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Treading the Fuzzy Line Between Game Cloning and Theft 235

eldavojohn writes "Ars analyzes some knockoffs and near-knockoffs in the gaming world that led to problems with the original developers. Jenova Chen, creator of Flower and flOw, discusses how he feels about the clones made of his games. Chen reveals his true feelings about the takedown of Aquatica (a flOw knockoff): 'What bothers me the most is that because of my own overreaction, I might have created a lot of inconvenience to the creator of Aquatica and interrupted his game-making. He is clearly talented, and certainly a fan of flOw. I hope he can continue creating video games, but with his own design.' The article also notes the apparent similarities between Zynga's Cafe World and Playfish's Restaurant City (the two most popular Facebook games). Is that cloning or theft? Should clones be welcomed or abhorred?"

Comment Sunny California (Score 1) 1127

Last year I was working on my teams MATE ROV competition entry, and the electronics box onboard the submersible robot flooded during our first of two trials. I spent the next two days sitting on a concrete pool deck in beautiful, sunny, June California at UCSD trying to rewrite the embedded system's code, squinting at the screen to route around FUBAR'd components such as the onboard computer system that was supposed to handle networking with the dry side control computer.

We did win the guts and glory award though :)

It was so bright that even 10 feet underwater the cameras went blank white until we covered them with five layers of windshield tinting film :D

Comment Re:interesting times (Score 1) 911

I find Safari to be snappier on my mac, probably due to webkit and the rest of the UI being native components.

I have my mac and my pc sitting side by side and I find the Windows version of firefox to be noticably nicer to use (faster, better UI integration) than the mac version.

Recently though, I've become a fan of chrome on windows. I'm curious to see if the Mac version is any good.
The Internet

Submission + - CBS buys

prostoalex writes: ", a social music site, has been purchased by CBS for $280 million. analyzes the deal: "The service, which was founded in 2002, is popular, with more than 15 million active users worldwide. The acquisition gives CBS access to a young, tech- and music-savvy demographic, which is certainly a valuable asset. But according to Forrester Research analyst James McQuivey, the hefty price tag suggests that CBS may be after the scrobbling technology too.""
The Internet

Submission + - eBay Ivory Trade Threatens Elephants' Survival

travdaddy writes: "The International Fund for Animal Welfare studied eBay's internationally illegal ivory trade and reported "over 2,200 elephant ivory items listed on eBay Web sites and found that more than 90% of the listings breached even eBay's own respective national wildlife policies." Normally banned items are delisted from eBay but the report continues, "very few of the suspected illegal items reported by IFAW investigators to eBay during the snapshot survey were removed from sale.""

Submission + - Apple Launches iTunes Plus (DRM-Free/256kbps)

BlueDjinn writes: "I'm surprised this hasn't shown up here yet — with just one day to go in May to make good on their pledge, Apple released the previously-announced DRM-free, 256kbps EMI songs under the "iTunes Plus" name this morning. As promised, the DRM-free songs are double the bitrate, cost 30 more apiece (except for albums, which are the same price as the DRM versions), and so on. You can upgrade your existing library for the 30-per-song difference, plus some other nice touches. Interestingly, it's set up so that you can ONLY view either the DRM or no-DRM versions of a particular song at any given time, not both simultaneously (you can switch the entire store back and forth, however)."

Submission + - Famatech: Yet Another abusive Terms of Upgrade

An anonymous reader writes: Radmin 3.0, the world famous vaporware was finally released a few weeks ago. However, in order to get the first of a lifetime of free upgrades that were part of the deal (if you bought it around 2000) you must first give up your right to free upgrades. Check the agreement Here . Apparently this is becoming common, and companies realize that getting money by promising what they couldn't deliver wasn't such as good idea. Considering that they don't keep the end of the bargain, do the ripped-off users have an obligation to keep ours?

Microsoft's Multitouch Coffee Table Display 466

longacre writes "Popular Mechanics takes the Microsoft Surface system for a hands-on video test drive. To be announced at today's D5 conference, the coffee-table-esqe device allows manipulation from multiple touch points, while infrared, WiFi and Bluetooth team up to allow wireless transfers between devices placed on top of it, such as cameras and cell phones. Expected to launch before the end of the year in the $5,000-$10,000 range, the devices might not make their way under many Christmas trees, but will find the insides of Starwood hotels, Harrah's casinos and T-Mobile shops."

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