spidweb writes: Much virtual ink has been spilled over Ubisoft's new, harsh DRM system for Assassin's Creed 2. You must have a constant internet connection, and, if your connection breaks, the game exits. While this has angered many (and justifiably so), most writers on the topic have made an error. They think that this system, like all DRM systems in the past, will be easily broken. This article explains why, as dreadful as the system is, it does have a chance of holding hackers off long enough for the game to make its money. As such, it is, if nothing else, a fascinating experiment. From the article, "Assassin's Creed 2 is different in a key way. Remember, all of its code for saving and loading games (a significant feature, I'm sure you would agree) is tied into logging into a distant server and sending data back and forth. This vital and complex bit of code has been written from the ground up to require having the saved games live on a machine far away, with said machine being programmed to accept, save, and return the game data. This is a far more difficult problem for a hacker to circumvent."
snydeq writes: "From Richard Stallman's Xerox hack, to Apple's NeXT acquisition, to XMLHttpRequest, InfoWorld's Neil McAllister details 15 pivotal decisions and paths not taken that have helped shaped today's high-tech landscape. What if U.S. District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson's decision to split up Microsoft had not been overturned? What if WordPerfect had been quicker to embrace Windows? What if NetWare had made an IP bet? Included are the turning points that led to the rise of outsourcing, IT's compliance mandate, and the dawn of the smartphone era, as well as SCO's fateful decision to take down Linux. 'With allies such as Computer Associates, IBM, Novell, and Red Hat willing to take up its defense, the open source OS was clearly here to stay. Ironically, the lawsuit that was meant to be the death blow for Linux may have succeeded only in ushering in its golden age.'"