Category: ‘Technology’

Printing Error Shows Flaw In “Lock-It-Up” Video Game Business Model

September 8, 2011 Posted by zachary

This post was originally published on Techdirt.

It should come as no surprise to Techdirt readers that many people within the games industry hate used game sales. One of the methods these companies are implementing to fight these sales is to force buyers of used games to pay extra to gain access to the multiplayer portion. This works by inserting a one time use code in the new copies of games. Once the multiplayer code has been used, only the owner of the console used to activate it can access the multiplayer parts of the game. If that player decides to later sell or give away the game, the new owner would have to buy a new multiplayer code from the publisher, generally $10. So far EA, THQ, Ubisoft and Activision have dabbled in this system for various games. (more…)

My Favorite Techdirt Posts

August 14, 2011 Posted by zachary

Last week I was asked by the owner of Techdirt, Mike Masnick, to write up what my favorite posts of the week were. You can read it there and for my sake, you can read it here too:

It is an honor and a privilege to share with you my favorite Techdirt posts this week. I love this site and feel extremely tempted to just say, “Everything.” However, I will constrain myself and point out a few relevant and interesting stories from this week.

First, I want to point out the Dilbert comic on patents. This is the second time since I started reading this site that Dilbert has been cited; I doubt it will be the last. The thing with Scott Adams is he has immersed himself in technology and business and knows what he is making fun of. So when he is making fun of patent trolls, you know it is a serious business problem. I think too many companies took Dogbert’s Top Secret Management Handbook seriously and are actually running their businesses in that way.

Next, we have a couple of stories about Patent trolls getting their just desserts. First we have the story of EON-NET getting a smack-down from CAFC for filing bogus lawsuits. When is a non-practicing entity who files patent infringement lawsuits not filing a bogus lawsuit? Then we have the story about Fark standing up to Gooseberry. Seriously, with a name like “Gooseberry”, they should have known what was coming. What is really sad about this particular exchange was the nature of the patent itself. “Generating a press release online.” Well, if you happen to use Google Apps or WordPress to write press releases for your business, you owe these guys some money. Well, maybe not after the thrashing Fark gave them. (more…)

Sega Has Been Hacked; Shows Up Sony

June 17, 2011 Posted by zachary

Sega LogoToday, I looked at my email and found an email from Sega with the subject line, “Important information regarding your SEGA Pass account”

So I took a look. It turns out that Sega’s servers were hacked and personal information has been compromised. This has been happening a lot recently. It started with Sony and has moved quickly to other game companies. There isn’t really a pattern to the companies other than the majority of them are game related.

I don’t really feel like going into any of the details or potential motives or suspects. What I want to get at is that Sega is emailing me 1 day after they took their services offline. Sony took 3 weeks. In fact, Sony was telling the press that they contacted all their PSN customers about the breach within the first week, but it wasn’t until 3 weeks after the first reports that I got my notification email.

So what’s the deal? Why did it take Sony 3 weeks and Sega only 1 day? Was it the shear number of users effected? Maybe, but I don’t think it should take 3 weeks for all people to get a notification email, especially when Sony is saying otherwise. (more…)

Update: Progress on the Tulsa World’s New Pay Wall

April 19, 2011 Posted by zachary

I have made some progress on the Tulsa World’s new pay wall. I have been looking at this for a while. At first I thought they were doing something intelligent by require users to login and using server side sessions to determine if they load content or not.

This is not so.

Using the Web Developer addon for Firefox, I found that by disabling cookies, refreshing the page and re-enabling cookies I can read the articles when I am locked out. This is not an ideal solution, but it is a temporary fix.

Web Developer: Disable Cookies

I am still trying to get a toolbar bookmarklet functioning to make this a seamless process for anyone to use without having to use Firefox or install the Web Developer Addon. I just haven’t got the right commands going yet.

Javascript is not my strongest programming language, but I know enough to get this working, it will just take me some time.

Update: I have found the cookie that is responsible for displaying the content. It is named “MEYED” Deleting that cookie and refreshing the page provides the content, but there is still something on the page that forces a refresh and blocks the content again.

I have made some progress getting a bookmarklet working but right now it is not very useful. I hope to have it finished by the end of the week.

Tulsa World Hates Their Customers

April 14, 2011 Posted by zachary

Not that I read their news much at all let alone online, the Tulsa World has decided to wage war on their readers by forcing a subscription in order to read more than 10 articles written by their staff in a 30 day period. They announced this subscription “service” (Warning: This announcement is written by a TW Staffer and if you have read more than 10 articles in the last 30 days, you cannot even read this) on March 31, 2011.

This come shortly after the New York Times announced pretty much the same thing, but they allow 20 articles a month for non subscribers. (more…)