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Submission + - Researchers Create Rain By Firing Lasers at Sky (

formaggio writes: Last year a team of researchers at Switzerland’s University of Geneva had come up with an interesting way of making it rain– by shooting lasers high up into the sky. At the time it seemed like science fiction, but now it is science fact after the team successfully finished tests around Lake Geneva.

Submission + - Abandonware Age Limit

hinesbrad writes: "Hi Slashodot. I realize this topic is a bit taboo given the number of developers within our community. My questions all relate to abandonware. I'd like to get an idea what the general consensus is on practice and see what the 'street rules' for old software are. Many people, myself included, willfully copy old games and applications based on an arbitrary rating system and self imposed discipline despite copyright law. For instance, the Sim City Series:

Sim City Classic — released in 1989, I wouldn't think twice about copying.
Rationale: The game fit on a floppy disk, it has 4 newer versions, it was made for DOS/Mac6, I can't buy a copy anywhere, and the only reasonable way to obtain it is probably to download it illegally. The company that made it, Maxis was swallowed up by Evil A$$holes. EA doesn't even support two newer versions than the original. I would probably forced to run the title in a DOS emulator just to get it to function.

Sim City 2000 — Same story as the original. Released in 1994, impossible to find, company no longer exists. Copy it.

Sim City 3000 — I suppose you might be able to find a copy in a bargain bin at Staples or Office Max. At a $3 price point why bother driving to the store to get it? Download and be done with it. This was released in 1999.

Sim City 4 — This is a purist version and has current expansion packs coming out with it. Although the title is dated, it's still being sold, probably at a $20 price point. Released in 2003 I'd be OK with shelling out cash for this.

Sim City Societies (5?) — This is a current release. I'd buy it without question.

Here are my questions:
- Which versions (1/2/3/4/'5') would you copy freely, and why?
- Do you think game manufacturers should adopt a 'recursive' model with older titles? For instance, if I register 5 on a cloud service like steam, if I paid $X dollars extra on the cloud I could pull 1,2,3 and 4 to play as well? How much should $X be?
- With software registrations, I think CD-ROM and related media are absolutely obsolete. Do you think if you register a valid S/N# and email address with a company they should be obligated to make the title permanently available for download? (For instance, my house caught on fire and I lost Office 2003. Shouldn't I be able to download and install it forever with impunity? I paid for it.... )
- Do the rules differ for different types of software? Would you feel different about copying, say, Oracle 6 than an abandoned game or an old school (Mac OS7, 3.11WFW) operating system?
- Would you send a small amount of $$$ to a developer if they made a 'come clean' abandon ware site?

Thanks for your input and advice."

Comment Value Added Advice (Score 3, Insightful) 331

Sales comes from a genuine need. Your perspective clearly indicates you think this is product pushing - and value added sales isn't product pushing. If your customer needs an external hard drive RAID array for backups of mission critical data, would benefit from a hosted solution, or would obtain other value from a software upgrade, SELL IT. Your salary doesn't fall from the sky. It takes a team of people bringing customers in and generating revenue to pay you. You should share in the challenge of keeping the enterprise afloat if you expect to be compensated for what you do.

Comment Re:Slavery (Score 1) 403

I think the reason America is falling apart at the seams is that those whom have access to capital aren't willing to spend it in the USA hiring American workers when they can go to China and use the power of the state to enslave hundreds of millions of people on the cheap. It's eroding our tax base at a time that the genuine need for those services is at an all time high. This is the irony of today: Libertarian ideas of exploitation only work in China because of the massive power of the state. Further, hard work means nothing to the people at the top. Otherwise they'd actually give the workers in China a vested interest in seeing the enterprises succeed. But why bother when you can hire people at 50 cents a day, murder anyone that asks for better working conditions and use the power of the state to mask your corruption?

Comment Re:great (Score 1) 125

To think, the GAUL of someone who wants to provide end users with a FREE search engine that might need to actually sell something to keep the servers and lights on! (It seems many of the newer software models are FORCED into this model by end users who are tired of constantly paying for software that doesn't live up to its promises.)

Comment Re:As a customer, I think I perfer the XBL model (Score 1) 229

Absolutely. Because Microsoft is famous for having systems that are totally hackproof. (Giggle). I think we'd all prefer to game on a secure platform. (Didja see that slashdot? It was a totally reasonable, humorous expression from one human being to another without each other gouging our eyes out, calling each other pussies/fucktards/moronos and having a lame internet cat fight. YAY US! It is INDEED possible.)

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Research is what I'm doing when I don't know what I'm doing. -- Wernher von Braun