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Security

+ - MMORPG Games and Fraud->

Submitted by WWoWW
WWoWW (666) writes "In the world of MMORPGs, also known simply as online games, players can meet other players, become friends, engage in battle, fight shoulder to shoulder against evil, find their virtual destiny... However not all is well in these virtual worlds, where virtual evil can become greedy reality. Online games are played by real people, including thieves and con artists who make real money by stealing other people's virtual property. This article explores how MMORPG passwords and virtual property are stolen and how other malicious acts are committed against MMORPG players."
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Movies

+ - MPAA says democracy is illegitimate->

Submitted by
cabalamat3
cabalamat3 writes "Dean Garfield, director of the MPAA's anti-piracy department, was interviewed recently. When asked about the Pirate Party's attempts to fight the MPAA at the ballot box, he replied, "There's nothing about what the Pirate Bay does or what the Pirate Party does that is legitimate." So there you have it, standing for election in a democracy is illegitimate."
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Space

+ - Voyager celebrates 30-years out of this world->

Submitted by
coondoggie
coondoggie writes "NASA is today celebrating one of its most successful space programs ever: Voyager. Voyager 2 launched on Aug. 20, 1977, and Voyager 1 launched on Sept. 5, 1977 and between them, they have explored all the planets of the outer solar system, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune; 48 of their moons; and the unique system of rings and magnetic fields those planets possess. And the craft continue to run smoothly and send back information from distances more than three times farther away than Pluto. NASA notes that even though most of the launch vehicle's 700 ton weight is due to rocket fuel, Voyager 2's travel distance of 4.4 billion miles from launch to Neptune results in a fuel economy of about 30,000 MPG. As Voyager 2 zips out of the solar system, this economy will get better. http://www.networkworld.com/community/node/18560"
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Announcements

+ - SDF Public Access UNIX System Celebrates 20 Years->

Submitted by
Stephen Jones
Stephen Jones writes "It was on June 16th, 1987 that the SDF-1 received its first caller at
300bps. This little Apple ][e BBS of the late 80s turned into a Public
Access UNIX System with the demise of "killer.dallas.tx.us" during the
"Operation Sundevil" raids. Since then it has grown to become the oldest
and largest continually operating PUBNIX on the planet.""

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The Internet

+ - Open Source Economics Driving Web 2.0 Innovation->

Submitted by
ReadWriteWeb
ReadWriteWeb writes "Jitendra Gupta looks how the open source model is interacting with our market driven economic system. He writes that the open source movement has become a powerful value creator; that it has created an interesting and somewhat egalitarian wealth distribution mechanism, where on one hand it has made it hard for one stakeholder to extract inordinate rents, and on the other hand it has created the right incentives for a lot of people to participate in, and have a stake in, its success. Indeed, were it not for the LAMP stack, startup costs would have been a lot higher then they are today — and we would not be seeing the amount of innovation we are seeing from web 2.0 startups."
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Books

+ - Best Open Ebook Format / Store?

Submitted by
cuteseal
cuteseal writes "Having been a Palm Reader user from back in the day when a Palm was still called a Pilot, I have built up a sizable collection of ebooks, that can only be read by their proprietary Ereader software. I love reading ebooks on my handheld, but I am frustrated that my technology choices have inevitably been limited based on the criteria — does it support the Palm Ereader software? Blackberry — not supported, Psion — nada, Sony Reader — nope, until recently, Windows Smartphones were off the list as well.

Ebook users out there — what ebook formats do you use, and what reader software gives you the most platform flexibility? There are many alternatives out there (Mobipocket, Microsoft Reader, Adobe PDF) but the ultimate, IMHO, would be to buy ebooks in an open, ubiquitous format that every reader and platform could support, and still have the variety, range and currency of carrying recent titles. An added bonus would be to have DRM-free formats, such as text files (wishful thinking?) or even Aportis DOC. Do you know of any ebook stores that do so, and if so, which ones are your favourite and why?"
Security

+ - CPS-3 Encryption Scheme Broken->

Submitted by
x3sphere
x3sphere writes "It's taken awhile, ten years to be exact, but Andreas Naive has successfully managed to break the protection on Capcom's CPS-3 arcade system board. The CPS-3 powered less than a dozen arcade classics, including JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, Red Earth, and Street Fighter III.

The security system of the CPS-3 was rather advanced for its time. Any tampering to the game's security cartridge would result in the decryption key being erased, thereby rendering the respective cartridge useless.

So, the decryption is broken, what does this all mean? In one word: Emulation. Now that the decryption task is done, the folks over at MAME have already started work on a CPS-3 emulator."

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Media

+ - A business model for the MAFIAA

Submitted by sehlat
sehlat (180760) writes "I asked my wife her opinion of the MAFIAA's war on their customers and she sent me the following essay. Posted here because I think it deserves attention.

As our communication technology expands (some might say 'explodes'), traditional media are being forced to rethink their traditional models. Nowhere is this more evident than in the struggles of major movie studios, music studios and publishing companies. Some of them are in outright legal wars with their customers. This is a certain ticket to bankruptcy court — it's just a matter of time.

In the past, big studios and big publishers were king. Composers, performers, authors and artists all had to go through them to reach an audience. Even if they went to the considerable expense of self-producing, how did they distribute their wares? The entertainment corporations were free to pay their talent as they saw fit, charge for their product as they saw fit, and they didn't have to answer to anyone. The only real adversaries they had were each other and the counterfeiters.

Counterfeit movies, books and music have always been a nuisance, but they weren't a major threat. Quality problems kept most customers attached to the genuine article. But then the technology expanded, and anyone could make a copy for their mom, their girl friend, their cousin Ernie. A lot of big companies panicked and set loose packs of lawyers to gnaw on the hands that feed them.

Panic is blind, and this is no exception. Those big companies aren't seeing the big picture, and if they don't rethink what they're doing, they will go as extinct as the dodo, BECAUSE THEY'RE NOT NEEDED ANY MORE.

The studios and publishers make a big deal about "intellectual property", but how are they defining that? Do they create anything? Or do they buy the creations of others? Do they sell anything? Or do they pretend to sell their wares, but then insist on the right to continue to "own" and control them?

These days, studios and publishers actually function as glorified introduction services. Once they were mass-producers, using economies of scale to make the expensive, cumbersome process of generating and duplicating entertainment media (whether book or music or film) cost-effective. But today, we're getting to the point where anyone with a good computer and the requisite skills can turn out high-quality content, and mass duplication isn't necessary — it can be done electronically by the purchaser. So the function of the studio or publisher is to 1. Recruit the talent, and 2. Introduce their work to the consumer.

Think about an introduction or dating service. You want to meet a nice person to go out with. The service is happy to oblige, for a fee. So far so good. But what if the service wanted to plant spyware in your car, your favorite haunts, even your bedroom, to make sure that you couldn't ask the person out again without paying them? What if they sued you for introducing her to your cousin Ernie? Would you do business with them?

No matter what they do, these agencies can't successfully control each iteration of the material they sell. If they stop trying, they'll continue to make money. Most people don't want to take the time to record or print their own entertainment. Most artists don't want to be their own marketing companies, either, so they too will continue to support agencies that treat them fairly. Some of both will go to the extra trouble, because they have more time and/or skill than money, but chances are that those people wouldn't be doing business with the agency in the first place, so nothing is being lost to them.

What about all this is so difficult? The same bloated corporations that have been swindling their artists for years are now running amok, suing grandmothers and grade-school kids for doing the very thing that will keep their products in the marketplace. Word of mouth is the most potent advertising a company can have — why aren't they taking advantage of it? The consumers want to be entertained. Show them a little bit of something entertaining and they want more. Intelligent marketing dictates selling content; recorded media might remain as a secondary "convenience" market for people who can't or don't want to convert data to their format of choice, but it's not mandatory any more. The company that's smart and realistic will provide previews, or older material from an artist's library, to potential buyers. When they sell something, they will sell it. They'll sell it in units that make sense (individual songs as well as albums, individual stories as well as collections, etc. No encryption, no spyware, no strings attached at all, except that if anyone tries to copy and market their material, they can act against them on behalf of the artist. And speaking of the artist, they'll pay their talent well enough to make it attractive to work with their agency, because if they don't, their talent has the option of marketing directly to the consumer. In the coming shaking-out of the information/entertainment media, the companies that are smart and realistic will win.
"
Education

+ - The Top Ten Issues of OLPC

Submitted by
InteractiveGadget
InteractiveGadget writes "Heres an interesting article challenging some of the core concepts of the One Laptop Per Child project. From the Article: "The name OLPC is a problem as the focus is on Personal Computers for Individuals ignoring the fact that community feedback is crucial part of learning... This is like evaluating the quality of our education based on the type of glue that is used to bind textbooks... Teachers, be they your peers, parents, or trained individuals are a crucial part of feedback system of learning... Even when parents and peers are not available children will often huddle around a single computer to collaborate and provide constructive feedback (see MSR India). Developers can push this learning configuration further by providing interactivity for each child on the same display (through multiple mice and keyboards)." Maybe developing nations could use more low cost mice and keyboards rather than more laptops. See Article."

Gosh that takes me back... or is it forward? That's the trouble with time travel, you never can tell." -- Doctor Who, "Androids of Tara"

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