Exactly! Wish they'd kept the brand up for that purpose.
TinyTower and DreamHeights are very different than Theme Hotel and SimTower. Two of these "games" (aka psychological manipulators) are designed to get you to buy inapp purchases, the other two are actual games.
Oh, come on, that's a distinction without any teeth. I'd say the bigger difference is that the first two are one unit per level, while the latter two allow horizontal expansion. The fact that two have microtransactions and the other two don't is mostly irrelevant.
This is a clear cut instance of collusion. They should be forced to continue to defend their patents or to release the patents to everyone on the same terms. Patent groups, from this shit to MPEG to BluRay to whatever, destroy innovation more than any individual patents do.
Collusion isn't bad, in and of itself. Say you hire someone to paint your house - you're technically "colluding". The issue is when it becomes an anti-trust violation. And the DoJ has looked at patent pools and determined that they're not always automatically anti-trust violations. They certainly can be, but the mere fact that the participants are "colluding" doesn't make it any worse than any other contract. Instead, there has to be things like illegal patent extension or unfair licensing based on market share or some other feature.
Software patents are absurd and a form of double dipping since software is already protected by copyright they should indeed be scrapped.
First, since when is double-dipping an issue? A design can be protected by both trade dress and design patents. A copyrighted character can also be a trademark (see, e.g., Mr. M. Mouse). The two protections are not coextensive, so what's wrong with having both?
Second, why are you arguing for copyright - with a lifetime+90 year term - as opposed to patents - with a 20 year from filing term? Copyright tends to be much more abusive in that way.
And third, software isn't well protected by copyright. Copyright is useful when that specific article is the one you want: you want Picasso's Guernica, not Billy Bob's Smear of Paint on a Wall; you want "The Avengers" movie, not the Mockbuster "The Revengers"; you want to read about Harry Potter and his Half-assed Plot or whatever Rowling has cranked out, not Larry Kotter and the Temple of Doom. It's why the RIAA/MPAA love copyright so much. And it works for operating systems, since you do want Mac OS or Windows as opposed to Marc OS or Winbows.
But it doesn't work very well for, say, TinyTower- er, DreamHeights- er, SimTower- er, Theme Hotel. Or, say, any one of these 78 games like Minecraft. Copyright doesn't protect against any rebuilding of the same game, provided different sprites and textures are used and the code is original, even if nearly identical. It doesn't prevent reverse engineering, and doesn't prevent the kind of copying Zynga specializes in.
I could also counter with the converse argument - consider I had an idea that could yield me a couple of thousand dollars a month but I can't due to a patent issue then
You patent your improvement on the existing patent, and then cross-license with the other patent owner. Or you go ahead with your idea, and pay a couple hundred a month to the patent owner. Either way, net win for you.
... benefit via first-to-market and the marketing power of their reputation.
Tell that to Nimblebit and everyone else Zynga has run over while being second-to-market.
That's true. But at least now western companies get scrutinized a lot more and are less able to get away with shit. The Chinese companies don't have anyone at home who give a shit about where they get the ore and what they do to get it. And they try to avoid any western reporting often with the help from the politicians there. So western media haven't been been reporting what the Chinese do or haven't been able to. I have talked to people who have or currently work in mining in Africa and anyone could ask them about things like Chinese refining operations using crap loads of mercury and just pumping it out into rivers or hidden tailing ponds hastily built. I just talked to a guy over coffee last Sunday, who flies into Guinea periodically on mining related business (mind you he's taking a pass until the Ebola outbreak is taken care of).
FWIW, I don't fret about what my ancestors did. I can't help that and don't subscribe to the idea that I have to pay for their sins or indiscretions other than to have to live with the world they left like everyone else. I worry about what we can do now, and even though western companies try to get away with whatever they can, face it, we do rein them in far, far better than the Chinese do with their "companies" (quotes because really, they are just another arm of the government when they want them to be).
Don't most Realtek codecs support A3D? I know the ALC662 in this machine does.
Then again, I use HDMI audio.
Obligatory mention of the Covox Speech Thing:
Including those bare speakers from Radio Shack.
Radio Shack once made some nice bang-for-the-buck budget audio under their "Realistic" brand.
Found this online, you need Perl's Chatbot::Eliza and espeak installed:
To save Slashdotters the time to actually click the link, pasted below.
srand( time ^ ($$ + ($$ command_interface;
my $you_say = 'hello';
while ( $you_say !~
$eliza_says = $mybot->transform( $you_say );
print $mybot->name, ": $eliza_says \n";
system ("espeak -ven+f3 \"$eliza_says\"");
print 'You : ';
$you_say = ;
Mod this guy informative! An AGP card that does HDMI!