Frankly speaking, the beginning of the coldest season has brought a kind of huddle of ideas into our minds. We notice a lot happening, but fail to concentrate on the most important. Apparently, the same applies to this news digest... However, that's already your call.
THQ has announced that their Obsidian Entertainment studio, previously engaged in developing Fallout: New Vegas, is going to create a new RPG based on the stories of South Park. The new game is said to be available on Xbox 360, PS3 and PC in the third quarter of 2012. Well, swearing kids and somewhat interesting plot may in this case become a winning formula.
In cooperation with Google Books, the British Library has digitized more than 300 years worth of newspaper archives, thus bringing 65 million articles online. Users can now browse through all these articles from a range of regional UK papers. The archive is, however, not completely open to public: the visitors can read the articles for free, but downloading those files in .pdf format will require a paid subscription. The money obtained this way, in its turn, is supposed to be used for further document digitizing.
Valve has got down to beta testing the new version of the most popular shooter of all times, Counter Strike: Global Offensive. The beta key was distributed to the happy fans, who can now play only on the classic de_dust and de_dust2 levels. The map, as well as the number of testers, will eventually be extended. The full version of the game is to be released at the beginning of 2012 on all the existing game consoles and PCs.
Google has released a new tool that won't let you get lost in a shopping center or an airport. The company developed one of the largest updates for Google Maps on Android ever that is supposed to picture the layout of a building on entering. The first update embraces information about Atlanta International, Chicago О'Hare и San Francisco International airports and the largest shopping centers including Bloomingdale, Home Depot, IKEA, and Macy’s. The application now requires Android 2.1 or higher.
NCsoft has decided to make one of the most popular MMO games, Lineage 2, completely free. This is supposed to significantly increase the number of players. The company hasn't invented anything new and implemented the common scheme: the user can choose either to play for free (apparently, it will take eternity to achieve some more or less distinct results), or to pay for new skills and equipment. In addition to lifting the fee, the Korean company released an add-on Goddess Of Destruction. This new chapter introduces new classes, skills (most notably, jumping) and locations.
Microsoft Corp. has published a new HTML5 website on the mobile version of microsoft.com designed to demonstrate Windows Phone 7.5's abilities to the users of iOS and Android. The same initiative was undertaken on Facebook.
When it comes to Facebook, we must admit the company has shown unusual activity this week. First of all, the company has announced the acqusition of another social network Gowalla. The latter is famous for creating an application for communication based on geopositioning, representing one of the most powerful Foursquare's rivals. Some employees of Gowalla are said to move to Palo Alto to help develop the new Facebook's Timeline feature.
Another issue concerning Zuckerberg is that he finally admitted the poor state of the service's security. As a result, the administration of the website decisively got down to user privacy issues and worked out an agreement with the US Federal Trade Commission. In this agreement, Facebook commited itself to a daily charged fine of $16,000 if it ignores the responsibilities of privacy enforcement. These responsibilities include, but are not limited to blocking an account after 30 days on its being deactivated by the user and changing the privacy settings only upon the user's consent. Moreover, every two years the company has to undergo the procedure of independent audit. They say, they've only made their common deeds official... Let's see, when we get to know about the first fine (if any).
And in the end, good news for the Germans. The censors have finally allowed to officially play Quake in the country. Note: it happened 15 years after its first release :) So, that's all for the week. Thank you for staying with us, and be updated!