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Comment Re:Their patents expired (Score 1) 425

Wall of text! Wall of text!
Nostalgia made me ramble!

Anyway... the point is that kids only build it by the instructions to see how everything comes together. After that pieces sits around for a few days, it's torn apart and re-purposed for custom creations. Some of the new themes are fun, and I wish I had had access to a few of them when I was young. The Universal Monsters-esque sets I've seen are particularly cool, without even being a licensed IP. :)

Comment Re:Their patents expired (Score 2) 425

I'm not so sure about that. I recall my brother and I getting a bunch of really cool looking Mega Block sets one year for Christmas. There were colors and shapes we had never seen before, and neat themes like dinosaurs and moon bases. In theory it was all compatible with the absolutely huge amount of Lego blocks that we had in our combined collection. What we quickly found out however was that Mega Blocks were cheaply made. They barely locked together with each other tightly enough to build with, let alone with Legos. They were also fragile and routinely broke because the outer walls of the blocks were so thin. My parents actually ended up complaining to the company, which netted us a ton more Mega Block sets. We tried to make the best of it, mostly because the dinosaur pieces and 3D building bases were unheard of in the Lego ecosystem at the time. Eventually however, my brother and I went through every storage tub we had and purged the Mega Blocks from our collection. It was a lengthy undertaking, especially at that age, but the Great Purging left our superior Legos free of any kind of contamination. I'm not sure if Mega Blocks have improved over the years, but I wouldn't chance it personally. I still have all of my Legos in storage though, about ten big, plastic bins in all. One day they'll have someone to play with again.

Now has Lego sold out? Probably. I recall branded sets like Star Wars on the horizon right as I was growing out of the little blocks. It didn't seem harmful then, but nowadays it seems like Lego has more licensed sets than they do good 'ole fashioned knights and pirates. You can still purchase the regular old blocks, but they don't get the shelf space at the store that Harry Potter and Batman does. On the bright side, it does seem as though Lego has really tried to move away from the specialized pieces that were becoming so prevalent toward the end of the 90s. There's also an exciting global community that has sprung up around Lego, so you can buy homemade, custom pieces. I've seen weapon packs, for example. My brother and I would have loved something like that back in the day, when we were building entire Lego cities across our bedroom floors. We didn't realize it then, but we had essentially created a Lego RPG. Each character had a name and personality. Characters could only move so many pegs per turn, battles were decided vie dice, etc. Go figure. :p

Patents

Should Inventions Be Automatically Owned By Your Employer? 291

An anonymous reader writes "Joshua Simmons authored an article for the N.Y.U. Journal of Intellectual Property and Entertainment Law. The article is a comparison of the developments in copyright law and patent law in the nineteenth century that resulted in copyright law developing a work made for hire doctrine while patent law only developed a patch work of judge-made employment doctrines. The article theorizes that patent law did not develop an inventions made for hire doctrine, because inventive activity was almost exclusively perceived to be performed by individuals. It goes on to suggest that, as patentable inventions today are generally perceived to be invented collaboratively, the Patent Act should be amended to borrow from the Copyright Act and adopt a principle similar to the work made for hire doctrine."

Comment Re:No Good (Score 1) 553

That's too bad. I already have Darksiders, and wanted to gift away the new copy. Oh well, Saints Row and Metro 2033 are the worth $5 if nothing else. Red Faction looks interesting, even if the franchise isn't an FPS anymore. Generic WWII shooters like Company of Heroes though? Throwaways.

Comment Cameras: A Waste of Money... (Score 2) 340

You could setup some nice wildlife cameras, but the police aren't going to do anything about dumpers. Even if you have clear photos of their vehicle, license plate, their faces, and them in the process of dumping. Best that you just put a gate up... or better yet, bury some 2x4s in the trail with screws sticking up out of them. If you have the time, and the dumping occurs frequently enough, maybe sit up one evening with your pump shotgun.

Comment Frappé (Score 1) 584

I have a frappé machine, which is basically just a glorified coffee pot atop a blender. It makes coffee, drips it into the blender, then mixes it all up with ice, soy milk, and whatever flavors I want. I don't partake in a cup of it every morning like most people seem to with their coffee. It's there for taste, not for "energy". Actually, I usually like to enjoy one later in the evening once or twice a week. The things have way too many calories to drink too much more often.

Comment Re:The questions developers ask (Score 1) 249

Killing Floor.
It seems to sell pretty well on Steam, allows for modding itself, and is still receiving new paid DLC to boot.

Besides, the goal isn't necessarily to spin off a successful game out of a mod. Allowing for mods gives you a talent pool to pull from as well. You have fans that are dedicated to learning your tools and creating tangible examples of their work with it. Plus, your game will stay fresh and in the public space for longer as more content is freely added to it through no effort of your own. The tools are already there, you just have to release them.

I know it's hard for console users to understand. Or maybe it's not, maybe they're just mad at having been tricked into such locked-down systems. :P

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