NEW YORK: If you are a gamer, you are probably very familiar with Steam, Valve Software’s combination of online game store and community service. It was launched in 2003 by the Portal and Team Fortress 2 maker and next month it will be introducing a new feature called ‘Big Picture’ aimed to put your computer games front and centre in your home theatre. When enabled, Big Picture will reformat Steam’s interface to be more easily readable on tele-visions and work with game controllers in addition to the
traditional mouse and keyboard. The feature was originally announced in 2011 and will reportedly go into beta in September and be open for all Steam users to try. The company hopes Big Picture mode will lead to computer makers creating their own gaming-centric machines meant to be connected to televisions and running Steam. — Agencies
Discount for phone-free diners
BEVERLY HILLS: A Los Angeles restaurant is offering a deal to customers who agree to look at their fellow diners instead of their phone screens. Eva Rest-aurant is giving a five per cent discount to customers who will leave their cellphones with staff when they are seated. Owner Mark Gold told KPCC radio that the policy is not about other
diners who might be annoyed by cellphone chatter or the glow of smartphone screens, but an attempt to create an environment where diners connect to each other instead of to tech-nology. Servers make the offer to diners when they introduce themselves. Gold says nearly half take advantage of the discount, and many express grat-itude at the opportunity to let go of their devices for a while.
Judge rejects FB settlement
SAN FRANCISCO: In an order on Friday, US District Judge Richard Seeborg in San Francisco listed several concerns with the proposed settlement to resolve allegations that Facebook Inc (FB) violated its members’ rights through its ‘Sponsored Stories’ advertising feature. He also requested for additional information on why the agreement does not award any money to members. Representatives for the plaintiffs could not be reached for comment. Five FB members had filed a lawsuit seeking class-action status against the social networking site, saying its ‘Sponsored Stories’ feature violated California law by publicising users’ likes of certain advertisers without paying them or giving them a way to opt out. The case involved 100 million potential class members. As part of the proposed settlement, FB agreed to allow members more control over how their personal information is used. Seeborg said the company and attorneys for the plaintiffs could try to modify their agreement to address his concerns.