Author Archives: Desiree Samples

What method does Larry’s route take?

In chapter 2  of Where Wizards Stay Up Late, (on pages 48 and 49) the authors talk about Larry’s route. I found this particularly interesting, because in one of my classes, Artificial Intelligence, we were refreshing ourselves on ways to get from one point to another in a graph.

We went over : depth-first searches(DFS), uniform-cost Search(UCS), and breadth-first Search(BFS).

The numbers in the bubbles represent the order in which the graph would be searched. Only in a uniform-cost search do the numbers on the line matter before the end. In a uniform-cost search, you explore routes that have the lowest cost first.

So, my question while reading the book is:

Does he use some combination of these algorithms to decide a route from place to place, or does he just figure it out on his own? And if he just figures it out on his own, what must his thought process have been?


Review of Beastie Boys Say They Don’t Want Music In Ads, But Fair Use Doesn’t Care

Author: Mike Masnick

Article can be read: here

The Beastie Boys note:

Like many of the millions of people who have seen your toy commercial “GoldieBlox, Rube Goldberg & the Beastie Boys,” we were very impressed by the creativity and the message behind your ad.

We strongly support empowering young girls, breaking down gender stereotypes and igniting a passion for technology and engineering.

As creative as it is, make no mistake, your video is an advertisement that is designed to sell a product, and long ago, we made a conscious decision not to permit our music and/or name to be used in product ads.

When we tried to simply ask how and why our song “Girls” had been used in your ad without our permission, YOU sued US.


The Beastie Boys did not sue Goldie Blox. The issue with this is that the note is interpretted by the company to be copyright infringement. So in response, they filed for a declaratory judgement. This is not a lawsuit, but used to delcare that it is indeed fair use.

It has been stated by the band that they do not want their music appearing in advertisements, but this does not matter. ” If the use is considered fair use, then it can be used. Period. There is no clause in fair use law that says “except if someone’s will says otherwise.” The very point of fair use is that you don’t need permission and you don’t need a license. ”


Review of Russian Hackers Amass Over a Billion Internet Passwords

Author: Nicole Perlroth and David Gelles

This article can be read: here

This is an article about Russian hackers acquiring 1.2 billion usernames and passwords to users accounts. This Russian crime ring has the largest known collection of internet credentials gathered from 420,000 websites. The hackers did not just target US companies, but instead targeted any website they could get access to, from small internet sites to larger more well known sites. This hacking was discovered by Hold Security from Milwaukee. Sadly, there is worry among many in the security community that it is becoming increasingly hard to defend against information thievery.


This is a really scary thought for me, as someone who knows nothing about internet security, that even experts on security are worried that they won’t be able to protect my accounts. These accounts are part of me. If someone hacked my facebook account and went around talking about things as me, they would be taking over a part of my social space. Or if they somehow got access to my credit card information from amazon or some other place I would buy from.

Review of Planning for Digital Death

Author: Michael E. Locasto, Mike Massimi, Peter J. DePasquale

This article can be downloaded: here

This is an article about what we should do about someone’s digital footprint after death. It covers topics such as: Do we delete all their social media accounts? What happens to their email? Does it just sit there and accrue millions of emails over the years?

They define identity with “We see identity as including (1) credentials (i.e., usernames, passwords, passphrases, email addresses, public keys, certificates, identifiers, roles, password “hint” questions and answers, SiteKey phrases and pictures) used to authenticate to the service and authorize different uses, (2) user preferences for interacting with that online identity, (3) personal information (i.e., names, account numbers, address, contact information, date of birth, sex) stored by the service, and (4) content (e.g., account balances, comments, links, likes, posts, medical ailments) generated during the interaction of the user with the service.”

Review of Youtube Unleashes Strange Storm of Copyright Claims on Video Game Content Producers

Author: Paul Tassi

Article can be found: here

Youtube content creators have traditionally gone through approved services to make games content, such as video reviews on games or playthroughs. They were originally protected under the idea that  their work helps sell the product they’re talking about. Yet technically they were using copyright footage/music in their videos. This tended to go unaddressed due to the free press until Youtube released an official statement on the matter.


According to the article, some YouTubers are recieving notices that have  nothing to do with the companies that made the games they’re talking about.

Review of IP Protection for Games Brochure

This is a brochure created by: Bradford C. Blaise, D. Benjamin Esplin, and James G. Gatto.

The full brochure can be downloaded: here

The whole brochure is an attempt by the Pillsbury Law Firm to reach out to game developers about acquiring IP protection for their games.

Is the “idea” of a game protectable? This is one of the first topics this brochure addresses. According to this brochure, copying within the game industry is prevalent, and many believe that this is just the way it is and this is the way it will continue to be.

The brochure recognizes that patents are one of the most misunderstood forms of IP protection for games. The belief that one cannot patent a game is a gross over-generalization. “Patents cover various features, functions and processes within a game, and the technological components of game platforms, among other things. Patents also are available for innovative business methods that are developed for use in or with games (e.g, business methods to monetize games).”

A couple other misconcetptions are:

It takes too long to get a patent/the game will be obsolete by the time it issues.

They say that while it can take 1-3 years to acquire the patent, this does not mean that it will be completely worthless by the time it is acquired.


Patents are too expensive.

They counter this by saying that $20-$30,000 may seem like a lot, but given that games make millions, it may be worth it to protect one’s games so that they cannot be stolen by others.