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Slashback: Mud, Expansion, Patentability 115

If you want to get muddy without paying huge corporations for the privilege, you may be interested in an Open Source MUD Engine some whippernappers have put together. If the idea of a WAP browser for the VIC20 is just a bit too obscure (and you don't have an spare PC to use as a proxy for it), have no fear. More on "enterprise level" features (take 2 buzzwords and call me in the morning), and how DigitalConvergence is being beaten with a Cue stick. All this and more, below.

More information to slip anonymously under Big Boss' door. digitaleopard writes: "Hey, the last posted story doesn't tell the whole scoop on the NWFusion articles. They are actually a group of stories in their 'technology Insider' banner, including pieces on the new enterprise level features in the latest kernels and their testing of these versions The main link page for all the stories is here."

Clearer thinking requires MUDdy vision. Sony / Verant may not like you to use servers other than the ones they provide for their multi-user games. Not everyone feels that way, so you can choose if you'd like to use a Free game in the first place. captaint writes: "The Open Source Graphical MUD Dusk has just gone into version 1.5. For those who haven't seen it yet, which should be just about everyone, it's just what it says it is. It's a fully functional OS G-MUD, which is open to anyone who wants to play, contribute, or start their own world."

In the 15 countries which have signed the Schengen agreement. An informant too shy to be named writes:"I saw a story on Slashdot about electronic ID cards in Hong Kong, so I wanted to let you know (if you didn't know yet) that there are already electronic ID cards in use in Finland. I don't yet know much about what you can do with one, but the official page explains: official page explains.=)"

And yes, it's short, but in English;)

Anyone else addicted to "Aztec" as a child? OK, ok, so a VIC20 as a WAP browser is of limited usefulness. These guys have some more important, utilitarian things to do, like ... browse the Web on a C64.

Gaelyne writes: "A story about the WAVE was posted at heise online earlier this year, but since then the software has had it's first public release and is Open Source - a direct result of the author having been influenced by Linux and other open source projects. Screen shots of the Web browser are also available."

And never one to give up hope, an unnamed correspondent writes:"Further to the news that Wine runs Excel and Word 2000, I'd like to report that OS/2 can run Photoshop 5.0. Seen here at are the screenshots of the some of the programs that OS/2 now runs with Odin, the Win32 binary 'converter'. Functionality and reliability of Photoshop will increase as work continues. Odin has really begun to move forward in recent months, with the number of apps you can run increasing as more of the Wine code is brought in. Other apps such as Lotus Notes and RealPlayer 7 having been working for ages..."

Your host this evening will be Mr. Alan Cox. Paul Maragakis writes: "The European Commission has launched consultations via the Internet on the patentability of computer-implemented inventions. As is mentioned in this announcement, enterprises favouring the "open source community" have raised concerns about software patents. You can all contribute until December 15 to help them reach a rational decision on what and why software concepts should or should not be patentable."

Someone is laughing all the way to the bank ... An anonymous reader writes: " Digital Convergence has agreed to pay NeoMedia $100 million (including $8 million in cash the first year) to license their patent, which basically covers using a printed ID to link back to content on the Web (sounds suspiciously like using a printed URL to reference a Web page, but oh well)."

This being a press-release, the tone is downright cheery, and this is described as a "win=win" situation for all involved. Can you imagine the boardroom conversations this must have inspired, though? "Y'know, Bob, I think it would be a real win to pay another company one hundred million dollars, don't you?" "You're right, Pete -- that sounds great to me."

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Slashback: Mud,

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  • by Mooset ( 9986 )
    Wow, I had no idea that any progress was still being made on OS/2 applications, and running Win32 code on OS/2 is even more exciting! I haven't used OS/2 in many years but I'd like to get back to my PS/2 roots (dusted off the old 8590 the other day and upgraded her to a Pentium 66). Anyone have any suggestions as to where to look for more exciting OS/2 stuff? Anyone out there in the /. community using OS/2?
  • if another company claims to have a patent that requires DC to pay them $100 million, what would that mean for any of the developers of free software for the Cue Cat that does something similar, such as looking up books from, etc...? Do patents apply in these situations?
  • The agreement calls for minimum annual license fees over a period of ten (10) years in excess of $100 Million through a combination of cash and equity.
    1. How long is Digital:Convergence going to last before going into Chapter 11?
    2. If NeoMedia has also issued Digital:Convergence warrants to purchase 1.4 Million shares of NeoMedia stock., does that mean that NeoMedia is also worthless?
    I don't plan on putting any of my money in either of these stocks, and it doesn't even have anything to do with the intrinsic immorality of these offerings.
  • Naaah, the BBC Micro was the King! For one, it had a built-in assembler ;-)

    Seriously - you're absolutely right about the 8-bit days of C64s, Spectrums, the Acorn BBC, the Oric-1, Jupiter Ace and the rest of the crowd. You could get at the hardware directly. I'm glad I was born in 1972 - it meant I was just the right age when 8-bit computers hit their boom. I had a lot of fun with my Speccy. Talking of another topic on this Slashback, a friend and I actually wrote a MUD for networked BBC Micros (using Econet, an Acorn networking system) and ran it on our school network. It was a true client-server app too: due to memory constraints, we couldn't store everything in the server (such as location descriptions) so the client did all the user interface stuff - like parsing, loading location descriptions, item descriptions and the like, and the server kept track of where the players were, what items they had and what they were up to etc. The server ran on a Torch (basically, a BBC compatible in a massive clunky case, but because of the nonstandard keyboard, no one actually wanted to use it - so no one objected when we used it as our server).

    I remember those times with great fondness. I think today's teenagers are missing out on something that was very special...

  • The PIC web server had support for SLIP. It was connected to a PC which had ethernet on one side and a serial port on the other. Essentially acting as a router. I guess they could have replaced the hardwired serial connection with a pair of MODEMs, but that would have cut its bandwidth significantly.

    I don't quite understand your criteria for what is "real Internet connectivity" and what if fake. MODEMs are real but serial cables are fake. PPP is real but SLIP is fake. What makes some criteria valid and others not?
  • The whole point of this scheme is tracking-- yes, you can just print a URL on a page, but how are you going to determine whether someone entered the URL because they saw the ad, or if someone told them about it, or if they just made a typo? Now that you've added an additional step to the process (DB query to D|C's servers), you can:
    • find out how effective your print advertising campaign is
    • compile aggregate data about user's surfing habits (or at least their cuecatting habits) and therefore their interests, etc

    The real trick D|C has pulled off is to a) convince the general public that installing software/hardware, scanning a barcode, and surrendering your privacy is easier than just typing in a URL, and having done that, b) convince advertisers that this will actually produce more sales for their products!

    Certainly from a user's perspective (the 30% with actual functioning brains) it is easier to type a URL, but that other 70% think they are getting added value-- and arguably, the advertiers *are* getting added value.

    I guess this confirms your last point above.

  • So the question is how does this help matters anyway? All that this basically does is make it harder for many people to play mud and mud like environments over modem links (and yes modems are sub par for 3d interactive environments and the like).
  • That was really fascinating, I had no idea people are boosting C64's to such an incredible degree. I'd love a monster such as you describe, but preferably a boosted Spectrum 48k ;)

    What is the maximum addressable memory of the old 6502 anyway? I know with the Z80 it was 16k, so if it was the same for the 6502 then to use 16M ram it would have to use a hell of a lot of pages, and coding would be a bitch.
    These old 8-bits were the best, as I understand it the Speccy scene is still vibrant in the Eastern Block, because they built lots of fascinating variants in the 80's and 90's, like the Hobbit in Romania, because they could not import due to the cold war (& expense).If I could get a boosted speccy with some Internet capability I'd probably use it loads, hell, I still spend time playing Jet Set Willy(most fun when emulated and run at Hyperspeed).

    One thing that's interesting is that the 8-bits catapulted loads of people into the computing industry. In the UK during the 80's, the consoles never really took off, it was all a strange primordial soup of 8-bits(Speccy, C64, Amstrad CPC & BBC), & Britain for a short time had the highest rate of computer ownership in the world. This led to loads of kids learning computer coding, and is reckoned to be the cause of Britain having 1/3 of the world computer games market, quite an achievement for such a small country!

    Ahh..Life was good then... I yearn for those days when life was simple, computers were simple & programming was simple(no damned weird OOP japanese crap back then, & the GOTO & POKE ruled the Earth;).

    Anyway, I'm rambling now, so I'll stop.

  • Doesn't matter, a bitchslapped signal 11 account will only sweeten the pie.


  • I know with the Z80 it was 16k

    Sorry, but you are incorrect. The Z80 and the 6502 both had an address space of 2^16 bytes (65536). I know, I used to make my living programming Z80's, and was a fairly accomplished 6502 hacker in my day.
  • look for them on fscked company in 13 weeks.
  • I rekon the Etch-a-Sketch(tm) Web browser would be very do-able, though I'd use motors with pulleys instead of robot arm. One problem would be getting user input.
  • I contacted paperclick a couple weeks ago about their product & scanner (yes they have one) See the I pen made by Symbol and aftermarket sold by Cross. They and Digital Convergence were working together to make their hardware/software cross-compatible. That way Cues can be scanned by a I Pen and link back to DC and Clicks scanned with the Cat will be redirected by DC to PaperClick. Both companies are trying to allow the hardware to be cross compatible so you do not need a pen and cat. Here is the text of our conversation:

    Name deleted

    I realize that you are an end user (consumer). We still encourage you to sign-up as a "publisher" and to create your own personal codes to share with friends, co-workers (on memos, emails), etc. Additionally, if you are involved in community activities, PaperClick codes can be generated and used in newsletters, bulletins, etc. to extend the depth of these publications. With our free service, there is no charge to do this!

    Read rate of the devices is very important to us as it directly affects the user experience. To this end, we continue to work with device manufacturers to improve the read rate of the contact scanning devices (devices where you physically run it across the paper/good). Laser scanners (like those used in retail stores) eliminate these read-rate problems. While currently "pricey", new technologies will allow laser scanners to get competitive early next year. Additionally, cell phone manufacturers are already testing the next generation phone that has a bar code scanner built into the device. With PaperClick-To-Go (for the cell phone), we already have a solution in place.

    Best Regards,


    -----Original Message-----

    name deleted

    Sent: Tuesday, October 10, 2000 3:16 AM To: 'Rick Szatkowski' Subject: RE: Paper Click Questions

    Rick, Thank you for the valuable information. I like your open business model. It is great as things can be looked up on borrowed (work, Library etc) computers using the go button on your URL. Thanks for the info on the Symbology and scanner compatibility Information. I am familiar with the Symbol products but did not know about the Welch Allyn, IncaScan, or AIM compatibles. I'll download the client software at home and check it out. I am not installing new software on company PC's as it is a shared PC and may cause problems for other users.

    I have heard of the vanity codes before, but I haven't seen any in print yet. I'll watch for them and try them. I should have mentioned I am an end user (consumer). My URL may have mislead you that this was a corporate inquiry. It was not. As such it may be inapporpiate for me to register on your site as a publisher. Thank You for the invite anyway.

    Good luck on getting barriers removed between systems. Not haveing lots of hardware attached is a great plus. Using hardware that works well is a plus. I presume the scanner by Symbol (Cross Pen) will have a better first read rate than the one from Digital Convergence (Cue Cat).

    I expect a 3rd party to join. They use the Symbol CS 2000 portable laser scanner and print out shopping lists. They charge a lease on the scanner and have an annual subscription for the service. When I visited the Symbol site to get tech info on the scanners (I-PEN and CS 2000) I noticed they both have a 16 digit serial number.

  • Good! We don't need all these damn welfare dialup users with their little modems slowing down the net for the rest of us anyhow.
  • Lunix? LOL. Reminds me of a Lowtax/JeffK/whatever flash animation about two guys using "Lunix" on their machine...
  • There IS something like that. It's called a plotter. :)

  • Man, would I love to eradicate that section of the Bible from existance. I've had so many people bitching at me about our "Number of the Beast" system because the service I support requires a credit card to use. Like the night isn't long enough with morons who can't figure out how to click using more than one button, now I have to deal with the cultists who think that credit card billing is a tool of Satan. Bah, I wish; I'd bet Satan pays a hell of a lot better.

  • According to the press release [], they embed them in the print media. Oh, hold on, that's just fancy-speak for "printed". Darn. 100 megadollars well spent.
  • I have a C64 still, out of curiosity just where on earth would you get some of this hardware?

    -- iCEBaLM
  • I had a floating point library that I wrote for the 6809. At 2mhz it was faster than the 8mhz 8087 floating point hardware. Not bad for software.

    Its a shame that Motorola dumped the 6809. I would love to see something with lots of I/O like a 6811 with the 6809 core since it was so easy to code for.
  • Hehe, that reminds me that someone once told me that all barcodes (or at least all I've seen) use the number "6" as a mark for the beginning, centre and end of every barcode, thus giving "6-6-6". And hell, I looked at everything I could find with a code, and he was right!

    Now *that* freaked me out for a while - beats people in pubs telling you that Marlboro packet design contains three "K"s!
  • Actualy it is a bar code. They desiginate that type as a 2D barcode. It's official. Check with Symbol, Welch Allyn & others for info. (look for 2D PDF codes) After seeing the code, it looks like a non-standard code. Digital Convergence did the same thing with a 1D code and modified the code so regular readers can not read them. (code 128 missing the start code)
  • I used to subscribe to it...the ultimate hardware hacking magazine EVER for Commodore machines. One of my regrets is that I lost all my back issues when I went off to college. I had a 2 year run plus a bunch of older ones I bought a flea markets. I'd love to have them back, if for nothing else than the Jim Butterfield columns.


    On an unrelated note, I still have the pull-out schematic from the Commodore 64 Programmers Reference Guide and am thinking about having it matted and framed.

    (double sigh)

  • At this point, there is absolutely *nothing* that OS/2 offers that Linux doesn't, better.

    So you've never used the WPS? I wish there were a desktop for *ix as powerful as the WPS.
  • Having said that, you could do away with the external database lookup altogether and just reference the IP address directly as a 32 bit number.
    Try typing: http://3520061636 into your browser.

  • Okay, so that didn't work.... although this method should work for sites that host one website on a single IP (and not multiple virtual websites as supported by HTTP 1.1)
  • With luck, the fact that it's so bloody easy for everybody to hack thier device will teach them a lesson or two about paying really stupid, boneheaded patents.

    Wouldn't it be beautiful if every company who both foisted and bought into stupid patents withered and died? Evolution in action. It would be nice. Amazon sitting in the graveyard next to Apple, with tourguides giving cautionary tales about stepping bast the bounds of common sense in the drive to abuse intellectual property laws.

    Hey, a guy can dream, can't he?


  • Well, little troll boy, this works just as well on your regular American ATM card.

    ATM cards have withdrawal limits. Whereas full credentials can access an entire bank account. It's a difference between 300 dollars and hundreds of thousands. That's why, in my original post, I was very clear about stating "entire bank account".

    I learned how smartcards work a few years ago, when I was writing the VCAT driver for one of those early Towitoko Chipdrive suckers. They're neat. I just wish people wouldn't trust them so much.

    Beacause you CAN attack them, and you can reprogram them too. Not generically, but on a platform-specific level. Check out the API if an employer is ever kind enough to buy it for you.

    P.S. why call me names?

  • by mwalker ( 66677 ) on Tuesday October 24, 2000 @04:24PM (#678515) Homepage
    They ARE actually using smartcards to access both public and private services in Finland.

    The electronic identification card is safe to use because it is based on high-security, microchip technology. (Just like Tickle-Me and Country Elmo!) As with other smart cards, every cardholder has a Personal Identification Number (PIN). In the event that the card is lost or that unauthorized access to the PIN codes is gained, there is a round-the-clock revocation service that revokes the card immediately.

    The electronic identification card must be handled and protected just like other similar cards or documents, such as credit cards, driving licences, or passports. PINs should never be kept in the same place as the electronic ID card. The card and the related PIN may only be used by the holder to whom the card is issued.

    If the card is lost or obtained by a third party, or if the PIN comes to the attention of such party, this must immediately be reported to the certificate revocation list on 0800-162 622. For hearing-impaired people, a text telephone service is available on 0100-2288. The cardholder's responsibility for the card ceases when the card is reported as lost or stolen and the card is entered in the certificate revocation list.

    How to fuck a Finnish smartcard holder in 3 easy steps:

    1) Kidnap them and beat the pincode out of them.
    2) Use their credentials to transfer the contents of their bank account to somewhere in Switzerland. Bank of Bermuda is also good for this.
    3) Let them go.

    They then report the card stolen, but it's too late, everything that happened is their responsibility.

    I don't even have to go into the nightmare of employers and governments both having executeable access to the chip on your smartcard... tracking viruses for fired employees, using the shared credentials to track web sites used by employees in their personal time.... making "citizenship" and smartcard ownership the same, requiring citizenship/smartcard to buy food, denying citizenship/smartcard to political dissidents...

    dear god. got to go take some soma.
  • Browsing the web on a VIC-20/C-64/PIC/etc. is not that impressive a hack if it won't run without being hooked to a specially programmed PC acting as a proxy. Stretching that just a bit, I could browse the web on an Etch-a-Sketch(tm) if I just used a "proxy" PC with a couple of robot arms to translate HTML into the native protocol (up/down and left/right knob twists).
    For the most art, I agreed with the point of your post. However, I think it would be extrememly cool to have a web-enabled Etch-A-Sketch(tm), even (especially?) if it included a couple of robot arms that translated the HTML into knob twists...
  • I thought that IP addresses were translated into alpha addresses so that people could remember URLs more easily. Exactly how much easier does it have to get for people? If you're holding a damn Diet Coke in your hand you can't firgure out how to find their damn web site a barcode scanner is the least of your concerns. You're probably living under some overpass somewhere.

  • FurryMUCK? Isn't that the place with all the bestiality and bondage and stuff?

    Horray for ignorance! If you actually knew what furry fandom was, you'd realise how stupid the bestiality part of that question is...
    Aside from that, the hornball furries are not representative; they're just the most visible and worst stereotype.
  • by linux_penguin ( 101961 ) on Tuesday October 24, 2000 @04:30PM (#678519)
    Most of you are probably sitting there snickering at the idea of a C64/128 web browser. Let me clue you in :)

    WAVE wasnt the first, I believe FairligHTML was, but didnt support frames etc. FYI, people still connect to the net with a c64, it's not hard to do. Most of you will remember a beige box with a clunky 1541 hanging off the side (or even just a tape drive if you're british). But the C64 has come a long way baby, and you can expand the system up all the way, to the point where:

    it runs at 20Mhz (SuperCPU). Doesnt sound like much, but remember that the 6502 (6510 or 16 bit variants used in the supercpus) are like RISC chips, they dont do much but they do it real fast! :) A 20 Mhz C64 is comparable to a pentium 100 Id reckon, considering that usually you are bashing the chips directly on a c64 :)
    You can have upwards of 16M of RAM. True this is normally used as a RAMDrive and is not immediately addressable, but hot-damn it's quick.
    Gigs of Harddrive space (CMD Stuff) - Dunno WHY you would ever want a gig considering the programs are usually no more than about 170k in entirety, but you can do it :)
    FD-2000 and variants - high speed 3.5" floppies which are 1.72M (from memory?). These things are also very cool...

    Connecting to the net is simple, just grab a swiftlink and suddenly you can use your new superfast modem. Grab Novaterm and jump on in character mode, or maybe try ACE or LUNIX (working from memory here) if you need PPP...

    Basically you can expand a c64 to your heart's content, if you are so inclined. People still use C64s daily. There are still games and demos published for it.

    Why would anyone use a c64 when you can get a PC for chips? People are attracted to the c64 due to its simplicity... It does what it does and it does it well. There arent continuous layers of software between you and the hardware. It boots up in under a second. Its fun. The hardware is full of exploitable bugs which are fun to exploit (demo makers have a great time doing this). And last, but no least, it is CHEAP. You can pick up a c64 for nothing. Games are nothing (or very cheap). The games are some of the best ever, and thank god for that because if I had to live in a world full of UT and Quake3's I would go mad! :)

    I truly believe that a course in c64 assembler should be a prerequisite for comp sci degrees. NOTHING teaches you tight coding than making a 1Mhz 8 bit chip jump thru hoops (and boy, do some of the demo coders like CREST make it jump thru hoops, their demos are worth the bother of setting up an old c64 alone).

    I think there is still a place for this technology. Apart from Eastern Block countries (not everyone has millions of dollars and live in a geek compound :) I think that the c64 is a perfect machine for a kid. I remember first using one and instantly wanting to know what made it tick. The c64 is the reason Im in IT today. However, today's kids are taught on high-end PCs, and just want to know where to double-click to play quake...

    Quite sad really.... I miss the thrill of the old days... The c64 in its heyday was like the linux crowd on speed, it was simply *the* most exciting time in computing ever...

  • now THAT would be cool. Computerized etch-a-sketch. Heck, you could convert pictures to etch-a-scketch. wayyy cool.
  • ARGH!! 99% of MUDs are open source and always have been! Nearly every MUD in existence. This is completely bizarre, I have no idea what's wrong with these people...
  • Well, they didn't actually pay $100MM, they agreed to pay $100MM, which is actually a pretty big difference -- especially if the idiots at dc aren't going to be in business long enough to pay anything close to that
  • Actually, the SuperCPU uses a 65c816. That's the same chip used in the SNES and Apple IIGS. It is of course 100% 6502 back compatible(except for illegal opcodes). If you use the native mode of the chip it's possible to directly address all the additional memory. And yes, 1 gig of hard drive space on a commodore is way too much. I don't think I'll ever use it up. Of course, booting GEOS off a hard drive with a SuperCPU (which has to slow down to 1 MHz to access the drives) only takes 20 seconds. It takes my PIII/650 with a 7200 rpm hard drive 2 minutes 30 seconds to boot. That's why I love my commodore.
  • Lawyers don't help much when you're dumb enough to drown in your own spit.
    Is there a financial version of the Darwin Awards? Although on second thought I bet there isn't. Financial people do things like this all the time, as far as I can tell.
    I still don't have a CueCat. I personally don't want any involvement in this round of shenanigans whatsoever. Let 'em die so we can all laugh about the idiocy a couple years from now. 'Cause it's only funny if the general public doesn't buy into this. Otherwise, it's just pathetic.
    People are sheep. Baaaaaaah!
  • by romco ( 61131 ) on Tuesday October 24, 2000 @05:38PM (#678525) Homepage
    TO: Digital:Convergence
    ATT: IP Department
    Dear Sir(s),
    Congradulations on your agreement with NeoMedia Technologies. Now that you have right to use PaperClick(TM). I want to make you aware of another opportunity your company will be interested in.


    Our technology allows your clients to have the paper and virtual world become one.

    Here is how it works:

    Magazines are shipped with our patented CircularDatabase(TM). A customer simply inserts the CircularDatabase(TM) into a Windows* computer and like magic your catalog is automaticly displayed with our patented VirtualPaperClick(TM) technology. Your Virtual catalog looks nearly identical to your paper only better. The text is automaticly formated to the computer screen and our VirtualPaperClick(TM)allows your customer easy 2Clik:Shopping(TM).

    We would like to offer you an exclusive contract to use our IP for only $10,000,000.


    *note: Our products are only licenced for use on Microsoft Windows computers. After though testing we found that Mac users just stare at the shiny (un-Branded) side of the CircularDatabase(TM) while 'nix users can't stop laughing.
  • Corrupt Executive #1: "See, I passed in front of a church and heard the preacher say this: 'And he causes all, the small and the great, and the rich and the slaves, to be given a mark on their right hand or on their forehead, and he provides that no one will be able to buy or to sell, except the one who has the mark, either the name of the beast or the number of his name.' It seems it's in the Bible or something."

    Corrupt Executive #2: "What a WONDERFUL idea! Mandatory smartcards embedded under the skin! Person buys one too many Noah Chomsky book... person never gets a job again! PERFECT!! Let's lobby for that."

    Corrupt Executive #1: "I'm sending the faxes right NOW!"

    Corrupt Executive #2: "Let me check with Legal if the authors of the Bible haven't patented this business method already."

  • There's another thing that makes money on the internet, actually: auctions. (Auctions would make money even if people weren't auctioning porn.) This is because an auction site doesn't have to maintain an inventory - it's just a middleman.

    Mind you, auction sites do have a strong need to cultivate confidence amongst its userbase, mind you, and that can cost money in the form of insurance and other such services.


  • Digital Convergence had to pay Neomedia. Neomedia owns the patent that lets you print a barcode on a card, and do a reference against a database to return a URL. Yes, this is patented. Had DC not done this they would have been sued, badly.

    Someone mentioned They use our backend, and therefore do not infringe on the patent since we don't.

    Yes, they are odd patents, but there you go.
  • by datazone ( 5048 ) on Tuesday October 24, 2000 @07:01PM (#678529) Journal
    Has anyone seen DigitalConvergence's cuecat commercials? Well, it cant be called a commercial, more like an infomercial, or a "brainwashing program." One of the parts that makes me just laugh is where the dumb guy can't believe that the cuecat will replace all the pieces of paper he has around his computer with web address on it! Okay, what sort of a moron keeps urls on paper?!? who need bookmarks when you have paper! "now you can stop recording your urls on paper and use the cuecat to access your sites..."

    Now, for the real shit about the cuecat that just pisses me off (besides a certain person who works at DC) lets say, i want to look up information on quantum theory? what do i do? let me guess, do i use the cue cat to scan a light particle that has a barcod eon it? i think not. This thing is so fucking useless that its not even funny. over 90% of the time that anyone i know is lokking for information on the internet, they are not looking for a single product specific thing (not including drivers/manuals/software for hardware). I mean, why would you want to go to pepsi's web site? The only valid uses i can see for cue cats, is in magazines and newspaper. Why? so that you can access information about the person who wrote the article, to see what else they have written, or for a digital copy of the article, or even for other articles from past issues relating to this article. sort of like an embeded hyperlink system for printed media. In books it would be cool also if author is discussing a topic and wants to provide references to online information.

  • the patent text for;
    "Automatic access of electronic information through machine-readable codes on printed documents" Pat. No; 6,108,656.

    Is available at

  • Here is more info on compatible scanners from their paperclick website. I presume the cross license will allow it to also use the CAT and read the DC codes.

    PaperClick codes can be scanned using the optional A.T. Cross NetPen, the Symbol Technologies Cyber Pen, the Welch Allyn ST6180, or various corded wand scanners.

  • You should have a look at the official Odin project homepage []. Among other things, there's a list of a lot of Win32 apps that have been tested with Odin (the Win32 to OS/2 converter).
  • Cute. I like;

    gold,teal,black,orange,black,white,gold,teal [] -- but I can't work out what the first colour changes...

  • The processor's address space is 64Kbyte. On the BBC Micro ROMs could be paged in and out of the space 32-48Kbyte, with the OS ROM taking the top quarter of memory and the bottom 32Kbyte used for RAM. (Also some memory-mapped hardware somewhere or other within that 64Kbyte.)

    Then you could get 'sideways RAM', 16K RAM chips to map into the space taken by paged ROMs. Then 'shadow RAM' where the video memory (which could take up to 20K of the 32K base RAM available) would live elsewhere and be mapped in as needed. Shadow RAM typically came with 12Kbyte of 'private RAM' which could be used for odds and ends. Despite all this, it was still simpler than DOS's memory management :-p

    So what is the total amount possible? I think people sold 128Kbyte boards with eight 16K 'sideways RAMs', there may even have been almost-256Kbyte versions since the maximum number of paged ROMs and sideways RAMs was sixteen (I think). (You always need at least one paged ROM for the BASIC interpreter, and another for the disk filing system.) Include shadow RAM and the RAM the machine comes with, and you get to above a quarter of a megabyte.

    (Then there is the second processor... but never mind that :-))
  • It's designed to skip the search from a company's homepage. For example an article in a magazine about fuel cell technology can have a code to take you directly to the GM (or whoever) page with info on the fuel cell. (sorta like a slashdot hyperlink) You don't have to go to the GM website and try to hunt up the page regarding the fuel cell. I like the concept and Paper Click has a web site where an AC can put in the code and get the info without being personaly tracked. That is a plus.

  • by dattaway ( 3088 ) on Wednesday October 25, 2000 @02:56AM (#678536) Homepage Journal
    Here's my conspiracy theory:

    Sounds like that suing relationship may even be done on purpose. Sound crazy? Note that DC gave it up so easily without even a fight and shelled out massive amounts of money for the right to use this "invention?"

    This sounds suspiciously like a partner strategy designed for bullying up on competitors. Another company that has bought the patent rights sues DC. No problem, they have friendly talks and work out a win-win situation. You see, DC has been having some problems with giving away its scanner and it being put to other uses. NeoMedia, may find DC a willing partner and help out for a modest fee of $100,000,000 that includes all legal expenses. NeoMedia will now be the legal agressor and go after all the "unauthorized" uses of cuecats in the privacy of people's homes. NeoMedia has to protect its new patent, you know! NeoMedia wins, DC wins.

    But that's not all. If and when a case ever does make it to court over those stupid cuecats, DC can claim they have paid $100,000,000 for the right to use this technology and they are fighting a "thief" who is stealing that large sum of money by using a the very useful XOR 8-bit flipping instruction on the CPU to decode. This puts $100,000,000 worth of pressure on the judge to break the arms and legs of any freedom the victim may have. So much for living in a free country, eh?

    This conspiracy theory was brought to you free of charge. Distribute and mangle freely.
  • by FreeUser ( 11483 ) on Wednesday October 25, 2000 @03:05AM (#678537)
    Instead of taking it out on the slashdot accepted enemy DC, why aren't we enraged by a patent that is unbelievably obvious.

    "We" are, or at least I am. However, I think the community is at least as outraged by corporate idiots who help make such reprehensible patents profitable by paying $100M to license such obvious notions.


    [begin rant]

    And, with any luck, another nail in the coffin for patents. It is generations past time to scrap the entire patent system and close the patent office. Patents have never served to promote progress, indeed, they have only served to slow it down.

    Consider for a moment: when a new (even non-obvious invention) comes along, there is almost always a footrace between multiple inventors to the patent office, with the winner gaining exclusive rights and the losers (who also invented the device) out in the cold. Why is this? Because nearly every invention builds upon a mountain of public knowledge, and an invention "whose time has come" will occur to several independent minds at about the same time.

    So what do we do? We stiff several inventors to disproportionately reward one. The irony is that it isn't even necessary -- individuals and companies were inventive before the patent system was created and will remain so after it goes away. Why? Because, as the free market shows us in every other arena, a monopoly isn't required to be profitable, or even to recoup development costs.

    We all assume we'll continue to have exponential growth in knowledge and technology we've grown accustomed to, particularly in the high tech computer industry. This would be true, except that with 20 year monopolies being granted on even the most trivial and obvious ideas, the exponent in question has been reduced from "greater than one" to "nearly equal to one."

    This may serve the purposes of the entrenched industries and governments, who can't abide new technologies until they figure out how to dominate and control them and are desperate to slow progress down by any means, but it is a disservice to the rest of mankind.

    As was said by the European representative at ICANN, intellectual property is nothing more than theft from the public domain. Nowhere is this more true than with patents.
  • read the user info.. he's made the account open..
    Fear my low SlashID! (bidding starts at $500)
  • Well, aren't we cheery today!
  • I don't know if anyone else has noticed this, but the smart cards can "lock up" if someone tries to guess the PIN #:

    "When you log in to the test service.....enter your PIN 1 code...Please remember that if you enter a wrong PIN code three times, your card will lock up and can only be unlocked in a police station."
    (from the website with the info. on the smart cards)

    Will the card only lock up while using the test page, or is this applicable to any use?

    In high school we were running an NT network (..sigh...). If you got annoyed with someone, all you had to do was lock their account by logging in 8 times with a random (i.e. wrong) password.

    It was really annoying to have to get your account unlocked, but we weren't depending on that system for access to critical information or daily work.

    1. Is this going to be a problem for people using these cards?

    2. How is the functionality of the card reduced when it is "locked"? (e.g. If you use the card as your 'passport' for international travel can you get back to your home country if it "locks up" while you are abroad?)

  • by Anonymous Coward
    I'd bet Satan pays a hell of a lot better.

    As a minion of Our Dark Lord I can tell you that the pay's not that great but the perks are fantastic!
  • by anotherone ( 132088 ) on Tuesday October 24, 2000 @03:45PM (#678542)
    I'm taking bets on how long digital convergence stays in business. I doubt they make to the end of the year. They paid $100 MILLION for the rights to print a bar code, which most companies have been doing free for years. What kind of idiots are these people?
  • Okay, what sort of a moron keeps urls on paper?!?

    You must not get out much. In just about every office I've been in at least half of the people there print out the web pages they want to "keep" rather than bookmark them. And even if they do bookmark the pages they tend to refer back to the gardcopy printouts to read or look up the address.

    And on the usefullness of the product...

    The only valid uses i can see for cue cats, is in magazines and newspaper. Why? so that you can access information about the person who wrote the article, to see what else they have written, or for a digital copy of the article, or even for other articles from past issues relating to this article.

    Hey, ever heard of a catalog? Or ads in those magazines and newspapers? That is the target market for the thing. And you can bet your CPU that the average person out there would use the hell out of the thing. Especially between now and the new Century.


  • Not only humorous, but an explanaition of exactly how prophecies are self-fulfilling that even the most paranoid and closed minded bible thumper can understand.

    It doesn't mean the warning isn't valid, but it does demonstrate that these are people postulating the behavior of other people, not divine forknowledge handed down from on high.

    And no, modern society isn't the first to invent the notion of assigning numbers to names -- the Romans did that in their censuses as well (which, as we all know, was a regular occurance during the time in which that was written). That passage was almost certainly the contemporary equivelent of the fearmongering we hear today about Big Brother (with perhaps the same amount of relevance -- after all, these people were routinely fed to Lions for sport a few short generations later, and the future of Free Mankind doesn't look a whole lot rosier these days).
  • by Anonymous Coward
    This one's not graphical, but it's quite nifty nonetheless. ScryMUD [].
  • by Christopher Thomas ( 11717 ) on Tuesday October 24, 2000 @03:47PM (#678546)
    Revar decided to GPL Fuzzball 6 and put it up on SourceForge: []

    Fuzzball is a variant of TinyMUCK that, among other things, hosts FurryMUCK's 8000+ registered users (though FurryMUCK is still using version 5.x).
  • I can't understand why anyone would want to use a cuecat. You need to be tied down to the berloody computer. Try using one when you spot an interesting ad in the paper when you're on the train.
    Contrast the C-Pen ( You can cut and paste plain text, so you're not limited to companies who've signed up with DC.
    Right now its not as convenient but it doesnt take any brains to figure out that you can process synchronised text from a C-Pen to pull out a list of URLs, and pop these up on the screen for clicking. Yes, not one URL but ALL the ones you came across today. (I hope this message counts as prior art when C-Pen try to patent this idea ;o) )

    The only advantage the cuecat then has is its low cost (free in the states vs £99 (uk pounds, ) - and falling - for a C-Pen. see

    There are competitors to the C-Pen, ( and I should hope so, 'cos like my mobile phone its trying to do far too much - it is yet another PDA, and yet another language translator...ideally I'd like a pen scanner which just scanned images and enough position info to stitch the scans together. Leave the rest to the PC. (see for pictures and theory behind this)
  • by Anonymous Coward
    If the idea of a Wap browser for the VIC20 is just a bit too obscure

    What an offensive, anti-italian comment. Replace wap with nigger, and let's see if you can get away with it. Shame.


  • Speaking on behalf of nobody but my little old self, the reason I frequently print out information from the web that I want to keep is because of the volatile nature of the web. Many times I've gone back to try and find the information again, only to find that the site in question took the story down and/or doesn't keep an archive. This can be supremely annoying for information that you really need at the time, so I've just taken to printing it out to save the hassle.

  • or stock.

    You didn't miss that did you? It could all be done without a single dime of real money going anywhere, just a 'paper merger'.

    Who cares. Let them die the pathetic death that they've got coming to them.

  • by DranoK ( 18790 ) on Tuesday October 24, 2000 @03:50PM (#678551)
    I can't figure out which makes me laugh harder, the fact that someone paid $100 to print an ugly URL code on paper/objects/whatnot or the basic idea of paperclick in general.

    I don't get this. At the moment, you SEE this barcode + number, click on the software and type in the number, and voila!!! You've reached the product's website...

    Only problem is this seems rather a bit like you SEE a URL, open your web browser and type it in, and VOILA!!! You've reached the product's website. Seems like a crappier version of database-driven DNS...

    Of course, you say, there's a BAR CODE on it, so eventually people will just SCAN the object's tag and have their computer go directly to that webpage!!! I still don't think this is right, though, as 1) Barcodes have already been done, 2) Barcode readers have already been done. The only thing papershit^H^H^H^Hclick can do is patent the software they make that opens up a web-browser, connects to the database and goes to the website. This sounds logical as their final plan. So unless this somehow gets copywritten, it shouldn't be a problem to create your own open-sourced database (companies would either also enter the database barcode entry into an open engine and the paperclick, or maybe not paperclick ;) and thus bypassing paperclick's claim altogether.

    Once again proving that people, on average, are fucking retards. ;)

    Shh! Nobody knows I'm gay!

  • First you'll need the mapping of what controls what []:

    1) unknown
    2) story text, supporting story info in stories, and visited slashbox links
    3) dates on older stories slashbox and number of comments in each older story
    4) titles in main screen stories
    5) outside background
    6) main area background
    7) background in slashboxes
    8) hyperlinks in stories and story titlebars

    Next you'll need an html form of rbg.txt [] (watch out, the ones with numbers appended to the end don't seem to work).

    Or better yet, take a look at my favorite [] (repair the broken hyperlink, otherwise you'll think my favorite is stupid!)(*). Notice that I've used a HEX VALUE. Yes, raw hex values are legal. Much nicer. No more hunting for the closest named color!

    Now all you need to do is customize one of those 'ad interceptor' software to grok slashdot urls inside incoming pages and tack your custom colorblock onto all the hyperlinks in your incoming slashdot pages!

    Or better yet, we need to get Taco to add a 'Customize' feature where we can add our own custom colorblock! (Of course, I'd rather have faster slashdot pages than prettier slashdot pages ;)

    - ckE

    (*) Does anyone know how to prevent this line wrapping from ocurring in URLs? It's damn annoying.

  • Sorry, the background info on halakha was mainly for the general /.-reading public.

    Yes, he has been espousing this view for a while, but it hasn't become an issue until now. The only other excommunication I remember learning about, some guy in Germany near the beginning of the Reform movement, was also mainly because of his _public_ spreading of opinions that in their belief were heretical. This is the same thing here -- he was excommunicated once he began to speak his views to a wider audience.

    As for me, I think it's right that he keeps his religious views separate from his political votes. Judaism teaches its rulings on abortion the same way as the ones on kashrut; we don't go around trying to keep Christians from eating pork. So with the exception of the 7 Noachide laws, everything else is a personal, religious decision -- not a decision to make for the rest of the nation. Imposing one's religion on others (*cough*republicans*cough*) is tyranny of the worst sort.

  • Everquest, Asheron's Call and Ultima Online are surely doomed... Dusk has arrived! Now that /. has moved on, I'm actually able to play the thing... Liked the typos, javascript errors, inaccessable help page, and the C64-style "graphics"
  • by emerson ( 419 ) on Tuesday October 24, 2000 @04:41PM (#678555)

    Well, the LambdaMOO server is available on SourceForge [], and has been for some time. Not wanting to start a mini-flame-war about M** stuff, but if you want your virtual text-worlds to have more complexity than "hit orc with sword," MOO with the JHCore database [] is really just about the bext way to go (although ColdC [] is also pretty cool these days, if a bit more arcane and undocumented).

  • I have had a lot of respect for Lieberman for years, but his appeasement to (sic) [of] the crowd who worships sex... the pro-homosexuality crowd [who]... want sex anytime, anywhere, with anyone[,] and delude themselves that there are no consequences... is very troubling to me.

    I'm 39 years old, married for 20 years to the same wonderful woman, with two lovely daughters, and I am bisexual. I'm also monogamous. I don't worship sex, any more than a strictly heterosexual person (necessarily) does. The majority of my friends are gay, and most of them don't qualify as sex worshippers. A few are, assuredly. However, they are not sex worshippers because they are gay, or gay because they are sex worshippers.

    I call myself bisexual because I can fall in love with, or become sexually attracted to, members of either sex with equal ease and intensity. This has always seemed to me a perfectly marvelous situation - 100% of my options are open.

    In my youth, I was quite sexually adventurous, but I was always aware of the consequences, and took precautions always. In other words, I acted with maturity and responsibility. Responsibility isn't a virtue that belongs to gays more often than straights, or straights more often than gays. I know gay men who are promiscuous, and gay men who are celibate. I know straight women and straight men; some are promiscuous, some are celibate, and some are in long-term relationships with sex occurring every other month.

    I am not pro-homosexuality. I don't want sex anytime, anywhere, with anyone, but I do value the part of my nature that puts so few limits on love.

    Just something for you to think about.
  • AH yes... but technically, the 'go code' isnt a barcode, as it doesnt contain bars. The NeoMedia patent refers to barcodes, therefore, GoCode doesnt infringe on the patent.
  • One word on the Etch-a-Seketch web browsing: SVG. It'd be perfect for it!

    What next? WAP protocol on the friggin' game boy?
  • Ask yourself: why would anyone pay that kind of money for barcodes? What do they hope to accomplish? Well, my brothers and sisters, DC would like to get to know you better.

    There are 2 things on the internet that make money: porn and targeted advertising.

    If CueCat delivers a database of identifiable humans and their buying habits, would LL Bean or Land's End pay $1 each for a targeted name? For a name that has just bought chinos at the Gap website? Or scanned an ad barcode for turtlenecks at J Crew? Hmm....

    And that's just the begining. There is a reason they give away hardware. It's cheap hardware, but they had to pay something for it and even shipped it to some Wired and Forbes readers. Are they that dumb?

    Check out the DC website or SEC filings and see who these guys are. Not a lot of dummies in the bunch. They have a plan... they just ain't tellin' us what it is.
  • by DVega ( 211997 ) on Tuesday October 24, 2000 @04:47PM (#678560)
    And we also have Lunix []. The Little Unix for C64 (Or should I say GNU/Lunix ?). Here are some screenshots [].
  • Counting a modem but not a serial cable sounds pretty arbitrary, I'll admit, but any yes/no criteria are going to be arbitrary to some degree. If the PIC could manage to control a modem and dial an ISP, I'd count it, but only together with the modem, not just the bare chip. (Unless someone manages to do the (de)modulation on chip as well -- that would be impressive, even if it only worked at 300 baud.)

    I forgot that the Etch-A-Sketch protocol would also need to implement the "turn upside down and shake" for deleting. That would make the mechanics a bit more interesting.

  • But at least I had a bunch of Compute! magazines filled with BASIC and machine-language code...

    I will proudly admit to having typed in the byte codes for SpeedScript over several evenings, started it up, wrote a letter and then wondered what the f*** I was going to do, since I didn't own a printer.

    Eventually, I upgraded - got myself a 1541 and a C compiler. C was on one floppy, the linker was on the second floppy, source code was on the 3rd floppy...

    But, oh, what a blast. I can't think of another machine I had so much fun working on.


  • by Col. Klink (retired) ( 11632 ) on Tuesday October 24, 2000 @05:59PM (#678563)
    First, the press release was from NeoMedia not DC. So yes, of course, it sounded positive.

    Second, I'd just like to point out to everyone that I am all-knowing in that I foresaw this some time ago (actually, Stephen Satchell is the guru, but I think I deserve some points for spotting the guru). Specifically, under a previous /. story ( ml) I wrote:

    Theory of DC legal action (Score:3, Interesting)
    by Col. Klink (retired) ( on Thursday September 28, @01:38PM EDT (#49)
    (User #11632 Info)

    Saw on flyingbuttmonkeys:

    Step hen Satchell's theory [] behind the DC letters. Basically, DC is only going after barcode to web translations, not simply cuecat decoders. Even though DC has refused to answer what their "intellectual property" is, their letters have gone exclusively to sites that have software that can let you use your cat with the web. Satchell further points out that NeoMedia Technologies, not DC, actually have a patent on barcode to web lookups. NeoMedia is sitting on the patent until, I guess, there is enough money being made to jump in and begin extorting licensing fees...
  • On a more solemn note:

    'And he causes all, the small and the great, and the rich and the slaves, to be given a mark on their right hand or on their forehead, and he provides that no one will be able to buy or to sell, except the one who has the mark, either the name of the beast or the number of his name.'
    Revelation 13:16-17

  • by Enahs ( 1606 )
    I'm still trying to get a boot/root combo going for ELKS on my old Tandy 1000 EX. Those beasts sucked. =)
  • It is a cross license deal. Reading between the lines, I think DC with tons of scanners may get a referral fee (a la doubleclick banner ad) for each Paper Click ad scanned by a cat and sent along to the Paper Click site. Both companies would collect demographics on the deal. I think what DC bought is the ability to read and forward the Paper Click barcodes. DC wants a piece of all the printed barcode action and are willing to pay for it.

    He with the most toys (demographics) wins (sells for profit).

  • I'd just say 'jesus freak! go away'...
    but I have to admit... that one always bugged me.

    It's becomign *SO* true of the digital age what with signed keys and all... eventualy, transactions of money will not be allowed without someone elses permission.
  • Although the on-chip address space of the 6502, Z80, 6800, 6802 and 6809 was 64KB, there were a number of page-switching implementations. I'm not familiar with the 65C816 mentioned, but it may have an on-chip paging register similar to 80286 etc.

    I still have a 6809 box (Southwest Technical Products compatible, *not* Tandy Color Computer) with over 1 MB of (off-chip) page-switched main memory.

    Oh, and MHz ratings for 65xx and 68xx are *not* directly comparable with 80xx, 80xxx and Z80 because the 65/68xx are spec'd by memory bus clock, whereas the 80* and Z80 families are spec'd by internal state clock, which is typically 2 to 11 times as fast, depending on the processor. A 2 MHz 6809 is about 20% faster than a 4 MHz Z80 in terms of actual performance because most 6809 instructions execute in 2 clocks, but a Z80 takes about 5 and an 8085 even more.

    It's not only how fast the clock runs, but what happens each time it ticks.
  • They probably agreed to pay the $100 Mil, because it's cheaper than hiring the legal staff to fight off DC's future legislation. It's easier just to pay 'em off than to fight it out in court.
  • I finaly got a CAT. I just had to try the hardware mod. It works and it's free. Now I can go to the Paper Click site and fill in the box on a Paper Click with the CAT and get the info as an AC and not use any spyware. Too bad DC does not have this option for the RS catalog.
  • Religious intolerance?

    If Liberman had claimed to be a Catholic, would it have been intolerant for the RCC to excommunicate him on the grounds that his religious beliefs were not consistent with those of the Church, which believes Jesus to have been the Messiah?

    There's a difference between the leaders of a religion trying to mantain the integrity of the religion's beliefs and trying to impose them upon others.

    Steven E. Ehrbar
  • > They probably agreed to pay the $100 Mil, because it's cheaper than hiring the legal staff to
    > fight off DC's future legislation. It's easier just to pay 'em off than to fight it out in court.

    Based on the legal cluelessness demonstrated by DC's "if we scream loud enough, maybe the hackers won't notice we don't have a leg to stand on" letters, can you blame 'em?

    I mean, when your defence against hackers is the legal equivalent of a wet noodle, what defence could you possibly have against a patent infringement lawsuit?

    "Hackers? Yeah, we'll threaten 'em with bogus letters, they'll all... huh? What's this in the mail?"

    "Oh shit, Fred! These guys actually know what they're talking about when they mention intellectual property! We might as well save ourselves the embarassment and cough up another $100M of the shareholders' money."

  • by Jason W ( 65940 ) on Tuesday October 24, 2000 @03:53PM (#678578)
    Since there are hardly any stories about Slashdot, I thought I'd post it in a Slashback. Just FYI:

    Slashdot in Black! [] (or any set of colors you want).

    Yes, anyone who has admined a Slash site should know this, but for those of you who haven't, there it is (including one of those annoying spaces probably).

  • Isn't this [] company also doing something that "infringes" on the patent?
  • Well, it really explains why they have a serious bug up their ass about people hacking their device, now don't it!?!? :-)
  • it sends a strong message of religious intolerance and political partisanship in these final two weeks before the election

    Just for your knowledge, the rabbinic court's decision has very little to do with political partisanship upcoming election. He was not excommunicated because the rabbis really supported Bush (G-d forbid! :-) ) or anything like that. This had to do with specific issues of halakha (Jewish law). Like Islam and unlike Christianity, Judaism has a legal tradition of interpreting the Torah, dating back from the times of the Talmud. "Legal" means that it is similar to modern law in that it follows the Torah (constitution) and precedent, in about that order. What excommunication means is that he is espousing positions that disagree with Jewish law. Note again that this law has evolved through 2000 years of careful study and interpretation -- it's far more than these guys happening to disagree with Lieberman (unlike what happened to, say, Galileo).

    If anyone who is more informed (I am Jewish, but not orthodox) disagrees, please say so.

    (there is a space in your link that needs to be removed for the article to work -- slashdot does that.)
  • by AFCArchvile ( 221494 ) on Tuesday October 24, 2000 @04:57PM (#678583)
    Now companies will license a patent of a company who is licensing a patent from another company, who is licensing a patent from another company, who is...

    You get the picture. IMHO, companies are either too lazy to get off their duffs and make something good, or too afraid of retribution by the patent holder of what they're designing. I'm still waiting for this "new" new economy to materialize (I love that commercial)

  • Not to be picky ... but isn't an Everquest-clone called a MMRPG (Massively Multiplayer RPG), not a MUD? AFAIK the gaming press never uses the term MUD since the word conjures up images of VT100 terminals.
  • Instead of taking it out on the slashdot accepted enemy DC, why aren't we enraged by a patent that is unbelievably obvious. So any device I rig up that can connect to paper belongs to these patent holders. Ridiculous.
  • by PurpleBob ( 63566 ) on Tuesday October 24, 2000 @08:55PM (#678588)
    Is there a financial version of the Darwin Awards?

    Yes [].
    Obfuscated e-mail addresses won't stop sadistic 12-year-old ACs.

  • EQ basically DikuMud on the back end.
  • > And, with any luck, another nail in the coffin for patents

    Are you kidding? A whole team of lawyers on the winning side just got paid about $30 million, a good chunk of which they'll use to continue buying congressmen to write laws that further perpetuate their industry. Even the ones on the losing side still got paid. Win or lose, it's more business for them.
  • Much as I love MOO (I was a wizard on the weird and interesting E_MOO), it seems MOO development died years ago. We've still yet to see MOO 1.9 (which is supposed to have associative arrays), there have been no commits since the CVS tree was uploaded, and only one of the 13 patches submitted have even made it in. Finally the code internals of MOO, despite the heroic efforts of Jay and Ben, are still naively programmed, and just do not scale beyond 300 simultaneous users even on excellent hardware. It suffers from poor reference locality (the verb caching helped that, but the lookup is still naive), inefficient storage (Ben's property compacting patch still hasn't made it in), and without something like the waif patch becoming official, it's horribly inefficient to do real OOP with it (the overhead of create() is monstrous).

    Frankly I think MUSH/MUX has more hope of evolving into something as expressive and flexible as MOO. MOO itself got put out to pasture years ago, we're just waiting for it to finally drop.
  • .. on an obvious opportunity for a cultural reference:

    Slash BackInBlack! []

  • by Dr. Awktagon ( 233360 ) on Tuesday October 24, 2000 @04:10PM (#678597) Homepage

    You know, if 5 years ago you had shown me that Digital Convergence press release, I would've laughed my ass off and congratulated you on your excellent use of fake buzzwords and your sarcastic take on corporate America.

    "..the international leader in print-to-Internet enabling technology.."

    "..cooperative efforts to assure that the consumer experience in this emerging space is positive.."

    "PaperClick works by using .. numeric strings which are embedded in the print media."

    "Entering a PaperClick code .. routes readers directly to relevant Web information."

    And they're even having a PRESS CONFERENCE call about it. Hey, didja notice that they're using those fancy "paper-to-phone" technologies that link consumers DIRECTLY to a interactive telephone experience? Now that's an exciting and emerging space, and I'm glad they're enabling it!

    Anyway, now when I see this press release I laugh for about 3 seconds then choke and go silent when I realize this is TOTALLY SERIOUS and these guys have LAWYERS..

  • by hanway ( 28844 ) on Tuesday October 24, 2000 @04:12PM (#678599) Homepage
    It sounds like this C-64 browser handles its own PPP connection to a dialup ISP. This makes it stand out from earlier tiny web hacks, in my opinion. Browsing the web on a VIC-20/C-64/PIC/etc. is not that impressive a hack if it won't run without being hooked to a specially programmed PC acting as a proxy. Stretching that just a bit, I could browse the web on an Etch-a-Sketch(tm) if I just used a "proxy" PC with a couple of robot arms to translate HTML into the native protocol (up/down and left/right knob twists).

    A hack shouldn't really be considered "on the Internet" unless it plugs directly into a phone line, an Ethernet jack, or grabs packets out of the air using a wireless protocol.

Where there's a will, there's an Inheritance Tax.