StarCraft II players will get four officially sanctioned mods for the real-time strategy title created by Blizzard, new map types that turn the sci-fi war game into a Bejeweled-like puzzler, a co-op survival game and a DotA-style multiplayer scenario. Blizzard's Mike Morhaime announced at Blizzcon 2010 today that four new mods are coming to Battle.net: Auir Chef (yes, that's "chef"), Left 2 Die, StarJeweled and Blizzard DotA. Auir Chef combines cooking and killing in a battle for the title of "Executor Chef." StarJeweled adds gem-matching gameplay to the energy gathering, troop building mechanics of StarCraft II.

Left 2 Die adds a "new co-op take on the StarCraft II campaign mission 'Outbreak'" and Blizzard DotA — which may actually be known as Blizzard All-Stars — appears to be an outer space spin on the popular WarCraft III mode, Defense of the Ancients.

All four mods are playable at this weekend's BlizzCon and will be released to the StarCraft II community, for free, via Battle.net in the coming months.

[Source: Kotaku]
Andrew Huang wrote a book a few years back called Hacking The Xbox. He's an expert on the subject. He's such an expert, in fact, that federal prosecutors are trying to stop him testifying in a mod chip court case. Courtesy of a report on Wired, Matthew Crippen is facing three years in prison if convicted of servicing Xbox 360 consoles and installing mod chips on them, offences which violate the United States' Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

Huang is willing to testify on Crippen's behalf, arguing that installing a mod chip does not in itself constitute a violation of copyright. He points towards a recent U.S. Copyright Office decision to allow the "jailbreaking" of Apple's iDevices as precedent for this; if they can be legally modified to allow third-party applications, so too should game consoles.

Federal prosecutors, however, have called for Huang to be barred from testifying on the grounds it would be "legally irrelevant".

I don't know. Seems pretty damn relevant to me.

Prosecutors Seek to Block Xbox Hacking Pioneer From Mod-Chip Trial