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Journal: Why I pirate

Journal by SmallFurryCreature
On 9 October 2012, the game XCOM: Enemy launched... launched in the US. Unknown to me, the EU launch date was to several days layer, 12 October 2012. Maybe. Yet, 9 October 2012, I received an SMS from Gamemania.nl a dutch gaming retailer chain, that my copy was ready to be picked up. So I left work early that day to arrive 17:54 in front of the store. Doors pulled almost shut, store had already closed and refused to serve me. Very well, I thought there are other stores in the world, so I bought it the next day at Free Record Shop in Amsterdam. Then when I came home, I tried to install. First I had to install steam, which crashed, crashed and crashed some more but finally I got it working and had to create an account. Then activate my email. Then I installed the game and was told it was not released. What? If the game was not released, what was I holding in my hand? Note the error message mentioned nothing about a region or what would be the release date. Just not released. By google came to my aid and I found that throughout Europe, the game was available for sale but not yet ready for install. I read this from angry users posts. Not a single forum had an official answer yet. Not yet and counting. Even the official release date was less then clear. But I know my Internet, if Steam, Dutch retailing, 2kgames/firaxis couldn't/wouldn't help me, maybe some pirates would? thepiratebay itself is of course famously blocked in holland but there plenty of mirrors around. So I checked and yes, full downloads were available in various flavours for a total cost of ZERO bucks! And if you had issues, then the supplies answered your question in minutes. Not like the hours, days and counting before getting a reply from people I had payed money too. Many a reply to a piracy story has had comments similar to my story, so what is so special about it? Nothing. Just that after years of downloading, I have with MMO's gotten used again to paying and I didn't have any issue with paying for this game, if it had worked. But I do have an issue with paying 50 euro's for a game that can't be played and that now that I have read the forums I have seen is filled with bugs. Bugs the official forums have no answers for but that are fixed on piracy forums. To repeat myself, for this game the people that wanted me to pay did:
  • Act as if my giving them money is a favor they are doing me and only when they feel like it, opening hours be damned.
  • Not reply in a timely manner (or at all) to complaints
  • Treat Europeans as second rate customers for no reason (what are they afraid of, that a world-wide release will overload the servers)
  • Break consumer laws by selling a product not fit for its purpose (a game that can't even be installed is obviously not a fit product)

Meanwhile, the pirates offer:

  • Early access
  • No charge
  • Free, fast useful support by computer experts.
  • Service available any day of the week at any hour.

Sometimes the anti-piracy people complain the content industry can't compete with free. But come ON! I had PAYED already and the companies just said "no". Meanwhile the group that doesn't want money, said "yes". This is like paying a hooker to have an headache while your wife is stuffing your wallet full of money and begging for sex. Something ain't right!

And this is why I pirate. Because how else can I send the signal that I am not a sheep who will just keep turning the other cheek? Sure, there are sheep who advocate just that, just wait 3 days, it is not the developers fault etc etc. FUCK THAT! Nothing is every anybodies fault and I as a consumer should just take it all and keep quiet.

NO! And that is my reason why I post about being a pirate. Because just downloading alone isn't enough. Consumer boycotts don't work, there are to many sheep drowning out the silent protest of people like me who just see no other option but to not pay to make it clear I expect more service for my cash.

Because I see no other option. Mails go unanwered, forum posts get ignored, I can get my money back from the store and the sales clerk don't care, not his problem. How can I HURT that manager who thought it was a good idea to do a staggered release, hurt that Steam admin who didn't just flip a switch to prevent customers getting angry. How can I even get the companies involved to acknowledge my existence?

I can't. But I can keep my money in my pocket. That doesn't solve anything but it is a lot more fun having impotent nerd rage with cash then without.

Anyone want a beer over the backs of game developers who haven't learned that if they want an income, they need to tell their managers to not upset their customers?

User Journal

Journal: overrated again. 1

Journal by sumdumass

Wow.. took a break from slashdot for a while and already the mass down mods are happening again. Its no wonder why almost every story has posts with people crying about how slashdot has turned to shit. I guess it is a sign of how desperate someone's position is when they have to downmod with overrated just to stop an opinion they disagree with from being seen.

What's that saying about reality is everything that remains when you close you eyes and stop choosing to believe in something? I guess the same is true with the downmods. Just because they attempt to hide the comment doesn't mean the statement stops being true, it only means it stops being seen as easily. I can imagine a group of idiots sitting around plotting and planning thier down mod adventures in a comic book esq setting with them laughing about how they will win the war of whatever they deemed important at the minute, by not letting others speak or letting their speech be seen/heard. Then they stop to pop their zits and return to the plotting while declaring that if they are the only ones heard, they would always win,.

Of course the reality is probably much simpler and less sinister. It is more likely someone got but hurt by a comment made and while sitting in their mom's basement reassessing the pathetic life they live, decide to take their anger and frustrations out by mass downmodding someone they disagree with. They might pause for a minute to wipe the tears from their eyes, but are set to teach someone a lesson about having opinions contrary to their own.

It's funny.  Laugh.

Journal: Sometimes you just have to laugh 6

Journal by Fjandr

Well hello there Slashdot Journal, long time no see!

Somewhat surprisingly, given the nature of Internet forums, I don't encounter too many people of this ... let's say ... caliber. At least not directly. I guess I caught Sexconker on what appears to be (at least from a perusal of their comments as they exist at this moment) a very rare non-dickish post. Well, there's still the ubiquitous swearing in it, but it was targeted at people who, to be fair, usually actually are assholes of some stripe or another.

The chain of posts starts here. It's actually fairly reasonable, allowing some license for what appears to be a decided lack of foresight. That is, until you get to the end. As a result of my disagreeing that a GPU can perform all operations available to the newer ARM processors (specifically access-controlled states and the use of specific cryptographic instructions), I "don't get it." As a result, I am worthy of nothing but the derision of a "lolbro you dumb."

The irony of that statement made me chuckle a bit. Sometimes, you just have to laugh...

User Journal

Journal: in which i am a noob all over again 17

Journal by CleverNickName

I haven't posted a journal here in almost three years, because I couldn't find the button to start a new entry. ...yeah, it turns out that it's at the bottom of the page.

So... hi, Slashdot. I used to be really active here, but now I mostly lurk and read. I've missed you.

User Journal

Journal: Star Trek meets Candyland 5

Journal by grub

The other day my family was playing Candyland. Our daughter was getting into it so I started playing some classic Star Trek fight music.
The music ends just as she advances to GLORIOUS VICTORY!

YouTube video here

It's awesome, not that I'm biased... :)
The Internet

Journal: Ghost Article: Tea Party Win Shake Up Net Neutrality

Journal by RobertB-DC

This ungrammatical ghost (either "win shakes" or "wins shake" would have been correct) was a clear duplicate of another story, so I knew it was doomed when I saw it.

Tea Party Win Shake Up Net Neutrality
Date: 11/04/2010
Original link: http://politics.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=10/11/04/1544211
Posted by CmdrTaco in The Mysterious Future!
from the tea-shake dept.

GovTechGuy found a story discussing the Republican and Tea Party congressional wins and what that means for Net Neutrality. Apparently most of the dems who signed the net neutrality pledge last week are now looking for work.

User Journal

Journal: Your feedback wanted on the Slashdot Discussion System 5

Journal by wowbagger

Well, perhaps there is hope for Slashdot. Or perhaps it is just my blood sugar being low, as dinner is still cooking.

I received the following email:

From: feedback@slashdot.org
To: feedback@slashdot.org
Subject: Your feedback wanted on the Slashdot Discussion System
Date: Mon, 1 Nov 2010 17:13:46 -0400 (11/01/2010 04:13:46 PM)

Greetings Slashdot Discussion User,

We'd like your feedback on the Slashdot Discussion system.

Recently we performed a test moving many users who had chosen the
Classic Discussion System over to our newer Discussion2 system.
During the process we took note of which users switched their pref
back to the Classic Discussion System, and noticed you were among
those users.

You've shown your preference for the Classic Discussion System, but we
want to know *why* you prefer it, and *what* you prefer about it.

We'd like you to let us know:
    * What you don't like, doesn't work, is confusing, or missing from
Discussion2.
    * What can we improve on Discussion2 to make it more usable for you?
    * What are your main reasons for preferring the Classic Discussion System?
    * What features of Classic Discussion make it easier for you to
read, moderate, and participate in discussions?

You can give us your feedback by replying to this email, or sending a
message to feedback@slashdot.org

Thanks for all your contributions on Slashdot. We look forward to
your feedback, and using it to make Slashdot better for you, and all
your fellow commenters, readers, and moderators.

-- The Slashdot Team

To which I replied:

On Mon, 2010-11-01 at 17:13 -0400, feedback@slashdot.org wrote:
    * What you don't like
> Being REQUIRED to use Javascript
, doesn't work
> Pretty much the whole thing, if you turn off Javascript.
, is confusing, or missing from
> Discussion2.
> A graceful fallback to operating without Javascript.
    * What are your main reasons for preferring the Classic Discussion System?
> That I don't have to run arbitrary code from the Internet to use it. Javascript is a Turing complete language, so this idea that it can be made "safe" is just another way of saying "Hey, I've solved the Halting Problem!".

    * What features of Classic Discussion make it easier for you to
> read,
> Again, that Javascript isn't sucking down all my machine
  moderate,
> Ha! As if I CAN ever moderate! I had not seen mod points in two years when I finally decided to not waste my time on metamoderation or moderation.
> and participate in discussions
Of course, writing comments, especially in a Journal Entry, is almost impossible with classic, as you have still made everything almost completely dependent upon Javascript. I am sure you will be able to track down the last little bit of usability without Javascript and eliminate it, however.

User Journal

Journal: Answering questions the smart way 3

Journal by wowbagger
In How to ask questions the Smart Way", Eric Raymond provides guidelines about asking questions in a manner that will get you the most reasonable answers. However, I think there needs to be a companion piece, "Answering Questions the Smart Way". Here's a start - I'd like feedback.

So, you are a participant on an online forum, and somebody has asked a question. You want to answer it, but before you click Reply, take a moment to think about answering the question The Smart Way.

First of all, are you really about to answer the question? If somebody asks "Where can I find some water?", saying "There's beer in the fridge" isn't answering the question they asked. It may be answering the question "Where is there something to drink?", but that's not what was asked.
Now, it may be legitimate to ask for more detail - "what do you need water for? Are you thirsty? Is it for irrigation? Is something on fire?" - but only if the question is unclear. A clear question deserves a clear answer (with possibly a request for more detail):
"Where can I find some water?"
"There's a faucet over there - why do you need water?"
Then if the person says "Because I'm thirsty", you can mention the beer. If they say "Because my cat is on fire", well, the beer probably wasn't the right answer.

Second, is your answer helpful?
If somebody asks "How do I keep my hard disk cool when it's 50C where I am using it?", then "Go someplace cooler" isn't helpful. You don't know why he's working someplace so hot, so take it as a precondition that he has to work there. Saying "Don't use it where it's so hot - that voids the warranty" isn't answering the question asked in a way that is useful.

Third, if you are going to answer "RTFM" - you might actually take a moment to supply a link to where the Fine Manual is - perhaps even point out a chapter or page that addresses the issue. Likewise, "Search the F'n Web" isn't as helpful as adding a quick link with the right search terms. And if you are too busy to be bothered with doing that, then you are too busy to answer the question, so let somebody else do it.

Fourth, saying "Everybody always asks that" or "That question comes up everytime $THING is mentioned" isn't answering the question. Try saying "This is a common issue, look at this URL for info". Oh, there is no URL you can give? Then perhaps this is a question that deserves a FAQ somewhere?

It's OK to point somebody at How to ask questions the Smart Way" if they need it, but ultimately, they asked a question because, curiously enough, they would like to know the answer to their question . It's only Smart to actually provide it.
Piracy

Journal: Ghost Article: BSA Inflate Their Piracy Losses 2

Journal by RobertB-DC

My guess is that this Monday-morning submission turned out to be a duplicate of something that came in over the weekend. But I haven't had a chance to check.

BSA Inflate Their Piracy Losses
Date: 09/20/2010
Original link: http://yro.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=10/09/20/1525220
Posted by CmdrTaco in The Mysterious Future!
from the thats-just-marketing dept.

superapecommando noted that Glyn Moody reckons
"The IDC numbers turn out to be reasonable enough, the conclusions drawn from them are not. Reducing software piracy will not magically conjure up those hundreds of billions of dollars of economic growth that the BSA invokes, or create huge numbers of new jobs: it will simply move the money around â" in fact, it will send more of it outside local economies to the US, and reduce the local employment. And it certainly won't do anything to ameliorate the quotidian problems of poorly-written software..."

User Journal

Journal: Either airlines are stupid, or they are crafty... 4

Journal by wowbagger

First, read
this story.

It's about an airline seat called the "SkyRider", which is designed to cram a passenger into only 23 inches, being demonstrated at an airline industry conference.

There's this wonderful quote in the article:

The airline industry had nearly recovered from the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks when the recession hit in 2007, dramatically cutting demand, particularly among business travelers who began flying less, booking economy-class seats and staying in cheaper hotels.

Hmm. The recession could be the cause, or perhaps the cause is that most people don't find flying enjoyable, and that in many cases flying isn't any faster than driving? I was talking with a co-worker from another facility, who was in Wichita for a meeting. He had to fly back to Columbus, OH, and it would take him 10 hours to do so. Look at this map.
Google is pretty conservative about its time estimates, and THEY have it being 14 hours to drive. Now, you might argue that, given 14 hours driving vs. 4 hours flying and a 6 hour layover, flying would be preferable. But consider how much bull you have to put up with flying. Consider that driving, you can stop in KC for BBQ, stop in St. Louis at the Arch, and that you WON'T have your trip canceled mid-way because of weather.

Now the suppliers for the airlines are suggesting I make the whole trip damn near standing, crammed in like a sardine. And they wonder why people don't want to fly.

So, either:
1) the suppliers are stupid, the airlines are not stupid, and this will go nowhere.
2) The suppliers are stupid, the airlines are stupid, they will adopt this, and then wonder why their brand-new "densified" planes are empty.
3) The airlines are smart, and are getting this sort of thing shown so they can say "See, we *care* about you, and we didn't adopt this, because we know you have a choice, and we want you to want to fly with us."

I just don't know which is true.

User Journal

Journal: Thanks for the gift subscription! 6

Journal by grub

I just received mail notification that a fellow user has bought me a gift subscription to slashdot. I'm already friends/fans with the person but his email address isn't visible so I can't thank the person off-/. (wimp, change your privacy settings and deal with the spam! :P )
 
Not sure what I did to deserve it, but I thank you!
 

Government

Journal: Ghost Article: UK Government Refuses To Ditch IE6 1

Journal by RobertB-DC

I was expecting this one to resurface -- it disappeared right about the time Slashdot posted a big political story -- but it hasn't come back yet. I'm guessing it's a dupe of a story over the weekend, but I haven't had time to go searching.

Your Rights Online: UK Government Refuses To Ditch IE6
Date: 08/02/2010
Orig link: http://yro.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=10/08/02/169202
Posted by CmdrTaco in The Mysterious Future!
from the good-plan-guys dept.

ChiefMonkeyGrinder writes
"The UK government has said it will not upgrade its departments computers from Microsoft Internet Explorer 6 because it would not be 'cost-effective'. A recent online petition posted to Number10.gov.uk received 6,223 signatures that called for the 'Prime Minister to encourage government departments to upgrade away from Internet Explorer 6' due to its alleged vulnerability to attack, and because it requires web developers to specially craft sites to support the browser. This raises the question, what is the cost of an upgrade compared to a massive security breach?"

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