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Comment Re:Lets Clarify....... (Score 5, Informative) 29

Disclaimer: I'm the lead developer of Ren'Py, one of the projects that will benefit from this sale.

I think this is basically right.

Humble's model is that it runs pay-what-you want sales, with the proceeds being split between themselves, developers, and charities. In the current ebook bundle, the charities are SFWA and Openreader. In the weekly sale, the charities are open source projects - FlashDevelop, OpenFL, Haxe, and Ren'Py. So when you buy through this sale, you support open source projects in the same way that if you buy the book bundle, you support SFWA and Openreader.

Comment Online Kill Switch (Score 1) 687

An idea I had was to try to figure out a way to make pirating difficult enough that people would prefer to purchase the real version. I'd also like a way to do this that doesn't overly inconvenience legit users - and allows them to continue using the program even if the entity that created it in the first place went out of business. Note that I haven't actually tried this method in practice - it's at the idea stage right now.

The idea is that each download comes with some sort of keyfile that lets it run. When started, it contacts the server and asks for permission to run. If the server denys permission, the program deletes the keyfile, and refuses to run in the future. If it can't contact the server due to network problems, it waits several minutes and then runs. Otherwise, it runs normally.

The developer would then monitor places that may host pirated versions of the software. When he or she sees a pirated key, he adds it to a server-based block list. This causes the top of the google rankings to fill with broken versions of the software - making it increasingly more difficult to find an illegitimate copy - and hopefully pushing people to buy the legit version.

On the other hand, if the creator of the software stops monitoring for pirated copies, then those copies continue to work. This is, I think, a good property - it allows the software to become abandonware once the creator is no longer interested in making money from it. What's more, this method gives legitimate users the ability to run the software they paid for indefinitely.

Spammer Perjury is Worth Prosecuting 161

Slashdot regular Bennett Haselton summarizes his essay by saying "Spammers really do lie more often under oath than other parties in court (surprise). Judges and prosecutors could promote respect for the law by cracking down on it, and maybe make a dent in spam in the process." Read on to learn of his experiences with (shocking!) spammers who lie in court.

Mars Lander Sees Falling Snow 118

Riding with Robots writes "NASA reports that the Phoenix Mars Lander has detected snow falling from Martian clouds. According to the Canadian team running a weather experiment, a laser instrument designed to study how the atmosphere and surface interact on Mars has detected snow from clouds about 4 kilometers above the landing site. Data shows the snow vaporizing before reaching the surface, but one of the mission scientists said, 'We'll be looking for signs that the snow may even reach the ground.' Spacecraft soil experiments have also provided evidence of past interaction between minerals and liquid water."
It's funny.  Laugh.

David X. Cohen Interviewed on New Futurama 240

eldavojohn writes "Toyfare has a short but exclusive interview with co-creator of Futurama David X. Cohen. There's a lot of information about how they plan to continue the series. He also reveals they're halfway through writing the new season and just starting animation. When asked about his favorite minor character of the show, Cohen responded 'Hypnotoad. By the way, we are looking into producing a full 22-minute episode of Everybody Loves Hypnotoad for the DVD release. I am serious.'"

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The bogosity meter just pegged.