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Piracy Helps Some Countries Grow

One can only imagine Bill Gates’ discomfort: Standing silently as the Romanian president told the world that pirated Microsoft software helped his country become what it is: Pirated Microsoft Corp software helped Romania to build a vibrant technology industry, Romanian President Traian Basescu told the company’s co-founder Bill Gates on Thursday. “Piracy,” Reuters quoted him as saying during a joint news conference to mark the opening of a Microsoft global technical center in the Romanian capital, “helped the young generation discover computers. It set off the development of the IT industry in Romania.” True, but as Reuters points out, 70 percent of software used inContinue readingPiracy Helps Some Countries Grow

Playing the Software Pirates at Their Own Game

In the last post I prattled on about how Microsoft et al didn’t get it when it comes to dealing with piracy. So what should they do? I don’t know what the answer is, but I’d like to see a more creative approach. After all, these pirates have an extraordinary delivery mechanism that is much more efficient than anything else I’ve seen. Why not try an experiment whereby a user who buys counterfeit software, either knowingly or unknowingly, has six months’ grace period in which to ‘activate’ a legitimate version? This could be done online by a key download and a credit card. No bigContinue readingPlaying the Software Pirates at Their Own Game

The Tilted Software Piracy Debate

Software piracy is a tricky topic, that requires some skepticism on the part of the reporter, though the media rarely show signs of that in their coverage. Here’s another example from last week’s Microsoft press conference in Indonesia, one of the prime culprits when it comes to counterfeit software: JAKARTA (AFP) – Software piracy is costing the Indonesian economy billions of dollars each year and is stymieing the creation of a local information technology industry, a Microsoft representative said. There is some truth to these statements, but it’s not really what Microsoft is interested in. First off, is it really the Indonesian economy that’s sufferingContinue readingThe Tilted Software Piracy Debate

Is Online Gaming A Free For All, Or Orwellian Despotism?

More on the story about The Sims Online and the seedy goings on in Alphaville. The Independent’s Andrew Gumbel writes about the case, saying the expulsion of academic Peter Ludlow from the game “was only the beginning of a fascinating new phase”. Since then, he says, “Electronic Arts, through its online game controller, Maxis, has been cracking down on bad behaviour to clean up Alphaville and, one assumes, try and boost its audience which is stuck at a 80,000 (EA had hoped for a million by now). Evangeline and the psycho-granny have been disciplined, as have various mafia syndicates and a parallel city government setContinue readingIs Online Gaming A Free For All, Or Orwellian Despotism?

News: The Sim Franchise Rolls On

 I don’t know whether to be excited or appalled at how Electronic Arts have turned the Sim thing into such a money-making business. Purists weren’t that enamored of Sim City 4, and my computer is not really powerful enough for it to be fun, and The Sims Online has not been the great follow-up to The Sims that it was expected to be, but you’ve got to admit EA know how to keep the buzz going. Here’s their latest announcement (and note this is an announcement about something that’s going to happen two or three months down the track…)     Electronic Arts have announcedContinue readingNews: The Sim Franchise Rolls On

Software: Footballers Ahoy

 Electronic Arts Inc. has launched the 2004 version of NCAA Football 2004, the number two selling football game behind Madden NFL. It has 20 new mascots, over 150 new teams, new pre-game tunnel presentations, and an online competition for the PlayStation 2 version something called a “Talk in-game chat”. I have no idea how that last bit works, but I thought I’d tell you anyway.   At the time of writing the website seems mighty slow; either EA are getting cheap or else folks have been awaiting this product for a while.      

Update: Sims Online gets serious

The Sims Online takes an unexpected turn       Interesting article from Wired about The Sims Online, reviewed by Loose Wire a few months back. The Sims Online takes Will Wright’s vision of artificial folk being guided by their creators to the Internet world, in what was supposed to be a huge money-making operation for owners EA Inc. So far, it’s been a disappointing ride: six months after launch, EA is nowhere close to its target of 1 million active monthly subscribers. The Sims Online had, according to a May article in Wired, sold 125,000 copies retail, has been discounted from $50 to as lowContinue readingUpdate: Sims Online gets serious

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