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Comment Re:Wow, (Score 1) 1079

I'm as much against the stupid War on Some Drugs, ACTA, ridiculous IP laws, etc. as the next Slashdotter, but as an American, I think you citizens of other countries need to take responsibility for your own governments' actions and stop blaming ours....

I can blame my crappy government for passing stupid laws, and I can blame the U.S. government/lobbyists for strong-arming our jackasses to do so. I pester my friends, sign petitions, send mail, and vote for/against my government, and find plenty of room in my heart left to blame the U.S. government/lobbyists for pressuring my government as if we were a branch office of theirs. I'm an idiot for drinking the Kool-Aid, but Bob's an asshole for pouring it down everyone's throat.

Electing new officials, however, makes little difference. Kow-towing to American interests seems to be a matter of permanent policy. And with the economics involved, that's not likely to change.

Comment Re:Customer Service : My Screen is Broken (Score 1) 439

The trouble is, with Apple, that sort of thing wouldn't happen. That's what makes them more dangerous than their competitors.

People only care about DRM when it stops them doing something that they want.

Yup, you won't see an enforced ad pop up while using the phone "normally", while running iTunes, or sending an e-mail, or making a call or whatever else is basic on the iPhone. If you see them, they'll be embedded into apps and content you download from other sources. This is a patent that lets Apple say "Here's an easy way to generate revenue from our customer base with your content, and without charging it all directly for the download. They won't mind clicking on an use your stuff. Better than DRM, because even if they send it on to our other customers, the ads go with it." It's similar to the tactic they took when they rolled out iTunes, with inoffensive DRM replacing non-ownership of files by subscription.

And now that streaming services are becoming viable and popular, thanks to increased bandwidth, customer familiarity, and other factors, there's an application for the ad model. Hulu on the iPhone, or similar. Not only will people not mind - they will approve. The feeling, for many, will be that putting up with this will give them what they want rather than not having it at all. To my mind, smart compromise is the best thing to hope for. The realistic alternative isn't no DRM or other restrictions, the alternative is heinous and insidious DRM. That's the industry recognizing, eventually, what the business models and customer bases are becoming. I'm not sure that I'd agree with "dangerous", but I do agree that Apple could pull this off in a way palatable to enough customers that other companies think they'll be able to get away with worse.

Comment Re:MS Ripped Off Sony's Skill Points (Score 1) 63

How much does LIVE cost on xbox?


This is misleading. These lists are pulled from the XBox Live site. XBox Silver, for free, gets you:

  • Free Game Demos
  • Movie Rentals*
  • TV Downloads*
  • Game Add-ons*
  • Downloadable Arcade Games*
  • Games on Demand
  • Avatars
  • Avatar Props
  • Voice, Text Chat

XBox Live Gold, for $60 a year, adds:

  • Netflix (you still need to pay for Netflix, I think - no USA, I have no Netflix)
  • Video Chat
  • Online Multiplayer Gaming
  • Early Access to Content (some demos lauch for Gold members only, for a while)
  • Exclusive Discounts
  • Xbox LIVE Parties
  • Photo Sharing

How much it costs depends on how much you want to do.

Comment Re:thanks (Score 1) 216

An option would be to provide the customer with 3 figures at the pay point: Retail price ($20); Recommended price (say $10); Average price so far ($X)...

Sounds like something Jane Siberry did with her music - first link I found:

Comment Re:I've read physics papers by business majors... (Score 1) 78

After playing MMO's for months on end, a guy gets a little tired of staring at his avatar's rippling, chisled ass, and might like to have some "softer" scenery waving in his face for a while.

Absolutely. I had a friend who only played Dark Elf female characters on EQ. Best butt, was the reason. He knew that was inane, but as long as he had to stare at a cartoon butt, it was going to be one he liked the curves of. Plus the whole "play a female character, get free stuff" thing.

Comment Re:Let me guess... (Score 1) 104

Thanks for writing that, I was discussing this with the gal pal tonight.

It reminded me - the last paragraph in particular - of this article:

For Maxwell, this has been emblematic of everything that's wrong with the music industry. "[We are] aware of who the biggest bootleggers are," she said. "It's not the filesharers." While Collins has worked to make A Girl Like You freely available to his fans, she alleges that the same track is sold illegally "all over the internet". "Not by Edwyn, [but] by all sorts of respectable major labels whose licence to sell it ran out years ago and who do not account to him."

Comment Re:I'm grateful (Score 1) 391

Ralph Lauren's Legal Case is kinda thin.

From the Boing Boing article:

As Wendy Seltzer from the Chilling Effects project said, "Sounds like a pretty solid fair use case to me. If criticism diminishes its effectiveness, that's different from the market substitution copyright protects against. And I've rarely seen a thinner DMCA form-letter."

No-one can resist the pun, it seems.

Comment Re:So essentially they want people to pay (Score 1) 463

I use iTunes for my iPhone - and I never buy anything there, I buy it all on Amazon because I prefer the more portable MP3 format. You seem to think that purchasing from Amazon and importing into your collection is difficult. Nothing could be further from the truth!! Well, not if you are running Windows anyway. You see Amazon has an MP3 download application that will place the downloads in an area you designate AND it will import them into iTunes automatically.

Easy on a Mac too, but the one-step of the Amazon application is a deft touch.

Comment Re:WoW was ruined (Score 1) 238

Christ, you play it for hours every day and more on the weekends, and think this isn't hideously excessive?!?

A few hours a day - not every day, even, he takes a few off here and there - and a little longer on the weekends isn't excessive. Online gaming actually cut down my "lazy" activity time and cut costs. I wasn't plonked in front of the TV (cancelled a few cable packages, rented fewer DVDs), I decided to spend more non-game time away from the computer and/or TV (read a bit more, got out of the house), and on top of all that spent more time with the better half (playing the game together, chatting while we did, etc).

Yeah, sometimes you don't get to play or TV or whatever for a while, something more important is happening. We stopped playing for a few months last time we sold the house, we had work to do when we got home. Online gaming is only excessive when you fail to keep up with life's priorities (job, home, health, family, friends). Ditto any other gaming, TV time, internet surfing, hardware hacking, wood duck carving, drinking, drugs, food, jogging, etc etc etc. It's usually easy to keep it all in balance, and part of what WoW does well is deliver a game that you CAN walk away from, to focus on the important things, and still keep up with the game.

It's not so much that "Casual" gaming is influencing MMO's, as it is that game publishers recognize that a lot of gamers are all adult-like now, and if we can't integrate the game into our real lives, we're not giving them our money. And money - the market - is what influences MMO's.

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