spectrum.

According to the study, called ‘One Plus One Makes Three’ published by researchers at the University of Heidelberg, it is possible for a social network site to study the information available to them from members on the site, and use that information to predict the links between any two people, both of whom may not be on the site at all. The researchers used membership of Facebook among students at five universities from 2005.

The methods to make such predictions vary, but as one of the researchers, Katherine Anna Zweig, told IEEE Spectrum by way of example: “if two nonmembers have at least five friends together on the social network platform side, and these five friends are also connected … then this is a very good indicator that the two nonmembers are also connected or are also friends.”

Zweig told Spectrum that the research was inspired by an incident in which a colleague of hers received an email from Facebook pointing out that he, as a non-member, might like to get in touch with a group of people whom the colleague knew, and who were already on Facebook.

In this case, when members signed onto Facebook, they gave the network access to their email address book, thus allowing the site to send such emails to all those on the email list. And while the researchers used the example of Facebook, they stressed that the research applied to other sites as well.

Researchers reached their conclusions using a limited set of data. But as they pointed out: “Social network platform operators, however, typically have access to much more detailed information …such as the age, sex and (approximate) location of their members; and if they provide messaging services they can infer the quality of an acquaintance from its communication pattern. Including such information into the features will likely improve prediction accuracy.”

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Sharp mobiles to get thinner, clearer displays

TOKYO: Japanese electronics maker Sharp Corp. says it is upgrading its current displays to make them slimmer and clearer.

Sharp also said Friday its innovation is based on technology that reduces power consumption.

For liquid crystal displays, the technology called IGZO requires little adjustment to production lines or investment. The upgrade kicks in this fiscal year.

The technology can also be applied to OLED screens, which can be paper-thin. Hurdles remain for mass production because of costs. Rivals including Samsung Electronics Co. and Sony Corp. are all working on thinner displays.

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Legal battle over Twitter subpoena heats up

Electronic privacy advocates on Thursday weighed in on a high-stakes legal fight over online communications, arguing that a subpoena seeking an Occupy Wall Street protester’s tweets violates his rights to free speech and privacy.

The filing from the American Civil Liberties Union, the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Public Citizen, Inc. supports Twitter’s position that the individual, Occupy protestor Malcolm Harris and not Twitter itself, is the owner of the tweets and thus the proper target for any subpoena.

Manhattan Criminal Court Justice Matthew Sciarrino Jr had earlier ruled that Harris did not have the standing to challenge the subpoena, which seeks personal information and all of Harris’ tweets from September 15 through December 31, 2011.

Harris was one of 700 protesters arrested on the Brooklyn Bridge during a protest last October.

Prosecutors at the Manhattan District Attorney’s office said they to needed Harris’ information to determine if the tweets he posted while on the Brooklyn Bridge were “inconsistent with his anticipated trial defense” – that the police either led or escorted protesters into stepping into the roadway.

The case has caught the attention of privacy and free speech advocates, who fear that if the judge upholds the District Attorney’s subpoena, it will undermine a basic tenet of Internet communications in the era of social media: that the author, and not the company whose services are used, is responsible for the content.

Thursday’s brief argues that Harris should have standing to bring a First Amendment challenge because the subpoena would reveal sensitive details about him and his communications.

The motion also asserts that Harris’ Fourth Amendment right against warrantless search has been violated, because the information sought by prosecutors would impair his right to move freely without government surveillance.

Since Twitter users increasingly rely on laptops, iPads or other mobile devices likely to be logged into Twitter government could “reconstruct their movements to conduct virtually twenty-four hours surveillance of them,” the motion argued.

“Twitter has a good history” of protecting its users in court, said Ginger McCall, director of the Open Government Program at the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC). “But they shouldn’t have to. The user should be able to fight for themselves.”

Thursday’s motion referenced similar cases involving Google’s Gmail and Amazon.com, in which judges rejected the argument that users had no standing to challenge demands for information.

“Everything on the Internet is held by a third party,” said Susan Freiwald, a professor of cyber law and information privacy at the University of San Francisco School of Law, who was not involved in Thursday’s motion.

“If you were to say that the third party rule retains force on the Internet, then we would have no privacy online.”

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Oracle suffers major setback in Google Inc case

SAN FRANCISCO: A US judge dismissed Oracle Corp’s copyright claims against Google Inc for parts of the Java programming language, knocking out Oracle’s prime vehicle for damages in a high stakes legal battle over smartphones.

The ruling on Thursday from a San Francisco federal judge is the latest blow to Oracle in its lawsuit against Google. It is one of several intellectual property cases between tech giants over smartphones and tablets using Google’s Android operating system.

Apple is scheduled for trial in US courts against Google’s Motorola Mobility unit in June, and against Samsung in July. However, Oracle’s lawsuit against Google, filed in 2010, was the first in the smartphone wars to go before a jury.

The case examined whether computer language that connects programs and operating systems – known as application programming interfaces, or APIs – can be copyrighted. In a trial that began last month, Oracle claimed Google’s Android tramples on its rights to the structure of 37 Java APIs.

Google argued it did not violate Oracle’s patents and that Oracle cannot copyright APIs for Java, an open-source or publicly available software language. Android is the best-selling smartphone operating system around the world.

Oracle sought roughly $1 billion on its copyright claims, but the jury deadlocked on a key copyright issue.

They then found that Google did not infringe two of Oracle’s patents, which ended the trial last week before damages could be considered.

Meanwhile, US District Judge William Alsup had deferred a legal ruling on the ability to copyright 37 Java APIs until after the trial.

His ruling on Thursday likely eliminates the ability of Oracle to seek an immediate retrial against Google in San Francisco federal court.

Oracle spokeswoman Deborah Hellinger said the company will “vigorously appeal” Alsup’s order. “This ruling, if permitted to stand, would undermine the protection for innovation and invention in the United States,” Hellinger wrote in an email.

Alsup’s written order does not address whether all Java APIs are free to use without a license – or whether the structure of any computer program may be stolen.

“Rather, it holds on the specific facts of this case, the particular elements replicated by Google were free for all to use,” Alsup wrote.

Google spokesman Jim Prosser said the decision upholds the principle that open computer languages are essential for software development.

“It’s a good day for collaboration and innovation,” Prosser said.

The case in US District Court, Northern District of California is Oracle America, Inc v. Google Inc, 10-3561.

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