Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Six weeks after World IPv6 Day, what have we learned?

Last month's World IPv6 Day created some excitement about IPv6. Once it was over, however, everyone went back to work—which for most people doesn't include anything IPv6-related.

The idea behind World IPv6 Day on the 8th of June was to flush out broken IPv6 setups by simultaneously turning on IPv6 across a large number of Web properties—including the four largest in the world. Few, if any, problems were reported, so in that sense WIPv6D was a resounding success. Apparently, it's possible to add IPv6 addresses to large Web destinations without significant adverse effects.

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Orcs Must Die! coming to PC and XBLA this summer, Comic-Con this weekend

Robot Entertainment announced today that third-person tower defender Orcs Must Die! will be published by Microsoft Studios and available later this summer for PC and Xbox Live Arcade. The developer previously gave us a window of "late August or early September."

Orcs Must Die! will be playable this weekend at San Diego Comic-Con in the Xbox Lounge, located at the Hard Rock Hotel, and Robot Entertainment will have an OMD prequel comic book available at the show.

Not going to Comic-Con, but still want to get your hands on the transmedia companion fiction that is sure to deliver Great Gatsby nuance to the Orcs Must Die universe? Don't worry, the comic will be available in a digital format "later this summer, also at no charge."

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JoystiqOrcs Must Die! coming to PC and XBLA this summer, Comic-Con this weekend originally appeared on Joystiq on Mon, 18 Jul 2011 10:45:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Monday, July 18, 2011

The Joystiq Indie Pitch: Pragmatica

Indie developers are the starving artists of the video-game world, often brilliant and innovative, but also misunderstood, underfunded and more prone to writing free-form poetry on their LiveJournals. We at Joystiq believe no one deserves to starve, and many indie developers are entitled to a fridge full of tasty, fulfilling media coverage, right here. This week, we unlock HiVE's apocalyptic puzzler, Pragmatica.

What's your game called, and what's it about?

This is Pragmatica. It's a programming-based puzzler set in a not-too-distant future, in which robots have, somewhat controversially, all but replaced humans as the world's industrial labour force. The largest and most powerful robotics firm, Pragmatica, hires you as a programmer, tasking you with writing programs to solve tasks using their expensive and highly volatile robots. Gameplay-wise, this means combine actions and conditions (SEE-WALL, TURN-RIGHT) into a program, then hitting the launch button and watching the robots execute it to complete the task, or crash and burn trying.

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JoystiqThe Joystiq Indie Pitch: Pragmatica originally appeared on Joystiq on Sun, 17 Jul 2011 22:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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T-Mobile myTouch 4G Slide Confirmed For July 27 Launch, July 19 Pre-Order

After some confusion, T-Mobile has taken to Facebook to give us an exact arrival date for the myTouch 4G Slide. We originally pegged the slider for a July 27 launch, and as luck (and leaks) would have it, we were right. T-Mo?s Facebook update also confirmed that July 19 will kick off the pre-order period (web only).

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iOS, Android catching buyers' eyes while Blackberry suffers

New smartphone buyers have their eyes on iOS and Android devices this summer, with Blackberrys barely registering on their radar. That's according to the latest ChangeWave report with survey data of 4,163 mobile phone consumers—the majority of which are in the US. The trends show that smartphone buyers currently favor iOS devices a bit more than Android, but the two platforms are both holding strong against RIM in the consumer market.

According to ChangeWave, 46 percent of survey respondents who plan to buy a smartphone in the next 90 days said they plan to buy an iOS device—that's up two percentage points from the March 2011 survey. Similarly, 32 percent say they plan to buy an Android device, up one percentage point from March.

The two platforms were roughly at the same level of demand during the last quarter of 2010, but they have definitely split off since December. The explanation for this trend could lie in Flurry Antlystics' analysis from last week—the company said that new developer projects were focusing more heavily on iOS than Android during the first half of the year, which may be due to the introduction of the Verizon iPhone and iPad 2. New high-profile products like these help keep Apple at the forefront of consumers' minds. The fact that the rumor mill keeps focusing on a new iPhone this fall certainly helps, too.

What's sad are ChangeWave's numbers for RIM/Blackberry. Only four percent of new smartphone buyers said they planned to get a Blackberry device as of June 2011—down from five percent in March, and really down from 32 percent in December of 2008. This is RIM's "lowest level ever in a ChangeWave survey," and things certainly aren't looking great for RIM when it comes to marketing to consumers over enterprise users.

ChangeWave also surveyed consumers on how much of an effect Apple's iCloud announcement had on their plans to purchase an Apple product. Unsurprisingly, those who already own Apple products made up the largest group of those "more likely" to buy Apple products in the future after the news of iCloud came out (29 percent), but it's not just Apple loyalists who are looking forward to trying out the new service. Another 13 percent of survey respondents who are not currently Apple product owners said that iCloud made them more likely to buy an iOS device too, indicating that iCloud could become a major selling point for Apple to lure in new buyers this year.

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A cheaper, easier cellphone antenna that can't get much smaller

An unusual method of creating antennas has allowed a group of researchers to make tiny versions only 1.8 times the theoretical size limit of an antenna. Scientists from the University of Michigan use a process that grafts a gold antenna onto a coin-sized, dome-like substrate that can operate in mobile phone frequencies.

The conducting part of the antenna resembles a short, multi-armed helix projected on the surface of a half-sphere, one of the leading design styles for making compact antennas that can still conduct signal reliably. Until now, scientists had to manufacture the antennas by bending wire around a sphere, which was inexact, time-consuming, and expensive.

With the new method, the researchers press a rounded substrate covered in a thin layer of gold against a thin antenna pattern, also done in gold. The extra gold layer is then etched away around the antenna pattern by plasma, and gold plating is used to beef up the gold antenna threads if needed.

A 32mm antenna with six gold arms curling around could conduct a frequency of 782MHz. The authors of the paper on the antennas hope that their process will eventually make small antennas as easy to produce as microelectronics have recently become.

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Retailer sites show new August date for El Shaddai

El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron is officially scheduled for release July 26, 2011, but it seems Amazon and GameStop have their own schedule, both listing its release as August 16, 2011. Considering El Shaddai has been in development since 2007 and has been delayed once already, perhaps the retailers are just assuming here.

We have contacted Ignition for confirmation of El Shaddai's release, or even just a date for when it will release information about a new release date, if that's Metatron enough for you.

[Thanks to everyone who sent this in!]

JoystiqRetailer sites show new August date for El Shaddai originally appeared on Joystiq on Sat, 16 Jul 2011 21:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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