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Comment: Re:Wrong again! (Score 2) 254

by sd4f (#47667011) Attached to: The Benefits of Inequality
Your history needs a lot of refinement. Soviet Russia didn't become technologically powerful until WW2, after the USA gifted them entire factories to make stuff as part of the war effort. Then the soviets infiltrated many companies and government research missions with their spies sending back heaps of information, and took in heaps of german scientists after WW2 (so did USA). If anyones technological prowess depends on some richer or advanced countries benevolence, then I don't think you can really claim that the glorious revolution was all that much a success.

Comment: Re:Sideloading in Steam OS vs. Windows RT (Score 1) 97

by sd4f (#47644955) Attached to: Valve Discloses Source 2 Engine In Recent <em>DOTA 2</em> Update

I wonder if you're confusing it with the continuous DRM in SimCity and Assassin's Creed 2. Steam requires receipt renewal every couple weeks and that's it.

Nope, it's only from a few years ago where they relaxed the requirement. Certainly when I made a steam account, if you didn't move into offline mode while you were online, it wouldn't let you. So if you lost your internet connection, then tough. Steam in the very early days was an abortion comparable to simcity and AC2, actually probably worse all due to DRM requirements. None of this changed until the last 2-4 years where things were starting to get improved. But like you have shown, it still requires you to be online periodically. Compare this with GoG; no DRM, download the game and you can install wherever, whenever you want without having to run a third party client to oversee your game running. It's like as if I'm gaming in the 90's and early 00's again.

How is that relevant? Android is for ARM and you can sideload. So was RISC OS. Windows RT is for ARM and you can't. Nor can you develop directly on a device even if it is docked to an external keyboard and monitor. There's no Visual Studio RT, for instance, unlike Steam OS that can accept any GNOME app such as an IDE.

How is a tablet OS not sideloading relevant to steam? It isn't, because your whole issue, while not factually wrong, is a storm in a teacup and offtopic. I explained why, but you snipped that part of the paragraph and probably didn't read it. To further explain my point about it being ARM, is that it was never going to have any effect to steam or desktop computing. No one seems to be criticising apple that iOS doesn't allow sideloading, so why is MS being singled out here? There's also no back catalogue of software for winRT, and definitely no hardware to run graphically intensive games.

I think the whole issue is simply that valve was worried about MS having an app store integrated with windows. That was the underlying point of contention with windows 8 (aside from the dud UI, but everyone knows that). We all know MS' past history, they tend to be anti-competitive, but these days, who isn't? Valve is just releasing steamOS in an attempt to keep steam closed and making money and largely free from competitors, i.e. the status quo. It's no different to why google released android completely free, because they needed something to protect their premier product, google search, from remaining only in a desktop browser, in a fast moving landscape. Valve is doing the same thing by trying to make inroads into the console market with their steam box coupled with steamOS. They want to keep steam relevant by finding its way into the living room.

Comment: Re:Sideloading in Steam OS vs. Windows RT (Score 1) 97

by sd4f (#47644247) Attached to: Valve Discloses Source 2 Engine In Recent <em>DOTA 2</em> Update

Steamworks games have DRM which is probably worse than consoles. You generally must be online, and you must have steam running to play the games. Consoles, generally still don't do this. Valve have improved their offline mode, but for a long time no internet meant no play. From what I can see, it's still a paint in the arse, and doesn't allow you to completely run games if your internet drops out all of a sudden. I've had a lot of experience in dealing with steams heavy handed approach to staying online.

Sideloading is a non-issue since WinRT was always intended for ARM processors. I can't see any valid criticism as games wouldn't work even if sideloading was permitted unless the code was ported and optimised for the different hardware. What my criticism is that many stores are forced to sell games with steamworks ultimately leading their customers to a competing store. I see it as very similar to when MS was forcing OEMs to pay for licenses for computers that didn't ship with any MS products.

The issue is valve is protecting their walled garden in steam, steamOS is only a few additional fences around their heavily walled garden. They were really concerned about the integrated store in windows as that was something which had the power to directly compete with steam. It's why valve refuse to make a modern ui app available through the windows app store, as the last thing they want is people to realise they can get games elsewhere. One can hardly criticism MS for making a walled garden, and champion valve when valve's own enormous moneymaker is a walled garden itself.

Comment: Re:Don't care (Score 2) 97

by sd4f (#47627765) Attached to: Valve Discloses Source 2 Engine In Recent <em>DOTA 2</em> Update

I care little for half life (iunno, I just can't see what others do, not particularly impressed by anything in any of the games).

I don't like steam and valve for different reasons though, steam because it is DRM and valve because despite their (well gaben's) public stance on win8 was valid criticism, at the time, it was, however, hypocritical for them to say it considering what they're attempting to do with steam and more broadly their steamOS.

Comment: Re:Reject all proprietary software and "choice" to (Score 4, Interesting) 436

by sd4f (#47562705) Attached to: Which Is Better, Adblock Or Adblock Plus?
But there is a strong misconception that android is still FOSS. The phrase that comes to mind is the rug has been pulled from under them. I was surprised to learn to what lengths google has gone to lock down android. It was certainly a huge reason as to why a lot of the tech sector was pushing android in the early days (nothing gets the tech sector weaker in the knees than FOSS). While you are right, that users don't care, google has performed a massive bait and switch.

Comment: Re:We need a new browser (Score 3, Insightful) 172

by sd4f (#47511441) Attached to: Firefox 31 Released

I certainly think so. It's a real pity that mozilla is just becoming a dud social justice warrior organisation now. I guess the people who work for them all aspire to work for google, which is probably why their trying to do an orange version of google chrome...

Since the UI changes, and getting rather annoyed with FF29 (or was it 30) which would constantly block stuff or ask for permission (like vista) to enable things, I just moved to opera. Not sure if it's good on the security and privacy side, but at least the UI, for the most part is lightweight. Needs a few improvements. I'd stick with FF28, but not very keen on running unpatched versions, and it was having many issues anyway with stability, so I guess it's better to just move along.

Comment: What if... (Score 3, Interesting) 57

by sd4f (#47472435) Attached to: Biofeedback Games and The Placebo Effect
I wonder if this has any implications for internet crap that goes viral. Reason for it is, that so much stuff has gone silly, but I am never able to discern why, it always seems just stupid to me like gangnam style or the old spice commercial. It would be interesting to see if people were led to believe it was going viral, would it change their opinion, as opposed to just regular crap on the internet which goes nowhere. Is this a case of placebo effect as well, where people are told to like something because everyone else does, if you remove the everyone else and telling aspect, would the same content matter?

Comment: Re:This is complete crap!!! (Score 4, Insightful) 112

Should have finished reading the article, this bit at the end is probably the truth;

"In addition, I am advised that the AEC classifies the relevant software as commercial-in-confidence as it also underpins the industrial and fee-for-service election counting systems,"

What's probably happening is that some "IT" company whose only client is the government/AEC probably makes a fairly decent earn out of licensing out the software and supporting it during elections. There's a fair bit of corruption like this in Australia, and I am starting to think that someones taxpayer subsidised livelihood is at stake here. Reality is this should always have been open source software and probably available on the AEC website for anyone to download and try out with the full set of figures that are counted.

Comment: This is complete crap!!! (Score 5, Informative) 112

It's software to tally it up. There's always a paper backup. As an Australian, this worries me.

While our senate voting system is a little odd, adding up the votes isn't simple and can't be done on election night, so it's no surprise to see software being used to calculate it, but with that said, all it has to do is do a number of rounds as candidates reach their quota, and when no one has a quota in that it eliminates the last candidate and moves the preferences accordingly. Our last election, there was even an instance of ~2000 ballot papers going missing, and then supposedly resurfacing much later. The High Court decided on another election for the state involved, which in my opinion is the only fair outcome possible.

If they're worried about hacking it, it's a complete farce; there's no reason why the computer doing the sums even has to be connected to the internet, seeing as I think all the ballots are counted by people (they're farcically large ballots often described as table cloths), they just plod in a few numbers as the data comes in. Someone must be worried that competent, impartial people will have a look and find something which has been giving out porky pies.

Comment: Re:We're sorry we got caught? (Score 4, Insightful) 401

by sd4f (#47463297) Attached to: Comcast Customer Service Rep Just Won't Take No For an Answer

I'm not sure if it's identical around the world, but certainly here in Australia, many of these customer service people have their performance measured by how many people they convince to stay or attract. So while they might not be trained to be aggressive or like dogs with a bone (i.e. just don't let go), and companies like comcast can ignorantly claim what they did, for every worker, the reality is there's that KPI looking over their shoulder and they'll go to those lengths themselves to either not get sacked or make bonus.

A worse thing that happens in Australia, and it particularly happens with insurance companies is that they usually hit renewing customers with higher fees. It sometimes gets referred to as the 'lazy tax' where most customers will just habitually accept and pay it, whereas if they shopped around, and called back, they would usually get a fair chunk knocked off their bill for literally no reason except that the company wants the customer to stay. They know that in doing it this way, they make more money because a big enough proportion of people don't question the bill, and those that do, it's better to get them to pay less than not at all. I know that your ISP's and cable companies are notrious for treating their customers like shit (south park covered it well).

It is better to give than to lend, and it costs about the same.