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Submission + - How to Stop Pirates: Ask Nicely

BillGatesLoveChild writes: When Trey Harrison found his music lighting software 'Salvation' had been pirated, he was taken aback. Being an Independent Software Developer, there wasn't much he could do. So he contacted the Warez Group and asked them nicely. They wrote back and said sorry, that they at least hoped more people got to see it and that in accordance with his wishes, they wouldn't release it again.

But what of the Anti-Piracy tool "Armadillo Software Passport" that was supposed to have protected Trey's Software? Unlike the Pirates who responded straight away, Trey says he never heard a peep back from Armadillo. Seems the Pirates have better "customer support" than the Anti-piracy agents!

Of course, "Ask Nicely" may not work for the RIAA who as Orson Scott Card's famous essay pointed out have perhaps irreversible ill-will due to their history of ripping off artists and consumers and buying off Congressmen. But for smaller companies and independents, perhaps it's worth a try? There's even hope for the industry heavies. Mark Ishikawa of Anti-P2P Company BayTSP says 85% of people he sends a gentle warning on behalf of the MPAA "do not come back, with no headlines and no public relations blowups."

Could a softly-softly approach work better for IP owners that heavy-handed threats and lawyers?

Submission + - Star Wars fan creates security scare in Melbourne

svunt writes: "A Star Wars fan in costume (blaster included) was swooped on by a number of police today in a Melbourne shopping centre. From the article

"The replica gun appeared to have what resembled a battery pack connected to the gun by a coiled wire, while boots and a laptop were also in the bag. The man was clad in black with unusual logos on his sleeve and breast pocket, and had what appeared to be a hands-free mobile phone earphone in one ear.
The man was later charged with possession of an unlicensed firearm. It appears that he was en route to a photo shoot to commemorate the thirtieth anniversary of Star Wars."
Linux Business

Submission + - Dell starts selling Ubuntu Laptops Today

An anonymous reader writes: Later today, Dell will offer U.S customers three different systems with Ubuntu 7.04 installed: the XPS 410n and Dimension E520n desktops and the Inspiron E1505n notebook. These systems will be available by 4pm CST today. Starting price for the E520n desktop and the E1505n notebook is $599; the XPS 410n starts at $899.

Submission + - Aussie software pirate extradition a first of many

schliz writes: The U.S. government's recent extradition of software pirate Hew Griffiths (of Drink or Die fame) from Australia could have opened the doors to equally harsh punishments for software pirates worldwide, predicts an Australian technology lawyer in a recent interview with Computerworld.

"I think what the Hew Griffiths case shows is that you do need to be very aware that particularly in the U.S., where the number one export is intellectual property, they are incredibly vigilant, and this has been a very significant coup for them and I see this as the start of more international prosecution for cyber-related crime," Nick Abrahams of the Communications and Media Law Association is quoted as saying.

Now awaiting sentencing in the U.S., Griffiths faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in an American prison and a $US500,000 fine — which seems rather harsh, considering the average sentence for rape in the Australian state of Victoria is six years and 10 months.

Submission + - Giving up personal copyrights to a business

E writes: Prior to my current job I have created many different programs and applications which I retain full copyrights to (250k+ loc). Some were created for companies others as hobbies and currently, many of them sit rather idle. I have been offered a partnership in a small company with big potential, where I am the only tech person. In all the leagalities of the process, there is a copyright clause that basically says the company owns anything and everything tech related I do inside and outside of work. This is a fairly standard clause, however I am stuck on what to do.

I will be consulting a lawyer, but wanted some feedback first on what others may have done. I have been told already that the partnership won't buy it from me for what the software is worth, and if my copyrights don't ever make money, the partners won't care about it. Knowing legally, if I do any development in the future, it belongs to the partnership. Should I:
(1) Let the company take my copyrights and hope the partnership pays off.
(2) Sell the rights to someone else and "cash out" on what I currently have.
(3) Pretend the clause isn't in there and continue dev as a hobby/side business.
(4) Release it under an OSS license, and hope someone will continue dev work (since legally I can't), knowing it will most likely become stagnant or abandoned.
(5) Focus on the partnership and archive my software (If I don't do anything with them in the future, the partnership has no claims to them).
(6) Hold out until the clause is changed.
(7) Any other options or advice?

Has anyone else been in a similar situation, and what have you done?

Submission + - Pirated Software, Pipeline Explosion

pipingguy writes: "[In 1982] The Soviets were developing a highly lucrative pipeline to carry natural gas across the expanse of Siberia, but they lacked the software to manage the complex array of pumps, valves, turbines, and storage facilities that the system would require. [...] KGB officials inserted an agent to abduct the technology from a Canadian firm. Unbeknownst to the Soviet spies, the software they stole sported a little something extra: a few lines of computer code which had been inserted just for them. [...] Some weeks after going online, in the summer of 1982, the clandestine code in the pipeline control program asserted itself. Disguised as an automated system test, the software instructed a series of valves, turbines, and pumps to increase the pipeline's pressure far beyond its capacity, putting considerable strain on the line's many joints and welds over a period of time. One day, somewhere in the cold loneliness of Siberia, the overexerted pipeline finally succumbed to the pressure. [...] It would be fourteen years before the real cause of the event would be revealed. [...] In any case, it clearly demonstrates that software piracy can have very serious consequences."

Submission + - Vista's 40 Million License Sales In Context

Overly Critical Guy writes: Microsoft's figure of 40 million Vista OEM licenses sold has less impact when weighed against the expanded size of the PC market, according to IDC numbers. The myriad of factors involved in determining success in the market makes Microsoft's constant comparisons to Windows XP less reliable as a growth indicator — particularly with Microsoft refusing to reveal the number of actual activated Vista licenses.

Submission + - Etrian Odyssey - Old style dungeon RPG for NDS

aliquis writes: "Etrian Odyssey (website uses flash), a nethack/MUD-without-the-MU like game for Nintendo DS was released may the 16th.

The game features classic labyrinth RPG style gaming with over 125 monsters designed by Shin Nagasawa (Final Fantasy IX), nine characters of which you build a party of five, and a map on the lower screen where you draw the looks of the labyrinth using the stylus while you explore it.

Too bad it doesn't seem to contain any multiplayer support :(, graphical MUD on the DS (or any system) would be so sweet."

Submission + - OLPC to run Windows, come to the US

An anonymous reader writes: 'Yesterday Nicholas Negroponte, former director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab now head of the nonprofit One Laptop Per Child project, gave analysts and journalists an update on the OLPC project. Two big changes were announced — the $100 OLPC is now the $175 OLPC, and it will be able to run Windows. Even in a free and open market where there are free and legal alternatives to using Windows and Office, there's a huge demand for Microsoft software. The OLPC was seen as a way for open source Linux distributions to achieve massive exposure in developing countries, but now Negroponte says that the OLPC machine will be able to run Windows as well as Linux. Details are sketchy but Negroponte did confirm that the XO's developers have been working with Microsoft to get the OLPC up to spec for Windows.' We also find out that the OLPC gets a price hike and will officially come to the US. Could this be tied into Microsoft's new $3 Windows XP Starter and Office 2007 bundle? Now that the OLPC and Intel's Classmate PC can both run Windows, is Linux in the developing world in trouble?
The Media

Submission + - NBC Believes They Own Political Discourse

PoliSciASU writes: "MSNBC has established draconian rules regarding the use of the Presidential Primary Debates on the internet. Kevin Bondelli talks about why this is shameful and wrong. Voters are missing out on the ability to actually have an engaged conversation about the candidates and their debate performances because of NBC's greed."

Submission + - My next programming language?

An anonymous reader writes: I'm looking for a next programming language. The last language that I really took seriously was Java. But then it tried to become everything to everybody and got off track. I've dabbled in Ruby, but it seems to be too immature to take seriously. Are there any other languages that can offer ease of development, portability, etc. I'd appreciate your advice. Thanks!
The Media

Submission + - Asian Group Equates Prank Call to Nazi Germany

DA-MAN writes: "A group known as the Organization of Chinese Americans has called for the firing of two radio dj's in New York over a prank call. The prank call was to a Chinese restaurant using a computer generated voice during which they place an order for shrimp flied lice. Today they protested outside of CBS during which they passed out flyers equating said prank call to Hitler/KKK/Nazi Germany. Looks like comedy is no longer safe from attack, for you can be called a racist for a joke now. The OCA has called the DJ's racists against Asian's, ignoring such facts like one of the DJ's being married to Korean model Natasha Yi *NSFW*."

Submission + - SCO Delisting warned

icebike writes: SCO has been notified by NASDAQ that it currently fails to meet the requirements for continued listing on NASDAQ due to its price being below 1 dollar for the last 30 days.

This means that if the stock price can not be held above 1 dollar for 10 consecutive days out of the next 180, SCO will be delisted. It would then join the Pink Sheets, where penny stocks are traded, (and usually hyped by untold volumes of spam promising a big campaign). 60

Just another step in the downward spiral of a company with few customers, and little to sell, and a business model based on litigation.
Operating Systems

Submission + - DOS rises again

An anonymous reader writes: Just when you thought DOS stood for "Dead Operating System," along comes a new free version. The GPL-licensed "NXDOS" distribution is a 16-bit DOS "work-alike" that aims to teach the old DO... oh, nevermind. NXDOS was written by Christopher Evans, 32-year old high-school dropout with a decade of experience hacking DOS-based sysop apps for the "fidonet bbsing scene" during the 90's.

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