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Comment Re:Nonsense (Score 1) 505

Wait, your argument is that since teens can go to jail for showing each other naked pictures of themselves, the solution is to keylog? Because I can see the inevitable conclusion of that: YOU go to jail because -thanks to this keylogging software- now *you* have naked pictures of minors on *your* computer. Yes, even if it is your own kid.

Heck, even the mere presence of the keylogging software might be used against you; isn't that a "hacking" tool? Its close enough for most people. I can certainly see wiretapping laws used against you if the keylogger is used to monitor communications between your kid and others. Likely your own kid won't take you to court, but what if the parents of his or her friends learn what you are doing?

This keylogging solution is wrong in every respect; it won't solve the problem and it opens up a whole host of new issues. Just because the sheriff of some podunk town in 'Jersey suggests it doesn't make it a good idea.

Comment Re:The situation is much more complicated than tha (Score 1) 364

1) You pay $40/month for an unlimited 10Mbps connection, but can only get 10Mbps at 2-4am in the morning. Other times, because of high network usage, you get an unstable connection that goes 3-5Mbps, or even slower during peak times.

2) You pay $40/month for a 10Mbps connection with a 100GB limit. Most of the time, your connection speed is around 10Mbps, but you just need to watch how much you download. There is a tool provided for you by the ISP to check your usage, updated daily.

And, more likely,

3) You pay $40/month for a 10Mbps connection with a 100GB limit but can only get 10Mbps at 2-4am in the morning. Other times, because of high network usage, you get an unstable connection that goes 3-5Mbps, or even slower during peak times.

Do you really think that companies still won't oversell their bandwidth just because they also assign you a bandwidth cap? 'Cause that's what I'm seeing in my neck of the woods; I get a bandwidth cap and still see my speed drop precipitously during periods of heavy traffic (complaints to the provider result in the usual "we promise speeds 'up to' the specified speed, with no guarantee you will always get that bandwidth" cop-out).

No, better to limit how much the providers can screw you. They are still going to stick us with bandwidth caps, they are still going to oversell their bandwidth; I'd rather they not nickle and dime me for actual usage in addition.

Comment Re:Doesn't This Require an Internet Connection? (Score 5, Insightful) 283

(I originally wrote this article for the PC Gaming Alliance article posted this morning... but since it's relevant to this discussion too I think I'll just copy and paste it again into this thread ;-)

People keep harping about how useless DRM is against preventing piracy. And this is undeniably true; at best it might slow down people from copying games, but often not even that. So why, everyone wonders, do companies still insist on wasting resources, losing money, programmers, even loyal customers on a boondoggle that has been proven to be ineffective?

Because DRM is no longer only about stopping piracy. It has oh-so-many other advantages.

1) It kills second-hand sales.

2) It enables forced obsolescence (kill the registration servers and you can't play the game anymore)

3) It ensures a one-title, one machine policy. Own a lap-top AND a desktop? You can't play the game on both.

4) Online activation requires a user to be online and transmit data to the publisher. You can use this to collect valuable demographic info (also, since the customer has to be online anyway, you might as well push advertisements down his way to earn even more cash!)

5) It slowly pushes users to become more accepting of service-based licenses (e.g., subscription gaming) instead of single-sales.

6) It reassures investors that the publisher is protecting their property.

That it might have some minimal effect on slowing illegal copying of games is just an added bonus at this point. It's less a way of preventing piracy at this point as it is of maximizing the publisher's income. Don't expect it to go away anytime soon, no matter how much the customers hate it.

Comment Re:more anti-consumer 'choice' in the market (Score 1) 73

6. Can't add mods or enhancements to a game. Counterstrike would never have existed in a world where everyone plays on OnLive

7. You can only play games OnLive allows. Indie games like Minecraft? You won't find them. AO-rated games? Might tarnish OnLive's reputation so they are gone too.

8. Competition to OnLive (because if it takes off, there will be competition) will fragment the player-base. You play Quake on OnLivebut your friend has Quake on the competetion, LiveOn. Sorry, no deathmatch for you two.

9. Can't re-sell your games. It's a service, not a sale, so if you bought a stinker you lose your money forever.

10. Online-advertising becomes easier for developers. Now Lord British wants you to go on a quest of find 5 Bottles of Pepsi.


Comment Catching cheaters is missing the point (Score 5, Insightful) 437

There seems to be an increasing emphasis by schools on "catching cheaters". This seems to be missing the point.

We send our kids to school not so they can pass tests. I honestly do not care if my kid gets an "A" or an "F" on the test; I care that he actually learns the material. Tests are a tool that educators can use to help them determine if a child is learning the material but passing grades shouldn't be the goal. If students are cheating on tests then you need to look at the reason why. Is the material being presented in a way that is too hard for the child to understand? Is it not being presented in a way that interests the student? If a student is intererested, he will learn. If he learns, then he has no need to cheat.

Stop spending money on anti-cheating technologies. Spend money on improving the methods of education.

Comment Cool; now I'll buy it. (Score 1) 1066

Blu-Ray is cracked? The masterkey is available to all? There is no technical restriction on doing what I want with the contents of a blu-ray disk now? Great!

*NOW* I will buy a Blu-Ray drive and blu-ray content. Because those very restrictions that were supposed to protect the content-producers investment were the same things that were keeping me from cracking open my wallet and handing them my money.

When will companies learn: DRM doesn't work and it annoys your real customers. It costs you more money than it can possibly save. Treat us like criminals and we will either act to your expectations or avoid your products entirely.

Of course, now comes the hard part: trying to find any blu-ray content *worth* buying.

Comment Re:Freedom from porn. (Score 1) 1067

It sounds less like Orwell's "1984" and more like the Gilleadan theocracy of Margaret Atwood's "The Handmaid's Tale".

"There is more than one kind of freedom, said Aunt Lydia. Freedom to and freedom from. In the days of anarchy, it was freedom to. Now you are being given freedom from. Don't underrate it.

I suppose not having to worry about these "bad things" has its appeal to some, but I happen to like the ability to define what I think is bad rather than depending on some outside source doing my thinking for me. You know, don't just go with the flow but "think different" and all.

Comment Re:No one wants to be behind the times (Score 1) 252

Well AFAIK The Dragon Age engine is based on the same engine used for KOTOR and many other Bioware games, just updated for the modern era.

Actually, it doesn't.

Mass Effect uses the Eclipse engine. This is considered a wholly new engine (although it doubtlessly shares some code from earlier projects, just because it is the same development house and performs similar functions).

Knights of the Old Republic 1 & 2 and Jade Empire used the Odyssey engine. This in turn was based on the Aurora engine, first used in the Neverwinter Nights games (as well as a number of third-party titles).

Prior to that, of course, Bioware used the venerable Infinity engine, which powered Planescape Torment, the Baldur's Gate and the Icewind Dale games.

Comment Re:Smart move. (Score 1) 909

Actually, that may not be as bad an argument as one might first think. For a long time Apple suffered from the commonly held belief that Apple computers were "toys" and therefore not intended for use in the workplace. It's one reason that IBM PC Compatibles dominated the marketplace for years.

I don't know if the claim that "iPhones are toys" would have the same effect, but it doubtlessly would be a painful reminder to Apple.

Comment Re:Sure Steve (Score 1) 909

Apple already had an AOL-like online service. It was called AppleLink Personal Edition. It was run by Quantum Computer Services, who later fell out with Apple and renamed themselves... America Online.

Apple also had an older online service called AppleLink (different in all but name) and later EWorld. None of the three services were particularly successful.

Although the nature of "online services" has significantly changed since the hey-day of AOL, given this history I'm not sure Apple is all that interested in starting a fourth time.

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