Game talkBlizzard case becoming EULA test case

 Posted by (Visited 8272 times)  Game talk  Tagged with: ,
Jun 302008
 

Blizzard Responds to Amicus Brief in MDY Bot Suit | Virtually Blind | Virtual Law | Benjamin Duranske

Although it has not put the issue in quite such stark terms, Public Knowledge is essentially seeking a ruling that says that the sale of consumer software is, in most circumstances, a sale, pretty much regardless of what the agreement that comes with the software says. If the court agrees in spite of MAI and its progeny (and the ruling survives certain appeal) then U.S. copyright law would protect, among other things, making copies of purchased software in RAM in order to use the software — no matter what the “license agreement” says. Resolving this issue in favor of Public Knowledge would call into question provisions in EULAs governing nearly every virtual world and multiuser online game, as well as EULAs for other software.

MiscWordPress Exploit Scanner plugin

 Posted by (Visited 8564 times)  Misc  Tagged with: ,
Jun 292008
 

For those who recall the whole “blog gets hacked” odyssey, and my subsequent request for a plugin that would do security scans, check this out:

WordPress Exploit Scanner 0.1

This WordPress plugin searches the files on your site for a few known strings sometimes used by hackers, and lists them with code fragments taken from the files. It also makes a few checks of the database, looking at the active_plugins blog option, the comments table, and the posts table.

Jun 272008
 

As part of the ongoing raking over the coals of Richard Bartle for saying the obvious (yes, you can tell what side I am on in those debates!), Steve Danuser says over at Moorgard.com » Sacred Cows

I get tired of people implying that today’s MMOs owe their entire existence to the MUDs of yesteryear. Sorry, I disagree. The gameplay style of EQ or WoW is obviously influenced by MUDs, but I propose that MMOs would have evolved anyway.

And Ryan Shwayder posts in comments saying

Ultima Online is a direct descendant of what MUD? I’m not saying it isn’t, I’m just saying that I don’t know what particular MUD had a profound influence on that game. It seems like the MMO industry was born of different influences; EverQuest from DikiMuds, Ultima Online from Ultima games. Not all MMOs have a lot of direct comparisons to MUDs, so I think he’s right that they’d exist whether MUDs did or not.

Well…

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Game talkMusicReadingNumbers

 Posted by (Visited 8418 times)  Game talk, Music, Reading, Watching  Tagged with: , , , ,
Jun 262008
 
  • Number of users in Habbo Hotel worldwide: 20,000,000
  • “Hottest” book in the US last year according to Time Magazine: 1,500,000+. (A Thousand Splendid Suns)
  • Best-selling graphic novel in the US last year: 80,000. (Naruto)
  • Digital sales of a hit song: 2,100,000 (Leona Lewis, “Bleeding Love”)
  • Average downloads of a downloadable Rock Band track: 100,000
  • Viewers of the #1 show on US TV (including DVR): 28,800,000 (American Idol)
  • Viewers of the #150 show on US TV: 2,400,000 (Gossip Girl)
  • Users of World of Warcraft in North America: 2,500,000
  • Monthly uniques for Gaia Online: 2,000,000+
  • Total number of movie tickets sold in the US in one year: 1,400,000,000
  • Estimated tickets sold to the new Indiana Jones movie in five weeks: 42,290,849 (using 2007 average US ticket price and grosses to date).

Just some figures that caught my eye while browsing a few different publications…

Game talkHabbo hits 100m registered

 Posted by (Visited 7008 times)  Game talk  Tagged with:
Jun 262008
 

Sulka Haro just forwarded along a press release stating that Habbo has reached 100m registered users worldwide. For those counting, that means 1.5% of the population of the planet.

Some more stats gleaned from the release:

  • They get around 10m monthly uniques, apparently.
  • 20m registered in the last six months
  • 50/50 gender split
  • 70% 13-16 years old
  • 64% visit daily (which is higher than my usual rule of thumb of “half” — I usually use 2/3 for the week, not the day).

Game talkMaybe it’s not generational after all

 Posted by (Visited 4595 times)  Game talk  Tagged with: ,
Jun 252008
 

Slashdot | Children Concerned By Parents’ Web Habits

“Children are becoming increasingly worried about their parents’ Internet habits, according to a report just released in Sweden. Unsurprisingly, dads surfing for pornography is the most common problem, but chatroom addiction also featured in the report — as is a mother who has become obsessed with World of Warcraft. ‘This summer she has been sitting up all day and all night and she forgets what’s important to me,’ wrote the woman’s 13-year-old daughter. ‘And when she’s not at the computer she’s like a lost soul. She just looks straight ahead and says nothing.'”

Game talkInteresting IMVU stats

 Posted by (Visited 10861 times)  Game talk  Tagged with: , , ,
Jun 242008
 

These all come from this interview. They sort of put paid to the notion that a mass market UGC business cannot thrive, I think!

  • They seeded the market with 2000 items
  • Have now registered 100,000 developers, with “tens of thousands” active
  • And 20,000,000 users registered (no word on active uniques)
  • There are 1,700,000 assets on their marketplace right now
  • 1,200,000 of them are full 3d
  • 3,000 new ones a day and 100,000 new ones a month
  • Resulting in revenues of $1,000,000 a month from digital currency sales for IMVU
  • And $1,000,000 a year in revenue for the top developer
  • 60% female, 40% male
  • 40% of users outside the U.S.

For comparison, Zwinky reported 9.5m registered and 4.6m active back in September.

Game talkMore on installing = making a copy

 Posted by (Visited 5475 times)  Game talk  Tagged with: , , ,
Jun 232008
 

Just continuing to follow the story, and it felt interesting enough to merit its own post rather than just an addition to the comment thread.

Blizzard Responds to Amicus Brief in MDY Bot Suit | Virtually Blind | Virtual Law | Benjamin Duranske

Although it has not put the issue in quite such stark terms, Public Knowledge is essentially seeking a ruling that says that the sale of consumer software is, in most circumstances, a sale, pretty much regardless of what the agreement that comes with the software says. If the court agrees in spite of MAI and its progeny (and the ruling survives certain appeal) then U.S. copyright law would protect, among other things, making copies of purchased software in RAM in order to use the software — no matter what the “license agreement” says. Resolving this issue in favor of Public Knowledge would call into question provisions in EULAs governing nearly every virtual world and multiuser online game, as well as EULAs for other software.

The Sunday PoemThe Sunday Poem: A Cherufe Tale

 Posted by (Visited 6461 times)  The Sunday Poem  Tagged with: ,
Jun 222008
 

A Cherufe Tale

Pedro de Valdivia

Ay, Pedro de Valdivia, of Extremadura,
Do you miss your granite home?
The Bío Bío shores are flat and muddy waters
And Mapuches lurk in bushes and in loam.

Last night the cry of the Chonchon, tue tue tue,
Called out bad luck for you and Spain.
Do you fear for your fresh-made town of Concepción?
It will survive, as you survived the Atacama plain.

Tomorrow you will drink your gold, molten hot,
And writhe your guts out on a stake.
Your foster son Lautaro is now the native general
And you will die, hidalgo, one betrayed.

The Pillan spirits of this land have anointed you,
Pedro de Valdivia, rude conquistador.
Your small town will one day speak the word
“independence” in the Plaza Mayor.

You were the last of knights, you loved the last of queens,
Your European tale is Spanish no more.
It matters not if once you were of Extremadura,
Cherufe sacrifice; you die a myth Chilean born.

There are so many annotations to this one, that I am just going to link ’em all to Wikipedia. This one resulted from reading Isabel Allende’s Ines of My Soul, which brought back many memories of hours reading into the stories of the conquistadors. Truly amazing stories, full of gore and ridiculous heroism and unspeakable exploitation and rank stupidity. I had forgotten the story of the conquest of Chile, which didn’t really even end until the 1800’s. Read on for the summary…

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