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Comment: Re:Canada (Score 2, Informative) 542

by p0tat03 (#29820521) Attached to: The Kindle Killer Arrives

Blame Canadian content laws. Amazon is classified as a bookstore in Canada, and therefore must sell X percent Canadian content - a protectionist policy that supposedly protects us from evil Americans taking over our media. The net result is that Amazon could either stock and attempt to sell a boatload of Canadiana which sell poorly (and in Amazon's low-margin line of business, is death), or Amazon can choose not to operate in Canada at all. It has chosen the latter. is operated entirely from within the USA (no employees or warehouses in Canada), and all shipping is contracted out to a 3rd party (which, being a shipper, is not subject to the content laws).

Funny enough though, the shipper that handles all of's work, the one that helps the company dodge Canadian law - is none other than Canada Post, owned and operated by our government. Some things just don't make sense.

Comment: Re:L4D is maybe not the best example (Score 1) 60

by p0tat03 (#27700133) Attached to: Contrasting User-Driven Play With Developer Vision

'Tis the problem when the opponent doesn't learn - play L4D in Versus mode and see the difference. Instead of playing for story, you're not playing for that sublime moment when everything comes together for a truly spectacular experience.

For example, I remember one time I was on the zombie team, the survivors were in the generator room right after the subway, classic faceoff situation. Our boomer bile-bomed two survivors, who got swarmed with zombies at the worst possible moment. Their buddy who tried to help got snake-tongued by me and dragged through a hole in the floor into the sub-basement. His other friend decided to come help, and got ambushed alone by a hunter on my team. Sublime, perfect takedown.

Even after months of playing, these moments still occur, and they are just as satisfying every time.

Comment: Re:Smart enough... (Score 1) 515

by p0tat03 (#27685453) Attached to: "Good Enough" Computers Are the Future

While we're on the topic of aesthetics and usability - IMHO Linux will not be truly competitive at the consumer level until FOSS developers start taking UI seriously.

Look at apps like VLC, or worse, the GIMP or Blender - the UI is an unmitigated mess. Even relatively easy-to-use apps follow absolutely no UI design guidelines, creating islands of usability that have no consistency in between.

Compare with something like OSX - preferences always in the same place, menus always displayed the same way, options always organized in a particular manner... it's consistency that users enjoy that Linux currently cannot offer.

Comment: Re:The real question is.... (Score 5, Informative) 323

by p0tat03 (#27655215) Attached to: US Military Issuing iPod Touches To Soldiers

Er... You know that Apple officially supports "Enterprise apps" on iPhone? Which is to say, privately developed apps available on an intranet "App Store". The bonus here is also that these apps do not require Apple approval, just the appropriate develpment licenses.

Next time do a little research before getting sarcastic.

Comment: Re:In a word... (Score 1) 1385

by p0tat03 (#27619663) Attached to: Obama Proposes High-Speed Rail System For the US

I agree, while it would be nice to have fast inter-city rail, the amount of traffic you're saving is peanuts compared to how much you could save with proper heavy-rail transit.

As a civilization we need to start packing our people in denser cities, it's both economical and more environmentally friendly.

Comment: Re:In a word... (Score 1) 1385

by p0tat03 (#27619579) Attached to: Obama Proposes High-Speed Rail System For the US

There's a better way. In Toronto, Canada, the entire downtown core is connected underground - not just scary pedestrian tunnels either, I'm talking about a virtual underground city. This has a few advantages:

- Allows people to travel between train station, subway stations, bus stations, and everywhere, to everywhere else downtown, without ever stepping foot outside in the rain or snow.

- Creates massive foot traffic that encourages retail business. Who'd trek all the way out for lunch when food is downstairs?

Toronto honestly has one of the best transit systems I've seen, despite its recent mismanagement.

Comment: Re:REALLY now? (Score 1) 290

by p0tat03 (#27584319) Attached to: Google Losing Up To $1.65M a Day On YouTube

Where/when have we heard this argument before?

No worries boss! It doesn't matter if we're losing money hand over fist! Once we have a kajillion users we'll just show ads to them or something! Oh please, if we can generate a penny a month off every human being on Earth we're still filthy rich!

So sayeth everyone before the dot com crash.

Excuse me if I only have faith in companies that *make money*, as opposed to companies that are perpetually *this close* to having something to sell. YouTube never had a business model going in, and this has been obvious for a while.

Comment: Re:Alternative viewpoint: (Score 1) 443

by p0tat03 (#27511449) Attached to: New ICANN TLDs May Cause Internet Land Rush

That's incidental - you use because they're a well-known brand, or because you like their service. You don't visit their site because it's the first thing that entered your mind when you thought "I need a book a hotel".

They could very well have been and you would've still used their service.

Case in point:

Comment: Re:OT - thanks for SimCity tag! (Score 1) 123

by p0tat03 (#27468911) Attached to: Flawed Map Says L.A.'s Crime Highest Next to Police HQ

I've gotten this with almost every city I've ever built in that game... I would have a poorly-covered area that would be crime-ridden. Then I'd slap down a police station right next to this "crime den", and 50 years later I'm still getting hassled about how dangerous the area is. Oops?

Comment: Re:Of course we will... (Score 1) 219

by p0tat03 (#27465969) Attached to: No More OpenMoko Phone

Joe Public didn't buy the OpenMoko because it was a terrible phone. My roommate a while back bought one, and it was something not ready to see the light of day.

Don't blame Joe Public for not supporting your idea of freedom, when your free alternative can barely make a call (and crash half the time while doing it).

The hardware was clunky, the phone itself was massive. The touchscreen was of poor quality compared to its contemporaries... the only good part was the really well-done stylus. The software on the other hand was an unmitigated disaster. Things just didn't work - the phone couldn't play media, much less have a nice UI for doing so, and it even had trouble making calls.

"Stupidity, like virtue, is its own reward" -- William E. Davidsen