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City of Heroes Sr. Designer Talks Architect System 56

Kheldon writes "The MMO Gamer sits down with Joe Morrissey, a Senior Designer at Paragon Studios, to discuss the inspiration behind, and current implementation of, the Architect user-generated content system in City of Heroes. Quoting: 'Really for me, wanting tools so the rest of the team could actually come up with content was the idea. Because we have a lot of guys on the team that are hardcore players, they play the game all the time. Then they come to me like, "I’ve got this idea for this story, we should really do this arc with this guy!" And I’m like, "That’s great. I haven’t got time to do it. I’ve got plenty of other story arcs to work on." But, if we made the tools easy enough, then they could actually come up with the arcs, and we can put them out. Then somewhere along that road it dawned on me: Why stop with the rest of the team?'"

Comment Re:bad writing. (Score 0, Flamebait) 226

Maybe you should RTFA yourself and you would realize my comment was entirely correct.

Your original post was not insightful at all. You were purely poking fun at TFA and the "editor". (Not that there was any editing done, a point that's already been made).

The mods on here today must have their heads screwed on backwards to give you Insightful and Funny.

Comment Re:Different Industries? Does that apply here? (Score 1) 506

Are these the rule or the exception? Are more cases won across industries or are more cases lost? You've just named a few cases that have won without showing that it is the norm. I understand the sometimes that might happen, but you didn't really answer my question at all.

Here is the answer you were looking for...

After doing a little more reading in to the subject, it seems that the win/lose of trademark infringement across industries is entirely dependent on which state in the U.S. you decide to initiate your legal battle and how big your pockets are. In fact, this scenario sounds oddly familiar...

Likelihood of confusion is not necessarily measured by actual consumer confusion, though normally one of the elements, but by a series of criteria Courts have established. A prime example is the test announced by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in AMF, Inc v Sleekcraft Boats, 599 F.2d 341 (C.A.9) 1979. The Court there announced eight specific elements to measure likelihood of confusion:
Strength of the mark
Proximity of the goods
Similarity of the marks
Evidence of actual confusion
Marketing channels used
Type of goods and the degree of care likely to be exercised by the purchaser
Defendant's intent in selecting the mark
Likelihood of expansion of the product lines

Proving dissimilarity of industries plays in to most of these points. Although, trademark dilution laws in the U.S. were changed in 2006 to be much less specific.

The new law revises the FTDA so that the plaintiff only needs to show the defendant's mark is likely to cause dilution. However, the revision also reduced the Universe of marks falling under its protection, requiring that marks be nationally well known to qualify for protection from dilution.

In the case of "Polaroid Corp v. Polaroid Electronics Corp", the defendant won the case, even though the marks were clearly similar. The plaintiff lost because the products and services weren't similar. This case was from 1961, it's old and laws have changed since then, but I would debate that you could use this in court as evidence of prior cases.

On the other hand, as you've already said, I can find examples of cases that have gone the completely opposite direction (to the point of ridiculous).

I'm no lawyer, clearly, but it seems to me that the defendant has a fairly strong case, even taking in to account trademark dilution laws have changed since 2006. It's really going to come down to the size of their pockets I think.

I'm going to hand this one to Google IMO.

Oh yeah, and I quoted Wikipedia. It's not the preferred resource to quote, but it serves for my arguments.

Comment Different Industries? Does that apply here? (Score 1) 506

See, I thought the thing with Trademarks were that they aren't enforceable over different broad industries? Or have I got American Trademark law completely wrong? If Apple can't sue a grocery store for trademark breaches because it is in a different broad industry, then why should this lawsuit ever be ruled in Dick's favor since the two words, trademarked or not, are un-related (one being a fictional character reference in a book, another being an IT product).

Could someone clear this confusion up for me?

Comment How do you monitor this? (Score 1) 362

As we all should very well know here, power supplies, quality of m/b & memory, other pc components all have a factor to play in the stability of a machine and can cause a piece of software to act as though it is buggy, when in fact it's actually the machine hardware itself that has an issue. How do you monitor this sort of behaviour as a bug? It's not feasible for developer to look in to every reported problem associated with their program, especially if it's run on hardware that wasn't setup correctly. I think that having a standard of release for software is a great step forward, but how do you manage the difference between a bug, and something caused by the envrionment/hardware? How do you put something like this in to place without going totally overboard? It's not feasible for developers to write code to handle every possible exception in their software according to external influences (caused by power flucuations, bad drivers, misbehaving memory bits for whatever reason, etc). I see where this is going, and I like the idea, I just can't wrap my head around the implications of attempting to implement something like this in an industry where hardware alone can make all the difference to the users perception of buggy software vs stable software. Software on a TV, or a Car Nav system, Stereo, Microwave, they are all hardware controlled by the manufacturer, so its much easier to test. You test it on one machine, and it works, so therefore it should always work. Does the same "it worked in our super-duper lab environment test" theory apply to this proposed legislation as well?

My 2 cents. I'm sure it's not even worth that much but hey

Submission + - Senators call for transparency in copyright treaty (

angry tapir writes: "Two U.S. senators have asked President Barack Obama's administration to allow the public to review and comment on a controversial international copyright treaty being negotiated largely in secret. The public has a right to know what's being negotiated in the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), Senators Sherrod Brown, an Ohio Democrat, and Bernard Sanders, a Vermont Independent, argue in the letter."

Comment Patent vs Publish (Score 1) 266

Most slashdot-ers would look at this in a "Patent is evil" kind of way and dismiss the question all together. I'm not sure it's that simple.

I don't see a patent as a way to protect your IP, but more as a way to protect you and your family from patent trolls. The current state of the US patent office shows us that not patenting could land you and your big idea in court fighting to prove that it's actually your idea. I would suggest if you have an idea worth patenting, you are serious about developing it, and you can find the money to actually patent it, you probably should. If someone comes out with a similar product based on a similar concept a few weeks/years later, then you have to gauge that hurdle when you get there, but most of the time, unless it's a blatant "he stole that idea from my work bench and duplicated it ad has now made billions from it" type of case (that would be stealing), then I don't really see a whole lot of point fighting it. It is quite possible for 2 people on opposite sides of the country/world to have the same idea at roughly the same time, without prior communication or knowledge of the other persons idea.

So the way I see it, if you patent your idea, you aren't patenting it to protect Joe Blow @ China industries from reproducing a half-baked copy, you are registering your idea so Joe Blow can't reproduce your idea and then turn around and patent troll you all the way to court.

And on the topic of patent morality, if you create something and spend time developing it, you deserve some sort of renumeration for your time and effort. IMO. Patenting it is just a step along the way that needs to happen to protect hard working people and their ideas from patent trolls and "I created it first" law suits. Unfortunately it's a broken system that needs to be fixed, but it's still the only one inventors have right now to protect their ideas from being stolen.

Opinions? Is there any other reason you would patent an idea other than what I've already suggested?

Comment Re:Seems fine to notify (Score 1) 304

1. Get Phished

2. Malware does crazy stuff over your Comcast connection

3. Comcast blocks you because you didn't see the legit notice (and so they should, you are already infected and have been phished)

4. Profit!!!

As long as they are sensible about it == like sending you a couple warning emails as well as a couple in your face browser hijacking pop-ups, then I'm still all for it. Besides, if you've been phished, and installed the software etc etc, then those are some of the people Comcast is targeting here. I like the idea.

Comment Re:Depends on your definition of 'the world' (Score 1) 607

You have a valid point and I don't disagree. The abduction is lucrative enough without the need to entice amateur abductors to enter into a secondary body parts market. I was more pointing out the fact that Dr Michele Elliott is a little mistaken to think that "the world" is an ultra safe place. Although I don't think this wrist watch thing is going to help at all, his comment is a little naive.

Comment Depends on your definition of 'the world' (Score 1) 607

'Is the world really that unsafe that parents need to track their children electronically? I don't think so,'

That really depends on your definition of the world and where you live in it. I'm sure there are a few families in some not-so-well-off countries that would love to have this device on their children, and at that point I wouldn't call it paranoia, more of an everyday security concern I would think.

Comment Re:You are intentionally misleading (or very stupi (Score 1) 1100

As someone relatively new here to /. I don't totally understand the culture here yet. Although I do understand that this entire thread is wasting my time. I was hoping to see a valid debate on climate change with some relative proof. Every post seems to have conclusions or debate points with no evidence to back up said points. If you are going to debate on anything scientific, I'm sure the rest of /. would appreciate a reference link or two backing up the points you are debating, otherwise your entire post in invalid because you are attempting to provide 'scientific conclusions' with no proof. Again, If you are going to post a retort, how about a link to back up your retort? And make sure it's scientifically valid too, not some media cowboy pawn spitting words to sell an article.

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In seeking the unattainable, simplicity only gets in the way. -- Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN Sept. 1982