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Comment Re:The bottom line is parent's don't care (Score 1) 126

"Parents that truly care take the time to look at the back of the box"

Where does this time come from? We can say the same thing about umpteen hundred billion things parents *should do* where does that leave time for parents to have a personal life?

There are several things wrong with this:

1. If they have the time to complain to congress, perhaps they could have used that free block of time to check the back of the box.

2. Parents pay plenty of attention to the ratings of movies and TV. Checking the back of the box takes about the same amount of time. In fact, since movies and TV, at $0-$10, are purchased far more frequently than $60 games, checking the game ratings would take considerably less time overall.

3. Media is often lumped together in one category. If parents pay attention to "explicit lyrics" on CDs and R-ratings on movies, it's easy to understand that games fall into roughly the same category and therefore should also be checked for a rating. This simple association helps parents understand the need to check in a very short time.

4. Unlike the confusing instructions that it takes to operate the game consoles themselves, and unlike the pain in the ass it is to set up the V-chip, looking at the back of the game box is a breeze, and therefore is far less time consuming. Since the ratings are briefly explained on each box, there is very little extra effort necessary to get accustomed to understand the ratings.

Simply put, parents should have a blanket policy of giving a brief inspection to any media their kids will be accessing in the house. If you believe you would be a bad parent if you let our 10-year old kids watch Pulp-fiction or Fight Club, and you take the time to keep these away from your children, then you would be just as bad of a parent to not look at the back of the box and decide Grand Theft Auto or Manhunt, is just not right for little Billy. If you're too busy to do this simple thing then perhaps you should reconsider having children at all. Or maybe just decide that it's ok for Billy to do anything he damn well wants.

Copyright Cutback Proposed As RIAA Solution 709

An anonymous reader writes "InfoWeek blogger Alex Wolfe proposes a novel solution to the ongoing spate of RIAA lawsuits over alleged music copying. He suggests legislation which cuts back corporate copyrights from 120 years to 5 years. 'We should do what we do to children who misbehave,' he writes. 'Take away their privileges.' Wolfe says this is regardless of the misunderstanding surrounding the latest case, which apparently isn't about ripping CDs to one's own computer. As to those who say copyrights are a right: "That's simply a misunderstanding of their purpose. Copyrights, like patents, weren't implemented to protect their owners in perpetuity. They are part of a dance which attempts to balance off societal benefits against incentives for writers and inventors. You want to incentivize people to push the state of the creative and technical arts, but you don't want give those folks such overbearing protections that future advances by other innovators are stifled." What do you think; is it time to cut off the record industry?"

Office 2003 Service Pack Disables Older File Formats 555

time961 writes "In Service Pack 3 for Office 2003, Microsoft disabled support for many older file formats. If you have old Word, Excel, 1-2-3, Quattro, or Corel Draw documents, watch out! They did this because the old formats are 'less secure', which actually makes some sense, but only if you got the files from some untrustworthy source. Naturally, they did this by default, and then documented a mind-bogglingly complex workaround (KB 938810) rather than providing a user interface for adjusting it, or even a set of awkward 'Do you really want to do this?' dialog boxes to click through. And of course because these are, after all, old file formats ... many users will encounter the problem only months or years after the software change, while groping around in dusty and now-inaccessible archives."

University of Virginia Student Graduates in One Year 796

An anonymous reader writes "18-year-old David Banh of Annandale, VA recently graduated from the University of Virginia with a double major in Physics and Mathematics, and an education paid for almost entirely by scholarships. What's truly amazing is that he did it in one year, bringing in 72 Advanced Placement credits, then taking 23 credits his fall semester, 37 credits his spring semester and 3 credits in the summer. His brief undergraduate career didn't leave him much time to explore college, so he's now working on his master's degree. He says he may eventually pursue law school as a part-time student in hopes of becoming a patent lawyer."

Spamhaus to Ignore $11.7M Judgement 471

6031769 writes, "As reported on CNet, Spamhaus is choosing to ignore a judgement of $11.7M against them in an uncontested trial in an Illinois court. According to Spamhaus, the judgement has no impact on them, since they are a British organization." From the Spamhaus reply to the judgment: "Default judgments obtained in US county, state or federal courts have no validity in the UK and can not be enforced under the British legal system... As spamming is illegal in the UK, an Illinois court ordering a British organization to stop blocking incoming Illinois spam in Britain goes contrary to UK law which orders all spammers to cease sending spam in the first place."

Microsoft Calls for Truce With GPL and Linux? 464

An anonymous reader writes to mention an eWeek article discussing Microsoft's efforts to reach out to the open source community. The company is hoping to find a common ground with softare released under the GPL, so that OSS and Microsoft products can interoperate. From the article: "The goal, from both sides, is to meet customer needs, he said, adding, 'This is just the more mature view of the way the world is evolving, and we want to make sure that if customers are choosing Linux or other open-source-based products that we have ways of interoperating and working effectively with that.'" A related article mentions Windows server Expert Jeremy Moskowitzs' call for a truce between the Linux and Windows communities.

How Nintendo Could Win It All 245

ElFozzie writes "In a huge piece on mobile gaming, Pocket Gamer reports on the latest battles in the handheld console market and reveals why Nintendo might just have the right strategy to win this war. From the article: 'Let's go back the beginning, the games. It's all about the games, Nintendo's faithful fans will argue, and the DS has great, mad and unique games where the PSP so far has, at best, competent-to-very-good PS2-lite fare. Yes, but it's not that simple. See, I was there in the mid '90s playing the genre-defining Mario 64 and the breathtaking Legend of Zelda: The Ocarina of Time, perhaps the two greatest games of their generation, on the Nintendo 64. And I remember Sony going on to win that war, and PlayStation becoming the de facto shorthand for 'video games'."

Rumormongering - Apple Could Buy Nintendo? 377

An anonymous reader writes "CNET wonders if 'Apple is about to frag the gaming community with a revelation that could shake Microsoft to its core: Apple will buy Nintendo. What could be more quintessentially left-field Apple behaviour than buying out the U.S.'s number three games console manufacturer?' The article goes on to compare the companies, saying 'both have followings whose brand dedication verges on the religiously devout' and design styles that are so similar that 'the Nintendo DS Lite practically looks like Jonathan Ive built it.' The writer says an Apple and Nintendo merger will 'penetrate the mainstream consumer market with Macintosh computers'. The possible outcome of a merger would be a console based around the Mac Mini. As for whether Apple have the cash to pull it off: 'Cisco was rumoured to be looking at a purchase of Nintendo earlier in the year, so the idea of Nintendo being bought is not outlandish in itself. Apple's market cap is $51.7bn (Nintendo's is $23.1bn)'"
GNU is Not Unix

Wallace's Second Anti-GPL Suit Loses 303

Enterprise OpenSource Magazine is reporting that Daniel Wallace's second Anti-GPL lawsuit has gone down in flames. From the (short) article: "The judge wrote that 'Antitrust laws are for 'the protection of competition, not competitors.' In this case, the GPL benefits consumers by allowing for the distribution of software at no cost, other than the cost of the media on which the software is distributed. 'When the plaintiff is a poor champion of consumers, a court must be especially careful not to grant relief that may undercut the proper function of antitrust.' Because he has not identified an anticompetitive effect, Wallace has failed to allege a cognizable antitrust injury.'"

CPL World Tour 2006 Cancelled 60

InsaneLampshade writes "BBC News reports pro-gamers are mourning the loss of the most lucrative tournament in computer gaming. In 2005 the World Tour organized by the Cyberathlete Professional League (CPL) gave away $1m in prizes to pro-gamers at 10 events held around the globe. But the tour has been canceled for 2006, leaving many pro-gamers wondering how to make their lifestyle pay."

Ebert Reviews 'Silent Hill' 124

Last week, along with attending an 'epic' debate, Ebert had the time to take in Silent Hill. Did he enjoy it? Not so much. From the article: "Now here's a funny thing. Although I did not understand the story, I would have appreciated a great deal less explanation. All through the movie, characters are pausing in order to offer arcane back-stories and historical perspectives and metaphysical insights and occult orientations. They talk and talk and somehow their words do not light up any synapses in my brain, if my brain has synapses and they're supposed to light up, and if it doesn't and they're not, then they still don't make any sense. Perhaps those who have played the game will understand the movie, and enjoy it. "

All science is either physics or stamp collecting. -- Ernest Rutherford