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Slashback: Bnetd, Salmon, Towers 295

Slashback tonight with more on Lord of the Rings (The Two Towers, specifically), various ongoing court battles, the true color of the universe, and more. Read on for the details.

All I'm certain of is my true love's hair. CompaniaHill writes: "As previously reported on /., first they though it was turquoise. Then they found an error in their early calculations, and announced it was really beige. But doubts lingered, and color experts pointed out that an objective color as viewed from the theoretical blackness of space would appear different when viewed on Earth in typical daylight. So adjustments were made, and calculations were revised and rechecked by color scientists Michael Brill of McClendon Automation Inc. and Mark Fairchild of the Munsell Color Science Laboratories. And now, at last, Ivan Baldry and Karl Glazebrook, astronomers at Johns Hopkins University, using spectral data from the 2dF Galaxy Redshift Survey, have announced the final result: The universe is decidedly salmon. Really."

The milestones are getting closer together. Dare Obasanjo writes: "Xindice (, the Apache native XML database has finally reached version 1.0. Xindice used to be called dbXML and was mentioned in my article on XML and databases."

Three From the Courts TheFrood writes: "It looks as though the battle between Blizzard and bnetd (as reported in previous stories here(1), here(2), and here(3))is heating up. Vivendi has sent another letter to the EFF, which has wasted no time responding."

ElitusPrime writes with an update in the strange case of Ken Hamidi, the Intel employee whose mass-mail to Intel employees brought charges of trespassing. Now the California Supreme Court may take another look at the case. Says ElitusPrime: "If this guy is put in jail, I can think of more then a few other spammers that need to go up the creek with him..."

In a very different case, pagan26 writes: "It seem that DMCA will have its day in court. With ElmcoSoft."

Well, at least you can trust their word, right? Masem writes: "According to MSNBC, the developers of the spyware program WinWhatWhere will no longer have their install program trample the bits of anti-spyware programs, after word broke that this behavior was occurring. However, no word has been made by a similar spyware program developed by SpectreSoft that does similar damage."

I will fork out to see this, happily. Pingsmoth writes "It looks like the faithful fans of Peter Jackson and Tolkien will be able to catch a glimpse of The Two Towers this Saturday. is reporting, through a video of Peter Jackson, that a preview (read: not a trailer) of The Two Towers will be shown in theatres this Saturday, presumably attached to The Fellowship of the Ring. Maybe at the end? At any rate, it looks like I'll be seeing the film at least seven times now, and it's a good thing I got a morning shift tomorrow." For a more colorful description of this 4-minute tease, check out Ain't it Cool News' version.

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Slashback: Bnetd, Salmon, Towers

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  • ill have to upgrade my computers video card. Right now it can only see the univese in 8-bit mode. I don't think salmon is one of those colors.
  • by Hemos (editor) ( 569506 ) on Thursday March 28, 2002 @08:05PM (#3245139) Homepage
    And now, at last, Ivan Baldry and Karl Glazebrook, astronomers at Johns Hopkins University, using spectral data from the 2dF Galaxy Redshift Survey, have announced the final result: The universe is decidedly salmon. Really.

    I knew it all along; God is a She!

    I Personally Recommend ML []
    • by GigsVT ( 208848 ) on Thursday March 28, 2002 @09:17PM (#3245561) Journal
      Nah, God's a fag. :)
  • by CmdrTaco (editor) ( 564483 ) on Thursday March 28, 2002 @08:06PM (#3245144)
    The universe is decidedly salmon.

    So long, and thanks for all the fish!

  • by Corvaith ( 538529 ) on Thursday March 28, 2002 @08:06PM (#3245149) Homepage
    Someone should inform the offices of the world.

    On the other hand, don't. I'd rather have beige everything than salmon. How did they determine it was salmon, anyway? Are they sure it isn't coral? Or sunset pink? Or...

    Someone find a box of crayons for these researchers. In the name of research, of course.
    • by nucal ( 561664 ) on Thursday March 28, 2002 @08:40PM (#3245387)
      In the wake of Sept. 11, figuring out how the average color of the cosmos would appear to people on Earth during daylight is a ''beautiful idea that promised peace and harmony,'' Brill said. ''We sorely need a balm such as the color of the universe, whether it be a tranquil green or even a noncommittal beige.'' Or, as it now seems, the simple and sweet color of salmon.

      until they change the color again ... and then I'll start fretting about Sept. 11th all over again ...

    • No need -- the original report was written in crayon!
  • preview vs trailer (Score:4, Interesting)

    by randomtangent ( 444213 ) on Thursday March 28, 2002 @08:11PM (#3245187) Homepage
    Just to clear things up:
    Trailers used to be shown after a film, thus the name trailers they trail the film. But as you've I'm sure noticed most people leave the theatre well before the credits reach the top of the screen. So theatres started to show "previews" the exact same thing only before the movie. This had the added bonus of keeping people entertained. And in resent years earning ticket sales to movies people wouldn't other wise be cought dead in (wing commander anyone???)

    I just had to point this out after the talk of a preview (not a trailer) but it would be after the movie.
    • by BenHmm ( 90784 )
      Not so.

      Trailers have always been shown before the film: Origins of the word trailer [] says:
      To understand this, you have to harken back to the days when movies were shown continuously in theaters and audiences were allowed to sit through multiple showings of the same movie--the start times were published, and if you came in late you simply sat through the next showing until you came to the point "where you came in." This is not that long ago--I remember when this used to be the practice.

      The coming attractions reel would be spliced onto the end of the last reel of the movie, hence trailer. From the perspective of the audience member who arrived on time or a little early, the coming attractions would appear before the feature, even though technically it was at the end.

      "Preview" just refers to the fact that it is a "preview" of a forthcoming movie. Grammatically, this is more correct, or else the "preview of The Two Towers" would actually be the "preview of The F of R, which shows clips from TTT."
      • what are you trying to say.. you just contradicted yourself and agreed with the post you were trying to correct.
        first you say Trailers have always been shown before the film
        then later you quote

        The coming attractions reel would be spliced onto the end of the last reel of the movie, hence trailer. From the perspective of the audience member who arrived on time or a little early, the coming attractions would appear before the feature, even though technically it was at the end.

        So basically, trailers used to be at the end(but some people didn't realize it), and now they are at the beginning, which is what they parent post was saying.
        • It used to be at the end, and there wasn't a fifteen minute wait while "buy an ad on this screen" ads slide-showed in your face along with ads for used cars, singles bars, bad food and the like.

          Since trailers were spliced to the end of the last reel, they spewed by while the current audience left and the next audience walked in. The hope being that the current audience left during credits and the next audience walked in afterwards to be greeted by the trailers.

    • I've just come back from FotR, having seen the new stuff (I live in NZ where it's now 5pm Friday). It looks good and the summary on is accurate.

      The whole preview vs trailer thing is not about when the footage is being shown, it's about the type of thing being shown. It's about four minutes long and is really just a collection of images from the The Two Towers. It doesn't have the cohesiveness that normal movie trailers have, and it's a fair bit longer. I expect there will be a "real" trailer appear in about 3 months time.

      • No ... they just version trailers ... err previews ... issuing mulitple versions of trailers that are edited to raise excitement levels as the release date draws near isn't new, nor is it the basis for "preview" and "trailer" being synonyms in modern English.
    • Good god, 'preview vs. trailer' is turning into 'vi vs. emacs' LOL
  • by ( 142825 ) on Thursday March 28, 2002 @08:14PM (#3245201) Homepage
    Usually a SPAMMER is trying to sell you something. Ken is telling people at Intell that Intel sucks and their employment practices and working conditions suck. This deserves more protection than the "Cheap Viagra" or "Send $5 to 5 people and make $16,400 in 14 days.".

    Commercial speech deservces less protection than non-commercial speech. In addition, complaints about employment practices may come under protection by the ADA, FMLA, Title VII, and the NLRA [].

    But, this intersect with the rights of Intel to have control over their mail servers. Maybe the lawmakers should look at this case when drafting anti-spam statutes.

    • You're right, he's not. He's a willfully miscievous disgruntled employee who persistently sent email to ALL of Intel's employees at work. He wasn't content to do this once, but repeated his spamming. All intel did was get an injunction against the guy to stop him sending emails to 30,000 employees at a time. He is not being convicted, he's being told to stop pestering the company. The guy had his say at least 3 times but just wouldn't stop. What do you do with a nut like this?

      Are we supposed to just let individuals repeatedly send one sided biased screeds to tens of thousands of employees at their old place of work and keep doing it without the company being able to do anything about it? It is abusing the company's email system in the worst way.
      • If you are telling employees to stand up for their rights (overtime, ADA, FMLA, etc.) you get protection for doing this.

        Under Sumner v. US Postal (3rd or 9th circuit) an employee is protected in reasonable protests for their rights. In Payne v. McLemore picketing against racial discrimination was held to be protected. Is sending lots of email more intrusive than picketing?

        The Supreme Court in Robison v. Shell Oil considers that protections extend to ex-employees.

        My argument (and seems to be the AFL-CIO's) that this is a protected act, and did this cross the line or being overly intrusive.

        Though Intel argues that it is tens of thousands of emails, it is not that many per person and only 450 requested removal.

  • by perdida ( 251676 ) <thethreatproject ... inus threevowels> on Thursday March 28, 2002 @08:17PM (#3245217) Homepage Journal
    baaaa.. everyone is sheep of the movie industry.

    I would think that this is a way to get people to see movies repeatedly in the theater at the inflated price... your average geek can see LOTR on some pirated version by now, so all the replay value has to be added via these teasers n'previews.

    You are drooling because of a very short piece of film, and you are allowing yourself to be marketed to. The fansites could be very useful centers of discussion and analysis, if they weren't so breathlessly following announcements of a teaser of a trailer.

    • Blockquoth the poster:

      I would think that this is a way to get people to see movies repeatedly in the theater at the inflated price...

      I would think this would be so obvious as to hardly be worth noting. In economic terms, look at it this way: Every time you see LOTR (unless you are an addict), your marginal utility drops. Eventually it falls below the unit price, at which point you are no longer willing to spend the money to see the film. If prices could fluctuate, the ticket price might fall to entice you back in. But movie tickets are essentially fixed. So it seems like they could never make more money off this from you.

      But lo! They add some teaser material. Now, assuming you want to see the teaser, they've added marginal utility back to the experience. Your ticket, at say $8, buys more and, if they're right, this raises your satisfaction to the level where you're willing to shell it out.

      But that isn't to say that the new material need be worth $8. It might only be worth $0.40 to you. But if you value seeing LOTR again at $7.60 -- if that were the price you'd have been willing to pay to see it -- then, with the additional material, your utility is $8 and you're willing to go back. So that little bit of value, small in itself, might still justify the trip.

      Gotta love Econ 101.

  • by benjcorey ( 516769 ) on Thursday March 28, 2002 @08:22PM (#3245256) Homepage

    Decidedly Salmon is a great band name.
  • by CoreDump ( 1715 ) on Thursday March 28, 2002 @08:23PM (#3245265) Homepage Journal
    In this [] article, here's another stunning example of how the DMCA doesn't bring anything new to the table in terms of preventing piracy/copyright abuse.

    The man in question, pleading guilty under both Copyright law and the DMCA for illegally copying video tapes, faces the following sentances:

    • Copyright law: 60 years imprisonment and $3,000,000 fine.
    • DMCA: 5 year imprisonment and $500,000 fine.

    What was so lacking in the punishment for violating the copyright laws that the DMCA was needed?

    This and the Blizzard BNETD case show, IMHO, that the DMCA is nothing more than a legal weapon paid for the entertainment industry to chill any speech or action that they feel cuts into their profits. It does not impact the 'for-profit' pirates that actually cost the industry revenue, it tramples on the average consumer.

    Copying copyrighted video tapes was illegal before the DMCA. There is no need for an additional law like the DMCA to put "fear" into the pirates like this guy. They face stricter punishments for violating copyright laws than they do the DMCA. The DMCA just broadens the scope to include that so-called gray area that is the average consumer wanting to time-shift/space-shift their belongings, which happens to cut into the entertainment industries profits.

    Fuck the DMCA and Jack Valenti and Hillary Rosen.

  • by Blasphemy ( 78348 )
    The url for the story on CA's supreme court taking another look at the intel employee banned from emailing anyone at intel isn't quit right.

    The correct url is here [].

  • good work guys! Salmon it is... right, so now we know its size, mass, expansion rate, age, density, constituents (most), and now color .... could we maybe figure out its smell?
  • The trailler/preview story is not exactly new (for instance, EW reported that some issues ago), but it's nice to have it officially confirmed (until now I haven't seen it confirmed in any site).

    After all, it's not only 8 bucks that is at stake, but 3+ hours of movie time (I'm not saying that the movie doesn't worth the time spent, but it's hard to justify it to the wife :)

  • LOTR (Score:4, Interesting)

    by 3141 ( 468289 ) on Thursday March 28, 2002 @08:34PM (#3245354) Homepage
    I love the Lord of the Rings trilogy. It is easily my favourite book. I vastly enjoyed BBC Radio 4's adaptation of it, and I quite enjoyed the animated film.

    With that in mind, I can't understand why people loved Peter Jackson's film so much. I tried to remain open minded, but I found it incredibly hard not to just walk out in anger.

    He completely ruined the spirit of the tale, and quite unecessarily at that. Most of his changes were totally not needed. Once he decided to remove Tom Bombadil/The Barrow Downs he easily had enough time to remain true to the story, and so many of his alterations took longer to correct later on in the story than he would have ever have saved if he'd just left it be.

    That is one of the main problems with making alterations to a story as deep as The Lord of the Rings, if you remove one thing, all the other parts of the story connected to it have to be altered, which cause more alterations later on.

    Plus since when has 4 Oscars been a "snub"?
    • Re:LOTR (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 28, 2002 @09:02PM (#3245507)
      You know, as a rabid Tolkien fan who has been rereading the books for 30 years, I really have a problem with people like you. You do not know how to let go and enjoy the movie for what it is: a wonderful adaptation of the book, and much better than we could have expected, given past attempts (especially the horrid animated versions).

      Plus, it's a good movie in its own right; millions who have never read the books saw it and enjoyed it as a movie. Obviously Peter Jackson is doing something right.

      Complaining about what was left out - especially Tom Bombadil or the Barrow Downs - is just plain silly. There is no way Jackson - or anyone - could have included that material without totally bogging the storyline down and ruining the movie. It had to go.

      Similarly, the other changes were necessary to make the story flow as a movie script. There is no way of avoiding these necessary changes.

      I suggest you do what I did: see the movie again. I enjoyed it the first time, but spent too much time obsessing over every little thing that was changed. By the second and third viewing I was simply enjoying the movie, and not worrying about the changes.
      • Uh...actually, he was not complaining about Tom and the Downs being cut out, but saying that since PJ cut them out, he shouldn't have needed mess with the book anymore, and should been able to put Galadriels gifts and other things in as they should have been.

        I agree with you - it's a good adaptation, but then again, I also like the Bakshi version, and in some ways find it more "faithful", and find that PJ did some direct lifting from that movie in his.

        Either way, I reread the books rather often as well, so I have become used to and tuned into deviations - which can be annoying, but oh well.

        As long as Moria is done well, I don't care who does it :)
    • Re:LOTR (Score:2, Insightful)

      by torqer ( 538711 )
      Hmmmm. Is this simple a case of not liking something because it is popular?


      He hardly has time to remain 100% true to the story. Which is basically an unachievable goal. I can't think of any case where that has happened. It might be close but there are ALWAYS differences. That is notwithstanding poor casting, which IMO, did not happen in FOTR.

      Lord of the Rings is about half a million words. There is no conceivable way that even with selective edits and ellipsis that that big of a work can be compressed accurately into 9-10 hours of screenplay (for all three parts of the story). The BBC's radio version was very near 13 hours.

      Again other mitigating circumstances appear. While yourself, most of the people here, and I can vividly recall almost every scene and the order that each character is introduced the vast majority of the public cannot. In fact, this might be their introduction to it. Thus the story had to have more edits (other than those due to time constraints).

      With the fact that it could not replicate every detail or even attempt to... It was still superb. It was epic; it was fun; it was well acted... It did indeed capture the essence of the original work.

      If you looked closely you could see several details of exactly how well crafted it was. The broaches given to the company appeared after visiting Galadriel -- time constraints didn't allow that story to be told. But the items themselves WERE there. There are several similar circumstances were time would not allow everything to be told, but they still happened.

      Take it as it was offered - A standalone work that did well to represent the original and brought more people into the realm of Middle-Earth

      • If you looked closely you could see several details of exactly how well crafted it was.

        Everything that was shown was accurate (in the details) - even down to the oars they used were right. The big stuff got moved around, but that was to cover the stuff cut. Even my second biggest complaint, the long battle scenes, were probably necessary. In the book, some of the scenes were 500 words - but you can quickly *say* "the battle raged on around them for hours", but to *show* that it was a long, tough battle takes time.

        (Incidently, I liked how they showed the wizards power were not on the "toss lightning" modern style, but more "control the weather and talk to animals"... which was horribly negated by the really dumb looking wizard battle. That would be my biggest complaint about the movie. Although I'd love to see a half hour, stand alone version of Tom Bombadil, complete with songs, included in the boxed set).


    • I have to say I agree with nearly everything you said. However, I also count myself amongst the group that loved the film.

      As someone who's read LotR (and re-read many times), I found fault with nearly all of the script decisions that the movie made. However, the movie amazed me visually. Seeing Hobbiton, Rivendell, Moria and Orthanc come to life before my eyes made the movie well worth the price of admission (they did get Lorien wrong in my mind, but no one's perfect ;).

      And Ian McKellan *is* Gandalf...if he doesn't win an Oscar for one of the movies, I'll be upset.
    • Completely ruined the spirit of the tale? I have to disagree. I hadn't read The Lord Of The Rings before I watched LOTR::FOTR. While its true that for the most part, I was confused as all hell, it did spark my curiosity enough to read the the trilogy. Just recently I finished The Silmarillion. Now in retrospect, I couldn't see how Jackson could have stayed any truer to some aspects of the story. "Oh but this is left out and what about this and that blah blah" you say? Hmm well some stuff did deserve to be left out. The whole Bombadil thing is only a side-venture and the rest of the story does not depend on it. As for other stuff that seems left out (like the reforging of Narsil), perhaps we'll get a flashback to that in LOTR::TTT. I guess that point could be said about anything that seems to be left out of LOTR::FOTR.

      Anyway, all I am getting at is that the movie trilogy has not been fully revealed to us, so I'd save any critique about it (as in contrast to the book) until all three movies have been released. Also, LOTR::FOTR was interesting enough that I was compelled to read the whole book. Jackson must have gotten something right, because I have an urge to see the movie again.

      Now what I think would be pretty badass would be a movie-translation of the Silmarillion. No offense to those cute hobbits, but the creation of Arda thru the end of the Second Age are more interesting to me. It'd be pretty badass to witness the Music of Ainur, the beauty of the Undying Lands, the creation and loss of the Silmarils (and Morgoth getting his ass kicked but good), and the rise and fall of Numenor. After all, The Silmarillion sets the stage for Lord Of The Rings. Any fan of Middle-Earth that hasn't read The Silmarillion should do so. Now if I could just become fluent in the high-elven tongue... hehe
      • it did spark my curiosity enough to read the the trilogy. Just recently I finished The Silmarillion.

        Just looking at how well LotRs is selling (the book, not the movie), and that, by itself, is a good enough reason for the movie. The fact that people are getting into the Silmarillion from the movie is icing.

        (And I second your notion - the creation being a Fantasia like opening on the front (a la the Pixar shorts), and then the events of the Second Age would truely kick azz). --

    • After some consideration, I find that I must agree with you. Actually, I really enjoyed the movie, but when I dusted off my old book and hooked up with the BBC radio adaptation, I must say that I liked PJ's movie much less.

      Everything in it felt incredibly rushed; it was nuts! It turns out that the BBC play took about 4 hours to do FoTR, including narration of visuals which were obviously missing. Still they left in a whole lot more dialogue. It was actually more interesting and exciting than the movie--and ten times deeper. PJ cut an hour off that time, but on film he had the luxury of conveying a lot more information per unit time, because he has both audio and video. So why does it feel like I got so much less?

      To be fair to him, I'm not sure I could pick out many parts that I thought were a waste of time. I do remember some distortions which I thought to be unnecessary because they saved no time at all, but perhaps they set us up for future distortions in the other two movies. Maybe the problem with LOTR is that it's not inherently filmable.

  • Really? And we all thought we were joking originally when we said the universe was flesh-toned. Or... was that the internet?
  • by binaryfeed ( 225333 ) on Thursday March 28, 2002 @08:41PM (#3245397) Homepage
    According to the cited [], the preview / trailer will be shown as early as Friday, not Saturday as was reported above.

    That was close! I already have my tickets for my 5th screening tomorrow (Friday).

  • by binarytoaster ( 174681 ) on Thursday March 28, 2002 @08:44PM (#3245425)
    Vivendi knows it, and the EFF knows it, and it's easily made obvious by this overwhelmingly clear statement:

    We have reviewed the arguments in your letter, and do not find them convincing. We continue to believe [that bnetd is] an infringement of VUG's copyrights. Those activities implicate a number of VUG's exclusive rights under copyright... etc etc.

    Their response is classic, and I love their lawyer.

    It would be more helpful in the future, however, if rather than summarily claiming that you believe that "the activities engaged in by" violate "a number" of your copyrights, you would state specifically what portions of the website and which particular files you believe are infringing, which of your copyrights you believe are infringed and how. We are also uncertain about the exact nature of the technological protection measure you believe has been circumvented...

    The CD-Key protection isn't really a "protection measure" per se. You can install the game without using a valid key, you can even play the single-player mode (well, there IS no SP mode in the beta, but you know what I mean) without a true key. Ergo, a circumvention has only occurred if I loaded a program that caused your official server to validate my fake key.

    Vivendi knows this, and that's why they're unclear about the "several copyrights" that were infringed. The copyrights were to the "for" method, the "if" statement, the "void" function type and the "main()" function, is the only thing I can see here...

    But I suppose I shouldn't joke about that, or we'll have some bright guy trying to patent them, eh?

    Bah. I find this highly amusing....
    • The funny thing is, if they want to say that the beta is their true reason for doing this, bnetd doesn't even support WC3 right now.

      Blizzard can't possibly claim that cd-key checking is a copy protection method: it doesn't stop the copies from being made, or even from working (they DO work) - just prevents copies (actually, 'certain reported CD-keys' - so it could actually be used to ban individual people for no reason, even though Blizzard hasn't done this - yet) from working with their servers.

      I have no idea why Blizzard is doing this, or why they haven't noticed that Vivendi's lawyers are monkeys (see my other post - that letter is real big crap, and they misinterpreted the USC 512 code they quoted). Vivendi's throwing money away, when Blizzard should be working with bnetd to try to fix this. If they really want to save money and stop piracy (rather than just charge for at a later time, which is what they REALLY want to do) they'd be doing that, which is what id software and every other game manufacturer in the world with online play has done.
      • There have been much posts about people getting bnetd to work with war3beta though. The letter got shipped to shortly after the first posting of the war3beta running smoothly from a crack while on bnetd.

        Blizzard doesn't like that much, and I am pretty sure that this is just Vivendi's doing. Blizzard is probably just wanting to write a damned game.
    • But I suppose I shouldn't joke about that, or we'll have some bright guy trying to patent them, eh?

      The trick is to start at the basics, and by the way Somebody beat you to it []
  • Gheez.. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by laserweasel ( 568666 )
    Am I the only person on this site that wants to see a movie when it comes out?!? There's so much drama about a preview of Towers or whenever there's a trailer for Clone Wars. Why do you want to see the best scenes in a movie 6 months before you'll get to see the rest?!
  • The 2dF Galaxy Redshift Survey site mentioned above also has some nice fly through movies of the "nearby" galaxies.

    Good stuff.

  • Follow-up to the Larsen ice-shelf disintegrating [] story: another BBC report [] says Cambridge scientists have discovered that the ice-caps (those that float on the sea, anyway) are melting from beneath - due to warmer sea-water - as well as from above, due to warmer air temperatures. The sea-level won't rise just because floating sea-ice melts - obviously - but glaciers and icesheets on land that are propped up by sea ice will slide into the ocean more quickly without them, which willraise sea levels. And of course Larsen is just another canary data-point pointing the same way as most studies from the last 15 years.
    • by S. Allen ( 5756 ) on Thursday March 28, 2002 @09:44PM (#3245649)
      why is everyone is so hysterical about global warming? do they not know that this is part of the larger ice-age cycle that repeats about every 20k years? we're in the warming period. we go from nearly covered in ice to nearly devoid of ice (with huge sea-level fluctuations) and then back again. is there some kind of expectation that this change is linear? that there will be no bursts of exponential change followed by other plateaus? that these kinds of global changes will not create increased levels of extinction? hey, maybe humans are influencing the cycle. maybe we've shortened it a few thousand years. maybe nobody really knows jack shit but needs something to bitch about between commercials.

      any politician that is not strongly in favor of alternate forms of energy is a dick. not because fossil fuels are inherently evil (ok, the corps behind them may be), but more importantly, they're never going to get us off this idiot-infested rock. oh, and they're not renewable. go nuclear! it's god's favorite power source. check out, oh, say, the rest of the universe if you're in doubt. hey, god can't be wrong.

      um, that's about it.
      • One reason people worry about the sea levels rising is that billions (I'm not exaggerating) of people live below the near-future sea level if current warming trends continue. No, they're not all going to drown, but they will need a new place to live and work. One example we can now relate to: the sea does not need to rise many meters before there is no more Manhattan (other than some buildings protruding from water). That's not to mention the Netherlands...
        • it's highly unlikely that humans will stop the rise of the seas. it's basically inevitable, unavoidable and unstoppable. we're quibbling over the timeframe. however, no one can tell you exactly (or even approximately) how much human activity has influenced this progression, if in fact it has.

          the problem is that humans have this pesky habit of building their civilizations right along the shoreline. it's not a good long-term plan when you're in the thawing cycle. building further north becomes problematic during the freezing cycle because glaciers tend to be fairly persistent and, oh, huge and unstoppable.

          humans have this other rather irksome habit of being, on the whole, fairly short-sighted. most civilizations aren't really planned. no where is it ingrained in our personalities to go out of our way to make sure our current agenda has any real positive bearing on future generations. and don't go thinking you're going to make a difference. the power is in the hands of the governments and megacorps.

          behold the USA, pinnacle of "Democracy" and "Freedom"! how much of the wrangling that occurs in Washington, DC every day has the enlightened future of humans in mind? bingo if you said, "zippo, zilch and nada". it's grubbing for money and power with the occasional kissing of babies and touching of cripples to please the electorate. and no where else is any better.

          oh, wait, it looks like florida is flooding. well, we just didn't see that coming. quick, who do we blame? who can I use this against? sorry, until we have a global change of consciousness and get past our basic animal instincts, it'll be slow and perilous going.
      • why is everyone is so hysterical about global warming? do they not know that this is part of the larger ice-age cycle that repeats about every 20k years? we're in the warming period. we go from nearly covered in ice to nearly devoid of ice (with huge sea-level fluctuations) and then back again. is there some kind of expectation that this change is linear? that there will be no bursts of exponential change followed by other plateaus? that these kinds of global changes will not create increased levels of extinction? hey, maybe humans are influencing the cycle. maybe we've shortened it a few thousand years. maybe nobody really knows jack shit but needs something to bitch about between commercials.

        I think the concern is this: first, that humans are changing their environment, and second, that we're doing it so fast (and the rate of change is accelerating?) that we won't be able to predict/deal with the consequences. In the broadest sense, that's pretty much what it boils down to.

        In the case of global warming, there's a lot of evidence and research which backs up that first point. This means that the second is a valid concern, especially since many people who know more about it than you or I think that we're going to have problems (specifically, that the rate of change in the temperature of the Earth is too high to be purely natural, and is getting faster, yet that we're not doing enough to either prevent it or deal with its consequences).

        After that it gets complicated. Discussing that second point at all requires making predictions, and prediction is an inexact science. Also, some of the issues related to global warming are extremely complex. For example, there are several reasons to want to move away from gasoline-burning automobiles, from concern over global warming to issues of long-term availability of fossil fuels, the health effects of automobile exhaust, city planning issues, and so on. Then there's convencience, habit, corporations trying to protect their profits, and other forces on the side of maintaining the status quo. This results in one dang complicated issue, which is why people spend a lot of time talking about it!

        Incidentally, last time a global warming story was posted on SlashDot, someone got modded way up for pointing out that we are in a cooling period, not a warming period. Another reason why there's so much discussion is the massive amount of misinformation out there. Plus there's the fact that the issue is way to big for a discussion to cover every aspect of it. On top of that, there's a tendancy for people to believe what they want to believe (a general tendancy - ask any tech support person!) The result: massive amounts of discussion.
  • by barawn ( 25691 ) on Thursday March 28, 2002 @08:48PM (#3245452) Homepage
    Did anyone notice how INCREDIBLY unprofessional the letter from Blizzard/Vivendi was? Seriously, it basically amounted to "nope, we're right, you're wrong, post the software and we'll send Blizzard cops to go arrest you!" Then, I cracked up when I saw the EFF letter, which politely begins "Um, I hope this is going to the right place, considering you didn't have a return address...."

    Vivendi didn't address ANY of their claims, specifically the point that 1201(c) and 1201(f) clearly ALLOW software such as bnetd (they might as well have specifically given this as an example of what the DMCA does NOT prevent) - just saying "no, you suck, go away." They also misinterpreted 17 U.S.C. it looks like, thinking that bnetd only had 10 business days to respond or they can't file a counter notification, whereas the statute is saying that the offending material can't be redistributed in less than 10 days after sending a counter notification.

    Vivendi's actions are going to look really bad from a court's perspective - they're being very aggressive and holding their cards all to their chest, so if they do sue, and try to pull some trick, a judge isn't going to be very lenient.

    I am very glad that the EFF is handling this, though - it would've been very difficult, if not impossible, for bnetd to handle it themselves.
  • Isn't that Sesame Street's new software venture?
  • by Anonymous Coward

    ...but the sun doesn't shine there
  • XML based dbs? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by xtermz ( 234073 ) on Thursday March 28, 2002 @09:23PM (#3245582) Homepage Journal
    Somebody please correct me on this, but since XML is just text, and text is not compressed (usually) .. how can a XML based db even be plausible when compared to a 'standard' database that compresses date, indexes it, etc etc etc...

    • Hint: Text is only one representation of an XML object.

    • Think structure, not representative format. I.e. you COULD make a relational database using ASCII text files if you really really wanted to; it's just row/column data that you mash together, after all.
    • ...since XML is just text, and text is not compressed (usually) .. how can a XML based db even be plausible...

      Nevermind that it is text, the important point is that is is a tree structure.

      Standard databases are relational, and are great at storing simple attributes for an object. They are absolutely horrible at storing relationships between these objects and, more importantly, in managing those relationships.

      So, for example, if you have a grommet that can consist of multiple other grommets, each of couse consisting of grommets etc., then in XML you are laughing:


      In a standard relational database you end up with a grommet table and, perhaps, an attribute that is the parent grommet. To get the list I just suggested above, you need to do a self-join on the grommet table an unknown number of times, something SQL just can't do.

      Object-oriented databases are good at this (and much more), and it is funny that the old style of databases that preceeded the relational databases, were often hierachical, i.e. tree structures!

      So the scoop is this: the trees are back.

  • Trespassing (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Adrian Lopez ( 2615 ) on Thursday March 28, 2002 @09:27PM (#3245597) Homepage
    Email systems are designed to accept email messages from arbitrary sources. Calling it "trespassing" is a major distortion of the meaning of the word. The EFF has a press release on the Intel vs Hamidi [] case.
    • Re:Trespassing (Score:2, Insightful)

      by ipfwadm ( 12995 )
      Yes and no. Certain places that would appear to be "public" are open to basically anyone that wants to come in. As long as you're doing what you're supposed to do, you're welcome. But if you start misbehaving you could be arrested for trespassing (the grocery store near me has signs outside to this effect, for example). I don't think it's too too much of a stretch to apply this to email.
  • by jcsehak ( 559709 ) on Thursday March 28, 2002 @09:32PM (#3245615) Homepage

    ... is not that they "found" the color of the universe, but that they convinced Johns Hopkins to give them lots of money and let them use their fancy equipment for THREE SEPERATE EXPERIMENTS! Here's what really happened:

    Johns Hopkins Administration: Okay, what are you guys working on now?

    Astronomers (quickly alt-tabbing from Return to Castle Wolfenstein to a spreadsheet): Uhhh... we're calculating... the... color of the universe! We'll need at least two weeks.

    JHA: Right then. Talk to you in two weeks.

    Astronomer 1: Whew. How're we gonna figure out the color of the universe?

    Astronomer 2: Who cares? It's turquoise. Now be quiet. I'm sniping.

    [two weeks later]

    Astronomer 1: Hey check it out! The Warcraft III beta is out!

    [JH Admin comes in]

    JHA: Hey guys, got your report on the universe being turquoise. Great work.

    Astronomer 2: Yeah, um, we've got a problem. We think it might be beige. We've got to do spectral graphalisys and whatnot. we'll need another two weeks.

    JHA: Okay.

  • According to TORN [], most places will be able to see the trailer friday, not saturday.
  • I've read in an article down here in NZ that the trailer/preview will be at the end of the movie, but before the credits.
  • at a screening of Ice Age (funny movie BTW)

    looked pretty cool.

  • by drivers ( 45076 ) on Thursday March 28, 2002 @10:22PM (#3245796)
    I am calling for a boycott of Blizzard over this bnetd matter: []

    I also have a link from there to a petition that I would appreciate signatures by anyone against the use of the DMCA by
    Blizzard (Vivendi Universal Games) in this case (even if you don't plan on boycotting).

    • Hah, I'm _still_ boycotting blizzard over their complete disregard for privacy and malware concerns over the starcraft name emailing debacle.

      The big deal there was not so much that they erred, or that they shipped such an egrious piece of software that would pass your personal registry items to blizarred if you miskeyed your registration code, but that they refused to admit that there was anything questionable about this or that there was any other angle from which to view the situation.

      A company that effectively implants spyware in their product and refuses to accept that this was an undesirable action is untrustworthy and is not a reasonable source of software products. At least, that's my view.

  • by rossz ( 67331 ) <> on Thursday March 28, 2002 @11:13PM (#3246059) Homepage Journal

    As of a few days ago, the fan website has been banned any discussion of the legality of bnetd in their chatroom, #diabloii on Furthermore, when many of the regular members protested this action by included [censored] or [oppressed] in their nicknames, they were banned. The nickname modifications that resulted in being banned include: [bnetd], [censored], [oppressed], and [not_battle_net] (there may have been others).

    A posting to their forums [] mentioning the censorship was deleted, and the account of the poster (myself) is no longer allowed to post (not a big deal, I created the account specifically for that purpose). Don't petty tyrants surpress news of censorship, too?

    As it stands, discussing bnetd is forbidden in the chat room. Protesting the censorship in any way is forbidden. Discussing bnetd or the censorship in the forums is forbidden.

    Under a different account, I posted a rebuttal [] to their recent anti-bnetd article []. I wonder if they will censor that as well?

    • Is it so wrong for a Blizzard forum to try to conceal the fact that you can pirate a Blizzard game and still play in a Bnet env?

      I hope you never have to release closed source code and have to worry about someone reverse engineering some of the profitibility out of it.
  • by Alsee ( 515537 ) on Friday March 29, 2002 @12:18AM (#3246230) Homepage
    Less than an hour ago astronomers at Johns Hopkins University, using revised spectral data from the 2dF Galaxy Redshift Survey, have announced the corrected result: The universe is a pale shade of lemon.

    After the latest press conference some color experts were asking how it could possibly be yellow. The head astronomer explained that it was a red-shift effect. "My assistant Bob can explain it to you, he entered the red-shift adjustments..." Bob: "Me? I didn't enter them. You were supposed to do that" Head astronomer: "You didn't? Oh shit..."

  • Prob the most poignant assesment of this whole thing is to be found Here []

    It summarizes a lot of how I feel about this issue.

    I'd also like to add that I think that the precedent that bnetd is trying to set is eerily dangerous while on the other hand I think Blizz's invocation of the DMCA is also not-a-good-thing.
  • by glassware ( 195317 ) on Friday March 29, 2002 @04:54AM (#3246762) Homepage Journal
    At the risk of sacrificing karma for an unpopular viewpoint, I'd like to support Blizzard here.

    Every so often people talk about napster/kazaa/morpheus, and someone usually says, "It's not the government's responsibility to protect companies that depend on an obsolete business model." By this they mean that music is too expensive, artists get stiffed, there's no way to buy single tracks, etc., etc. I think we all feel stiffed by the music industry sometimes.

    Now Blizzard has a much better business model. They sell game boxes in the store, and then they let you spawn multiple copies to play it with your friends locally. (Real companies actually support fair use?)

    The best part is, when you start getting good and enjoying the game, all they ask is that you get your own copy so that you can play on the Internet. If you only like the game enough to play once in a while at your friends' house, you can go your own way. I mean, they'll even let you create your own account on your friend's machine, because they know sooner or later you'll want your own copy so you can play alongside your friends. This business model lets each customer decide for themselves the threshold at which they pay for the product.

    This is one of the best, most fair business models I've ever seen. The thing that saddens me is that if we try to take advantage of Blizzard, they (unlike the music companies) are talented and flexible enough to switch straight over to writing console games, and where will we be then?

    If Blizzard is forced to change their business model, we, the consumers, will lose out. We'll end up with games that can only be played on XBox via a proprietary network, and nobody will be able to spawn guest copies.

    I know code = free.speech; I know that some people whine about how can get slow; but wouldn't you rather have the EFF fight to defend open source licenses instead of fighting to help people crack into the Warcraft 3 beta?

  • An XML database amounts to a domain-specific technology – hierarchical databases, a special case of network (in the connecting conceptual nodes representing pieces of data sense, not the connecting physical computers over cables, protocols and radio sense) databases – that has been obsolete for 30 years now, since EF ‘Ted’ Codd published his ‘A Relational Model of Data for Large Shared Data Banks []’ paper.

    There have long been the desire for a truly relational [] DBMS that would solve not only hierarchical problems like XML and bills-of-materials cases, but also would provide a much saner OO database foundation than current OODBMSs or ORDBMSs. There’s even a proprietary beta implementation [] that I’ve submitted twice to Slashdot, being twice ignored if we don’t pay attention this could give the Microsoft camp a real technology first and jumpstart over us – ‘ meaning both the free software and the open standards ’ for the first time, except the ease-of-use issue where they are still a step ahead.

Promising costs nothing, it's the delivering that kills you.