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Comment: Re:Not on the disc (Score 3, Insightful) 908

Actually its their game and their contract and they can have it both ways and another four ways too if they want.

Yes. Until one of the contract clauses specifies something that is illegal, in which case that contractual clause is null and void - it doesn't exists, and you can ignore it.

Every content industry, gaming included, hates the first sale doctrine. Actually, every industry hates the first sale doctrine. If the car industry could prevent the sale of used cars, and force you to buy exclusively new cars, they would probably pop the cork, and the cheers would be heard all around the world. But they haven't found a way to go around the first sale doctrine.

(no internet discussion is complete without a car analogy)

A company could try to do so. They'll sell you the car, but only lease you the right to turn on the engine. So you can sell the car, but then, the new buyer would have to get a new engine (or rather the license for an engine). Of course, you wouldn't pay the same amount for this car. And it's clearly a way to get around the first sale doctrine.

The analogy goes even better: if you don't like that car idea, you can go and buy a different car under better terms (it's a different car, since the car manufacturer has a monopoly on its brand).

So why don't the car industry do that? Because if they did, the blatant attempt at weaseling out of the first sale doctrine would be obvious enough, and they'd get crucified. So it's telling that the content industries think they can get away with it, and indeed, they succeed in doing that.

Comment: Re:Legal framework (Score 1) 295

by varcher (#37760546) Attached to: How Google's Autonomous Vehicles Work

The crash of Concorde flight 4590 ended Concorde travel.

No. Economics ended Concorde travel well before 4590. It was just prestige flying of an overpriced dinosaur, and the crash ended that era.

If there had been a serious market for concorde flights, they would still fly, and they would still be built, crash or not.

Comment: Re:What am I missing here... (Score 2) 166

by varcher (#37239120) Attached to: Like a Redstone Cowboy

Minecraft harkens back to the nostalgia of Lego (incidentally, http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-Cl1OHhsao3A/TbkenaqJq1I/AAAAAAAADMo/lInbKf814Z8/lego-minecraft-1.jpg is a minecraft scene, in Lego. No less).

The combination of light gameplay (there's a grand total of 4 hostile - and horrendously stupid - critters that pop out of the dark to annoy you) and the liberty of placing blocks however you want them have proved a massive hook.

It took me about one hour. And while I'm not the most imaginative of architects, making some stuff on the fly after seeing one of the thousand of videos where aspiring architects (most of which cheat anyway) showcase their massive e-block... I do enjoy.

Regarding redstone circuitry, I think it hovers on the razor-thin edge between ease and complexity. It's simple (the base element is the universal NOR, meaning you can make any digital boolean circuitry), quirky (which is important if you make a game rather than a dumbed down electronic simulator), and that's what fuels the creativity. And, unlike other games, it's all there in basic form. While a few modders have added "what they felt was missing", in fact, there's relatively little missing. A few sensors, a few actuators, but the whole is enough.

Comment: Re:yes (Score 1) 282

by varcher (#35848464) Attached to: Ex-MS GM Can't Work 'Anywhere In the World' For Salesforce

Here, non-compete agreements have strong provisions.

You cant go over a maximum duration (I think it's 2 years) beyond which the former employee is no longer bound. The general idea is that the non-compete is intended to protect internal IP or customer portfolio, and after 2 years, those things aren't valuable anymore (if they are still valuable to your former company, said company has a problem).

Non-compete are also options. Like some reverse stock option: your former company can exercise its right... but then has to pay you compensation for your loss of employability (does this word exists?). Usually, half your former wages, for the duration for which you want the non-compete.

Various contractual clauses try to get around these. Usually, they're voided (try not to specify length of non-compete and the length is zero; try to say the former salary included a "non-compete bonus" and you're laughed out of court).

Comment: Re:That's normal (Score 2) 372

by varcher (#35839804) Attached to: Comcast's 105MBit Service Comes With Data Cap

Well, nobody here (continental europe) has a data cap for land line connections (mobile, it's a whole other thing).

There used to be. Then, the accountants figured out that collecting, consolidating, and billing the extra did cost them more than what they got back.

Out went the caps. And since then, it always cost less to upgrade the collecting backbones than to deploy a full fledged count-n-cap infrastructure.

And the clincher? It's 30euro per month (~ 43 US$). For triple-play fiber if you're in a major city, ADSL2 otherwise.

Comment: Re:Summary is COMPLETELY WRONG (Score 1) 433

by varcher (#35743630) Attached to: France Outlaws Hashed Passwords

However, the law forces to give it out to authorities on demand...

Yeah. And every challenge thrown against this law are against that bit, which is wildly imprecise, and can be interpreted in a very large manner, which might result in police asking for these personal details without judiciary overview. Which is the real fear of Dailymotion, Google, and all those interested parties.

Comment: Re:plain-text OS? (Score 5, Insightful) 433

by varcher (#35743524) Attached to: France Outlaws Hashed Passwords

It would.

If the law stated this, which, of course, it doesn't. But no one apparently took time to properly read it before firing the paranoia flares.

The "password" bit is part of a data retention clause for account management. On any account that a service provider created for an on-line service or access, you must retain some data for ONE year after the account is closed. Among the bits is, I cite - translated - "password, means to validate it". And, hidden a few lines below is the clincher "such data must be retained only if it was collected".

In other words, the law states that:

1) If you get a password in plaintext and store it as is, you must KEEP a copy of that password for one year after the account has closed

2) If you get a password and store a way of validating that password (such as a hash), you must KEEP a copy of that hash or whatever for one year after the account has closed.

3) If you don't use a password for the service (for example, you are an ISP, and access from your customers to their DSL is entirely authenticated by the telco end), then you keep nothing. But for a year, of course!

Comment: Re:Surely it's a rising demand for brains (Score 2) 622

by varcher (#35404634) Attached to: Is Software Driving a Falling Demand For Brains?

Writing lawyer software will not scale with the number of "lawyers" required. As demand for lawyers service increased (due to more people), new jobs were created. However, for software lawyers, it just means you run an additional copy of the software.

You still need to sell those services, though.

So, instead of lawyers, we need... salesmen? Did we gain that much? :P

Comment: Re:Great! (Score 4, Informative) 126

by varcher (#35397836) Attached to: Graphs Show Costs of DNA Sequencing Falling Fast

to sequence 1 million SNPs per person

Actually, they're not sequencing.

They're checking.

The way 23andme and most personal genome companies work is that they have those genochips (Illumina) with one million DNA sequences on them, and they check whether or not your DN has one of those sequences.

If you have a SNP not on the chip (well, you have lots of SNP not on the chip), it won't list anything. If, at a given chromosome locale, they have "all" of the "known" SNP, but you happen to have a mutant variant not on their lib, then you're not detected.

"Sequencing" involves taking your DNA, and getting every sequence, no matter what. And that's still long and very expensive. We're in the era of the "thousand genomes", meaning we expect in a couple year to complete a thousand full sequences. Of course, 10 years later, we'll sequence everyone, but, so far, it's still a way out.

Comment: Re:How the Bubble Bursts (Score 2) 298

by varcher (#35278596) Attached to: Has the Second Dotcom Bubble Started?

Is there any evidence to suggest that Facebook, as a privately held company, isn't already whoring out every bit of their precious "social graph" that someone will pay them enough for?

I doubt this.

Selling your primary resource (the social graph) to outsiders is creating your own competitors: once I have your data, why do I need to pay you more?

Facebook isn't selling their data. They're selling placement of your data (ads, mostly) on their social platform. The facebook customers (the users aren't customers, they're marketing dangled in front of the real customers) thus get to keep paying Facebook for "use" of the social network.

If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate.

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