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Comment: Have that cake and eat it, too (Score 1) 348

Regardless of the outcome, it will continue to be socially acceptable to make fun of nerds, and The Big Bang Theory will still be America's #1 sitcom. I certainly don't participate in any "brogrammer" culture, but I can't feel sorry for it having an impact on the very people who fostered it in the first place. You may have the same right as I do to sit down and eat, but using bully tactics to win a seat at the lunch table isn't going to earn you any respect.

Comment: Re:Whatever ... (Score 4, Insightful) 141

by TraumaFox (#49322041) Attached to: "Google Glass Isn't Dead!" Says Google's CEO Eric Schmidt
It really isn't just a "matter of time" issue. Bluetooth earpieces are still largely frowned upon in public because, despite being a convenient technology and the wide range of visual profiles available, they project a wide radius of social awkwardness. I think Google Glass simply ran into the same issue, which is to say the problem isn't so much with Google's particular implementation but with the very nature of how the technology is perceived. That challenge is far more difficult to overcome than just slimming it down or offering it in different colors until people like it.

Comment: Re:Desperately Want to Believe? (Score 4, Interesting) 215

by TraumaFox (#49291969) Attached to: Gabe Newell Understands Half-Life Fans, Not Promising Any Sequels

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.

Comment: But she could have deleted things! (Score 1) 609

by TraumaFox (#49233123) Attached to: Clinton Regrets, But Defends, Use of Family Email Server
I'm astonished by how many people are crying about the notion that she could have deleted emails without records; if you're adamant that politicians are corrupt enough to do that, then why do you assume they couldn't make unwanted emails permanently disappear from the .gov accounts they're supposed to be using? Catching Mrs. Clinton with her hand in the cookie jar doesn't change the nature of secrecy and mistrust which underlie politics as a whole. Politicians aren't going to suddenly stop communicating things they don't want on record, they're just going to try harder to keep those things buried. None of this addresses or helps to solve the much more apparent problem of poor security standards.

Comment: Re:No last mile unbundling? (Score 3, Insightful) 379

by TraumaFox (#48982031) Attached to: Confirmed: FCC Will Try To Regulate Internet Under Title II

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?

Comment: Re:I guess it's okay (Score 2) 295

by TraumaFox (#42161273) Attached to: Apple Declutters, Speeds Up iTunes With Major Upgrade
Correction: Apparently the album view does have a neat expanding songlist if you single-click on an album, there is just an obnoxious delay which is why I didn't notice it before. Double-clicking still only plays the album without opening this list though, so it's now a two-step process. -1 intuitiveness.

Comment: I guess it's okay (Score 2) 295

by TraumaFox (#42160943) Attached to: Apple Declutters, Speeds Up iTunes With Major Upgrade
Once I figured out how to get it to sort my albums by title rather than artist again, I have to say I'm getting used to the minimalist interface. iTunes has always been minimal on features, so it never made sense that its UI was such a mess. Now it's more, uh, pushbutton-y? Feels like it was designed for touchscreens, oddly enough. I definitely like the new pop-out Visualizer, now I can properly have that running on my secondary display without jumping back and forth between the full interface. The only thing I'm not digging is how double-clicking an album immediately starts playing it instead of opening the song list. There's actually no way to get to that song list anymore, you have to start the album and then skip to the track you want, else you have to sort through the Songs view which includes your entire library. Oh well.

Comment: Please (Score 2) 813

by TraumaFox (#40527435) Attached to: After Recent US Storms, Why Are Millions Still Without Power?

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.

Comment: Re:Is it Tetris if the 'R' isn't backward? (Score 1) 138

That's the kind of nitpicking which is just as stupid as you'd like to make copyright law look. If Tetris was such a simple concept that it shouldn't deserve copyright protection, then why would official Tetris be so much more popular than profitable than not-quite-Tetris? There are plenty of similar block-dropping games which use different types of blocks, varying mechanics and so on which are very similar to Tetris, but different enough that they don't encounter legal trouble, yet none of them reach the level of ubiquitous popularity and recognition that Tetris itself has. Why?

Tetris is more than just a "set of polygons that can be constructed out of 4 congruent squares," and that is precisely why it is and should be protected. If none of this were true, no one would bother trying to make exact copies of Tetris such as Mino, and people wouldn't get all flustered trying to argue such copies should be legal. There is a high demand for Tetris, not sort-of-Tetris, and that's why TTC and its licensees are the only ones allowed to profit from it whether you like it or not.

Comment: Re:Is it Tetris if the 'R' isn't backward? (Score 1) 138

That's not really a fair analogy, since you're equating the differences between games in the FPS genre to differences between Tetris clones. Tetris is a very simplistic game with minimalistic elements, so it is only defined by a very limited set of qualities. You can only imitate so many of those before you go from Tetris clone to just Tetris. After all, that's why we liberally use "Tetris clone" or "Insert first puzzle game to use these mechanics here clone" to define puzzle games, rather than just calling them Puzzle games. FPS games have more complex engines, mechanics, and a far wider array of qualities that can vary. As the judge in this case said, you can't base the infringement on the mechanics of the game - but without its mechanics, Tetris can really only be defined by limited details such as block shapes and well size. Besides all of that, 90s developers might have been trying to ride the success of Doom and the rising FPS genre, but none of them actually said, "Yeah, we're purposefully and deliberately copying Doom just to see if id can enforce their copyright."

Look at this another way: 90s FPS games were successful on their own without being exact copies of Doom. That also applies for puzzle games which are not Tetris. However, plenty of people want to play Tetris itself, not "sort of Tetris but with a fundamental gameplay mechanic changed to get around legal trouble." Mino would not have met with success if it was not an exact clone of Tetris, and I can say that confidently because of how upset people get over developers not being able to make exact clones of Tetris. There's more money in Tetris than sort-of-Tetris, and that is exactly why TTC goes after copies.

Comment: Is it Tetris if the 'R' isn't backward? (Score 2) 138

You don't need to break down and analyze which individual details make a Tetris clone a Tetris clone that violates copyright versus a Tetris clone which doesn't; it's quite clear at first glance that Mino is just simply Tetris. I know this sort of thing is a popular debate, and this is hardly the first example of its kind, but the extremely wide range of Tetris clones that survive without legal problems do so because their developers make at least the bare minimum effort to change something fundamental. Note, that's not to suggest TTC doesn't go after several of these as well, but they are certainly far less successful in those cases.

I think the point here is that if EA had taken this exact game and released it as their official licensed version of Tetris for iOS, no one would be the wiser. I understand that EA's official version isn't spectacular and we all wish we could play something much better without threats of legal action being thrown around, but the decision is really clear cut in this case, so I don't think it's unreasonable to cut TTC some slack here, or the DC judge in this case.

For anyone still shaking their fists in anger at TTC, I'd just like to point out this snippet from the article: "Xio readily admitted that Mino purposefully and deliberately copied from Tetris." He wanted this fight, and he lost.

"I think Michael is like litmus paper - he's always trying to learn." -- Elizabeth Taylor, absurd non-sequitir about Michael Jackson