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TechCrunch Redesign Fan Art (Yes, It Exists)

If a website gets a redesign, and nobody hates it, is it even on the Internet? It’s been exactly a week since our redesign and the screams of agony from the tens of offended readers have finally died down. My favorite responses? Milk founder Kevin Rose’s (joke) offer to revert Digg back to Version 3 if we also reneged, investor Chris Sacca’s colorful description of our font choices and those two subsequent “Your Site Sucks” tips that spelled “Micael Arrington” and “Site Redisign” in the subject lines exactly like that.

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El Shaddai officially delayed until August 16

Your faith in the official North American release date for El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron is about to be shaken. Ignition Entertainment’s New Business Development Director Shane Bettenhausen confirmed the shift in date from July 26 to August 16 in a statement to Joystiq, citing “unforeseen logistical issues.” The September 1 release in Europe is still on track. Bettenhausen apologized for the “minor delay.”

Looking on the bright side (which is bright only for us), we suddenly find ourselves with much more time to complete our review, which is nice. For us.

JoystiqEl Shaddai officially delayed until August 16 originally appeared on Joystiq on Mon, 18 Jul 2011 17:15:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Your Sunday Nerf buy: Nerf Dart Tag Quick 16 is worth your $20

The more I play with Nerf weapons, the more I notice that there are things you need to look for in the guns you’re going to be using to shoot your children or pets. In terms of the more recent line of blasters, the Nerf Dart Tag Quick 16 may have a silly name that I’m not going to type again, but it has more than enough in the design department to cause me to fall in love. It hits all the right notes… and targets.

This is a gun that holds a good amount of darts, is large and comfortable in your hands, and has good range. At $20, it’s hard to pass up.

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Yet another report: Internet disconnections a “disproportionate” penalty

The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), with its 56 member countries made up of 1 billion people, is the “world’s largest regional security organization.” And it really doesn’t like Internet censorship.

A new OSCE report on “Freedom of Expression on the Internet" (PDF) takes a hard line on all things Internet, issuing conclusions at odds with the practices of many of its most powerful member states, including France and the US. Net neutrality? Every country needs it. “Three strikes” laws that and in Internet disconnection? Disproportionate penalties for minor offenses. Internet access? It’s a human right.

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Report: Verizon iPhone, iPad 2 luring developers away from Android

The popularity of Android devices has grown exponentially over the last year or so among both users and developers, but the Verizon iPhone and iPad 2 may be bringing iOS back to the forefront of their attention, according to a new report from Flurry Analytics. The mobile analytics firm looked at the 90,000 applications that make use of Flurry’s SDK to see where the new projects are taking place, and found that developer attention to Android has waned significantly over first and second quarters of 2011, despite it growing steadily in 2010.

According to Flurry, developers created Android apps in increasing numbers all throughout 2010, with Android peaking at 39 percent of new projects in the fourth quarter of the year. That number went down slightly in the first quarter of 2011 to 36 percent, while 10 percent of developers started new projects specifically for iPad and 54 percent focused on the iPhone/iPod touch combo. And now that the second quarter numbers are in, things have slid in iOS’s direction even more: 28 percent of new developer projects were targeted at Android, while 15 percent were targeted at iPad and 57 percent at iPhone/iPod touch.

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Bastion launch trailer is part prologue, briefly anti-log


Bastion's hero smashes a couple of logs with such ferocity in this launch trailer, we couldn't help but draw attention to it (not to mention our ability to conjure up eye-rolling headlines).

Writer and designer Greg Kasavin describes the creative process behind the video in sincere detail on the Supergiant Games site. While footage of the vividly drawn action-RPG would have sufficed, the small development team created original art, music, writing and narration specifically for today’s presentation. “We iterate until the level of our nitpicking makes us want to kill each other or ourselves, which is when we know we’re done,” writes Kasavin.

Bastion launches this Wednesday, July 20, on Xbox Live Arcade as part of Microsoft’s Summer of Arcade promotion.

JoystiqBastion launch trailer is part prologue, briefly anti-log originally appeared on Joystiq on Fri, 15 Jul 2011 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Infinity Ward on MW2’s convoluted story, and how plot is addressed in MW3

At a Modern Warfare 3 preview event this morning 50 floors above Central Park, Infinity Ward creative strategist Robert Bowling spoke with me about a variety of IW-related topics. Ranging from MW2's controversial “No Russian” level, to the importance of the Modern Warfare series’ running plot threads in the eyes of both IW devs and gamers alike, Bowling took a proud and optimistic stance on the franchise’s less-than-clear “Task Force 141” storyline.

“For the single-player campaign, especially for Modern Warfare 3 more than ever — this is the payoff for the investment that people have put in since Call of Duty 4,” Bowling began. Though he explained that IW has been “learning new ways to tell stories and learning new ways to deliver experiences” across the development of all three games, it’s his belief that MW3 “is the payoff to all those lessons learned.”

Speaking briefly to the flawed, often convoluted plot of Modern Warfare 2, Bowling admitted, “Every game we put out, we sit back and we look at ‘What can we do better? What areas can we focus on to bump the experience up?’ And story was one of those coming out of MW2.” To him, as MW3 is the focal point for the series thus far — especially in terms of plot — the goal is to tell “one hell of a story.” Specifically, “we want it to build up on the key themes that we started in MW2, but really polish that storytelling ability.”

For me, that aim played out immediately in the single-player hands-off demo I was given. Less than five minutes in, two separate keys were required to launch missiles from a hijacked Russian submarine — and two separate individuals turned those keys, more or less directly mocking the massively unbelievable nuke launch moment with Captain Price from Modern Warfare 2.

Continue reading Infinity Ward on MW2’s convoluted story, and how plot is addressed in MW3

JoystiqInfinity Ward on MW2’s convoluted story, and how plot is addressed in MW3 originally appeared on Joystiq on Fri, 15 Jul 2011 17:35:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: next-gen Apple “A6” processors in trial production runs

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company has reportedly begun trial production of Apple’s next-generation mobile processors, which some people are referring to as the “A6,” in preparation for receiving a formal order within the next year. Just how much of the production TSMC will be responsible for is still unknown at this time, though it is clear that Apple would like to reduce its reliance on Samsung as a parts supplier for its mobile devices.

According to an anonymous source speaking to Reuters, TSMC already has the necessary authorizations and details to start full production. “Whether Apple puts in a formal order will depend on the yield rate,” the source said. In other words, the trial run will determine whether TSMC can meet Apple’s production and cost goals.

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"Very bold or very dumb": data caps don’t apply to ISP’s own movie service (updated)

Update: Shaw provided no information when I contacted them before running this story, but starting this afternoon, the company suddenly started tweeting up a storm. According to the company, watching Movie Club on a television incurs no data cap because it is delivered through Shaw’s existing video-on-demand QAM cable infrastructure. When users access Movie Club through a computer, they will access an IP-based version of it delivered over the Internet—and this will affect monthly data caps.

What happened here—miscommunication, change of heart, misspeaking? It’s not clear. As Canada’s Financial Post noted today, Shaw’s president had said on multiple occasions that Internet access to Movie Club would not count against a data cap.

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Virus kills monkeys, hops species to humans

In May of 2009, one of the species of monkeys housed in a facility at the University of California in Davis began falling ill, showing symptoms of pneumonia and hepatitis. Despite efforts to limit the spread of any infectious agent, a third of the monkeys eventually came down with the ailment; most of them died or had to be euthanized. Researchers have now identified the cause of the outbreak, a new species of a well-known virus family. Once they knew what to look for, they found evidence that the virus had been transmitted to one of the researchers at the facility and spread to one of his family members.

In the wake of the epidemic, researchers went looking for a cause using a DNA chip that can help identify sequences from a variety of pathogens. A number of viruses appeared to be present, but most weren’t known to cause the symptoms exhibited by these monkeys, so the authors focused on one family that does: the adenoviruses. Sequencing DNA from samples of the lungs of infected monkeys eventually allowed the researchers to reconstruct parts of an adenovirus genome. Targeted cloning and sequencing then enabled them to reconstruct the whole virus.

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