Accused Sony hacker dodges prison by destroying evidence

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I don’t condone the actions of hackers, but this was one smart dude. Todd M. Miller was suspected and accused of participating in the group that brought down Sony’s online game servers back in 2008. He potentially faced 20 years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine, both of which he dodged by destroying his machines and disposing of his hard drives before the FBI could come back with a search warrant.

He was, however, sentenced to a year of house arrest, three years of probation, and ordered to complete a high-school equivalent certificate for obstructing a federal investigation. That’s a much better deal than he would’ve gotten if he was proven guilty in the hacking case.

The judge, who presided over the 28-year-old’s case, said that he could ‘see no sense’ in sentencing him to prison since Miller had a troubled childhood and now had a stable job. Miller admitted in court that he was “immature and ignorant and caught up with the wrong people at the wrong time,” and that “[the judge] would never see [Miller] again.”

Metro: Last Light has low FOV, auto-aim turned on by default; how to force DX9

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Metro: Last Light is now out and getting generally favorable reviews. However, an issue has been found that may prove to be a problem during gameplay. The game has a very low field of view and developer 4AGames hasn’t put it any sliders to change it. It can’t even be changed through manual configuration file editing, too.

The game is also a DirectX 10/11 title, but you can force it to run in DX9. DSOGaming has put up a guide on how to do it; as a bonus, they’ve also added a guide on how to turn off auto-aim, which is turned on by default in the PC version.

Finally, a new beta version of GeForce drivers for NVIDIA’s graphics cards is out. The v320.14 drivers are optimized specifically for the game, noting enhanced performance by up to 10%.

Brilliant time-lapse video shows development of Dropchord

Double Fine is freaking awesome when it comes to making good games, and Dropchord is looking to be a great addition to its roster. If you’ve ever wondered how the studio makes its games, then this video is for you.

Senior gameplay programmer Patrick Hackett has put up a time-lapse video of the development of Dropchord. “I regularly captured short videos showing new features or interesting developments,” he writes. “I sped these up and cut them together with one of the tracks from the game.”

And the result is phenomenal. The video shows the evolution of the game’s design, how its appearance changed, and its debut at PAX East this March.

Dropchord is due out on Windows, Mac, and iOS in July.

US Vice President sees no legal problem with taxing violent games

Joe Biden

I have a lot of respect for US VP Joe Biden, but this was rather asinine of him. Speaking in a closed-door meeting with religious leaders over gun control, he said that “there’s no legal reason why” violent games couldn’t be taxed.

This comment was sparked when Reverend Franklin Graham proposed that companies which produce violent media—including games and movies—could be taxed, with the proceeds awarded to the victims of violent crimes.

While it’s an interesting proposal, I don’t think it’s fair on game studios. They’re only making entertainment products, and their job is not to supervise the behavior of the people. Similarly, movie studios are there to make money from their films and entertain people. In fact, the same argument can be applied to every other industry. The blame falls squarely on the people who carry out such violent crimes.

As a matter of fact, there have been several peer reviewed studies that have reported that there isn’t any direct causal link between violent media and violent actions. There are many other ways of diminishing violent crimes, including the oft-cited tougher laws on gun control.

The Novelist looks intriguing, awaits your vote on Steam Greenlight

The Novelist looks like another great indie game in the making, and it’s being made by Kent Hudson. He’s a former LucasArts developer and game designer who worked on BioShock 2 and Deus Ex: Invisible War, among others.

The game has been put up on Steam Greenlight and looks very interesting. It follows Dan Kaplan, a struggling novelist, and his family as they move to their summer home. You are a ghostly presence in their home, reading their thoughts and guiding their actions. Hopefully, you will help the family reconcile its differences and alter the path Kaplan’s career takes.

The Novelist looks to be a game heavy with rhetoric and choice. It also appears to be an outward expression of the players’ personality and attitude towards career and family. It will also be an exploration of the constitution of people: who they are, what makes them, and who they wish to be. Honestly, I find this game truly intriguing.

It’s being developed for PC and Mac. It may be released on Steam with the help of your precious vote.

Awesome: GTA 5 character wallpapers

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If you’re itching for a new wallpaper, then you’ve come to the right place. Remember the recent illustrations for the three new characters for GTA 5? Well, Rockstar has released some fantastic new wallpapers for these characters, including a three-shot lineup of all of them together.

They’re available in a wide variety of resolutions and handheld devices. Head over and choose the one you like the most right now.