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Sunday, Jul 22, 2012

  

Minecraft Patent Lawsuit

A tweet by Minecraft creator and Mojang founder Markus "Notch" Persson reveals that Mojang is being sued for patent infringement over Minecraft, saying: "Step 1: Wake up. Step 2: Check email. Step 3: See we're being sued for patent infringement. Step 4: Smile." He's posted the complaint in Adobe Acrobat format, and Boing Boing notes the plaintiff in this case, Uniloc calls itself an intellectual property "incubation lab" specializing in computer security, but they just call them patent trolls, noting that the suit was filed in Tyler, Texas, which besides being the birthplace of NFL legend Earl Campbell, is apparently also renowned as a place where the courts are known to friendly to the plaintiffs in such cases.

Here's word from the complaint: "Mojang is directly infringing one or more claims of the í067 patent in this judicial district ... by or through making, using, offering for sale, selling and/or importing Android based applications for use on cellular phones and/or tablet devices that require communication with a server to perform a license check to prevent the unauthorized use of said application, including, but not limited to, Mindcraft [sic]."

For his part, Notch tweets about his resolve to fight this out in court, just as he did when sued over the right to name his next game scrolls, saying: "Unfortunately for them, they're suing us over a software patent. If needed, I will throw piles of money at making sure they don't get a cent." He also blogs about this, giving his outlook on such litigation. Here's a portion:

But there is no way in hell you can convince me that itís beneficial for society to not share ideas. Ideas are free. They improve on old things, make them better, and this results in all of society being better. Sharing ideas is how we improve.

A common argument for patents is that inventors wonít invent unless they can protect their ideas. The problem with this argument is that patents apply even if the infringer came up with the idea independently. If the idea is that easy to think of, why do we need to reward the person who happened to be first?

I will say that there are areas which are very costly to research, but where the benefits for mankind long term are very positive. I would personally prefer it to have those be government funded (like with CERN or NASA) and patent free as opposed to whatís happening with medicine, but I do understand why some people thing patents are good in these areas.

Trivial patents, such as for software, are counterproductive (they slown down technical advancement), evil (they sacrifice baby goats to baal), and costly (companies get tied up in pointless lawsuits).

Skyjacker Kickstarter Ending

The second Kickstarter campaign for Skyjacker is set to conclude in the wee hours of tomorrow morning, and the project is going to need a lot of eleventh hour support to reach its goal, as it is more than $80,000 short of its $200,000 target (thanks nin). This followed a now cancelled campaign launched in May for this space battle flight simulator, and the site includes a playable alpha prototype and extensive explanations of their aim at filling a void in the market for such games. Here's a bit:

There is no fixed path. You bid on the jobs you want, and if you screw up, the game doesn't end. When you succeed, you grow in prestige and power; you'll start to receive exclusive proposals and rewards, customize your ship with high-grade parts that fit your style, and build up a crew of dangerous, hopefully-loyal wingmen. And as you become strong, remember one thing: you're a pirate. With great power comes no responsibility.

The Skyjacker universe is rich in details that unfold around you. There are ten significant alien races, each with unique biological features, social structures, interlocking histories, and star faring technologies - some industrial, some organic, and a few biotech that literally farm their spaceships in deep space.

Street Fighter X Tekken on GFWL Now; Steam This Week

The Capcom Unity Blog announces the promised DLC for the Windows edition of Street Fighter X Tekken is now available on Games for Windows LIVE, but "an unforeseen error with the Valve submission process," is holding up its release on Steam (thanks VG247). Here's word:

To those who have been eagerly awaiting todayís DLC release for Street Fighter X Tekken on Games for Windows Live and Steam, it is our unfortunate duty to report a bit of bad news. While the GFWL DLC is in fact now live, an unforeseen error with the Valve submission process has caused a delay on Steam, preventing a timely release of the DLC on that service.

The ETA for the Steam version is now early next week. We deeply apologize for the delay, and ask for the continued patience of Steam users while we work through this error. Thank you all.

Ghost Recon Future Soldier Patch

An update to this thread on the Ubisoft forums reveals that the new version 1.3 patch is now available for Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Future Soldier, about a weeks later than was planned. A downloadable version of the patch for the military shooter sequel is available on The Patches Scrolls, where they also have the surprisingly sparse patch notes.

Steam Top 10

Here's the list of the 10 bestselling titles on Steam for the past week:

  1. Arma II
  2. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
  3. Fallout New Vegas: Ultimate Edition
  4. The Walking Dread
  5. Batman: Arkham City Franchise
  6. Age of Empires III Complete
  7. The Witcher: Assassins of Kings Enhanced Edition
  8. Grand Theft Auto Complete Package
  9. Batman: Arkham City
  10. Civilization V: Gods & Kings

Sunday Previews

Sunday Tech Bits

Sunday Safety Dance

Game Reviews

Out of the Blue

I have another of my little homemade schemes in the works, as I've been thinking about trying to make pickles ever since MrsBlue and I saw some baby cucumbers at the market a while back. She convinced me to figure out what was involved before doing this, which was a good call, since pickling salt is a specialty item I needed for the process. As of today, I think I am set, as I have my salt, a wad of dill, and a pile of warty cukes ready for the brine. I'm looking forward to trying this, though there will be some suspense involved, as it will be several weeks before they are ready to eat.

Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: MoonType: Episode 2.
Bionic Sons.
Links: 17 Ways You'd Abuse Video Game Powers in Real Life.
Pencil Vs Camera. Thanks Neatorama where they have video.
The 8 Worst People at Your Barbecue.
Stories: One Day Later, Colorado Shooting Survivor Takes Back the Night.
Media: The Man Of Steel (2013) Teaser. Thanks nin.
Dog Plays with the Hose.
C-17 Lands At Wrong Airport In Tampa.
The Funnies: FoxTrot.
EXTRALIFE.



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