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Comment: Re:The playbook is now written (Score 1) 152

by Mark Hood (#44764061) Attached to: Court Orders Retrial In Google Maps-Related Murder Case

While I happen to agree with that, from the article you linked:

Despite having "long been condemned by usage commentators as incorrect or sloppy", some authorities consider the use of "begs the question" as a way of saying "raises the question" or "evades the question" to be no longer mistaken because it has attained such wide usage.

In other words, we lost the battle - and it now does mean that.

Comment: Re:You can't avoid piracy (Score 1) 298

That's not a bad idea (although others have pointed out that pirates won't be slowed down much) - but I might prefer to read a 'monthly' aggregation. Or weekly, or when I have time...

I might read it on a tablet / e-reader & not want distracting by all the other internet activity, or just want to wait until a multi-part article is complete & read it all at once.

So with your method, I have to click through repeatedly... or go to download a PDF/app/whatever of 'this month's stuff'. If that's not an option on your website, I *will* look elsewhere, to get the convenience. And once I'm doing that, where's my incentive to keep coming back to pay you for the original content?

To echo what a lot of folks have said - make it worth my while to buy it from you and I literally won't think about pirating it. I subscribe to a few magazines in print & online, and don't even bother looking for a pirate copy - because they give me what I want and I don't have to look elsewhere.

Things that will drive me away - making my life hard by splitting an article over multiple parts, days & flashing ads; intrusive DRM that tells me I need to de-authorise one computer to read on another; nagging me about piracy when I'm paying you...

Comment: Re:Bad meetings? (Score 1) 457

by Mark Hood (#42615079) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Practices Impede Developers' Productivity?

Well if you believe that the rest of the group get nothing out of the status reports, then yes it's a complete waste of their time.

Normally when we've done these meetings they are a) fast and b) lead to someone offering an insight the other person had missed.

Not to mention the actual feeling of being part of a team, which is often overlooked.

Combining reports into email is all well and good, but if I'm busy I'll just file it - and not give up my time to help someone out, unless I know I have enough time spare. 5 minutes each in a meeting is more productive for everyone.

Comment: Re:alright, (Score 2) 142

by Mark Hood (#42153587) Attached to: 4 Microsoft Engineers Predicted DRM Would Fail 10 Years Ago

I'm not so sure they didn't.... there's no DRM on their OS (no activation, no keys, no problem re-installing it on more than one Mac). Compare that to MS who practically accuse you of piracy before you run your first update.

The DRM they do have (in the Mac App store, iOS apps at least) is so low-key that most people don't even know it's there. I can buy an app once and install it on any and all iOS devices, again and again, with no concern at all. If it's a Mac app, I can install it on up to 5 Macs at once. Neither of these is likely to encourage me to go out and break the DRM, so it's serving its purpose of preventing me 'handing on' a copy to a friend.

The same with Movies, TV & Music - you can play them all back on all your devices, stream them to your friends' apple devices, everything short of hand over a copy. You can even burn a CD of your music with no DRM at all, if you like. I agree that it's more intrusive here, but because the limitations are reasonable (don't give it away, but you can do anything reasonable with it yourself) there's a much lower incentive to break the DRM.

Of course, this only holds true if you stay in the Apple ecosystem, but since most of their customers do - I bet most of them don't even know what DRM is, or why it's bad. I know I'm talking to Slashdot here, but remember we're not the typical users.

So in short, it's working for them, because of the decisions they made - customer comes first (as long as you stay in the walled garden) as opposed to trying to prevent each and every 'lost sale'.

Comment: Re:DRM is not useless (Score 2) 142

by Mark Hood (#42153553) Attached to: 4 Microsoft Engineers Predicted DRM Would Fail 10 Years Ago

You need an internet connection to download it anyhow, why not just install it right then?

At least Steam doesn't make you be online whenever you boot the game up.... like some DRM.

Or - and here's a radical thought - buy the game (so as to show support for the game you 'really need' to play) and then pirate it to get the 'critical feature' of being able to install it from your EM-shielded bunker? The makers get to eat, you get to add your perceived value, the pirate 'community' gets to show that actually they're NOT hurting sales, everyone wins.

Comment: Re:iOS (Score 1) 445

by Mark Hood (#42130809) Attached to: The Coming Wave of In-Dash Auto System Obsolescence

Similar story with my 2009 Honda Civic - it's got a USB plug (actually a proprietary adaptor, but they provide a dongle to make it USB) for the iPod integration. No promises are made about iPhones, but my 3GS has worked perfectly so far. The Bluetooth works a treat too for making & receiving calls, ducks out the music properly and hasn't let me down (although the voice dialling is useless, it can't read the phone's address book properly, so I don't use it).

I plugged the lightning cable in and the iPhone 5 works just fine, as does anything else with a dock connector. If all else fails, there's an aux-in 3.5mm jack right next to it.

The bomb will never go off. I speak as an expert in explosives. -- Admiral William Leahy, U.S. Atomic Bomb Project

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