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It's less the ease of which you can get around the restrictions, more the fact that the restrictions exist in the first place and the public perception that they are necessary. Do you want your neighbors fingering you as a potential psychopath ready to snap and go on a mass murdering spree just because you had the sheer audacity to feel like you can do what you want with your 3D printer?
Really, all it's going to take is one news story about some nut who shot someone and just happened to have a 3D printer in his house - even if the gun he used has no 3D printed parts, the mere association is going to be enough to induce widespread fear. The media knows that blaming video games for violence doesn't resonate with people anymore, but 3D printers being such a new and exotic technology would make it a far more effective boogeyman if they decide to do so.
It is definitely distressing that the way a large portion of the global population is being exposed to 3D printing is with this "printable gun" scare. Now instead of seeing it for the fantastic technology that it is and spending creative energy finding beneficial uses for it, a lot of people won't be able to see it as anything but a dangerous device that needs to be heavily regulated for the sake of public safety. 3D printers should be something everyone will have in their own home within a decade, not something people will need a permit to use. Don't get caught buying extended magazines for your filament, or you might be put on a watchlist.
I'm usually the one calling foul when corporations use the "regulation stifles innovation" excuse, so having the tables flipped with this situation is vexing, to say the least.
He's not saying that Half-Life is retro or that no one wants to make Half-Life 3, he's saying that no one at Valve wants to make a HL3 that is just more of the same. Valve seems to pride itself on gameplay innovations, and if they can't come up with something totally unique and creative for HL3, they aren't going to just put it out as-is.
There are several problems with that logic, though: for one, they don't come up with those types of innovations very often and rely on hiring outside talent to provide them (e.g. Portal). Second, all that innovation hunting tends to be focused on crafting new franchises (Portal, again); I don't think Valve is particularly concerned with thinking of a new gimmick specifically for the next Half-Life.
The biggest point is that I don't think most Half-Life fans care about that level of innovation quite as much as Mr. Newell and would be more than satisfied with a "retro" HL3. Part of the reason for this is because what we call HL3 is really just the end of HL2. Fans are more eager to see how the story ends than whatever new physics gimmick Valve is going to add to the game. I think there would be far greater expectations for a new Half-Life entry with a new story and new characters, but we know that's not what the theoretical next Half-Life game would be. The disconnect between fan expectations and Valve's expectations is very frustrating.
What you're seeing is the typical conservative notion that deregulation promotes investment, which deliberately draws attention away from the fact that the reason the US broadband infrastructure leaves so much to be desired is not because of a lack of investment but because there is nothing enforceable in place which requires them to spend the money they already receive on the necessary upgrades. Government subsidies, your monthly rates; only the barest minimum of any of that goes toward upgrades which are deemed absolutely necessary, while the rest accounts for billions of dollars in profits.
Regarding last mile bundling, one of the arguments against it is that more competition would stifle innovation. That might hold water except that the only "innovation" these companies are investing in are new and better ways to curb your bandwidth consumption. Thankfully for the millions who simply have no choice of provider because of location, fiber has already been invented. Don't worry folks -- as soon as we guarantee that no competition is ever able to enter your area, your ISP will be at your door the next morning to run high speed fiber straight into your home!
People are getting confused because it appears to be a win for net neutrality on the surface. Really now, do you think a former telecoms lobbyist would put that on the table if service providers didn't have something to gain from it? It's simply being used as a bargaining chip here to win people over into supporting the very reason our infrastructure is a global embarrassment. A decade from now, when you are paying $120/mo for 10down/1.5up Super Premium High-Speed Internet Turbo Boost Plus, they'll expect you to smile and be happy with your "open internet." To remind those with poor short-term memories, deregulation is what led to the whole Comcast BitTorrent debacle in the late 2000s; what a great win for net neutrality that turned out to be.
Rest assured that "no rate regulation, no tariffs, no last-mile unbundling" will only benefit the bottom line of service providers. This is a compromise, one that wants you to accept long-term mediocrity for a temporary victory. How satisfied will you be when there's nothing left but the good graces of monopolistic corporations to stop your rates from skyrocketing and nowhere else to turn when they finally do?
My home state of CT had two storms that took out power to most of the state for over a week just last year. Get on our level.
On a serious note, it's kind of sad to see that even after our horrendous storms and massive consumer backlash against CL&P's near-monopoly, there are still power companies out there acting like it could never happen to them, not having a contingency plan for the worst case scenario.