It's weird though, they shut down City of Heros ostensibly for this reason, but they keep Guild Wars 1 up and running and still doing special events (and still no subscription fees).
This would be a nightmare. Distributed processing is "easy" when you can break the workload into self-contained stateless chunks of information. By its nature an MMO is extremely state-ful which makes a peer to peer structure difficult. Then you introduce trust issues (how does my node trust the inputs your node is giving me, how does your node trust the health state information mine sent you, how does OPs ever know what we know). I'm not going to sit here and say it's impossible, that's a sure-fire way to find a foot in my mouth, but there are some major hurdles that are nigh-on insurmountable and dicate that you need a central server of some sort. Though honestly there is a possibility they could scale back the service and allow people to rent servers but then they need to hire a maintenance crew that could be better serving NCSoft's bottom line by assisting in GW2 upkeep. I doubt they'll ever actually release server code or even server binaries as there's probably a ton of proprietary code that is heavily reused in currently active mmos.
No, its an indication that the Matrix was just a release of a movie that quite a few people already had (and had a long time to obtain bargain-bin priced copies) where as Pirates were relatively new movies that I haven't seen drop below $14 yet.
ack154 writes "Engadget has a story about Sony and Universal Music apparently denying Zune owners the ability to 'squirt' songs by certain artists to other Zune users. That's right, if you've actually purchased songs from the Zune marketplace and happen to run into another Zune owner, you're prohibited from sharing certain songs. From the article: 'In a non-scientific sampling of popular artists by Zunerama and Zune Thoughts, it looks like it's roughly 40-50 percent of artists that fall under this prohibited banner, and the worst news is that there's no warning that a song might be unsharable until you actually try to send it and fail.'"
An anonymous reader writes "Current orthodoxy claims patents encourage innovation, by allowing developers to enjoy profitable monopolies on their inventions which in turn inspire them to create new inventions. A new report by the non-partisan General Accounting Office suggests that this orthodoxy is wrong — at least when drug companies are involved. According to the report, existing patent law allows drug companies to patent, and make substantial profits off of, "new" drugs which differ little from existing medicines. Given high profit margins on very minor innovations, the report argues that drug companies have little incentive to produce innovative new drugs. In other words, current patent law actually discourages drug companies from producing new medicines. Responding to the report, Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) released a strongly worded statement suggesting that a legislative response will be forthcoming. "The findings in this new GAO report," said Senator Durbin, "raise serious questions about the pharmaceutical industry claims that there is a connection between new drug development and the soaring price of drugs already on the market. Most troubling is the notion that pharmaceutical industry profits are coming at the expense of consumers in the form of higher prices and fewer new drugs.""
An anonymous reader writes to point us to an article on the meaning of a new law that President Bush signed on Oct. 17. It seems to allow the President to impose martial law on any state or territory, using federal troops and/or the state's own, or other states', National Guard troops. From the article: "In a stealth maneuver, President Bush has signed into law a provision which, according to Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont), will actually encourage the President to declare federal martial law. It does so by revising the Insurrection Act, a set of laws that limits the President's ability to deploy troops within the United States. The Insurrection Act (10 U.S.C.331 -335) has historically, along with the Posse Comitatus Act (18 U.S.C.1385), helped to enforce strict prohibitions on military involvement in domestic law enforcement. With one cloaked swipe of his pen, Bush is seeking to undo those prohibitions." Here is a link to the bill in question. The relevant part is Sec. 1076 about 3/4 of the way down the page.
Pontifex maximus writes "Friendster has said that as of this week, it has a patent covering online social networks. It applied for the patent before the company's downward spiral and recent growth." From the article: "'It's way too early to say' whether the company would pursue licenses and litigation from its competitors, Friendster President Kent Lindstrom told RedHerring.com. 'We'll do what we can to protect our intellectual property.' Though the Friendster patent could be challenged in either the patent system or the courts, opponents would face an uphill battle. 'Once the patent is issued there is a presumption of validity that follows with it,' said attorney Bill Heinze of Thomas, Kayden, Horstemeyer & Risley."
Lord_Slepnir writes "Security firm Sophos Security has released a report claiming that Macs will be more secure than Windows for some time to come. The report listed the 10 most common kinds of malware, and noted that they can only infect Windows systems."
davidwr writes "News.com reports the U.S. Supreme Court will take up KSR v. Teleflex, a patent case in which the defense is arguing the patent is obvious and should be thrown out. The case hinges on a 1952 provision of patent law. Interestingly, several major IT firms are supporting the defense."
An anonymous reader writes "Yahoo! News is reporting that two labs are currently competing to design the first new nuclear bomb in twenty years. The new bomb was approved as a part of the 2006 defense spending bill. From the article: 'Proponents of the project say the U.S. would lose its so-called "strategic deterrent" unless it replaces its aging arsenal of about 6,000 bombs, which will become potentially unreliable within 15 years. A new, more reliable weapon, they say, would help the nation reduce its stockpile.'"
neutralino writes "The Associated Press reports that astrophysicist Stephen Hawking wants humans to establish colonies in space in order to ensure the survival of the human race. At a news conference in Hong Kong, Hawking said that 'It is important for the human race to spread out into space for the survival of the species. Life on Earth is at the ever-increasing risk of being wiped out by a disaster, such as sudden global warming, nuclear war, a genetically engineered virus or other dangers we have not yet thought of.'"
Burlap writes "Using technology developed at MIT, 4-person startup Avanti Metal hopes to reduce the cost of producing Titanium from the current $40 per pound to a mere $3. The article discusses how a special combinations of oxides and electrolysis separates the titanium metal from the Earth's abundant titanium oxide ore."
Rent-to-Pwn writes "After the lawyers involved couldn't settle even the most basic disputes without court intervention, a federal judge ordered the two lawyers to play one (1) game of rock, paper, scissors to settle the dispute. Being a federal case, in theory, it could become precedent for similar, unimportant decisions. Of course, there's no mention of what the two lawyers are supposed to do in case of a tie ..."
j0e_average writes "The Washington Post is running a review of Microsoft's next version of Media Player, and its integration with MTV's new music service Urge. According to reviewer, Rob Pegoraro, 'Not only does this new, Windows XP-only software promote Urge to the exclusion of other retailers, you can't shop at this store-- or even just play your Urge downloads -- in any earlier version of Windows Media Player.' The Microsoft/Urge subscription model contains a new twist as well: 'Urge also lets you rent songs: $9.95 a month (or $99 a year) lets you download all the tracks you want to a computer, while $14.95 ($149 a year) lets you transfer those downloads to most newer Windows Media-compatible players. These rented songs can't be burned to CD and go silent if you stop paying the fees.'"