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Comment Re:What's the Problem? (Score 2, Insightful) 759

> If the authentication servers go offline there's no reason
> that Valve couldn't release a patch of some sort that didn't
> require activiation.

Tell that to the guy who picks up a Half-Life 2 CD in the bargain bin or secondhand, pops it in, and wonders why he can't play his game. Or the guy who bought it new right now and goes to reinstall it a couple years later but has no idea how to go about manually finding patches, downloading them, and updating a PC game--or even that PC games can be updated. Just because you and I are savvy enough to know that most PC games have downloadable patches and add-ons doesn't mean most people do. They don't.

The very concept of buying physical software media that are completely useless crippleware coasters without online server authentication every time you install it is repugnant. You can still play movies recorded 25 years ago to obscure RCA Selectavision CED vinyl discs, yet millions of DiVX discs are useless because of needless server authentication.

Crippleware Half-Life 2 CDs are no different. The time will come in several years when the server isn't there and the average user--who's more used to the console heritage of games that just work and don't need to register with a server to download keys or patches just to play single-player--will have no clue how to use the software he bought anymore.

Comment Re:Well... I hope I'll be able to bill them. (Score 1) 491

The article quoted Kazaa's EULA:
However, people who accept "terms of service" already distributed with Brilliant's and Kazaa's software are already agreeing to let their computers be used without any payment at all.

"You hereby grant (Brilliant) the right to access and use the unused computing power and storage space on your computer/s and/or Internet access or bandwidth for the aggregation of content and use in distributed computing," the terms of service read. "The user acknowledges and authorizes this use without the right of compensation."

So nope, looks like they won't. It mentioned compensation in the way of gift certificates or free videos.

Personally I think this technology is great, but that the end users should absolutely be paid for the contribution. If Brilliant Networks is going to collect money from corporations to farm out idle CPU cycles then the owners of the CPUs that do the work should get the majority of the money. I would think it would be acceptable to allow for a small percentage to go to Brilliant they are performing a service for the end users, similar to a media agent really.


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