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Comment: Assume your publication is dead (Score 1) 298

> the electronic version is quickly pirated and easily available around the world each month ....... We are a small company, and our survival depends not only on advertising but on the subscription fees

Find a way to track the piracy, then go to the advertisers and say "Hey! Look at how many people are reading our magazine!". Actually, just search the /. history, there are many people who are willing to track this kind of thing. The subscribers will continue to pay if they actually care about the content, and are in no way inconvenienced. As an example, I subscribe to the new Linux Journal e-Magazine version. I used to subscribe to the print version as well. However, I never really read them from cover to cover, I just liked them to be there when I wanted them. When they switched over to online only, I stopped subscribing, because logging into their site to read it meant it wasn't "just there when I wanted it". Eventually I bought a tablet and renewed my subscription (now online only). I have been pretty happy so far, but every now and then the DRM starts to annoy me (taking too long to load due to a huge complex network between my tablet and their servers that spans ISP's, countries and continents), so I am considering dropping them and just carrying on reading advertising sponsored sites whenever it suits me.

I think one of the biggest dichotomies between online advertising and print advertising now-a-days is that advertisers have made us hate adverts because they think we hate adverts. When I buy a newspaper, after reading the front page articles, I pull out the advertising section to see if there is anything that may help me save a few bucks in the next couple of days. It is the original "GroupOn". With online content now, sites throw adverts in your face, which means you either ignore them (normal people), or just put up ad-block (normally awesome people).

P.S I work for a company that could be construed as an advertising company in the Minority Report sense

Comment: Re:Dear God... (Score 1) 414

by rsimpson (#35957818) Attached to: Amazon Responds To "App Store" Lawsuit From Apple

Meh, it makes little difference really. Amazon win the right to call themselves an "AppStore" and they carry on business as usual. People continue to trust the idea of an "AppStore"

Amazon lose their right to call themselves an "AppStore", and they are forced to rebrand themselves as "X" and launch a large PR campaign to push the brand "X" that distuinghes themselves from the old and tired "AppStore". People become interested in the new hotness of "X" and start looking into it.

Amazon winning the "AppStore" lawsuite means they continue as is, which is riding on the coattails of Apple. Them losing gives them a chance to re-invent themselves as something shiny and new. And Amazon have to money and drive to back it up.

Comment: Re:No GPL-3 software means no violation (Score 1) 251

by rsimpson (#35855762) Attached to: GPL Violations By D-Link and Boxee

Well, yes, that was my thinking as well. But then I thought, "Hey, what if I wanted to reset to the factory default (which is arguably better) and just use that and never connect to the internet and receive the latest firmware update. Then, what if I wanted to make a change to gpgv2 and run the changed binary on my Boxee. In terms of the GPLv3, I *should* be able to, but I can't because I don't have the encryption keys required for the modified image to work".

It is all well and good if they have removed the offending software in recent updates (no way to check though, since you can't get any sort of shell access on the box anymore), but at one point they did violate the GPLv3. And for it, they should make ammends by providing the required keys ... even if it is only for that 1 single version that they released a long time ago that I still have the ability to run. However, the key for that build, and for any other build would be the same ... which I suppose is a win for people wanting to hack their Boxee Box.

Comment: Re:Important (Score 1) 222

by rsimpson (#35775598) Attached to: ALS Sufferer Used Legs To Contribute Last Patch

It isn't even really about doing something you honestly love, it is the sense of giving back and making a difference - no matter how small - in the world. I have submitted bug patches to Open Source projects before, and when you hit that submit button there is a sense of "there is one less problem in the world now".

I would like to think that when he submitted that patch, he felt he had made the world a better place and improved someones life. Something that had been ignored for 9 years is now resolved. That was his gift back to humanity.

Comment: Boxee Owner (Score 1) 77

by rsimpson (#35350120) Attached to: Boxee Scores $16.5M Investment
As a Boxee Box owner from almost day 1 of its release, I would say they finally made it out of the alpha stage and into the beta. While I love it, it is still riddled with bugs and poor design choices. Plus, as a non US resident (like the other 90% of the planet), Hulu (which btw, doesn't exist on Boxee), Netflix and Vudu mean nothing to me. I originally bought the Boxee Box because I believed it would be more open (ie. the firmware being open to hacking), as opposed to the other options where they are based off closed sourced code exclusively. Sadly this isn't the case. While I'm able to download the source for Boxee and fix the bugs, I'm unable to apply these fixes to my Boxee Box to make sure they are working 100%. This disappoints me. I can understand their need to make the content providers like Netflix and Vudu feel safe, but what about the other 90% of the market that has no access to these features? Why not go the Chrome route where you have one official build that supports the American content, and then still allow the Chromium builds that exclude the propriety stuff for a more community driven endeavor? I actually seethe with rage when I hear the Boxee team praising their support for American video service X. So what? Many other devices on the market already have that ... it isn't anything new. They are only diverting resources and alienating non US based residents to support the minority. And don't even get me started on them supporting new devices when they can't even get their flagship product working properly...

Comment: Re:Good Riddance (Score 3, Insightful) 968

by rsimpson (#34486522) Attached to: Google Wants To Take Away Your Capslock Key
I don't have a problem with them taking away the functionality of the Caps Lock key, but I do have a problem if they take the actual physical key away. I currently have it mapped to Ctrl because it is in such a convenient place just left of my pinky, and navigating around vim I use Ctrl a lot. So the function of Caps Lock is pointless, but the actual key itself is very important.

Comment: Re:In short (Score 2, Interesting) 511

by rsimpson (#31559750) Attached to: What Is Holding Back the Paperless Office?
This is the only real reason I have to buy a Tablet PC. A couple years ago I had the use of a tablet for a couple weeks to develop a proof of concept product. 90% of the time I ended up using it to take notes in meetings. You can scribble down notes like you would on a normal piece of paper, but then easily share those notes with other people. Plus, if you realize that the way you have drawn your diagrams interferes with your notes, you can just "move" them to another part of the page. Same thing goes for if you need to insert another line/word/page in your notes. There was an article on /. earlier asking if there was a point to a Tablet PC, and I believe that yes, there is, but only when it comes to taking notes in meetings. Ironically enough, at the same time I was messing around with the Tablet PC, I was testing another product called Liquid Office that aimed to create a paperless office.
Businesses

Former Exec Says Electronic Arts "Is In the Wrong Business" 180

Posted by Soulskill
from the inspiring-internet-outrage-is-a-bad-business-model dept.
Mitch Lasky was the executive vice president of Mobile and Online at Electronic Arts until leaving the publisher to work at an investment firm. He now has some harsh things to say about how EA has been run over the past several years, in particular criticizing the decisions of CEO John Riccitiello. Quoting: "EA is in the wrong business, with the wrong cost structure and the wrong team, but somehow they seem to think that it is going to be a smooth, two-year transition from packaged goods to digital. Think again. ... by far the greatest failure of Riccitiello's strategy has been the EA Games division. JR bet his tenure on EA's ability to 'grow their way through the transition' to digital/online with hit packaged goods titles. They honestly believed that they had a decade to make this transition (I think it's more like 2-3 years). Since the recurring-revenue sports titles were already 'booked' (i.e., fully accounted for in the Wall Street estimates) it fell to EA Games to make hits that could move the needle. It's been a very ugly scene, indeed. From Spore, to Dead Space, to Mirror's Edge, to Need for Speed: Undercover, it's been one expensive commercial disappointment for EA Games after another. Not to mention the shut-down of Pandemic, half of the justification for EA's $850MM acquisition of Bioware-Pandemic. And don't think that Dante's Inferno, or Knights of the Old Republic, is going to make it all better. It's a bankrupt strategy."

"Right now I feel that I've got my feet on the ground as far as my head is concerned." -- Baseball pitcher Bo Belinsky

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