I'm in awe of this. I use Netflix on my laptop and on my Wii (as it has built in Wifi) but not on my original type XBox 360 so I didn't know that Netflix required XBox Gold to be able to use. That is just the epitome of stupid. I would be so angry if I had subscribed to Netflix thinking I'd stream through the XBox just to find out I had to pay Microsoft money for the privilege of doing it through their console.
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The problem with what you are saying there is that I own a few games (Braid, Shadow Complex) that I bought from Live Arcade on my account. I can play these games on my XBox without any internet connection required at all at this point. In fact, for the longest time the only way I could even get net access on my XBox was to patch it through my laptop which was far too annoying to do for more than getting an update.
The only time I would need to have an internet connection would be if I moved the authorization for my account to another console with the original online. Then I would need the connection to move the account back over the original machine to be able to use it.
If I move the authorization over to a second console while the first console is unplugged from the internet so it never discovers that I've deauthorized it then I can use the games on both machines at the same time. I had actually done this at one point when I was running tests on a friends XBox that I had taken apart to repair and update.
I personally despise this idea of going to the store and buying a physical game disc for a single player offline game only to not be able to play it if I can not keep internet access up and working on my XBox. I'll accept that for any game that is online multiplayer only but I refuse to be online for a game that is single player.
I have no problem voting with my wallet on this either. I own copies of Warcraft 2 & 3 and their addons, Diablo 1 & Hellfire, Diablo 2 & Lord of Destruction, Starcraft 1 and Brood War and Starcraft 2: WOL. I also played WoW up through Lich King. I was looking forward to playing Diablo 3 when it came out until I discovered I could not play it when offline. Diablo 3 ended up being one of the only Blizzard games that I have not bought and it was entirely because of the always online requirement. I was fine with WoW needing a connection at all times because it's the nature of the game type. Diablo 2 might have been better with multiple players but it also worked just fine solo and I would imagine D3 is the same as you can play in a private game by yourself, albeit not in an offline mode.
So if Microsoft continues with this concept they have going on they will not be seeing another console purchase from me.
Ah, what's funny about the comments chain on here is how people keep talking about Fiat currencies and pointing towards gold as being something more stable.
Yet, all I've heard about for the last 5-6 years is advertising talking about rising gold values and "Buy gold now!" and the only place that leads me is to people intentionally inflating the bubble so they can profit and be out of it before the gold bubble pops.
It would be nice if this turns out not to be so but I for one am not putting any wealth into gold as a long term investment.
While some good things might coming of this in the long run it's not really helping in the short term for a lot of people.
One of the most basic rules of people running businesses is that they do not like adding new expenses unless they absolutely have to. The fees for not providing affordable insurance seem designed to force businesses into actually providing but there are too many companies who are taking a look at it and opting instead to do the opposite.
The rules say that a business only has to provide "affordable" insurance to people who are full time, which is shown in the bill as 30 hours or more on average over a six month consecutive stretch during the previous year. So with the fines starting next year companies are choosing to remove their full time workers and instead refuse to give them any hours over the 29 that keeps them in the zone of part time workers.
This means that the people who already were having the toughest time surviving without insurance now not only have to find another job to be able to bring their income back up, possibly at another company that will refuse to give them full time work. Let this run out one year from now and you've got people working two jobs, neither which provide this affordable insurance so they are forced to buy it on their own or pay their own version of the fine.
So long as the subsidies that are supposed to be in place work the fines might not be a major issue but people having to remove two jobs from the marketplace instead of just one in order to survive will not suddenly become fixed simply with an insurance subsidy.
One of the biggest problems I have with the act is that "Affordable" insurance is considered 9% or less of the employees gross Income. For jobs that pay the bare minimum this 9% value is going to be very small which means that it will be extra hard for an employer to find something that will fit the bill without them putting in a hefty amount of the premiums. This makes the idea of going to part time work only for their workers sound far better than actually incurring the extra expenses. A company that already pays a fair wage might not find this as difficult and may not choose to make the choice of doing only part time workers.
I'm really not looking forward to the next year of watching insurance companies complain about the new law while reporting record profits as the people who couldn't afford insurance before have their lives made even harder.
This for certain. I own a copy of this book and read it quite a few times.
The other one that holds that honor is http://www.amazon.com/Michael-Abrashs-Graphics-Programming-Special/dp/1576101746
I learned a tremendous amount from this book on how to optimize code. It's say it's shaped my whole programming viewpoint.
But that is not what RMS was complaining about. If they had been the greatest saints on earth, and if they had donated all the income from sales to some good cause, Stallman's criticism would have been exactly the same: Kazaa was evil because it wasn't so-called "free" software.
Actually, this is exactly what he was complaining about. Kazaa was a closed system and you had to use their software to connect to their network. Because of this they could make decisions like forcing installations of spyware onto your machine when you installed their software. If Kazaa were open-sourced they only could have done this for a short period of time before any number of people would get fed up with it and removed it from the source. It is much harder to change a binary (and keep changing it as new versions come out) but still by no means impossible.
I'll bite at this:
A lot of software during the start of the spyware era came with spyware that would silently install and they were annoying but you could uninstall the spyware and keep using the software. Some pieces of software actually builts checks into it that if you had uninstalled the Spyware they would refuse to run, I do not remember anymore if Kazaa were one of these.
In an open source version of the same software people could bundle the software with spyware and they could even make it refuse to work the same way. However, all it would take would be one person who could change the software to no longer require the malware and share that with the others.
These days this same malware comes as options or "recommendations" when installing software and if you are on guard you can uncheck the box. I've personally stopped using programs like Yahoo Messenger and Azureus(Vuze) because they actually started to attempt to hide the opt-out checkboxes for the extra software downloads. Yahoo Messenger went so far as to ignore all the conventions as to what a check box is supposed to look like in order to make it harder to notice.
So I vote with my installations and considering I'm the person who tends to make all the recommendations to my friends about what is decent software to use I've also talked others out of using the same crap. In the Kazaa days I used to go out of my way to clean off friends computers and install something else that was not burdened in this way and help show them how to use the new stuff.
I gave up my mod points on this article to put this +1 Informative in this response. It's too bad I couldn't push it up to 6 instead.
When this research gets verified I'm very curious to see what other surprises are found using this new technique.
Actually thinking about it I'd trust the guy more for this.
Keeping his academic papers secret until he is ready to publish them is important but hardly worth putting extreme amounts of work into. To me that says that he's putting the effort into doing the research instead of simply protecting his research and has his priorities straight.
It's slightly scary more people saw it as informative than Funny.
I worked a liquor department and I saw this happen a few times with different things.
Once they managed to screw up the price on 24 pack cans of Bud Light when they priced it at the sale price for the 12 pack cans. The shelf had the correct price on it but the computer did not. Customers went nuts and after I tried to get the pricing department to fix it and got blown off I actively started to tell the customers about it. It was scary to see how customers loved "putting one over on the man".
Another time they took a $19.99 bottle of Jameson's Irish Whiskey and repriced it to $1.99. That day I took them all off of the shelf and did not put up the price sign until I got pricing to fix it, which was a few days. I figured the first customer to try to buy one would take the whole stock anyways.
I personally avoid Dora & Diego as much as I can. After having to live with kids who were addicted to the shows and seeing just how shallow the shows are I can't stand anything of that sort anymore. At first I appreciated how the show attempted to draw the kids into playing along with the show by making them stand up, jump, stretch and speak words along with the show but I've rarely seen kids actually do any of those things when watching it. I also came to resent Dora always asking what the childs favorite part was then saying "That was my favorite part too!". And don't get me started on the musical spots in the newer episodes that feel heavily tacked on and devoid of any real musical ability.
Personally, the kids show that stands out to me the most is The Backyardigans. While it follows the same basic script guidelines every time those guidelines leave amazing flexibility for the scripts to be different instead of just cookie cutouts of each other. The characters are very likable even though each has their own personality issues though they even take the time to fit those into the episodes as well. Certainly get me started on the music of the show as well. After having a single DVD episode on in the background one day I spent the next two days singing the music from it. They deal with various musical themes in each show and the characters are always dancing along the music. I even have my favorite episodes of the show, some for the fact that they are fun stories but mainly because I adore the music. It's so rare to see a kids show that actually deals with harmonies and various layers of music instead of things just being flat and dull. I'd suggest checking out "We are the Do-Gooders" from the "Special Delivery" song as it is by far my favorite of all the songs.
Most importantly while Dora tries to entice kids by making it seem she needs the kids help (and trust me, the kids find out fast she does not) the stuff that the Backyardigans get up to seems to be more fun, which gets kids going along with it. I've watched the same couch potato kids who won't move an inch during Dora sing and dance along with the Backyardigans. The show also normally has a lot more depth to what is going on than the standard shallow kid show which not only makes it tolerable for adults but also keeps the kids from getting bored later on.
About my only complaint is that they made a series of books that end up looking terribly shallow compared to the episodes themselves making me not want to bother to read them to my son. I'll just stick with reading Discworld & Dr Seuss for now.
It would not be very surprising to see a lot of dead code.
I maintain the code for MoreTerra, a Terraria map editor program and I'm pretty sure I've got dead code in there and that's a pretty small project.
With a large number of people working on the code it likely ends up slowly clogging up as no one quite knows what the others are doing.
Dare I ask what type of dead code exists in something extra huge, but closed source, like the Windows code base or for MS Office? But I'd
bet for all MS's faults that the code for Norton Antivirus is 10x worse.
It's from the Onion but the thing is just because it's satire does not mean it's completely false.
This is considering only stuff that you have intentionally given to them. There is a lot of stuff that they get through using things the Like button widgets on other webpages, whether you click them or not.
I started using MSE because of a story here on Slashdot talking about a review of a large number of antivirus products and I was amazed to see people on Slashdot putting their trust in a Microsoft product.
I've been a hater of Microsoft for a long time now thanks to all the anti-competitive and backstabbing stories I've heard but also because of using their various products. And yet now that I've been using MSE I've turned a corner and started to recommend it to friends and family.
I casually help fix computers for people that know me, sometimes going so far as to do it all over the phone when someone lives too far to visit. At first I tended to browse through their machine looking for the troublemakers and then after finding everything I could I would install and run MSE only to watch it detect and clean 100% of the things I had found and even some I had not, like a trojan hiding in the MBR. I've watched it catch different varieties of the TDSS rootkits, clean up all manner of other nasties and only once have I seen it make a mistake, with Chrome being reported as a virus. Yet, even with that flaw Microsoft had detected the issue and it was on the "More Information" page and had been fixed later that night. Since then I've come to trust MSE to do it's job well and I've started to run it first then clean up afterwords and it hasn't let me down yet.
If Microsoft wants to provide a built in antivirus with Win8 but allows it to be disabled to run other things, just like Windows Firewall, then I am all for it. I would do almost anything to keep people from installing the nightmares that are Norton & McAffee (and these days sadly Zone Alarm Antivirus). I've watched both those powerhouse antivirus programs completely miss fake antivirus programs that sneak through Facebook and in Nortons case it turned a simple "Safe Mode/Delete/Remove Registry Startup Command" into a three day slog that only worked when I finally got mad an uninstalled Norton from the machine.
Microsoft might still make some majorly boneheaded decisions but providing a built in antivirus does not seem to be one of them.
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