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Zenith
Banned
(07-25-2008, 06:57 PM)
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This might prove of interest to some people. It also has the mod's blessing.

Despite having been released for a month now Alone in the Dark PC is still uncracked. This isn't entirely down to the protection being super-sophisticated (although it is far more complex than most protections) but to a number of factors. Aitd uses the same protection as Mass Effect and Bioshock, where you have to log into a server to authenticate your CD key.

The scene groups who make the cracks for all these games have been in decline for a while now. The main focus is getting as many clean cracks as possible, with a nuked release seen as a major hit to their "rep". This is why they would much rather crack some no-name puzzle game that uses simple protection than a major release with something more advanced. The scene groups are also rife with infighting and spats between each other.

Contrary to popular belief the "challenge" doesn't really enter into it when it come to mainstream piracy. These groups have been cracking the same copy protections with the same methods for a while now, and just the simple fact that a protection being new even if it's not any more advanced is enough to throw them. These guys do it solely for the egostroking of being at the top of a piracy group and having thousands of people read their name when they download a crack.

This isn't due to a lack of demand despite Aitd's poor reviews. as I said the groups crack any and every game, including thousands of cheap shovelware games that you will never have heard of and don't even warrant a listing on most gaming media sites. Previously cracked games with this protection still had major problems that rendered the game practically useless, which is why groups are shying away from this one because they don't want to tarnish their reps by releasing a bad crack.

a lot of sites that archive game cracks do so under the cover of saying you should only crack a game you own in order to make it more convenient by not having to use the disc, etc. they will not host cracks that have CD-key elements as that's only for people who don't own a legitimate copy, which means there is a lack of support for groups that try and crack games with this protection.

Also there's a fake rumour going round that the scene groups all agreed to "spare" Atari from their incredible influence by not cracking it due to the company going belly up. Aside from the obvious reasons this is false such as them cracking plenty of indie games that were devs' sole means of income, Aitd being on 5 different platforms so PC doesn't matter so much, etc, the scene groups would no way be able to all agree on the same thing. Like I said, they're always at each other's throats.

This is the longest a major release has gone without a crack (Splinter Cell 2 doesn't count). A combination of the copy protection's complexity and the scene groups lacking the skill to crack something completely from scratch seems to be responsible. So it would appear the Bioshock DRM everyone was complaining about is here to stay :-/
Evander
"industry expert"
(07-25-2008, 07:00 PM)
How about the fact that thegame generally isn't considered all that good, so people are probably focussing on hacking more popular stuff.

It's like how Macs get less viruses not because they are more secure, but because no one is really interested in creating Mac viruses all that much.
diffusionx
Banned
(07-25-2008, 07:01 PM)

Originally Posted by Evander

How about the fact that thegame generally isn't considered all that good, so people are probably focussing on hacking more popular stuff.

It's like how Macs get less viruses not because they are more secure, but because no one is really interested in creating Mac viruses all that much.

Did you even read the OP?
Emerson
May contain jokes =>
(07-25-2008, 07:02 PM)
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I think the infighting among the scene groups and each group wanting to avoid a nuked release is the biggest factor here. If the scene wanted to crack this protection, they could and would. I seriously doubt any DRM will ever be released which truly stumps the scene crackers.

The worst news is that idiotic DRM will likely spread now that it appears the scene "can't" crack it. But if it does grow, they'll only speed up the day when it is cracked in the first place.
Stumpokapow
listen to the mad man
(07-25-2008, 07:04 PM)
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I don't think your conclusion is accurate. Pirate groups haven't cracked the software doesn't mean pirate groups can't crack the software.

You say it's not due to lack of demand, it's due to complexity; but this is a two-dimensional thing. Something that is low-demand low-complexity or high-demand low-complexity or high-demand high-complexity is going to take priority over something that is low-demand high-complexity.

I mean, I can't comment on drama or infighting or scene rep or whatever that bullshit is. I'm sure that plays a role in the cracking process. But from a strictly programming-oriented perspective, nothing short of secure dongles and per-session web authentication with server-side content and worlds is going to stick. Even those are subject to some attacks.

If AITD is the start of a trend, so be it. But I don't think the logical conclusion "Software companies win, crackers lose" follows from "AITD has been out for almost two months and it's not cracked".
Kabouter
Member
(07-25-2008, 07:04 PM)
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Originally Posted by Evander

How about the fact that thegame generally isn't considered all that good, so people are probably focussing on hacking more popular stuff.

It's like how Macs get less viruses not because they are more secure, but because no one is really interested in creating Mac viruses all that much.

Yeah, lately they've been busy cracking popular stuff like "Space Chimps", "Helicopter Strike Force" and "Roogoo". All major hits. Should have read the OP dude.
Fragamemnon
The Man. The Myth.
The Legend.
(07-25-2008, 07:04 PM)
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OP mentioned that in his post, Evander:

This isn't due to a lack of demand despite Aitd's poor reviews. as I said the groups crack any and every game, including thousands of cheap shovelware games that you will never have heard of and don't even warrant a listing on most gaming media sites.

I didn't have any problems with the DRM in Bioshock or Mass Effect, despite all the hemming and hawing over it by digg and slashdot refresh-spamming anti DRM zealots. If single player games can be better secured by this technology without really interfering with the player, then I'm all for it.
Pop On Arrival
Member
(07-25-2008, 07:05 PM)
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Originally Posted by Evander

How about the fact that thegame generally isn't considered all that good, so people are probably focussing on hacking more popular stuff.

It's like how Macs get less viruses not because they are more secure, but because no one is really interested in creating Mac viruses all that much.

read the OP.

Anyway, interesting stuff. It will probably get cracked sooner or later, but the longer a game is out in retail without a proper crack, the better.
BobsRevenge
I do not avoid women, GAF, but I do deny them my essence.
(07-25-2008, 07:06 PM)
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Please, please be true.

<3 PC Gaming.
PixelJunkie
Member
(07-25-2008, 07:08 PM)
How often is it checking into the server though? Just the once?

What happens if someone can't, no internet access, for a single player game.
Emerson
May contain jokes =>
(07-25-2008, 07:08 PM)
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Originally Posted by Stumpokapow

You say it's not due to lack of demand, it's due to complexity; but this is a two-dimensional thing. Something that is low-demand low-complexity or high-demand low-complexity or high-demand high-complexity is going to take priority over something that is low-demand high-complexity.

Exactly. Let's say game devs see that AITD's DRM isn't cracked yet and it gets widespread use. Then The Sims 3 comes out with this DRM. The scene groups will be in a huge race to release the first cracked version, and it will be done very quickly. Scene groups only care about reputation and releasing the first crack on a major release is about as big as it gets for them.
wolfmat
Member
(07-25-2008, 07:08 PM)
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Originally Posted by Zenith

This is the longest a major release has gone without a crack (Splinter Cell 2 doesn't count).

Research indicates DTM Race Driver hasn't been cracked for about a year after release.
Zombie James
Banned
(07-25-2008, 07:09 PM)
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It's Alone in the Dark, maybe they don't want to crack it.
Concept17
Member
(07-25-2008, 07:09 PM)
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Would be great to see devs with the upper hand for once. PC gaming deserves as much.
-tetsuo-
Unlimited Capacity
(07-25-2008, 07:10 PM)
-tetsuo-'s Avatar
They cracked it a long while ago, didnt release it to save people the trouble.

[/bad joke]
funkmastergeneral
Banned
(07-25-2008, 07:12 PM)
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Originally Posted by Emerson

Exactly. Let's say game devs see that AITD's DRM isn't cracked yet and it gets widespread use. Then The Sims 3 comes out with this DRM. The scene groups will be in a huge race to release the first cracked version, and it will be done very quickly. Scene groups only care about reputation and releasing the first crack on a major release is about as big as it gets for them.

So it's all one epeen measuring contest?
Stumpokapow
listen to the mad man
(07-25-2008, 07:12 PM)
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Originally Posted by Concept17

Would be great to see devs with the upper hand for once. PC gaming deserves as much.

So your logic is that Alone in the Dark is selling better on the PC than it would have had it been cracked? ... i'm not sure sales charts confirm that. I mean, I'm not doubting a correlation between piracy and lowered sales or anything like that, but I am doubting that AITD could ever sell well regardless of piracy.

I wouldn't say devs gained the upper hand because high-quality deserving games are still being pirated.
stuminus3
Never buying another games console. Ever.
(07-25-2008, 07:12 PM)
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Ghah, I hate these moron crack groups but I hate draconian DRM schemes that screw over honest consumers like me, I'm so torn.
Jacobi
Banned
(07-25-2008, 07:13 PM)
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Well BioShock was cracked...
notsol337
marked forever
(07-25-2008, 07:13 PM)
As long as the game can be unlocked in some way legally, it can get unlocked illegally.

It's only a matter of time.
Pop On Arrival
Member
(07-25-2008, 07:14 PM)
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Originally Posted by _leech_

It's Alone in the Dark, maybe they don't want to crack it.

When I saw Alone in the Dark, my first instinct was make that joke, but figured it was too obvious and behold, they explain that AttD being a shit game isn't the reason at all.
MirageDwarf
Member
(07-25-2008, 07:14 PM)
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If this kind of DRM helps reducing piracy, I have no problem at all.
Zenith
Banned
(07-25-2008, 07:15 PM)
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Originally Posted by Stumpokapow

You say it's not due to lack of demand, it's due to complexity; but this is a two-dimensional thing. Something that is low-demand low-complexity or high-demand low-complexity or high-demand high-complexity is going to take priority over something that is low-demand high-complexity.

the thing is by scene standards, Aitd is high demand. any PC game with a major budget is, even if it's something like Turok (sorry, bish). it takes literally more time to upload the game than it does to crack it. and considering there's only a "major" pc release once every 2 weeks that's a hell of a lot of downtime for pirates to look forward to the next release and post "aitd crack plz?".

yes, it's a misnomer to say it's uncrackable, but it really will be rare to find some random programmer who will take an interest in bypassing this. at the very least it slows down cracks by a month.

How about the fact that thegame generally isn't considered all that good, so people are probably focussing on hacking more popular stuff.

here is a list of the "more popular stuff" the scene groups have released since Aitd's been out:

Mountain Bike Adrenaline
Space Chimps
Crazy Machines II
FATE Undiscovered Realms
Aurora The Secret Within
Jewel Quest 2 Tournament Edition
Nancy Drew The Phantom Of Venice
Panzer Command Kharkov
Roogoo
Turtix 2 Rescue Adventures
Etch A Sketch
So Blonde

So it's all one epeen measuring contest?

yes, although I beleive they get more peen from highest number of cracks than from highest profile game crack.

even Mass Effect got passed over and it doesn't get much bigger than that. despite some early released cracks they all got nuked for being totally unplayable. if it wasn't for this one guy who took a look at it it would still be uncracked.
MrTroubleMaker
(07-25-2008, 07:16 PM)
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Originally Posted by Pop On Arrival

Anyway, interesting stuff. It will probably get cracked sooner or later, but the longer a game is out in retail without a proper crack, the better.

yep
Emerson
May contain jokes =>
(07-25-2008, 07:17 PM)
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Originally Posted by funkmastergeneral

So it's all one epeen measuring contest?

More or less. Piracy's wrong but I find everything about the scene fascinating, I've done a lot of side research on it. Scene groups make no money and their entire motivation is getting their name out there.

Read some NFO files on torrents. Many ask you to purchase the game if you enjoy it, as the groups only crack for fun and as a challenge. Doesn't excuse it but food for thought.
SupahBlah
Banned
(07-25-2008, 07:17 PM)

Originally Posted by wmat

Research indicates DTM Race Driver hasn't been cracked for about a year after release.

Wouldn't the crack for Toca be used instead?

(Same game just different names)
Somnid
Member
(07-25-2008, 07:18 PM)
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Piracy has always been akin to anime fansubbing. Basically you're modifying some else's content and then slapping you name on it for e-cred. Most of the hackers though don't seem to build their own tools. Rather some intelligent self-proclaimed champion of the people will hack it and then release his tools under some legitimized cause (ease of use, archival purposes etc.) The hackers then take his work and apply it elsewhere.

This is an interesting counter-story. Usually this sort of stuff will go unheard of and it almost lures people into thinking that pirates are completely omnipotent. You only ever hear about when they do succeed and so a loss is rarely recorded in hacker land. No copy-protection will last forever but simply having a lead time in which to sell legitimately should make an impact.
vag 2.0
Member
(07-25-2008, 07:19 PM)

Originally Posted by Evander


It's like how Macs get less viruses not because they are more secure, but because no one is really interested in creating Mac viruses all that much.

That's not actually true. Macs get no viruses, and can you imagine the instant tech fame and credibility for the creator of the first?
gregor7777
Banned
(07-25-2008, 07:20 PM)
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Do I remember correctly that Bioshock also went a fair bit of time before being cracked? I remember it being discussed in the official thread if I'm not mistaken.

Originally Posted by vag 2.0

That's not actually true. Macs get no viruses, and can you imagine the instant tech fame and credibility for the creator of the first?

Completely wrong of course. Macs have had and continue to have virii, howver as initially pointed out, they are rare due to a focus on the Windows platform.
Kabouter
Member
(07-25-2008, 07:20 PM)
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Originally Posted by Zenith

So Blonde

Hey, don't hate :P. Really looking forward to that game :P.
Point & click adventures ftw.
Burai
shitonmychest57
(07-25-2008, 07:20 PM)
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Originally Posted by Evander

It's like how Macs get less viruses not because they are more secure, but because no one is really interested in creating Mac viruses all that much.

Wrong. So very wrong.
TheHeretic
Banned
(07-25-2008, 07:21 PM)

Originally Posted by Evander

It's like how Macs get less viruses not because they are more secure, but because no one is really interested in creating Mac viruses all that much.

This is is a myth born of pure ignorance. Linux and OSX are more secure because of the way the OS is designed, plain and simple.
Concept17
Member
(07-25-2008, 07:22 PM)
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Originally Posted by Stumpokapow

So your logic is that Alone in the Dark is selling better on the PC than it would have had it been cracked? ... i'm not sure sales charts confirm that. I mean, I'm not doubting a correlation between piracy and lowered sales or anything like that, but I am doubting that AITD could ever sell well regardless of piracy.

I wouldn't say devs gained the upper hand because high-quality deserving games are still being pirated.

I'm saying it would be great in general if people began having a harder time pirating PC games. Even terrible games.
laserbeam
Banned
(07-25-2008, 07:22 PM)
OP logic is flawed. The Scene Group does not crack everything and anything that is released.

The AITD system is the Mass Effect protection system. Guess what it was cracked rather fast once they got a solid look at it and the individual flags hidden throughout the game to recheck the serial number.

It is about E-Peen as someone said. AITD is about the biggest crap of a game to come out in awhile. There will likely be very little effort to crack the game from anyone.

Bioshock took some time to to crack. New Copy Protections always take longer for the groups to crack simply because its new. Once they have their practice its back to day or two cracks and the companies looking for a new copy protection.
Evander
"industry expert"
(07-25-2008, 07:23 PM)
I read the OP, I just thought that it was OVERLY dissmissive of the idea.

An unpopular game combined with stricter DRM is likelier to end up on some one's backburner. I don't think that popularity can be entirely removed as a factor.

Originally Posted by TheHeretic

This is is a myth born of pure ignorance. Linux and OSX are more secure because of the way the OS is designed, plain and simple.

And the hackers and programmers of the world can't get around that complexity?

I didn't say that they absolutely weren't more secure, what I said was that the security is not the prime reason; the insignificant percentage of computer users that they make up IS.

Generally, the point of creating a virus is attention. You aren't going to get much attention if you target smaller groups.
Zenith
Banned
(07-25-2008, 07:24 PM)
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Originally Posted by gregor7777

Do I remember correctly that Bioshock also went a fair bit of time before being cracked? I remember it being discussed in the official thread if I'm not mistaken.

3 weeks I believe. and this was the first time a major release had this copy protection so none of the scene groups were dodging it. they all went at it with much gusto and got a nasty shock.

OP logic is flawed. The Scene Group does not crack everything and anything that is released.

yes, they do.

The AITD system is the Mass Effect protection system. Guess what it was cracked rather fast once they got a solid look at the system.

no it wasn't. took longer than Bioshock did.

An unpopular game combined with stricter DRM is likelier to end up on some one's backburner.

again, by scene standards it' super-duper massivly popular. try and think of it as a cinema release compared to a straight-to-dvd video.

I only posted a fraction of the less popular releases. I could triple that list if you want me to.
gregor7777
Banned
(07-25-2008, 07:24 PM)
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Originally Posted by TheHeretic

This is is a myth born of pure ignorance. Linux and OSX are more secure because of the way the OS is designed, plain and simple.

Not so. Yes, both systems are vastly more secure than Windows, but that is the very reason they aren't the focus or those creating the virus.
Vinci
Danish
(07-25-2008, 07:24 PM)
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Originally Posted by Zenith

Space Chimps
...
FATE Undiscovered Realms
Aurora The Secret Within
...
Panzer Command Kharkov
Roogoo

Dude. DUDE. Seriously? What the fuck are these?
TimeKillr
Member
(07-25-2008, 07:25 PM)
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Originally Posted by Stumpokapow

I don't think your conclusion is accurate. Pirate groups haven't cracked the software doesn't mean pirate groups can't crack the software.

You say it's not due to lack of demand, it's due to complexity; but this is a two-dimensional thing. Something that is low-demand low-complexity or high-demand low-complexity or high-demand high-complexity is going to take priority over something that is low-demand high-complexity.

This.

Egostroking means they want to be first to crack and release a big-name release. AitD isn't a big-name release. It was, then everybody figured it out it was crap, and now nobody really cares anymore.

The bigger PC groups (I won't name names!) don't do so much casual cracks, they tend to go after big releases that people actually download. As someone else said, if The Sims 3 uses this protection, you can bet your ass there's going to be a crack within the first 24 hours.
Chairman Yang
if he talks about books, you better damn well listen
(07-25-2008, 07:25 PM)
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The mod scene on the PC is heavily influenced by the difficulty of modding. Compare the simple editor of Neverwinter Nights (which ended up with a huge quantity of quality mods) to the more powerful, more complex tools of Neverwinter Nights 2 (which had drastically fewer).

Does piracy follow the same pattern? Is there an upper limit of difficulty, past which crackers will rarely be arsed to break the game's protection? If so, that's good news for software creators.
wolfmat
Member
(07-25-2008, 07:27 PM)
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The only good the cracking scene has done in the history of home computers is giving birth to the demo scene.
Gotta admit the ingenuity though.

Originally Posted by SupahBlah

Wouldn't the crack for Toca be used instead?

All I have is Google. Apparently, the Toca crack surfaced about a year after game release. A similar delay can be found for the Toca 2 crack. This was in the early days of StarForce.
Returners
Member
(07-25-2008, 07:27 PM)
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interesting read....
ToxicAdam
Banned
(07-25-2008, 07:27 PM)
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I will age myself here, but I was a runner back in the 80's for a few groups (ATC, FBR). I did mostly import stuff, but once in awhile got my hands on a 0 dayer from a major company (Dragon Wars being my biggest "get").

There were always a handful of games that took longer to crack than the others. Some games were out for months before a release hit. I remember Ocean had a batch of released games in the late 80's that had a new system that took the euros a while to figure out.

So, it's not unprecedented for games to be on the shelf for 30 days or more without a crack. Maybe in recent history, but not in the grand scheme of things.
PetriP-TNT
Member
(07-25-2008, 07:28 PM)
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I find the fact that AITD is not cracked yet VERY INTERESTING. Actually piracy-proof disc protections finally kicking in?
TheHeretic
Banned
(07-25-2008, 07:28 PM)

Originally Posted by gregor7777

Not so. Yes, both systems are vastly more secure than Windows, but that is the very reason they aren't the focus or those creating the virus.

Macs and Linux boxes are much more likely to have absolutely no anti virus software running. If you can create a virus for a mac you still target millions of people, windows boxes have far more loopholes and are more popular.

What evander said was pure nonsense. OSX and Linux are more secure by design.
Xapati
Member
(07-25-2008, 07:28 PM)

Originally Posted by TimeKillr

This.

Egostroking means they want to be first to crack and release a big-name release. AitD isn't a big-name release. It was, then everybody figured it out it was crap, and now nobody really cares anymore.

The bigger PC groups (I won't name names!) don't do so much casual cracks, they tend to go after big releases that people actually download. As someone else said, if The Sims 3 uses this protection, you can bet your ass there's going to be a crack within the first 24 hours.

It's too bad we can't mention names. I find the piracy phenomenon very intriguing.

Anyway, DRM is shit and I refuse to buy anything that has it. I'd rather see PC gaming go to hell; fortunately that won't happen.
Kibs
Member
(07-25-2008, 07:29 PM)
At least they can't use piracy as an excuse for poor sales this time :p
BravoSuperStar
Member
(07-25-2008, 07:29 PM)
Nowadays, security guys break the Mac every single day. Every single day, they come out with a total exploit, your machine can be taken over totally. I dare anybody to do that once a month on the Windows machine. - Bill Gates
hc2
Junior Member
(07-25-2008, 07:30 PM)
Just checked on a site I know about. Alone In The Dark is cracked for the German language version. Some people have reported success in changing an .ini file to allow the English language version to work.
I personally do not use this particular site anymore, I last used it about 2 years ago but still have access (not sure why). I do not play enough games to warrant taking the chance of getting busted- I would rather buy a legal copy for $60 for peace of mind and freedom from fear of being busted. Besides, I like just dropping the dvd in and playing rather than downloading, transferring files, setting up dummy drives, etc. And I used to worry about trojans and rootkits contained in illegal downloads.
I used to think everything should be free and open source. My thinking has changed.

Edit:

Originally Posted by Xapati

It's too bad we can't mention names. I find the piracy phenomenon very intriguing.

Basically it involves getting stuff for free and being the first to crack/upload a game/movie/software/etc. I used to belong to a piracy network but it is not glamorous or exciting at all to me. b

Basically a new game or software comes out and some people who like doing this kind of stuff work on it 24/7. Then the group posts it and issues a bragging notice "We are the best!!". They get their egos stroked.
Unfortunately it is the highlight of their life. I would rather have something else to brag about- like something I created instead of stealing another person;'s efforts.
Also there are commercial pirates who sell the copies on the streets in a lot of places. Most movies that premier in New York or LA have a pirate version selling on the street a few blocks away. The copies are from screener versions, working prints, etc.
Evander
"industry expert"
(07-25-2008, 07:30 PM)

Originally Posted by TheHeretic

Macs and Linux boxes are much more likely to have absolutely no anti virus software running. If you can create a virus for a mac you still target millions of people, windows boxes have far more loopholes and are more popular.

What evander said was pure nonsense. OSX and Linux are more secure by design.

millions of people versus HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS of people.

You're an attention crazed programmer. Which are you going to go for?

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