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Archive

Archive for May, 2011

Carmageddon: Reincarnation announced

May 31st, 2011 No comments

Carmageddon: Reincarnation announced screenshot

Last week, we turned your attention to a countdown clock ticking away at the Carmageddon official website. It's number is now up and, as you might have suspected, it's the announcement of a brand new installment in the violent driving series. Stainless Games has reacquired the IP and is currently looking for a publishing partner for Carmageddon: Reincarnation, a download-only title. 

After more than a decade, Carmageddon is seemingly back. That ought to tickle a fancy or two. I don't recall playing more than twenty minutes of any game in the series and it's been so long that I doubt I would remember even if I had. But I know that fans do exist and they're no doubt bouncing with glee right about now.

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Google has 99 problems, but PayPal’s lawsuit ain’t one

May 31st, 2011 No comments

Google WalletDuring a live demo at the D9 event Tuesday, Google said it views its new Wallet service as entirely different from the new point of sale devices PayPal is reportedly developing with major retailers.

Google is probably hoping the court will feel the same way when reviewing the recent lawsuit filed by PayPal’s parent company Ebay against the search engine giant for allegedly stealing trade secrets about mobile transactions.

The lawsuit was filed just as Google revealed its plans for Google Wallet, which allows consumers to use their Android smartphones for transactions and coupons.

When All Things Digital’s Kara Swisher — noting the lawsuit — asked how Google Wallet was like PayPal’s efforts, Google executive Stephanie Tilenius explained that Google Wallet is “integrating at the point of sale.”

“We’re not actually distributing new point of sale devices… (like credit card machines)”, she said, which is what PayPal has indicated it was working on in regards to mobile transactions.

Instead of swiping a credit card’s magnetic strip for transactions, Google Wallet uses a smartphone’s NFC chip, which was described as a unique identifier that can be assigned to credit accounts.

Google also stated that it would monetize Google Wallet through its Groupon-like service, Google Offers, which allows vendors to offer special deals to consumers.

Since Google isn’t directly profiting from its Wallet platform or creating point of sale devices for store vendors, the company doesn’t seem worried about the outcome of a legal battle — even if some of its top executives violated contract agreements with previous employers.

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Is This Soulcalibur V’s First In-Game Screenshot?

May 31st, 2011 No comments

Soulcalibur V screenshot

Since being announced earlier this month, we haven't learned much more about Soulcalibur V. A few details were revealed along with a trailer and some character art but there is still little known about the game.

Teasing an upcoming cover story in EGM, the latest issue of EGMi has what looks to be the very first screenshot of the game. It shows a good look at what looks like Pyrrha, who is a new playable character, and the back of a grey-haired character.

Soulcalibur V is still fairly far off -- it's not planned for release until 2012 -- but do let us know what you think of its look in the comments and get ready to learn more about the game in the coming weeks.


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Fan created Half-Life trailer’s animation is out of this world

May 31st, 2011 No comments
A six-week labor of love, this fan-made trailer for the original Half-Life is a thing of beauty. If the first-person animation work doesn't impress you, then we're pretty sure you've got a crab where your head used to be.

Continue reading Fan created Half-Life trailer's animation is out of this world

JoystiqFan created Half-Life trailer's animation is out of this world originally appeared on Joystiq on Wed, 01 Jun 2011 00:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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HP offers an enterprise dashboard for CIOs

May 31st, 2011 No comments

Hewlett-Packard is announcing software that information technology managers can use to get a dashboard-like view of their enterprise operations.

The new software combines 50 different key performance indicators (KPIs) that show chief information officers the state of their enterprise in terms of how computing power is being used. The effort is aimed at making it much easier for chief executives and chief information officers to get a real-time snapshot of the enterprise and make decisions more easily.

Marge Breya, general manager of HP Software, said that HP makes software that measures about 150 different KPIs that can be used to gauge the health of an enterprise. This first batch of 50 will bundle together four different software packages into a single suite. That software will be used to “operationalize, measure, and improve IT performance.”

“The problem is that a lot of companies spend 70 percent of their time on operations and just 30 percent on innovation,” Breya said. “We can turn that around with this kind of real-time information.”

The effort has been underway for about a year. But the program accelerated under Leo Apotheker, the new chief executive of HP who previously ran software giant SAP. Breya herself came over from SAP about six months ago.

Under Apotheker’s strategic plan announced a couple of months ago, HP is putting more emphasis on software and creating all of the building blocks necessary to run connected enterprises. HP’s software business is just 3 percent of sales. But it’s a $3.5 billion business, enough to rank HP as the sixth largest software company.

The goal of the HP IT Performance Suite is to give a comprehensive view of the enterprise, enabling what HP calls an “instant-on enterprise” that embeds technology in everything it does to serve customers, employees, partners and others with everything they need.

The suite includes the new HP IT Executive Scorecard, aimed at managing and improving the development of applications, infrastructure, operations management, security, information management and financial planning and administration.

The software lets executives do financial planning, analysis, project and portfolio management, and asset management. It can measure data in real time such as how much availability or reliability a data center has. Or it can measure how much energy is being consumed or how much payback a company is getting on capital expenses. Rivals include IBM.

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Angry Birds to invade TVs this summer with Roku

May 31st, 2011 No comments

angrybirdsYes, Angry Birds is now officially everywhere. Streaming video set-top box maker Roku has announced that it’s partnering with game maker Rovio to bring Angry Birds to televisions this summer.

The company says it will offer all three current Angry Birds games (the original, Rio and Seasons) on a new product this summer, launch an Angry Birds video channel, and sell merchandise for the series via its store channel. Roku is also looking at the partnership as the first step towards offering other popular casual games on its devices.

Roku is still being cagey about the casual gaming plans for its current and older generation players — the big problem there being that Roku’s current remote control isn’t suited to game playing at all. There also aren’t any details about the company’s next-generation player plans, but you can expect at least one model to come with some sort of gaming controller.

Rovio previously announced that it will be bringing Angry Birds to game consoles, and it’s already available on the PSP (in a version that’s also playable on the PS3). But Roku is promoting the fact that it’s delivering the first true Angry Birds TV experience.

We’ll be exploring the most disruptive game technologies and business models at our third annual GamesBeat 2011 conference, on July 12-13 at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco. It will focus on the disruptive trends in the mobile games market. GamesBeat is co-located with our MobileBeat 2011 conference this year. To register, click on this link. Sponsors can message us at sponsors@venturebeat.com. To participate in our Who’s Got Game? contest for the best game startup, click on this link.

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Survey shows 37 percent of companies using the cloud

May 31st, 2011 No comments

About 37 percent of companies are already using cloud infrastructure, or web-connected data centers, to run their information technology operations, according to a survey by Advanced Micro Devices.

About 63 percent of those using the cloud store data in the cloud that is worth more than $250,000. And 63 percent said they are already seeing benefits from cloud deployments. Those results suggest that a lot of companies have begun to trust cloud technology, despite risks associated with cloud infrastructure occasionally going on the blink.

Some companies are refusing to deploy the cloud. For those, security and loss of data are the biggest concerns. Recent incidents such as Amazon’s big cloud outage and Sony’s PlayStation Network attack are likely to stoke those fears.

AMD conducted the survey to find out more about companies’ plans to deploy cloud technology, which relies upon servers that use AMD chips. The survey is based on interviews with 1,513 information technology professionals during the month of March about their plans for deploying cloud technology. Each company interviewed had more than 100 employees. The bulk were in the U.S., while the rest were in Europe and Asia.

About 75 percent of the companies that are using the cloud said they already had the expertise internally to deploy the cloud. But of those who are investigating it, only 39 percent have that capability. John Fruehe, director of product marketing for servers at AMD, said that suggests that IT technology providers need to do more to help companies implement the cloud.

About 92 percent of the participants said infrastructure was an important part of the rationale for deploying cloud applications. About 46 percent said that a strategic shift in information technology policy was a reason for moving to the cloud.

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Broken Sword 2 Remastered now available on GOG, on sale

May 31st, 2011 No comments
The sequel to classic adventure game Broken Sword, The Smoking Mirror, is now available in a remastered version from GOG.com. We'd heard a while back that the game would be fixed up, after a remastered version of the original game sold well, and indeed the iOS version has been out for a while. The newer versions of the game offer the same excellent gameplay along with new graphics, music, animation, voiceovers and a revised hint system.

To celebrate, GOG is putting the whole Broken Sword series on sale, letting you pick up the first two remastered titles and the third game in the series (though not the fourth game, Angel of Death) for under $9. By itself, the remastered Broken Sword 2 is $4.19, or $6.99 on iOS.

JoystiqBroken Sword 2 Remastered now available on GOG, on sale originally appeared on Joystiq on Tue, 31 May 2011 23:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Google Offers is the business plan behind Google Wallet, and it’s live tomorrow

May 31st, 2011 No comments

google-walletWhile demonstrating their new mobile payment product Google Wallet today, Google executives offered some insight into how it will make money.

Google executive chairman and former CEO Eric Schmidt gave the demonstration with Google vice president Stephanie Tilenius at the D9 conference in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif. Users should be able to tap their phones against compatible point-of-sale devices and use the app to make payments. They should be able to use the Wallet app to redeem offers from Google’s upcoming deals product, Google Offers. Schmidt and Tilenius said the Offers will be the real moneymaker for Wallet — in fact, Google doesn’t plan to charge a fee for the app or for transactions.

They also emphasized that they see Google Wallet as something that isn’t limited to Google’s Android phones (although that’s where it works for now). Wallet is an app that should hypothetically work on other smartphones, Schmidt said: “There’s no intent to favor any one platform.” Does that mean we’ll see Wallet on iPhones, Windows Phones, and BlackBerrys anytime soon? We’ll see.

As for Google Offers, Tilenius also announced that the first deals will go live tomorrow. As previously announced, the program is starting in Portland, and it will expand to San Francisco and New York later this summer.

We’ll be exploring the most disruptive mobile trends at our fourth annual MobileBeat 2011 conference, on July 12-13 at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco. It will focus on the rise of 4G and how it delivers the promise of true mobile computing. We’re also accepting entries for our mobile startup competition at the show. MobileBeat is co-located with our GamesBeat 2011 conference this year. To register, click on this link. Sponsors can message us at sponsors@venturebeat.com.

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Parasitus coming to Xbox Live Indie Games

May 31st, 2011 No comments

Parasitus coming to Xbox Live Indie Games screenshot

Here's a trailer for an upcoming Xbox Live Indie Game called Parasitus. Developer Heart Attack Machine calls it, "an action side scroller in the vein of vintage classics like Castlevania and Ninja Gaiden but with a modern twist," which is the sort of thing I can rarely turn down. Looks like fun.

There are some screenshots and box art over on the game's development blog. No release date yet, but comments on the trailer's YouTube page indicate that it's very close to being sent off for review. Shouldn't be long now.

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