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Comment: Re:No, WE do not have a responsibility (Score 1) 278

by databank (#31989740) Attached to: Supreme Court To Rule On State Video Game Regulation

You may not be able to tell what your children is doing 100% of the time but it seems to me that its a lot easier to control the distribution of money at the parents end. If your kids don't have money then they can't buy the game or have to ask you for it.

The exception IMHO is if kids get a job. Ultimately, if they get a job and make their own money then they are already showing the signs of maturity to becoming independent and have the right to make a decision with the money they make.

I would never tell anyone how to raise their kids and every child is different but there are sensible alternatives out there then making more laws.

Comment: I'll play Devils Advocate here (Score 5, Insightful) 547

by databank (#31850252) Attached to: How Many Hours a Week Can You Program?

Is it okay for you to hire a gardener for 20 hours of work and have him actually work 10 hours and take a break for 10 hours?

Some people may feel that that analogy doesn't have any bearing cause its not in an IT field. Say, if you decide to hire a web design consultant, would you be okay with paying him out of your own pocket for a 40 hour week if it includes surfing the web, chatting with friends over the phone, taking long lunches etc?

This doesn't mean you need to chain someone down to their job and certainly taking small breaks throughout the day is needed just to mentally refocus, but if you don't feel comfortable paying someone 40 hours for 20 hours of work, why would an employer be okay about it?

Food for thought.

Comment: Re:Old news (Score 1) 560

by databank (#31011048) Attached to: Will Your Super Bowl Party Anger the Copyright Gods?

Thank you for your comments. I also totally agree that as a technical achievement, Avatar makes its mark just like Jurassic Park or Matrix did when it first came out. Also, I agree that financially it did very well as only James Cameron could do in producing the film. In fact, I will certainly add Avatar to my collection of DVD's (of which I have over a thousand titles now so I'm certainly contributing to the MPAA as well.) The only reason I brought it up was to point out that the media industries have THAT much money to commit to a single film which ultimately had a return investment that was as great as expected. 10 years ago, it would have been unheard of for any movie investors to put that much money on a single title. In order for them to be able to put that kind of money into it means that their method of generating revenue through multiple streams is already a success for them.

As a side note, when a DVD stops making money it no longer gets produced (Out of Print). Yet sales for $4.99 DVD's (usually on older titles) means that movie companies can still make a profit on them at that price. Apple's model for their Itunes store is straightforward and simple. Every song gets a flat rate. If it does well, it makes a lot of money in sales. If people don't like it as much, they sell for less and the artist gets less money. Straightforward profit-gain ratio. Setting up adjusted prices so that popular stuff sells for more, and crappy stuff sells for less is designed only to eek more money out of a consumer base. There's no additional value being added or subtracted beyond what the music industry thinks people are willing to pay.

Comment: Re:Old news (Score 1) 560

by databank (#30987750) Attached to: Will Your Super Bowl Party Anger the Copyright Gods?

But that's because it was designed that way (to be complicated). There is no reason for content that has very little manufacture cost (can we say 1.5 cents per DVD in bulk?) to cost as much as it does. There are already tariffs for blank DVD's and CD-R's in many countries (see Canada, Italy and Spain) even if it is never used for anything but data duplication.

Money is already being generated through Ad-streams and revenue both on the DVD's and on the air and even on cable and paid subscription shows. We seem to necessitate that the movie industries should make profit from tarriffs on storage mediums as well as advertisements and sales of the DVD's. Yet even with multiple revenue streams, spending $15 on a DVD isn't enough? Even when the media industries have been so successful over the years that they make that they can afford to spend $500 million to have James Cameron make Avatar?

PlayStation (Games)

PS3 Hacked? 296

Posted by Soulskill
from the another-one-bites-the-dust dept.
Several readers have sent word that George Hotz (a.k.a. geohot), the hacker best known for unlocking Apple's iPhone, says he has now hacked the PlayStation 3. From his blog post: "I have read/write access to the entire system memory, and HV level access to the processor. In other words, I have hacked the PS3. The rest is just software. And reversing. I have a lot of reversing ahead of me, as I now have dumps of LV0 and LV1. I've also dumped the NAND without removing it or a modchip. 3 years, 2 months, 11 days...that's a pretty secure system. ... As far as the exploit goes, I'm not revealing it yet. The theory isn't really patchable, but they can make implementations much harder. Also, for obvious reasons I can't post dumps. I'm hoping to find the decryption keys and post them, but they may be embedded in hardware. Hopefully keys are setup like the iPhone's KBAG."
Biotech

One Variety of Sea Slugs Cuts Out the Energy Middleman 232

Posted by timothy
from the would-never-leave-the-house dept.
dragonturtle69 writes with this story, short on details but interesting: "These sea slugs, Elysia chlorotica, have evolved the ability to gain energy via photosynthesis. Forget about genetic modifications for sports enhancements. I want to be able to never need to eat again — or do I?"
Government

Moscow Police Watch Pre-Recorded Scenes On Surveillance Cams 114

Posted by samzenpus
from the I-always-feel-like-nobody-is-watching-me dept.
An anonymous reader writes "During several months of 2009, Moscow police looked at fake pictures displayed on their monitors instead of what was supposed to be video from the city surveillance cams. The subcontractor providing the cams was paid on the basis of 'the number of working cams,' so he delivered pre-cooked pictures stored on his servers. The camera company CEO has been arrested."
Games

Palm Pre and WebOS Get Native Gaming 49

Posted by Soulskill
from the break-out-your-rocket-launcher dept.
rboatright writes "WebOS developers have been waiting, and with the 1.3.5 release, Palm's open source page suddenly listed SDL. Members of the WebOS internals team took that as a challenge and within 24 hours had a working port of Doom running in SDL on the Pre, in a webOS card. 48 hours later, they not only had Quake running, but had found in the latest LunaSysMgr the requirements to launch a native app from the webOS app launcher from an icon just like any other app. At the same time, the team demonstrated openGL apps running. With full native code support, with I/O available via SDL, developers now have a preview into Palm's future intent with regard to native code SDK's, and a hint of what's coming."
Image

Dad Delivers Baby Using Wiki 249

Posted by samzenpus
from the 9cm-edited dept.
sonamchauhan writes "A Londoner helped his wife deliver their baby by Googling 'how to deliver a baby' on his mobile phone. From the article: 'Today proud Mr Smith said: "The midwife had checked Emma earlier in the day but contractions started up again at about 8pm so we called the midwife to come back. But then everything happened so quickly I realized Emma was going to give birth. I wasn't sure what I was going to do so I just looked up the instructions on the internet using my BlackBerry."'"
Games

Games Workshop Goes After Fan Site 174

Posted by Soulskill
from the don't-anger-your-base dept.
mark.leaman writes "BoingBoing has a recent post regarding Games Workshop's aggressive posturing against fan sites featuring derivative work of their game products. 'Game publisher and miniature manufacturer Games Workshop just sent a cease and desist letter to boardgamegeek.com, telling them to remove all fan-made players' aids. This includes scenarios, rules summaries, inventory manifests, scans to help replace worn pieces — many of these created for long out of print, well-loved games...' As a lifelong hobby gamer of table, board, card and miniature games, I view this as pure heresy. It made me reject the idea of buying any Games Workshop (read Warhammer) products for my son this Christmas. Their fate was sealed, in terms of my wallet, after I Googled their shenanigans. In 2007 they forbid Warhammer fan films, this year they shut down Vassal Modules, and a while back they went after retailers as well. What ever happened to fair use?"
Emulation (Games)

Nintendo Upset Over Nokia Game Emulation Video 189

Posted by Soulskill
from the super-mario-takedown dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Nintendo is investigating potential copyright infringement by Nokia during some video demos of their N900 phone, which can be seen emulating Nintendo games. Nintendo spokesman Robert Saunders says: 'We take rigorous steps to protect our IP and our legal team will examine this to determine if any infringement has taken place.' In the video, Nokia says, 'Most publishers allow individual title usage, provided that the user is in possession of the original title.'"

Comment: Re:The only person dumber than a computer salesper (Score 1) 650

by databank (#29569937) Attached to: Bad PC Sales Staff Exposed

But that's true of just about any field. When's the last time you cared whether or not a blanket used a cross-stitch, chain-stitch or overlock?

Or whether the food you buy is flash pasteurized, irradiated or high pressure pasteurized?

Does it really matter? Maybe, maybe not. But every field has its own jargon and technobabble. People need to make the effort themselves to learn enough to make a qualified decision but the truth is a lot of times we just don't. It's easier to blame the sales person or the tech expert (in any field.) It's harder to blame ourselves for not making the effort.

Technology

New Nano-Laser Created 84

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the very-small-breakthroughs dept.
Many sources are reporting that researchers have created the world's smallest laser since the inception of lasers almost a half-century ago. Dubbed "spasers," as an acronym for "surface plasmon amplification by stimulated emission of radiation," their incredibly tiny size could become a critical component for future technologies like "nanophotonic" circuitry. "Such circuits will require a laser-light source, but current lasers can't be made small enough to integrate them into electronic chips. Now researchers have overcome this obstacle, harnessing clouds of electrons called 'surface plasmons,' instead of the photons that make up light, to create the tiny spasers."

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