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Yahoo Denies Ad-blocking Users Access To Email

/. - Tue, 11/24/2015 - 4:30am
JoeyRox writes: Yahoo is running an A/B test that blocks access to Yahoo email if the site detects that the user is running an Ad Blocker. Yahoo says that this a trial rather than a new policy, effecting only a "small number" of users. Those lucky users are greeted with a message that reads "Please disable Ad Blocker to continue using Yahoo Mail." Regarding the legality of the move, "Yahoo is well within its rights to do so," said Ansel Halliburton an attorney at Kronenberger Rosenfeld who specializes in Internet law.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

ZX Spectrum Games Code Club Book

Indie Retro News - Tue, 11/24/2015 - 4:26am

Anyone who owned a ZX Spectrum in the 80's or 90's, surely must have had a bash at programming in BASIC. Who could resist a quick type-in from a magazine or book to show what your humble hands could do in the space of half hour? Or two hours. Or three. I guess it depends on how long the program was or indeed how long it took for you to learn how to make the required commands pop-up. (Extend Mode held with Caps Shift was the bane of my life)

Commands on the keys! Genius!If you had the 16K or 48K model, of course you were helped out by having all the commands on the keys for you (clever Sir Clive) though you still had to get the combinations correct. Though that said, these were easily mastered after a few days or weeks of being locked away in your bedroom not talking to anyone for what was, well in my case, 90% of the duration of my summer holidays from school. Yes, I loved my Spectrum more than my friends. I hope I'm not alone. Though not as alone as I was during my school holidays.

Enough negativity! Programming your Spectrum was amazing, even if it just entailed you making your name flash in the middle of the screen, changing the colour of the text - throwing a BEEP command in there was taking it to another level! The pinnacle of your BASIC programming career though would always be going to your local shop which had computer set up (they used to have them in the 80's) and filling the screen with obscenities.

Retro Hunter - Can't make it to Play Expo in person? Bring it to your home! (After typing it in, of course!)
A lot of programmers mastered the art of BASIC programming and moved onto machine code (argh! Scary!) though for the amateurs among us, there was a frustration that you couldn't take it further and create your own game that you had created by yourself. This is where the 'ZX Spectrum Games Code Club' book comes in.

Takeaway Ted. Five of each, please!The book includes twenty BASIC games for you to type-in and enjoy. After each program, the book explains in great detail, how each element of the game works. This includes explaining what each BASIC command means and how it is reflected on the screen, or indeed if it is something that works away in the background.
Earn some Insignia in this game. Sorry, though that said Astra Invaders.Having the program broken up and explained like this is an ideal way of getting your head around programming, expanding your knowledge of programming and indeed even set you on your way of creating your own programs. What you will notice is that the further you go along, the more you learn as the breakdown of the code will only be relevant to the new code and techniques used. No one needs to be told twenty times what 'PRINT AT' means. With this progressive nature, you will find the book pulls you along to learn more and keeps you interested as you go along.

You are also encouraged to make amendments to the games contained within the book so you can see for yourself how changes will impact the game. Excellent! (though slightly changing something and claiming it as yours, is not encouraged. Ahem!)

Rachel Riley never looked so good.Whether you're completely new to programming, looking to improve your BASIC knowledge, or indeed just want to refresh your memory, everything is catered for here. From a personal level, I never got much further than INPUT commands asking people what their names were, how old they were and then insulting them needlessly. Well, it's what you did when you were 12,  right? (Just me?) I always wanted to advance my knowledge and programming skills but the books around then, that I could find anyway, just consisted of pages of programs which were typed in with you not really knowing what you were doing.

Don't make the chicky angry! Too late :(
Of course, you knew what you were doing, though I mean in a way where you weren't exactly sure which part of the program did what, and how changing something slightly may look, or indeed actually work (5: Out of Screen - ring any bells to anyone?). You really did need to someone to point out and talk through every in minute detail so really knew what was going on. This is what the book aims for and acheives. Which means, if you're anything like me, you can sit in your room on your own with no disturbances and without having to talk to anyone - bonus!

Solar C5 Race - Sir Clive would be proudWith a games list that includes Flappy Bird, Breakout, Solar C5 race (above), The Numbers Game (see above - Countdown homage), Textrix (you can probably guess that one) Mini Pong and many others, you have a whole plethora of games to play with and plenty of genres to choose from.
Of course, they can be programmed on your original Speccy or by using any number of emulators out there that are available for PC/MAC or Android/iOS devices (you can't really beat using a Speccy though).

Sound like your thing? Good, as it's available now! Click here to get your copy;

Enjoy! - Article by Florinthedwarf

ZX Spectrum Retro Review - Stunt Car Racer

Indie Retro News - Tue, 11/24/2015 - 2:53am

Stunt Car Racer is a 3D racing game by Micro Style, released in 1989 on all the main platforms of the time, and as a budget title three years later on the Kixx label. The action takes place on a raised roller-coaster style track, such that had this come attached to a Hot Wheels licence no-one would have been surprised. Your car is delivered by crane to the start line, and your task is to race one on one against a series of competitors - preferably without coming off the track.

Full disclosure: I remember enjoying the Amiga version but until recently hadn't tried any of the 8-bit ports, so there was a possibility that I had forever ruined this as a Spectrum gaming experience.

Luckily, the game plays quite well; the car isn't unnecessarily difficult to control (as long as you remember that accelerate and boost serve different purposes and use them both correctly), and the Division 4 circuits are easy enough to get you used to the mechanics and visual style of the game before it starts getting tricky.

As you progress through the game the combination of bends and jumps becomes sufficiently complex that the accelerate-and-hope approach to driving games will have you overshooting somewhere along the line and crashing to the floor, which will often cause an insurmountable delay - at least against a computer controlled opponent - as you wait for the marshals to summon a crane and get you back in the race.

Of course if you come off the track, say, near one of the many gaps in the Stepping Stones circuit, you'll face the additional challenge of backing up far enough to get a run up again without inadvertently reversing off the corner because your race engineer decided a rear view mirror added unnecessary grams.

Annoyingly, your computer controlled opponents face no such difficulties; despite them driving what look like wooden block cars that came out of Santa's workshop some time in the 1960s, I was soundly thrashed every race, and that can get annoying after a while (#soreloser).

Thankfully there's still a lot of fun to be had leaping off a ramp at full pelt and nose-diving onto the other side in the vague hope you won't just bounce right off the track; unfortunately there are no extra points for massive air, but you can end up wrecking your car by being too enthusiastic.

Visually, well, I'm sure the vector graphics are technically sophisticated for the time and everything, but sometimes trying to stay on a yellow track which disappears into a yellow sky over a yellow ground to avoiding becoming a yellow wreck can get just a bit confusing.

On the other hand you do get the option to change the colour of your car (or at least, that section of the rollcage through which you view your surroundings), and the damage meter appearing as a crack on said rollcage is a nicely unobtrusive touch I thought.

The game screen does lack the modern refinement of a satnav-style course overview, with the effect that corners and jumps can spring nasty surprises on you; you do get a rather impressive 3D overview of the course before you start though, and I suppose remembering the course is just part of the gaming experience that the kids today might not appreciate...

As for sound, well... just don't bother, frankly. The beeper rendition of a fire breathing methanol fuelled stunt car is, well... inaccurate, I think would be the politically correct way of putting it; while the 128k version brings a (presumably) enhanced engine noise which sounds like R2-D2 being tortured in a second-rate seaside amusement arcade. Seriously, just find the soundtrack to Gran Turismo on Spotify and turn it up to 11.

The 128k version of the game comes with the option of a multiplayer championship, and given how difficult it is to overtake the computer opponents without accidentally performing a spectacular barrel roll off the next corner, this game is probably best played against one or more friends who are just as bad at the game and don't mind mocking the hideous sound choices while you get winched back onto the Ski Jump for the 97th time.

Stunts and big jumps can be fun for a while, and the high altitude twist certainly sets Stunt Car Racer apart from its contemporaries, but for my taste it's just that bit too difficult, and too yellow, to have any lasting appeal as a single player game.

Review by Steve Trower

The Story Continues – Epistory Chapter Two now available

Mod DB's News - Tue, 11/24/2015 - 2:52am

The 2nd Chapter of the game is now available on Steam. Discover new enemies, learn new magic and explore two brand new dungeons full of mystery. Be brave; for there is no turning back on the way to the truth.

BBC World Service To Provide Radio For North Korea and Eritrea

/. - Tue, 11/24/2015 - 2:35am
Ewan Palmer writes: The BBC World service has announced it will expand to serve the worst countries for press freedom as part of a plan to reach a global audience of 500 million. The British government announced its "single biggest increase in the World Service budget ever committed" and promised to invest more than $128 million by 2017/18 to the service. Along with improvements in countries such as Thailand, Russia and Somalia, they will launch radio services in North Korea and Eritrea who, according to Reporters Without Borders' 2015 World Press Freedom index, are the two worst performing countries in the world when ranked on a number of criteria including media independence, respect for the safety and freedom of journalists, and infrastructural environment in which the media operate.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Void Raiders - upcoming "Rogue-lite" mode!

Mod DB's News - Tue, 11/24/2015 - 12:52am

Preview of upcoming rogue-lite mode for Void Raiders! Artifacts, reworked enemy spawning and tons of other tweaks!

Gene Drive Turns Mosquitoes Into Malaria Fighters

/. - Tue, 11/24/2015 - 12:03am
sciencehabit writes: The war against malaria has a new ally: a controversial technology for spreading genes throughout a population of animals. Researchers report today that they have harnessed a so-called gene drive to efficiently endow mosquitoes with genes that should make them immune to the malaria parasite—and unable to spread it. On its own, gene drive won't get rid of malaria, but if successfully applied in the wild the method could help wipe out the disease, at least in some corners of the world. The approach "can bring us to zero [cases]," says Nora Besansky, a geneticist at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana, who specializes in malaria-carrying mosquitoes. "The mosquitoes do their own work [and] reach places we can't afford to go or get to."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Beams Cubiflie Cubi can fly blockthing Update relaxing video

Mod DB's News - Mon, 11/23/2015 - 11:51pm

Here i show you a gameelement and it is not only decorative.

Indiegogo Launch and Demo Update

Mod DB's News - Mon, 11/23/2015 - 11:36pm

We've seen your feedback, and taken it well under advisement. Please enjoy the latest update of Castaway Kirk. And if you'd like to see the full version sooner than later, please share our Indiegogo Campaign with any and all you know!

"Suicide Squad" Joker's Car Featurette

Dark Horizons - Mon, 11/23/2015 - 11:31pm

Though there's been a lot of behind-the-scenes paparazzi photos and footage of the metallic fuscia sports car that Jared Leto's take on The Joker will sport in next year's "Suicide Squad," a new featurette about the vehicle has gone online.

Fox 13 News recently interviewed Matt McEntegart of the Florida-based Vaydor Exotics, the creator of the car which was seen on the streets of Toronto this past year. Dubbed the 'Vaydor', the car is a retrofitted Infinity G-35 with a custom built fiberglass body.

McEntegart was called up by a producer who wanted to use it as a "villain's car" in an upcoming film but didn't say which one - turned out to be The Joker. In terms of the car's look he says: "I wanted something different. I'm a fan of the super car look. So I wanted aggressive, angry, low to the ground."

Check out the interview below, the film itself opens in August next year.

Hamill Confirms "Episode VIII" Involvement

Dark Horizons - Mon, 11/23/2015 - 11:31pm

Though credited in the poster, Mark Hamill has never officially been allowed to say he is in "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" and didn't speak about it until an interview with Famous Monsters last week. Despite this, everyone already knew the actor would reprise the role of Luke Skywalker in the film which opens next month.

One of the big lingering questions though is how much screen time will he actually have. Today, Hamill posted a tweet that didn't answer that question but did clear up another one - whatever happens in 'Force Awakens' he'll be around in the near future as he has confirmed that he's reprising his role in Rian Johnson's "Star Wars: Episode VIII".

Last shaved on 10/22 after final day of my 2nd #TheFlash (which airs 12/8 #XmasTrix), just in time for Ep VIII-whew!

— Mark Hamill (@HamillHimself) November 23, 2015

The news is not unexpected, Hamill and his family were seen returning to Skellig Michael island in Ireland to shoot scenes for the film. Skellig Michael is a key location used by the crew of 'Force Awakens' as well.

Hamill's appearance in 'Force' won't be seen until the film opens on December 18th, while "which"Episode VIII" is scheduled for release Summer 2017.

In related news, Empire has posted a new photo of one of the villains of 'Force Awakens' - the chrome-plated Stormtrooper Captain Phasma (Gwendoline Christie). Check out that shot below.

More "Bioshock" Games On The Way

Dark Horizons - Mon, 11/23/2015 - 11:31pm

It has been three years since the release of "Bioshock Infinite" which scored much critical acclaim, but when series creator Irrational Studios shut their doors - it looked like it was all over.

The game's publisher Take-Two Interactive however has previously stated that more "Bioshock" games would be on the way and this week CEO Strauss Zelnick re-affirmed that statement whilst talking at a MKM Partners Investor Conference in New York City says Gamespot.

Zelnick says "Bioshock 2" developer 2K Martin is developing more for the series and adds that "Bioshock" as a whole is "unquestionably a permanent franchise for our company and one that we do believe in."

The game's creator Ken Levine meanwhile is leading a small team of developers within Take-Two on a new mysterious game which Zelnick can't talk much about at this point:

"I'm not going to steal Ken's thunder, but we're thrilled to be in business with Ken. What I can say is you would expect that Ken would work on something highly creative and innovative. I think that would be a reasonable expectation for whatever he does next."

A recent leak suggests a "Bioshock Collection" sporting remasters of the previous games is currently on the way for next-gen consoles.

Dat Fass Begat Dat "Alien" Xenomorph?

Dark Horizons - Mon, 11/23/2015 - 11:31pm


An intriguing but completely unconfirmed rumor regarding Ridley Scott's upcoming "Prometheus" sequel "Alien: Covenant" has gone up at Scified today which says that not one but TWO xenomorph aliens will be seen in the upcoming film, and that Fassbender's android character David will play a part in creating one of them - a creature akin to the 'ultramorph' creation seen in Jon Spaihts' original script draft for "Prometheus":

"The movie will have two monsters, one is new and both are different yet similar to the Xeno DNA. The NEW Monster is a New Event, so it's nothing created before the Events of the end of the First movie.... it's created by an event in the movie... and this new monster is going to be based off of the original concept that Alien drew influence from.

This idea is something they had planned with Spaihts' Ultramorph and so Giger's Necronomicon IV [the 1976 painting that inspired the original "Alien" design] is the starting point. This Monster will be transparent like a jellyfish to a degree.... and it's hinted that David plays a part in its creation."

The film sees the colony ship Covenant bound for a remote planet on the far side of the galaxy - an uncharted paradise that is actually a dark and dangerous world whose sole inhabitant is the synthetic David, survivor of the doomed Prometheus expedition.

The site notes that the details come from the initial draft that was completed and greenlit, but some of the story may have changed after John Logan came on to polish the script. Once again it's expected there'll be more bits that connect the xenomorph DNA and the Engineers, but the xenomorph seen in the first movie will not yet be fully formed. There's also a bunch of nods to both the Prometheus myth and Milton's "Paradise Lost":

"They won't be going a full blown Ancient Aliens in detail on us, just we can make subtle links to themes, such as Rebellion, Order of Creation (that has multiple layers that does not start with the Engineers and does not end with David). Stealing of Forbidden Knowledge and Fire and how playing God and going against God always has dire consequences."

None of this report has been confirmed as of this point. Filming on "Alien: Covenant" kicks off in Australia in February.

@DevilJeff35 David (Fassbender character) creates a new and improved version. The Ultramorph.

— SYN (@helghastA7X) November 17, 2015

@superbandicoot6 Ultramorph was concept of what the Xeno would look like from hatching from Engineer; bigger, badder

— Ripcord (@RipcordNews) November 15, 2015

Review: Spectre

Dark Horizons - Mon, 11/23/2015 - 11:31pm

While Spectre is far from bad, it is likely to frustrate many fans, especially given its unenviable position of following on the heels of the near-perfect Skyfall.

The latter flew in the face of expectations and pushed the boundaries of the franchise's formula while paying homage to its rich history and serving as a mini-reboot. Spectre seems content to rest within those boundaries and coast. It delivers on one's expectations, but rarely exceeds them, and the lack of the savage grace and gung-ho ambition of previous installments holds it back.

Super-spy James Bond's biggest struggle these days is to stay relevant in a post-9/11, Bourne-ian world. Spectre cleverly builds that conceit into the story by having a weasely bureaucrat (Andrew Scott, aka Sherlock scoundrel Moriarty) scheme to mothball the Double-0 division and consolidate British intelligence under one massive global surveillance network.

The new M (Ralph Feinnes) is understandably perturbed, and made even more so when Bond makes matters worse by going on an unsanctioned mission in Mexico City during a Day of the Dead celebration. It's one of the best sequences in the series to date, kicked-off with an incredible tracking shot before all hell breaks loose; alas, that energy dissipates during a bizarre title sequence that combines a Roger Moore-era naked lady montage with a touch of almost Lovecraftian soft-core tentacle scored to Sam Smith's tepid theme song, “Writing's on the Wall”.

Spectre works hard to pick up the pace after that, with Bond jetting across Europe and North Africa on the trail of a shadowy cabal lead by the mysterious Franz Oberhauser (Christoph Waltz, less hammy than usual), a man with a connection to 007's past. There's a lot tantalizing clue-chasing involved, but the story too takes side trips into prerequisite skirt chasing (in the form of an underused Monica Bellucci as a crimelord's widow and Léa Seydoux as the estranged daughter of a past enemy) and henchman bashing (via Guardians of the Galaxy‘s Dave Bautista as Mr. Hinx, a killer in the Oddjob/Jaws mold) that deliver action beats but don't really propel the story.

It's very by-the-numbers until roughly two-thirds of the way into its 148-minute running time, when Bond falls into Oberhauser's clutches and gets a peek at his secret scheme, as well as the sack of deranged weasels that is the man's psyche. Director Sam Mendes gives the sequence an unexpected and inspired dose of surrealism that perks things up a little before it slides into a fast-paced but conventional final act.

Craig, droll and unflappable as always, keeps the whole meandering affair together, and he continues to build upon the tortured “blunt instrument” he unveiled in Casino Royale and plumb Bond's cold, wounded depths for hidden pieces humanity. As strong as the rest of the cast is, it's Seydoux who steals the most scenes as a woman who sees Bond for what he is and is willing to fall for him — on her terms.

In the end, Spectre feels like a conciliatory gesture towards the die-hard old-school fans who haven't quite bitching about the change in tone since Craig stepped into 007's tuxedo. There's a certain Moore-era throwback feel to it — albeit far less hackneyed — and a lot of overly familiar Bond tropes. Maybe now that it has taken an unnecessary step back the series will start moving forward again.

SNL: Back to the Future 25th Anniversary DVD Screen Tests

Ant's VideoSift Submissions - Mon, 11/23/2015 - 11:29pm

"Original screen tests for Back to the Future featuring Robin Williams (Hamm), Al Pacino (Hader), Eddie Murphy (Pharoah), Jennifer Tilly (Wiig), Nicolas Cage (Samberg), Prince (Armisen), Pee-Wee Herman (Killam) and Bill Cosby (Thompson). [Season 36, 2010]".

From from ...

Axel Springer Goes After iOS 9 Ad Blockers In New Legal Battlle

/. - Mon, 11/23/2015 - 9:31pm
An anonymous reader writes: Germany's Axel Springer, owner of newspapers like Bild and Die Welt, is pursuing legal action against the developers of Blockr, an ad blocker for iOS 9. Techcrunch reports: "In October, Axel Springer forced visitors to Bild to turn off their ad blockers or pay a monthly fee to continue using the site. Earlier this month, the publisher reported the success of this measure, saying that the proportion of readers using ad blockers dropped from 23% to the single digits when faced with the choice to turn off the software or pay. 'The results are beyond our expectations,' said Springer chief exec Mathias Döpfner at the time. 'Over two-thirds of the users concerned switched off their adblocker.' He also noted that the website received an additional 3 million visits from users who could now see the ads in the first two weeks of the experiment going live."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Axel Springer Goes After iOS 9 Ad Blockers In New Legal Battlle

/. - Mon, 11/23/2015 - 9:31pm
An anonymous reader writes: Germany's Axel Springer, owner of newspapers like Bild and Die Welt, is pursuing legal action against the developers of Blockr, an ad blocker for iOS 9. Techcrunch reports: "In October, Axel Springer forced visitors to Bild to turn off their ad blockers or pay a monthly fee to continue using the site. Earlier this month, the publisher reported the success of this measure, saying that the proportion of readers using ad blockers dropped from 23% to the single digits when faced with the choice to turn off the software or pay. 'The results are beyond our expectations,' said Springer chief exec Mathias Döpfner at the time. 'Over two-thirds of the users concerned switched off their adblocker.' He also noted that the website received an additional 3 million visits from users who could now see the ads in the first two weeks of the experiment going live."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Dying to Live, Part 3

In the first five chapters of Romans, Paul laid the groundwork for the rest of his letter. He established six all-important facts:

  • All humanity is depraved—we’ve “fallen short” of God’s holiness.
  • All humanity is under the penalty of sin—separated from God.
  • Instead of abandoning us, God provided a rescue for us.
  • God’s “rescue operation” was accomplished at the cross of Christ.
  • When we believe in Jesus’ death and resurrection, He “justifies” us.
  • As a result, we are no longer under sin’s penalty or domination.

The next big issue is this: How can salvation from the power of sin become a reality? Being “saved by grace apart from works” is one thing, but being able to walk by grace . . . that’s quite another. How can we now live victoriously? What must take place in order for us to live free from sin’s control?

Albion Online Closed Beta

Blue's News - Mon, 11/23/2015 - 8:12pm
Sandbox Interactive announces the launch of closed beta testing of Albion Online for those who own founder's packs for this fantasy-themed MMORPG. There are more details on the Albion Online website,...

Just Cause 3 Video Diary

Blue's News - Mon, 11/23/2015 - 8:12pm
This video offers the final developer diary for Just Cause 3, showing off the game engine in the next installment in Avalanche's action series. The clip is accompanied by the following explanation: "T...
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