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Comment: Outrage VS the future (Score 1) 291

by phorm (#47920087) Attached to: Say Goodbye To That Unwanted U2 Album

I'm really of two opinions on this. In terms of "hey, an album appeared that I didn't wanted", meh just get rid of it. In terms of "hey, a company whom I am a customer of basically dropped a package on my device for free", well that's not as cool.

So in terms of the current negative publicity, I'd hope that the current backlash makes them and others think twice about doing so in the future. It's like companies that - after I buy a product from them using paypal - have decided to bomb my paypal email address with ads for other shit I don't really want. It's a new form of SPAM, and certainly not something we need. What if it wasn't a big-name artist?
How would people feel if Apple decided that maybe you want "Best of American Gospel Music"? How about if there wasn't a huge backlash, so they signed a deal with a few dozen other bands and decided "hey, let's drop a bunch more stuff in people's accounts, it's *free* so that's OK right?"

Companies like Netflix make "suggestions" based on your history. If Apple wants people to hit a "Suggested for You" section and a "Free/Promotional Music" section where people can browse, that's cool. Jamming it into somebody's library for a marketing promotion is spammy and breaks the lines between "your service" and "my account".

Comment: Free books (Score 1) 291

by phorm (#47919975) Attached to: Say Goodbye To That Unwanted U2 Album

If you installed Google Books when it first came out, then you would have automatically have "bought" (for free) copies of various classic literature items that automatically dropped into your library. The main difference is that these were presumably out-of-copyright books and not being pushed as a marketing stunt, but the end result was rather similar. I wasn't overly offended by it but it seems a result of similar thinking on the behalf of the "store" manager ("oh, we'll just mark these as purchased and free so anyone can get them" without thinking about whether people *wanted* them).

Comment: Re:Like traffic tickets (Score 1) 285

Sounds like the creepers that get nailed in "to catch a predator."
The thing is, there *are* aggressive 13-yr-olds out there. Often that aggression stems from an already messed-up upbringing, but you've suddenly jumped from "do we want to nail people for having pictures" to "do we want to nail people who knowing meet with young minors for illicit relationships".

I don't have any problem with cops posing as 13-yr-olds, and being a social misfit certainly isn't a reason for engaging in such contact.
I *DON'T* see many issues with an older individual befriending a younger person on a truly platonic level. In many ways, lack of adult guidance is probably one of the reason we're seeing many messed-up youth. But when you're meeting people with expectations beyond that (regardless of whether said person is real or fake), then it's bad news.

Comment: Branches (Score 1) 285

What if it's a search that any civilian can do. As an individual, I can report things on the internet that are obviously illegal. Is there anything stopping him from reporting to the police/etc - as Navy personnel - material that any regular citizen would just as easily been able to find?

One question becomes who to report to (because frankly, some cops may be just as likely to investigate the person making the report). In the case of child abuse, I'd prefer www.missingkids.com for child abuse, but is there any truly effective and anonymous reporting agency?

Comment: Like traffic tickets (Score 1) 285

like traffic tickets. It's a lot easier for a cop to sit on his ass eating donuts in front of a computer monitor than it is to go out and prosecute actual sex crimes

I know somebody who does this job. If you think it's easy then how about YOU try it. Firstly, it isn't just "randomly searching the internet for bad stuff", but quite often investigating the computers of people who have an outstanding accusation of abuse (e.g. Timmy said uncle Frank has been doing something fairly heinous) for further evidence. At that point, they'll often find images of the person committing the abusive acts in question, as well as a trove of some fairly sick shit. We're not talking bathtub and beach pictures here, we're talking pain, degradation, and suffering.

Perhaps you think you can get away with looking at pictures of children being abused for days on end and not end up being not being affected, but it's certainly not a job that *I* would want to do.

Now, your initial argument is that 18 years is too long for just "traders." That may be a bit more reasonable, especially since these days it's pretty easy to pick up some weird/borderline crap on your computer just by visiting some hack/torrent sites (nasty banners). I'm not sure what the threshold for content is between "collecting" and "has nasty crap on computer", but that would be much more of a concern than your so-called "lazy" cops who have to look at sludge all day long.

Comment: on the Gnutella file-sharing network (Score 1) 285

As with other earlier P2P networks, wouldn't it just be a matter of "look for something bad and see who has it? Personally, if you're sharing out "illegal [xxx] blah" on a public network, how is it different from hosting a webpage with the same material?

Now if he was breaking into people's computers to find it, I can understand, but in this case it sounds like he pretty much just looked for what people were sharing publicly. If it's public, the expectation of privacy should be pretty low, so what are the search restrictions in that case?

Comment: 50-60%? I don't think so (Score 1) 211

by phorm (#47891631) Attached to: Kickstarter's Problem: You Have To Make the Game Before You Ask For Money

Thinking on these two kickstarters

Mighty #9, basically a game similar to Mega Man, it had some basic concept art and rough drawings, but I'd hardly call that anywhere near 50%

SpaceVenture, same deal. Concept art, some rough ideas. Mostly, from guys who are known to produce.

If you don't have a reputation already, and no prototype that's at least semi-functional, then really you've got nothing much to offer other than a promise and a prayer.

You have no way to show whether your idea is feasible. You have no way to know how much work is actually involved. I have no way to know that you won't be taking my money and using it to fund a Caribbean vacation or drug/drinking habit.

Seriously, for a computer game come up with an intro video that shows you can make it look good, and a few rough gameplay concepts that show you can make it *run*. You still have: level design, art design, storyboard design, voice acting as needed, sound production, etc etc. You're not even close to 50% at that point, but at least you can show that you can make *something*.

But, without reputation, you have to either have a great idea that's unique and desirable, *really* good marketing, or something tangible. Notwithstanding the dude that kickstarted potato salad, that's just weird...

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