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Comment Re:Umm (Score 1) 503

This is why I prefer a model that allows me to read as many formats as possible. There is already a huge online library of public domain books in plain text format that should be perfectly readable with a good reader.

I'd gladly pay less for a digital copy of the new books I currently buy, but at any given time I'm reading a number of books in print that I bought second-hand which are also available freely in an electronic format because their copyright terms are long expired (and when I'm on the road I often read them on my notebook instead of lugging the books with me).

Then again, I think most of my desire for a good electronic book reader comes from having moved several times in the last few years and having a box or two of books destroyed when my garage flooded a few years ago (and no, it wasn't me that left the books in the garage, I wasn't in town for the move). Moving books is a pain, and good book shelves are expensive (and also a pain to move).

Comment Re:WHAT?!!? (Score 1) 371

This is exactly why the Bill of Rights faced heavy opposition, as it turned the whole idea of things on its head and set a precedent that the Constitution had to forbid the federal government from doing something.

Then again, it's far better than the precedent some have tried to set by using an amendment to prevent people from having certain rights.

Comment Re:Let me guess (Score 2, Informative) 123

I could beat the original Super Mario Bros. in about 30 minutes, while others can apparently do it in about 5 minutes. I'd still buy a good remake or reworking of the game for $40-50 (ie New Super Mario Bros. on the Wii), because I still enjoyed the game after beating it several times.

That being said, I don't take much risk when it comes to games at $60. $50 is pretty much the upper limit of my willingness to assume any level of risk,and even then it's stretching things, since I can usually find games I know I'll enjoy cheaper than that.

The time I would like a game to take to complete depends entirely on the game, though. Platformers and side-scrolling (or top-down) shooters I can usually accept at a pretty low play time because they're often repayable and entertaining (both of which have been noticeably absent from their 3D brethren). That being said, I expect the developers to spend the time they otherwise would have spent on content development tweaking the gameplay. If they crank out the content and dump the game on the masses and it has no polish, it deserves to be in the bargain bin with the rest of the $5-20 games, or sitting on the download services.

Comment Re:Let me guess (Score 1) 123

I still prefer Mario, Zelda, and Metroid games in 2D (and Castlevania while we're at it).

For a good look at a modern 2D platformer running on a 3D engine to good effect, see Prinny: Can I Really Be the Hero? on the PSP. It's also a good example for replayability, appropriate difficulty levels, and length.

I would probably buy this Sonic game as long as it turns out to be what they're promising, rather than just another crappy post-Genesis Sonic game. The 3D games have not been able to capture anything that made the original enjoyable and distinct from its peers.

Comment Re:Total Survey Numbers (Score 1) 374

The reality is that the people most likely to install it are the people that don't understand the impact it might have on their system. This doesn't skew the systems towards the high end, but rather skews it to the people that already have a lot of spyware on their systems. If the selection bias increases the machine capabilities, it's simply because these people have more reason to buy new systems than people that can keep a Pentium 4 running well today.

Comment Re:Spyware (Score 1) 374

I'm actually wondering how they gathered the numbers. My work system thinks it's running Office 2007 under certain conditions, but it most certainly is not (I've tried a number of approaches to convince it of this fact, but it is looking more and more like I need more drastic measures to clean the registry and the system as a whole). It tries to download updates for Office 2007, and some other MS products have compatibility issues because it believes the software is there.

On the other hand, two of my current home systems came with a trial of Office 2007 installed. When the trial expired I bought the Home & Student edition to install on our notebooks, because I actually like the new interface and find it more useful than the older versions of Office. It's the best upgrade they've made to the suite since Office 95, if not earlier. I probably have OpenOffice installed on at least one of those machines, too, because hard drive space is plentiful and uninstalling applications is something I only do occasionally as a cleanup measure.

Comment Re:Inside the (Corp.) Firewall no one can ... (Score 1) 374

Someone should tell the person running the contract I'm working on, since we're required to have our site IE7 compatible (we're working on IE8 and actually trying to do full cross-browser support at the same time, but we'll have to keep IE7 for a while).

Then you've got that video posted a while back where Clinton said they'd look into letting State Dept. employees run Firefox...

It's not all that easy for the federal government to get rid of IE. They basically set the trend of requiring it for intranet apps in the 1990s, and they've been slowly transitioning away from that for various reasons ever since (primarily when things don't work right because they use a lot of systems running other operating systems).

Comment Re:Wait what? (Score 5, Insightful) 285

Most of my servers are ~10 floors over my head and I still have to call someone to let me into the room if I need physical access to them. My production servers are in another state and I doubt anyone on my team has ever seen them. There's a lot to be said about having physical control over the hardware when you want it, but there's also a lot to be said about making it someone else's job to make sure you don't need it. It also teaches you a more proactive approach to server management.

Comment Re:Gee it's almost impressive..... (Score 2, Interesting) 187

but as TFA points out, the people they're looking for often do things that should get them caught, like using the same address and phone number when buying the plane tickets in the case of the 9/11 hijackers. The basic idea is to find a better way to process the data they already have, and to give people the ability to process data that will help them, even when they don't necessarily have access to it (ie the use of data classified at a level higher than the searcher has access to).

The problem generally hasn't been (so far anyway) that the data wasn't there, it was just that no one had the time or ability to process the information in a useful manner to make these connections. Supposedly this tool does a much better job of it than previous tools, but even if it does, we probably won't hear much more about it either way.

Comment Re:Public facade? (Score 1) 150

With McCartney specifically, a lot of the money that this organization is collecting from the music he and The Beatles wrote and recorded is going to the Michael Jackson estate. I think he just might have a few things to say about the music industry and the way it treats artists, even after making a few million dollars in the industry.

Comment Re:We are doing it for the artists (Score 1) 150

It's a trick, big labels don't even sign small artists any more. At the very most they have a sub-sub-label sign them (usually run by an artist that made their name on a small label and then signed a lucrative contract with the big label to run a label themselves). The reason is that the big labels no longer have the power to turn a small artist into a big artist on their own, so they don't bother signing the small artists, they just wait until someone hits a certain threshold of popularity, then sign them to the ridiculous contract that ends up with the medium-sized artist spending money to produce albums that make money for the label, which the artists hope to get back on touring and merchandise (if they even realize how much money they're losing making albums).

Comment Re:Stick and Carrot (Score 1) 150

I have ripped all of my CDs as well and use my PC for my primary player (and often rip a CD full of MP3s to listen to in the car rather than having a number of CDs in my car for the same amount of music). However, I still buy my music in CD format, because over the years I have re-ripped my CDs several times as hard drives have gotten larger (to make it possible to store more music at higher bit rates), as my choice of formats, players, and rippers has changed, and as files have become corrupted by various means. The CDs become an archive, generally at a better quality level than what I listen to on a daily basis, but I still appreciate them for what they give me.

Of course, I also find a higher rate of additional content with newer CDs, but I tend to stay away from the pop releases, where this is probably less common due to the increased number of people willing to pay for downloads, where the labels are making even more money, and the artists probably even less.

Comment Re:They just copied DDR... (Score 1) 177

So, since Guitar Hero and Rock Band were made by the same people, I guess the real copying is being done by Guitar hero 3-5... I also think there's a much better argument for Guitar Hero having copied a number of other games, especially since the Harmonix developers mention in this interview some of the rhythm games they saw in Japanese arcades, rather than DDR. DDR just seems like an obvious reference because it achieved some popularity in the US, but even that was around the same time Frequency and Amplitude were available.

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