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Social Networks

Facebook Scrabble Rip-off Capitalizes on Mattel's Lethargy 216

mlimber writes "The Facebook app Scrabulous was written by two Scrabble-loving brothers in India, has over 700,000 users, brings in about $25,000 per month in advertising revenue, and is in flagrant violation of copyright law. The corporate owners of Scrabble, Hasbro and Mattel, have threatened legal action against the creators and have made deals with Electronic Arts and RealNetworks to release official online versions of the game. But according to an NYTimes article, 'Scrabulous has already brought Scrabble a newfound virtual popularity that none of the game companies could have anticipated,' and according to one consultant to the entertainment industry, 'If you're Hasbro or Mattel, it isn't in your interest to shut this down.' Hasbro's partner RealNetworks is 'working closely' with the piratical brothers, but Mattel says that 'settling with the [brothers] would set a bad precedent' for other board games going online."

'Death Star' Aimed at Earth 400

An anonymous reader writes "A spectacular, rotating binary star system is a ticking time bomb, ready to throw out a searing beam of high-energy gamma rays that could lead to a major extinction event — and Earth may be right in the line of fire. Australian science magazine Cosmos Magazine reports: 'Though the risk may be remote, there is evidence that gamma ray bursts have swept over the planet at various points in Earth's history with a devastating effect on life. A 2005 study showed that a gamma-ray burst originating within 6,500 light years of Earth could be enough to strip away the ozone layer and cause a mass extinction. Researchers led by Adrian Melott at the University of Kansas in Lawrence, U.S., suggest that such an event may have been responsible for a mass extinction 443 million years ago, in the late Ordovician period, which wiped out 60 per cent of life and cooled the planet.'"

PHP Optimized for Windows Server 2008 182

Stony Stevenson writes "It used to be that popular PHP applications would run more poorly on Windows Server than on a Linux or Unix servers, for which PHP had been optimized. Specialist in the PHP language Zend Technologies now says that's no longer the case. The Zend Core commercially supported form of PHP has been certified by Microsoft as ready to run 'with performance and stability' on Windows Server 2008, said Andi Gutmans, co-founder and CTO of Zend. Previously, PHP 'didn't run as well as it should on Windows,' said Gutmans, despite the fact that 75% to 80% of PHP users were developing on Windows workstations."

Programmers used to batch environments may find it hard to live without giant listings; we would find it hard to use them. -- D.M. Ritchie