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Comment Re:This is a good thing (Score 1) 712

I think the point the original poster was making was why a *NEW* operating system instead of just keep selling the current version. Its something Ive wondered about too. Hardware, not system software, is what attracts the consumers eye. So long as it is familiar, runs their applications and does not cause problems, most people do not pay attention to the system software. MS could likely keep selling W7 for the next ten years and, so long as it was kept up-to-date with security patches people would keep using it. MS would still make the same amount of money because the bulk of their income comes from OEMs. MS could still be raking in the dough from WXP if they wanted there is a market there. MS seems to be intentionally fragmenting their userbase.

Comment A dangerous database (Score 2) 82

Some time back, a major Internet player - I forget who but it might have been LinkedIn - had a breech where millions of passwords were stolen (I'm sure somebody here can fill in the details).

At first, this breach would only seem to be of concern to people who used that service; their accounts were suddenly vulnerable because their passwords were no longer secret. But this breach had even more wide-spread implications than that; suddenly the black-hats had a new and very powerful tool for cracking other systems: a real-world data-dump of live passwords. This not only improved their "dictionary" for brute-force attacks, but also allowed them to create better rules for their cracking tools on which passwords were more likely to be used, thanks to the information they gleaned from these leaks. Cracking live systems became much easier because their tools could give priority to real-life examples rather than blindly attempting every possible permutation.

Now, the situation with the UAE biometric database is not exactly the same, but a lesson should be learned from the password-breeches of the past few years: the value of the information in those databases is more than simply access to whatever locks they control. It can be used - and will be used - in unexpected ways. I can't say I'm smart enough to guess what those ways are (if I was, I probably wouldn't be posting on slashdot), and whatever new technologies are developed with that information are not necessarily evil. But because it is tied so closely to the identity of real people, that information can be very powerful and very dangerous.

Not only should there be safeguards to ensure this information is only collected by responsible parties, but there need to be protections on this information so it does not get released into the wild. Because you can bet that its not only the (supposedly) white-hats interested in this sort of stuff. WE should not be blindly accepting of biometrics (or indeed, any centralization of vital information on people) simply because of the convenience it adds to our lives; there is probably a cost in the long run.

Comment Re:End of amazon/ebay? (Score 1) 543

It's a win for big corporations too.

After all, you shouldn't be buying somebody's USED goods. How does that help the poor corporations? They don't see dime one from that transaction. No, you need to buy a NEW widget instead. That way the corporations get some of their hard-earned investment back. What's good for corporations is good for the country. The old device needs to be tossed away into some hole in the ground.

That's the American Way. Why do all those Ebayers and flea-marketers hate America, that's the real question!

Comment Re:Knock out the spammers (Score 3, Interesting) 192

They seem to be making claims to XBox games they don't publish as well, e.g.,

Copyright claim #3 SpecOps The Line (XBox360)
                    Published by 2K Games, developed by Yaegar Development,

Risen 2 Dark Waters (XBOX360)
                      Published by Deep Silver, developed by Piranha Bytes

Mass Effect 3
                    Published by EA Games, developed by Bioware

Max Payne 3
                  Published by Rockstar/Take Two developed by Rockstar

Other games mentioned are Rock Band, Brave, Ice Age 4 Continental Drift, Dead Island Game Of The Year Edition, Men In Black Alien Crisis, Just Dance Greatest Hits, Game of Thrones, Inversion, Dirt Showdown

None of these are Microsoft Games. Microsoft does not develop or publish these games. They *are* playable on a system Microsoft develops - the XBox360 - and possibly even uses to distribute the product through their XBox Live marketplace. Nonetheless, that gives them no right to claim they have authorization to send these DMCA notices, anymore than GameStop has that right. The publisher or developer needs to send the notice, not the distributor.

So just because your software runs on a Microsoft platform, they can claim copyright on it? Extend and embrace indeed!

Comment Re:Same lies as always (Score 1) 558

I stopped watching TV not because of the commercial breaks but because they started putting the advertising in the shows itself. Product placement these days is terrible; it increasingly affects the story and definitely changes the pacing (can't do without that pointless five second pan around the promoted automobile, after all). Of course, they started using product placement because (aside from being greedy fucks) regular advertising stopped being so effective. And you know why that happened?

Because advertising is fucking everywhere! Why should I sit still for a block of adverts when I see the same promotions plaster in my newspapers, my magazines, on billboards on the highway and buildings, on the radio, on the internet, with free promo hand-outs on the street, on buses, cabs and even trucks, on the 'web, in my video-games, in the movie theater, on my DVDs, in my email and that's not to mention all those cross-promotions on on products I've already purchased (there was an advert printed on the wrapper of my fast-food hamburger the other day... and not for the company that sold me the hamburger!).

So I start tuning out the adverts; I stop watching them. And what's Madison Avenue's solution? MORE advertising. I am *past* saturation as far as commercials have gone. I am actively working against seeing them now. You want me to become interested in your products? Stop shoving them in my face every three seconds!

Seriously, years ago I could actually take an active interest in advertising. Hell, like everybody I looked forward to the Super Bowl commercials but even regular adverts sometimes attracted my attention. Not every commercial, of course, but I wasn't so averse to seeing them. Sometimes I even learned about a product that might interest me. Now, I feel like throwing up when I even notice an advert.

And now the advertisers are moaning about how DNT might hurt their precious industry. Well, cry me a river. You're like overzealous lumberjacks who clear-cut an entire forest in a year and then are wondering how you can possibly survive without any trees. And DNT is salting the fucking ground so nothing new can grow. You want sympathy from me? You're the ones who poisoned your own enviroment!

Fuck all of you advertisers; I hope you all go out of business, every one. I'm using Adblock, no-script, cookie and tracking bug blockers; I rip DVDs as soon as I get them so I don't have to see your shitty trailers, I zero-out the logo-movies in my games; don't come moaning to me about how advertising is "necessary" and we couldn't have all these wonderful things without the all-might marketing dollar to pay for it. I remember a time when there weren't ads on anything and you know, it was pretty damn good.

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.

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