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Comment: Re:Needed to stop anyway (Score 1) 153

by Warbothong (#47399065) Attached to: New Zealand ISP's Anti-Geoblocking Service Makes Waves

Most publishers sold games on Steam's Russian store for far cheaper than they did on the US or UK stores - a friend of mine bought a 4-pack of copies of Dead Island (back when that was a new-ish game and the 4-pack was going for upwards of $60 on the US store) from Russia for like $20.

Then, Valve started cracking down on cross-region purchases, making it so that you could still add games from other regions but could not actually play them until your IP was detected as being in one of those regions. The problem was that it was applied so that more expensive regions had fewer restrictions - US-bought games can be played anywhere, as can AUS/NZ ones, but games purchased from Russia or a few other regions can't be played outside of those specific regions. This means that if you're from the US and go on vacation in Russia, you can play Counter-Strike GO while in Russia, but if you're Russian and go on vacation to the US you can't play CS:GO while in the US.

It's a ridiculous double-standard, and a counter to geo-blocking would remove a lot of it.

It makes perfect sense, since the market for these games is massively skewed. Many customers are only interested in particular titles; they want GTA V and don't regard "Gangster Sim III" as a viable alternative. Since the publishers have a monopoly over their titles, they can set the prices to whatever the market will bear, regardless of how much it costs them to produce each unit (which, FYI, is $0 since the game's already finished and released).

If the market were allowed to decide, ie. if it was legal for anyone to sell copies of already-finished games, rather than just the publishers, then the prices would crash right down to near-zero.

Keep that in mind next time some copyright troll is denouncing "pirates" for being "anti-capitalist", when in fact it's copyright which is responsible for this anti-competitive crap.

Comment: Re:Core competency (Score 2) 142

by Warbothong (#47281323) Attached to: Mozilla Working On a New Website Comment System

Mozilla wants an 'open Web'. Making an open source browser is a big part of that.

Protecting users from mass surveillance is another. Crippling third-party systems by default is a big part of that.

Unfortunately that kills some existing services, like unified commenting systems, which users want. Someone *could* come along with a unified commenting system which doesn't conduct mass surveillance, but that's an unlikely business model at the moment. Hence Mozilla's solving the chicken-and-egg problem themselves, by making a unified commenting system which (presumably) doesn't do mass surveillance.

If this works, it will go a long way towards making the third-party-crippling an effective default. Hence the Web becomes more 'open'.

Comment: Re:Just like the DDR or the 3rd Reich never happen (Score 3, Insightful) 103

These people are doing the same things that were the very basis of oppression of any and all freedoms on German soil in these two regimes. It is like these cretins _want_ that state of affairs back.

They want that level of power, but since it's *them* this time, they'll only use it for "good" (ie. what *they* want).

Of course, they neglect to realise that's exactly what the Nazi's thought.

Comment: Re:End-run around everyone's rights (Score 2) 103

The reality that since the beginning of times governing people requires spying that same people.

The government needs spies as it needs assassins and torturers and all kinds of evil agents. If the people keep pushing to reveal the truth, the result won't be the disappearance of evil agents but the removal of the pink veil.

At some point, if the kid insists enough, the parent's patience ends and he replies "because I say so, now shut up."

At "the beginning of times" governments used targetted spying. They couldn't tap intercontinental fibreoptic communication cables, run the output through face recognition algorithms and automatically build huge databases of everyone's correspondance.

As an analogy, I accept that police and handcuffs are necessary evils. What I don't accept is that we may as well have everyone wear electromagnetic bracelets, which police can remotely switch into a pair of handcuffs.

Comment: Interesting (Score 1) 72

by Warbothong (#47279857) Attached to: 3D Windowing System Developed Using Wayland, Oculus Rift

But if I had a headset strapped on, I'd rather be in an immersive world like OpenCroquet/Cobalt/Qwak[1] (which support VNC for accessing "legacy" applications) than a white space surrounded by floating rectangles.


Comment: Re:Science Fiction (Score 3, Interesting) 275

by Warbothong (#47270509) Attached to: Elon Musk: I'll Put a Human On Mars By 2026

Of course it would be pretty awesome to be able to colonize Mars, but we're not there yet and putting a human being there unless there is a real reason to do so is wasteful and a safety risk.

You're right that there needs to be a 'real reason', but we can say the same thing about, say, Australia. Why do we make so many wasteful and potentially dangerous trips there every day? Because there is a thriving colony of humans there.

It's a bootstrapping problem. Visiting/emmigrating to a martian colony would be a 'real reason' to go to Mars; so that's what we need to build.

Comment: Re:Optical illusuions? (Score 1) 230

by Warbothong (#47099335) Attached to: The Flaw Lurking In Every Deep Neural Net

I'm saying "why would be assume a similar flaw in a biological system because computer simulations have a flaw".

Nobody's assuming; scientists are asking a question.

I think jumping to the possibility that biological systems share the same weaknesses as computer programs is a bit of a stretch.

I've not come across the phrase "jumping to the possibility" before. If I 'jump' to giving this a possibility of 2%, is that a 'stretch'?

Comment: Re:Optical illusuions? (Score 1) 230

by Warbothong (#47098983) Attached to: The Flaw Lurking In Every Deep Neural Net

If a deep neural network is biologically inspired we can ask the question, does the same result apply to biological networks? Put more bluntly, 'Does the human brain have similar built-in errors?

And, my second question, just because deep neural networks are biologically inspired, can we infer from this kind of issue in computer programs that there is likely to be a biological equivalent? Or has everyone made the same mistake and/or we're seeing a limitation in the technology?

Maybe the problem isn't with the biology, but the technology?

Or are we so confident in neural networks that we deem them infallible? (Which, obviously, they aren't.)

You're just repeating the question asked in the summary.

Comment: Re:Broader implications? (Score 2) 67

by Warbothong (#46999313) Attached to: RFC 7258: Pervasive Monitoring Is an Attack

"Monitoring" is an awfully loose term. Could this, for instance, apply to such things as the persistant port scanning (e.g. "monitoring" which ports a user has open on a given IP) and thus have implications for operations like Shodan HQ, or even the periodic scans of the entire Internet done by the likes of H.D. Moore and other companies or universities conducting research?

Research is conducted based on the data available. If stronger protocols reduce the amount of available data, research will continue with that reduced amount of data.

If some research specifically requires more data, that's OK. That's called 'performing an experiment', and there are numerous procedures which can be followed to do this. One thing they all have in common is that if they involve people, like Internet monitoring does, then it must pass an ethics board and gain consent from all of the subjects involved.

If that were the case today, there wouldn't be all of this mess playing out.

Weekends were made for programming. - Karl Lehenbauer