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Comment Re:What you really need to know (Score 1) 34

You're pretty sad, if I cared enough to do more than laugh at your paranoia I _might_ get a bit irritated but all I can think of when I read your post(s) is an aspiring Limbaugh wannabe. I wonder if your face is as red as I imagine it to be ;p Your only instance of "harm" is pure user error in one case and idiocy in the other. Your assertion that Steam doesn't support resuming updates is false. Of course your available bandwidth will affect how fast you can pull said updates or other content(including backups), but that is analogous to have a requirement that you have a working CD ROM drive to play back the media you would have purchased for boxed software. Is it the fault of the software vendor that you don't have a working drive (or damaged media)?

You _were_ able to get your content and complaining about having to have a broadband connection to do so is laughable. Which is more onerous to the user, having to maintain install media, all of which have a definable shelf life in years, as well as the drives to read said media or to simply have an IP connection? I know that I have personally lost a hell of a lot more CD ROM's, floppies, and DVD's with content I "owned" than I have ever had or seen reported for people losing access to content via Steam. That's also true of the other major online game retailers like GOG and DirecttoDrive.

Again, please show some evidence of actual harm. You can dislike phoning home, but it is one of the trade offs to address publisher concerns. I can demonstrate the harm of using physical media both to the user themselves and to society as a whole, all you've shown is that you were inconvenienced when you lacked a broadband connection. Are you old enough to remember the alternatives for piracy prevention? DRM now and before that having to keep manuals so you could refer to page so and so and find word number 12 in paragraph 2.

Comment Re:What you really need to know (Score 1) 34

What paranoia? Where in my comment does it look like I think everyone is out to get me? We're talking about one company's plot to screw everyone, it's quite the opposite. Reading comprehension? YOU FAIL IT

Really, is that the best you can do this morning? You must have skipped breakfast. What actual harm(s) have you or anyone else experienced from using Steam? Quick, point out all of the complaints of Valve abusing their customer...sadly (for you) despite the millions of Steam users you can't find them. You can find complaints about some of the of patches and software quality they have put out but that isn't an indication of their (in your eyes) plot to "screw everyone". BTW, in your paranoid version of the universe what is Steam's motivation for abusing their customers? I mean, they are already one of the most successful online software distributions companies on the planet. Why would they want to do something to jeopardize that?

That has nothing to do with anything. I am not required to trust them when I buy an installable software product, unlike a Steam-powered game, because I can simply install from the media and use the software. If I cannot do so, I am protected by California state law, and may return the product regardless of the store's policies on software returns; my state protects me from defective merchandise. In fact, by state law, I may return it under any warranty to any outlet which sells the same product. Since the original warranty covers the product's ability to work at all (though nothing else) I can take it back any ol' place.

So you were happy with the rootkit that SOE installed because you could return the software (though the rootkit would remain) but you're unhappy with Steam. Why is it that you believe that the California law wouldn't apply to Steam purchases? The licenses for the games are identical to the boxed versions... This is nothing more than a red herring, you can return games under Steam and you have no more and no fewer rights as a software licensee than you would have if you purchased a boxed copy.

My phone can operate in standalone mode. It's called airplane mode. Nice try though, son.

Next time try harder to be insulting, you might actually pull it of but you seem to lack the imagination. I have to ask, when your phone is in standalone mode do you call yourself? While the device (iPhone, Blackberry, Android, etc) might have functions that it can be used for when it's not connected to its network it most certainly cannot be used as a phone. The analogy is appropriate here since its another piece of technology that not only requires a network connection it requires one from a specific provider or one that has an agreement with your specific provider, as opposed to a generic IP connection that Steam needs.

Steam is spyware.

Really? Want to point out a rootkit or user level monitoring software that Steam has installed? How about some evidence? Sony and others (hence the question about other software vendors) have done this exactly, but Steam does not.

Comment Re:What you really need to know (Score 2, Insightful) 34

Please, hold the paranoia. Do you trust any of your software vendors? Really? Do you worry about the phone company (VOIP or traditional POTS) listening to your calls or perhaps the fact that your phone can't operate in standalone mode? IMO Valve has found a happy medium between user concerns and publisher concerns. Both groups have legitimate areas to worry about as well as less legitimate ones but Valve hasn't installed spy ware (AFAIK) for any publisher. You can play your games without having to connect to Steam, I have a laptop that seldom if ever actually connects to the service and its saved huge amounts of natural resources by being one of (if not the) most popular platforms for buying games without boxes and packaging materials.

Submission + - To Open Source or not 1

An anonymous reader writes: I am interested to possibly opensourcing a project that we have been working on for a while. The product is an online Service for the Paramedical Industry, but I have misgivings about whether this will work.
Reasons for Open Sourcing:
1. We are working with medical data and I believe open code will provide a better security implementations than closed code.
2. Our business model is to charge our clients for a service we provide based on the number of clients they have. So, clients who have the desire to get to grips with the product and run it themselves can just do it, but if they want to make use of our service, the cost is marginal and reasonable. I feel confident that we justify our revenue.
But I am concerned:
1. Firstly, we don't want our competitors to take our code and run an online service with it.
2. I also don't know how good our legal protection is in the Netherlands where we developed the product. How much will it cost us to enforce an OSS licensing agreement such as the GPL?
3. Lastly, should we consider a new or modified licensing agreement that will effectively opensource the product for our direct clients but stop our competitors from running a service with it (sadly, the better our code, the more dangerous this option becomes).

What are our options? We want to do the right thing.
Idle

Hand Written Clock 86

a3buster writes "This clock does not actually have a man inside, but a flatscreen that plays a 24-hour loop of this video by the artist watching his own clock somewhere and painstakingly erasing and re-writing each minute. This video was taken at Design Miami during Art Basel Miami Beach 2009."
Debian

FreeNAS Switching From FreeBSD To Debian Linux 206

dnaumov writes "FreeNAS, a popular, free NAS solution, is moving away from using FreeBSD as its underlying core OS and switching to Debian Linux. Version 0.8 of FreeNAS as well as all further releases are going to be based on Linux, while the FreeBSD-based 0.7 branch of FreeNAS is going into maintenance-only mode, according to main developer Volker Theile. A discussion about the switch, including comments from the developers, can be found on the FreeNAS SourceForge discussion forum. Some users applaud the change, which promises improved hardware compatibility, while others voice concerns regarding the future of their existing setups and lack of ZFS support in Linux."
PlayStation (Games)

US Air Force Buying Another 2,200 PS3s 144

bleedingpegasus sends word that the US Air Force will be grabbing up 2,200 new PlayStation 3 consoles for research into supercomputing. They already have a cluster made from 336 of the old-style (non-Slim) consoles, which they've used for a variety of purposes, including "processing multiple radar images into higher resolution composite images (known as synthetic aperture radar image formation), high-def video processing, and 'neuromorphic computing.'" According to the Justification Review Document (DOC), "Once the hardware configuration is implemented, software code will be developed in-house for cluster implementation utilizing a Linux-based operating software."
Programming

The State of Ruby VMs — Ruby Renaissance 89

igrigorik writes "In the short span of just a couple of years, the Ruby VM space has evolved to more than just a handful of choices: MRI, JRuby, IronRuby, MacRuby, Rubinius, MagLev, REE and BlueRuby. Four of these VMs will hit 1.0 status in the upcoming year and will open up entirely new possibilities for the language — Mac apps via MacRuby, Ruby in the browser via Silverlight, object persistence via Smalltalk VM, and so forth. This article takes a detailed look at the past year, the progress of each project, and where the community is heading. It's an exciting time to be a Rubyist."
Businesses

EA Shuts Down Pandemic Studios, Cuts 200 Jobs 161

lbalbalba writes "Electronic Arts is shutting down its Westwood-based game developer Pandemic Studios just two years after acquiring it, putting nearly 200 people out of work. 'The struggling video game publisher informed employees Tuesday morning that it was closing the studio as part of a recently announced plan to eliminate 1,500 jobs, or 16% of its global workforce. Pandemic has about 220 employees, but an EA spokesman said that a core team, estimated by two people close to the studio to be about 25, will be integrated into the publisher's other Los Angeles studio, in Playa Vista.' An ex-developer for Pandemic attributed the studio's struggles to poor decisions from the management."
Windows

Submission + - Win7 June Release, Leaked Memo Suggests

nandemoari writes: "There's word that Best Buy might actually make Win 7 available as early as this very month. A report from tech insiders Engadget suggests that a leaked memo from big box retailer Best Buy indicates a special two-week "presale" that would make the Windows 7 Home Premium Upgrade and Windows 7 Professional Upgrade available from June 26 until July 11. The rumored prices are $49.99 for the Premium Upgrade, and $99.99 for the Professional Upgrade. It seems that Best Buy will also begin offering free upgrades to Windows 7 on any new PCs purchased after June 26."

Comment Smart Move (Score 4, Insightful) 731

As soon as the rabid "It's still DRM" crowd either
a) Get's over their kneejerk reaction
b) Get's ignored since they don't buy games anyway
c) Get's distracted by the next Sony DRM debacle

people will realize that this is exactly what the industry needs. MMO's don't have (much) of a piracy problem, but game developers that want to just sell software need help. DRM has failed not because the concept is flawed, it's not, but because the implementations have been silly. The idea that you can create a procedure and have it work without change forever is simply a waste of money. I can already think of several methods of lying to this kind of system, but Steam makes things harder just by combining a form of file check along with a log on to a remote server. To "lie" you will have to convince Steam that are a registered user, have permission to run the game you want to pirate, and your file(s) matches the CRC or other check they do. Once someone figures that out, or even _gasp_ before, they can add another check (or set of checks) to make things more difficult.

Many imperfect walls > 1 (supposedly) perfect one

Games

The Best Games of 2020 136

Gamasutra held a contest this year to describe what hit video games in the year 2020 would be like. Over 150 detailed entries were sent in, and they've posted the top 20. One persistent theme is the ever-present connectedness to the outside world, both in reality-based games and with multiplayer modes that are part of typical daily interactions. Quoting: "It's just an average day at your job. Noon swings around and it's time to amble out of the cubicle farm and venture outside into the city to find some lunch. You put on your slick steel framed Hunters Glasses, place your Hunters earpiece, and with black and white Hunters Gloves on, step out of the building and onto the street. After a block suddenly your dark tinted shades switch to a red tint. A silky female voice echoes in your ear, 'Players within range. Good Hunting.' The glasses are acting as a WiFi enabled computer screen. You swivel your head to scope the scene and find someone standing out within the red crowd as a white outline. The man with the white outline is scouting the area as well, trying to find who else is in the game right now. You get within range, pack a virtual snow ball with your gloves, approach slowly, wind up and throw with all your might the virtual snow ball at the man with the white outline. 'Player Eliminated,' says the female voice, 'Uploading Statistics.'"
Data Storage

Sun To Include SSDs On Server Motherboards 79

snydeq writes "Sun has announced plans to integrate solid-state drives onto server motherboards to provide faster data access for I/O intensive applications. For now, the company is offering SSDs that customers can slide into their storage bays, but long term, Sun will locate SSDs closer to the server CPUs to cut the bottleneck that occurs when powerful, multicore CPUs have to wait for data to be delivered from hard drives, according to the company. The move could mark a change in how Sun servers are designed going forward, including the possibility of servers that have no hard drive, relying entirely on SSDs."
Games

The Best Games of 2008 109

As the year comes to an end, most game sites are putting up lists highlighting their favorite games of 2008. Gamasutra is no exception, but they've nicely consolidated a variety of lists, and included some of their reasons and commentary to go with them. The topics range from the best overlooked games (Soul Bubbles and Pure) to the best new gameplay mechanics (first-person parkour in Mirror's Edge and Spore's procedural content generation) to the best overall games of the year (Fallout 3, World of Goo, and LittleBigPlanet). What were your top games of 2008?

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