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Comment Re:Snow Removal In Moscow (Score 1) 202

If you've ever lived in a city where an awful lot of snow falls in the winter, you would know that it's not enough to merely plow the snow. At some point the piles of plowed snow accumulates to the point where you can't plow any more snow onto the pile. In Michigan's Upper Peninsula, every so often during the winter months, GINORMOUS monster snow blowers are brought out which are used to blow the mini-mountains of accumulated plowed snow into dump trucks, which haul the snow out into the countryside. In Wisconsin, this sort of thing happens on a smaller scale in parking lots. There they use end loaders to put the snow into dump truck...which then haul the snow out into the countryside.

Here's a video of one of these giant snowblower trucks in operation. (One manufacturer of these trucks is Oshkosh Trucks. I bet they'd be willing to sell a few to the city of Moscow.)

It takes a serious investment of tax payer's money to buy and keep such equipment. It's not clear to me that municipal governments in Russia function as effectively as they do in Canada and the US. Are taxes collected? Do citizens actually pay their taxes? Or are the citizens too poor to pay taxes, and the wealthy oligarchs excused from paying them? If taxes are paid and collected, do they end up being used for public needs? Or do those funds end up in the pocket of some public official?

In America a lot of people like to bash "government" as wasteful and inefficient, but most Americans have no idea of just how wasteful and inefficient a government can be.

Comment Re:Not really accurate (Score 4, Interesting) 403

For them, buying twenty copies of UT2004 to play over LAN for one day is ridiculous (and a serious rip-off). But, buying UT3 or CS-Source over steam to play people around the world is 100% ok!

Exactly. To take it further, the best "investment" I ever made was buying half-life. I played it for 8 years! Not because it had the best single player (I haven't even finished it, one day I will!) or multiplayer experience, but because of all the amazing mods it had. I suddenly found that the game was really 15 different games.

It's the same with Starcraft & Broodwar, I had played it for a couple of years straight, and yet every so often I would install it and waste a good hour or two on tower defense maps (the original).

Looking more at the games that I own, it seems multiplayer games are the only games that would sell. But then there's also Civilizations 4 and Galactic Civilizations II, which I never played online but still play extensively today, and it tells me that probably majority of gamers only buy games that offers high replay value or unlimited hours of gaming.

And I remember Portal (2-6 hours), The Monkey Island III, and Final Fantasy 7 which are all relatively quick games but I still bought and thoroughly enjoyed, even if I only played them once or twice.

And though there are plenty of copies out there for the said games I mentioned... most of my friends, cousins, and I still bought legit copies (even when we were teens back then and had no jobs).

Maybe it is a money issue... but maybe more importantly, it's the value of these games. If developers/distributors want to convert these 'pirates' into customers, they should polish their games and show some passion to their customers/communities.

E.A. for example, and in my own experiences pirating their games, are notorious in releasing unfinished games. Their games don't make it easy for modders and don't bother listening to community complaints. Suffice to say, I even stopped downloading their games off of torrents.

A pirate, paying for nothing, refusing to even look at their products.

Internet Explorer

IE8 Update Forces IE As Default Browser 311

We discussed Microsoft making IE8 a critical update a while back; but then the indication was that the update gave users a chance to choose whether or not to install it. Now I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes in with word that the update not only does not ask, but it makes IE the default browser. "Microsoft has a new tactic in the browser wars. They're having the 'critical' IE8 update make IE the default browser without asking. Yes, you can change it back, but it doesn't ask you if you want IE8 or if you want it as the default browser, it makes the decisions for you. Opera might have a few more complaints to make to the EU antitrust board after this, but Microsoft will probably be able to drag out the proceedings for years, only to end up paying a small fine. If you have anyone you've set up with a more secure alternative browser, you might want to help check their settings after this."

Comment Re:Not really accurate (Score 5, Insightful) 403

They do it because they think some games are not worth paying fifty bucks to get eight hours of gameplay.

I'd rather think that more often than not the people that pirates games do so because it's free, convenient, and consequent-free.

Think of it from the point of view of kids. All they'll need is a computer and a broadband connection and they'll be able to play all the latest games(movies, music, applications, books, comics, etc.) that they want.

The only incentive to buy games is for multiplayer and new updates. Stardock understands this, and thus controls their patch distribution to the ones that have legitimate copies for Galactic Civilizations II.

And the kids who do pirate now, will eventually grow up and get jobs and more importantly, money. Hopefully by then, with all the years of guilt of screwing good developers, they would buy the games that brought hours of fun to their lives.

At least, that's what I did. Doesn't make up for all of my past actions but it did remove the guilt of screwing the really good game makers out there. And for the other hundreds of buggy/DRM-ed games & software out there, I'm just glad I didn't have to pay for them and will now avoid them. :)

Bottom line, I bet it's all about money. A small percentage of pirates might be pirates because of their ideologies on DRM and whatnot, but that's just a handful of souls.

Developers/distributors thinking that every pirated copy is a lost sale is idiotic and hopeless. There will always be piracy, better to just not think about them and concentrate on making a good product. It could be a marketing tool even if the game is well made: All things being fair, the more people playing the game the more mods, custom content, and vibrant communities will form.

Books

Lose Your Amazon Account and Your Kindle Dies 419

Mike writes "If you buy a Kindle and some Kindle ebooks from Amazon, be careful of returning items. Amazon decided that one person had returned too many things, so they suspended his Amazon account, which meant that he could no longer buy any Kindle books, and any Kindle subscriptions he's paid for stop working. After some phone calls, Amazon granted him a one-time exception and reactivated his account again." Take this with as much salt as you'd like.

"Apple Tax" Report Backfires On Microsoft 993

Ian Lamont writes "A Microsoft-sponsored report that describes a hidden "Apple tax" has fallen flat among the technology press. Roger Kay's report (PDF) compares various PC and Mac configurations, and claims an all-Apple household's costs would add up to an extra $3,367 over five years. Tech columnists and bloggers have slammed the comparisons and claims made in the report — even Mac-baiter John C. Dvorak calls it propaganda. However, some Mac fans still see a pro-Microsoft press conspiracy. Even if the comparisons are questionable, Kay's report and the accompanying television ads have clearly struck a nerve among the Mac faithful." Meanwhile, Linux users everywhere are scratching their heads.
Networking

James Bond Villain Data Center 103

jeet writes "Data centers are boring and NOCs are doubly so. But this one sure beats all of them. Found this video of a data center suited for james bond villain on Data Center Knowledge website. The facility is established in a hydrogen bomb safe bunker and has generators used in German submarines. The CEO takes you around and shows some other cool features."
The Internet

Time Warner To Offer Unlimited Bandwidth For $150 479

unr3a1 writes to tell us that Time Warner Cable has responded to the massive criticism of its new plan to cap user bandwidth with a new pricing model. Users will be given a grace period in which to assess their pricing tier. The "overages" will be noted on their bill, allowing them to change either their billing plan or their usage patterns. "On top of a 5, 10, 20, and 40-gigabyte (GB) caps, the company said this week that it would offer an additional 100GB tier for heavy users. Prices (so far) would range from $29.95 to $75.00 a month, with users charged an extra dollar for every GB more they download, although that charge is also capped at $75. An 'unlimited' bandwidth plan, therefore, tops out at $150."

Comment Curious... (Score 1) 700

Why 7-Up? I remember when I was young our family doctor always recommended 7-up too when I had a bout of diarrhea or food poisoning. But as I grew up, I just drank Gatorade and it worked fine (thinking that it should rehydrate me even better than a cola).

Does 7-Up have more electrolytes in them than sprite? Why not coke, pepsi, or mountain dew? And would Gatorade be even better than 7-Up?

Google

Judge Dismisses Google Street View Case 258

angry tapir writes "A judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by a Pennsylvania family against Google after the company took and posted images of the outside of their house in its Maps service. The lawsuit, filed in April 2008, drew attention because it sought to challenge Google's right to take street-level photos for its Maps' Street View feature. Judge Amy Reynolds Hay from the US District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania granted Google's request for dismissing the lawsuit because 'the plaintiffs have failed to state a claim under any count.'"

Comment Re:That's my dream... (Score 1) 420

Do you think in our calculations it's as important to distinguish between 2147483648 and 2147483649 as between 5 and 6?

Dumbass!

How about we run the calculations 10 times and find out which one is correct? Since the inaccuracies happen only very rarely, you can run the calculation thrice and see which one have the same answer.

Possible? Workable? Inefficient?

Comment On an inkjet? (Score 1) 140

We're sorry, but your display's ink cartridge has expired! Please replace with Genuine (TM) HP (TM) ink for best results.

Then how are you reading this message you say? By violating the DMCA! Please unlock your door and put on the teakettle, the stormtroopers will arrive shortly.

Comment Re:Factual information, please? (Score 1) 336

I too am quite interested if the SecuROM is really able to screw a PC up, and how exactly. As Edgewize pointed out, many of the complainers do seem a bit hysterical.

But that's besides the point anyways, what would people's reaction would be if SecuROM or DRM applications works flawlessly as intended without causing any harm to the system?

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