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Comment: Re:Double edge sword. (Score 1) 73

by Theaetetus (#47431955) Attached to: Google, Dropbox, and Others Forge Patent "Arms Control Pact"

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.

Comment: Re:Clear Cut Collusion (Score 1) 73

by Theaetetus (#47430947) Attached to: Google, Dropbox, and Others Forge Patent "Arms Control Pact"

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.

Comment: Re:Double edge sword. (Score 1) 73

by Theaetetus (#47430927) Attached to: Google, Dropbox, and Others Forge Patent "Arms Control Pact"

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.

Comment: Re:Time to abolish patents (Score 1) 73

by Theaetetus (#47430831) Attached to: Google, Dropbox, and Others Forge Patent "Arms Control Pact"

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.

Comment: Re:Australian Wheel Patent (Score 1) 36

On closer inspection the Australian patent that was granted is less absurd than it seems, as it was more of a quasi-patent:

Innovation patents last for a maximum of 8 years, whereas standard patents last for maximum of 20 years

... which is why the article quote "I discovered today that the Australian patent office has — quietly — revoked the patent it granted, in the year 2001, for the wheel" is even more absurd. It expired in 2009. This was "revoked" in the same way that the moldy cheese in the back of your fridge with a best-by date in January has been "quietly revoked".

Comment: Re:Pretty sure this won't work (Score 1) 309

by Theaetetus (#47420065) Attached to: Tor Project Sued Over a Revenge Porn Business That Used Its Service

As I and other have already pointed out, we are not blaming her for becoming a victim.

There's an entire thread titled "Why yes, we should blame the victim here", with the root post rated +5 Insightful. Yeah, people are blaming her.

Oh, well, and since we all know that a name is always 100% accurate and tells us everything...

Did you actually read the thread, or just the headline and thought "oh, that must support my position?" Because I read it, and some of them make a very good point regarding the context of this particular situation.

So, you're endorsing the following?

Don't want your nudes to end up in public? Don't take nudes that you wouldn't want the public to see. Then you can be a true victim. The whole concept of "revenge porn," insofar as it applies to nudes and porn freely made and disseminated, is ever so much "I want my freedom.... but I don't want my choices to have consequences of which I don't approve."

We have a term for that behavior. It's called behaving like a child.

Is this one of those "very good points"? Because it sure as hell looks like blaming her for becoming a victim, something you claimed wasn't happening.

Comment: Re:Pretty sure this won't work (Score 1) 309

by Theaetetus (#47419407) Attached to: Tor Project Sued Over a Revenge Porn Business That Used Its Service

As I and other have already pointed out, we are not blaming her for becoming a victim.

There's an entire thread titled "Why yes, we should blame the victim here", with the root post rated +5 Insightful. Yeah, people are blaming her.

But quick, respond with a No True Slashdotter about how those are fringe elements and marginal and don't represent the views of a large portion of Slashdot.

Comment: Re:Pretty sure this won't work (Score 0) 309

by Theaetetus (#47419357) Attached to: Tor Project Sued Over a Revenge Porn Business That Used Its Service

It is the same crap people pull on rape victims all the time, finding some way to socially punish them for trying to bring consequences for their attacker's actions.

You know, as a close relative of a victim of violent sexual assault, I take offense to your supposition that what my family member went through is exactly the same as what this woman is doing to herself. Don't bandy about the term "rape" for everything you disagree with, as it desensitizes people from the severity of that particular crime.

GP poster wasn't "bandy[ing] about the term 'rape' for everything they disagree with" nor were they offering a "supposition that what [your] family member went through is exactly the same as what this woman is doing to herself." The comparison was not "rape" vs. "privacy intrusion on a revenge porn site"; rather, it was victim blaming, which occurs both to rape victims and here, to this woman. GP poster was entirely correct, and you were the one who tried to shut down the conversation by saying that GP can't talk about victim blaming because, if you only read every third word or something, it may somehow, in some straw-grabbing sense, "desensitize people". You're concern trolling.

Comment: Re:Recent allegations... (Score 1) 209

Going by what modders are pulling out of the game it does appear that it is true.

Those modders are praising the wonderful graphics they get with the enabled settings, while admitting that they get stuttering and frame rates below 30 fps. Doesn't sound like Ubisoft "handicapped" the graphics to me, so much as fixed the performance issues.

Comment: Re:Recent allegations... (Score 1) 209

I'm just saying. Everything we know points to it being deliberately handicapped. The game actually runs better when you enable the settings that made it look gorgeous at E3. It runs better with better graphical fidelity.

... if you never leave a small area, so that everything is full cached. Otherwise, you get significant stuttering. Look at any of the threads on the "mod" that enabled the settings - even as people praise it, they acknowledge that frame rates drop to 30 fps maximum with bursts of less than that vs. 60 fps without the "mod".

Comment: Re:Python for learning? Good choice. (Score 1) 412

by Kjella (#47413153) Attached to: Python Bumps Off Java As Top Learning Language

I'll disagree on that. We use white space to communicate our programs' block structure to other humans. Why should we use a different syntax to tell the compiler the same information?

IMHO it's far easier to logically get it right with braces and pretty-print it for proper indentation than fiddling around with whitespace.

Comment: Recent allegations... (Score -1, Troll) 209

This comparison should be viewed in light of the recent allegations that the PC version's graphics were deliberately handicapped.

Were the allegations true?

Well, no... But...

... uh...

This comparison should be viewed in light of the recent allegations that the name Watch Dogs infringes on numerous trademarks by Swatch!

... are those allegations true?

Again, no... But...

... uh...

This comparison should be viewed in light of the recent allegations that Ubisoft's developers are child molesters!

... are any of those allegations true?

Well...

... um...

This comparison should be viewed in light of the recent shut up!

Hey, Slashdot? How about reporting News for Nerds, not Unsubstantiated Opinions for Nerds? We already have Fox News for that.

Comment: Re:more leisure time for humans! (Score 1) 526

by Kjella (#47409439) Attached to: Foxconn Replacing Workers With Robots

That's revisionist history, ludicrously so. Marx never foresaw anything of the sort. He believed firmly in the labor theory of value, and as such all economic power derived from human labor, not from mechanical power. Communism was about combating the concentration of economic power in the hands of a few people who owned the means of production, at the expense of the masses who provided the labor (and hence the real value).

It is not very hard to re-frame Marx in terms of the knowledge worker, where the owner of the means of production like the [e-tail site/online bank/search engine/social networking site] exploits the individual developers who produce the system but alone are insignificant and replaceable leading to a race to the bottom where providing the labor is greatly underpaid while stock owners and other capital holders make off with the profits. That does of course not exclude the possibility that capital owners will pay off unique individuals and start-ups that threaten to shift the competitive landscape or compete with the existing companies, but more of a global mutual interest among all companies to depress wages.

Even in the absence of formal collusion it's not hard to reach a form of unwritten understanding in direct and transparent competition of substitute goods. For example on the way to work there are two gas stations quite literally across the road from each other, if one drops the price of course the other will follow. So what makes them profit most, both high or both low prices? Now apply the same to store clerk wages, of course neither has an interest in raising the general wages. It is really the same when you see Google/Apple/Microsoft/whatever involved in anti-poaching agreements, surely they could just poach back but it'd raise the wage costs for everyone so better if they don't.

I do agree though that he thought the actual value lay with the labor, not the machinery but I guess you can equally apply this to software, doesn't really all value of the code stem from the one who developed it? Granted, he got paid for it but whether that pay is fair is another matter. Remember, Marx never claimed the workers were forced to work anywhere at gun point. What he said was that all the choices were bad ones and workers were exploited no matter who they worked for. It's not like market economists dispute that companies would lower labor costs if they could either, they just refuse to do something about it. If the supply and demand don't add up to a wage you're comfortable with do something else.

Of course we won't run out of jobs as such, but when there's more people wanting jobs than there are jobs, real wages start trending downwards as workers undercut each other. The relative wealth between those with capital and those who work for a living diverges and it becomes harder and harder to join them as their holdings increase faster than any savings you can make. As long as human labor remains essential to the function of society, we can still unite and strike for higher wages though. If we're no longer essential and the system runs on robotics, software and a few scabs until we go back to work, well then we're in deep shit.

Comment: Re:Done, and done well already. (Score 1) 65

In short, this is a wheel that's already been invented. I don't see anything "novel" or even better than what we have had already.

Then, with all due respect, you don't know what the word "novel" means. Something is novel when it is new or different from what has been done before. This is a thimble that sits on the user's index finger, allowing them to make 3D gestures in space. That's certainly novel compared to the 3DConexion interface, which is a knob with 6 degrees of freedom. They're clearly different devices, and accordingly, this one is novel compared to the Space Navigator.

Now, maybe what you really meant was that this isn't an improvement on the 3DConexion stuff. That, although new and different, it doesn't provide any advantages over the Space Navigator. But there, you'd be wrong, too - the Navigator requires the user to use two separate pointing devices, as well as shifting between Navigator and keyboard. The thimble, however, allows the user to make those gestures, plus dragging across a surface (which the Navigator can't do), as well as allowing the user to return to the keyboard and type without removing the device. Maybe those aren't features you'd appreciate or prefer, but they're certainly different features that the Navigator simply can't do.

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