Valve Reveals Steam’s 2016 Top Earners — Including ‘No Man’s Sky’

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An anonymous reader quotes PC Gamer:
In a surprise announcement today to kick off 2017, Valve has revealed the 100 best-selling Steam games of 2016… Although the “Top Sellers” section of Steam gives a constant sense of what’s selling now, Valve hasn’t previously compiled an annual list of which Steam games earned the most money… Rather than ranked in order from 1-100, the list is separated into tiers, from Platinum to Bronze, based on revenue (as opposed to copies sold)… Doom didn’t crack the top 12, but it may have gotten close: it’s ranked somewhere between 13th and 24th

That second-place Gold tier included more modern throwbacks to classic games, including Team Fortress 2, Call of Duty: Black Ops III, and Rise of the Tomb Raider: 20-Year Celebration. Meanwhile, No Man’s Sky, which got off to a rocky start this summer before its massive November update, still turned up in the top “Platinum” tier for revenue earned in 2016. (And it’s now discounted 40%.)

In fact, “As an extension of the Winter Sale, all but six of these games are on sale,” reports PC Gamer. The other top-earning Steam games were Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Grand Theft Auto V, Civilization VI, and DOTA 2 (which is free to play), as well as Rocket League, XCOM 2, Dark Souls III, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Fallout 4, Total War: Warhammer, and Tom Clancy’s The Division.

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Library Creates Fake Patron Records To Avoid Book-Purging

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An anonymous reader writes:
Chuck Finley checked out 2,361 books from a Florida library in just nine months, increasing their total circulation by 3.9%. But he doesn’t exist. “The fictional character was concocted by two employees at the library, complete with a false address and driver’s license number,” according to the Orlando Sentinel. The department overseeing the library acknowledges their general rule is “if something isn’t circulated in one to two years, it’s typically weeded out of circulation.” So the fake patron scheme was concocted by a library assistant working with the library’s branch supervisor, who “said he wanted to avoid having to later repurchase books purged from the shelf.”
But according to the newspaper the branch supervisor “said the same thing is being done at other libraries, too.”

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RIP Tyrus Wong, unsung Chinese-American Disney legend who had to lie to come to America and save his life

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Nagurski writes, “Tyrus Wong was a brilliant Chinese-American artist who designed the look of the landmark ‘Bambi’ cartoon for Disney. Due to racial attitudes and at the time, he received limited recognition for his contributions, but was belatedly named a Disney Legend in 2001. He also was an accomplished painter and made fantastic kites, which he flew on the Santa Monica beach, continuing to do so past the age of 100.”
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Eavesdropping Uber Driver Helps Rescue 16-Year-Old From Her Pimps

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Slashdot reader sabri writes “In California, an Uber driver saved a 16 year old girl from human traffickers after he overheard them talk about delivering the girl to a customer.” The Washington Post reports:
Uber driver Keith Avila picked up a passenger who looked like a 12-year-old girl in a short skirt Monday night. That was the first sign that something was off, he would say later. Two women got into his car with the girl outside a house in Sacramento. Halfway to their destination — a Holiday Inn in Elk Grove, California — they asked Avila to turn up the music, he said. Then the women turned to the girl. Avila listened in.
“They were describing what they were going to do when they get there: ‘Check for guns. Get the money before you start touching up on the guy,'” Avila said on Facebook Live minutes after he dropped off the passengers, then called police to report the women whom he suspected of prostituting the child. The girl was 16, not 12, Elk Grove police told local news outlets. But Avila’s suspicions were right, they said. The teen was being sold for sex at the Holiday Inn, and her eavesdropping Uber driver had saved her.
The teen girl was returned to her family, while the two women with her were charged with multiple felonies. The driver had only joined Uber a few weeks earlier, but his Facebook Live video from outside his fare’s house has now been viewed more than 240,000 times.

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Germany Considers Fining Facebook $522,000 Per Fake News Item

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“The government of Germany is considering imposing a legal regime that would allow fining social networks such as Facebook up to 500,000 euros ($522,000) for each day the platform leaves a ‘fake news’ story up without deleting it,” according to a story shared by schwit1. PC Magazine has more details:

The law would reportedly apply to other social networks as well. “If after the relevant checks Facebook does not immediately, within 24 hours, delete the offending post then [it] must reckon with severe penalties of up to 500,000 euros,” Germany’s parliamentary chief of the Social Democrat party Thomas Oppermann said in an interview with Germany’s Der Spiegel magazine, according to a report from Heat Street. Under the law, “official and private complainants” would be able to flag news on Facebook as fake, Heat Street reported. Facebook and other affected social networks would have to create “in-country offices focused on responding to takedown demands,” the report says. The bill, slated for consideration next year, is said to have bipartisan support.

According to the article, “Lawmakers in the country are reportedly hoping it will prevent Russia from interfering in Germany’s elections next year.”

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Happy Public Domain Day: here’s what American’s don’t get this year, thanks to retroactive copyright term extension

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Jennifer Jenkins writes, “What could have been entering the public domain in the US on January 1, 2017? Under the law that existed until 1978 — Works from 1960. The books ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ and ‘Rabbit, Run’ the films ‘The Magnificent Seven’ and ‘The Time Machine’ early episodes of ‘The Flintstones’ the musical ‘Camelot’ and more — What is actually entering the public domain this January 1? Not a single published work.”
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