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Comment Previously Unknown 11th Commandment? (Score 1) 851

Thou shalt not get a flu shot? Seriously, I can get behind the notion that, if a person has doubts about the efficacy or effects of getting a flu shot, they should be able to choose whether or not to get one without social or professional ramifications. But what is with all of these objections being written down to religious beliefs? Where in the Bible did Jesus ever say anything about flu shots?

Comment Re:Obvious Solution (Score 1) 344

PC games are just as bad - Bethesda didn't sell me a copy of Fallout: New Vegas, they sold me a Steam key with a DVD, meaning I can't resell that disk. With Activision, I think we all know how D3 isn't capable of resale.

I see a much bigger concern over perpetual use of the license than first sale. I'm not as worried about being able to re-sell a game as I am worried about whether or not I can use it wherever I happen to be trying to use it - online or offline, my console or a friend's, or which player account in my household can use it. That's my larger concern with D3, for instance - I don't care that I can't sell or transfer the ownership of the game, but I am bothered by the fact that I can't play it offline. I understand a lot of that is about defeating client-side hacking, but that's beside the point. If I want to play online, fine, store my character and items server-side so I can't cheat when other players are involved and ruin their experience, but I should also be able to play a purely local game, including hacking my inventory to give myself a +999 Flaming Vorpal Sword of Invulnerability if I don't care about my own private experience. The more pressing concern with first sale/secondhand issues for me is that, with the advance of digital licensing, we should see a drop in prices since all the expense of producing, storing, shipping, and shelving physical goods are replaced by relatively much smaller hosting and bandwidth costs. In short, if I'm getting a completely digital license, I should be paying so little that I don't CARE about being able to resell it. Does anyone worry about re-selling their copy of Angry Birds? Of course, not, why should you care about re-selling a game that cost less than a can of Coca-Cola? This is the eBook conundrum - why must I pay $9.99 for a Kindle book that is locked down to my account/device, when I can buy the same title in paperback form (which I can then loan, sell or give away if I wish) for $7.99? The vast majority of the cost of a real book is the paper, whereas it costs only pennies to store and transfer the few megabytes of data that make up the electronic version of the same book. I should be able to buy a top-selling Kindle book for $1.99 or $2.99, and the publisher and author would STILL be clearing a much bigger margin than they do selling dead trees. At a couple bucks, I wouldn't care if I couldn't loan it to a friend, because if I enjoyed it enough to recommend it that highly, my friends would buy their own copies because a couple bucks is a small risk to take compared to $10. Ultimately, the digital model ought to drive the middleman completely out of the picture anyway - I know artists who produce and digitally distribute their own books and music without publishers or labels, and they tend to actually receive most of their content's sale price for themselves (I think Amazon's payout structure is 70% to the author for self-published Kindle books).

Comment Re:Why aren't people more hyped about the Wii U? (Score 1) 188

In my opinion, it's because Nintendo has cemented its status as a game platform for kids, while adult males from 30-45 are probably the most attractive segment of the gamer population because they're most likely to have a high attach rate (i.e., buy multiple accessories and software titles), and that group is more interested in the hard-core, multi-player shooter category of games that is largely lacking on the Nintendo platform, but exists in abundance on Xbox 360 and PS3. Adult males have a high disposable income compared to 10-year-old kids, but often have the impulse control of those same 10-year-olds, which is why a fairly sensible and fiscally responsible guy like me has two game consoles he practically never uses, and close to a dozen still-in-shrink-wrap games that I had to have but don't have time to play. What company in their right mind WOULDN'T target me over a 10-year-old? I personally own all three current-gen consoles (XB360, PS3 and Wii). I spend literally 99.9% of my time on the Xbox, bought the PS3 as an alternative to just getting a BD player (I admit that there are a few exclusive PS3 titles that appeal to me, but I just never make the time to put my XB360 controller down and play them), and the Wii has really been a novelty that hasn't been turned on in probably two years, except maybe when friends bring their young children to visit. As a 42-year-old guy, I have one key interest in the Nintendo brand - the Legend of Zelda franchise. I will probably eventually pick up a Wii U just to play the Wii U installment in the series... and when I finish that game, the console will sit quietly on a shelf for several years, untouched. I think highly of some of the other Nintendo licenses too, but I just don't find them compelling enough to tear me away from BioShock or Mass Effect or Borderlands or Halo or Call of Duty...

Comment Re:Uh... Howzat? (Score 1) 80

Also consider that trees are continuously exposed to solar and cosmic radiation, and can live for many hundreds of years, and it's not hard to comprehend that mutations could have this effect of creating a large, complex organism that displays genetic differences between very old tissues and very young tissues.

Comment Re:They have been doing the same thing since 1980' (Score 1) 360

Spot on. PC manufacturers have been giving us the same devices for almost 30 years. Sure the guts are faster, but it's still a big steel box under the desk, or an unwieldy laptop with a woefully short battery life. They're not prepared to collapse their hardware into this tablet form factor, and it's going to hurt for a while. Bottom line, though, is they can sit around and bitch about it, or get to work and design superior hardware. That IS their area of focus, after all. This is a paradigm shift, not unlike the digital media shift that has thrown the movie and music industries into a panic. So they can embrace it and recapture the market by building something that consumers will want even more than Microsoft's offering, or they can sit and dither while their companies cling to a dead business model.

Comment Re:Capitalism at work? (Score 1) 313

I think this analysis only applies to real goods. As Black Parrot points out, models start breaking down when you factor in terms like infinite supply (because it costs nothing to "make" one more ad) and zero demand (because given the choice, everyone would opt out of advertising altogether). If the process of serving up the umpteenth copy of the same ad banner actually consumed something more than a practically infinitesimal amount of energy (as compared to, say, erecting a billboard, or running a print ad in a magazine, or even producing a TV commercial), this whole discussion would not be reduced to what is essentially the advertiser asserting its imagined "rights" to our attention. Kind of like how mp3s have forced the music industry to fight music piracy on a wholly intellectual level since music copying today does not typically involve the exchange of an real property - the value is solely in the "license" they provide a customer with which entitles that customer to enjoy the recorded performance. An internet ad is an ephemeral and worthless thing, in and of itself, and like the money used to pay for those ads, their value is entirely based on a fiction of worth. It is "worth" $50 per 1,000 ad displays if the advertiser is confident that those 1,000 ads will generate at least $51 in revenue. When the difference in the actual cost to serve up 1,000 ads from the cost to serve up 10,000 ads is negligible, the worth to the advertiser is similarly eroded.

Comment Re:Bye Florida! (Score 1) 521

From the parent post

Well, we only have 88 years to deal with a foot rise in water. Damn, that's devastating, we'd better get right to work.

From the summary

...32.2 cm from thermal expansion alone...

If Greenland broke up and melted, or if half of Greenland and half of West Antarctica broke up and melted, this is what would happen to the sea level in Florida. This is what would happen in the San Francisco Bay. A lot of people live in these areas. The Netherlands, the low-countries: absolutely devastating.

The above statement is basically true. If you broke up the entire Greenland ice sheet, the rise in sea level would be catastrophic. Mr. Gore does not say this will happen in the next 100 years. It is a conditional statement. If something happens, then something else will happen. The time scale is not certain, though given recent trends in melting, three feet by 2100 is not unlikely. A basic search of recent literature will support this.

The problem is that actual scientists have now done actual science and determined that, in the Antarctic at least, there is no appreciable loss of ice mass, and that water temperatures have not changed appreciably as has been previously claimed by global warming/climate change nuts.

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