Jan 042013


A newly published patent application filed by Sony outlines a content protection system that would use small RFID chips embedded on game discs to prevent used games from being played on its systems, all without requiring an online connection. Filed in September and still awaiting approval from the US Patent Office, the patent application for an “electronic content processing system, electronic content processing method, package of electronic content, and use permission apparatus” describes a system “that reliably restricts the use of electronic content dealt in the second-hand markets.”

Used game sales continue to be a major concern for many big-name publishers and developers, who see the practice as a drain on the revenue they earn from selling new software. Sony’s patent explicitly points out that suppressing the used game market will “[support] the redistribution of part of proceeds from sales of the electronic content to the developers.”

The used-game blocking method described in the patent involves a “radiofrequency tag” and a type of programmable ROM chip that are paired with each game disc and can communicate wirelessly with the game system.

MORE:  Examining Sony’s Internet-free method for blocking used game sales | Ars Technica.




Jul 152012

Mafia Wars, Farmville, Poker, we all get those endless notifications from friends asking us to join games they’re playing. Some people don’t care that they are spamming you, some just don’t know. Many apps are sneaky abut sending requests to all your friends. So what do you do?

Facebook has several help posts involving privacy and app settings. The easiest way we’ve found is shown below, with some helpful links after that.

1. View your notifications. When you see an annoying invite you wish to block, click ‘see all notifications’ at the bottom of the list.

2. When you click ‘see all notifications’ you should get a page that looks something like this. Find the invite on the page. When you move the mouse pointer over the app notice, a small ‘x’ will appear to the right.

3. Click the ‘x’. When you do, it will say ‘turn off’. Click ‘turn off’, and a notice will appear telling you you’ve successfully blocked the game or app. That’s it!



There are other ways to do this through privacy settings and blocking all notices from a friend. Here are a couple of links that may also be helpful:




Mar 162012

For a limited time, Gameloft is offering some noteworthy iPad games along with one for Mac for 99 cents. Regardless of which iPad model you own, these dozen titles should keep you gaming happily for weeks, if not months. The iPhone versions are on sale as well.


via Gameloft games for iPad on sale for 99 cents | iPad Atlas – CNET Reviews.


Oct 272011



You may not have heard of all the free to play games coming out recently they don’t tend to have the same marketing budget as your Battlefields and Call of Dutys but you should probably be paying a little more attention. Sure, some of them are a little shallow, or unfair to non-paying customers, but there are F2P games in every genre, and a lot of them are top notch.So why pay to play? Read on for our list of 25 top-notch free online games. For each game, well tell you what you get for free and what costs money, so you never get surprised.

via Maximum PC | The F2P Revolution: 25 Killer Online Games You Can Play For Free.

Oct 112011

The standard line that Digital Rights Management (DRM) functions as a bulwark against online music piracy is being challenged by a trio of economists from Rice and Duke Universities. Their game theory research sides with a growing sentiment that DRM technologies which restrict music file copying and moving sometimes encourage illegal file sharing instead.

“In many cases, DRM restrictions prevent legal users from doing something as normal as making backup copies of their music,” contends one of the researchers, Dinahy Vernik, assistant professor of marketing at Rice’s Jones Graduate School of Business. “Because of these inconveniences, some consumers choose to pirate.”

The paper in question is titled “Music Downloads and the Flip Side of Digital Rights Management Protection.”

Under certain conditions, “we find that eliminating DRM restrictions can lead to an increase in sales of legal downloads, a decrease in sales of traditional CDs, and a decrease in piracy,” conclude marketing scholars Vernik and Devavrat Purohit and Preyas Desai of Duke. “This is in stark contrast to the view that removing DRM will unconditionally increase the level of piracy.”

via A game we all win: Dumping DRM can increase sales while reducing piracy.

Jul 202011

The key thing about this process is that the neural network doesn’t even know whether it’s correctly identifying state/action pairs when it starts—it doesn’t know how to “read”—much less whether it has correctly interpreted the advice they convey (do you build near a river, or should you never build by a river?). All it has to go on is what impact its interpretation has on the outcome of the game. In short, it has to figure out how to read the owner’s manual simply by trying different interpretations and seeing whether they improve its play.

Despite the challenges, it works. When the full-text analysis was included, the success of the authors’ software shot up; it now won over half its games within 100 moves, and beat the game’s AI almost 80 percent of the time when games were played to completion.

via Computer Beats PC Game After Reading Manual | Wired Science | Wired.com.