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Stardock’s Demigod suffers massive piracy. Online play affected

So i read about this on ArsTechnica and made a brief twat about it.

Personally i havent played the game, but i have read about it 😛

The demigod forums mention that on retail release day there was ~140k connections of which ~120k were from pirated copies of the game. Considering the infrastructure they had implemented was only designed for about ~50k this caused some problems.

No matter what you do there will always be a point of failure with online gaming. Be it the logon servers or the key authentication servers or the chat system, the instance system. But pirated copies of the game shouldnt get far enough along to make those requests..Sure there’s no DRM, but…there has to be something? an account?

A solution i can come up with would be to put in a version check, update, and have the version check server run independent of the actual login server. Maybe put in a simple self CRC Check to prevent against modification or version spoofing. Some people might consider that DRM, i would considering that to be game integrity testing. Nothing as intrusive as a NT Service running on your computer checking the signatures and parameters of all your devices and running programs just to make sure its not an ‘evil’ Disk Image or Virtualization tool that the ‘industry’ doesnt approve of.

..anyway. The Demigod blog is available here

Bell kills the prospect of an ‘unlimited’ internet.

Oh no! We suck again!

BCE Inc. is proposing to change the way it bills independent internet service providers who rent portions of its network, changes that small ISPs say will ultimately mean the end of “unlimited” plans for consumers.

In a recent submission to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, Bell proposed introducing usage-based billing instead of a flat rate for wholesale customers, a pricing method the company says is in line with changes it has made to its own retail offerings.

Bell cut its own internet customers from unlimited downloading in 2007.

“The implementation of usage-based billing for this wholesale service represents but a further appropriate step in the evolution of pricing to reflect the realities of the Companies’ need to manage capacity on their networks,” said Denis Henry, Bell Aliant’s vice-president of regulatory and government affairs, and David Palmer, Bell Canada’s director of regulatory affairs, in a joint submission.

Bell is proposing to begin the changes in billing beginning May 31, 2009.

The proposal would effectively kill access to unlimited download plans in Ontario and Quebec, according to Rocky Gaudrault, the chief executive officer of Chatham, Ont.-based independent ISP TekSavvy Solutions.

“If Bell were to be allowed to introduce UBB on this service, a cap of 60GB would be imposed on all of its users, with very heavy penalties per Gigabyte afterwards,” wrote Gaudrault in a letter to his customers on Tuesday, April 14, the last day interested parties could comment on the proposal.

“This would inherently all but remove Unlimited internet services in Ontario/Quebec and potentially cause large increases in internet costs from month to month,” he wrote.

Bell could not be reached for comment.

Proposal follows ruling on ISPs

The company made the proposal in response to a December 2008 ruling from the CRTC requiring Bell to provide wholesale internet service providers access to the same speeds Bell offers.

Smaller ISPs were given access to the networks of phone companies in the first place because the incumbents held a natural infrastructure monopoly, which was initially built through taxpayer funds when they were government-owned. The rules were put in place to boost the number of competitors selling internet access to the public, and thus keep prices down and service levels up.

In March, Bell petitioned the federal government to overturn the ruling, but the company was still required to come up with a plan detailing how it might charge the smaller ISPs for the service.

The proposal, submitted on March 13, introduced the idea of usage-based billing among its solutions, though critics who responded said its inclusion is inappropriate and unnecessary.

“Usage-based billing (UBB) represents a radical change to current practice and is not warranted,” wrote MTS Allstream Inc. vice-president of regulatory affairs Teresa Griffin-Muir.

“It would effectively prevent competitive ISPs from offering flat-rated Internet services, or any other type of offering that didn’t follow Bell’s UBB model, since they would have no means of containing their costs, if their customers were to exceed Bell’s usage caps,” she wrote.

Source JCXP
Sources Source CBC

You can complain to the CRTC about this here

ATI Releases Catalyst 9.4 for Windows 7/XP

Filename: 9-4_vista32_win7_32_dd_ccc_wdm_enu.exe
Filesize: 47.1MB

From the release notes:

New Features

This section provides information on new features found in this release of the Radeon™
Display Driver. These include the following:

ATI Catalyst™ 9.4 – New ATI OverDrive™ auto-tuning application
ATI Catalyst™ 9.4 – New ATI OverDrive™ auto-tuning
application*

ATI Catalyst 9.4 includes a new ATI Overdrive™ auto-tune application to accurately
determine the best over-clocked engine and memory values for ATI Overdrive
supported ATI Radeon™ Graphics accelerators
Designed for the ATI Radeon™ HD 4000 Series

* AMD’s product warranty does not cover damages caused by over clocking, even when
enabled via AMD OverDrive software

Resolved Issues for the Windows Vista Operating System

This section provides information on resolved issues in this release of the ATI Catalyst™
Software Suite for Windows Vista. These include:

“World of Warcraft” or “World of Warcraft – Wrath of the Lich King”: Flickering no
longer occurs when Shadow is set to medium/high using CrossFire
Google Sketchup no longer displays blank screen
Resolutions above 10 x 7 will now full screen properly for specific HDMI displays
Artifacts no longer visible while playing Age of Conan DX10
VC-1 progressive disc playback no longer exhibits block corruption

Resolved Issues for the Windows XP Operating System

This section provides information on resolved issues in this release of the ATI Catalyst™
Software Suite for Windows XP. These include:

The Compute Abstraction Layer (CAL) driver now functions properly under
Windows XP
Overlay Theatre Mode display no longer corrupt after enabling 3D screen saver
OS Display Settings no longer shows extra resolutions for Component Video

Resolved Issues for the Windows 7 Operating System

This section provides information on resolved issues in this release of the ATI Catalyst™
Software Suite for Windows 7. These include:

City of Villains: Display now redraws correctly after changing graphics settings
Catalyst Control Center: [email protected] and [email protected] Component Video modes
can now be applied via Component Video – Advanced aspect
Custom formats modes can now be applied properly and will be available under “List
All Modes”
Display profiles will now be restored when displays are swapped while the system
sleeps
WinDVD9 HD playback doesn’t cause the desktop to jitter or flicker anymore
Device Manager no longer displays error during express driver uninstall

http://support.amd.com/us/gpudownload/Pages/index.aspx
http://www.techpowerup.com/downloads/1369/ATI_Catalyst_9.4_Software_Suite_Vista/7_32-bit.html

Windows 7 Build 7077 Verification Info

Found this info on a russian forum..

Filename: 7077.0.090404-1255_x86fre_client_en-us_Retail_Ultimate-GRC1CULFRER_EN_DVD.iso
CRC: BFE066D4
MD5: BDCB388DAFFAD32D6264144C05B29700
SHA1: 6B4D676257C57607B951A101C7B2C559CD7A5730

I’ll confirm it further later with screenshots and a crc check of my own.

7077-upg1

UPDATE:

Yup, real 😛

# MD5 checksums generated by MD5summer (http://www.md5summer.org)
# Generated 4/8/2009 7:41:57 PM

bdcb388daffad32d6264144c05b29700 *7077.0.090404-1255_x86fre_client_en-us_Retail_Ultimate-GRC1CULFRER_EN_DVD.iso
And activated

7077-act

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