Daily Archives: August 4, 2009

Who Owns Podcasting?

As a podcast listener and occasional guest on shows like Shut Up We’re Talking and Witty Ranter, I have a mild vested interest in podcasting.

So it was with some interest that I read about a company called VoloMedia that was granted a patent last week for “method for providing episodic media content.”  Or, as it has been immediately spun, podcasting.

A detailed account is posted over at Ars Technica.

If you deliver episodic content over the internet, they believe they own you.  Podcasts are part of it, but VoloMedia is aiming for anybody delivering episodic content as downloads.

Of course, this is going to cause some controversy.

I have to imagine that those involved with creating RSS are going to have a few words to say on the subject.

And then there is Sun Microsystems, now owned by Oracle, who it is claimed invented podcasting starting with work done back in 1999.

And, frankly, there has been podcast-like technology in progress for well over a decade.

How soon before Adam Curry speaks out on the subject?

Myself, I suspect that this will amount to very little in the end.  Prior art will nip this in the bud.

We’ll see if I come to regret that opinion.

My Interests with WoW Patch 3.2

It looks like patch 3.2 has arrived at last and is bringing a boat load of changes.  WoW.com has the release notes for the patch posted and has guides to changes in specific areas.

The aspect of the patch I have been looking forward to is the change in mounts.

  • The cast time for summoning any ground mount is now 1.5 seconds, down from 3 seconds.
  • Apprentice Riding (Skill 75): Can now be learned at level 20 for 4 gold. Mail will be sent to players who reach level 20 directing them to the riding trainer.
  • Journeyman Riding (Skill 150): Can now be learned at level 40 for 50 gold. Mail will be sent to players who reach level 40 directing them back to the riding trainer.
  • Expert Riding (Skill 225): Can now be learned at level 60 for 600 gold from trainers in Honor Hold or Thrallmar. Faction discounts now apply (Honor Hold for Alliance; Thrallmar for Horde). Flight speed at this skill level has been increased to 150% of run speed, up from 60%.
  • Artisan Riding (Skill 300): Faction discounts now apply (Honor Hold or Valiance Expedition for Alliance; Thrallmar or Warsong Offensive for Horde).
  • In order to further equalize the number of purchasable mounts available to each race, a new 60% speed ground mount has been added for night elves, and a new 100% speed ground mount has been added for the undead.
  • Flying over Dalaran and Wintergrasp is now possible so long as players keep a healthy distance above the ground.

You get them earlier, they cost less, everybody is happy.  I have been holding off on buying the epic flying mount for my level 80 hunter because I knew a price break on the skill was coming as a part of this patch.

One item elsewhere in the release notes surprised me a bit:

Tome of Cold Weather Flight: New heirloom item. Players who have reached level 80 can now purchase this book for 1,000 gold from Hira Snowdawn, the Cold Weather Flying Trainer in Dalaran. Similar to other heirloom items, this item can be mailed to other characters of the same realm, account and faction. The book is consumed when read training the character in Cold Weather Flying. Requires level 68.

So when you get to level 80 you can get cold weather flying for your alts so they can fly through Northrend from day one.

Another expected change, the accumulation of experience in battlegrounds has its own system built around it now:

  • Players will now be awarded experience for completing objectives and actions that yield honor in Battlegrounds (honorable kills not included).
  • Players who do not wish to gain experience through PvP can visit Behsten in Stormwind or Slahtz in Orgrimmar – both located near the Battlemasters in either city – and turn off all experience accumulation for the cost of 10 gold.
  • Disabling experience gains will prevent a player from gaining experience through any means available in the game.
  • Players with experience gains turned off who compete in Battlegrounds will face off only against other players with experience gains turned off.
  • Behsten and Slahtz can reinstate experience gains for players, for a 10 gold fee of course. Any experience that would’ve been accumulated if experience gains were enabled cannot be recovered.

So you can turn off experience gain now, or turn it back on, for 10 gold.  What isn’t clear to me is, if you turn off experience will you get gold in place of experience for doing quests, the way you currently do if you are at level cap?  I am going to guess that the answer is no since they did not mention it.

And then, of interest to me, is a heap of changes to the engineering profession, the chosen trade skill path of Vikund, may main.  While I despair about the usefulness of engineering from time to time, I always find something to keep me going with it.  New with 3.2 are a Wormhole generator for travel in Northrend, a new deluxe repair bot, and a steam powered auctioneer in Dalaran available only to Grand Master Engineers.  If only I did not crash every time I entered Dalaran.

A big patch day, so I imagine things will be a bit shakey for the balance of the week.  Blizzard has already extended the downtime for today because of the patch.

Now how many of my alts are going to be getting epic ground mounts soon?

First Run in the Sushi Boat

My mining alt finally skilled up to the point where he could fly the Dominix battleship I have equipped as an AFK level 4 mission runner and dubbed “Sushi Boat” due to the fact that the Domi looks… well… somewhat fishy.

I had all the modules together, detailed in my previous post about the Domi, plus a stack of Ogre heavy drones in the drone bay to provide the offensive firepower.

Now I just had to try it out.

I decided for a first run that perhaps I should go with a level 3 mission, just to see how things played out.  I went to the local level 3 agent for Amarr Navy and drew Gone Berserk, a straightforward “go blow up some hostile ships” mission.

I flew out to the mission location and set to work.  I used the 425mm rail gun I had fitted to get the attention of the bad guys.

Reach out and touch someone...

Reach out and touch someone...

Then, when the room was lit up and hostile to me, I turned on the modules and let loose the drones.

Ogre on the way!

Ogre on the way!

Then I sat back and watched how things developed.  I wanted to make sure that all the waves of bad guys went after my Dominix and not the drones and that the drones would take care of business.

It was a bit difficult to watch.  I fly Caldari ships and have been, in the past, all about shield tanking.  Now I had to sit still and watch the shields fade.

Where I usually panic

Where I usually panic

The armor repair units kept up even when all the waves were on me, never letting damage get beyond where you see it in the picture above.  I should hope that would be the case for a level 3 mission, but theory is different than seeing it actually happen.

I had loaded up a couple of tractor beams and a salvager in the high slots along with the gun, so I was able to loot while the drones did the work.

The true test came when the neighbor knocked on our door and I truly had to go AFK during the mission.

I returned to find the Dominix alone amongst the wrecks of the enemy ships, with all of the drones orbiting and still intact.

Then it was just a matter of post-mission clean up.

Reeling in the salvage

Reeling in the salvage

The trial mission was a success.

Now I have to pull a level 4 mission and see how it works out.  I still need to get a couple more levels of Gallente battleship, which boosts drone hit points and damage, as well as a couple levels of heavy drone operations before I think I am really ready.