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NAMCO Takes Down Student Pac-man Project 218

An anonymous reader writes "The core of how people first learn to do stuff — programming, music, writing, etc. — is to imitate others. It's one of the best ways to learn. Apparently a bunch of students using MIT's educational Scratch programming language understand this. But not everyone else does. NAMCO Bandai sent a takedown notice to MIT because some kids had recreated Pac-man with Scratch. The NAMCO letter is pretty condescending as well, noting that it understands the educational purpose of Scratch, but 'part of their education should include concern for the intellectual property of others.'"
The Courts

Terry Childs Denied Motion For Retrial 223

snydeq writes "The former San Francisco network administrator who refused to hand over passwords for one of the city's networks has been denied a new trial and is expected to be sentenced Aug. 6. Terry Childs had been due for sentencing Friday but the court instead heard two defense motions, one requesting a new trial and the other for arrested judgment — essentially to have his original conviction overturned. The motions were both denied but the court then ran out of time before the sentencing phase could be conducted."

The Sun Unleashes Coronal Mass Ejection At Earth 220

astroengine writes "Yesterday morning, at 08:55 UT, NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory detected a C3-class flare erupt inside a sunspot cluster. 100,000 kilometers away, deep within the solar atmosphere (the corona), an extended magnetic field filled with cool plasma forming a dark ribbon across the face of the sun (a feature known as a 'filament') erupted at the exact same time. It seems very likely that both eruptions were connected after a powerful shock wave produced by the flare destabilized the filament, causing the eruption. A second solar observatory, the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory, then spotted a huge coronal mass ejection blast into space, straight in the direction of Earth. Solar physicists have calculated that this magnetic bubble filled with energetic particles should hit Earth on August 3, so look out for some intense aurorae — a solar storm is coming."

Comment Been there, done that, mixed feelings (Score 1) 95

I have mixed feelings about this. I was a freelance business writer during the end of the DotCom boom. I actually did have some published pieces, and because of that, I didn't have too hard a problem getting into MOST industry events (where I was professional and actually working).

However, those same tech events were even then littered with "faux press" already--guys who showed up with huge empty duffel bags for the sole purpose of hoarding all of the free crap that they could grab, like T-shirts, software samples, etc. It made it almost impossible to get a legit review copy of anything, be it a book or a software title, if you got there past the first open hour, because the grabbers had already been through.

There was a whole sub-tribe of folks who I ran into for years who did nothing at trade shows and industry events other than get drunk, eat as much food as possible in the press room, and take as much free crap as they could carry.


I know lots of very good and legit bloggers and photgraphers who were shut out of events precisely due to lack of previous "paper" published work or byline in-hand. It seemed very arbitrary.

The grabbers always made it in, but a lot of honest folks trying to make a start for themselves got shut out.

I don't know what the legality of a two-tier press pass system would be, but it would be nice if there was some kind of intermediate "apprentice" pass available for just-starters. If they get a positive follow-up from an event organizer X number of times, they could "graduate" to a full pass. If they're not grabbers or bullshit artists, then they wouldn't mind giving a real URL and a real name for contact purposes.

Just a thought and my 2c.

Comment Playing since Beta; love it. (Score 1) 119

Been playing since Beta, and was also frustrated by the initial crashes and lags. However, I stuck with it, and it's been very much worth it. I currently have 3 toons going--a 65 DT, 45ish HoX and a 30-something Ranger. I play on a PvE server, but still interact a lot with my guild. Major bugs to grouping and much of the lagginess seems fixed.

I tried the DX10 but wound up sticking with 9 for now; the graphics are still fantastic and drop-dead gorgeous.

I would urge anyone who dropped this game after the first 3 months to give it another go--it's improved for the better and I can't wait to see whatever else Funcom has in store for us.

Also--re Hellgate London--that was my favorite game before Conan, but that game died for me the second that they started whispering that they would go offline At Any Second...for months. Why level characters when you may never get to finish the game?

Funcom really turned around a rocky launch into something fun, big, and great.

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