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Copyright and the Games Industry 94

A recent post at the Press Start To Drink blog examined the relationship the games industry has with copyright laws. More so than in some other creative industries, the reactions of game companies to derivative works are widely varied and often unpredictable, ranging anywhere from active support to situations like the Chrono Trigger: Crimson Echoes debacle. Quoting: "... even within the gaming industry, there is a tension between IP holders and fan producers/poachers. Some companies, such as Epic and Square Enix, remain incredibly protective of their Intellectual Property, threatening those that use their creations, even for non-profit, cultural reasons, with legal suits. Other companies, like Valve, seem to, if not embrace, at least tolerate, and perhaps even tacitly encourage this kind of fan engagement with their work. Lessig suggests, 'The opportunity to create and transform becomes weakened in a world in which creation requires permission and creativity must check with a lawyer.' Indeed, the more developers and publishers that take up Valve's position, the more creativity and innovation will emerge out of video game fan communities, already known for their intense fandom and desire to add to, alter, and re-imagine their favorite gaming universes."

Comment Re:Crossing the Streams (Score 1) 324

Obligatory movie quote:

Dr. Egon Spengler: There's something very important I forgot to tell you.

Dr. Peter Venkman: What?

Dr. Egon Spengler: Don't cross the streams.

Dr. Peter Venkman: Why?

Dr. Egon Spengler: It would be bad.

Dr. Peter Venkman: I'm fuzzy on the whole good/bad thing. What do you mean, "bad"?

Dr. Egon Spengler: Try to imagine all life as you know it stopping instantaneously and every molecule in your body exploding at the speed of light.

Dr Ray Stantz: Total protonic reversal.

Dr. Peter Venkman: Right. That's bad. Okay. All right. Important safety tip. Thanks, Egon.

from " Ghostbusters"

Comment Re:Who is nuts enough to test effectiveness? (Score 1) 329

If it makes it to phase II trials, I see street corner recruiting operations in Big Cities...

"Get this shot, we will pay you $100.00; come back once a month to have blood drawn, we will pay you $25.00"

It will be marketed toward the low income, homeless, 3rd tier of society types and active homosexuals. They will have more people signing up than they can handle.

If it makes it to Phase III trials... it is anybody's guess... Perhaps, targeted toward people that have other terminal illnesses, using either the "help humanity" approach, or the "we will pay your surviving relatives $$$" approach.


Submission + -

ECCN writes: Clear Plans to Sell Traveler Data

Wired writes:

Clear, the cut-to-the-front-of-the-airport-security-line company that closed without warning last Monday, is trying to sell its members' sensitive data to another registered traveler program, the company told its stranded members Friday in an email.

Clear was founded by entrepreneurial journalist Steven Brill in response to long airport lines and charged $200 a year to air travelers who got cards entitling them to special lanes at airport security.

Travelers had to give the company sensitive data, such social security numbers, fingerprints, credit card numbers and iris prints, for a background check, even though the program did not reduce the amount of screening an individual would see at the airport.

Clear closed on June 22, leaving some 250,000 members wondering what would happen to their data and money. Clear says no refunds will be issued due to the company's financial position. Clear had lanes in 20 of the nation's busiest airports, but failed to get enough members to justify staffing the lanes 16 hours a day, 7 days a week. The company says it shut down because it could not reach terms with its bank.

The data can only be used by another company offering such fast pass lanes, because of Transportation Security Administration rules, according to Clear. It says it is currently wiping other company hard drives and that its technology integrator, Lockheed Martin, was working to shut down airport lanes.

The company did not say how long it would attempt to sell the data before deciding to destroy it.

Submission + - GPUs Are Good For More Than Gaming

Hugh Pickens writes: "Dr. Dobb's reports that the graphics processing units (GPUs) available in video gaming computers and consoles are very efficient at manipulating and displaying computer graphics and their highly parallel structure also make them more efficient than a general-purpose central processing unit for a range of complex calculations important to defense applications. "As radar systems and other sensor systems get more complicated, the computational requirements are becoming a bottleneck," says Daniel Campbell. "We are capitalizing on the ability of GPUs to process radar, infrared sensor and video data faster than a typical computer and at a much lower cost and power than a computing cluster." Mark Richards at Georgia Tech Research Institute is leading a team to rewrite common signal processing commands in the Vector, Signal and Image Processing Library (VSIPL), an open standard developed by embedded signal and image processing hardware and software vendors, targeting GPUs supporting NVIDIA's CUDA platform but the underlying principles can be applied to GPUs developed by other companies. Studies have shown that VSIPL functions operate between 20 and 350 times faster on a GPU than a central processing unit, depending on the function and size of the data set. "The results are not surprising because GPUs excel at performing repetitive arithmetic tasks like those in VSIPL, such as signal processing functions like Fourier transforms, spectral analysis, image formation and noise filtering," says Richards. "We've just alleviated the need for engineers to understand the entire GPU architecture by simply providing them with a library of routines that they frequently use.""
The Courts

Submission + - Rapidshare Fined $34 Million and Ordered to Filter 1

A Cow writes: TorrentFreak reports that the Regional Court in Hamburg, Germany, has ruled that file-hosting service Rapidshare must proactively filter certain content. Music industry outfit GEMA asked the court to ban Rapidshare from making 5,000 tracks from its catalogue available on the Internet. The court obliged and fined Rapidshare $34 million.

Comment New TSA rules are likely what killed CLEAR... (Score 2, Interesting) 171

There are two significant changes rolled out by TSA that are likely the cause of CLEAR to finally give up. (They have been struggling financially since inception, and had a very narrow adoption rate)... Here in Tampa, FL the TSA rolled out a new method of security line queues for travelers that segments travelers into three different classifications: * The first being an "Expert Traveler", highly familiar with TSA procedures and traveling light - they use a lane marked with a black diamond, ideally moving through security much quicker than the 'masses'; * The second being a "Casual Traveler", familiar with TSA procedures and has multiple carry-ons - they use a lane marked with a blue square; * The third category is "Family/Medical Liquids", travelers with small children, strollers, wheelchairs, medical liquids in excess of 3oz, large groups, anyone needing assitance and new flyers - they use a lane marked with green circle. Having flown out of Tampa several times sinces these have been implemented, I can say first hand they work pretty well as intended. The new "Black Diamond" lane is every bit as quick and effective as a CLEARPass lane. I have inquired and been informed that TSA is in the process of rolling this new security line queing process to most airports in the US. The second major change implemented by TSA that was likely the death knell for CLEAR is the new identification rule that went into effect on June 15th, and will beginincreased phase-in over the next 6 months. TSA now requires all tickets to be reserved/purchased in the EXACT full name that is on your government issued ID. For example, if your full legal name on your DL/Passport is Jonathan Quincy Public, but you are known by and go by Jon Public & in the past you bought your ticket for 'Jon Public', that is no longer acceptable, your ticket will now need to be issued to 'Jonathan Quincy Public'. In addition to your full legal name, when reserving/purchasing tickets you are also required to provide your date of birth and gender, two things that have never before been required. The change regarding names, gender & age are being 'rolled out' over the next 6 months. Meaning they are not required ATM, but requested & after the 6 month window they will be REQUIRED to purchase a ticket and travel through a TSA checkpoint. That last change is due to TSA taking over the process of name screening against the NO-FLY LIST during the ticket purchase/reservation stage. They are no longer allowing the airlines to be in charge of that process. That was the only real advantage CLEAR offered.... prescreened against the NO-FLY List. They had very limited effective benefits for the mass market because they were not able to get their screening locations across a wide enough array of airports and still required the same basic TSA level creening.
Data Storage

How To Manage Hundreds of Thousands of Documents? 438

ajmcello78 writes "We're a mid-sized aerospace company with over a hundred thousand documents stored out on our Samba servers that also need to be accessed from our satellite offices. We have a VPN set up for the remote sites and use the Samba net use command to map the remote shares. It's becoming quite a mess, sometimes quite slow, and there is really no naming or numbering convention in place for the files and directories. We end up with mixed casing, all uppercase, all lowercase, dashes and ampersands in the file names, and there are literally hundreds of directories to sort through before you can find the document you are looking for. Does anybody know of a good system or method to manage all these documents, and also make them available to our satellite offices?"

Comment Imagine pro sites hacked to capture the viewer... (Score 1) 61

Just invision this technology in place... Bob is surfing the web for some 'entertaining' pron... He comes across something that strikes his fancy... But Bob doesn't know that the site has been set up by / taken over by someone with nefarious intintions... Bob starts enjoying the site... (Meanwhile, back in the batcave, someone starts recording the NEW "Bob's Amateur Pron Theater" that just started streaming on the WWW......) Brings a whole new concept to the term 'Spycam'.....

Comment Damn, gotta love that profit model.... (Score 4, Insightful) 382

I have a redundant 100 MB/s fiber link in Chicago that I pay $3000.00 a month for. Conceptually, I can achieve a data transfer throuput of 259 TB per month. If I use TW's new business model by selling data throughput at $1.00 per GB, I could realize a net profit of only $262,216.00 per month. I better think of raising that fee to $1.25 per GB (I may need the extra $66,304.00/month to pay the perception management team and lawyers when I am done). Go figure, I didn't even get any of the free massive government "Internet Infrastructure Support" cash a few years back like TW did (1.22 B). No wonder they are farther along in thier "Rape the general consumer" business model than I am! On the other hand, I guess I need to branchout... I hear there is someone in DC handing out cash again....

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