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Submission + - Possible Security Breach 1

Kevin Fishburne writes: At 1:15 am EST I received an order confirmation from, formerly, for a $64 computer case and a $300 gift certificate, the former being shipped to my address and the latter being sent to the email address As my password for the site would be difficult to crack by brute force or dictionary attacks I believe their site may have been compromised to reveal only usernames and passwords. I don't believe users' payment information has been compromised or they would have used them directly or sold them instead of using the site to place gift card orders. I have since removed my payment methods, changed my password and notified their support staff of the potential breach. If you have an account with Rakuten/Buy, I strongly suggest removing your payment methods and hardening your password.

Submission + - Open Source IDE GAMBAS Reaches 3.0 ( 1

Kevin Fishburne writes: "After years of work, creator Benoît Minisini and friends are just in time for New Year's celebrations with the first stable release of GAMBAS 3.

Per their web site, "Gambas is a free development environment based on a Basic interpreter with object extensions, a bit like Visual Basic (but it is NOT a clone !)."

GAMBAS is component-based, so check out the list for an idea of what you can do with it."

Submission + - Fund to Contest Software Patents on Prior Art

" rel="nofollow">Kevin Fishburne writes: "Watching the ensuing software patent wars, is there no way to combat them at their own level? Could a fund be started to systematically challenge individual software patents using the best cost/benefit ratio at the current budget level? Widely available, time-stamped GPL code could be used as evidence of prior art in each case. Does something like this already exist? Surely this is something (if it does its job) we could all get behind."

Submission + - Original Apple II Ultima source code published ( 1

Kevin Fishburne writes: "Odkin dropped a bombshell in a post on Ultima Aiera when he mentioned that copies of the original California Pacific Ultima were "out there" (meaning he has the floppies), then proceeded to post some code snippets obtained from Ctrl-C, CATALOG and LIST.

He emailed a copy of the disk images to me, which I immediately extracted to verify their authenticity. While the source code to all other Ultima games has been lost, it seems the code to the original has been found.

See for yourself, as I have archived it here:"

Submission + - Hybrid human-animal DNA experiments raise concerns (

Kevin Fishburne writes: "British scientists are calling for a new agency to oversee the mixing of human and animal DNA, which is progressing at a rate most may not be aware of:

'Among experimentation that might spark concern are those where human brain cells might change animal brains, those that could lead to the fertilization of human eggs in animals and any modifications of animals that might create attributes considered uniquely human, like facial features, skin or speech.'

'Some disagree. "We think some of these should be done, but they should be done in an open way to maintain public confidence," said Robin Lovell-Badge, head of stem cell biology and developmental genetics at Britain’s Medical Research Council, one of the expert group members. He said experiments injecting human brain cells into the brains of rats might help develop new stroke treatments or that growing human skin on mice could further understanding of skin cancer.'

Worth a read, if only to scare the crap out of yourself."

Submission + - Ultima IV - EA takedowns precede official reboot (

Kevin Fishburne writes: "According to posts at the Ultima fan site Ultima Aiera both browser-based Ultima IV Sega Master System emulation at Master System 8 and IBM-PC port at Phi Psi Software have received cease and desist letters from Electronic Arts, the current IP holder of the Ultima franchise.

The post states that despite the widely held belief that Origin had allowed the Ultima Dragons to distribute Ultima IV freely in 1997, in fact that is no longer the case. It further suggests that the EA takedowns are preceding an upcoming browser-based Ultima IV reboot by Bioware Mythic.

Has EA lost an eighth, or are they well within their rights by going DMCA on a 26 year-old game they had no hand in developing?"


Submission + - Graf_Chokolo defiant as Sony ups the stakes (

Kevin Fishburne writes: "Sony PS3 cracker Graf_Chokolo, whose home was recently raided and computer equipment confiscated by German police, is now facing a 750,000 Euro fine and jail time. In spite of this he remains defiant, claiming "If you want me to stop then you should just kill me because i cannot live without programming, HV and Linux kernel hacking."

Is there a precedent for this kind of corporate terrorism?"


Submission + - Apple profits from rampant piracy in the App Store (

Kevin Fishburne writes: "According to an article at Ars:

'Imagine this: you and a partner develop a popular Flash game, one that's good enough that you decide to get to work on an iPhone port. Then, one day, while browsing the App Store, you see your game. Problem is, the port isn't done yet.'

Apparently this is happening all the time, with many of the illegal cloned games reaching the top 100 list. The article points out that Apple has been slow to respond and makes no mention of restitution for the victimized developers. In other words, the App Store floodgates are open wide and Apple is profiting from the resulting IP infringement."

The Military

Submission + - Army wants 36 more 'Punisher' weapons in 2012 (

Kevin Fishburne writes: "The kids are calling it 'the Punisher,'" said Brig. Gen. Peter N. Fuller, who heads up the Program Executive Office Soldier. "I don't know what we're going to title this product, but it seems to be game-changing. You no longer can shoot at American forces and then hide behind something. We're going to reach out and touch you."

While this technology has been around for a while, this is the first time I've heard of it being used in theater. Looking like something from Unreal Tournament, the XM25 weapon system is essentially a horizontal, scaled-down bunker buster which can be programmed to detonate its rounds at arbitrary distances behind hardened positions. Put me down for two, thank you.

Submission + - Arx Fatalis updated; source code released under GP (

Kevin Fishburne writes: "According to WtF Dragon at Ultima Aiera, "The long and short: Arkane Studios have released what is probably going to be the final patch for their Ultima Underworld-inspired game (which, indeed, they tried to license as the third entry in that series), Arx Fatalis.

They have also released the source code for the game. That’s right, the complete source of Arx Fatalis is available for download."

The readme notes that the original game installation is required in order to play the compiled game, as the data files are certainly still copyrighted. Linux is in need of a good FPS dungeon crawler, though the code will need a hell of a lot of cleanup as it's a VC8/9 project and uses DirectX (ugh...)."

Open Source

Submission + - Sanctimonia to Reduce Online Games to Fundamentals (

Kevin Fishburne writes: "Forgive me for posting about my own project, but I could think of no better crowd than /. to seeks words of wisdom from. I'm developing an open source online multiplayer game in GAMBAS that will simulate the basic aspects of life in such a way that more advanced behavior and gameplay could emerge from using them logically. It's of course graphical and optimized for a PS2-style game pad. To keep things simple the available technology is constrained (for now) to the pre-industrialized age.

The current MMO climate has settled around a few titles that remain commercially viable, though they are tightly geared toward producing profit. My game certainly takes monetization into account, but isn't sacrificing its principles to that end. Is there any advice that can be given for a "sandbox" or "emergent" style MMO that could strengthen its entertainment value as well as gameplay that is at least as balanced as that of real life?

I recognize and have researched the successes and failures of games like Ultima Online, Tabula Rasa, World of Warcraft, FarmVille, etc., but haven't drawn any real conclusions other than poor management and misdirected ideals. Any observances of the market response to such titles would be appreciated."

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Unix is the worst operating system; except for all others. -- Berry Kercheval