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Comment Re:I use it for linux distributions (Score 1) 302

$ env |grep RSYNC

Worth putting right in /etc/profile so anyone who doesn't want it can disable it if they want. It is an entirely sane default.

I don't think that's required any more - not on Linux or Mac OS X, anyway. I use rsync several times a day and each time it just reads my ~/.ssh/config file for the options, sets up the connection and performs the transfer without any fuss or bother.

I haven't set the RSYNC_RSH env parameter since about 2002.

Comment Re:Great test case (Score 2) 179

I would think any french government secrets laws would apply to french citizens no matter where they are.

Not sure about this. While numerous national laws apply to overseas citizens (e.g. child abuse laws in Canada, Aus and the US), French citizenship is a little different. You cannot renounce French citizenship; it's simply not possible. So secrecy laws and various others which can and sometimes do conflict with human rights might be harder to enforce in a court of law.

But hey, the Napoleonic code on which French law is based differs significantly from Common Law, with which I'm more familiar, so I'm nearly certain to be upholding the time-honoured Slashdot tradition of talking through my hat. :-)

Comment Re:Translation ... (Score 2) 893

Explain to me how hiding your money in offshore accounts so it can't be seen by the govt, for the express purpose of dodging the legally required taxation of that money, is legal?

Well, the way you describe it, there's just no defense against that. But consider the following:

Many companies and individuals legitimately use tax havens as a way of keeping money offshore until they need it. The moment it enters their domestic bank account, of course, it can become capital gains/earnings and therefore subject to tax. But because they do a lot of business overseas, they leave a chunk parked in order to avoid unnecessary fees. So they use this as a floating pot they can dip into to conduct business at lower cost, and then pay the taxes whenever they repatriate some part of it.

That, in a nutshell, is the difference between tax avoidance and tax evasion, which is what you describe.

The problem is that regulatory oversight is slack-to-nonexistent, and that the entire system (like so many other parts of the financial sector) has been gamed so badly that the entire thing is widely (and justifiably) viewed as a sham.

Ironically, 9/11 put an end to some of the worst abuses. The US got so worried about stopping terrorist financing operations that they created a very strict new set of rules, and enforced them by disallowing anyone on their black list from trading in US currency. Smartened up a number of countries in a hurry.

So yeah, those rich schmucks are still hiding their money, but at least it's (slightly) harder for them to buy drugs and guns.... *sigh*

Comment Actually, now that makes me wonder (Score 4, Interesting) 259

Actually, now that I said that only morons would believe EA's BS about the CPU not being enough for their game, and that they're actually processing your city on the server... it kinda makes me wonder if they ARE trying to get morons as a target demographic.

I was reading a paper a few months ago about Nigerian widow scams and such. The question they had basically asked themselves was: why those scams don't try to be a little less ridiculous and more plausible? Why don't they try to snag more people?

Their conclusion was that basically the scammers don't really want everyone. They actually want only the morons, who are more likely to then go through with it. If a smart person gets tipped off that it's bogus... GOOD! That's one less dead end to waste time on.

So I'm thinking, hmmmm, maybe that's EA's plan. Maybe they do want to reach the morons. More morons with money probably means more crap DLCs sold down the line :p

Comment Well, that much is clear (Score 4, Insightful) 259

Well, that much is clear.

In fact, here's a thought: they said that the processing was so complex, they had to do some of it on their servers. But... if my still fairly top of the line 4 cpu / 8 thread Intel couldn't do it... what was EA going to do that actually makes a difference? Add one more CPU of their own for everyone who plays at a given time? Yeah, I'm so going to believe that they'll buy a 1 million CPU server farm just to handle everyone at launch. NOT.

So, yeah, it was clear that they're just shovelling ridiculous BS and hoping that enough morons would actually believe that.

The sad part, though, is that I've actually seen morons repeating it in excuse of the crashing servers fiasco.

Comment Actually, I think they did consider the use-case (Score 4, Interesting) 259

Actually, considering how the game works, I'm 100% convinced that it's the result of EA considering the single-player case... except in EA management lingo that use-case sounds a bit like, "OMG, gazillions of people will pirate our game, or buy it used on EBay."

Seriously, the game IS at heart a single player game. I've managed to squeeze in between server crashes and start a game or two, and guess what? The game functions exactly the same when the server crashes while you're in your city.

The lie that the game is too complex for a single CPU and they need to do server-side processing too, was just that: a lie. The only "server-side processing" they do is saving the game and publishing your game events.

But here's the funny thing: Steam for example manages just fine to send your achievements to the server in the background, without needing the game to be tethered to a server all the time. Skyrim, Fallout New Vegas, A Game Of Dwarves, etc, take your pick, they're all single player games that Steam can both provide DRM for and save the achievements (and for some even the save games) on their server without pretending it's an online game.

So anyway, the game IS perfectly able to run single player. It's not a real client-server product like WoW or EA's own TOR. It doesn't need a server or a server emulator to play exactly the same. It's a single player game, which is perfectly able to function without a server, plus some artificial tethering to their servers that doesn't really add much.

So why IS a single player mode missing at least as an official option to start the game, when the game functions perfectly well in single player?

It seems to me like the only reasonable explanation is that they considered single-player offline mode as something to prevent.

Comment Spectacularly defeats the purpose of DRM too (Score 4, Insightful) 259

You know, it just occurs to me... their problem with piracy and with second hand games is that someone gets to play one of EA's games, and EA doesn't get paid for it.

So let me get this straight, the result of putting the idiotic DRM in SimCity, is... that now a LOT of people get to play one of EA's (other) games, and EA doesn't get paid for it.

Sure, most of those wouldn't have bought the other EA game, but then neither would have most pirates. That is, outside of putting the BS in BSA.

But if you do the the maths BSA style, where every single copy downloaded is a lost sale -- and you just know whoever came up with that over-the-top DRM is -- yeah, great job, EA. Did you need a scope to shoot yourself in the foot so neatly, or is it a natural talent?

No, seriously, releasing SimCity without DRM would have probably resulted in less people playing an unpaid copy, AND saved them from all the negative publicity and angry customers.

Comment Not just that (Score 1) 511

It's not even just the personal attacks. It was also a combination of both annoying and amusing to see the fanboys come up with stuff like:

- Well, they said it would be online and have DRM, whoever is complaining can only blame themselves, bla, bla, bla, I'm giving it 5 stars out of principle!

(Really? Did they also say it would be impossible to play because the servers crash all the time? And what principle would that be? Fanboy devotion?)

- I don't believe any of the 1 star reviews, such a complex game can't be judged in just a couple of hours!

(Which part of "can't even start the tutorial" is too complex to judge? Would, say, 8 hours of servers crashing and being unable to even 'claim' an empty spot to build on, reveal some subtle nuances of experiencing a server crash, or what?)

- The game is pure genius and incredibly much fun, I'm giving it only 4 stars because I can't actually start it.

(Then how the eff would you know first hand if it's fun to play or not?)

- I didn't play it myself, I bought it for my kid and he seems happy with it, so I'm giving it 5 stars.

(Way to confess in public that you're paying exactly zero attention to your kid. Plus, if you have no personal experience with it, shouldn't the kid be writing the review?)

Loosely translated from German from, for what it's worth.

Really, it's the... faith-based giving top ratings or objecting to vad reviews for something they didn't even play that was disheartening at times.

Comment Bullshit (Score 1) 511

Nobody claimed that their servers were handling the number crunching. And even if they did, you'd have to be a moron to believe it. GPUs exist for a reason -- because CPUs are too slow for the job. The bus between your CPU and video memory is what, about a million times faster than an Internet server to your video memory?

However, that doesn't mean that critical logic to play the game doesn't reside on the server. The random things that happen in the game could very well be generated by the server. Certain mechanics, no matter how dull, simplywdon't exist in the game client. That makes it difficult to pirate -- you can remove the logic that prevents it from needing to connect to a server, but nothing would work. Want to place something? Well, the server dictates whether it's a valid location or not. Could someone "crack" that logic, effectively making it okay to place anything anywhere? Sure. But now it's not the same game.

The parent was 100% correct. The game is tied to logic on the server. It might be trivial (for EA) to such logic to the client, and you can dislike EA for not putting the logic on the client. But, it doesn't change the fact that the current design makes it very hard to pirate.

Bullshit. Stop just imagining what fantasy details might keep you trusting your corporate idol.

I can tell you first hand -- thanks to servers going up and down like a yoyo today -- that the game continues doing everything just fine, for extended periods of time, even while it has a message in the upper left corner that the connection is lost. People still move in and out, houses and businesses grow or shrink and merge adjacent lots when growing into something physically larger, cops still respond to crimes and firemen to fires, oil and water deposits run out, and the city responded just like I expected to stuff like my demolishing a power plant (which made the trade depot stop too, which stalled the factories) and then building a new one (which reversed those effects.)

It's not just that such code COULD be in the client, it's that it obviously IS in the client. The client continued doing all that just fine without a server connection.

If you know anything that doesn't, please do list it. Just asserting that EA's lie is true, won't cut it, no matter how hard your fanboy brain just wants to have faith in your corporate idol.

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