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Submission + - Can the Elite-like niche sustain a small scale product? (

Heliosphere1 writes: I'm the sole developer of an Elite-like indie game in development called Heliosphere: I made some demo videos to show what I have done so far. If someone wants to toss the original AVIs up on bittorrent, that's cool; I can post filehosting links separately. I recommend using fullscreen and "HD" mode on DM:

There is no staff or money behind this effort. I decided to take the last few years before I can retire to try something creative, and attempt to write a game. I'm just over one year into the project, so the road ahead is long. I'm trying to decide whether this is viable to pursue. I'm aware of about 4 or 5 other impressive efforts in this genre, all of which have more resources (programmers, sometimes artists and/or money, where anything more than 1 person and zero dollars can be defined as "a large project" from my POV).

On one hand, I think it's absurdly cool that this genre might stage a bit of a comeback, and also that the efforts are coming from indie developers, who in my opinion are keeping gaming alive in the face of various major studios who are crushing it. I hope at least some of those indie projects will see wild success. On the other, Elite-likes are a small niche: for every gamer interested in such games and who hasn't abandoned the PC as a gaming platform, there are a million who'd prefer Angry Farmville In Space. It's unclear to me whether this niche can sustain a lone developer with all the limitations and constraints that brings on what I can create. Unfortunately, I will need to make a living wage, as I am currently chewing through my retirement savings to create this. It's this, or a few more years at the grindstone.

I can answer questions about the project here, but cannot accept or read implementation ideas.

(And yes, it runs on Linux, as well as Windows).

[Editors: Sorry for the double submission: the first attempt appeared to disappear from the queue — not down voted, but just gone, after about 5 minutes, so I figured it didn't work.]

Comment Bravo, robfoo (Score 2, Insightful) 683

Let others smack you down, but with nearly 30 years of programming experience in numerous languages, I'm with you. Indented branching flow seems clean, stable and maintainable. I got dissed for a job i applied for because my code was designed this way instead of the "enlightened" way of throwing exceptions. Exceptions are ok, I guess, if everything is a C++ objects that self-destructs when it goes out of scope, but reality doesn't always work that way. In retrospect, I'm glad I'm not at that job.

Comment Re:license (Score 1) 304

Russ, I read the PDF and enjoyed it very much. I'm a big fan of qmail and run it on all of my machines. But maybe I missed it, I didn't see Dan mention anything about a license change for qmail, or maybe I'm misinterpreting what you said by "a dedication of qmail to the public domain". Could you enlighten me?

Submission + - Picture scaling error in graphical softwares (

Eric Brasseur writes: "Every picture scaling software I could test makes a gross error: the gamma of the picture being scaled is not taken into account. This makes that for example a pixel that should be at 50% brightness can get only 22% brightness. Depending on the kind of picture, the damage can be quite important. I wrote a page to explain the whole:"

Submission + - Clear Channel: indie artists must waive royalties (

Theodora Michaels writes: "As part of Clear Channel's payola settlement with the FCC, the radio networks agreed to air 4,200 hours of local and independent music on their stations. Per the settlement, the broadcaster set up an online application for artists to submit their music for airplay on each of its stations. The application requires the artists to waive their right to digital performance royalties."

Submission + - Google Fights Back (

Cry0 writes: "In a move by Google to crack down on the abuse of its search engine by hackers, its implemented a new system that tracks searches and flags anything that may be considered bot usage or vulnrability scanning.

Hackers have begun to report that doing their normal searches on Google, and using Google's own inbuilt systems and parameters to make extremely specific searches has begin to flag Google's Error message.

We're sorry... ... but your query looks similar to automated requests from a computer virus or spyware application. To protect our users, we can't process your request right now.

We'll restore your access as quickly as possible, so try again soon. In the meantime, if you suspect that your computer or network has been infected, you might want to run a virus checker or spyware remover to make sure that your systems are free of viruses and other spurious software.

We apologize for the inconvenience, and hope we'll see you again on Google.

This error message was triggered after using Google's Inurl: parameter to find links that contain specific properties, even tho the search itself was not being made by a bot, or any spyware, the user is then blocked for a fixed period of time from advancing their search.

The trouble comes when the people being blocked are not members of the hacker community, anyone with a good internet brain on their shoulders that wants to use Google's inbuilt query system to find a specific result will now run the risk of having their results blocked.

Some people see this as a move to far on Google's Part. only time will tell if this situation gets worse or better."


Journal Journal: Mutant Wildlife at Chernobyl 337

The wilderness is encroaching over abandoned towns in the Chernobyl exclusion zone

Scientist are divided as to whether the animals are flourishing in the highly radioactive environment.

Robert J. Baker of Texas Tech University says the mice and other rodents he has studied at Chernobyl since the early 1990s have shown remarkable tolerance for elevated radiation levels.

Feed New flaws in both IE and Firefox (

Equal-opportunity hacking

Polish security researcher Michal Zalewski, known for his seemingly unending stream of browser vulnerability discoveries, has struck again. This time he's reported four flaws that are sure to get the attention of bug squashers in both Microsoft and Mozilla camps.

Feed Top Spammer Arrested... But Will It Matter? (

While both Microsoft and an ISP have won multi-million dollar judgments against Robert Alan Soloway for spamming, he apparently kept on spamming. This time around, he might not have it so easy. Rather than a civil case from a company, he's now been arrested for sending out millions of spam emails over a zombie network he put together -- and it looks like the feds threw everything they could think of against him: mail fraud, wire fraud, e-mail fraud, aggravated identity theft and money laundering. Apparently, the identity theft part was for "taking over someone's domain" (though, it's not clear here if they mean falsifying an email address or for the zombie network). Either way, it's hard to believe that this will really have much of an impact. After all, other spammers have been arrested (and jailed) before and it's not like the spam has gone down. So it seems a bit ridiculous for the federal authorities who are going after the guy to claim that people should see the amount of spam they receive start going down due to this arrest. Someone else will simply step in and fill the gap pretty quickly.

Submission + - Palm Unveils Folio

CorinneI writes: "Here's something from Palm that's been five years in the making, according to founder Jeff Hawkins. The Foleo boasts a full-size keyboard, a 10.2-inch color screen, and has an SD card slot, VGA out, USB, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and more. Could this be the killer mobile e-mail machine we've been waiting for?"
United States

Submission + - ACLU sues Boeing subsidiary over torture cases

moderatorrater writes: The ACLU is suing a subsidiary of Boeing for helping the CIA abduct and torture people. From the article:

"Publicly available records demonstrate that Jeppesen facilitated more than 70 secret rendition flights over a four-year period to countries where it knew or reasonably should have known that detainees are routinely tortured or otherwise abused in contravention of universally accepted legal standards," the suit states.
The Internet

Submission + - FanFic Writers Rebel Against Hollywood Takeover

An anonymous reader writes: Flush w/ venture cap. funds, former Yahoo execs., together with the brother of Les Moonves (Chairman of CBS), thought they had a great idea — exploit one of the last great, untamed Internet territories of user-generated content: fanfiction. They decided to launch a site called which they hoped would become the MySpace of fanfiction. "Instead of creating the Myspace of fanfic since the launch two weeks ago," says Mary McNamara of MultiChannelnews, " sparked a white-hot Internet firestorm. The meltdown is a hard lesson in how not to conduct business on the Internet. But it's a firestorm of FanLib's own making because, in spite of the Yahoo pedigree (or maybe because of it), they plowed in like china shop bulls." Go here for her long, link-rich article/blog post. 30010013.html

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?

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