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Comment: Re:I thought that was Nintendo's failure... (Score 1) 153

by Gingernads (#49159349) Attached to: Is Sega the Next Atari?

The thing is, easy piracy increases console sales.

Maybe in Europe and the 2nd and 3rd world, but not in the US, CA, NZ, AU, UK and Japan. Which...not-surprisingly, are the places with low piracy rates where people are actually willing to buy games.

The thing is, easy piracy increases console sales.

Maybe in Europe and the 2nd and 3rd world, but not in the US, CA, NZ, AU, UK and Japan. Which...not-surprisingly, are the places with low piracy rates where people are actually willing to buy games.

Piracy was rampant on both PlayStation and PlayStation 2 in the UK. This was largely because these generations coincided with the mass commoditisation of CD and then DVD burners in PCs. People may have been willing to buy games. However, willingness and ability are not the same thing. Many gamers had huge collections that they couldn't possibly have acquired legitimately. I can't speak for orher regions but I suspect the same would have been true.

Comment: Re:Valve... (Score 2) 105

by Gingernads (#41498205) Attached to: EA Makes Minor Tweaks To FIFA 12 For the Wii, Releases It As FIFA 13

Plus, even after both games have been out for over three years now, they can still be played, there are still servers for them.

Is it still possible to play FIFA 10 online?

I stopped buying EA Sports games after buying Tiger Woods 11 in mid 2011' only for the online features to be removed before the year was out, presumably to encourage buyers on to Tiger Woods 12. I expect more than 6 months of value from a game.

Comment: Re:Definitely NOT FREE (Score 1) 180

by Gingernads (#41376683) Attached to: Verizon Offers Free Tethering Because It Has To

They don't offer free tethering because you have to pay for what you consume.

That other companies have the temerity to charge you extra just for the privilege of tethering is a whole other problem. That would be like the water company charging you extra for the privilege of using water to wash with instead of just drinking it.

The fact is, we pay for data plans, unlimited or metered. Either way, it should be ours to do as we wish with! The telcos should not be allowed (should not have any right) to impose on us any kinds of fees or limitations on what we have purchased from them. End of story.

Tethering charges on mobile phones are equivalent to the water company charging you more for attaching a hose to your tap so you can water your garden. Gouging, pure and simple. To those who say "but people watch videos and stuff on their laptops but just check email on their phones", plenty of people watch video on their phones and many only use their laptops for email. Don't make sweeping assumptions about everyone. The logical outcome to this scenario is charging for data usage by app type. Tethering obscures that, so precludes any move to that sort of business model. I paid for a set amount of data, not any consumption velocity or data type restrictions. If I wanted to use my month's allowance in less than an hour by streaming some HD video, then that's my choice. The way it works right now, lots of mobile networks are under-provisioned, meaning that even if I want to spend more money on heavy data usage, they aren't in any position to sell it to me. Don't even get me started on their "unlimited*" (*limited) marketing bullshit. How long can these phone companies and ISPs keep going without providing what their customers actually want?

Comment: Re:remember that raise you didn't get? (Score 1) 469

by Gingernads (#40664737) Attached to: US "the Enemy" Says Dotcom Judge
"We live in a global economy, and I would hate to have to revert back to only a local economy." The corporations live in a global economy. The summary talks about criminalising those who work around region codes. Region codes are there specifically to thwart people trying to benefit from a global economy. You will pay the price the corporations want you to pay based on where you live, while they surf the world's lowest cost economies for their benefits. I appreciate this benefits their shareholders, who are usually the same people getting the shaft from region codes and the like. Wouldn't it be better if those same shareholders could see the bigger picture and benefits to everyone of not locking down local markets.

Comment: Re: epitome of globalization (Score 1) 141

by Gingernads (#40057177) Attached to: Jaguar and Land Rover Angle For Production In China
Near where I live there is a new Mini that parks next to a Volvo, I just had to photograph the comparison: http://bit.ly/L7Yq7Q As a lover of the original Mini, it's shocking just how far they have strayed from the template whilst still having the cheek to call it a Mini. BMW missed a trick, they really should have re-launched the Maxi.

What To Do About an Asteroid That Has a 1 In 625 Chance of Hitting Us In 2040? 412

Posted by Soulskill
from the ignore-it-until-2039-and-then-panic dept.
The Bad Astronomer writes "The asteroid 2011 AG5 is 140 meters across: football-stadium-sized. Its orbit isn't nailed down well enough to say yet, but using what's currently known, there's a 1 in 625 chance it will impact the Earth in 2040. It's behind the Sun until September 2013, and more observations taken then will probably reduce the odds of impact to something close to 0. But does it make sense to wait until then to start investigating a mission to deflect it away our planet? Astronomers are debating this right now, and what they conclude may pave the way for how we deal with an asteroid threat in the future."

Math Textbooks a Textbook Example of Bad Textbooks 446

Posted by samzenpus
from the bottom-of-the-barrel dept.
theodp writes "Over at Salon, Annie Keeghan does an Upton Sinclair number on the math textbook industry. In recent years, Keeghan explains, math has become the subject du jour due to government initiatives and efforts to raise the rankings of lagging U.S. students. But with state and local budgets constrained, math textbook publishers competing for fewer available dollars are rushing their products to market before their competitors, resulting in product that in many instances is inherently, tragically flawed. Keeghan writes: 'There may be a reason you can't figure out some of those math problems in your son or daughter's math text and it might have nothing at all to do with you. That math homework you're trying to help your child muddle through might include problems with no possible solution. It could be that key information or steps are missing, that the problem involves a concept your child hasn't yet been introduced to, or that the math problem is structurally unsound for a host of other reasons.' The comments on Keeghan's article are also an eye-opener — here's a sample: 'Sales and marketing budgets are astronomical because the expenses pay off more than investments in product. Sadly, most teachers are not curriculum experts and are swayed by the surface pitches. Teachers make the decisions, but are not the users (students) nor are they spending their own money. As a result, products that make their lives easier and that come with free meals and gifts are the most successful.' So, can open source or competitions build better math textbooks?"

Chrome Users Are Best With Numbers, IE Users Worst 203

Posted by Soulskill
from the reopening-a-can-of-worms dept.
New submitter dr_blurb writes "After reading about last year's hoax report 'Intelligence Quotient (IQ) and Browser Usage' I realized I was in fact already running a real live experiment measuring number skills: a site were you can solve Calcudoku number puzzles. I analyzed two years' worth of data, consisting of over 1 million solved puzzles. This included puzzles solved 'against the clock,' of three different sizes. For each size, Chrome users were the fastest solvers, Firefox users came second, and IE users were the slowest. The number of abandoned puzzles (started but never finished) was also significantly higher for IE users. Analysis shows that the differences are statistically significant: in other words, they did not happen by chance. I put up more details and some graphs, and also wrote a paper about it (PDF)."

Tapeheads and the Quiet Return of VHS 446

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the what-won't-hipsters-do-next dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "Joshua Phillips writes that something was lost when videos went from magnetic tape and plastic, to plastic discs, and now to digital streams as browsing aisles is no more and the once-great video shops slowly board up their windows across the country. Future generations may know little of the days when buying a movie meant you owned it even if the Internet went down and when getting a movie meant you had to scour aisles of boxes in search of one whose cover art called back a story that echoed your interests. Josh Johnson, one of the filmmakers behind the upcoming documentary 'Rewind This!' hopes to tell the story of how and why home video came about, and how it changed our culture giving B movies and films that didn't make the silver screen their own chance to shine. 'Essentially, the rental market expanded, because of voracious consumer demand, into non-blockbuster, off-Hollywood video content which would never have had a theatrical life otherwise,' says Palmer. While researching the documentary Palmer found something interesting: there is a resurgence taking place of people going back to VHS because a massive number of films are 'trapped on VHS' with 30 and 40 percent of films released on VHS never to be seen again on any other format. 'Most of the true VHS fanatics are children of the 1980s,' says Palmer. 'Whether they are motivated by a sense of nostalgia or prefer the format for the grainy aesthetic qualities of magnetic tape or some other reason entirely unknown, each tapehead is unique like a snowflake.'"

Spider Silk Cape Goes On Display 96

Posted by samzenpus
from the 1-million-thread-count dept.
fangmcgee writes "Before anyone asks, no, it's not bulletproof. But that doesn't mean that the glistening yellow cape—the world's largest garment made entirely from spider silk—isn't a massive feat of engineering to be marveled. Now on public display for the first time at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, the textile gets its unearthly gleam from the undyed filaments of the golden orb spider, a species of arachnid commonly found in Madagascar."
The Military

Navy May Use Mine-Detecting Dolphins In the Straight of Hormuz 204

Posted by Soulskill
from the more-effective-than-mutated-sea-bass dept.
New submitter cervesaebraciator writes "The Atlantic Wire reports that the Navy has a tested solution to the possible mining of the Strait of Hormuz. The Navy has 80 dolphins in San Diego Bay trained to use their own sonar to detect mines. When they find the mines, the dolphins drop an acoustic transponder nearby, so that human divers might return to defuse it. Retired Adm. Tim Keating cannot say, however, whether the dolphins will be used in the Straight." The Obama administration has reportedly warned Iran that closing the Strait would provoke an American response.
User Journal

Journal: First thoughts: Star Wars - The Old Republic 6

Journal by RogueyWon
I wasn't going to play Star Wars: The Old Republic. I have umpteen other games to play, plus I'm in the process of actually trying to buy a house, sorting out some fairly substantial family issues and having problems with mad neighbours. A new MMO was the last thing I needed. And yet, here I am, with a level 29 Jedi Shadow (tank spec).

Kleeneness is next to Godelness.