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First Person Shooters (Games)

Infinity Ward Fights Against Modern Warfare 2 Cheaters 203

Faithbleed writes "IW's Robert Bowling reports on his twitter account that Infinity Ward is giving 2,500 Modern Warfare 2 cheaters the boot. The news comes as the war between IW and MW2's fans rages over the decision to go with IWnet hosting instead of dedicated servers. Unhappy players were quick to come up with hacks that would allow their own servers and various other changes." Despite the dedicated-server complaints, Modern Warfare 2 has sold ridiculously well.

The "Hidden" Cost Of Privacy 217

Schneier points out an article from a while back in Forbes about the "hidden" cost of privacy and how expensive it can be to comply with all the various overlapping privacy laws that don't necessarily improve anyone's privacy. "What this all means is that protecting individual privacy remains an externality for many companies, and that basic market dynamics won't work to solve the problem. Because the efficient market solution won't work, we're left with inefficient regulatory solutions. So now the question becomes: how do we make regulation as efficient as possible?"

California To Move To Online Textbooks 468

Hugh Pickens writes "Last year California spent $350m on textbooks so facing a state budget shortfall of $24.3 billion, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has unveiled a plan to save money by phasing out 'antiquated, heavy, expensive textbooks' in favor of internet aids. Schwarzenegger believes internet activities such as Facebook, Twitter and downloading to iPods show that young people are the first to adopt new online technologies and that the internet is the best way to learn in classrooms so from the beginning of the school year in August, math and science students in California's high schools will have access to online texts that have passed an academic standards review. 'It's nonsensical — and expensive — to look to traditional hard-bound books when information today is so readily available in electronic form,' writes Schwarzenegger. 'As the music and newspaper industries will attest, those who adapt quickly to changing consumer and business demands will thrive in our increasingly digital society and worldwide economy. Digital textbooks can help us achieve those goals and ensure that California's students continue to thrive in the global marketplace.'"

New EVE Expansion Nears, Possible Mobile Plans 74

As the EVE Online creators ramp things up for the free Apocrypha expansion due out next week, lead designer Noah Ward sat down with MTV's Multiplayer blog to discuss the future of the game and what characteristics continue to keep players interested. Ward says they've considered branching out to consoles, but ended up deciding that the game doesn't really lend itself to console play. He left the door open to using smartphones for "augmenting" gameplay. Ward also mentioned that upcoming space MMOs Jumpgate: Evolution and Star Trek Online are so different from EVE that they're not really worried about direct competition; EVE thrives in part because of the player-generated drama and scandals, which few games pull off as well. Massively has gathered a variety of details about the Apocrypha expansion, which includes the game's first epic mission arc, and they've also posted some screenshots. CCP Games launched a website for the expansion containing concept art and interviews with some of the developers.

Comment Re:Funny.... it's not about the vaccine (Score 1) 1056

This particular case actually didn't address the mercury issue. There are other ongoing cases which do.

However, the current scientific consensus is also that the mercury used as a preservative in some vaccines (thimerosal) is not linked to autism. Of course, thimerosal was also phased out of vaccines several years ago due to all the hoopla.

Comment Re:They might be right, actually. (Score 1) 683

Er... not quite.

The use of the phrase "derivative right" is a bit misleading. Under copyright, there's the right to create a derivative work. For a work to be derivative, there needs to be fixation of that work in some tangible format, including electronic. There's no fixation here.

Similarly, not all performances are infringement. Copyright law covers *public* performances. This is not a public performance. If there is a public performance, it is the user of the device that is making that performance public, not any aspect of the device itself.

Even if that performance was somehow contrary to the ordinary rights of the author, I can't really argue that a private performance would not be a fair use.

Role Playing (Games)

Vanguard Dev Talks About the Game's Future 86

Massively sat down with Thom Terrazas, producer for Vanguard: Saga of Heroes about what the future holds now that the game has had time to stabilize after a rocky start. Terrazas talks about some of the upcoming content, and explains why they chose to develop in the direction they did. "A lot of the requests are a mix of high-end content requests. You know, keep delivering higher end content so that progress doesn't stop for our players. In addition there are many requests to fix current content. Those are the two things that the players have requested the most." He also provides some general information on their ideas for alternate advancement. "... the idea is you can build your character out so it's a bit more specialized in things like damage, or mitigation, or spell damage. So you can specialize any way you want. We're working on that now, and it's something we're looking to launch in the raiding portion of Pantheon. So if you really love your character and want to specialize in something more, be a little different then the rest of your class, then AAs will be coming with the second part of Pantheon so you can customize your character further in the higher level."

Video Game Conditioning Spills Over Into Real Life 232

doug141 writes "Lessons learned in video games may transcend computers, PlayStations and Wiis. New research suggests that virtual worlds sway real-life choices. Twenty-two volunteers who played a cycling game learned to associate one team's jersey with a good flavored drink and another team's jersey with a bad flavored drink. Days later, 3/4 of the subjects avoided the same jersey in a real-world test. Marketers and lawyers will take note."

Ars Examines Outlandish "Lost To Piracy" Claims and Figures 380

Nom du Keyboard writes "For years the figures of $200 billion and 750,000 jobs lost to intellectual property piracy have been bandied about, usually as a cudgel to demand ever more overbearing copyright laws with the intent of diminishing of both Fair Use and the Public Domain. Now ARS Technica takes a look into origin and validity these figures and finds far less than the proponents of them might wish."
The Almighty Buck

Game Devs Using One-Time Bonuses to Fight Used Game Sales 229

ShackNews reports on an emerging trend which sees game publishers offer one-time bonus codes to unlock extra content for certain titles. Rock Band 2, for example, comes with a code which will allow free 20-song download, but is only usable once. NBA Live '09 has functionality to update team rosters on a daily basis, but will only do so for the original owner. "'This information and data is very valuable and it wasn't free for us,' an EA representative explained on Operation Sports. 'T-Mobile is paying for it this year for all users who buy the game new. This is a very expensive tool to use, and if you don't buy it new, then you'll have to pay for this. It isn't greed at all.'"

Copyright Board Lawyer Responds On Pandora's End 174

mattnyc99 writes "A month ago we talked about the impending death of streaming music site Pandora thanks to a very backwards fight over royalties. PopMech follows up with an article that, besides noting how insane it is that Pandora has to pay record labels for the bad songs that users skip, also gets the (three-member) Copyright Royalty Board to try and defend itself about why the government is determining royalty rates for the music industry. Quoting: 'It was uninvited,' says Richard Strasser, senior attorney for the Copyright Royalty Board. 'I don't think anybody was jumping up and down with joy in the government that they have this responsibility, but the former systems just weren't working out.'" No one seems to be trying to defend or explain why Internet radio is being hit so much harder than satellite or broadcast.

Congress May Kill NIH Open Access Research Rules 105

Savuka writes "A policy that mandates public, open access to all National Institutes of Health research is in danger. The House of Representatives is considering legislation that would change the open access policy to make it more publisher-friendly, under the false pretense of protecting copyrights. The Ars author paints the new legislation as somewhat reflective of a turf battle in Congress: 'The Intellectual Property Subcommittee clearly felt that it had been ignored during the original passage of the bill that compelled the NIH's open access policy...' The article concludes: 'Currently, the disruptions wrought by the Internet and expectations of open access are too new for a viable alternative to traditional publishing to have emerged. But it doesn't appear that the NIH policy is making a significant contribution to that disruption, and the benefits of the policy appear likely to be significant. If Congress rolls back that policy in response to disagreements with other countries over film piracy, then it could really be throwing the baby out with the bathwater.'"
The Courts

J. K. Rowling Wins $6,750 In Infringement Case 521

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "J. K. Rowling didn't make enough money on Harry Potter, so she had to make sure that the 'Harry Potter Lexicon' was shut down. After a trial in Manhattan in Warner Bros. v. RDR Books, she won, getting the judge to agree with her (and her friends at Warner Bros. Entertainment) that the 'Lexicon' did not qualify for fair use protection. In a 68-page decision (PDF) the judge concluded that the Lexicon did a little too much 'verbatim copying,' competed with Ms. Rowling's planned encyclopedia, and might compete with her exploitation of songs and poems from the Harry Potter books, although she never made any such claim in presenting her evidence. The judge awarded her $6,750 and granted her an injunction that would prevent the 'Lexicon' from seeing the light of day." Groklaw has an exhaustive discussion of the judgement.

Copyright Expert Uninvited From Canada Policy Forum 100

earthforce_1 writes "The vested interests of restrictive copyright are stacking the deck in Canada. The Public Policy Forum Symposium on intellectual property reform has bowed to pressure from certain interests and dis-invited noted copyright scholar Howard Knopf. The forum's stated mandate is ' strive for excellence in government — to serve as a neutral, independent forum for open dialogue on public policy, and to encourage reform in public sector management.' For some reason, the US Ambassador to Canada and the former head of the Canadian Motion Picture Industry Association have been invited — apparently they are perceived to have a more neutral view of what Canadian copyright laws should be? More information at Howard Knopf's blog."

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