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Comment Re:Aren't these just workshops? (Score 2) 68

Ok, I'll bite back, it's the first sentence. See above:

These are workshops but with a twist:

They ARE workshops. They don't have to be new and revolutionary to be worthy of praise. Indeed, Bill and Freddie and Donald and Danner sound like awesome guys. And even though their daddies didn't have power tools, radio, or autos to put upholstery in, it doesn't make them any less awesome.

And workshop collaborative have been around since before Bill and Freddie. The new batch simply has a twist that they're often have more programmers. Much like the last generations of geeks had radios. The whole "community run" thing adds a dash of free and open culture to the mix.

Oh, and those radios DID change the world. Call up Bill and tell him "thank you".

Comment Re:Aren't these just workshops? (Score 1) 68

Better than the brain-dead consumers that go home and watch TV for 4 hours until bedtime.

There's actually a bit of a schism at our space. Most of them want to use the term "makerspace" simply to get away from the term "hackerspace". Not that there's supposed to be anything wrong with being a hacker... but there is. While the "maker movement" is kind of a push against the throw away consumer culture that has developed in the USA, some fights aren't worth it. "Hackerspaces" simply bring up too many awkward explanations.

Comment Re:DRM itself isn't bad (Score 1) 433

The petulant child is usually the one that resorts to hyperboles and strawmen.

You keep making the distinction between bad DRM and good DRM. You seem to have a hard time accepting that Steam is an example of bad DRM. You're exactly right you know. Any time you encounter the DRM in a medium, it's a sign that the DRM is failing. That it's causing grief to the users. That it's "bad DRM".

And I'm letting you know that Steam has caused me grief.

And to that extent, anything wrapped in DRM (But let's call it "bad' DRM, so you don't have a conniption fit), simply won't be getting my money. I'll stick to the indie game developers, the humble-bundle, and the classics.

It's not fair or unfair. They're selling something I want with strings attached that I don't want. And so I don't buy. And if you really don't mind those strings, you can buy if you want.

Comment Re:So much for... (Score 2) 743

PhxBlue, I am going to shoot you and eat your still-beating heart.
I'm going to do this is person, and I'm specifically threatening you which is more than what this teenager did. Since he had more of a blanket threat against a nebulous "school" and did it online over facebook.

But relax, I'm joking. It's just something to try and make a point.

And no, you can't have me arrested, you can complain to the cops who make a judgement call about whether or not they feel the need to arrest me or really do anything at all. Typically that's only if there's an immediate threat or fear that I'd run away. A citation seems more appropriate for the whole "call the cops and get justice" scenario. But really, lip-service to the importance of your complaint seems like the more probable outcome. Maybe someone would swing by and ask some questions and leave a warning.

Comment Re:Middlemen: the official plague of the modern ag (Score 1) 309

manufacturers don't want to deal with 1 piece orders constantly - it's way too much overhead for them

Yes, traditionally that's the case. Manufacturers want to sell in large palettes of whateverthefuck.

But just to, you know, throw this out there... Why?

I mean, right now, someone else buys a pallet, turns around and sells the individual things for more than they bought it for. That mark up pays all their wages, bosses, and corporate profits. And yet it would be "too much over head" for the manufacturing companies to do all that.

What's keeping the manufacturing plants from doing everything the resellers do?

And the answer is that the resellers are more agile than the ancient manufacturers. The young ones can use the hip new technology that let's them deal with small orders without having to pay a small army of accountants to file paperwork. You know, a webpage with a shopping cart. The manufacturing plants are largely rooted in their old ways and if you want to buy 1 or 1 million widgets you have to literally fax them an ordering contract. It really is cheaper for the old manufacturing plant to sell in bulk.

But there's really nothing keeping the technology out of the hands of the manufacturing plant other than their reluctance to change and their investment in fax machines.

When you get a new manufacturer on the scene, like Tesla, why the hell would they buy fax machines?

Comment Re:DRM itself isn't bad (Score 1) 433

You know, you could probably do that at a movie theater. If you bought all the tickets to the movies throughout the day, you could wave the ticket at whoever is tasked with clearing the place out and cleaning the floors. As if they cleaned the floors. But meatspace is amazingly easy to hack. With the right smile and reassuring tone, and having cleared it with their manager before-hand, trust me, people are willing to bend rules. Computers? not so much.

Also, your analogy is about 10-20 years out of date. "I should be able to sit at my couch getting a better view of the big screen, with better sound, in the comfort of my own home, and watch movies all day long. With cheaper popcorn." And that has already come to pass. There are A LOT of people with home theaters that rival movie theaters.

I think I'm entitled to what I pay for. I am a HUGE starcraft fan. It's a sizeable facet of my teenage years. When SCII was coming out, I was most certainly going to buy it. And then they announced there's no LAN play, and the thing has to phone home every time. What? Shenanigians! So I didn't buy it. Well, until a month or two ago. I got it for $1 in some promo deal. And you know what? THE DRM IS FUCKING BULLSHIT! In just two short months I've been shut out of multiplayer 3 times because their servers were down. I've got full Internet connectivity, but no, daddy-Blizzard doesn't want me to partake of their game. And there's this really weird thing where it routinely doesn't want me to play 1v1. I can play 2v2 just fine. I think their ladder system just chokes or something. Anyway, there's a bullshit work around where you attempt to log into the European servers, cancel, log back into the American ones, and bam, 1v1 is enabled again. It takes about 2 minutes. I like their match-making. I really do. But the DRM is enormously frustrating. I mean, the load-screen takes longer, but I know that's a limitation of my laptop. The time I have to waste because Blizzard sucks? It means I'm not shelling out real money for heart of the swarm.

And yeah, I know that's whining. It's just games. In an age where there are a lot bigger problems. But if you want to seperate me from my money you have to actually sell me something.


If you couldn't manage an internet connection every few months, you should have known better than to invest in steam games.

I'm connected the vast majority of the time. But I have to "manage" my steam games to let them know I want to play them offline. It's a thing in Steam you can do. It's just a hassle I don't put up with. You can be playing one day, lose the Internet (or walk somewhere with the laptop) and the games will not work the next. I'm not "managing to connect to the Internet", I'm "managing my gaming rights". Reading comprehension. Try it.

you don't get to dictate YOUR terms to Valve, or the movie theatre, or any other company.

Actually, I can perfectly dictate my abstinence. I tried it out in earnest early on, but most of the games I have on steam now are gifts from friends.

And to say DRM doesn't help you at all is VERY shortsighted

and saying that DRM helps the industry is short-sighted. There's a lot of culture out there that is simply going to be gone because it was locked up. When mommy-may-I servers shut down that game is DEAD. It's possible that crackers of tomorrow may find a solution and everyone can have a nice dose of nostalgia, but DRM works against that. And if you can't see that the digital era is working hard at eroding consumer rights, that you don't own anything anymore, that the nebulous "they" want you to be merely a resource to squeeze money out of, then you are a short-sighted fool that doesn't see the big picture.

Comment Re:DRM itself isn't bad (Score 1) 433


Digital Rights Management isn't necessarily a bad thing, and used properly can be very helpful.

To who? It certainly doesn't help me, the user, in any way, shape, or form. It serves absolutely zero purpose for me. It is, AT IT'S BEST, a constraint that I never bump into. To me.

To companies and IP owners, it can be helpful to stem the tide of piracy and fight back against their user-base. Squirrling away their property so that no-one may see it. Except maybe select users. As if that was a good thing.

And Steam is not DRM done right. Steam blows. It locks me out of my games on a regular basis. I know, I know, I'm supposed to go and set it up for offline mode once every x months for the games I want to play when our Internet drops, or we travel. But guess what? My interest in managing my gaming rights is approximately zilch and I want to play the games I bought because I god-damn own them. Oh, sorry, that's not quite right now is it. I only "licensed" them.

Steam has done fantastically well to turn Valve in to a game publishing company. They distribute games. They saw digital downloads on the horizon and they conquered it. They somehow got the beast which is their user base to swallow DRM and now those hooks have sunk deep. Now they hold those keys to the gate and they are making a ludicrous amount of money. But do they need the DRM? There's a lot of value in the ease of downloading, installing, and running steam games. They packed the original X-Com quite nicely with dosbox. If these games would play without the bloody mother-may-I from Valve corporate, I'd care a lot more about whatever sales they throw.

Comment Re:Threat from r/c planes (Score 1) 233

Yeah, I've only flown r/c planes for 40 years. They can NOT carry a big enough payload to do any substantial damage.

To what? A building? No, they really can't. A crowd? They could really fuck up a crowd. And if you had a particular person/car/window office that you wanted to take out, RC planes with a brick of C-4 strapped to it would certainly do the trick.

But the state? An RC controlled aircraft of any shape or size from less-than 1lbs toys, to gas-powered FOV enthusiast wet-dreams, to military grade UAV with hellfires will not be a threat to the state of Germany. Germany will prevail. A UAV might blow up a couple things which we would lament, but the state is not so fragile as to crumble at the loss of a building and a few people. Even 4 airliners full of fuel were not a threat to the state of the USA. They inflicted damage, and the unrestrained terror that everyone exhibited certainly steered the course over the next decade, but there was no threat of there not being a USA after the event. None.

It takes a handful of nukes for that.

So when you talk about what constitutes a "real threat" you have to clarify what it is that's being threatened.

Comment Re:It's dead either way, why not try this? (Score 1) 371

[what keeps spammers from mucking up the airwaves]

Because advertising is a commercial endeavor and illegal on HAM bands.

If they are being paid to advertise on the HAM bands, that's a violation and the FCC will cite them, fine them, ban them, and then take all their stuff after HAM operators report them for being spammers. Imagine that ads were illegal on the Inetnet, do you think users would report that annoying pop-up if they had the authority to get it shut down?

You can boast about how good product X is, but if others feel that you're a shill. That you're being paid to advertize, they will complain to the FCC, who will investiagate, there's a cat'n'mouse game, and then they bring out the hammer. If you're not a shill, then the FCC's investigation will, in theory, absolve you.

Comment Re:It's dead either way, why not try this? (Score 1) 371

And just like in public, if someone doesn't like you swearing they can get the cops to give you a citation. You know, that "public disturbance" law? I think it's actually a city-by-city thing, but it's generally illegal to just start swearing in public.

Yes, it's exactly like that. Except you never know who is listening on a HAM band while you might have a better idea about who is around you in person.

it seems like a simple limit on how often one can use the resource would be far more valuable

HOLY BLOODY HELL! that is a BALLS TO THE WALLS bad idea. Seriously, how could you even THINK this is a good idea. You want HAM operators to be TIME LIMITED on how much they can talk on air!?!? Seriously? Whoa dude. WHOA.

Lemme.... lemme just think about this for a second. Let's just let that stew and see what comes out.
1) What are the limits? Obviously you've got the bare minimum idea that it's a public resource and commercial interests could come in and take all that resource, pushing out the hobbyists. And, for whatever reason, you think TIME LIMITS would keep the corporations in check. So what are those time limits? Everyone is allows half an hour each day to chat on air? 24-hours is divided evenly amoungst the local HAM licenses? Do you want a Pay-as-you-go plan curtosy of VerisonAir?
2) How is this time tracked? Right now all the regulations really just mean that if an operator reports you to the FCC, they can slap your wrists, and if you continue, you get fined or banned. Are you expecting the hobbyists to know how long KDPizzaHut54 operates?
3) What's to keep a Spammer from using a collection of callsigns (from real people, a pool of employees) to simply multiply their on-air time?
4) Does simply listening count against your time allotment? If the spammers come and give a 5 second ad every half hour, how much time have they used?
5) Have you even thought about this idea of yours or are you just taking the current limitations of the Internet that you apparently nuzzle up with at night and trying to shoe-horn it into a different medium where none of those limitations exist?

Comment Re:It's dead either way, why not try this? (Score 4, Interesting) 371

Because it's a limited resource. There's only so much bandwidth on the air. The equipment is made to work within a specific frequency, (because outside of that band, those frequencies are used for other things). Think of it like a river, it's owned by everyone or no-one, with lots of people wanting to use it. It's a natural monopoly. So it's regulated.

A lot of really good uses for the airwaves exist and have their sections defined. One of those sections was set aside for the hobbyists to do with as they please. But they still have to play by the rules, because it's still a public place, using a limited resource, with others' rights you have to respect.

Imagine if your internet connection stopped working whenever someone sent you a packet. You had a single channel for up and down communication, and you didn't have control over when people talked to you. Every time someone sent you an email, your downloads stop. Every time someone pings you, your wabpage stops loading. That's radio. If someone is an asshole, they can barge into your channel and talk over you. If they're malicious they could jam the entire band and DOS everyone.

And yes, officially you can't swear. Just like you can't pirate movies over the Internet. You also can't sing.

Comment In rememberance of the Antiquarium (Score 4, Interesting) 330

You all know there's a used bookstore in your town. Go give them some business.

I grew up in Omaha. Downtown there was a used bookstore with more character than was probably healthy. It had more books then it knew what to to do with, a healthy set of extraneous stairs, an honor system for coffee, and a set of couches in front with a constant crowd. I think the regulars manned the register when the workers were busy.

But it didn't make too much money and they couldn't make rent. They tried selling records in the basement and some sort of art gallary on the upper levels, but that didn't pan out. So it closed up. And Omaha lost something important that day.

Now, apparently, a small town about 20 minutes gained something eventually, because the owner bought a building, moved his books there, and is still doing business. I'll have to find out if it has the same magic.

But anyway, just a reminder to support your local church of the literate.

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