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Comment The Studios are the ones asking for DRM (Score 4, Informative) 303

Boycott Netflix. They don't want the business, don't give them money. Send the message DRM is unacceptable.

Is Netflix the right target though? What makes you think they want to have DRM in their product? The answer is, they don't. Netflix was forced by its content providers to use DRM.

Setting aside the debate around the value of content protection and DRM, they are requirements we must fulfill in order to obtain content from major studios for our subscribers to enjoy.

Netflix is not the only online delivery service forced to use DRM. Lovefilm, which operates in the UK was also forced to switch from using flash to Silverlight by the studios.

We’ve been asked to make this change by the Studios who provide us with the films in the first place, because they’re insisting – understandably – that we use robust security to protect their films from piracy, and they see the Silverlight software as more secure than Flash.

I agree that as customers, we should not have DRM forced on us. And yes, a consumer boycott is a way to show our displeasure. But to be consistent, target the true masterminds behind the DRM scheme, the movie studios by refusing to watch their movies on any medium. Consider this -if you boycott and kill Netflix, the studios will be happier because they earned more from the old system pre-Netflix.

Now, contrast the studios' dismal quarterly numbers with Netflix's performance during the same period. The video-rental service, which mails DVDs to subscribers as well as streams films and TV shows over the Web, added 3 million subscribers in the quarter--largely on the growing popularity of its streaming service, the company said.

It's not an apples-to-apples comparison, but it shows significant numbers of consumers are moving to Netflix, a service that all but eliminates the need to own movies.

Comment DRM is bad, but Steam seems fair (Score 1) 303

Just like Steam, the customers happily accept being branded with a hot iron as long as they're also given a carrot.

While I agree broadly with the main thrust of your argument (they should really stop fraudulently advertising that you 'own' digital products when you so clearly don't) I think your characterisation of Steam users here is inappropriate.

For a majority of Steam users, I believe, it is a simple matter of economics and convenience. The benefits can be rather compelling :-

1) During periodic Steam sales, the games could be substantially cheaper than a retail box. Sometimes up to 75% or more.
2) You can DL the game and play it on the same day.
3) You dont have to physically travel to the store.
4) You don't have to hunt for and patch your own games.
5) You don't have to deal with harassed sales staff on release days.

Most Steam users I believe, have done up the sums and are willing to give up the privilege of owning their games for these benefits. It is a choice they make. For those who insist on owning their games, as in the old days, they can still buy retail boxes. That is also their choice, a different choice but a no less valid one based on their personal values.

If you are concerned about the dilution of the First Sale Doctrine and ownership rights generally, I agree that it is a concern. As individual consumers however, when it comes to non-essentials like games and entertainment, we always have the power to vote with our wallets. The most recent example is the furor over the drm of XBoxOne which eventually caused MS to reverse their policy.

Comment Re:Convoluted (Score 1) 303

Makes me wonder... I somehow doubt that the PS3, Tivo or Asus Transformer have Silverlight so the DRM itself likely isn't a Silverlight exclusive. Why aren't there smart people foaming at the mouth to reverse-engineer that stuff? I guess Netflix is mostly a US service and countries where doing such reverse-engineering isn't illegal have no incentive?

More likely because you can already get the shows Netflix has by DLding, without depending on Netflix as the source.

Comment Secure Boot says no... for now (Score 3, Informative) 186

Well the MS design intent is for all WinRT devices to be locked down.

Microsoft mandates that Secure Boot on Windows RT devices isn’t user-configurable, so you won’t be able to remove Windows RT and install Linux or another operating system.

Since MS Secure Boot has already been cracked, it will probably be a matter of time.

Comment Your bias is still showing (Score 1) 629

First, you show up, making an emotional rant about "Google apologists". An emotionally loaded term only a biased party could use.

Secondly, half of your original rant is incoherent, while the other half consists of ridiculous assertions like "Nobody would or has deemed that behavior acceptable from Microsoft but somehow because its Google its ok."[sic] If you actually bother to read the rest of the thread, you will find plenty of people criticising Google. Your statement is so clearly untrue only a wilfully blind person could miss it.

Thirdly, in your original post there was not a single complaint about MS at all. This is a dispute between two parties, MS and Google. You attack one without talking about the other. What does that suggest?

Now, in your response, you shyt on MS -conveniently after being challenged as a shill. Too little, too late.

I stand by my statement, Mr. AC. And I notice you have conveniently ignored my arguments and the link I posted about MS paid shills - because its true perhaps?

And I like your final touch ; "There is absolutely no way to criticize Google on this site without its devoted, unthinking drones like you calling it the work of Microsoft". On the contrary Mr. AC, thinking, critical people will challenge you when you make silly, baseless and emotional assertions.

Comment Maybe its a blessing for the consumer (Score 5, Interesting) 110

As you have pointed out, European 'Chip-and-PIN' Cash-Card Security have already been cracked by criminals.

And fair enough, generally cards with chips are still more secure than their magnetic counterparts.

What I am more disturbed about is, from the point of the consumer, it appears that in Europe at least the supposed security of the chip and pin system have been (ab)used by banks to deny refunds to their defrauded clients.

However, the chip and PIN system came under question in 2010, when researchers found that transactions could be executed without PINs.

In their paper, the Cambridge researchers asserted that, based on their conversations with bankers, "banks systematically suppress information about known vulnerabilities, with the result that fraud victims continue to be denied refunds."

Bond asserted that banks are aware of the problem but routinely “stonewall” customers-turned-victims because their transaction records show that the PIN was used.

From the POV of the consumer, I would not favor the use of this newer, more secure system if it shifts the burden of fraud on me with the excuse that "it's unhackable, you must have given them your PIN".

Comment It's your (moral) call (Score 1) 892

In most cases, period of notice is something which is in stated in the contract. To me it is a personal promise, that you will not leave the company without letting them know X weeks in advance. It should therefore be kept unless there are really exceptional grounds for not doing so.

Lets face it, nobody leaves their current employ unless they're unhappy with it. In most cases, most people will feel that their current employer treated them like shyt. This does not mean you should not take the high road and carry out your part of the bargain.

To illustrate, say old man Grouch has been making my life hell working under him for the last 5 years. But he pays the salary on time. I'd probably give proper notice and stick it out.

OTOH if I worked under Mr. Nice and just found out that he had been porking my wife behind my back for the last few months... or that the company was doing something illegal and I was going to be made the scapegoat... I would probably bail with no notice. Why? Because the company/bosses are the ones who have betrayed you. They deserve no respect.

Comment Your bias is showing (Score 1) 629

Ad hominem attack - check
False attribution -check
Argument from personal incredulity - check
Moral high ground fallacy -check

High probability parent post is a MS shill. See, the reason why MS has such a bad rep compared to Google (and considerably less trust from the public) is because of their past bad conduct.

As an example, I am more likely to believe that you are a MS shill because it is a proven fact that MS does in fact employ shills to flood public discourse.

This is what I personally believe, and unlike you I am willing to post on my account instead of as AC and take the karma hit. It does not mean I love Google, just that I trust Google more than MS because MS has been so terribly, terribly naughty in the past.

Comment Bingo. Typical MS arrogance at work. (Score 4, Interesting) 629

Lets backtrack a bit to the MS post when they released the new youtube app.

We’ve released an updated YouTube app for Windows Phone that provides the great experience our consumers expect while addressing the concerns Google expressed in May, including the addition of ads," a Microsoft statement notes. "We appreciate Google’s support in ensuring that Windows Phones customers have a quality YouTube experience and look forward to continuing the collaboration.

Note the parts in bold. MS lied, they didn't address it. So Google saw MS thumbing their nose, went WTF, got pissed off and blocked it .

We're committed to providing users and creators with a great and consistent YouTube experience across devices, and we've been working with Microsoft to build a fully featured YouTube for Windows Phone app, based on HTML5. Unfortunately, Microsoft has not made the browser upgrades necessary to enable a fully-featured YouTube experience, and has instead re-released a YouTube app that violates our Terms of Service.

MS gets slapped with its hand caught in the cookie jar and then admits that its 'new' app did not comply with Google's request that it be in HTML5 :-

For this reason, we made a decision this week to publish our non-HTML5 app while committing to work with Google long-term on an app based on HTML5.

Note that the new app was pushed out without Google's approval, unlike what they implied. Typical MS arrogance and lies at work. I feel sorry for any Winph8 users caught in the crossfire, but MS does not deserve any sympathy in this matter.

Comment Flamebait article (Score 4, Informative) 304

If you read TFA, you will find his claims are contradictory.

First it states the premise:-

To displace incumbents, OTT TV has to continue to change TV business models in ways that appeal to consumers and attract content owners.

So far so good. Then it states the facts relied on to suggest OTT TV doesnt appeal enough to customers :-

In its June 2013 Cross Platform Report, Nielsen reported that the average consumer watched over 157 hours of traditional television per month. Nielsen also reported that the average consumer watched only 3.8 minutes per day of OTT TV or about 2 hours per month. If all 11 original TV series from Amazon and Netflix appealed to the average consumer and he or she watched one hour from each series per week, original OTT television content would amount to 44 hours in an average month. The consumer would be left with 111 hours per month of unsatisfied television viewing appetite without cable or satellite pay TV. OTT TV challengers don’t have the economic scale to create or acquire enough content to replace incumbent pay television providers.

Note the assumptions- It assumes that "average consumers" must watch 157 hours of traditional television every month to be satisfied. The article very carefully never explains why it thinks this is a valid assumption. Do we even have any numbers to show that those who watch 157 hours of traditional television every month are happier with their service than those who watch less?

The irony is that right at the beginning of the article, it admits that

"In May, Variety reported that the American Consumer Satisfaction Index ranked cable television providers last in all consumer categories."

So we do know that customers of cable companies are very unhappy with their cable service. This directly contradicts his assumption that"average consumers" must watch 157 hours of traditional television every month to be satisfied, since on average they are obviously unhappy even after watching that much.

This is a badly written article trolling for hits.

Comment Hence the leverage cable has (Score 1) 304

And this is precisely what cable companies are banking on to hold their customers hostage. It all boils down to personal choice. Money vs. Addiction.

Using your example :-

Must you watch only the Rachel Maddow Show, or are you willing to accept a substitute, perhaps with a similar format ?

Must you watch it live, or are you willing to put up with the inconvenience of delayed telecasts and/or clicking?

Must you watch those specific ice hockey games?

The cable companies have ensured (through exclusivity agreements etc) that if you answer yes to any of the above, you will have to pay a premium to them to scratch your itch. That is their business model. And if you choose to pay them, that is fine. What I am pointing out is that consumers do have choices. Given the way the fees/premium have been rising over the years, it appears that more and more people are answering "no".

Comment Wait till governments get involved (Score 3, Informative) 136

Because as much as they voice their displeasure, turning back isn't really an option for businesses using the cloud.

Maybe in the US, but worldwide is a different matter. Governments could easily force the issue by forbidding the use of US cloud companies, especially for their companies that deal with issues of defence and national security.

Lest you think its farfetched, China already bans the use of Google, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and FourSquare in China. Local alternatives such as Sina, Tencent, qq etc. took their places fairly quickly. After PRISM, more governments may follow suit.

Comment Re:Stupid decision by clueless jury (Score 1) 164

Not arguing, per se... But I assume you then feel the same way about the Boy Scouts allowing openly homosexual scouts and leaders?

Obvious flamebait post. The Boy Scout issue carries overtones of social stigma/acceptance and deals with human beings. OTOH not being able to race your horse will cause loss of opportunity to make money. Hardly the same.

Comment Re:Stupid decision by clueless jury (Score 1) 164

One issue is that AQHA runs large commercial races that are open only to its members. They're excercising market control by excluding certain animals based on arbitrary criteria...

And I don't really see what's wrong with that. It's their race, shouldn't they be allowed to set the rules?

To cite another example, it is well known that cars that race in F1 championships have to comply with technical regulations such as their size and dimensions etc. Can an upstart car company demand to be allowed to race with a car that doesn't meet those rules?

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