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Real Time Strategy (Games)

Rights To Virtual Property In Games? 167

With the rise of MMOs and other persistent environments over the last decade, the trafficking of virtual game property has become a multi-billion dollar industry. Regardless of whether the buying and trading goes on with the blessing of the content provider (or, in many cases, the owner of the account in question), the question of players' rights to virtual goods is coming to the forefront. The Escapist Magazine takes a look at how some companies are structuring their EULA in this regard, and what some countries, such as China, are doing to handle the issue. "... the differences between China and the West in this case have more to do with scale than cultural norms. So many people play online games in Asia — and play them so intensely — that social problems in meatspace society inevitably emerge in virtual worlds as well. ... The general consensus, therefore, is that paradigm shifts like the ones that have already occurred in Asia will inevitably come to the West, and with them, the need for legislative scaffolding that keeps us all from killing each other."

Submission + - Who thinks Firehose software is working right? 6

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes: "I find the Firehose software to be infuriating. It seems to have no 'stickiness' but constantly reverts to other views and searches than what I was looking at. I'm about ready to give up on it unless they tell me they recognize it's dumb and are doing something to make it work right. Am I the only one who feels this way?"

Submission + - Are you going to work this Thanksgiving? 1

Edward Smikbam writes: CNet has an article up about the increasing trend to take your work home with you, even during vacations. Entitled "How much 'off time' are you taking this holiday?", the author presents a dilemma I think most of us are going to face soon, "when it comes to special occasions such as the Christmas holidays, what are these Matrix-like drones going to do? Do you leave the BlackBerry or Windows Mobile phone in a locked drawer, or do you occasionally check it while the kids open their presents?". I for one am locking my phone in a drawer but keeping the key very close, just in case.
The Almighty Buck

Submission + - What's the best free software out there?

An anonymous reader writes: I'm a student with absolutely no money to my name but I do have an old laptop that my dad gave me. At the moment I really can't afford to buy any software, particularly Microsoft or Adobe's stuff. After reading an article on CNET that lists a whole bunch of free software alternatives including Open Office and GIMP, I think I've decided on which ones to download but before I do, does anyone have any other recommendations?

Submission + - Violent video games teaching tools for aggression ( 1

Nerdfest writes: It won't be long until our favorite anti-gamer lawyer is all over this one. Father and son research team J. Ronald and Douglas Gentile found that video games share seven parallels with teaching methods, including encouraging players — or students — to learn new skills over a period of time to overcome problems and changing environments. Games, like teachers, are also able to adapt to skill levels and respond to errors.

Journal SPAM: Eee PC Available 4

Well, it looks like the Asus Eee PC is in stock at It is the 4 gig model and is retailing at $399. That's a tad more than when I first heard about it, but it is still an incredible deal in my mind. Each n
United States

Submission + - Washington Grounds All F-15 Jet Interceptors (

reporter writes: "According to a report just published by "The Washington Post", the United-States Air Force has grounded its entire fleet of F-15 jet fighters, which serve as the front-line interceptors against enemy aircraft. This startling development resulted from the equally startling midair disintegration of an F-15C during a training mission: the aircraft broke apart just behind the cockpit. Following suit, Tokyo has also grounded its entire fleet of F-15 interceptors, according to a report by Bloomberg.

The F-15s will remain grounded until American engineers determine how to ensure the safety of the F-15. During this time, the air space of the Western world is vulnerable to penetration by hostile aircraft. Will the Kremlin attempt to test the level of vulnerability?"

Media (Apple)

Submission + - Why Apple Should Bring Back the PDA (

apps writes: recommends that Apple should launch a new PDA and give it another go after the failed attempt with Newton. Apparently the iPhone just isn't enough. The article states: "With a PDA failure already experienced by the company, why would Apple try to pursue this market once again? What's different about the situation now? Two things: OS X and the multi-touch technology that's in use on the iPhone and the iPod touch. Those are game-changers, and the response to them has been huge. Apple has already proven that they can implement these technologies on mobile devices, so there's really nothing that's preventing them from giving another PDA concept a go. Judging by what we've seen with the iPhone, I'm sure that we'll be in for a treat whenever we hear more about this project.

Submission + - O2 Buckles Under Consumer Pressure

An anonymous reader writes: According to's mobile phone editor, O2 has changed its data tariff policy for the iPhone after consumers questioned the 'unlimited' nature of the policy. Prior to the change, O2 publicised 'unlimited' data while imposing a 200MB cap under its fair usage policy. As CNET points out, this echoes the Verizon case, where users argued against the wireless provider using the term 'unlimited' but not actually providing an unlimited service. In a statement O2 said, " We now appreciate that having set limits as part of the fair use policy conflicted with our objective of encouraging Internet usage on the iPhone. People don't speak in megabites and customer feedback has been that if we say unlimited, it should be unlimited."
It's funny.  Laugh.

Submission + - The Top Ten Most Evil Computers of All Time

Spookington Bones writes: has a fantastic article up about the top ten evil computers, including HAL "Just what are you doing Dave?" 9000, Skynet, Portal, Modok and Nomad. "Ah, computers. They make our lives so easy... but we should fear them, for they may yet turn on us. We've collected together ten of the most ee-vil computers to not only achieve sentience, but decide that those pesky, squishy hu-mans just have to go."

Submission + - Fashion vs technology: Does pretty = good?

An anonymous reader writes: Recently, Samsung announced a co-designed Giorgio Armani cell phone, and before that LG and Prada co-developed the Prada phone. Undoubtedly, fashion is playing an increasingly important role in technology and you don't have to look further than Apple to realise that people like good looking products. But are looks taking over from the fundamentals of a good device, in other words, are consumers becoming too concerned about what something looks like and forgetting what it's supposed to do? I think they are but then again I'm still using an outdated Psion. What do you think?
The Internet

Submission + - How will the Internet transform mobility?

An anonymous reader writes: At a recent event in Finland, Nokia listed some of the trends it believes are going to materialize in the future, including mobility transforming the Internet. Given how many portable devices, such as the iPhone, let you browse the Internet on the move, it seems likely that mobility will change the Internet. The real question, however, is how will the Internet transform mobility?

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