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PC Games (Games)

Game Developer Asks To Hear From Pirates 1085

cliffski writes "Indie game developer Cliff Harris has long waged war against games piracy, but has issued a call to pirates to tell him why he is wrong. Assuming that developers are missing out on potential sales from disgruntled pirates, Cliff wants to hear specifically from people who have pirated his games. Not to criticize or lecture them, but to answer a simple question. Why? The reasons people give for copyright infringement/piracy are many and varied, but much of the debate has centred around music and movies, with big 'Triple-A' games an occasional consideration. With specific application to the world of small budget 'indie' games like those Cliff makes, he wants to know the thought processes behind people pirating the games. What puts people off buying? Is it quality, cost, DRM, ease of access? Is there anything that can be done to convert those people to buyers? While many pirates often make good general points about the reasons for the widespread pirating of PC games, it's unusual to get a chance to address specific developers with specific reasons. If you knew 100% that the developer would read your email explaining why you pirated their game, what would you say?"
Linux

The Linux Weather Forecast 98

kwabbles writes "The Linux Foundation launched the Linux Weather Forecast yesterday. It features 'current conditions' for kernel development, a 'short-term forecast,' and a 'long-term forecast.' Now developers and organizations that want to see when certain implementations/fixes are planned can find answers at this informative and handy site."
Security

Contractor Folds After Causing Breaches 274

talkinsecurity writes "A single contractor, privately-held Verus Inc., has been traced as the source of no less than five hospital security breaches in the past two months — and those breaches have put the company out of business in a matter of weeks. Verus, which managed the websites of as many as 60 of the country's largest hospitals, has folded its entire business within the past few weeks, without a word to anyone. Apparently, a single IT error led to the exposure of at least five hospitals' patient data — at least 100,000 individuals' personal information — and caused Verus' primary investor to pull the plug. The hospitals, which initially reported their breaches separately, were left with no one to sue."
Education

High School Students Forced To Declare A Major 670

i_like_spam writes "As reported in the NYTimes, high school freshmen at many high schools across the nation are now being forced to pick a major. Starting this Fall, 9th graders in Florida will have to choose to major from among a set of state-approved subjects, while some students in Mississippi will have to follow one of nine designated career paths. High school administrators hope that having students declare majors will lead to greater student interest in school until graduation. College administrators think otherwise: 'youngsters should instead concentrate on developing a broad range of critical thinking and communication skills,' says Debra Humphreys from the Association of American Colleges and Universities."
Supercomputing

Quantum Computing and Optically Controlled Electrons 74

eldavojohn writes "Researchers have released a new paper on quantum computing theorizing how to use optically controlled electrons to make an ultrafast quantum computer. From the article, "Scientists have designed a scheme to create one of the fastest quantum computers to date using light pulses to rotate electron spins, which serve as quantum bits. This technique improves the overall clock rate of the quantum computer, which could lead to the fastest potentially scalable quantum computing scheme of which the scientists are aware.""
The Courts

Boston Judge Denies RIAA Motion for Judgment 154

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "In a Boston case, Capitol v. Alaujan, the defendant is representing herself, without a lawyer. Nevertheless, the Judge denied the RIAA's motion for summary judgment, which the RIAA had based upon the defendant's alleged failure to respond to the RIAA's Request for Admissions. The Court's decision (pdf) held that the RIAA had served its requests for admission prematurely, prior to the conduct of any discovery conference. The Court also noted that the RIAA had upped the ante quite a bit, trying to get a judgment based on 41 song files, even though it had originally been asking for judgment based on 9 song files. This would have increased the size of the judgment from about $7,000 to about $31,000. The Judge scheduled a discovery conference for October 23rd, at 2:30 P.M. and ordered everybody to attend. Such conferences are open to the public."
NASA

NASA Finds Star With a Tail 233

Andrew Stellman writes "NASA astronomers held a press conference announcing that a new ultraviolet mosaic from NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer shows a speeding star named Mira that's leaving an enormous trail of "seeds" for new solar systems. Mira is traveling faster than a speeding bullet, and has a tail that's 13 light-years long and over 30,000 years old. The website has images and a replay of the teleconference."
Movies

Bad Movie Physics Hurt Scientific Understanding 910

eldavojohn writes "A paper published by UCF researchers claims that bad movie physics hurt students' understanding of real world physics. From the article, "Some people really do believe a bus traveling 70 mph can clear a 50-foot gap in a freeway, as depicted in the movie Speed." The professors published this paper out of fear that society will pay the price. One of the authors commented on advancements in the past years "All the luxuries we have today, the modern conveniences, are a result of the science research that went on in the '60s during the space race. It didn't just happen. It took people doing hard science to do it." I commented on the physics of the most recent Die Hard having problems detracting from my enjoyment of the movie but is it really the root of a growing problem of poor science & math among students?"
The Courts

Submission + - Foster Demands RIAA Post $210k Security for Fees

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes: "A few days ago it was reported that, in view of the RIAA's one-month delay in paying the $68,685.00 attorneys fee award in Capitol v. Foster, and its lawyers' failure to respond to Ms. Foster's lawyer's email, Ms. Foster filed a motion for entry of judgment so that she could go ahead with judgment enforcement proceedings. In response to that motion the RIAA submitted a statement that it had no objection to entry of judgment, and intimated that it thought there would be an automatic stay on enforcement of the judgment, and that it would ultimately file an appeal. After seeing that, Ms. Foster's lawyer has filed a motion for the Court to require the RIAA to post $210,000 in security to cover the past and future attorneys fees and costs which are expected to be incurred."
The Courts

Texas Makes Green Computing Mandatory 157

athloi writes to mention that Texas legislators have passed a bill that would require computer companies to provide free recycling services to their customers for hardware purchased. "The bill (HB 2714) requires computer manufacturers to provide a "reasonably convenient" recycling plan that requires no additional payments from consumers. Dell and HP provided some model legislation that was used as the basis for the bill, which will only affect computers purchased for personal or home business use, but it could still encourage manufacturers to adopt efficient recycling programs that might then be applied to all machines sold."
Games

User Created Content is Key for New Games 167

An anonymous reader writes to tell us that recently Valve Software's Doug Lombardi has stated his strong belief that user created content is a very important part of games in the near future. "'I would argue that it's the biggest component those guys have to get over if they want online to matter.' 'Half-Life 1 was okay as a multiplayer game and Team Fortress Classic was really good, but Counter-Strike kicked both their asses no question. And that came from a kid going to college in Canada and another kid going to high school in New Jersey, who had our code and thought it would be cool to play our game.'"
Censorship

Webcomic Author Deemed a Terrorist Threat 486

CaptainCarrot writes "Writer/IT contractor Matt Boyd, formerly the man who made up the words for webcomic Mac Hall and who now does the same for his and Ian McConville's new comic Three Panel Soul, was recently fired from his government job. His conversation with a co-worker about a gun he intended to buy for target shooting was overheard by someone in a nearby cubicle. As it was unfortunately the day of the Virginia Tech shootings, the eavesdropper panicked and reported him to management. That was bad enough. But when he used the comic to document the meeting where the reason for his firing was explained, he was visited by representatives of local law enforcement investigating him on suspicion of making a "terroristic threat" using the Internet. No charges have been filed. Yet. FLEEN interviewed Matt about the incident."
Microsoft

Submission + - Future Zunes: Going Where Apple Hasn't Gone Before

narramissic writes: "To hit on a winning product or service, Microsoft is going to have to 'find ways of being where Apple isn't and find ways of growing the overall market,' says Michael Gartenberg, an analyst with Jupiter Research. But what Microsoft really has planned for future Zunes may be something much less remarkable. In the next month or so, as Microsoft reveals more about its vision, we'll likely see offerings in the three main categories in the sector: higher-end video players, mid-range music-centric devices such as the iPod Nano, and low-end USB devices such as the iPod Shuffle."

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