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Comment Re:This isn't metadata. It's just data. (Score 1) 60

Do you mean submitter SpicyBrown, German politician Malte Spitz, Director of National Intelligence Director James Clapper, or NSA director Gen. Keith Alexander? Or the general media and NSA apologists?

Because Spitz never used the term. SpicyBrown is probably misusing the term. Clapper doesn't know what the fuck he's talking about. And Alexander is probably spewing bullshit. And I'd give even money that the general media and NSA apologists don't have a clue what metadata entails.

Comment Re:Real threat or open question? (Score 1) 407

You know what? Thanks. I'm not actually paranoid enough, or have anything worth the effort of hiding, to run SELinux, but it's a warm fuzzy blanket of ideological goodness that it exists. It comforts me that there are people more paranoid than myself and social enough to share their efforts with the world. When the slipping and sliding into a police state seems inevitable and the errosion of personal and consumer rights continues and no one really owns anything anymore and everyone seems content running handheld devices that they can't really modify, the fact that things like SELinux exist make me realize that it's going to be ok. That there are knowledgeable people out there actively defending the ability of commoners to be secure against... everyone. So thank you. I know it's probably a thankless job and you get assailed by paranoid people distrusting you and being inherently hostile. It just comes with the territory, they mean well.

Comment Re:Legendary? (Score 1) 33

Yeah, this disabled guy at the hackerspace asked for some help with a piece of code that was somehow affiliated with Ben Heck. Just some arduino stuff to have a joystick move his wheelchair around.

It was pretty ugly. Apparently the guy can't code worth a damn. I mean, if it actually originated from Ben Heck. The whole thing was kinda surreal. I have no idea if I should laugh when the guy in a wheelchair makes a cripple joke.

But Ben has that mover and shaker attitude that gets you on TV and minor celebrity status. It's a skill, and one that geeks don't usually foster because it's tied to CHA rather than INT. And everyone knows that's a dumpstat.

Comment Re:Father of civilization? More like babysnatcher. (Score 2) 208

Well yeah, other than playing civilizations colonizing ancient earth, turning population points into additional cities, trading resources like iron and bronze between other players, starvation killing off population, the tech tree... and the bulk of the actual EFFECTS from the tech tree like astronomy letting you get across oceans, yeah, you know, totally unrelated.

In any case it was close enough that MicroProse bought the rights to it. Which means that Sid isn't a cheating scumbag, as the original game designer made a buck. And Sid and co. certainly made improvements that meshed well with the medium. And Sid was a brilliant guy that worked on a lot of early games that were damned good. But he gets a lot of credit for something that he, you know, stole.

Here's a citation. If that'll help:

One of the most repeated and touted inspirations for Sid Meier's Civilization is the earlier Avalon Hill board game of the same name, designed by Francis Tresham for Hartland Trefoil in Britain. While Meier had no doubt heard of the game prior to 1990 through his connections with Bruce Shelley, he insists that the influence is not as strong as some claim. "I had not played that before I did Civilization," says Meier. "I played it later. I remember there were some cards and trading. It was more ancient; it didn't really come into any sort of modern or medieval times."

But connections, however thin, were there: Bruce Shelley had not only worked for Avalon Hill, the American publisher of Tresham's Civilization, but he created the American localization of Tresham's 1929 railroad game, a game which served as an admitted inspiration for Meier's earlier Railroad Tycoon. It should come as no surprise, then, that Shelley was intimately familiar with Tresham's Civilization. "I had played it many times," recalls Shelley. "I believe Sid had a copy of the game and looked at the components. I owned the original board game, but don't recall if I brought it into the office."

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

The game makers out there would most certainly like my money just as much as the next shmucks. And they've found plenty of shmucks who don't really care about property rights. So that's what they do. And Valve has done a much better job than, say, all that Starforce shenanigians, Spore, SimCity, and the clusterfuck that was Micosoft's plans for the Xbone. There's bad DRM and then there's jaw-droppingly-bad DRM.

Here's the part I want to stress though: there is a market for games which do not treat their users like criminals. I spend a sizeable chunk of money on gaming. I'm a gamer. I am (a part of) your target audience. And if you want my money, you will treat me with respect. Ie, there's a reason that the Humble Bundle made so much money and Good Old Games is awesome.

If you disagree, I'd like to hear why. Which tradeoff is the real killer, and why do the benefits not outweigh?

It's the inability to play my games. That's the killer, the deal-breaker. It's massively frustrating and I dunno, kinda feels like betrayal. That they're really serving the corporate overlords before serving me. And that's who DRM is selling to. Valve doesn't give a shit about piracy. It's not their games that are being pirated. DRM does nothing for the consumer. DRM comforts the game-makers in an effort to assure them they're not being ripped off. Even though they are being ripped off. The idea is that DRM will make them get ripped off less. And hopefully more so than the amount of users that get turned away by the DRM (which, you know, includes me).

While I understand the concern about selling and trading games, and it irks my consumer's rights vibe, it's really not an issue for me. The amount of money is negligible, and for a good game I'm cool with simply buying my friend a new copy.

No, it's when I get home for lunch or finally get the child to sleep, and I have that precious half-hour to myself and fire up my current game of choice. And it's just not there. All my gear is running fine, and it's just something on the DRM's side that doesn't go through. That absolutely poisons the relationship I have with the game-makers. It's like you order a beer, get a mug, and for some reason the whole thing is sealed shut. You can't have your drink, the bartender is ignoring you, and you don't really want to just wait around. The appropriate thing to do would be to smash the thing, declare this "drinking rights managements" thing is bullshit, pour the contents into a real mug, and drink what you paid for. That's an analogy for getting a pirated copy sans DRM. And I've done that. Sometimes the pirated copy is more user-friendly than the official copy.

Also, your bartender can tell you whatever they want, but they can't stop you from walking out of the bar with or without your beer. Presuming it's, you know, a bottle. They still own their mugs of course. And all that doesn't stop them from calling the cops to arrest you for walking around with an open container of booze. Know your rights, know the laws. Otherwise you just keep spreading FUD.

Comment Re:Favorite Sid Meier Encounter (Score 1) 208

I dunno, I really liked Seven Cities of Gold. But I wouldn't say it's much like Civ. There is an aspect of exploring in Civ, and that's probably what they were talking about. And back then, "it has a map you fill in" is close enough to be just like each other. But 7CG's gameplay was substantially different.

Comment Father of civilization? More like babysnatcher. (Score 1, Flamebait) 208

profile of Civilization creator Sid Meier...

Wait.... what? This is a massive piece of gaming culture. An important fact to remember about history. How could you get this wrong?

Civilization is stolen IP. Straight up stolen. Sid Meiers took a board game, and made a video game out of it. He didn't credit it, weaseled around questions about it, and straight up lied about it. The game is fantastic, and honestly, better suited for a computer. But as far as "Sid Meir master game designer of Civilization" goes, that's bullshit. And this is an important lesson kiddies: STEAL. And if your field is new and hip and not yet quite mainstream and free of regulation, you can be famous for it.

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.

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