Members of the //bit-tech// forums are reporting receiving letters from UK law firm Davenport Lyons demanding dosh – £520 and upwards – for ‘making available’ a range of games on peer-to-peer networks. If the money isn’t forthcoming, they threaten court action with a plentiful supply of legalese.

Well, hooey. So far the only people they’ve taken to court are individuals who ignored the letter and didn’t turn up on their court day – which resulted in a default victory for Davenport Lyons.

If you receive such a letter, **do not ignore it**. Instead, ask to see the ‘evidence’ that you made the software available. I’ve drafted a sample letter to send back to Davenport Lyons which //bit-tech// members have found useful.
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Eugh. If anyone ever tells you that Cat 6 UTP cabling is just as easy to work with as Cat 5e, tell them to bite your shiny metal ass.

Guess what //I’ve// been doing today. That’s right – crawling around a filthy loft space running cabling with a mind of its own. The rigid plastic guide inside the sheath might help keep the cable unkinked and ready for 10-Gig-E, but it certainly makes it a bugger to work with.

Still, it’ll all be worth it – 44 brand-spanking new Cat 6 network terminations going to a lovely dark blue wallmount rack with a couple of switches linked to a Gigabit fibre backbone back up to the main rack. Shame I’m not staying to enjoy the fruits of my labour, really.

I finally got around to recording just how long my Eee PC 701 lasts for under normal usage.

EeePC 701 Power History (23k image)
That’s with almost minimum brightness, playing music and browsing the ‘net. It’s not the greatest battery life ever, but pretty impressive for the size.

To be fair, I shut the system down when the battery light started to flash. The version of Unbuntu I have installed doesn’t read the battery life properly – despite reporting 28%, there was probably only about 10% left. I know that //last// time I left it running, expecting auto-shutdown, it ran out of juice and crashed hard.

My first change of career in six years. I’ve just had a ‘phone call from my friendly neighbourhood headhunter confirming that I am now (well, 4th August, anyway) employed by FrogTrade – a Halifax-based producer of magic Linux-based boxes that do everything a school could possibly ever want to do.

It’s a bit scary, but I’m looking forward to it all.

Now I’ve got to prepare my notice for my current job – I have a strange feeling that they’re not going to be particularly happy.

ugvmhalo3-1-thumb (12k image)The Halo 3 UGVM league is underway, with our team romping home to abject defeat in our first game. Getting thrashed at Slayer was one thing. Getting slaughtered at Rocket Race could be forgiven due to it being our first time on that mode. But managing to utterly fail at Crazy King was just embarrassing.

Thankfully, we were able to bring it back for the second match. Ending in a 1.5 point tie (tied Slayer, won Rocket Race, lost Crazy King) we’re at least able to put //some// points on the table.

The above shot, taken from our first Crazy King match, is an example of how ruthless our opponents were – ItshMe firing a rocket at SilverSparks, despite the presence of his teammate SomethingWitty in the blast zone. For the record, he manage to take Ceri out – at the cost of his own teammate. Stone cold killer, that one.

The wife and I are partaking in the UGVM Halo 3 Tournament over the next few weeks. A change from the old format, this time it’s 2v2 with three rounds per game – Rocket Race, Team Slayer, and Crazy King.

Everyone knows that Buckskin’ll win, of course – but unlike the last knockout format this is a points-based league, so even if we’re rubbish we’ll still get to play as many games as anyone else.

Stay tuned for match updates.

xbox360transfer (8k image)Microsoft has finally got around to releasing the Xbox 360 Licence Migration Tool, a method for people like me to transfer content from old consoles to new.

Y’see, each purchased download – whether that’s an add-on for a retail game, or an Xbox Live Arcade title – is licensed in two ways: on the console, and on the GamerTag. Any user of the console it was orginally purchased via can use the content, as can the owner of the GamerTag through which it was purchased. Which is great if you keep the same console for ever.

When I upgraded to an Elite, however, I ran into a snag. Although the transfer cable shuffled all my downloaded content off the old 20GB drive and onto the new 120GB, it //didn’t// transfer the licences. Although //I// could still play all the downloaded content, Ceri couldn’t. Well, unless I was signed in.

As an example, say Ceri wanted to play Crackdown with the additional content I’ve paid for. She’d turn the Xbox on, sign in, pick up the second controller, sign //me// in, switch back to her desktop, load the game. Somewhat cumbersome, I’m sure you’ll agree – but the only way she can use the content on the new console.

This new tool does away with that, and gathers any titles your GamerTag has bought into one big bundle that then gets authenticated to a single console. Which means //all// my content works with my new console, no messing. There are restrictions – you can only use it once every twelve months, for example – but it’s a lot better than nothing.

The only downside: you have to re-download your content in order to get the new licensing information. As it’s kindly told me I’ve got 530 individual licences, I could be some time…

Oh, and a word of warning: it wouldn’t work properly for me in Firefox 3.0, but it worked fine in Internet Explorer. Cheers, Microsoft. Not.

When I write articles for bit-tech I occasionally happen upon a topic that a full-time staffer is writing about. When this happens, one of the stories gets put on the long spike – usually mine. Below is one such story, which I figured I’d reclaim from the archives and post here – despite it being somewhat outdated.
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