Rick Bentley writes with more on the story behind the meltdown of Duke Nukem Forever, the game that will now live on only as a cautionary tale: "Although the shutdown was previously reported on Slashdot, this new Wired article goes in-depth behind the scenes to paint a picture of a mushroom cloud-sized implosion. Developers spending a decade in a career holding pattern for below market salary with 'profit sharing' incentives, no real project deadlines, a motion capture room apparently used to capture the motion of strippers (the new game was to take place in a strip club, owned by Duke, that gets attacked by aliens), and countless crestfallen fans. *Sniff*, I would have played that game."
I think that by "include anyone having an inappropriate conversation with a child — even if the chats aren't sexual in nature" does not include anything that would get you arrested if it would be said in "real-life". It probably concerns death threats and the like. You would not say "suck my balls" to an underage after beating him at chess in a coffee anyway, and I think the same should apply online. But saying "I'm so gonna cut you in half - I know where you live" to a kid after he beats you at chess could get you arrested, and I think the same should apply online. The question of knowing or not if one is an underage is another thing.
If done right, it can be great. In Québec, Canada, two large companies (Bell and Vidéotron) had a monopoly on broadband. A few years ago, a 650k access was about 30-35$ (including modem rental, all fees, with a yearly contract). Now, Bell is forced to share it's network and small companies can "rent" a dry loop (a phone line that cannot make phone calls) for 8$ a month. Bell support to those companies was bad (read: non-existant) in the first few years, but now they have been imposed a short delay (a week or two) to fix the problems, or they get a fine. The system seems to work pretty well.
[Insert "Yes, you can" joke here]
An anonymous reader recommends a project carried out recently by Serge Brunier and Frédéric Tapissier. Brunier traveled to the top of a volcano in the Canary Islands and to the Chilean desert to capture 1,200 images — each one a 6-minute exposure — of the night sky. The photos were taken between August 2008 and February 2009 and required more than 30 full nights under the stars. Tapissier then processed the images together into a single zoomable, 800-megapixel, 360-degree image of the sky in which the Earth is embedded. "It is the sky that everyone can relate to that I wanted to show — it's constellations... whose names have nourished all childhoods, it's myths and stories of gods, titans, and heroes shared by all civilisations since Homo became sapiens. The image was therefore made as man sees it, with a regular digital camera." The image is the first of three portraits produced by the European Southern Observatory's GigaGalaxy Zoom project.
consonant writes "A Delaware District Court judge has ordered Facebook to turn over ALL its source code to Leader Technologies, who allege patent infringements by Facebook. The patent in question appears to be for 'associating a piece of data with multiple categories.' Additionally, while the judge in question deems it fine to let Leader Technologies look at Facebook's source (for a patent, no less!) in its entirety for a single feature, it would be 'overboard to ask a patent holder to disclose all of their products that practice any claim of the patent-in-suit.'"
David Gerard writes "Nathan Myhrvold's Intellectual Ventures doesn't sue people over patents, because that would be patent trolling! No, instead they just threaten to sell the patent to a known litigious patent troll. So that's all right then. Timothy Lee details how using patents to crush profitable innovation works in practice, and concludes: 'In thinking about how to reform the patent system, a good yardstick would be to look for policy changes that would tend to put Myhrvold and his firm out of business.'"
adeelarshad82 writes "It's been just a little over a month since Apple blocked iTunes sync with Palm Pre, and now Apple takes that strategy one step further by blocking Snow Leopard sync with Palm-OS powered smartphones. Even though Palm has officially retired Palm OS and is now focusing hard on its next-generation WebOS in the Palm Pre, the company is still selling Palm OS-powered smartphones; two current models are the Treo Pro on Sprint and the Centro."
blackbearnh writes "With the release of the 3.1 iPhone OS, application developers will finally be able to develop augmented reality (AR) apps. In other words, Terminator Vision is right around the corner. O'Reilly Media recently talked to Chetan Damani, one of the founders of Acrossair, about how they developed their new AR application, Nearest Tube, which displays the closest London Tube stations over a live video overlay on an iPhone 3GS. According to Damani, developing AR applications on the 3GS is dead easy, and the real trick will be developing good augmented reality apps. 'It's all about who's going to have the most amount of data and the most valid data. So there's the obvious types of apps which you're going to launch and those are the find me my nearest bar, find me my nearest event, find me the nearest tube stop, find me the nearest ATM. And those sorts of apps are all going to be around. But they're only going to be useful for when you're trying to look for things. So if we want to get users to use augmented reality a little bit more, we have to start introducing other bits of functionality, things like show me the offers available in a particular high street. Show me when I'm walking down a high street if there's a table available at a particular restaurant. And it's that sort of interactivity and providing that real-time data in this augmented reality view which is going to start getting people to use it a lot more rather than just for show me where the nearest area is.'"
And what about that message and funny picture you've just posted on Facebook? Ho, wait...
snydeq writes "Fatal Exception's Neil McAllister suggests that Wolfram Research's claim to copyright of results returned by the Wolfram Alpha engine could have significant ramifications for the software industry. 'While software companies routinely retain sole ownership of their software and license it to users, Wolfram Research has taken the additional step of claiming ownership of the output of the software itself,' McAllister writes, pointing out that it is 'at least theoretically possible to copyright works generated by machines.' And, under current copyright law, if any Wolfram claim to authorship of the output of its engine is upheld, by extension the same rules will apply to other information services in similar cases as well. In other words, 'If unique presentations based on software-based manipulation of mundane data are copyrightable, who retains what rights to the resulting works?'"
mhx writes "A single character sent by text message could allegedly compromise every iPhone released to date. The technique involves sending only one unusual text character or else a series of 'invisible' messages that confuse the phone and open the door to attack. Apple has not released any updates yet, so little can be done, except to power off your iPhone to avoid being hacked."
I wonder how Microsoft will call it's clone of Wave... Bang? aLive? Sharepoint?
eldavojohn writes "Certainly one of the most important steps in adopting a protocol is a working open source example of it. Well, google has open sourced an implementation of the wave protocol for those of you curious about Google's new collaboration and conversation platform. It's been reviewed, skewered and called 'Anti-Web' but now's your chance to see a Java implementation of it. The article lists it as still rapidly evolving so it might not be prudent to buy into it yet. Any thumbs up or thumbs down from actual users of the new protocol?"
levicivita notes ZeroPaid coverage of a recent study by the UK music industry's own economist showing that overall UK music industry revenues were up in 2008 (study, PDF). The study is titled "Adding up the Music Industry for 2008" and it was authored by Will Page, who is the Chief Economist at PRS for Music, a UK-based royalty collecting group for music writers, composers, and publishers. From ZeroPaid: "[T]he music industry is growing increasingly diverse as music fans enjoy a wide range of platforms to hear and consume music. Sales of recorded music fell 6% for example, digital was up 50% while physical dropped 10%, but concert ticket sales grew by 13%. In terms of what consumers spent on music as a whole last year, this surprisingly grew by 3%."