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Journal: Why I pirate

Journal by SmallFurryCreature
On 9 October 2012, the game XCOM: Enemy launched... launched in the US. Unknown to me, the EU launch date was to several days layer, 12 October 2012. Maybe. Yet, 9 October 2012, I received an SMS from Gamemania.nl a dutch gaming retailer chain, that my copy was ready to be picked up. So I left work early that day to arrive 17:54 in front of the store. Doors pulled almost shut, store had already closed and refused to serve me. Very well, I thought there are other stores in the world, so I bought it the next day at Free Record Shop in Amsterdam. Then when I came home, I tried to install. First I had to install steam, which crashed, crashed and crashed some more but finally I got it working and had to create an account. Then activate my email. Then I installed the game and was told it was not released. What? If the game was not released, what was I holding in my hand? Note the error message mentioned nothing about a region or what would be the release date. Just not released. By google came to my aid and I found that throughout Europe, the game was available for sale but not yet ready for install. I read this from angry users posts. Not a single forum had an official answer yet. Not yet and counting. Even the official release date was less then clear. But I know my Internet, if Steam, Dutch retailing, 2kgames/firaxis couldn't/wouldn't help me, maybe some pirates would? thepiratebay itself is of course famously blocked in holland but there plenty of mirrors around. So I checked and yes, full downloads were available in various flavours for a total cost of ZERO bucks! And if you had issues, then the supplies answered your question in minutes. Not like the hours, days and counting before getting a reply from people I had payed money too. Many a reply to a piracy story has had comments similar to my story, so what is so special about it? Nothing. Just that after years of downloading, I have with MMO's gotten used again to paying and I didn't have any issue with paying for this game, if it had worked. But I do have an issue with paying 50 euro's for a game that can't be played and that now that I have read the forums I have seen is filled with bugs. Bugs the official forums have no answers for but that are fixed on piracy forums. To repeat myself, for this game the people that wanted me to pay did:
  • Act as if my giving them money is a favor they are doing me and only when they feel like it, opening hours be damned.
  • Not reply in a timely manner (or at all) to complaints
  • Treat Europeans as second rate customers for no reason (what are they afraid of, that a world-wide release will overload the servers)
  • Break consumer laws by selling a product not fit for its purpose (a game that can't even be installed is obviously not a fit product)

Meanwhile, the pirates offer:

  • Early access
  • No charge
  • Free, fast useful support by computer experts.
  • Service available any day of the week at any hour.

Sometimes the anti-piracy people complain the content industry can't compete with free. But come ON! I had PAYED already and the companies just said "no". Meanwhile the group that doesn't want money, said "yes". This is like paying a hooker to have an headache while your wife is stuffing your wallet full of money and begging for sex. Something ain't right!

And this is why I pirate. Because how else can I send the signal that I am not a sheep who will just keep turning the other cheek? Sure, there are sheep who advocate just that, just wait 3 days, it is not the developers fault etc etc. FUCK THAT! Nothing is every anybodies fault and I as a consumer should just take it all and keep quiet.

NO! And that is my reason why I post about being a pirate. Because just downloading alone isn't enough. Consumer boycotts don't work, there are to many sheep drowning out the silent protest of people like me who just see no other option but to not pay to make it clear I expect more service for my cash.

Because I see no other option. Mails go unanwered, forum posts get ignored, I can get my money back from the store and the sales clerk don't care, not his problem. How can I HURT that manager who thought it was a good idea to do a staggered release, hurt that Steam admin who didn't just flip a switch to prevent customers getting angry. How can I even get the companies involved to acknowledge my existence?

I can't. But I can keep my money in my pocket. That doesn't solve anything but it is a lot more fun having impotent nerd rage with cash then without.

Anyone want a beer over the backs of game developers who haven't learned that if they want an income, they need to tell their managers to not upset their customers?

User Journal

Journal: Hord Tipton of ISC2.org Talks About Getting into the IT Security Field (Video)

Journal by Roblimo

IT Security is an ever-growing field. Every year more hackers and crackers try to steal you bank PIN number, mess up your nuclear fuel centrifuges, jam your attack dronesâ(TM) control signals, steal your company passwords an other secrets andâ¦. it goes on and on, to the point where, Hord says, over two million (2,000,000) new IT security people will be needed in the next few years. Should you be one of them? Do you have the skills to be one of them? If not, can you acquire those skills? Read the rest and see the video

User Journal

Journal: Is It Time to Become an Android Developer? 1

Journal by Roblimo

Android phones may have overtaken Apple's iPhones in the marketplace. Then again, maybe they haven't. And to you, as a developer, what may matter most is which smart phone OS is going to be the biggest player a year or two from now, and fellow IT Knowledge Exchange writer Ron Miller (no relation) thinks Google may have hurt future Android adoption badly by buying Motorola's mobile phone unit. Still, it's probably prudent to put at least as much effort into Android app development as into developing iOS apps. Read the Rest .

User Journal

Journal: Where Did Our Future Go? 3

Journal by Roblimo

When I was a kid our school textbooks and the general societal belief (what we would now call a âoememeâ) led us to believe in a future where machines would do the heavy manufacturing and agricultural tasks, which meant humans would be freed to do fulfilling tasks instead of drudgery. We were all going to work 20 hours a week and spend the rest of our time choreographing ballets or writing poetry or something, and lots of serious think-papers were written about how weâ(TM)d use our growing leisure time. -- Read the Rest.

User Journal

Journal: Instead of Silicon Valley, What About Rochester? 1

Journal by Roblimo

I know a guy, Lee Drake, who has an IT business in Rochester, New York, called OS-Cubed. He's also part of a chamber of commerce-type group that touts Rochester as a great place to start and run a high-tech business. Why Rochester? Why not? And why not look at a lot of places besides Silicon Valley if you want to be involved with exciting, cutting edge technology? Read the rest...

User Journal

Journal: Promotion or Job Change: Which is the Best Way to Advance in IT? 3

Journal by Roblimo

Iâ(TM)ve had a couple of management consultants tell me that if you want to move into management, itâ(TM)s better to change jobs or change where you work within your current company than to stay where you are. What if you have to fire one of your old friends? Not cool. Or are you better off starting your management career surrounded by peope who know and (hopefully) like you? Read the rest .

User Journal

Journal: No Degree, Little Experience Pay Off Big -- for WI Republican Donor's Son 4

Journal by Roblimo

Have you heard about Walker, Wisconsin Ranger? He's busily busting unions and making sure those awful people who work for the state don't make hardly any money. Except...

Just in his mid-20s, Brian Deschane has no college degree, very little management experience and two drunken-driving convictions.

Yet he has landed an $81,500-per-year job in Gov. Scott Walker's administration overseeing environmental and regulatory matters and dozens of employees at the Department of Commerce. Even though Walker says the state is broke and public employees are overpaid, Deschane already has earned a promotion and a 26% pay raise in just two months with the state.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has the rest of the story.

Of course, here in Florida, this wouldn't be news, would it? Our Republicans have been pulling this kind of crap for decades and still manage to con morons into voting for them.

Read other inflammatory articles at Roblimo.com.

User Journal

Journal: Certification Can Increase Your Perceived Value to Employers 2

Journal by Roblimo

Youâ(TM)re a great person and a valuable worker. Your peers and your supervisors know this. But do the folks in Human Resources who set your salary know how good you are? Probably not. And what about HR people at companies where you are applying for a job? They know nothing about you other than what they see in your resume or on an application form. Impressing these people is the main reason for taking (and passing) certification exams. Read the rest.

User Journal

Journal: Whatever Happened to “Gravity” Nuclear Reactor Safety Controls? 4

Journal by Roblimo

When I was a young teenager, one day my father took me to visit the then-new San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station. I recall quite clearly that the basic atomic pile control system was a series of control rods that would drop into the Uranium core in the event of a power or steam pressure loss and automatically shut down the reaction. WTF is up with reactors built since those early-generation Westinghouse ones that don't have this simple and obvious safety shutdown feature? Crazy.

From roblimo.com

User Journal

Journal: What’s Wrong with Florida Governor Rick Scott? 23

Journal by Roblimo
Rick Scott was elected governor of Florida by a narrow margin, propelled into office by a campaign he financed with $78 million of his own money that was aimed at mentally handicapped citizens and Alzheimerâ(TM)s sufferers. Since we have plenty of these people in Florida, Scott won. And now heâ(TM)s letting us down. Heâ(TM)s supposed to be the tea-est of tea partiers, but Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker is getting so much tea party glory that thereâ(TM)s hardly any left over for Rick Scott. The thing is, on the surface Scott is just about as loonie a tea partier as you can find outside of a mental hospital. He claimed he was going to bring 700,000 new job to Florida, then made it clear in his first budget proposal that he was going to lay off a whole bunch of state employees â" except in his own office, which he wants to grow by 91 employees and $343 million in funding.

Read the rest at Roblimo.com
User Journal

Journal: It's Time for Democrats, Liberals, and Other non-Republicans to Buy Guns 25

Journal by Roblimo

So there you are, liberaling away, maybe doing a little protest over Wisconsin's Koch-sponsored Governor's attempt to impoverish state employees. And then an assistant attorney general in Indianapolis advocates using live rounds on people like you. Folks, it's time to buy guns -- and to get good at using them, too.

Read the rest at Roblimo.com.

User Journal

Journal: Oh, shit. 28

Journal by spun

About a year and a half ago, my wife met a really cool lady while doing community theater. Her boyfriend turned out to be a computer nerd, like me. In that year and a half, my wife and this woman grew very close, having similar interests and character. Although I tried to befriend the boyfriend, he always seemed distant. We knew, from his girlfriend, that he had had a "bad" childhood. We just never knew how bad, I guess. Yesterday at six AM, their house was raided by a fifteen man task force including state police, the FBI, and the district attorney's office. Because they had been investigating him for a year, and had the house under observation for a month, they knew they did not need the SWAT team for a flash-bang entrance, as was common in these cases. They were looking for child pornography, and they found it. Not "barely legal" stuff, two to six year olds, in violent and incestuous situations. He admitted guilt, at least according to the police, who questioned him away from his girlfriend. Yes, I realize that could be an interrogation tactic, but he also never protested his innocence to her, and seemed to know exactly why the raid was happening.

The raid was professional and the police were amazingly courteous. They found about an eighth of pot and quite a bit of paraphernalia, and asked whose it was. She admitted that her mom is an old hippie and had left a bunch of bongs there, but the rest was hers, that she used to calm herself down because she had hyperthyroidism, which is true. They let her keep everything and joked that, after this, she'd probably need it. The police doing this kind of work probably look on pot like they look on jaywalking, technically illegal, but not worth their time. They had a list of specific files that had been downloaded and came prepared with the utilities to scan any electronic device or media on the premises. The fact that he used Linux didn't phase them for a second. She gave up all the passwords she knew. As soon as they found the first match, about an hour and a half into things, he was cuffed and taken away. The raid lasted another three and a half hours after that, as the police methodically searched for additional evidence.

She had class, and needed her laptop, so they scanned that and gave it back to her right away, but she couldn't go to class because, if you leave the scene of an investigation, you can't come back until they are done. Which meant she couldn't go buy cigarettes, either, she was out, and none of the police smoked, the poor thing. So she pulled some hair out, strand by strand. The police had a rookie with them they assigned to her, probably like "Watch what we do and make sure she doesn't freak out." They set up two tables in her driveway. Anything potentially dangerous was brought there, as well as electronics and media. Other things were opened, searched, and placed on the floor. They took all hard drives and electronic components. They searched stacks of blank CDs, looking for any hidden amongst the blanks. They took all hand labeled CDs. They felt all cushions carefully, but not finding anything, did not rip them open. They opened all boxes, jars, bags, etcetera, and searched them.

I know all this because we spent about five hours last night going over it with her. If you ever have a friend go through a traumatic experience, this is the best thing you can do for them. Just listen, as they say the same things over and over again. Heck, when they slow down, ask questions to get them going again. Encourage them to show their feelings about it, too, if they cry or rage or shake or whatever, so much the better. The earlier you can get them to do it, the better, because (according to some psychological theories as I understand them) during traumatic, emotional events, the rational mind shuts down and disassociates at least a little. The experience is stored in memory as an undifferentiated lump with heavy emotional triggers attached. If it isn't processed, anything associated with the event can trigger strong emotions, once again causing the rational mid to shut down a little. Having one's rational mind shut down all the time is sub-optimal. She is going to clean up, move all his stuff to storage, and smudge the place with sage, which normally would earn an eye-roll from me, but this is exactly the place for that ritual. It's not magic, it's psychology.

The thing is, she had broken up with him the week before, and it was under consideration for a long time, because he just couldn't get his shit together after his dad died two years ago. He hadn't worked in years, he didn't do anything around the house, he just didn't do anything. He never wanted to hang out with me, even though we have similar interests and had fun conversations at parties. She would come home and find him crying on the couch. He doesn't remember much of his childhood, what he does remember is terrifying. His dad was a hoarder, and they were divorced when he was very young. His mom treated him like a boyfriend. His girlfriend reported seeing his mother sit on his lap and stroke his hair. He's thirty five. He had not had sex with his girlfriend in six or eight months.

I knew some of this before the incident so if it seems I rushed to judgment yesterday it is only because so many things suddenly made much more sense in this new light. It is still possible he is innocent of everything. It depends on exactly what they found, I suppose, and they have a year long record of someone, using several different IP addresses which they can now connect securely to him, I believe, viewing a great deal of very disturbing things online. They read the titles and descriptions of all of them to my wife's friend. We had a large bust of a child pornography ring here last month, actual production of the stuff, and the police admitted that there were fifteen additional people being raided here yesterday. I believe he had also recently befriended a young autistic man of twenty four or so who has young children. The police asked if he he had had any contact with people with young children, and his girlfriend told them that he had, and who they were, so they could question them. In retrospect, I'm glad I didn't get closer to this guy. My cousin has young kids and they are over at our house a lot. Again, I'm not saying this man actually did anything to children himself or intended to. But I see a lot of data points that fit a certain class of patterns of human psychological illness here.

So that's about it. That's all I know at this point. My wife and I are glad that we can be there for her friend while she goes through this, it isn't over for her yet, not by a long shot. Her family owns the trailer park (no snickers, it's very nice) where she lives (in a three bedroom double wide that is as nice as my place, and why am I worried about class issues right now?) She may have to testify, that depends a lot on him, I imagine. We don't even know where he is being held. No local police were involved, it was all state and federal. He called and left a message for her, said not to believe anything they said, asked her to pray for him, and asked her to help bail him out. His bail is eighty thousand, so someone would have to some up with eight. There is no way in hell she is going to put up any money. Note that in his message, again he did not directly protest innocence, he said, "Don't believe them." I believe there is a high risk that if he did get out, he would kill himself, which is why I made the comment yesterday. I was empathizing with what I can only imagine a person in his apparent situation must be going through. That's one of my flaws, I can't really shut off my empathy. It makes it hard to be around people sometimes, or even watch certain kinds of movies or television, like the original British version of The Office took me a really long time to warm up to, I always felt too much empathy towards the character Michael Scott to laugh at him. But I'm babbling now, I guess I don't really have anything else to say at present.

User Journal

Journal: I don’t mind mosques, but churches scare me half to death 2

Journal by Roblimo

Every Sunday, and often on a weekday or two, millions of Americans eat Jewish flesh and drink Jewish blood. As a Jew, this scares the shit out of me.

The people doing this claim theyâ(TM)re faking it; that itâ(TM)s not real Jewish flesh and blood. Yeah, right. Thatâ(TM)s like Rush Limbaugh saying he really isnâ(TM)t a hateful bigot, heâ(TM)s just kidding, hah hah hah.

But let me tell you something: before the Army sends you off to shoot at real people and kill them, they have you practice on human-shaped targets.

CPR and first aid are the same way. You practice on a dummy before you are turned loose to do it on real people.

And kids who torture or kill pets often grow up to be serial murderers.

Do these âoeChristiansâ expect us to believe that after practicing for years, even for decades, on âoetransubstantiatedâ fake Jews, they donâ(TM)t want to sink their fangs into the real thing?

I am not a big fan of Islam, but given a choice between people who blow up a few Jews now and then and people who openly practice ritual cannibalism on Jews all the time, Iâ(TM)ll choose the Muslims any day of the week â" especially Sunday.

User Journal

Journal: Evil Terrorist Babies are Attacking America!

Journal by Roblimo

Yes, there are "terror babies" among us. But most of them were planted here many years ago by Russian Communist spymasters, not recently by demented Muslims.

One notorious Soviet-planted goon is Sarah Palinsky. Her parents and her husband's parents were secretly transported across the Bering Strait from The Motherland in the 1950s.

Note that Todd Palinsky has agitated for Alaska to secede from the United States, no doubt so that it can rejoin Russia, and Sarah Palinsky has noted, wistfully, that she can see The Motherland from her home in Alaska.

This song -- http://tinyurl.com/Sweet-Ala -- could easily be rewritten as "Sweet Home Mother Russia" and used to help Americans realize that Red states are going to become Red for real.

You see, the nefarious commie plot is subtle. Right now, in Phase One, the main objective is to impoverish the American working class while further enriching the richies. Phase Two, of course, will be the violent workers' uprising. In Phase Three, a resurgent Soviet Union will send troops "to restore order."
Newt Gingrovich, Ron Paulowsky, Rush Limbauvich, and Glenn Beckovits are also leading members of this evil conspiracy.

So, too, is GOP Chairman Michael Stalin (Stalin is "Steele" in Russian).

Please, fellow Americans. Go to the rifle range and hone your shooting skills. Make note of the tea party people, Republicans, and other traitors who live near you, and be ready to exercise your 2nd Amendment rights on them when the day comes, which won't be long now.

And remember, no matter how evil the Richies and their Republican stooges become, We are the country, we will survive!

"Don't talk to me about disclaimers! I invented disclaimers!" -- The Censored Hacker

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