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Comment Re:right, so it doesn't matter in terms of sales (Score 1) 372

And pirating because of DRM is fundamentally flawed is that it only affects the suffering devs, and not the publisher for whom the fault of including the DRM lays squarely at the feet of.

Not playing/buying the game at all has exactly the same effect. If I'm not willing to pay for DRM'd content then the developers get $0 from me if I don't play, and still $0 if I do.

I agree, the developers get the shitty end of this. But that's how it works. If a company has a poor business model and lose money, it's always the staff that get screwed. It won't help anyone in the long run to pay for content that comes with invasive DRM.

The Almighty Buck

Journal Journal: "Of course, this was mostly an illusion" 6

A former head economist at the IMF, after having to deal with smaller nations with corrupt leadership and banks, has some stern warnings for the US. The rise of the financial "industry" to unprecedented levels as a percentage of the economy is the main reason for the economic downfall of the US, as it takes more and more of the profits out of the true wealth creation system built up over generations, and shifts this wealth into fewer hands. He has seen it so many times before, that he warns t

Submission + - 'Vegetative State' patients can communicate (bbc.co.uk) 1

Kittenman writes: The BBC is carrying a story about researchers in the UK and Belgium who can detect the thinking processes within a patient previously thought to be in a 'vegetative state'. The researchers ask the patient verbally to think in certain ways to indicate a "yes", in other ways to indicate a "no" — and have successfully communicated with 4 out of 23 patients previously thought to be in a coma.

Comment Re:So what does it do? (Score 1) 159

[T]he nVidia binary-only driver will only get worse (binary bit rot has a half-life of say 1.5 years), while the ATI OSS driver will only get better with time and is not locked to yesterday's Linux kernel or X11.

And yet my old laptop with an ATI Xpress still can't handle compiz with the open source drivers. I'd love to support the FOSS solution, but it is not adequate for my needs. In other news, the Windows 7 ATI driver has worked flawlessly for me

Comment Re:And this is how we die (Score 1) 1343

While the 5% may be statistical noise, the 30% failure rate is not. The test in question (I've taken it, UW calls it the ELPE) is not designed to fail you for small errors in punctuation or grammar, but to indicate whether you have minimal competence in written English.

Maybe composing in standard grammar has been deemphasized (obviously a bad thing) and replaced with more education on critical reading (obviously a good thing). We could fix this if we wanted to by deemphasizing critical reading (obviously a bad thing) and emphasizing standard grammar more (obviously a good thing).

I would argue that to do critical reading at all you need some grammar knowledge, whether formalized or not. The ELPE does not test much more than that.

Submission + - Amazing Software Turns Cheap Webcam Into Instant 3 (wired.com)

tugfoigel writes: It is called ProFORMA, or Probabilistic Feature-based On-line Rapid Model Acquisition, but it is way cooler than it sounds. The software, written by a team headed by Qi Pan, a student at the Department of Engineering at Cambridge University in England, turns a regular, cheap webcam into a 3D scanner.

Normally, scanning in 3D requires purpose-made gear and time. ProFORMA lets you rotate any object in front of the camera and it scans it in real time, building a fully 3D texture mapped model as fast as you can turn an object. Even more impressive is what happens after the scan: The camera continues to track the object in space and matches its movement instantly with the on-screen model.


Submission + - Steve Jobs in standover against app developer (theage.com.au)

BrokenHalo writes: The Age has an article showing us another unsavoury aspect of Apple's business model.

A long-time Apple software developer from Sydney fears he may have to lay off most of his staff after draconian Apple legal threats and a rare personal email from Apple chief executive officer Steve Jobs.

Mathew Peterson, 25, has been creating Mac software since he was 17 and one of his most popular products has been "iPodRip", which allows people to back up their music collections from their iPods on to their computers. It was an instant hit and particularly useful in emergencies because, if a user's computer dies and they attempt to connect their iPod to their new machine, all music and videos on the device are usually wiped... Peterson's Manly-based company, The Little App Factory, now employs eight staff members, makes two other Apple-related software tools and claims to have approximately 6 million customers. But iPodRip, which sells for $US19.95, pulls in the lion's share of revenue.

Despite iPodRip being available for the past six years, about 2 weeks ago, Peterson received a cease and desist letter from Apple's lawyers, Baker & McKenzie. It asked him to stop using "iPod" in his software's name, remove any Apple-related logos from his product and relinquish control of his domain name, ipodrip.com.

Comment Re:Oh, the potential (Score 1) 396

The firm film, in the extended version, was quite good. I don't think it suffered from the lack of Bombadil - he was a walk-on from Tolkien's other writings anyhow, and the bit of Arwen thrown in didn't really hurt anything. The standoff with the Balrog in the extended version was just the sort of eye-candy I was looking for in a LOTR movie.

Jackson's increasing arrogance in the later films was tragic, really. There was plenty in the source material to make for good eye-candy without adding skateboarding elves and the like. What annoyed me the most was that half of Gollum's character got lost in the visual gimmickry - the half that knew the destruction of the Ring meant his own destruction, and sought that release. The (first) ending is just awkward if interpreted as "oops, I slipped and fell into a volcano" instead of Gollum finally uniting his desire to have the ring with his desire to see the ring destroyed.

Well, it remains to be seen whether Jackon can best the Rankin-Bass The Hobbit. ;) I can only hope that, given he's doing two movies, he'll add all his own BS to the second. There's much less room in that story for cutting.

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Everything that can be invented has been invented. -- Charles Duell, Director of U.S. Patent Office, 1899