Monday, 16 July 2007

PS3 Games Patent

Speculations about alleged prohibition of second-hand sales of PS3 games and PS3 consoles have circulated in the past months. These rumors were fueled by market reviews about Xbox 360 consoles beating the Blu-ray-optimized Sony consoles in sales come November. Naturally, the company would employ all measures to maximize individual sales of PS3 games and their new consoles. No confirmation nor denial was heard from the Sony camp, but now, the speculations seem true with the technology patent Sony had procured.

Sony patented a technology - probably, a software - that could prevent use of borrowed PS3 games, rented consoles, and resale of game software and digital hardware. This undisclosed technology was patented five years ago in Japan but Sony had remained quiet about it. Queries about proprietorship are now prevalent, reminiscent of the hullabaloo about Digital Rights Management. Whether the electronics giant attempts to change the concept of ownership in the digital arena or not is not yet clear.

Presently, no information has been released about the software and its uses. But there have been scattered rumors that Sony may incorporate the software in the upcoming PS3 games and consoles. There would be time enough for Sony to address this before the games and consoles' release in November. Market analysts have agreed that it is rare for an electronics and technology company to patent new technology without the intention of using it in their new products. If this is true, then the $1 billion- worth industry of used consoles and games is endangered. Social gaming is also at risk because the new technology might prevent game-sharing. This means that gamers can't come over to their friends' houses to share a new game or simply to play together.

Documents filed by Sony describe a process of game system copy protection. According to the papers, game systems would verify the legitimacy of PS3 games and register the codes to a particular console. Other than this, the verification codes would be deleted after registration, making the discs unreadable in other PS3s. The process will effectively prevent resale of the game discs and console exchanges. Sony had kept other plans and details about the technology but Wedbush Morgan industry analyst, Michael Pachter, suspects that the company is toying with the idea of patented games. Pachter also pointed out that the competition from Microsoft might discourage Sony from tightening software security for game discs. The most likely targets of this new technology are internet-based and downloadable PS3 content like music and movies.

Whatever the electronic giant's plans are, the new technology manifests changing ownership trends when it comes to digital content. Even if gamers buy their consoles at $600 or their PS3 games for $100, they do not own it. They cannot reproduce or share it with their friends because Sony is still the ultimate owner of the software. No matter how much they shell out, they are just buying the license to use the software. Sure, the copy protection patent will make it difficult for pirates to manufacture counterfeit software but it does so at the expense of the gamers. Analysts are right not to put patenting software above Sony because the company was once involved in trouble because of this. It can be recalled that downloaded music from Sony has an accompanying software that installs itself automatically in computers to prevent copying and reproducing files. Though Sony later apologized, the software had already inconvenienced thousands of users. Copy protecting PS3 games would put Sony, the PS3, and the gamers at a disadvantage.

So, you are a Windows user and you've heard about Ubuntu everywhere and now you want to install it on your computer (just to

see if what you've heard about it is true or not) and you don't know how to do it? Look no further, here’s your help! This

guide will teach you how to install the latest version of Ubuntu (7.04 codename Feisty Fawn) on your PC in no more than 10

minutes (depending on your computer specs). Are you ready? Let's start!

First things first, you need to download the Ubuntu 7.04 i386 ISO image from here. This will take some time depending on

your network bandwidth. When the download is complete, burn the ISO image with your favorite CD/DVD burning application

(Nero, CDBurnerXP, Roxio...etc) on a blank CD at 8x speed.

Now comes the hard part when you have to decide if you want to erase and forget about your Windows operating system or you

want to have them both. No matter what you've decided, backup some important files on a USB stick, CD or whatever media you

may have at hand and insert the Ubuntu CD into your CD/DVD-ROM drive. Wait a few seconds and you will see a window on your

screen called Ubuntu 7.04 (Disc Tree). If you click where it says "Boot from this CD to try Ubuntu without affecting your

system." you will see a page with screenshots and information about Ubuntu Linux. From this page, you will learn that in

order to boot from this CD you must close all your running applications and reboot the PC.

After the reboot, you will see a welcome screen with some options:

• Start or install Ubuntu
• Start Ubuntu in safe graphics mode
• Install with driver update CD
• Check CD for defects
• Memory test
• Boot from first hard disk

and a countdown timer will start on the left side, which will activate the first option (Start or install Ubuntu) after

exactly 30 seconds if you don't do anything. But I suggest to hit the enter key and wait for the Ubuntu LiveCD to load into

memory. You will see a nice Ubuntu boot screen with a progress bar, and when this bar is filled up you'll see a splash

screen and the Ubuntu desktop will appear with a simple brown wallpaper. On the desktop you'll notice an Install icon;

double click on it. All you have to do now is to follow the installer steps:
Select your language

This is the first step of the installer, where you must select your native language (default is English). This language will

be used for the installer and it will also be the default language for your Ubuntu Linux (when the installation is over).

Click the Forward button after you have selected your language.

Where are you?

The next screen will feature a map of the Earth with little red dots, so you can select your city and country. Upon the

current selection of your location, the time for the final system will adjust accordingly. You can also select your current

location from the drop down list situated in the bottom part of the window. Click the Forward button after you have selected

your location.

Test your keyboard

On the next step you will be asked to select the keyboard layout that suits you best (default is U.S. English). You can also

test your keyboard on the little text input field situated at the bottom of the window. Click the Forward button when you

have finished with the keyboard configuration.

Hard disk partitioning

Hold on, don't run away yet! The hard disk partitioning is an easy task, so I am very sure that you will manage to handle it

too. You have here two options:

1. If you want to keep your Windows system, select the option that says "Guided - resize the partition and use the freed

2. If you want to delete your Windows system, select the option that says "Guided - use entire disk".

Once you've decided, click the Forward button.

Migration Assistant

This part is the best, as it will allow you to choose your Windows account that you want to migrate to Ubuntu in order to

import different items from your Windows system, like Firefox bookmarks, wallpapers, Internet Explorer favorites, Yahoo

Messenger or AOL Messenger contacts. If you don't have a Windows installation on your hard disk, then you will see just a

simple line of text that says "There were no users or operating systems suitable for importing from.", so just click the

Forward button to continue with the installation.

Who are you?

Here you must do exactly what the title of this step says. You must fill up some fields with your real name, the name you

want to use to log in and the name of the computer. When you have finished with this step, click the Forward button once

again (for the last time).

Are you really ready for Ubuntu?

If you have successfully arrived at this point, then you are definitely ready for your new Linux operating system. So, what

are you waiting for? Click the Install button now!

Once you have clicked the install button there is no turning back, so wait a few minutes until the progress bar reaches 100%

and a pop-up window will appear with two options:

1. Continue using the live CD
2. Restart now

You’ve probably already chosen to restart the computer as you were very excited to see your new Ubuntu Linux operating

system. Well then, enjoy using it!

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