Getcher Woody in prime operation! You may have noticed the report Saturday that Xfree86 debs are now available, and many readers pointed out problems with setting the newest XFree up. A mysteriously unnamed correspondent writes: "i've written an article to answer some of the questions raised and give an intro into how to set [XFree86 in Debian's unstable tree] up (3dx specifically)."
"Sir, I can't sell this to you without your GPS coordinates. No -- really, store policy." einstein writes "MSN and Radio Shack have gotten together to provide high speed internet access that will cover most of the continental US, looks to be great for rural areas, but the downfalls include: $59.95 a month upfront, for a year, $299 bucks in equipment, only works with Windows 98, and you have to buy a computer from Radio Shack. ugh."
D'ja ever stop to think of it this way ... Mr. Buckaroo writes: "Verant Interactive is again trying to change the license agreement of Everquest to make it legal for them to gather whatever information/files from your machine they deem necessary. They are also changing the agreement to prevent sale of characters, items, etc. I remember when games were just games."Mr. Buckaroo included the full text of a letter to players from John Smedley Verant Interactive's president and CEO. It's long, but worth reading.Makes you think about the voluntary nature of this and the other software you use, and what you're willing to tolerate on your own system.
[Updated 4:10GMT by timothy:] Reader Ted Milker set me straight on the above item, writing "That letter you posted about Everquest is months old. And it all came about from Everlore copying EQ Vaults archived news. EQ Vault restored a backup, and one of Everlore's posters decided to "scoop" that story without even reading it very carefully. Ruins of Kunark has been out for months, and April is past." Sheesh -- given game development time, I thought they meant next April! Mea culpa.Dear EverQuest Players,
An exciting time is now at hand. Within the next 2 days the Login Servers will be coming down and we will be doing a patch that will add the EverQuest Store into the front end of the game. At that time, the first product we will be offering will be the EverQuest: Ruins of Kunark (RoK) upgrade for existing customers. This will allow existing customers of EverQuest to purchase RoK for $16.95 (Plus S&H). In addition, we will offer various shipping options depending on which country you live in. EverQuest: Ruins of Kunark will be launching on April 24th. We want to insure that this product is in everybody's hands on or before that date.
In addition to this change, we will also be modifying our User Agreement and Software License to add in some additional Terms and Conditions that we will require everyone to agree to before playing EverQuest.
The first of these changes concerns the selling of EverQuest Characters and Items outside of the game (i.e. things like Ebay). Here is the text of this change:
"You may not sell or auction any EverQuest characters, items, coin or copyrighted material."
You may ask why we are doing this. There are many reasons, but first and foremost of them is the amount of trouble this is causing our Customer Service group. Simply put there area lot of people out there who defraud others and we are being put in the middle of it, and we don't have the time or the resources to assist people with these disputes when they arise. The next reason is amore philosophical one and that is that we believe people should have to earn their items and characters in the game rather than from buying them outside the game. Obviously the second point can be argued from other perspectives that we do in fact respect, but we wanted you to hear ours.
The next change to the User Agreement and Software license concerns our efforts to stop people from hacking EverQuest and from doing malicious acts that we feel can affect EverQuest as an ongoing business concern. We have developed the technology to check for these hacking tools/programs and report that fact back to us. Without getting into the specifics of this technology, I can say that we in no way will search a user's harddrive(aside from the EverQuest directory during the patching process), registry nor will we send back any information other than the fact that a user is in fact running one of these programs (specifically we are NOT sending information about everything the user is running back to our servers).
It's disturbing that the amount of recent developments in the hacking community force us to do this. Many will say "ShowEQ" isn't worth worrying about. To us, it's cheating and it's not something we can allow in a game like EverQuest where it affects other people's enjoyment of the game. In addition, although this is the first time we'll be acknowledging this, ShowEQ isn't the worst offender. Recently we had someone attempting to bring down our servers with another malicious program. We were able to quickly identify what was going on and insure this didn't happen again, but nonetheless the potential is there and we need to be able to quickly identify and stop these types of programs. Again, I want to say it clearly that we will in NO WAY send any information back to the Everquest servers other than information regarding programs that we feel interfere with the intended operation of EverQuest. We have had this technology available for some time, but recently we've found it's going to be necessary to go to greater lengths to stop this kind of thing. To those of you concerned about privacy (and rightly so) I want to say that we feel it's necessary to do this but we want you to be informed that we are going to try these measures to protect both ourselves and the game's players.
Here is the text of this change:
"You hereby grant us permission to download Game-related files to you. You also grant us permission to access, extract and upload(i) Game-related data as part of the patching process and (ii)data relating to any program that we, in our reasonable discretion,determine interferes with the proper operation of EverQuest."
Involuntary servitude is another way to spell "truancy laws" Finally, Part Two of our trek through the Hellmouth is online. Read for more reactions on the world of bullies of all ages, and how to pull through it.