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Monthly Archives: May 2007

Alternatives to everything controlled by two analog sticks

My absolute favorite time wasting site has to be the Experimental Gameplay Project, a site featuring a few hundred free and insanely inventive (often twisted) games. There’s the Tower of Goo, a Global Warming shooter, and Super Tummy Bubble!, just to summarize a few of my favorites. The site, started in 2005 by the Entertainment Technology Center at Carnegie Mellon University, requires contributed games be created by only one person in less than seven days with a common theme like gravity or swarms. Each game is usually a single .exe file or a small .zip. No installation needed. So download to your pleasure and enjoy.

HD DVD’s New Foe: The World Wide Web

As part of the movie industry’s flawless strategy to combat piracy, the Advanced Access Content System provides encryption data for HD DVDs and Blu-Ray discs.  After their spotless record of never being able to stop the copying of DVDs, the same song is being sung for HD DVDs.  Hackers posted the encryption key used to prevent the copying of HD DVDs.  AACS sent DMCA warnings to websites with the key claiming copyright infringement.  This action sparked more publicity for the encryption key, including high popularity on the social bookmarking site Digg.

But HD DVD sponsors Digg.  So Digg removed the link to the encryption key even though it looked to be one of the most popular links on the site.  This has lead to a mini-revolt of bloggers and hackers who have united to spread the encryption key and force its placement to the top of Digg’s popular links.  The first four pages have been dominated by web pages with the encryption key, often in the title, or at least talking about the story. 

Why the AACS and media companies believed their new fanged encryption software would be any more challenging for hackers remains a mystery.  The entertainment industry used the same tactics and even the same organization to protect its next-gen discs after watching simply software allow anyone with a computer to copy DVDs.  And by resorting to DMCA threats, the AACS has only brought more attention to its failure.  Media companies keep wanting to blame YouTube, BitTorrent, and KaZaa for failure to police or stop piracy when these media companies can’t even do it themselves.