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Comment: Re:Attempting with existing title was a mistake (Score 3, Insightful) 239

by vadim_t (#49567043) Attached to: Valve Pulls the Plug On Paid Mods For Skyrim

Steam has to handle payments, deal with the mod authors, do some kind of policing and support (minimal as it might be), host the mods on their servers, and somebody had to develop the functionality to support this.

30% might be excessive, but as far as Steam taking a cut at all it does make sense.

Comment: Re:Rent seeking all the way down. (Score 1) 239

by vadim_t (#49566957) Attached to: Valve Pulls the Plug On Paid Mods For Skyrim

The Microsoft assets used are minimal? Look at Wine and how much work it took to get to a point where it can be halfway useful. You know why that is? Because the things that Windows provides to the application are far from minimal.

A game might not care much about the Windows UI, but many years of work went into making the Windows kernel and DirectX into what they are today. Those are not simple bits of code.

Comment: Re:Attempting with existing title was a mistake (Score 2, Interesting) 239

by vadim_t (#49566943) Attached to: Valve Pulls the Plug On Paid Mods For Skyrim

Steam taking a cut is fair enough.

Bethesda already got paid for those textures and so on when I bought Skyrim. I see no reason why they should get 45% of something they didn't have any hand in developing, they don't host, and they don't provide any support for.

Comment: Re:They didn't grab the opportunity (Score 5, Insightful) 359

by vadim_t (#49558305) Attached to: Google Insiders Talk About Why Google+ Failed

Invitations were a mistake in the first place.

It works for email because any email provider interoperates with any other. Having an account on gmail when nobody else does doesn't create any problems for the user.

On the other hand the very point of social media is that everybody you know is there. Being alone on something like Google+ is completely pointless. Such a service should be grown in the completely opposite way of the "have people invite each other" idea, using any excuse possible to get people to sign up.

Comment: Re:Never trust them again (Score 1) 127

by vadim_t (#49210259) Attached to: Lenovo Still Shipping Laptops With Superfish

I understand the idea, yes. But:

1. Most of the time, it doesn't work. Let's face it, at least 95% of the people looking to buy a laptop don't understand this issue. A good amount of people doesn't care about spying either, because they think they have anything to hide, or because the US government is doing it so it must be good, or because the US government doing it makes it impossible to avoid anyway, or for a myriad other reasons. I think Lenovo would have to be in a very weak state for this to do them under.

2. If it worked, it wouldn't be a good thing anyway. The laptop business is a very expensive to enter and competitive one. If people ran a company out of business every time it displeased them enough, despite trying to rectify their mistake, nobody would want to enter the market. Who would want to risk their money in such a way? So the market would eventually stabilize with 2 or 3 remaining companies which are too big to bankrupt, or who people won't boycott because there's too much inertia and not enough alternatives.

If the market settled for instance on Dell and Apple, boycotting one would require rebuilding your entire infrastructure and way of doing things. This won't happen, so if such a situation is reached they can basically do whatever they want.

If we want a consumer friendly environment we need plenty of competition, and this means that bankrupting a company should be the absolute last resort.

Comment: Re:Never trust them again (Score 4, Interesting) 127

by vadim_t (#49209829) Attached to: Lenovo Still Shipping Laptops With Superfish

That's a counterproductive way of doing things.

Whenever making that kind of statement towards any sort of business you're telling them that there's no point to try to correct whatever upset you, as all resources spent to that end are going to be in vain anyway.

The spyware gives them some money. If all people who hate it put Lenovo in their blacklist forever, then the most sensible business decision is keeping the spyware. The customers that hate it won't come back, and the ones that remain don't care, so nothing is gained by removing it after losing that part of the customer base.

Comment: Re:What's TSYNC ? (Score 5, Informative) 338

by vadim_t (#49209343) Attached to: Google Chrome Requires TSYNC Support Under Linux

Right, so here is seems how things are:

1. Google seems to have little regard for long term backwards compatibility, at least on the timeframes Debian wants it. Kernel 3.17 came out in October 2014. Fedora has a new enough kernel, but also doesn't have Chromium officially apparently because Google likes to clone various libraries and do API changes, rather than trying to work with the original developers, distributions, etc. So it seems Google mostly does its own thing and lets other people to deal with it.

2. So Google is now releasing browsers that require kernel 3.17 to work properly. Users want to run it on their systems.

3. But Jessie is frozen and so changes only happen for good reasons. The question is then whether to backport the TSYNC feature. On one hand, it's a new feature and it doesn't go in frozen releases, on the other hand it stops new versions of Chrome from running, which is a security concern. Ubuntu seems to have went with the later logic.

4. Ben's reaction is "1. I don't like Chrome, so no", and "2. Distro is in freeze, there needs to be a formal proposal explaining exactly what patch to merge, and a sympathetic maintainer, which I am not".

So really what's going on is a conflict between organizations. Google wants to move faster than Debian does, and Debian (or at least Ben) doesn't want to give Google special concessions.

Comment: Re:What's TSYNC ? (Score 5, Informative) 338

by vadim_t (#49209163) Attached to: Google Chrome Requires TSYNC Support Under Linux

Digging around a bit this is what I gathered:

TSYNC is some flag added to seccomp to aid in something relating to thread synchronization: http://patchwork.linux-mips.or...

And seccomp is a security mechanism of the Linux kernel used to implement the sandbox in Google Chrome, which it uses for instance to run the Flash plugin in such a way that it doesn't compromise the system if one of its many security weaknesses:

None of this seems to have any relation to spyware, in fact it would seem to have the exact contrary purpose: protecting the system from potentially malicious code and security exploits.

Unless I'm missing something obvious, it sounds like Ben Hutchins (the Debian mailing list guy who made the comment on spyware) just dislikes Chrome for whatever reason unrelated to TSYNC and decided that it would be a fine way to ensure new versions of Chrome don't run.

Comment: Re:Drive needles (Score 3, Informative) 93

by vadim_t (#49168149) Attached to: New Seagate Shingled Hard Drive Teardown

More than a head per side? It's been attempted, and turned out it's not really worth it. It's a lot of extra complication for not that much benefit. Heads are expensive and generate heat, so it works out to close 2X the price anyway, plus an increased change of failure. Easier and safer to just add another drive.

These days there are SSDs too.

"If it ain't broke, don't fix it." - Bert Lantz