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Comment E/I preemption (Score 1) 184

For every subchannel that a U.S. broadcaster offers, the FCC requires the broadcaster to broadcast three hours of educational and informative (E/I) programming for children on that subchannel during hours when children are likely to be watching. This is why even a 24-hour weather radar subchannel will cut to some syndicated E/I show like Jack Hanna's Animal Adventures a few times a week. The cost of syndicating this programming encourages broadcasters to end unpopular subchannels.

Comment Re:Devil's advocacy (Score 1) 124

Sorry, I overlooked this part the first time I read your reply:

If you want to rent games on PC you can sign up with Gamefly, but it would cost more.

From the front page of GameFly:

To enjoy GameFly, you'll need to enable JavaScript in your web browser. Please click here to learn how.

Once I got past that barrier, all games listed on the All Games page appear to be either for consoles or for handhelds made by console makers, not for PC. This is because PC game rental infringes U.S. copyright, unlike console game rental.

Steam allows users to trial games and gives full refunds within a certain time, which is a good substitute for "renting."

Until Valve decides that you've abused the refund policy and takes away access to all games that use Steam authentication.

Comment Re:Devil's advocacy (Score 1) 124

I recently upgraded my PC from a 7-8 year old Core 2 Duo, and even before that upgrade I was still playing AAA games, like Dying Light, just not at the highest settings.

Thanks for the data point. I'll mark ability to scale down to a C2D as "works for some".

most people have a PC around for other uses anyway

Except for people like one of my former co-workers, who owned only a smartphone. Mobile-only users adapt with Bluetooth keyboards and occasionally blocking out time for errands during library hours. Likewise, people who have only a laptop with Intel graphics and no standard MXM slot can't cheaply upgrade to a gaming GPU.

If you own a console with a $60/year subscription for 6 years you'd have an extra $360 to off-set the additional PC sticker price, subsequent PC upgrades (if needed), or pocket it.

Or theoretically spend it on some corresponding PC game rental service, if only one existed. Though "you can't play online on a console without also buying game rental" appears to be an argument in the PC's favor, console fans could reply "you can't buy game rental at all on PC". What do PC gamers typically use as a substitute for PlayStation Plus Free Games or Games with Gold? Or do they just rely on reviews? Or buying into a Humble Bundle every few months?

If you want to go used or older generations then the costs for consoles go down.

Likewise, I ought to try to remember to recommend a more recent used desktop PC with a new GPU to others making price comparisons.

Comment Re:Another patent blocking technology (Score 1) 27

1995 called, they want their description of back.

(You should visit their website one day, they sell pretty much everything these days, and have quite a few interesting products and projects that have little to do with retail, such as AWS. But as a reader of, I'm sure you've never heard of this whole "cloud computing" thing they're famous for in some circles...)

Comment Re:I'm missing something crucial (Score 1) 89

For a lot of us, choosing between Google Now (or Hey Google or whatever the kids call it these days) and Cortana is a choice like that between having your left big toe removed, or your right.

To be fair, at least Google (and thus by implication Android) lets you turn it off. I wish Windows 10 AE had a way to replace Cortana with regular old search.

Comment Cairo vs. Copland (Score 1) 124

Remember "Cairo"? [...] WinFS probably takes the cake

I agree that Microsoft has talked a good vapor game. But each component of the Cairo project appears to have seen eventual release in some form.

  • Windows NT 3.1 included DCE/RPC.
  • Windows 95 and Windows NT 4 included Windows Explorer.
  • Windows 2000 included Windows Search as part of MSN Toolbar. It became a core operating system component in Windows Vista.
  • Windows XP included Windows NT Home. At this point, the majority of Cairo technologies had been released, and incidentally the Greek letters Chi-Rho look like the Latin letters X-P.
  • Object File System, later called Windows Future Storage (WinFS), eventually became features of Microsoft SQL Server.

Was Apple any worse with its "Pink" and "Copland" projects?

Comment Devil's advocacy (Score 1) 124

I tend toward PC in principle, but sometimes I argue the other side to help keep both sides honest and help bring out both sides' strongest arguments.

Most families still need or want a computer at home for reasons besides gaming (e.g. internet, word processing, tracking finances, online banking, digital storage, remote connections to workplaces).

First, these non-gaming applications can be done with a cheap eight-year-old PC with a Core 2 Duo and Intel integrated graphics. I'm told just dropping a video card into a PC with a CPU that old isn't enough to run AAA games from the present generation (2014 and later), which would quickly become CPU-bound. Second, these can be done with a laptop, and I've seen no evidence that people routinely upgrade a laptop with a separately purchased MXM video card. Third, a console can be used while someone else is using the family PC.

The price of games should be factored into the cost of a game system and games are cheaper on PC through digital distributors like Steam, Origin, etc., which over time off-sets the initial cost of the PC.

First, though Steam has sales. PlayStation Store also has sales. Second, console games have historically been more likely than PC games to support same-screen multiplayer with two to four gamepads, and if you have more than one gamer in the house, one copy of a $60 game that supports multiple gamepads is cheaper than three copies of a $30 game that requires a separate copy per player. Third, if everybody were to wait for the sale instead of buying in release month at full price, publishers would have no money to continue to fund development of high-production-value games.

If you want to play games online (which many people do) you have to add the life-time cost of an online subscription to a console.

PlayStation Plus and Xbox Live Gold cost $60 per year. But in addition to online matchmaking, this includes rental of a rotating selection of games (PlayStation Plus Free Games and Games with Gold respectively). What's the analogous way to try PC games?

You don't need an expensive PC to play games. A $500 PC (which is comparable to a new PS4+accessories) will play ~98% of the PC games.

Or you could go for a pre-owned PlayStation 4 console with a 500 GB HDD, which costs $280 (source). Which accessories were you including in the price?

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