ars technica – Analysts, pundits, and press have gone back and forth on whether or not the gaming industry is recession proof. Console makers and big-name publishers want to believe that this is the case, but not every game or console can be a blockbuster that tops the NPD sales numbers month after month. However, according to a new report from Wisconsin-based new media company Networked Insights, topping the NPD charts may not be the only barometer for success in the game industry.
The chief premise of the report is that games with buzz have utility that reaches beyond the NPD sales numbers; games that don’t crack the top ten sales list each month haven’t necessarily failed given that future interest (and sales) will be spurred by online interactions. Effectively, the more interactions there are about and within a game online, the greater the opportunity for in-game advertisers to capitalize on an active player-base and the more likely a game is to enjoy long-tail sales.
The report focuses on the NPD top 10 games for the month of October, contrasting the sales numbers for the software with an index that Networked Insights calls “interactions.” The interactions measurement is equivalent to “buzz,” or how much the gaming community is talking about and playing a given game.
ars technica – When it comes to the big three entertainment industries, movies and music have been slowly losing ground to gaming for years now. Growth of the game industry has been relentless for the past few years and shows little sign of slowing down. And while the other industries are evolving in their own right, it appears that video games are going to play an increasingly crucial role in the future strategies of the music industry.
According to a new report from NPD, which calls video games “an important source for music discovery,” consumer demand for music dropped 2 percent in the third quarter of 2008 and the industry suffered an overall decline in purchased CDs, digital music downloads, and even peer-to-peer sharing. Certain demographics saw some pretty substantial drops; sales in the teenage demographic dropped 34 percent while sales in the adults aged 26 to 35 demographic dropped 36 percent.
ars technica – It’s easy to find the latest in scientific publications by going to a search engine, such as PubMed, that specializes in the relevant literature. But, if you’re looking for something else—unpublished data, relevant software, a comprehensive database—you’re likely to turn to a general search engine. These, more often than not, will return a Wikipedia page within the top 10 hits. In increasing numbers, scientists are reasoning that, if people are going to look at the Wikipedia page anyway, the scientific community should probably ensure that the information there is good. In the latest manifestation of this trend, the journal RNA Biology is requiring that authors of a specific type of paper submit a Wikipedia entry for peer review, as well.
This isn’t the first effort involved in trying to improve the quality and breadth of biological information available through Wikipedia, but it appears to be the first time that entries in the online encyclopedia are being made a precondition of the research career’s be-all and end-all: peer-reviewed publications.
MaximumPC – 1. Mount the Power Supply
Traditionally, the PSU is mounted at the top of the case. But in this instance, the Antec Three Hundred case reserved room for the power supply at the bottom. Start by removing the four screws that are meant to hold the PSU in place. Then, slide the unit down into place, making sure you keep the wires inside the case and avoid pinching any underneath the power supply. This Power Supply should be oriented so that the rear fan is to the left of the power switch. With the screwdriver, insert the four screws into the appropriate slots to finish mounting the power supply.
2. Drop in the CPU
You may have thought with the end of CPU pins that installing your processor was safe and worry-free. It can be, but if you’re not careful, installing your new CPU can still bork your mobo. It’s still one of the most delicate steps in building a PC, which is why we usually recommend installing the CPU before you mount the motherboard in the case. First, remove the black protective shield covering the socket and store it in a place you won’t forget. It’s good practice to save this plastic covering since most motherboard manufacturers require it to be in place if you ever need to RMA a defective board.
Gizmodo – It becomes less and less a future fever dream every day: Spaceport America in Las Cruces, NM, Virgin Galactic’s future home, has gotten FAA approval to begin construction.
The design has been set since September 2007, but now that an environmental impact assessment has been passed, construction can now begin. Branson is banking on the rich still paying for a suborbital flight in our current economic clime, and yeah, I probably believe him.
Virgin Galactic and its SpaceShipTwo/White Knight launch system will be the main attraction, but the spaceport’s license for vertical and horizontal takeoffs can be used by any number of clients willing to lease some launchpad time.