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Comment Re:Even Worse with Physical Media (Score 1) 384

That's a question of semantics. Copy protection is certainly a much older term and more easily understandable. Traditional copy protection is user-indiscriminate.
DRM on the other hand uses information on the user (location / Identity) to decide whether to grant access or not and will actively revoke access.

Comment Re:Being able to transfer games would be awesome (Score 1) 384

Not really. Games used to require the CD to be in the drive the whole time. And they also had serial numbers. You couldn't play the same copy in a LAN and playing online with the same serial could lead to you getting banned. Of course you could bypass these restrictions by using various hacks and cracks, but that probably violates the T&Cs like everything else.

I guess what's different this time is that they can deny access to your old games. Does stuff like that happen often or easily?

Comment Re:You can't have your cake ... (Score 1) 384

It actually is - on a personal level. After having consumed a game or a book it's "spent" for me and I have little or no interest in playing or reading it again. Of course the physical data is still there, which is why someone else would happily buy it for almost the same as you paid. It's this discrepancy that causes traditional market principles to break down.

Physical media still has some decay: Books get dirty, discs get scratched. But with digital media there is no degradation and no scarcity. There is absolutely no motivation to keep your copy and no motivation to buy from the producers.

Comment Re:Provoking (Score 1) 1130

If it's only the gun nuts who won't want to blow up their own buildings how is this an advantage for them? Also, it needn't be as extreme as blowing up the building. The military has a wide selection of toys somewhere between "assault rifle" and "blow up a building" at their disposal, not to mention a ton of other gadgets unavailable to individuals.

Comment Re:Provoking (Score 1) 1130

You misread. He didn't state that tanks were good in cities, but that the Coalition forces were doing well in cities.

While you correctly pointed out some weaknesses of tanks the overall theme was small arms vs. an arm with heavy arms, i.e. artillery and missiles. Of course they'll need defense, but let's take that for granted. Snipers may be able to kill a few people and stay hidden. But even then you're assuming the enemy will hold restraint. When it come down to it they won't be averse to bombshelling the whole building before they send their infantry in.

Comment Re:very low doses????? (Score 1) 124

1) Acute radiation sickness is something that is very well understood in terms of necessary doses.
2) No-one disputes that ionizing radiation is harmful and increases the risk of developing cancer.
3) Background radiation is a perfectly reasonable comparison and there is certainly no reason to believe in some kind of crazy non-linear relation. It doesn't mean we're completely ignorant, just that it's impossible to separate statistical differences from background noise and fluctuations.

BTW I looked up Helen Caldicott and it appears she is an anti-nuclear advocate with no major scientific publications to her name. Not wanting to discredit the woman, but I couldn't find any noteworthy contribution on her part to the biological effects of radiation.

Comment Re:Flawed assumptions. (Score 1) 686

The amount of thermal emission depends on the temperature and surface area.
A civilization would presumably require a minimum temperature and have a small (in stellar terms) amount of material available. Using known characteristics of stellar radiation and plugging in some sensible values you could work out the peak wavelength. The far limit would be the CMBR wavelength, as you can't cool off any more than your surroundings.

Comment Re:there's a reason for patents (Score 1) 315

Without patents there's little incentive to develop inventions into technologies

A propositional fallacy. There's a whole load of reasons to develop new technologies: A competitive edge, a high reputation or simply not waiting around for others to develop it.
Those are just a few selfish motivators, but the real economy works in non-selfish ways too: Engineers simply enjoy what they do and are very passionate about their work. If monetary compensation were then none of the smart guys would put up with low-paying academic research positions or R&D jobs which make you hand over your invention to the company.

The way patents work now is that they're seen as a by-product of regular development, intended to accumulate a portfolio to enable strategic lawsuits. So before we start talking about the strengths of the patent system, I'd like to see evidence that they can actually be better incentives than the natural incentives which are already there. Then we can start talking about whether the advantages outweigh the drawbacks.

Comment Re:Iterations (Score 1) 327

I'd say it probably has more to do with Apple's "not invented here" attitude than incredible foresight. Even today you still have to manually enable the right click on their mouse.
The menu bar might stay in the same place, but the whole point of resizable windows is that you applications don't. Instead you have to track across today's huge desktop screens to access features, and it also screws up windows focus.

Comment Re:No matter what the outcome actually is.... (Score 1) 1184

Apple won't be suing Nokia. They have cross-licensing deals with them and with Microsoft. Their beef is with Android, so they chose "safe" examples to not weaken their case in other lawsuits. If Samsung were making MeeGo phones they'd probably still be suing them, the icons and app screen look a lot like Android.

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