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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.

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.

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?

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?


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.


Submission + - Slashdot Reverses Facts about Radiohead 1

Apro+im writes: The popular news aggregation website, Slashdot today reported that the new Radiohead album, In Rainbows was pirated more than it was procured via legitimate means, setting off a flurry of speculation on their online discussion board as to the implications of this "fact". Strangely overlooked in much of the discussion, however, was the fact that the article they linked contained the exact opposite information, stating:

"The file was downloaded about 100,000 more times each day — adding up to more than 500,000 total illegal downloads. That's less than the 1.2 million legitimate online sales of the album reported by the British Web site Gigwise.com"
Questions about what this implies about Slashdot's editorial practices and readership remain unanswered.

Submission + - Microsoft Tax is 1/3 Price of French Laptop (heise.de) 1

kripkenstein writes: According to a recent court case in France, almost one third of the cost of a particular Acer laptop goes to Microsoft, while another portion goes to other software vendors:

The total of 311.85 euros of the overall purchase price of the notebook of 599 euros [...] was made up of 135.20 euros for Windows XP Home, 60 euros for Microsoft Works, 40.99 euros for PowerDVD, 38.66 euros for Norton Antivirus and 37 euros for NTI CD Maker.
In the ruling, Acer was forced to refund the cost of the software, which the purchaser returned and did not want. If this price ratio is representative of other computers, is the 'Windows Tax' even worse than previously speculated, especially with more expensive Microsoft OSes such as XP Professional or Vista Home Premium and above?


Submission + - Designing software with Privacy in mind 6

dalektcalum writes: Dr. Ann Cavoukian, Canada's Information and Privacy Commissioner, recently gave a talk entitled Privacy by Design. The talk starts of by covering the basics of privacy, and privacy law, and then moves onto the important component, how to design software that properly protects users privacy. The majourity of the time is spent on design principles, but also examines specific technologies (such as Elliptical Curve Cryptography).
The Military

Submission + - Inside France's secret war (independent.co.uk) 1

MT writes: "For 40 years, the French government has been fighting a secret war in Africa, hidden not only from its people, but from the world. It has led the French to slaughter democrats, install dictator after dictator — and to fund and fuel the most vicious genocide since the Nazis. Today, this war is so violent that thousands are fleeing across the border from the Central African Republic into Darfur — seeking sanctuary in the world's most notorious killing fields."
It's funny.  Laugh.

Submission + - Japanese Wikipedia 'editors' rapped by employer (scotsman.com) 1

sufijazz writes: "JAPAN'S agriculture ministry has reprimanded six bureaucrats for shirking their duties after an internal inquiry found that they had spent many work hours contributing to the Wiki-pedia website — including 260 entries about cartoon robots.
The ministry verbally reprimanded each of the six officials, and slapped a ministry-wide order to prohibit access to Wikipedia at work, while disabling access to the site from the ministry."


Submission + - Microsoft Seeks Patent for Spam-Fighting Lion

theodp writes: "Remember how the press gushed over Bill Gates' plans for a spam-less future? Well, some of the spam-fighting techniques are detailed in Microsoft's just-published patent application for Order-Based Human Interactive Proofs (HIPS), annoying little puzzles that are the CAPTCHAs of the future. As an example, Microsoft provides an exemplary maze through which a user must maneuver an object while avoiding things that human knowledge would indicate are dangerous, such as a canon and a lion. Choose path D-A-F-O-B-H-K to prove you're a Human and you get access to e-mail!"

Submission + - China blocking RSS feeds (arstechnica.com)

Phurge writes: Savvy Internet fans in the people's republic have known for a long time, however, that there have been simple ways to get forbidden information. One of those ways was the magical gift of Real Simple Syndication, or RSS. The Great Firewall can block specific web sites all it wants, but as long as there's an RSS feed, many Chinese surfers can use feeds to access otherwise forbidden information. Unfortunately, China appears to have finally gotten wise to RSS as of late — reports have been popping up from our readers and around the web of not being able to access FeedBurner RSS feeds as early as August of this year. More recent reports tell us that the PSB appears to have extended this block to all incoming URLs that begin with "feeds," "rss," and "blog," thus rendering the RSS feeds from many sites — including ones that aren't blocked in China, such as Ars Technica — useless.

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