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US man gets $2.6m for domain name

250°
330w ago - A US man has sold the domain name pizza.com for $2.6m (£1.3m) - after maintaining the site for just $20 a year since 1994.

Chris Clark, 43, accepted the offer from an anonymous bidder after a week-long online auction.

"It's crazy, it's just crazy," Mr Clark, who lives in North Potomac, Maryland, was quoted as saying by the Baltimore Sun newspaper.

"It will make a significant difference in my life, for sure," he added.

Regret

Mr Clark registered the domain name in 1994, when the world wide web was just starting.

He had hoped that pizza.com would help to get a contract with a pizza firm for his consulting company.

He sold his business in 2000, but kept paying the $20 annual fees for maintaining the domain, which he also used to sell advertisements.

In January, Mr Clark decided to sell it after hearing that another domain - Vodka.com - was sold for $3m in 2006.

"I thought, 'Why don't I just try to see what the level of interest is?'" Mr Clark said.

"If someone's willing to pay that much for Vodka.com, maybe there's more interest in pizza.com."

The online auction was launched on 27 March. The first bid was $100, jumping to $2.6m a week later.

Having accepted the latter...
 

Samus Comes to PS3, Courtesy of a new UT3 Mod!

100°
330w ago - Alcor43 has released a custom skin that players can load up on their PlayStation 3 to play as the star-studded Nintendo mascot. Now you can play as bounty hunter Samus Aran in Unreal Tournament III.

The model comes complete with an alternate armor set, maskless face, and gun arm.

Download: Samus Aran v1.0 USERDATA.JAM for PS3 [Right-click, Save As]

From the ReadMe file:

How to use this model:

- Put USERDATA.JAM on the root of a memory stick and plug it into your PS3.
- Load UT3, go in the Community screen, then under My Content do Import Content.
- Select the memory stick and follow the remaining on screen procedure.
- Go back to the title screen, Settings / Player / Customize Character.
- Samus is within the Ironguard faction.

Special Note:

The PS3 doesn't support custom family code as of v1.10. So the Samus model for PS3 is but a stripped down version of her PC counter part. There's no custom animations, physics, FPV hands nor gibs. As soon as a potential patch is released for PS3 that unlocks the family code, I'll release an updated and...
 

Robot space truck docks with ISS

100°
330w ago - Europe's sophisticated new space truck, the ATV, has docked with the International Space Station (ISS).

The unmanned vessel carries just under five tonnes of food, water, air, fuel and equipment for the orbiting platform's three astronauts.

The Automated Transfer Vehicle used its own computerised systems to make the attachment at 1445 GMT.

Ground control and the ISS crew were on alert just in case there was a problem - but it was a textbook docking.

The European Space Agency's (Esa) station programme manager, Alan Thirkettle, said it was a great engineering achievement.

He told BBC News: "This is a first in the world - this is a fully automatic spacecraft that docked with the space station, totally under its own control, and that's never been done before by anybody at all; so from a purely technical point of view, it's really quite incredible."

Nicolas Chamussy, for lead manufacturer EADS Astrium, said the three weeks since launch leading up to docking, had been a remarkable period for the industrial teams.

"As a satellite manufacturer you never normally get to see your bird in flight - and we have; that's really amazing. It has flown 20 million km since launch and to see it there in space is quite an emotion."

Platform...
 

GTA IV confirmed as edited for Australia

50°
330w ago - Rockstar has produced an edited version of Grand Theft Auto IV for Australia in order to obtain an MA15+ rating.

The Office of Film and Literature Classification awarded the game an MA15+ rating on December 11 last year, advising consumers that the game contains "strong violence, strong coarse language, drug and sexual references".

A Rockstar spokesperson confirmed to Screen Play yesterday that the company had produced a special version of GTA IV to comply with the Australian classification system, which does not currently contain an R18+ rating, but declined to reveal what material had been cut.

The game has been rated R18+ by the British Board of Film Classification, New Zealand's OFLC and the German Unterhaltungssoftware Selbstkontrolle. It has been rated M17+ by the Entertainment Software Rating board in North America.

The Grand Theft Auto series has a chequered past with the OFLC in Australia.

In 2001, thousands of copies of GTA III were sold before the game was rated and refused classification because players could pick-up prostitutes. An edited version was later released.

2002's Gran Theft Auto: Vice City was also edited for Australian audiences.

In 2005, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas has its original MA15+ rating overturned and...
 

Sony BMG get busted for piracy by PointDev

200°
330w ago - A French software company known as PointDev is claiming €300,000 (over $475,000) in damages in its suit against Sony BMG.

The suit comes following a call from a Sony BMG employee to PointDev for support who gave them a pirated license code for one of their products. A raid followed which revealed that pirated software was installed on four of Sony BMG's servers and it is believed that up to 47 percent of the software on Sony BMG's computers could be pirated.

To quote: PointDev, a French software company that makes Windows administration tools, received a call from a Sony BMG IT employee for support. After Sony BMG supplied a pirated license code for Ideal Migration, one of PointDev's products, the software maker was able to mandate a seizure of Sony BMG's assets.

The subsequent raid revealed that software was illegally installed on four of Sony BMG's servers. The Business Software Alliance, however, believes that up to 47 percent of the software installed on Sony BMG's computers could be pirated.

These are some pretty serious –not to mention ironic- allegations against a company that's gone so far as to install malware on consumers' computers in the name of preventing piracy.
 
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