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Comment Re:Prison Sentences (Score 1) 1127

Indeed - there's a few studies that show that excessive prison sentences don't act as a deterrent. Only increasing the likelihood you get caught does.

So criminals don't care whether they'd have to go to prison for 5 years instead of 2. However they do care if they feel that it's twice as likely to get caught than before.

But politicians actively go for the quick fix of increasing prison sentences, instead of improving the organisation and funding of the police and the courts.

Comment Re:Yep (Score 1) 900

I don't think the Gimp UI is perfect, but I don't particularly like the Photoshop UI either. However there's several features and functionality in Photoshop that GIMP could adopt (and I suspect they will soon). But I'm not sure a Photoshop clone (UI wise) is what they should be aiming for.

Comment Re:While UO is not Archetype based it keeps niche (Score 1) 40

You misunderstood me: you can pick two classes in the beginning, and later on, you can combine your primary class with _any_ secondary class. Also the system of attribute points means you can assign them to whatever skills you want - you get a certain number of points relative to your level, and then you just create specific builds for specific tasks. So one minute I can use a secondary healer build, and the next minute I can swap all my attribute points out and assign them to an offensive type magic for example.

The difficulty becomes combining a limited amount of skills you've unlocked (8 per build), and _NOT_ grinding for XP in a certain skill. The level is capped very low, because they want to avoid people needing to grind (everyone ends up quite quickly at lvl 20, the maximum). Anything that lets me avoid grinding for XP for a level or XP for a specific skill is a plus.

But I do see now that the UO system is different.

Comment Subscribtion kills it (Score 2, Interesting) 256

I think there just isn't a lot of room on the market for subscription-based games. I suspect most people will have a budget for one or so, and they will have invested quite a bit of time in it - so there's very little incentive to switch.

I think the Guild Wars model is much better: you pay for the game, you play for free. If you decide to stop for a few months, and pick it up later - no problem. If you decide you like the game and want access to more content, you buy the expansion packs.

Comment Re:Latency (Score 1) 125

Raw network latency would not be the only contributing factor to the overall latency. Just imagine the latency introduced by the audio and video encoding (their infrastructure) and decoding (the minimal hardware at home). Plus all the tricks they'll have to pull to scale their infrastructure, etc. I'd be surprised if they can pull it all off.

But who knows, maybe they really have some clever ideas; I'm genuinely curious as to how they'll try and tackle the technical issues.

Comment Re:HTML5, with canvas, is fantastic (Score 1) 500

Yep I meant the latter ;) Let's just bypass everything IE and render with another engine like webkit (triggered by a content-type or meta tag or something). Would people notice?

If I look at my linux install, webkitgtk used by midori takes about 14M, while the flash 10 plugin takes around 10M.

The alternative is waiting until IE8 support can be dropped, around the time IE10 gets well established. I guess poor web developers have a long wait ahead of them still.

Comment Re:Problems..... (Score 1) 313

Theora could really take off if a Flash-based decoder could be made for it, so that no codec download was required, and any video site could use it transparently. But how much of the video decoding for Youtube is actually written in Flash, and how much is done by a H264 accelerator in the Flash virtual machine?

All of it is done by the VM. However these days AVM2 in the flash player is decent enough to have a complete bytecode based Vorbis decoder. It's most likely too slow for Theora though.

On the other hand, there's Cortado - a java applet able to play Theora. Good enough?

Comment Writing your own laws (Score 4, Insightful) 203

I think the fundamental issue is that the DMCA and DRM allows the "industry" to write their own laws.

With the DMCA and the anti-circumvention provisions, the restriction code has the power of law - circumventing it is illegal.

So they can ignore whatever fair use privilege we used to enjoy, because fair use privileges aren't guaranteed rights: if you can't make use of it for whatever reason - tough; they're not required to provide you with tools or systems to give you what you want, even if it could be legal.

So this all boils down to the fact that we've lost all fair use in copyright law (maybe not in theory, but definitely in practice), and as such, copyright has become completely unbalanced in favour of the copyright owners.

The tradeoff was: a temporary monopoly on distribution with some fair use exceptions, in return for a rich public domain later on.

Not only have we lost fair use, we've also lost the public domain part later on. Because the DRM on copyrighted works that end up in the public domain isn't going to magically disappear.

All we're left with is "a monopoly on distribution" - that's not what copyright was supposed to be.

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