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Comment Re:really? (Score 5, Insightful) 379

You're still utilizing the trailer to determine if the movie is worth your time. The main difference is that you're "forced" to experience them at a theater (unless you get there late). I (and many of my friends & colleagues) look up trailers for movies all the time, and we also download game demos from Xbox Live / PSN / Steam. The point of a game demo is (or was, or should be) to build the same type of hype for a game. It gives you a small taste, and hopefully entices you to pay for the entire thing. Some demos really do help a game and get the name out there. Other demos do more harm than good because the game itself isn't that great. This can happen with movies as well.

I believe the big difference between game demos and movies is that games are both longer than movies and much more expensive for the consumer. If you lost $8 on a movie on a Friday night, it might not be as big of a deal as losing $60+ on a game. Even if the movie sucked, you could still have a decent time overall (making the movie a small part of a larger evening). It's a relatively quick experience. Many people buy games hoping they'll provide much more than 2 hours worth of entertainment. If the game is terrible, paying that larger price seems like even more of a loss.

Sometimes I'll see a movie if the trailer is bad. I'll almost never buy a game if I didn't enjoy the demo. The more expensive the entertainment, the more critical people are about it and the more stingy they are with their money, at least in my experience.


The Sewing Machine War 136

lousyd writes "Volokh has hosted a paper by George Mason University law professor Adam Mossoff on the patent fracas a century and a half ago surrounding the sewing machine. A Stitch in Time: The Rise and Fall of the Sewing Machine Patent Thicket challenges assumptions by courts and scholars today about the alleged efficiency-choking complexities of the modern patent system. Mossoff says that complementary inventions, extensive patent litigation, so-called 'patent trolls,' patent thickets, and privately formed patent pools have long been features of the American patent system reaching back to the antebellum era."

Microsoft To Disable Autorun 429

jchrisos writes "Microsoft is planning to disable autorun in the next Release Candidate of Windows 7 and future updates to Windows XP and Vista. In order to maintain a 'balance between security and usability,' non-writable media will maintain its current behavior however. In any case, if it means no more autorun on flash drives, removable hard drives and network shares, that is definitely a step in the right direction. Will be interesting to see what malware creators do to get around this ..."

Windows 95 Almost Autodetected Floppy Disks 334

bonch writes "Windows 95 almost shipped with a technique for detecting whether a floppy disk was inserted without spinning up the drive. Microsoft's floppy driver developer discovered a sequence of commands that detected a disk without spinup — unfortunately, unspecified behavior in the floppy hardware specification meant that half the drives worked one way and half the other, each giving opposite results for the detection routine. Microsoft considered a dialog prompting the user to insert a disk to 'train' the routine, but the idea was scrapped."

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