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Do you think an ISP would be willing to spend 1000s of dollars to connect 2/3 rural homes in the country? I doubt it. Those users then use their trusty old analog (maybe even digital) telephone line to get very slow speed DSL or even worse... dial up. Down goes our average speeds. With every town like New York City, you have 100's of 1000's of rural homes in the US that are miles from any kind of "real" internet. I know in japan, entire cities have been lined with fiber making the intra country internet connection gigabit to the home. While in the US we share copper cable lines and deal with slower speed DSL/etc.
I don't know everything about how it all works and I may have explained/misunderstood a few concepts here.... but overall the idea, I think, is pretty simple on why we are so low on the list.
People who run credit checks on you...
The credit check people (verizon, cable companies, etc) will need it to credit check you so they assure to themselves that you are a good paying customer. The doctor would use it most likely as a unique ID and proof of a unique record or even to file your health insurance claims. College... same and work... well work is probably the most obvious... they pay you and would need it to do their paperwork. I am sure there are times where it isn't necessary, but I think you blew it out of proportion.
I think people have put this whole Social Security number thing on some pedestal. The life lock guy put his social security number on TV and got his identity stolen 13 times? http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2010/05/lifelock-identity-theft/
That alone proves to me that the social security numbers are pretty secure the way they are. If you put your social on public television and you have "some" problems... you're doing pretty good. Everyone I know who has had there identity stolen was not because their social was easily accessible. Just my two cents.
Also I can't say how suprised I am that almost no one has negative things to say about MSE. Except for maybe NOD32 or Kapersky, MSE has to be one the most highly aclaimed antivirus software programs in a long time.
Android/Iphone... MAC OSX/Windows... one or the other (depending on the person) will be "the best" but it doesn't mean anything. If the nook made an amazing book store, people may still use amazon because they have a bunch of purchases already or they have another device they want to use all their books on as well.
Sure! I bet SP1 will definitely fix both of those problems. Seriously though, WTF issues does SP1 need to fix? I have been using RC 7100 for over 4 months now with little to absolutely no problems... what needs fixing?
The Original DOOM and Wolfenstein had only a handful of guys making them. Seeing as how software development tools are far less primitive than they were twenty years ago when these games came out, I don't understand how they can spend millions developing today's games. Except for the graphics I don't see any difference in today's games, except that they just aren't as fun.
If you don't like today's games, then why did you just write about a page on it? While I will admit that badly run publishers can kill great games by under budgeting or pushing the game out the door too soon, well-run publishers produce a lot of great games that people find to be fun. If you're not having fun anymore then I'm terribly sorry to hear that, but video games today have a larger audience than ever; do you honestly think people are buying these games out of charity to the companies? They're buying them because they are having fun with them; this isn't just due to the developers but also due to the publishers.
In a way the publisher being a parent is a fairly decent analogy, just not quite right; the publisher wants you to do well so that they can benefit. I'd say it's more equivalent to the relationship between a manager and another employee; good managers want you to do well so they can benefit as well to make them look good and get the work done. Much like a manager, a publisher that doesn't put any restraint on a developer and just lets them do whatever they please they put out crap like Too Human, if they put too much restraint on a developer they get an underfunded wreck of a game. Some developers already have the proper focus to create something great others don't just like human beings; good managers are there to help their employees just like good publishers. When publishers just let developers create in a "free" environment we've generally gotten shitty games; Too Human, that X-Box game series that died after the first game came out (can't remember the name of it off the top of my head), Daikatana and others are examples of what happens when developers don't have proper focus and are basically just given money.
As to what all the money goes to in development, an awful lot of it goes to paying employees; anyone who hasn't been sleeping under a rock for the past two decades or so knows that most development teams now encompass teams of dozens of highly talented people. The increase of personnel has largely been due to the fact that computer programming has grown even more complex (note that computer software has seen a similar increase) and that most games today have more content in them. More people creating means you need more office space and generally have more overhead etc etc. Finally, marketing has also become more necessary (though the costs have mostly stayed the same compared to inflation) and those fancy new tools for development cost money to make too.
If you really don't like publishers just put your money where your mouth is (and maybe you already have, given that you claim you don't play new games because they aren't as fun) and don't buy any games put out by a publisher. Or if (as you may have just realized) most games you can play today have a publisher, then don't buy from Activision, EA, Ubisoft, Sega, Nintendo, Sony or Microsoft as those are the biggest publishers in America right now. But those of you reading this aren't going to do that, are you? You'll bitch about publishers whenever they nix a game you think you may have liked or drop a series you like, but ultimately you'll still go out and buy the best games out there. For all the supposed evil of publishers, they're funding, shipping and advertising most (if not all of) your favorite games and game series; bitch whine and moan as much as you like but in capitalism your vote is your money and an awful lot of people are voting "yes" for publishers.
I work for a large finiancial institution - one of the biggest. Plenty of folks here have sensitive client information on their laptops, which they take with them on business trips to see clients, technology partners etc. We have some extremely large clients (all the major banks, US and worldwide) and the client information could include contacts, details of trading, holdings in various stocks, etc. This information can be worth millions of dollars, and the company could be fined similar amounts if it was stolen from their posession.
Most of the employees/managers/sales guys etc that go on business trips are not particularly technically savvy. All they know is that they have their laptop, and it is encrypted, and they have been told that their laptop is safe because the evil h4xx0rz can't decrupt the 124-byte RSM keylock. This will give them a false sense of security, and will leave their laptop in their hotel room, safe in the knowledge that it has a kingston lock on it and no-one can walk off with it.
The data on some of these machines is valuable enough that people certainly would think about trying to get their hands on it.
This needs to be a wakeup call to the big banks that they need to educate their staff - simply telling them "your laptop is encrypted, you are safe" is not good enough. They need to keep the machine with them at all times
All the talk of "boot from liveCD" or BIOS passwords, or hidden TrueCrypt volumes, simply are not feasible on a large corporate scale, and are certainly above your average client portfolio manager.