Tag Archives: Sandbox

Minecraft Franchise Forthcoming?

Minecraft is going places; its developers are working on mobile versions and now creator Markus Persson (aka Notch) says that in the future console versions with trophies and achievements will be developed. All this before the real game has officially been released. He also says that he is surprised (O RLY, Notch?) at the amount of interest his game has sustained even after the price increase (or, should we say decreased discount on the original price) when the game shifted from the alpha version to the beta version.

Minecraftlogo

The Java based sandbox game has developed such a huge following online. Many such Minecraft communities have put their minds together to develop mods (changing the game’s source code to allow for new kinds of gameplay a shortening of the word modification) and texture packs (skins) for the game’s graphics. Persson, who is quite delighted with the creativity of these mods, one day hopes that his game’s modding community achieves the prominence of the Half-Life 2 modding scene that is quite popular.

Console games, on the other hand, have specific achievementsor trophies(badges for doing certain things within the game that allow for bragging rights). Persson likes achievements. So much so that he believes that in the future he might work on an Xbox version with trophies and some specific goals within the game. In an interview with Gamasutra he says that achievements can serve the dual purpose of being badges of accomplishments as well as goals towards which players work:-

Well, it could converge into a big task, like kill a dragon or something, which would put a kind of narrative into the achievement tree.

With all these elements at work, it would be hard to ignore the force of Minecraft as a franchise on the PC as well as the consoles.

Minecraft “notches” it up with Beta

It’s been indie gaming’s very own rags-to-riches to story (well, approximately at least). When Markus Alexej Perrson, better known as Notch, started work on Minecraft back in May 2009, he had no idea that it’d grow so huge before release that he’d have his own company before the Beta release. The blocky (literally) sandbox game is what I have phrased to a friend as lego for grown-ups. Assuming, of course, that these fine folks are still kids at heart.

However, lego for grown-upsisn’t an accurate descriptor of the game at all, I must confess. But then again, if punching trees for wood, making rollercoasters, USS Enterprises and giant statues of dragons, constructing 8-bit CPUs and portals to the netherworld and, of course,   riding pigs on saddles isn’t up on your list of things to do in a game I’m afraid you’re wasting your time here. Minecraft has been infinitely discussed and the number of videos of it on YouTube exceed Quake’s.

Nevertheless, we aren’t here to read about the game, we are here to know what’s new in the game, aren’t we?

Well, actually according to Notch, there’s nothing major planned for Beta. It’s still going to be the same old game as the latest alpha version. However, a few game changes have been planned and implemented, such as these:-

* Working server-side inventory! (the biggest part of the update)
* Made SMP servers save chunks way less often in most cases.
* Moving too far away from a container, or having it blow up, closes the inventory screen
* Fixed /kill
* Introduced leaf decay again. It acts differently from before
* You can now throw eggs

Oh, and the price has gone up from 9.95 Euro to 14.95 Euro. Also, say bye bye to free expansions from today.

Google Chrome Brings in Sandbox for Adobe Flash Content

Over time, Google Chrome has achieved a reputation for being one of the fastest and most secure browsers. Chrome attributes much of it’s security due to the sandboxing model, which ensures that each tab runs in a separate process and cannot interfere with each other.

Google Chrome Sandbox

Google Chrome has gone the extra step to ensure that one of the most vulnerable software, Adobe Flash, gets constantly updated with bundling and auto-updating the Flash Player automatically. Extending this further, with the latest dev channel editions, Chrome also sandboxes Adobe Flash content. Chrome developers state that Chrome is the first browser under Windows XP which sandboxes Adobe Flash content and hopes this will protect users again most common malware.

For whatever reason, if you want to disable Flash sandboxing, add –disable-flash-sandbox as a command line parameter to your Chrome shortcut and you’re set.

Dell KACE Secure Browser: Firefox with Sandboxing

In a surprising move, Dell has launched its own web browser. Even though the browser market is already fiercely competitive, its obvious that a lot of people still believe that there is still room for niche browsers. The new browser, which is called Dell KACE Secure Browser, is based on Firefox.

Secure-BrowserThe standout feature of Secure Browser is sandboxing. It utilizes KACE’s Virtual Kontainer to provide a secure browsing environment. In other words, the browser runs in its own separate compartment which is completely insulated from the rest of the system. As a result, even if you pick up malwares while browsing, your system won’t get infected. As far as the virtual environment is concerned, you can clean it up by simply using the reset functionality.

The Secure Browser is probably the bulkiest browser in the market. The installer itself takes up more than seventy megabytes! Even more annoyingly, the Secure Browser can’t be installed if you don’t uninstall Firefox. It’s hard to imagine too many people adopting this browser. However, that probably doesn’t matter to Dell. In all likelihood, we will soon see Secure Browser being preinstalled on Dell systems powered by Windows.

[ Download Dell KACE Secure Browser ]

Adobe Planning to Introduce Sandboxing Technologies in Reader

Adobe Acrobat Reader and Microsoft Internet explorer have become a top favorite with hackers. Internet Explorer with its innumerable vulnerabilities forms an excellent learning ground for crackers. Another hot favorite with them is Adobe Reader.

adobe-reader

Both Adobe and its users are fed up by continuous release of updates and follow up hack attempts in spite of these updates. In a recent announcement, Adobe has announced that it will release its next Reader software as a sandboxed application.

Sandboxing prevents an application from accessing the underlying data and creates a virtual environment for the application to run. This keeps the processes within the application free from each other and prevents them from accessing data from the computer.

Brad Arkin, Adobe’s director of security and privacy says,

With sandboxing, anyone who encounters a malicious PDF will find that a successful exploit is kept within the sandbox.

The sandboxing approach however, cannot ensure complete safety, as the sandbox itself has to be powerful enough. However, it will need two levels of breach before any actual data is compromised.

(Source)