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Comment: Fucking hell Slashdot (Score 1) 293

by wallbase (#42138051) Attached to: NASA: Curiosity Has Found Plastic On Mars

Oi, Slashdot peeps - aren't you even the slightest bit embarrassed at how low this lack of editorial oversight has become? Why don't you at least push out a press release stating that you are aware of concerns and are going to try to make things better? The continued silence despite all the complaints is deafening.

I don't understand why those running Slashdot have such a lack of respect for its readership.

Comment: Heck no (Score 1) 553

by wallbase (#42137999) Attached to: New Humble Bundle Is Windows Only, DRM Games

Look, I get THQ are struggling for money. And to be honest the selection is extremely good quality for any price. But the Humble Bundle is synonymous with DRM-free and cross platform titles. It used to be only about indie titles, but some commercially published games like Psychonauts have starting slipping through and I'm OK with that, since it increases potential interest and they're still DRM-free and cross platform. But here? It's not DRM-free at all (Steam) and it's Windows only. Not something I associate with the "Humble" Bundles.

Having said that the bundle has been available for around 27 hours as the time of this post, and has reached nearly $1.6 million in that short space of time. This kinda reaffirms my belief that ultimately people (well, gamers anyway) don't care about DRM-free and cross platform benefits, so long as the games are cheap.

Comment: Re:Ask Slashdot (Score 1) 252

by wallbase (#42135457) Attached to: Anthropologist Spends Three Years Living With Hackers

Who says I do? My point was that for the mainstream many titles are not DRM free, DRM free is the exception not the norm. GOG, which I am a fan of, keywords being old games (ones I've already purchased originally, that have nice boxes and the older titles (think 80s) have nice manuals, too) are not representative of many new titles.

I agree that DRM free is the exception. Doesn't mean one has to go along with it. As for GOG, from what I understand they used use that as an acronym Good Old Games, but officially it's just GOG because there are some newer games available now on it (Alan Wake and ARMA 2 come to mind, along with a bunch of newer indie titles and some slightly older games like the newer Sam & Max series). So I wouldn't just class them as all about really old stuff anymore.

Are you telling me as someone whose been an avid gamer for over 20+ years that I should simply rebuy titles I already own? Using movies as an analogy, your argument boils down to not watch any new movies, since the back catalog is so vast?

Heck no, that's not what I mean. Particularly about movies, I'm not saying not to watch newer movies, or even stick with older games. The problem is entirely in the DRM. I'd play more newer commercial games if they didn't use Steam/DRM, simple. It's just that the older games (either by virtue of GOG's modifications or just via their age) don't have DRM because it wasn't around at the time.

To the new comer this might be more appealing. That said, I enjoy many older movies (Big Trouble in Little China I'm looking at you), but I also like newer ones (Skyfall), and there is nothing wrong with that. I suppose you could simply come out and recommend using one of the open sourced Quake engines and play yet another rehash of that game from 1999 or earlier, why, when there are better engines like Source, Unreal 3, games like Skyrim and Minecraft both with awesome mods and vibrant communities?

I guess my point is that if no-one pushes against even light DRM, then it'll be trickle-fed into the next generation and we'll never be able to get back control over how we run our software. People will be so used to authentication, they won't know any better.

The only downside of course is that people want their games and if given a choice between Steam DRM and Half-Life 3... fuck, actually now I'm not sure even I could hold onto my principles in that situation!

Comment: Re:Why should we care? (Score 1) 573

by wallbase (#42135333) Attached to: Ask Richard Stallman Anything

Believe me, I understand your point. The problem though is human nature - people tune out extremists because they won't compromise. This might be necessary to push radical ideas across, but it fails the test in actually getting people to listen, particularly if you're effectively telling them that everything you're doing is "wrong" for some arbitrary reason.

What's the point in having extreme (but useful) ideas if the only way to implement them will cause too much pain for people?

Comment: Re:And Linux? (Score 1) 321

by wallbase (#42128153) Attached to: Virus Eats School District's Homework

One of these days people will use Linux or something very similar to it as the defacto standard for such networks, they will look back and laugh at how silly it was to force a square peg through a round hole.

You're living in a dreamworld. Linux has been around for a sufficiently long time and it still hasn't... fucking... happened. There's too much inertia for Windows and too little impact (on the desktop) for Linux.

But I'm happy to be proven wrong.

Comment: Re:Ask Slashdot (Score 1) 252

by wallbase (#42127759) Attached to: Anthropologist Spends Three Years Living With Hackers

Not many AAA titles are DRM free these days, sadly.

You're right. So just don't play them. You mean to tell me you have so much free time and no other hobbies that the selection of GOG is too limiting?

Convenience is a powerful thing

I don't understand this though. On say GOG, you buy the game, you download the files, you create a folder and dump the installer files into said folder. Then, you can run and install the game at your leisure, and backup the installers for another time. Assuming ANY level of basic computer literacy, this is easy enough that the benefits of not having to deal with DRM outweigh any issues from a little file and folder management.

Comment: Re:Ask Slashdot (Score 2) 252

by wallbase (#42127741) Attached to: Anthropologist Spends Three Years Living With Hackers

Optional DRM is nice if it comes in numbers. Someone crunched some numbers once and determined that out of the 3000+ games on Steam, only about 130 were DRM free (as in the game's exe could be run completely standalone). There were for mostly DOS games though, such as the original Doom series, X-Com and others. You can make backups sure, but they're still dependent on Steam. If your account is fucked or Valve is fucked, you're fucked.

In my experience, most gamers are clueless about long-term issues with DRM. Most just want to play games.

Comment: Re:Ask Slashdot (Score 1) 252

by wallbase (#42127157) Attached to: Anthropologist Spends Three Years Living With Hackers

Interesting post. I happen to agree with you; I'm really shocked at how happy people are in using Steam despite its DRM. Sure, they try to make themselves feel better by saying it's the lightest form of DRM compared to a lot of others, which is perhaps true, but you're still having all your games linked to a single point of failure - the health of your account, and the status of Valve as a company. The other argument is that Steam is very easy to crack, which is more or less accurate. Problem is, as a customer I don't want to have to rely on this when buying games, because it might not work out in practice. At least with DRM-free games, I can keep the installers and not worry about what happens to the vendor in 5-10+ years time.

I'm only 29, and I don't see my opinions as being particularly of the grumpy-old-men level either. It seems to just be a fact that games make people drop their principles for DRM and justify it instead of staying away from it entirely and opting instead of DRM-free stuff like that from GOG.com. But unfortunately there are WAY too many Valve fanboys around who tend to drown out your opinion.

Comment: Re:Why should we care? (Score 1) 573

by wallbase (#42126931) Attached to: Ask Richard Stallman Anything

Ideas are great. I like a lot of his ideas and certain aspects of his philosophy on software. However as you say, they're rather extremist at times and this causes problems because we live in the real world, not an idealist paradise (not yet, and likely not ever).

So ideas are great, but if they can't be implemented in practice without there being some significant pushback that prevents achievement of an outcome, then we have a problem. Stallman says a lot, but if for example I were to follow them to the letter, I'd have no career because no-one but Xilinx developers the (proprietary) software to design on their (proprietary) FPGAs, as a very simple example. Would I like a completely free FPGA along with the software to go with it? Sure! Heck these guys are trying to achieve that very thing (an ASIC, but the same general area: http://opencores.org/). But you're not going to be able to do the high power stuff I'm required to do on those things, hence I need to use proprietary material every single day.

Comment: Re: money is addictive -duh! (Score 1) 657

by wallbase (#42102429) Attached to: Windows 8 PCs Still Throttled By Crapware

Which is fine, for OS X (given it's a necessary subsystem for proper use of the operating system).

With Quicktime on Windows it seems to think it deserves to take control over your machine as well, as if you deserve the level of integration it has in OS X (despite being entirely different systems).

Comment: Re:Meh (Score 1) 108

by wallbase (#42100205) Attached to: O'Reilly Discounts Every eBook By 50%

Being truly principled is difficult for most people for two reasons:

(1) Being principled requires sacrifice. It means going without, which for someone who's used to pirating lots of games/movies, is the emotional equivalent of cutting off their blood supply. Seems like a very trivial and firstworldproblem issue but it's just an example of a low-cost sacrifice a lot of people can have a tough time dealing with.

(2) Being principled can be dangerous. Stepping in to help someone being beaten up is damn dangerous, and even a principled person has to decide if it's actually going to help, or just end up with two people bashed up instead of one. Or like that one Mexican politician who wasn't corrupt and genuinely tried to face the Mexican drug gangs, who survived two assassination attempts (one of them costing her husband's life) before finally being killed recently. She was principled, and she died for it. Most people won't have to face that level of dedication but they might have to deal with still dangerous issues where it might take someone principled to do the "right thing".

So basically, most people (including myself, make no mistake) like the idea of principles, but only if they don't have any major negative sides to them. Otherwise, they'll decide that they only have one life and it's not worth ruining or sacrificing for no perceptible gain.

Comment: Re:increasing divorce or honesty? (Score 1) 277

by wallbase (#42089969) Attached to: The Internet Has Transformed Modern Divorce

You're deliberately missing his point. Personal change in terms of eliminating or reducing human flaws. Becoming less jealous, less envious, improving one's temper, tolerance and respect for others, improving one's discipline and willpower, etc. There are clear benefits in all of the above, but thinking 1+1 is anything but 2 (and let's not go into floating-point tricks people like to mention to ruin the argument) is stupid and, well, something else which could do with some personal change.

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