Spintires Removed From Steam

Ever felt like going off-road and bringing that large truck of yours into the wilderness to enjoy the outdoors? Spintires looked to do just that giving you the ability to enjoy an off-road driving experience based in Russia. The game may be no more though as it has now been pulled from Steam, with issues between the creator and the publisher, causing more than a few little bumps in its development.

The creator, Pavel Zagrebelnyj, came out last week and stated that he was still owed money by the publisher, the UK-based publisher company Oovee. Oovee state that while they are late their accounts are still filed, meaning that Zagrebelnyj would soon receive his money.

That may not be enough though as the game has experienced a recent slew of bugs and malfunctions. These have in fact been due to timebombs, certain pieces of code that go off after certain amounts of time or set dates. The time bombs were supposedly created by Zagrebelnyj, but have since been patched by a user with unofficial fixes.

Oovees are keen to deny any speculation that it may have been due to international sabotage, claiming to have been working with Pavel since the bugs were discovered.

With no option to buy the game on Steam, users may be disappointed as the signs point to development ending on this game and a sour relationship between the creator and publisher for what could have been an interesting game.

Valve Removes Payment Feature From Skyrim Workshop Again

Well, that didn’t last long. Just a couple of days after Valve introduced a new feature that allowed modders to sell their work on Steam, the feature has been pulled again. The feature had nothing but the best intentions but it was a swing and miss at the same time. It didn’t take long before the first online petitions ran with the aim to get the feature removed. It even cost Steam $1 million extra in staff costs just to reply to all the users contacting them with their concerns and complaints about the new feature.

“We’re going to remove the payment feature from the Skyrim workshop. For anyone who spent money on a mod, we’ll be refunding you the complete amount. We talked to the team at Bethesda and they agree.”

In a blog post, Valve-employee Alden explained the reasons. The main goal behind the entire idea was to make the modding community even better, allow the exceptional people to earn a buck for the work and the hope for mods to turn into future full games like Dota, Counter-Strike, DayZ, and Killing Floor have done already. But it probably wasn’t the best idea to start with a game that has as dedicated and big a modding community as Skyrim does.

“We understand our own game’s communities pretty well, but stepping into an established, years old modding community in Skyrim was probably not the right place to start iterating,” said the blog post. “We think this made us miss the mark pretty badly, even though we believe there’s a useful feature somewhere here.”

Any user who spent money on a mod during the few days that the system was running will get a full refund of their money. Most users appreciate this news when looking at the feedback, but at the same time they urge Steam to add a donation button instead. Make it voluntary instead, so people who want to pay for what the think is good work can do so and skip the bad ones.

New Nvidia Drivers Disable GTX 900M GPU Overclocking

Some Nvidia users weren’t happy with the recent 3.5GB RAM debacle and now it looks like Nvidia has angered the next part of their userbase.

The current GeForce GTX 900M Mobile GPU series had been overclockable up until now, something a lot of users enjoyed – but that ability was just a bug from the looks of it.

That ‘bug’ has been fixed in the latest driver package and set overclocks are returned to default. Third party overclocking tools don’t work anymore either.

Angry users immediately went on to Nvidia’s support forums to report this bug, only to get the reply that it was intended as a fix.

The reason for the disabling of this function is logical, risk of damage is a lot higher on notebooks that are specific designed to accommodate a specific maximum amount of heat – but users want the ability even if it would mean voiding their warranty.

Thanks to MyDrivers for providing us with this information

Click-Bait Links Being Cleaned up by Facebook

Facebook has just announced their plans to clean out our news feeds of click-bait articles and headlines – alongside stories that contain links shared in the captions of photos or within status updates. This follows Facebook’s clean up of like-bait, repeated content and spam links from 4 months ago.

Click-bait is a link attached to a headline which will peak your interest without informing you much about the subject. For example, they’re often using phrases such as “click here to find out!” or “you’ll never guess what happens next!” and things of the like.

Facebook’s official release let on a little bit of insight into why this change is taking place:

“Posts like these tend to get a lot of clicks, which means that these posts get shown to more people, and get shown higher up in News Feed. However, when we asked people in an initial survey what type of content they preferred to see in their News Feeds, 80% of the time people preferred headlines that helped them decide if they wanted to read the full article before they had to click through. Over time, stories with “click-bait” headlines can drown out content from friends and Pages that people really care about.” 

Click-bait articles are becoming quite popular in our news feeds – but often for the wrong reasons. This release shows that the Facebook ‘population’ would prefer articles from reputable companies which actually tell you what to expect in the written content.

Currently, Facebook’s news feed takes into account the length of stay on certain content and the click-through rate of these said articles or websites alongside the interaction data – meaning likes, comments and shares. Using this data, they claim that articles which are clicked on, then with an extended time spent viewing this content in turn means it was worth looking at. This does not take into account the issue of you opening multiple tabs at once, or opening something and taking a break from your computer – so we’re eager to see how this is dealt with.

Facebook is also restricting stories with links in the status or in the text caption accompanying a photo. This may become a concern for many legitimate companies trying to push their products with a where to buy link, or possibly event charity organisations attempting to link to donation portals. The release also stated their intentions for this maneuver:

“We’ve found that people often prefer to click on links that are displayed in the link format (which appears when you paste a link while drafting a post), rather than links that are buried in photo captions. The link format shows some additional information associated with the link, such as the beginning of the article, which makes it easier for someone to decide if they want to click through. This format also makes it easier for someone to click through on mobile devices, which have a smaller screen.”

Cover image courtesy of The Sunday Mail

Inset image courtesy of Facebook Newsroom

Nokia’s HERE Maps Removed From iOS AppStore, iOS 7 To Be Blamed

Nokia has removed its popular HERE Maps app from the iOS App Store. The Finnish company blamed its decision on iOS 7, the latest version of Apple’s mobile operating system, for being a user experience killer.

“We have made the decision to remove our Here Maps app from the Apple App Store because recent changes to iOS 7 harm the user experience,” Nokia said in a statement.
“iPhone users can continue to use the mobile web version of Here Maps under m.here.com., offering them core location needs, such as search, routing, orientation, transit information and more, all completely free of charge.”

True to Nokia’s word, we could still access HERE Maps using an iPhone web browser, although lazy fanboys would no doubt prefer to have a nice big button to click rather than a long old web address to type in.

HERE is wildly popular on Windows phones, where it comes pre-installed, and is probably one of Nokia’s killer pieces of mobile software, but for the most part, it has failed to pull users away from old faithful Google Maps.

Anyone using Windows phones can still use HERE, which is handy because Microsoft has licensed it for 10 years. The mapping division will be a core part of Nokia’s denuded business, which will look significantly smaller when Redmond’s acquisition of the Finnish firm’s smartphone production division is complete.

Apple’s own Maps has a long and buggy story too, for when it wasn’t directing drivers onto airport runways, it was rather rudely deleting whole towns. Nokia also has a long and occasionally sad history with mobile phones, although its Windows phones recently made ground on Apple in Europe. According to recent stats, Nokia’s phones now account for about 10 per cent of all mobile sales in Europe, while Apple’s share shrunk from 20.8 per cent to 15.8 per cent.

Thank you The Register for providing us with this information