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Privacy

Blizzard Exposes Detailed WoW Character Data 233

Gavin Scott writes "Blizzard has introduced a new web site called the Armory which lets you get information on any World of Warcraft character, extracted from their live databases, in near real-time. This exposes a great deal of information that was not previously obtainable including profession choices, skill levels for all skills, and the character's complete talent specification and all faction reputation data, along with all gear currently equipped. The complete roster of any guild or arena team is also available. Some players are upset about this, such as arena PvP teams who now have all their gear and talent choices exposed to the world, or players with non-standard or less-popular talent choices who fear they will have difficulty getting into pickup groups now that people can instantly find out everything about them. Are these complaints fair? Blizzard claims to own all the data and the characters, but at what point does this data represent personal choices and information about their players which would be covered by their own privacy policy? In a virtual society, should people be able to present a view of themselves that differs from (virtual) reality, or should all details be exposed?"
The Internet

Berners-Lee Speaks Out Against DRM, Advocates Net Neutrality 187

narramissic writes "Speaking before the House Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet, Tim Berners-Lee advocated for net neutrality, saying that the Web deserves 'special treatment' as a communications medium to protect its nondiscriminatory approach to content. Berners-Lee's more controversial statements came on the topic of DRM, in which he suggested that instead of DRM, copyright holders should provide information on how to legally use online material, allowing users the opportunity 'to do the right thing.' This led to an odd exchange with Representative Mary Bono who compared Berner-Lee's suggestion to 'having a speed limit but not enforcing the speed limit.'"
Books

DRM Causes Piracy 413

igorsk recommends an essay by Eric Flint, editor at Baen Publishing and an author himself, over at Baen's online SF magazine, Baen Universe. In it Flint argues that, far from curbing piracy of copyrighted materials, DRM actually causes it. Quoting: "Electronic copyright infringement is something that can only become an 'economic epidemic' under certain conditions. Any one of the following: 1) The products they want... are hard to find, and thus valuable. 2) The products they want are high-priced, so there's a fair amount of money to be saved by stealing them. 3) The legal products come with so many added-on nuisances that the illegal version is better to begin with. Those are the three conditions that will create widespread electronic copyright infringement, especially in combination. Why? Because they're the same three general conditions that create all large-scale smuggling enterprises. And... Guess what? It's precisely those three conditions that DRM creates in the first place. So far from being an impediment to so-called 'online piracy,' it's DRM itself that keeps fueling it and driving it forward."
Space

Submission + - Whistle While You Work? Not in Space.

Ant writes: "ABC News report that astronauts on spacewalks will never, ever be able to whistle while they work in space. Former NASA astronaut, Dan Barry has seven hours of spacewalking time to his credit. He tried whistling during his spacewalk on STS-96 in May 1999. "It wasn't something I hadn't planned — I thought of it on the fly. It turned out that it didn't work." he said. "You can't whistle because the air pressure in the suit is only 4.3 [pounds per square inch], and normal atmospheric pressure is 14.7 psi, so there are not enough air molecules blowing by your lips to make a sound," he said. Seen on Blue's News."

Feed RFID Chips Shrink to Powder Size (wired.com)

Hitachi's new tags measure 0.002 inches square, but store as much information as their much-larger predecessors. The company's still investigating possible uses. By the Associated Press.


The Internet

Journal Journal: U.S. Prosecutors Charge Piracy 'Kingpin'

U.S. Prosecutors Charge Piracy 'Kingpin' By Staff Feb 22, 2007 U.S. prosecutors in Virginia have extradited one of the first suspects allegedly involved with several large international Web pirate groups. Hew Raymond Griffiths, from Bateau Bay, Australia, appeared in U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Va. -- charged with one count of conspiracy to commit criminal copyright infringement and one count of criminal copyright infringement, Variety said Thursday. The maximum sentence for conviction

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