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Y2.01K 269

Posted by kdawson
from the wait-till-two-oh-thirty-eight dept.
After our recent discussion of decimal/hexadecimal confusion at the turn of 2010, alphadogg writes in with a Network World survey of wider problems caused by the date change. "A decade after the Y2K crisis, date changes still pose technology problems, making some security software upgrades difficult and locking millions of bank ATM users out of their accounts. Chips used in bank cards to identify account numbers could not read the year 2010 properly, making it impossible for ATMs and point of sale machines in Germany to read debit cards of 30 million people since New Year's Day, according to published reports. The workaround is to reprogram the machines so the chips don't have to deal with the number. In Australia, point-of-sales machines skipped ahead to 2016 rather than 2010 at midnight Dec. 31, rendering them unusable by retailers, some of whom reported thousands of dollars in lost sales. Meanwhile Symantec's network-access control software that is supposed to check whether spam and virus definitions have been updated recently enough fails because of this 2010 problem."
Robotics

The Best Robots of 2009 51

Posted by samzenpus
from the best-of-show dept.
kkleiner writes "Singularity Hub has just unveiled its second annual roundup of the best robots of the year. In 2009 robots continued their advance towards world domination with several impressive breakouts in areas such as walking, automation, and agility, while still lacking in adaptability and reasoning ability. It will be several years until robots can gain the artificial intelligence that will truly make them remarkable, but in the meantime they are still pretty awesome."
Games

Copyright and the Games Industry 94

Posted by Soulskill
from the your-super-mario-toilet-paper-is-probably-illegal dept.
A recent post at the Press Start To Drink blog examined the relationship the games industry has with copyright laws. More so than in some other creative industries, the reactions of game companies to derivative works are widely varied and often unpredictable, ranging anywhere from active support to situations like the Chrono Trigger: Crimson Echoes debacle. Quoting: "... even within the gaming industry, there is a tension between IP holders and fan producers/poachers. Some companies, such as Epic and Square Enix, remain incredibly protective of their Intellectual Property, threatening those that use their creations, even for non-profit, cultural reasons, with legal suits. Other companies, like Valve, seem to, if not embrace, at least tolerate, and perhaps even tacitly encourage this kind of fan engagement with their work. Lessig suggests, 'The opportunity to create and transform becomes weakened in a world in which creation requires permission and creativity must check with a lawyer.' Indeed, the more developers and publishers that take up Valve's position, the more creativity and innovation will emerge out of video game fan communities, already known for their intense fandom and desire to add to, alter, and re-imagine their favorite gaming universes."

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