Timothy Kyle Dunaway, a Texas-based software pirate, who had earlier pleaded guilty to one count of criminal copyright violation, has been handed a 41-month jail term by a US District Judge. His clandestine network included 40 websites hosted on servers based in Austria and Malaysia.
He is said to have sold pirated business software through these websites. His activities are estimated to have cost $1 million to software authors.
Not only has he been ordered to pay $810,257 in damages, but the court has also sequestered two of his most cherished belongings, a Ferrari 348 TB and a Rolex watch. After being unnoticed for four prolific years, his business eventually came on the government’s radar screen in May 2008.
In a document recently obtained by VE3D, publisher NCSoft announced that Guild Wars 2 won’t be nestling up inside your hard drive until – at the earliest – 2010. Prior to that, the game was scheduled to enter beta during 2008. However, developer ArenaNet screen-blurred into an entirely different flashback, saying that NCSoft’s purported release window for Guild Wars 2 is pretty much hogwash.
“On Friday, NCsoft released investor materials that showed a very broad release window for Guild Wars 2, with the explanation that release timing is still ‘to be announced.’ ArenaNet has never given a release date for Guild Wars 2 other than ‘when it's done.’ NCsoft's investor materials are a reflection of that philosophy,” said ArenaNet’s Mike O’Brien.
“I know some fans had hoped for a smaller gap between the launch of Guild Wars: Eye of the North and the start of beta testing for Guild Wars 2, but we communicated last summer that it would be some time before we could commit to any beta or launch dates. Guild Wars 2 is a large and ambitious game, and we're going to take the time to do it right.”
So then, maybe the game will take its first wobbly steps in 2010 or 2011. Maybe even later than that. 2009, though? You can stop holding your breath now.
We hate jumping the gun on things, but we’re feeling pretty confident in our expert assessment that StarCraft II might just drop in 2009. Hell, it’s about time. Today’s announcement that the sci-fi head of Blizzard’s quality-focused hydra is “in the final stretch,” then, already has us jumping the gun on StarCraft II’s release date. And you know how much we hate that.
“We don't want to lie about the Beta, and we don't even want to lie about the next Battle Report. When we know a date (for anything) for certain, we'll let you know,” said StarCraft II lead designer Dustin Browder.
“Hang in there. We're in the final stretch,” he added.
So yeah, that’s basically the article. Thanks for coming out tonight, everyone! It’s been great.
Contrary to popular belief, the practice of counting cards is not illegal, nor is it considered cheating. But as private establishments, casinos can (and do) remove and even outright ban patrons who are caught tipping the odds in their favor. And what is illegal is using any kind of device to aid in counting cards, which then makes the practice a felony.
As such, Nevada gambling regulators have put the word out to casinos about a new card counting application available to iPhone and iPod touch owners. Nevada first learned of the program after officials at an Indian casino in California discovered some of its customers were using the app.
On a related note, should someone call or text your iPhone in the middle of a Blackjack game, it's probably best to ignore it. Not only would the alternative be obnoxious, but given the above, it could get you escorted out of the casino. And if you believe what you saw in the movie 21, having your trendy phone confiscated could be the least of your worries.
If you're Intel, you have to be ecstatic at the recent trend towards owning a netbook. At a time when many tech companies are posting big losses, the surprising success of netbooks is helping Intel to weather the storm through sales of its Atom processor. But if you're Microsoft, the mood might be decidedly different, even if the company isn't letting on.
On one hand, Microsoft should be thrilled to see more PCs end up in the hands of end users, but that only applies if they come equipped with a Windows-based operating system. And while many netbooks now come configured with Windows XP, Linux is much more prevalent on netbooks than it is on notebooks, which is the result of both underpowered hardware and a desire to keep costs low.
The bad news for Microsoft is that the trend towards netbooks doesn't look to be letting up any time soon. Recent IDC figures show that if you take Atom processor sales out of the equation, total PC shipments are down almost 22 percent. As netbooks continue to sell, that means more users are becoming familiar with Linux, and at a time when Linux is far more user friendly than even one or two years ago.
Adobe and new BFF Nokia announced a $10 million Open Screen Project fund to encourage developers to create Flash-based applications and services for mobile devices.
"We are excited about the Open Screen Project Fund and the possibilities it offers to designers and developers worldwide," said David Wadhwani, general manager and vice president of the Platform Business Unit at Adobe. "With close to 40 percent of all new mobile devices shipped with Flash Lite in 2008, the fund will enable more developers to bring their rich content and services to a large number of mobile users."
To make a bid for a portion of the grant money, interested developers are being asked to submit concepts for apps built around the Flash platform, capable of running on Nokia devices, and support a variety of screens, such as mobile, desktop, and consumer electronics devices. Once submitted, projects will be reviewed by Open Screen Project partners that include Adobe, Nokia, and Palm, who will be looking for how innovative and compelling the user experience is, how robust the application or planned implementation, and how well it exploits the capabilities and features of Nokia devices, the companies said.
More information, including how to apply, can be found here.
Nvidia this week unveiled a new platform that ties its Tegra 600 Series 'computer-on-a-chip' technology with a $99 always-on, always-connected HD mobile internet device (MID). According to Nvidia, devices built around the new platform can last for days before it becomes necessary to charge the battery.
"Mobile internet devices have evolved to provide consumers with the performance and connectivity required by today’s lifestyle," said Michael Rayfield, general manager of the mobile business unit at NVIDIA. "Until now, consumers could get just another ‘gadget’ with limited functionality or a PC that’s not ‘always on’. A Tegra-based platform combines the best of both worlds."
In addition to a super-long battery life, Nvidia says its Tegra MID will be capable of both 720p and 1080p video playback and come equipped for full WiFi and 3G connectivity. The company also says the hardware will be optimized for Web 2.0 applications and utilize a complete software solution consisting of Microsoft Windows Embedded CE OS, application viewers, an internet browser, UI framework, a web mail client, and host of other goodies.
Too good to be true? Time will tell, but if Nvidia can deliver on all that it's promising, some very compelling devices could wind up in the market place. The graphics chip maker has indicated it is working with manufacturers who will build the new MIDs, the first of which are expected to show up in the second half of 2009.
Sweden-based BitTorrent indexing site Pirate Bay goes to trial today in Sweden on accusations that the popular torrent site has helped millions of users illegally download copyrighted material. If found guilty, Frederick Neij, Gottfrid Svartholm Warg, Peter Sunde Kolmisoppi, and Carl Lundström could each receive up to two years in prison along with a 1.2 million kronor (just over $140,000) fine.
At least two of the defendants don't seem too worried about the trial, and during a webcast news conference over the weekend offered a defiant message to the Swedish court.
"What are they going to do about it? They have already failed to take down the site once. Let them fail again. It has its own life without us," Ward was quoting as saying by TorrentFreak.
The court will also hear a civil claim being brought on by Warner Bros., MGM, Columbia Pictures, 20th Century Fox, Sony BMG, Universal, and BMG. Collectively, the companies are seeking 120 million kronor ($14.3 million) to compensate for alleged lost revenues.
"It does not matter if they require several million or one billion," said an also defiant Peter Sunde. "We are not rich and have no money to pay. They won't get a cent."
We'll continue to follow the trial as it unfolds, which, according to the prosecution, is expected to last for 13 days.
Everyone of late has big plans for the cloud, including Mozilla, who on Thursday launched an open-soure project called Bespin. The basic idea behind Bespin is to offer a web-based programming framework that brings together the speed of desktop-based development with cloud computing. While in very early form, Mozilla has set some high-level goals for the project:
Ease of Use - the editor experience should not be intimidating and should facilitate quickly getting straight into the code.
Real-time Collaboration - sharing live coding sessions with colleagues should be easy and collaboratively coding with one or more partners should Just Work.
Integrated Command-Line - tools like vi and Emacs have demonstrated the power of integrating command-lines into editors. Bespin needs one, too.
Extensible and Self-Hosted - the interface and capabilities of Bespin should be highly extensible and easily accessible to users through Ubiquity-like commands or via the plug-in API.
Wicked Fast - the editor is just a toy unless it stays smooth and responsive editing files of very large sizes.
Accessible from Anywhere - the code editor should work from anywhere, and from any device, using any modern standards-compliant browser.
As it stands now, Bespin 0.1 is just an initial prototype framework with support for basic editing features like syntax highlighting, undo/redo, previewing files in the browser, and other low-level tasks. In the long-run, Mozilla hopes to "empower web developers to hack on the editor itself and make it their own."
Developers who want to give the early prototype a whirl can access the Bespin demo here.
The last thing you want to be told when buying a new car is that you shouldn't be driving it, and likewise, HTC G1 owners can't be geeked to learn that at least one security researcher is advising against using the Android-based phone's web browser.
Security researcher Charlie Miller says a vulnerability in Google Android makes it possible for hackers to remotely take control of the phone's web browser and other related processes. At that point, hackers could then gain access to saved information stored in the browser and spy on a user's online transactions, including encrypted ones.
Interestingly, Miller notified Google of the flaw back on January 21 and a patch was put forth, which the search company has given to T-Mobile. But as of this writing, T-Mobile has yet to deploy the fix.
"The Android Security Team responded by contacting PacketVideo, T-Mobile, and oCERT, a public Computer Emergency Response Team. PacketVideo developed a fix on February 5th, and they patched Open Source Android two days later," writes Rich Cannings, a Google Android security engineer. "oCERT assisted PacketVideo with coordinating the fix, and they published an advisory detailing this issue. We offered the patch to T-Mobile when it became available, and G1 users will be updated at T-Mobile’s discretion."
No word has been given on when T-Mobile expects to push out the patch.