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Comment Re:What bothers me (Score 1) 434

If Hillary survives to the general election without this snowballing into a legal issue, I really want some brave and fearless soul to stand up in the first televised debate and ask her one question:

"Based on your legal expertise as a former member of the House Judiciary's Impeachment Inquiry staff, and the arguments which led to legal action being proposed against President Nixon, how many email messages would it take to equal 17 minutes of audio tape?"

Comment Online Presence (Score 4, Interesting) 111

As visible in your official company FAQ, you had run a ISP as well as other online services (I seem to recall there having been some manner of MOO/MUSH service for running online games), well in advance of most other RPG publishers. Furthermore, you run your own digital store (e23) rather than using through the DriveThruStuff platform used by the rest of the tabletop industry, and made PDF copies of your books available for purchase before the other "major" industry players (Fantasy Flight, Pinnacle, WhiteWolf, and WotC).

How much of this decision was strategic—based on a firm belief this was "The Way of the Future"—and how much was it exploratory / risk-taking? In hindsight, what decisions for your online presence would you have made differently?

Comment Re:"Whether or not you believe there’s a pro (Score 1) 613

I caution attempts at social engineering result in greater injustices than those they seek to fight against.

I would say that the first thing those attempting social engineering should seek is to utilize the solutions they propose. For instance, it's amazing how many of the politicians in the US who seek to raise the minimum wage also make broad use of unpaid interns. If even the crusaders can't manage to pay everybody minimum wage (not the new level of $10, $15, or whatever is being proposed today, but just the current amount), what makes you so certain it's a great idea?

Comment Re:Good (Score 2) 302

I'm not entirely sure you're not trolling, but I'll bite anyway.

The US Constitution states that the purpose of copyright is "to promote the progress of science and useful arts", artists and inventors may be granted a (temporary, limited) exclusive right to their work. Anytime copyright comes up among my group of friends (who include a large number of writers, musicians, and graphical artists, in addition to programmers) copyright is a fairly contentious issue. I tend to like to argue the position that any "common", mass produced work that is unavailable for public purchase for longer than one year has outlived its' salable value and should lose copyright protection. (This is particularly true in the age of digital distribution, where "shelf space" is a non-issue.) Fine art (where only one copy of the item ever gets created) clearly requires a different definition for copyright term, but for the things which usually are referenced in these debates online -- CDs, mass market books, newsclippings, etc. -- a strictly limited term is far more beneficial to keeping works available to the public.

Comment Re:Well guys if you were passed over for a positio (Score 1) 517

I don't think I dare look at your link right now, but your question has been answered. To quote from that Wikipedia article: "The lead plaintiff was Frank Ricci, who had been a firefighter at the New Haven station for 11 years. ... Because he has dyslexia, he paid an acquaintance $1,000 to read his textbooks onto audiotapes." (Emphasis mine.)

Make whatever noises you like: just because a person is part of the privileged class in the two most visible categories of discrimination (race & gender) doesn't exclude them from being a member of any other legally protected class.

Comment Re:Libertarianism, the new face of the GOP? (Score 1) 441

I'm sure you know about Westinghouse and Edison setting up parallel electricity networks in New York, but it was even more extreme for the telegraph. In 1850 there were 75 telegraph companies, ten of which served New York; in 1866 there was only one. ... The government mostly stepped in *after* these natural monopolies formed, to keep them from abusing their power,

False. Since you specifically mentioned New York, here's an article about how that technology developed. Specifically, it states that "To encourage growth in this new electricity infrastructure, New York, like all of the other states, protected the utilities’ investment by granting them an exclusive right to serve customers." (Emphasis mine.) Believe what you want about the importance of monopoly busting, but the sad truth is that for every common example people give of "natural" monopolies, the government had a hand in why the service in question is a monopoly market.

Comment Why no 6.6 KwH charging for the 2nd gen Volt? (Score 1) 229

I have read that the stock reply is that half the owners only use L1 charging; 120v. What about providing the option to the others who would prefer faster charging? Most pay chargers charge by time used which really makes the cost to charge a Volt not a good deal

Comment The solution is simple (Score 2) 187

STOP BUYING THEIR MUSIC!

Stop downloading their music.

Ignore their entire existence.

I don't care if you /like/ it. If you buy it or download it, you are giving them monetary and mindshare resources to continue to punish their customers and act improperly.

When they are penniless, perhaps they will see the error of their ways. Probably not, but then no one will give a fuck about them any more, and they can do no more harm.

In short, STOP feeding the monster.

INSTEAD, buy/download music from GOOD actors in the market. Support them in spite of the BAD actors. Support the artists directly. Never support any labels unless they eschew being part of organizations like RIAA and ASCAP.

I have done this for over twenty years. I am very happy with the music that is available to me, and also very happy that I don't support the bad actors in any way, shape or form. Indeed, I do all I can to put them out of business.

You can do it, too. ALL of you.

Take a stand. Make a difference.

Comment Re:Computers are making everyone's life easier (Score 3, Interesting) 212

The analogy I like to use when discussing the Art vs. Engineering paradigm in programming is architecture (the wood & steel building sort, not hardware chip instructions) design. Every architect, whether building a private home or an office complex, needs to know certain fundamental facts about the materials they use (load bearing capacity, for instance) and the choice of what materials are used is (typically) dictated by the intended purpose of a building. Brick and wood framing is pretty universal, but you don't generally see homes being built out of little more than tin siding and steel frames like factory warehouses, or giant glass walls like skyscrapers.

That part -- mating the materials with the intended purpose -- is the "art" in architecture. The "art" in programming (aside from some limited domains like UX or AI) is less immediately describable except by effect (e.g. "How quickly do new team members get up to speed?") but should be no less important to any project manager. I don't really think that programming has been around long enough for us to have our Frank Lloyd Wright moment, but that is no reason to ignore the "intangibles" and immeasurable aspects to quality code.

Comment Is the immune system working? (Score 2, Insightful) 724

The mass censorship of gamers over the last month has raised questions about how well functioning that immune system really is. Gamers and the game media have never gotten along. But the degree to which gamers were thrown out of sites for talking about Gamergate was disturbing, and the "trivial" nature of gaming as a subject matter does not soften the blow.

Gamers were ejected from all major game news sites/blogs, almost all major game forums, news media outlets, subjected to shadow bans and mass deletions across the whole of Reddit, barred from editing Wikipedia, and finally -- in the the most absurd capstone to the whole farce -- all gamergate discussion was banned from 4chan, a place which still openly permits the posting of severed human body parts and rabidly anti-semetic hate speech. What few remaining forums for discussion were left ended up being DDoSed.

What happened during gamergate was what we were told could never happen to free discussion on the web: Site by site, the lights on the internet went out for video gamers.

In retrospect, it could only have happened for something as "trivial" as video games, and to a group as "subcultural" as the gaming community. But it has happened; It is still happenning. The entire concept of the Internet as a "fifth estate" or a forum for open debate has been severely discredited by recent events. If video gamers are unable to discuss or dispute that "Gamers are dead", or that games are not misogynist on the internet, then what can be discussed or disputed?

If the internet has an immune system, I don't see the patient recovering yet, and even in the event of a return to "health", the complications of this acute inflammation of censorship will be with us for a long time. This may yet end up being a watershed for the medium and our assumptions about it. Something has just gone very, very wrong.

Comment Re:It's not feminism at this point. (Score 4, Interesting) 724

The majority of the gamers who wrote Intel agree with you. In fact, the entire furore over the past month seems to have cemented the idea of "gamer" as a inclusive, universal identity into the collective mind of the gaming community across the web.

However, that was not the argument the Gamasutra and other articles made. The gaming press collectively declared that "Gamers were dead", that gaming as a descriptor was obsolete, that the "identity was dead", or referred only to a obsolete subset of exclusionary, female unfriendly, "selfish", "conservative", "tribalistic", and -- implied by the accompanying stock images -- fat angry unkempt adult males.

Meanwhile, games companies, marketing firms and online game fansites were still actively using the term to refer to everyone who, well, plays games. Even Forbes magazine was shaking its head in disbelief at the game media's attack on its own consumers. People are now asking how much damage recent controversies may have done to the public image of the gaming industry.

A $80 billion dollar industry which had achieved almost universal consumer acceptance and success may have just been torpedoed as a woman-hating "Cathedral of Misogyny" by its own press publications. Intel is cutting its losses before the conflagration spreads to the rest of tech.

Comment The Articles Intel Dropped the Site For (Score 5, Informative) 724

For anyone interested, here is a link to the article Intel pulls ads from Gamasutra over. It is ... colourful in its descriptions of gaming to say the least.

'Game culture' as we know it is kind of embarrassing -- it's not even culture. It's buying things, spackling over memes and in-jokes repeatedly, and it's getting mad on the internet. ...

It's young men queuing with plush mushroom hats and backpacks and jutting promo poster rolls. Queuing passionately for hours, at events around the world, to see the things that marketers want them to see. To find out whether they should buy things or not. They don't know how to dress or behave. ...

Traditional "gaming" is sloughing off, culturally and economically, like the carapace of a bug. ...

These obtuse shitslingers, these wailing hyper-consumers, these childish internet-arguers -- they are not my audience. They don't have to be yours. There is no 'side' to be on, there is no 'debate' to be had.

About ten or so articles like this appeared over the course of a few days at the end of August across most of the top game news sites. Apparently, a lot of gamers were upset enough to write into site advertisers to request they stop sponsoring the offending site with ads. Intel have evidently made a dash for the door out of a building the owners have decided to set on fire.

The author of the piece, Leigh Alexander is a described feminist critique of video games and video game culture, as well as wider "geek" cultures. Her personal views on geeks and their fandoms are ... equally colourful.

Why do you sometimes mock 'nerds' and 'gamers' so virulently? Isn't that the same kind of bullying you rail against? ...

Self-identified nerds are often so obsessed with their identity as cultural outcasts that they are willfully blind to their privilege, and for the sake of relatively-absurd fandoms â" space marines, dragons, zombies, endless war simulations â" take their myopic and insular attitudes to "art" and "culture" with tunnel-visioned, inflexible, embarrassing seriousness that often leads to homogeneity, racism, sexism and bullying.

Nerds escaped high school. Some of them made millions making video games. Digital literacy doesn't make you special anymore, it makes you baseline employable. Fantasy is on mainstream cable. ...

The fact you got a Game Boy for Christmas and liked it so much you stopped doing anything else doesn't entitle you to a revolution. Your fandom is not your identity. Your fandom is not a race.

I am not convinced that this person is not an ultra-conservative plant sent to discredit feminist and progressivism in geek and gaming culture. If she is, she's making a spectacular effort at doing so. This entire furore is doing real damage to the genuine participation of women in the video game and even wider tech. Intel's pulling of ads might help take the oxygen out of this fire before the industry gets burned.

"Sometimes insanity is the only alternative" -- button at a Science Fiction convention.

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