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screw flying cars, why don't we have plastic books?
We do, my friend. They're called tablets and e-readers. But while I certainly am no luddite, I have to admit that reading words on a glowing screen is no substitute for the experience of reading from printed book. There's something about reading a book on a tablet I find unsatisfying.
It's not racist to point out that a culture has flaws. What I think a lot of Westerners don't understand about China is that it's not just like this government was created in a vacuum; the corruption, lying, cheating and general lack of ethical and moral scruples are facets of modern Chinese culture that also happen to manifest themselves in their government.
Maybe it's because in a computer game no one ever gets into character and brings pathos to the role. Sure, the mechanics and special effects of computers are great, but nobody really gets emotionally attached to their character (beyond how much time they spend levelling up) and...the storytelling just isn't there.
Roleplay-enforced MUDs might be right up your alley.
Personally, I blame him for the deluge of bad decisions coming out of Blizzard regarding Starcraft II, including:
-No LAN play
-No cross-regional play
-Fees for tournaments and a more centralized, locked-down system in Battle.net 2.0
Most or all of these features were available in the Starcraft, which was released in 1998! I expect some or all of the features that the community is clamoring for will be introduced eventually--for a subscription fee. Because that's all Kotick sees in the Starcraft community: a bunch of passive cows who are just begging to be milked of all their worth.
And the worst part is, I pre-ordered Starcraft II anyway. Sigh.
Another example of the higher level of piracy is Baidu's music search. Baidu is the Chinese equivalent of Google, and using mp3.baidu.com you can find pirated mp3s of pretty much every song you'd want to hear. They block some of the files if you are accessing it from a foreign IP address, though. Check this search I just did (from inside China). Can you imagine if Google had a site like this? It would be sued into oblivion (although blogsearch.google.com can get pretty close!)
Even on TV, pirating is rampant. Talk shows and reality shows often take their background music the soundtracks of popular films like the Lord of the Rings or Star Wars, and something tells me they aren't coughing up royalty checks for that.
On my aging Mac, I started out with Safari, then switched to Firefox when Safari started getting buggy as hell for no apparent reason. A couple months back I switched to Chrome just for kicks, but after a while started noticing it wasn't as stable or bug-free as Firefox (specifically, Flash would die and my Youtube vids would have to be restarted, also when I have lots of tabs open some pages appear to be blank even though they have loaded and are supposed to display content on them). So I switched back to good ol' Firefox. Sure, maybe it's not the fastest, the sleekest, or the most advanced browser on the planet, but it's damned reliable and eminently useable!
Oh, the irony. Maybe I should become an hero.