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Weekend tech reading: Inside WoW's most popular private server, EU: links don't infringe copyright

By Matthew
Apr 10, 2016
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  1. Inside the WoW server Blizzard wants to shut down World of Warcraft was a cultural phenomenon. It made a thunderous impact on those who played it back in 2004, and even for a few expansions afterwards -- I joined during the Burning Crusade, losing over 100 days of my life to Azeroth and Outland. In that time I made friends whom I see years later, explored a seamless world and stoked my passion for PC games. To play WoW in its glory days was to feel part of some great movement in gaming. Small wonder that people want to relive the past. PC Gamer

    Fingerprints to be tested as 'currency' Starting this summer, the government will test a system in which foreign tourists will be able to verify their identities and buy things at stores using only their fingerprints. The government hopes to increase the number of foreign tourists by using the system to prevent crime and relieve users from the necessity of carrying cash or credit cards. It aims to realize the system by the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games. The Japan News

    What has IBM Watson been up to since winning 'Jeopardy!' 5 years ago? In February, Watson, IBM’s cognitive computing system, marked its five-year anniversary of defeating two Jeopardy! champions. "We were mainly interested in using Jeopardy! as a playing field upon which we could do some science," Dr. Chris Welty later said about Watson's appearance on the game show. Inverse

    The most immersive pinball machine: Project Supernova Over at [Truthlabs], a 30 year old pinball machine was diagnosed with a major flaw in its game design: It could only entertain one person at a time. [Dan] and his colleagues set out to change this, transforming the ol’ pinball legend “Firepower” into a spectacular, immersive gaming experience worthy of the 21st century. A major limitation they wanted to overcome was screen size. Hackaday

    What went wrong with Quantum Break on PC? Quantum Break has arrived on the PC and to suggest that the results are disappointing would be a massive understatement. PC gamers are left out in the cold with another high profile release failing to deliver expected levels of performance, features and customisation. As things stand, it simply isn't possible to achieve a smooth frame-rate on any PC hardware configuration and thanks to the profound limitations imposed on gamers by the Universal Windows Platform, there's no way to fix it. Eurogamer

    Internet hyperlinks do not infringe copyright, EU court advised A link to a website which publishes photos without authorisation of the author does not in itself constitute a copyright infringement, an adviser to Europe's top court said on Thursday. The opinion, by the European Court of Justice's advocate general, is not binding but the court normally follows such advice. Reuters

    Are we living in a computer simulation? If you, me and every person and thing in the cosmos were actually characters in some giant computer game, we would not necessarily know it. The idea that the universe is a simulation sounds more like the plot of "The Matrix," but it is also a legitimate scientific hypothesis. Researchers pondered the controversial notion Tuesday at the annual Isaac Asimov Memorial Debate here at the American Museum of Natural History. Scientific American

    Over 135 million modems vulnerable to denial-of-service flaw More than 135 million modems are said to be vulnerable to a flaw that can leave users cut off from the internet -- just by someone clicking on a trick link. The vulnerability, found in a modem used in millions of US households, can allow an attacker with access to the network to remotely reset the device, which wipes out the internet provider's settings and causing a denial-of-service attack. ZDNet

    Senate bill draft would prohibit unbreakable encryption A draft version of a Senate bill would effectively prohibit unbreakable encryption and require companies to help the government access data on a computer or mobile device with a warrant. The draft is being finalized by the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., and the top Democrat, Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California. AP

    Phone-based laser rangefinder works outdoors The Microsoft Kinect was a boon to robotics researchers. The cheap, off-the-shelf depth sensor allowed them to quickly and cost-effectively prototype innovative systems that enable robots tomap, interpret, and navigate their environments. But sensors like the Kinect, which use infrared light to gauge depth, are easily confused by ambient infrared light. Even indoors, they tend to require low-light conditions, and outdoors, they’re hopeless. MIT

    Handheld 3D printing BioPen can 'draw' human stem cells for cartilage repair A team of Australian surgeons and researchers has developed a 3D printing pen that allows surgeons to draw and sculpt customized cartilage implants made from actual human stem cells during the live surgery. Dubbed the ‘BioPen’, this lightweight, handheld device gives surgeons unprecedented control as it 3D prints a mixture of hydrogel bioink and human stem cells directly into the patient's body... 3ders

    NoScript and other popular Firefox add-ons open millions to new attack NoScript, Firebug, and other popular Firefox add-on extensions are opening millions of end users to a new type of attack that can surreptitiously execute malicious code and steal sensitive data, a team of researchers reported. Ars Technica (also, Researchers help shut down spam botnet that enslaved 4,000 Linux machines)

    My biggest regret as a programmer A little over 20 years ago I was at a crossroads. My second company was petering out when our 5 years of building Deltagraph for the publisher ended (they wanted to move into the nascent internet space). At that point I had 13 years experience as a programmer but also 9 years or so experience running a company (at the same time). The Codist

    Airbus, Siemens to cooperate on electric plane project European plane maker Airbus Group SE and German industrial conglomerateSiemens AG said Thursday they are joining forces to work on electric aircraft technology. The companies said they would pool about 200 engineers to demonstrate by 2020 the possibility of using electric or hybrid-electric technologies on aircraft. WSJ

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  2. ikesmasher

    ikesmasher TS Evangelist Posts: 2,561   +862

    Maybe if wow suscription fees weren't beyond outrageous many of people wouldn't need to use private servers (I did for quite a while many years back)
     
    H3llion and Nobina like this.
  3. Chazz

    Chazz TS Evangelist Posts: 671   +73

    For me the price of wow isn't money, the price is time and it's way too expensive. I wouldn't play it if it's free, it's a very well done game designed to destroy your social life with it's awesomeness.
     
  4. tonylukac

    tonylukac TS Evangelist Posts: 1,310   +56

    For ibm's watson, type in the physician's desk reference and it'll be a full blown doctor.
     
  5. Nobina

    Nobina TS Evangelist Posts: 861   +340

    I generally hate subscription for games. It's really expensive and if you are a hardcore player you probably spent shitloads of money by now. If you want to get your moneys worth you better play as much as you can but only hardcore players can spend enough time to justify the price. No wonder they are losing subs when they are making the game more casual but no casual player is gonna pay for a game he cannot play all the time.
     
    wastedkill, H3llion and ikesmasher like this.
  6. ET3D

    ET3D TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,180   +73

    Fingerprints to be tested as 'currency' - that's really ingenious. They get to track everyone, but at the same time this provides security and convenience, so will be welcome by most.

    My biggest regret as a programmer - what an *****. Does he really think that if he'd been management he'd been happy and made a real difference? It easy to imagine that alternate path as great, but he chose being a programmer because he obviously liked that better. Would working 20 years in something he doesn't like (and might not be as good at) would have made him happier?
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2016
    wastedkill likes this.

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