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Comment: Freemium in disguise (Score 2) 137

by valkenar (#44638209) Attached to: <em>Diablo 3</em> Expansion Announced: <em>Reaper of Souls</em>

As long as Blizzard is making money off the auction house I'm not playing D3. I gave them the benefit and bought it once, but there's no way I'm falling for freemium-in-disguise again. I'd much rather pay a monthly fee and have the game actually be balanced correctly. D3 was fun for a while, and had some good innovations, but it also had some glaring flaws and the auction house alone would've overwhelmed any good qualities it had. When there's a profit motive to making the game worse, you can count on a mediocre-at-best product.

Comment: Too absolute (Score 1) 303

by valkenar (#44479083) Attached to: First Ever Public Tasting of Lab-Grown Cultured Beef Burger

Depends where you get your milk. There's a farm pretty close to me that sells milk and you can go see the cows wandering around in a field grazing. They may not be 100% as happy as some theoretical happiest cow, but I find it hard to picture anyone finding a serious problem with it who isn't espousing some extreme fringe ideal of animal freedom and independence.

All of that is to say that someone might be a vegetarian for animal welfare reasons and drink milk from such a place and that would be logically consistent.

Comment: Are you sure? (Score 1) 318

by valkenar (#43868943) Attached to: Taking Action For Free JavaScript

My understanding is that greasemonkey adds scripts that modify the page, rather than modifying the incoming javascript, but I don't know much about how it works under the hood, perhaps I'm mistaken. Even so, there is nothing illegal about running greasemonkey or sharing greasemonkey scripts, is there? Which means that changing the license for the page's javascript doesn't add anything from a legal or practical standpoint.

Comment: What freedom? (Score 1) 318

by valkenar (#43856525) Attached to: Taking Action For Free JavaScript

What meaningful freedom? You can't easily take the source, modify it significantly and use it on the site no matter what license they give you. Yeah, you can hack your own library into the page, but who really cares at all about whatever insignificant javascript the government is using to validate their form. I can kind of see making some kind of fuss about obfuscated javascript (because then it's hard to know what your computer is about to do, if you're the paranoid type), but most javascript is only obfuscated by being poorly written. Either that, or it's condensed for very practical reasons of bandwidth conservation.

Comment: Technology broke natural DRM (Score 0) 320

by valkenar (#43614117) Attached to: RMS Urges W3C To Reject On Principle DRM In HTML5

While it's technically true that content existed before DRM, it's not actually meaningful the way you phrased it.

DRM used to exist in the form of the natural laws of the universe. Copying a book by hand with a pen pretty effectively meant you weren't going to be distributing it very widely. Copying a TV before the advent of the VCR was effectively impossible for almost everyone. Moreover, the inherent physical impediments to copying data was a far more effective form of DRM than anything that exists now. Technology has broken medium-inherent DRM, and now content producers are trying to build it back up in software. That's not meant to be a judgment on whether DRM is good or bad, just pointing out that in the general sense of something that prevents information from getting around, DRM has always existed.


Libertarian Candidate Excluded From Debate For Refusing Corporate Donations 627

Posted by Soulskill
from the have-you-tried-turning-it-off-and-then-on-again dept.
fishdan writes "I'm a long time Slashdot member with excellent karma. I am also the Libertarian candidate for U.S. Congress in the Massachusetts 6th District. I am on the ballot. I polled 7% in the only poll that included me, which was taken six weeks ago, before I had done any advertising, been in any debates or been on television. In the most recent debate, the general consensus was that I moved a very partisan crowd in my favor. In the two days since that debate, donations and page views are up significantly. Yesterday I received a stunning email from the local ABC affiliate telling me they were going to exclude me from their televised debate because I did not have $50,000 in campaign contributions, even though during my entire campaign I have pointedly and publicly refused corporate donations. They cited several other trumped up reasons, including polling at 10%, but there has not been a poll that included me since the one six weeks ago — and I meet their other requirements."

Meet iRobot Founder Rodney Brooks's New Industrial Bot, Baxter 188

Posted by timothy
from the only-knows-one-song dept.
First time accepted submitter moon_unit2 writes "Technology Review has the scoop on a new industrial robot created by famed robotics researcher Rodney Brooks. The robot, Baxter, is completely safe, extremely adaptable, and ridiculously easy to program. By providing a way to automate simple manufacturing work, it could help make U.S. manufacturers compete with Chinese companies that rely on low-cost human labor. You can see the new robot in action in a related video of the robot in action and Brooks discussing its potential." $22 thousand and shipping next month, goes the story.

Comment: Re:I like their position (Score 2) 584

by valkenar (#38922979) Attached to: Seattle Library Lets Man Watch Porn On Computers Despite Complaints

Well, if someone is reading a bunch of hate speech I might be made uncomfortable by that. A page with images of cross-burnings and hangings and the like could very well make me uncomfortable to be there. Yet that does not justify censorship. There's lots of things in the world that will be upsetting to someone. Pornography happens to be upsetting to a larger number of US citizens than most things, but, as always, unpopular (and politically dangerous) speech is the only kind that really needs protecting to begin with.

Comment: Not for everyone (Score 2) 783

by valkenar (#38501290) Attached to: Why Can't We Put a BASIC On the Phone?

Coming up with the clever algorithm to solve a problem is what is fun

Some important distinctions to make are between coding, design, and production, all of which are parts of the experience. Maybe the point of graphical programming environments isn't only to cater to the pure programming experience you're talking about, but also to give people the opportunity to experience the fun of designing, and seeing their ideas come to life.

As a kid learning BASIC on TRS-80, I did not care in the least about coming up with a clever algorithm. Deciding what to make, creating it and seeing it work was the fun part. For some people, the clever algorithm may indeed be the only fun part of programming, but for me (even now, as an adult and a professional programmer) there is a lot of satisfaction to be had in the design and production parts of the job. Coming up with clever algorithms and solutions definitely is fun, but so are the other parts.

You're essentially arguing that the process itself is all that is, or should matter to people, but I think that misses an important part of any creative enterprise.

Also, as a kid, that sense of "wow, I just made this computer do something it didn't before!" was a pretty rewarding feeling. I think new programmers probably still get some of that.

Comment: Cramming is Third-Party (Score 1) 157

by valkenar (#36507308) Attached to: FCC Plans To Stop Cell Phone Bill Mystery Fees

I'm prepared to believe that the wireless companies do their own gouging of customers, but cramming is about third-parties charging your account. What this settlement aims to do is hold the carriers responsible for those third-party charges. And they should be held responsible, but this isn't quite the same thing as the carriers just charging you random amounts themselves.

How come financial advisors never seem to be as wealthy as they claim they'll make you?