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Comment Money (Score 1) 413

I've been playing since release. Over the years, I have heard a lot of people quitting for various reasons--and I see that almost all of them have already been mentioned. But lately, when I ask people why they are quitting, I hear one reason much more than ever before:


A chunk of the fanbase may be becoming more cautious with their spending. I don't want to go off-topic, but people who are already worried about money (no job, less pay, etc.) may have an easier time quitting the game, and cancelling their subscription. Few that I've talked to have said that the $15 per month subscription was the only reason they were quitting, but many of them have mentioned it soon--if not immediately--after complaining about , gear, stale content, etc.

Comment Re:What do ISP's have to do with anything? (Score 1) 775

Why is all of the responsibility coming down to the ISP? Why should they make sure none of their customers uploads illegal content to e.g. YouTube and why should they remove it if noticed?

This is a simple broad-sweeping move to make the treaty more powerful. Holding ISPs responsible for everything sounds overly general because it's meant to be.
As an example, if YouTube is forced to heavily police its content, then another site will appear with less restrictions until they, too, are discovered by 'Those in Power', and so on and so forth. However, if the very ISPs that people would use to access any of those sites, present or future, are so intimidated by an ambiguous and powerful government rule that they will happily prevent people from even accessing anything that isn't expressly "approved", then you can begin to block the very idea of creating content providers that aren't closely monitored.

If shutting down copyright-infringing sites is like telling someone what ideas they can or cannot say, holding the ISPs responsible for Internet content is like going to the source and removing the ability to say the words the person would need to express the idea in their language, altogether. Things such as this copyright treaty are meant to remove the concept of open content by scaring people into silence.

Comment Re:traitor (Score 1) 410

As per the US Constitution, no state could be divided without the consent of the state legislature. So West Virginia couldn't legally become a state without the consent of the Virginia legislature, which of course never gave permission. But, like so many things during that period, on both sides, it was a case of "might makes right".

It's also that Virginia had declared its separation from the United States, and one could easily argue that the Restored Government of Virginia (the West Virginians seceding from the Confederacy) was a section of another country applying for statehood. After all, it was the rebels from a Confederate state--which would not be affected by the US Constitution--saying they wanted back in. When the Confederacy was conquered by the Federalists, there was the USA's state of West Virginia, and the CSA's Virginia.

What will be hard to find in a Wikipedia article is that tension between the eastern and western halves of Virginia had been growing for years, before the Civil War. Most tax money from the west half of Virginia went to the areas east of the mountains dividing the state. The west mined and logged, and the east took the resources, and most of the money. Virginia's secession from the USA was the final insult for many legislators from the west half, even though the people of what would become West Virginia were split as Confederate and Federalist sympathizers (nearly as many soldiers from WV fought for the CSA as the USA).

In the end, "might" didn't make "right." What finally ended the dispute was West Virginia agreeing to pay $12 million to Virginia for everything built in the state before the war. It was paid off around 70 years later. West Virginia bought its independence from Virginia through hearts and minds, money, and using a bloody war as leverage.

Comment Re:Harassment is Harassment (Score 1) 847

"It's usually just called "stalking""

Are you nuts? There are strict requirements for "stalker" to apply. The ones you mention don't meet the criteria. At least not in New Jersey, where I live.

When people, such as yourself, are allowed to label people as a stalker simply because YOU think they are our society is falling apart.

I was recently charged with 'criminal harassment' by a women who gave me permission FIVE times to take pictures of her 'public spectacle" which she created for the world to see. Now, I have to spend money to defend my right to photographer her signs.

Take a look here: Look at the videos I took. See what you think.

Maybe I submit my story to SlashDot....Anyone want to do that??

I went through the site, and after reading through it a couple of times and watching the videos to assemble what the page is all about, I can safely say that the crazy New Jersey resident who has covered her house in signs to gain public attention isn't quite the same--or, really, at all the same--as the narcotics task force employee that has his house photo, address, habits, and mannerisms posted on an exposé-style blog. I cannot subscribe to the notion that the situation is so black-and-white.

Oh, and no, you weren't stalking her. The key difference there was that--as you stated at the start of the stream of consciousness on your webpage--the person consented. I have freelance reporter friends, and I am aware of those lines.

On a personal note, and in the same theme of many arguments I see here, the growing perception of privacy as a binary thing is becoming disturbing. The popular trend in some Internet cultural groups is that if the information is there, it should be shouted from the rooftops. That's not black hat or white hat: that's just being reckless.

That fact that someone can track down volumes of data about me using a single piece of information may be used as justification for compiling and presenting my personal details to the world is signaling to me that we need to have a serious examination of privacy in the Information Age, and how we can simplify the controls, processes, and rights to our details. Some people enjoy exposing everything about themselves to the most casual search engine browses; I'm not one of those people, and I'm confident I'm not alone. The guy on the other side of my city shouldn't be able to know as much (or more) about me as my neighbor.

If that belief makes me "ignorant," a "Luddite," or just plain "nuts," please accuse me of such things; I will hear, look upon the upturned nose and sneer directed toward me, and proudly accept the remark if it means I disagree with anyone on this subject from whom I inspire that label. Such nasty sentiments remind me that though entirely closed information is bad, the other extremists' side of a completely transparent, privacy-less system would be equally miserable.

Comment Re:So can we post your home address? (Score 1) 847

If you are going to have a right to privacy, it has to apply to everyone.

Wrong. It doesnt apply to everyone. It does not apply to public servants, nor does it apply to people who put themselves in the public eye. If you don't like it, don't serve the public and don't become a matter of public interest.

Police activity is open to public review. Personal lives, outside of the job, are not.

Comment Re:So can we post your home address? (Score 1) 847

If posting someone's home address does not endanger your life, can we post yours? For that matter, how come you are using an alias instead of your real name?

If you are going to have a right to privacy, it has to apply to everyone.

To make matters worse, it was even more than just a home address! Personal details, habits, mannerisms....

When you take a job that is constantly in the public spotlight (like "president") then yes, you're going to have a lot of your personal details in the public eye. You also have a trained security force working 24/7 to keep you safe. That's known when people take the job. When police officers go home, they are at the same level of security and protection as average citizens. At least, that's how it's supposed to be.

By recording and posting the details of these people's lives, the blogger went beyond tracking the police department's actions, and began hunting the people, themselves, which endangered their lives.

Even people convicted of murder don't get their personal information spread out over the Internet like this.

Comment Harassment is Harassment (Score 3, Insightful) 847

Regardless of the relationship between the involved parties (whether an officer investigating a woman without a warrant, or a woman investigating a policeman without a warrant), following someone, gathering information about them, then posting that information in a public place with the intent to complicate or endanger their life is harassment. It's usually just called "stalking."

She posted the location of that officer's home with the full knowledge that it could endanger his life. Also, she "detailed their comings and goings by following them in her car; mused about their habits and looks; [and] hinted that she may have had a personal relationship with one of them."

She was a stalker, simply put.

Yes, her speech is protected, but when she's actively attempting to endanger the lives of those officers, it crosses the line. And you can't tell me that posting the home address, photo of that home, and personal details of an officer isn't a move that will obviously endanger the policeman's life, and the lives of his family. If this were done to anyone, it would be dangerous.

Comment Re:Stupid prices (Score 1) 827

True competition? Then why are your prices so high?

In a truly competitive market prices for comparable items converge towards a low price, as long as they aren't luxury items.

Look around in your supermarket. You can probably find ten different brands of bread, all costing roughly the same per unit of weight. The price will be fairly comparative to European prices (should be lower in the US as you have lower taxes and lower wages). That's true competition.

Not so in your cellphone market.

The press release (article) only compared the prices providers are charging for cell phone plans; from this, I am seeing many wild conjectures being drawn from the data. If everyone here on Slashdot wants to use this study to show that the plans cost more in one country than another, it's perfect for that.

The problem is that most people here want to use it to say that the overall price is higher (and perhaps unnecessarily so). That is Bad Math, and where people make terrible decisions based on too little information.

I am not an expert in the wireless business, but there are obvious missing pieces of information when someone makes the claim that the study shows the costs of cell phone usage in countries, or in any way allows someone to accuse providers of overpricing services.

This report is looking at the plan prices purely from a services provided. The report does not cover anything that would let anyone here declare a cell phone plan to be overpriced, or not. It is not an actual business report--it is a simple survey. There is no mention of infrastructure costs, cost of employees, or any other overhead for the businesses, nor any subsidies or other tax dollars that have been channelled from plethoras of taxes on the people that subscribe (and those that don't) to the cell phone plans. The report does not--and is not meant to--tell the real, total costs to subscribers and the public.

Oh, and here is the actual report, open for everyone--non-subscribers, included--to reference. Check the .pdf around page 278 for the mobile phone plan pricing analysis.

Too often, we forget that resources need to go into a business for products and services to exist at all. If something is cheap in one place and expensive in another, then the differences in the two local situations are probably why. Saying 'people are greedy, and the companies can be mean' is a childish response, an attempt to dehumanize an opponent (the companies, and by proxy, their people), and fails to answer anything.

Broad generalizations and declarations of "true competition" drawn from this OECD report are woefully lacking in substance. I can understand disagreements over free market vs. regulated market principles, but everyone should check their chest-thumping, nationalistic zeal before trying to sound like they understand the entire situation. There's nothing insightful about uninformed reasoning.

Comment Re:Not Taking it Far Enough! (Score 2, Interesting) 629

As employees, we called ourselves CellularShack and iPodHut. We couldn't satisfy the (once) dedicated customers and do-it-yourselfers that came to look through our dwindling electronics parts sections--all we could do was try to sell them an iPod or cellphone. It was a miserable feeling.

Personally, I like GadgetHovel. It conjures ideas of Sharper Image and other overpriced random junk dealers, as well as uses "hovel," which captures the cheap and trashy feeling I get every time I go into a RadioShack.

Maybe it's a good idea they're rebranding. To me, RadioShack ceased to exist long ago. At least the new name will make it clear to everyone.

Comment Re:Where's the market? (Score 1) 191

Funny, instead of paying extra, I'd just use a hammer, or a desk drawer, or if in a real pinch my two hands to break the thing apart. Unless you're James Bond, I don't see how most folks would need any more than this, and if they do need more, they already have it.

I think using brute force to get into the IronKey drive would be a very bad idea. ThinkGeek sells an older version of the product the article covers, and even it had some pretty effective measures against breaking it apart.

Passwords can be hacked, but not the IronKey. It's built to withstand attacks both virtual and physical. 10 incorrect password attempts, and the encryption chip self-destructs, making the contents of the flash drive totally unreadable. The contents of the drive are filled with epoxy, so if a hacker tries to physically access the chips, he'd more likely damage them instead. Even if he did get access to the memory chips, they'd be worthless without the encryption chip. Electron-shielded, even a scanning electron microscope can't get inside.

So, use a hammer, desk drawer, or your hands, and it's still encrypted at best, and most likely just ruined and unreadable.

One picture is worth 128K words.