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Comment Re:They Need Competition (n/t) (Score 1) 194

There's also Stardock's Impulse platform and Gamer's Gate. I think Steam took off because they were riding on the coattails of an already very-popular game. It's all about getting enough marketshare to start with that your platform becomes convenient, rather than annoying.

Comment Re:This worries me greatly. (Score 4, Insightful) 156

The problem with our current video game rating system is that MA15+ is the highest we have. The only other option the classification board has is to refuse the game classification altogether, thereby preventing it from being sold in Australia. This results in things that shouldn't pass a MA15+ rating getting one, because they're not so bad they should be refused classification altogether.

It's also why the idiotic "gotta protect the children!" crowd who oppose a higher rating for video games are showing themselves to be unthinking hypocrites who have zero interest in actually reducing the ease of access to violent or 'harmful' games by minors, and are instead interested only in shoving their own particular moralities down the throat of every adult in the country.

Comment Re:Free access for all... (Score 1) 175

You are describing a system of communal ownership forced on them by their costs and their income level. Its unlikely that would persist if they could obtain free internet service.

Why not? How would putting a geosync comms satellite above them change their income level or cost of the communal equipment?

Comment Re:Whole country's domain disappeared?? (Score 5, Informative) 135

Pretty easily, at least in this case. The root servers provide these name servers for .kp:

kp. 172800 IN NS
kp. 172800 IN NS

which are both located on the same class C: 86400 IN A 86400 IN A

Which generally is indicative of the same network segment. I guess North Korea doesn't have a need for a particularly robust internet infrastructure, so there's a good chance there's just some servers listening on those addresses and no fancy load-balancing or anycast routing going on, and very likely they're at the same physical location.

If either of those stop responding to queries, then resolution of anything under .kp will fail.

Comment Re:Captcha ZDR .... (Score 1) 211

Specific questions are difficult to scale though. It works well against normal users (who only have their own resources at their disposal), but if you're running a captcha-breaking business, you have a lot of people with the ability to access a centralised database and customised software. They probably can't make a program smart enough to 'watch' an advert and answer arbitrary questions about it or correctly interpret an idiomatic expression, but once one of their employees has worked out the answer, the question/answer pair gets added to the database and that particular question can be answered by everyone else without thought - or even by software without any human interaction.

The only solution to that is to increase the number of questions so the database hit-ratio becomes very low, but that's quite hard to do. Most such questions will need to be written by a human rather than machine-generated, so it quickly becomes more expensive than just deleting the spam. Plus, there's typically a limited number of questions you can ask, especially if you consider that the questions need to be simple enough for legitimate users to be able to answer.

Comment Re:Seems unfair to me (Score 2) 203

Even if we give him the benefit of the doubt, what he's basically saying is that brick and mortar stores are a very inefficient and expensive way to provide goods to people. Rather than improve their efficiency or allow the market to kill off the old and no longer useful ways, we should artificially inflate the cost of more efficient methods of providing goods to people, so that all the methods we have available are equally inefficient.

From a short-term perspective, keeping the jobs etc. sounds good. Long-term though, this sounds a bit like the broken window fallacy.

"The urge to destroy is also a creative urge." -- Bakunin [ed. note - I would say: The urge to destroy may sometimes be a creative urge.]