The End of Netscape Navigator

By Pete | @kingpetey | 20 Jul 2003

AOL the owners of Netscape have decided that there will be no more releases of the Netscape Browser. Netscape 7 ended the line of development of the Netscape Browser that has been recently based on the Mozilla project.


Mozilla

In 1998 the Netscape Browser became open source and the Mozilla foundation was born with funding from AOL. Since then the foundation has produced a browser known as Mozilla. Netscape was first founded in 1994 and released its first browser in October of that year.

The Browser was released freely and soon took off helping to make the Internet what it is today. Netscape soon faced hard competition from Microsoft when it started to release its own web browser (Internet Explorer) with its operating system.

This has caused various court cases with Microsoft which have only recently been settled. AOL has its own web browser however this is not based on Mozilla.

AOL said it will keep the Netscape brand alive and still support old editions of the software but it will not produce any new releases.

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[Last edited on July 19, 2003 at 6:41:28pm by pwhite]

File Traders Meet the Lawsuits

By Pete | @kingpetey | 26 Jun 2003

The music industry is taking hundreds of file traders to court for sharing music over the Internet. The industry is using special software to detect frequent file sharers then is contacting their ISPs for their details. The software targets file trading software such as Kazaa and Grokster for users who share thousands of songs a month.

Each user detected will get a $150,000 (?90,000) lawsuit against them suing for damages to the industry. The Record Industry Association of America (RIAA) says its sales have already been hit heavy by such software as Kazaa and that targeting users is the next way forward.

The RIAA recently lost a court case to have parts of the GNUtella network taken down as the companies involved were not able to keep control over what is shared, unlike Kazaa. Many of the file traders are 12-18 year olds, how many of these people are meant to afford such lawsuits is unknown.

File-swappers trade an estimated 2.6 billion songs, movies and other files a month, the industry says. The RIAA expects to file at least several hundred lawsuits seeking financial damages within eight to 10 weeks. Kazaa, the most popular software for file sharing, reported that the number of its users online fell roughly 16 percent by late Thursday morning shortly after the RIAA announced its new campaign.

RIAA spokespeople have pointed toward legitimate online music services available in the US and Europe. One being here, I searched for 5 popular artists:

Craig David
Eminem
Dj Tiesto
Red Hot Chilli Peppers
Britney Spears

Not one could be found on the site, it seems strange how online music services which are meant to offer alternatives to Kazaa do not provide the range of music that the majority of people want. I searched for another 20 or so artists from a range of genres, very few came up and the music available for the artists that did come up was still not up to date.

Planetside is the new massive multiplayer online first person shooter game from Sony entertainment. It incorporates thousands of players fighting it out on gigantic maps trying to take over as many bases as possible.

The game is set in the future on a world cut off from the rest of man kind from the collapse of a wormhole. Over time 3 factions formed the Terran Republic, the New Conglomerate and the Vanu Sovereignty, each race with its own specific vehicles and weapons.

As you progress through the game you get experience points which lead to certifications, with these certifications you can learn various skills from hacking to sniping to flying to combat. These skills help to make your character more individual and specialized.

You play the game over a enormous map of over 100 square kilometers, which is split up into smaller islands with a number of bases on. One of the best ways to get experience points is to take over a base by hacking its central computer. When playing you normally join a squad which can be up to 10 players of the same team, the advantages of being in a squad are that you get each others experience points when they are earned and you can keep better track of people on the map.

Playing Planetside is unlike any other first person shooter or multiplayer game, it has similarities to Half Life in that is it a first person shooter but it also has similarities to older games such as delta force with its larger maps.

While combat plays a large part of Planetside it is not the only side of the game, you can quite happily play the game without even shooting a weapon by learning to fly drop ships or hacking which is why Planetside is a very broad game. The game makes it very easy to learn new skills and forget old ones when you get fed up. The other day my squad didn't have any means of transport to the battle zone so I learn't how to fly a Galaxy dropship and soon enough my squad were fighting away.

Planetside does however still suffer from a few bugs, one the other day wouldn't let me do one of the training mission and I have had the game crash on me twice since I have had it which can be very annoying when in the middle of a battle. Not all the bugs are annoying, earlier today I managed to flip my ANT vehicle and it landed so it looked like it was hovering, I got some very funny screenshots of my squad hailing me while upside down.

The graphics are another bonus, they might not run on lower spec machines but they are lovely on my Pentium 4. The effects are nice such as the weather and light levels, trying to fight a battle in the rain can be especially hard giving yet another aspect to the game.

The single thing that makes Planetside for me is that you are playing against real people and not bots, it makes the whole team effort a lot more fun when you are chatting through the game or on voice chat to other people around you trying to coordinate attacking or defensive maneuvers. However with multiplayer games there does come in the increased costs and at about ?7 ($12(US)) a month a lot of people may be put off but in my view its a lot more satisfying to play.

So do I think its a gaming revolution? Well no I don't think it is but it will certainly change the way people think about first person shooters. A lot of people will be put off by the subscription charge like they have with other massive multiplayer games but its what is needed to support the expensive server setups. I do think that Planetside will be very popular and I doubt there will be any direct competition giving the costs of setting up a online game such as Planetside.

All in all Planetside is a great game that you will spend hours playing, if you love playing CS or TFC then you will most likely love Planetside as it varies the game so much more making it more fun.

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Reviewers PC Spec:

Pentium 4 ? 2 gig
1024 DDR
120gig Hard drive
GForce 4 MX 420.

In a court case in America the Internet service provider (ISP) Verizon has been ordered to reveal names of top file traders to the record industry association of America (RIAA). A court ruling in Washington forces 4 names to be handed over for aparrent use of peer to peer file trading software such as Kazaa.

On Wednesday the court rejected Verizon's request for a delay, pending a final decision in the case. The RIAA has argued that the Digital Millenium Copyright act allows them to find out the names of people breaking copyright law, such in the case of file trading over the Internet. Verizon however say that this would be giving too much control to the music giants and that it is unfair.

The record industry still has not decided what action to take against against the names they have got from Verizon but with this victory it is likely that they will go after other heavy file traders from Verizon and other ISPs. Though it released the names, Verizon has said it will fight on.

"We are committing to pursuing the case if necessary to the Supreme Court," said Sarah Deutsch, Verizon's associate general counsel. "The real harm here is to the consumer."

The RIAA blames online music piracy for falling sales of CDs and has been relentless in using the courts to fight people and services suspected of facilitating online song-sharing.

Happy Second Birthday ImAFish

By Pete | @kingpetey | 28 May 2003

UK based article and comedy site ImAFish.com is celebrating its second birthday. Its been a tough couple of years stated the sites founder in his press release earlier.

?ImAFish has come along way in the past couple of year, we have moved hosting 4 times and have spent a reasonable amount of money on various areas of the site. We are pleased with the progress we have made in the last 2 years and hope to become even more popular in the coming months?

Founder Pete White was not letting on much about the upcoming ImAFish 7 however one journalist managed to get the following statement out of him:

?ImAFish 7 is in the development process and is moving into working out what the new designed ImAFish will be all about. There will be more information to come in following weeks?

Co-founder Benjie had the following comments:

?I cant wait to see the new and improved look and feel of ImAFish and i think that it has a great chance of becoming more and more successful in the near future?

ImAFish that was started by pwhite, Benjie and Yammez has moved on considerably in the past 2 years and is now home to over 250 articles on a wide range of subjects. The site has an extensive community and user base.

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