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Whoah, Small Spender! Steam Sets Limits For Users Who Spend Less Than $5 229

As GameSpot reports, Valve has implemented a policy that reduces the privileges of Steam users unless those users have spent $5 through the service. Along the same lines as suggestions to limit spam by imposing a small fee on emails, the move is intended to reduce resource abuse as a business model. From the article: "Malicious users often operate in the community on accounts which have not spent any money, reducing the individual risk of performing the actions they do," Valve said. "One of the best pieces of information we can compare between regular users and malicious users are their spending habits as typically the accounts being used have no investment in their longevity. Due to this being a common scenario we have decided to restrict certain community features until an account has met or exceeded $5.00 USD in Steam." Restricted actions include sending invites, opening group chats, and taking part in the Steam marketplace.
The Media

Netflix Blinks, Will Pay Comcast For Network Access 520

We've mentioned several times the tension between giant streaming sources (especially Netflix), and ISPs (especially Comcast, especially given that it may merge with Time-Warner). Now, Marketwatch reports that Netflix has agreed to pay Comcast (amount undisclosed) for continued smooth access to Comcast's network customers, "a landmark agreement that could set a precedent for Netflix's dealings with other broadband providers, people familiar with the situation said." From the article: "In exchange for payment, Netflix will get direct access to Comcast's broadband network, the people said. The multiyear deal comes just 10 days after Comcast agreed to buy Time Warner Cable TWC -0.79% Inc., which if approved would establish Comcast as by far the dominant provider of broadband in the U.S., serving 30 million households" I wonder how soon until ISPs' tiered pricing packages will become indistinguishable from those for cable TV, with grouped together services that vary not just in throughput or quality guarantees, but in what sites you can reach at each service level, or which sports teams are subject to a local blackout order.

Comment Re:You laugh, and we profit. (Score 1) 247

Sigh.... there is no -1/Wrong moderation....

Dude, you have serious reading comprehension problems.
The original parent wrote (reemphasizing different word in quote):

some of us are pulling in 20-30% profits per day *TRADING* these "silly" Bitcoins

He was talking about trading bitcoints, not mining for them. Trading is not energy-intensive process (mining is).
And in trading, you can have profits during the crash as well as during the rise.

That said however, doubt the OP is profiting that much each day - average profit margin i probably less (and speculating on the wrong side can make nasty cuts in this volatile market)


Microsoft Antitrust Oversight Ends 289

dcblogs writes "The US Department of Justice remedies supervision in the Microsoft antitrust case ends Thursday, closing the landmark case, which began in 1998. But the questions posed by trial federal Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson's attempted remedy remain: Did tech innovation suffer over the last 10 years because Microsoft wasn't broken up? 'Not really,' said Vinton Cerf, Google's chief Internet evangelist, 'It has to do with the fact that open source has become such a strong force in the software world.'"

Comment Re:will he go to jail? (Score 1) 280

Criminal laws do no not require an injured party to claim damages. You are confusing them with civil laws and contracts.

True. However if the law is unjust - punishes people who did not do any reasonable harm - it is a moral imperative to struggle against such law.

But you are a "libertarian": a corporate anarchist. You don't understand government; you want to eliminate it and take your chances with corporate powers. But we have a government, because we've seen how those autocratic orgs abuse the rights and property of the people.

Baseless ad-hominem attack; also prescribing qualities and wantings for the person from thin air - he has not said anything about eliminating government in his post.

You also don't understand the most basic economics: the ounce of silver in those "dollars" was worth $10-19, averaging about $14, through 1999, but was sold for $20 (legitimate dollars). If the fake dollar's silver were worth "quite a bit more than the face value of US coin", this crook would have been losing money on every sale. Which qualifies him to be a "libertarian".

It's you who does not understand the (economics of the) situation. Those (liberty) dollars were not stamped with face value of 20 Dollar, they were stamped with face value of 1 Dollar (if I am not mistaken here; if I am - see the end of the argument) - and your argument above unravels because of this simple fact.

Think about it. The basic premise of grand-grand-parent (metlin) was that the man tried to deceive the users by making his liberty dollars (LD henceforth) very similar by design to the fed dollars (USD henceforth). So the supposed issue here is that somebody will be confused and accept LD instead of USD.
There are two cases:
EITHER the confusion/deception occurs during the original maker X-->initial buyer Y transaction.
OR the confusion/deception occurs during the intermediate holder Y -->another person Z transaction.
In the first case there can be no confusion: Y pays X a sum of 20USD (form you post - I am not sure for what price LDs were sold) and receives a coin of 1LD. He can not be confused to believe 1USD == 1LD because he would then demand 20LDs for his 20USD.
In the second case confusion may occur - the receiver Z may confuse 1LD for 1USD, but in this case Z obtains 1LD coin, silver content of which is valued "10-19 USD, averaging about 14 USD" (according to your post) instead of 1USD.

The fact that 1LD was sold above the spot silver price is normal. Coins always command some seigniorage ( above spot bullion prices - to cover expenses of the minter.

PS In the unlikely case that LDs were stamped with the face value of 20 Dollar, there again can be no deception. AFAIK there are no official, government issued coins of 20USD denomination .

Comment Re:A real shame (Score 2) 394

what guys like Lenin did, from the barbaric stuff that people like Stalin did.

That made me laugh. Care to enlighten us what barbaric stuff Stalin did, what Lenin did not
(or to put more correctly: what barbaric stuff was being done in Stalin times and in Lenin times).

a quick note, to take some options from the table: concentration camps existed in both Stalin and Lenin times, and are even older. I don't know who invented this concept, but if I am not mistaken, they were already known as concept and operational in Anglo-Boer War times (~1900ies)


Porsche Unveils 911 Hybrid With Flywheel Booster 197

MikeChino writes "Porsche has just unveiled its 911 GT3 R Hybrid, a 480 horsepower track vehicle ready to rock the 24-hour Nurburgring race this May. Porsche's latest supercar will use the same 911 production platform available to consumers today, with a few race-ready features including front-wheel hybrid drive and an innovative flywheel system that stores kinetic energy from braking and then uses it to provide a 160 horsepower burst of speed. The setup is sure to offer an advantage when powering out of turns and passing by other racers."

8 Catfish = 1 Octo-puss