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Comment This applies to Internet Piracy as well (Score 1) 591

While this article is relating to physical and for-profit piracy in poorer foreign countries, most of the points apply to internet-based piracy in First-world countries.

I, myself, pirated video games when I was younger. However, with the rise of digital distribution services, such as Steam, I don't need to. The amount disposable income hasn't changed much, but the value of legally purchasing games via dealing with the challenges of piracy has.

This has nothing to do with new DRM techniques, in fact, those harm my desire to purchase legally. If I purchase a game via Steam, I can install it any number of times as long as Valve is still in business (which is it's own issue). The Steam client provide other benefits for me, automatic patching (which is a great, but under appreciated, bonus), many useful community/friends support, and easy access to new and/or independent games.

What do I get if I buy a heavily DRM'ed game from $RETAILSTORE? A longer install process, annoying patch process or multiple background patching programs, obtrusive DRM (ubisoft, i'm looking at you), and no replacement if the physical media is damaged or lost.

Steam is far from perfect, but is far superior to the normal retail mess that is the mainstream game market. Hell, they even foster innovation in the independent game market, as they provide indie games exposure when they normally cannot get any reasonable physical distribution or marketing. I've spent far more money on games since the rise of Steam than the entire time before it, and I play far fewer games than before.

Why can't someone do this for Movies and TV shows? The few that do, such as Apple or Amazon, have high prices or annoying restrictions. When a game is released at retail stores, it's released at the same time on Steam. Why do I have to wait a week to see it on the Apple store? Why is one episode worth $2, when the entire season is $20 for 26 episodes?

If I can pirate the Movie or TV show, I bypass all of these annoyances for free. There aren't as many problems pirating video content as the chance of virus infection is greatly reduced, and any DRM methods can be easily bypassed by the 'Scene'. If anything, nasty consumer-level DRM (HDCP) is a foolish waste, as less intrusive DRM methods would prevent casual copying while not punishing those who legitimately attempt to purchase your items.

Fix the release delays, and one-download-only approach, and reduce the price discrepancies. Then you will have a healthy market again.

Comment Re:It's about Cherry Picking. (Score 1) 507

I think most people believe that the ability to contribute to a conversation means they are somehow encouraged to contribute, even if they don't have much to say. I don't believe this myself, If I have nothing of value to add to a conversation I will not do so.

Humans are social creatures, so the desire to communicate your thoughts is understandable. However, some form of self control should be valued. Look up to good contributions, and look down on valueless ones. Only a good community of people that understand those values can expect to keep a good signal ratio.

Of course, a good community will often be recognized as such, and eventually be dragged into a mire by the rest of the internet. Due to the open nature of the internet, and most communities, it is near impossible to prevent that form of decline. Look at sites such as Digg and Reddit, when they were new they had a smaller and news-focused community. Those communities grew because of their quality, to the point where that quality suffered. Looking at the front page of Reddit, very little resembles the original intent of the site: User-generated news. Now it harbors memes, jokes, videos, and discussion barely worthy of note. In it's hayday, it would have reasonable discussion, interesting articles, and varying viewpoints. Now it lacks most of that, emphasizing "social" over "news".

Comment Re:EA (Score 5, Insightful) 161

This shouldn't come as a suprise, look at Pandemic's release history. While there are a few good games here, most of them are quite average to mediocre. They seem to release little other than sequels and middle-of-the-genre titles. I doubt their sales records were spectacular. Thus, when EA started to hurt, they went to cut the least profitable studio.

I wonder what will happen to their next game, The Saboteur, which is due out in 3 weeks. It is worth noting that they have no other projects announced recently, perhaps this was long on the horizon.

Comment Re:chip supports OS? Hmmm, backwards... (Score 1) 521

This isn't your standard x86-compatible chip. There are many non-x86 chips out there, but they are usually segregated from "PC Computing". They are used in phones, PDAs, embedded devices, consoles (Nintendo DS and most other handhelds), servers, and much more. PowerPC was the last common "Personal Computer" processor that wasn't x86 compatible.

This is simply a case where a specialized processor designed for highly integrated and mobile uses is trying to break into the mainstream Personal Computing market. The primary limitation is that the instruction set on this processor does not support the Intel x86 standard, which is used by most mainstream Operating Systems (Windows, OSX). However, it is possble to port these OSs to ARM, as most open source operating systems (Linux, BSD) have been ported successfully.

The question is whether or not Microsoft or Apple will port and take advantage of these new devices, or will Linux gain a lead in this emerging market?

Comment Marketing Guesswork, yet again. (Score 1) 259

This isn't Intel's first outlandish prediction. In 2000, they predicted they would make a 11Ghz processor by 2011. Instead, they ran into problems reaching beyond 4Ghz, and instead went towards multi-core processors. I have a feeling the same people who made that prediction are behind this one. Whether or not they can accomplish this is to be seen, but it seems quite unlikely.

Comment Re:Even shorter attention spans ... (Score 1) 115

1. What? Sorry, wasn't paying attention. Not much I can say about this one.

2. This is actually a good thing, it may teach them to be critical of the world. There is plenty of bias, and tons of new age junk science out there.

3. Dead trees? That's what they are. While they still have value, online news sources have reader comments, better retractions, and the ability to research the topic immediately.

4. Science projects have already devolved into this. At least when I did mine, our class was not allowed to do fluff-projects like the classic volcano. As long as they do some form of scientific method, then it's for the best.

5. An excuse is an excuse, but computer issues really do cause a lot of legitimate delays. I'm constantly asked to fix stuff just a few hours before their assignment's due date, even in the middle of the night.

Comment Re:No Idea what the techspecs are on this but (Score 1) 898

They are actually working towards 64bit. Many new computers with 4+ gb of RAM have Vista 64bit by default.

Microsoft made 64bit compatibility a requirement of the "Certified for Vista" logo. (Vista cert requirements, converted from .doc by google)

Of course, that does not mean everyone offers 64bit software, but 64bit is quickly gaining marketshare. There's also the fact that most Linux distros have offered fully 64bit versions for years now, that's the benefit of open source.

Comment Re:Pointing fingers (Score 1) 600

Well, there were issues reading/writing to NTFS for years. Remember the captive-NTFS method, wrapping Microsoft's own driver? Then there was the big NTFS reverse-engineering project that finally provided a stable enough driver for general linux use. Don't forget that OS X can only read NTFS volumes, there is no official write support.

It would have been much better if Microsoft had simply released specifications for NTFS like they had for FAT.

Microsoft is going to make a closed filesystem, so we might as well ask for whatever benefits we can get from it. Eventually they will have to abandon NTFS, then maybe they could make something useful. Possibly ZFS-style pool volumes, I would love to setup a RAID-1 on a computer without a complete reinstall.

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