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Comment Parser error. Cannot enforce. (Score 5, Insightful) 133

You can't enforce strict copyright. I'm saying this as someone who has worked on a lot of commercial software and games, even written copy protection systems of various kinds.

Public: Police services would charge the public far too much for any meaningful enforcement to make it practical - and we're already spending far more than any other nation on rule enforcement systems. It would either be far too spotty to be effective, or be politically impossible for many reasons, at least in a somewhat democratic system.

Private: DRM systems that get invasive enough to be effective (and there haven't been many for very long), will incur a drastic competitive disadvantage to competitors who are less invasive. Longterm strict DRM would not be sustainable for many, many reasons. DRM is in effect asking players to pay a tax in both money (bandwidth/dev costs) and quality (time, inconvenience) that is far, FAR too high for the results. Oh, and it will always break in commercial software to some degree - and be a giant point of failure, the more strict it gets.

Legal: Even with oceans of legal text, and lawsuits constantly popping up - you can't scale anywhere close to the level of "fixing the problem" using the legal system. Physical counterfeiting you can come close - but you can't stop the world from copying music from radio, or any of the thousands of ways copies of stuff can be made with a legal system. Some judges may be accommodating, but to scale to the level you'd need - even the most industry-friendly judge is going to get sick of the game and dance, and the whole thing is going to get shut down just by targeting such a large portion of the populace. Think the drug war is a travesty? A significant war on 'illegal copying' would catch even more in its net.

This system of vaguely increasing 'ISP warnings' followed by inconvenience is about as close to what you can expect to be tolerated. Give the industry the right to issue fines at will, and the backlash (and targeting failures) would be amazing.

Want to make a system that works? Look at Steam. That setup is amazing - promote the games, make it really easy, prioritize a good direct experience, make it easier and better on average than the Pirate Bay experience - and you'll get 70+% of your potential market. I know that 30% you think you're losing hurts in the gut a little - but irritating your customers with DRM will lose you much more over time, and devote a portion of your development setup towards a developer job everyone in the room will hate, taking up large parts of meetings, making everyone uptight about worrying about pirates, making your product worse.

Amazon and and iTunes and such also do a somewhat decent job, and getting into worse areas would be the XBox/Playstation marketplaces and EA's Origin - the sales techniques get more invasive the worse you go, and they get to feel less a good experience than The Pirate Bay as you travel along this road of annoyance.

I like being paid for my work - but I don't find DRM or annoying interfaces (including unnecessary network usage) to be good ways to make a living. People can and most definitely WILL buy software they would otherwise download if it is a good convenient experience, and if the software isn't sabotaged against use. Investing time in sabotaging your sofware is NOT time well spent.

Ryan Fenton

Comment Re:Gets popcorn (Score 1) 114

Or they are simply trying to give such an appearance to try to salvage the loss of business the NSA scandal is creating for such online services.

The problem with your idea is that in fact there has been no loss in business for Google over their cooperation with the NSA, and indeed the average American doesn't really care.

I know it's popular to spout the anti-big-business line when you are in college, but as you grow older and wiser, you will find that your over-simplistic idealism doesn't mesh with reality.

Comment Re:should slashdot be asking if the U.S. should bo (Score 1) 659

If this were largely about gas prices in Europe, I would expect to see more war mongering from Europe. I don't really, either it's their intention to wait for the US to do it, or they're not actually hurting that bad. Given that the US has been ignoring Syria assiduously for so long, it seems like perhaps Europe just isn't in that much pain. Similarly it seems asinine for us to be partisan in the sunni/shiite debacle, or even Israel's constant state of being on the brink. They're good reasons, not compelling reasons. The status quo hasn't really changed in a meaningful way, so either our president is being irrational or the truth is still out there. I give the presidents some leeway, even dubya, on this sort of thing.

Perhaps something else is going on in Turkey or Qatar? There has to be something very significant for Obama to want to take a huge black eye and deal with public hostility to yet another losing war in the middle east. I'm just not sure I see it in this, though I thank you for the post it does seem more informed than 99% of what I read.

Comment Re:Gets popcorn (Score 2) 114

That they are big enough to take the risk of standing up for our freedoms speaks volumes about the stewardship of the company.

Or they are simply trying to give such an appearance to try to salvage the loss of business the NSA scandal is creating for such online services. They need not actually care while "framing the message" so longs the ultimate impact to their bottom line is negligible.

Want to see how Google, et al really feel? Keep an eye on their political campaign contributions, past and future.

Comment Re:Can't we just send them all? (Score 1) 176

I'm personally of the opinion that anyone with an inclination to volunteer to take what will invariably amount to a one-way trip to Mars based on the technology that we have so far is probably somebody that the world may be better off without.

Sadly, those we would most like to send, are probably the least likely to apply.

I understand there will be a need for telephone sanitizers on mars...

If only we hadn't sent off the Telephone Sanitizers I would have been in better health this past weekend. Well, never mind. Have to keep in top shape to do battle with that Star Goat ...

Comment Re:Well, darn. (Score 1) 59

I just upgraded to a smart phone and hated how every app I wanted to download wanted everything. Why should Pac Man need my contacts list and GPS information? ...

Exactly why I haven't installed any new apps on my Galaxy S4 since buying it. I figured I'll download the SDK and build what little I need. For all you know some of the simplest free* apps may be written by NSA fronts.

* as in beer.

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