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Comment Re:cross platform books & music (Score 1) 68

I bought music from Google once. They required that I use their app to play it online. I could download it in MP3 format, but I was only allowed to do so a certain number of times. (Four, IIRC.) Contrast this with Amazon which will sell me the digital music, let me play it online or download it as many times as I like in non-DRMed MP3 format. That's why all of my music purchases (except that one described above) are from Amazon and not Google.

Comment Re:Did you know (Score 3, Informative) 68

Many libraries will also lend out Kindle versions of books. (They automatically expire and then can't be opened when due.) As an author, I love the Kindle platform. I make more money on the sale of a Kindle book than I do on the sale of a paperback. If Microsoft wants to even put a dent in Amazon's eBook empire, they're going to need cross-compatibility and a ton of titles to attract users and good royalty payment structures for authors. If their eBook store doesn't offer authors enough of a cut of sales, we'll all stick with Amazon. If not enough books are available, users won't use the service. If there aren't enough users, authors/publishing companies won't bother releasing their books on Microsoft's platform.

Side note: I liked that Amazon gave me the choice of whether to include DRM or not. (I didn't include it.) Somehow, I can't see Microsoft's eBook story NOT forcing DRM on all of the eBooks.

Comment Re:What about Blu-Ray? (Score 1) 296

We rarely buy DVDs or Blu-Rays anymore simply because streaming satisfies most of our viewing needs. When we want to watch something that's not on streaming, we'll request it from our local library and get it on DVD (because that's the format they have the most of). In rare instances when we actually buy a title, we might get it on DVD to save money if we don't care about it THAT much, but most times we'll buy the Blu-Ray version that comes with a DVD copy as well.

Comment Re:Should I care? (Score 5, Insightful) 296

You might not care, but the studios would. If they think they can increase DVD sales by not letting Netflix stream the movie, they'll do so. Netflix's library can already be a bit thin at times and this could worsen it. (Win win in the mind of the studios except that piracy would increase without Netflix.)

Comment Re:Swearing (Score 1) 278

It's good to hear of someone else that doesn't swear. I don't either. My wife, on the other hand, grew up around hockey players. Apparently, they say things that would make sailors blush. She has no qualms about letting the curse words fly. I don't mind her cursing and she doesn't mind my lack of it.

Comment Re:Swearing (Score 1) 278

I never swear. I'm not sure why, but I've never felt the need to swear. I'll admit to swearing once - to shock a close friend of mine. I said "the C word" out of nowhere to go for maximum effect. Probably shouldn't have done it while he was driving, we almost went off the road. As far as the honesty scale goes, I'm honest to a fault. I have a lot of trouble lying. It stresses me out considerably and the truth will often burst out of my mouth before I can stop it.

Comment Re:Threshold (Score 1) 405

Everyone is not creative. Everyone can't write, and most can't well enough that anyone would want to read it.

And even if you can, it's hard to be heard above all the other people who are writing/creating. In October, I published my first novel. Now, I have no delusions that it'd be a New York Times Bestseller, but I think it's pretty good. As I'm working on the sequel, I started trying to "sell" it. The only problem is that I'm much better at writing a book than at selling it. There are hundreds of other books out there and getting people to actually buy and read yours is an uphill battle.

In the end, I have a full-time job and wrote this book for enjoyment rather than income. If I had to rely on it for my income, though, I'd be in huge trouble.

Comment Re:Now this is just getting stupid (Score 1) 564

Tapes had portability going for them back in the day. You could take a lot more cassette tapes with you than you could vinyl records. Plus, a cassette player fit into your car easier than a record player would. They weren't a great solution, but they were the best we had with the technology of the day. However, their portability edge was surpassed by CDs and then shattered by MP3s.

The last time I touched a cassette tape was when I found one in my old room at my parents' house and decided to show my kids how I listened to music. They were fascinated with it but quickly grew frustrated by being unable to fast forward or rewind to the exact spot where a song began.

Comment Re:Hate voting when I like both sides (Score 4, Informative) 49

The remedies are already in place. Suppose someone posts on Slashdot advertising a human trafficking operation. If Slashdot were liable for user comments, Slashdot would immediately be guilty of abetting said operation. Of course, the site isn't liable so they're not immediately at risk of a lawsuit over the situation. The proper response is to report the comment and Slashdot either takes it down (and thus shields themselves from liability) or decides to leave it up (in which case, they might expose themselves to liability). Alternatively, the authorities could subpoena Slashdot (through proper legal channels) to get information on the person who made the post.

With this system in place, sites can host user-generated content without hiring armies of human (as opposed to automated) moderators. (Imagine how many moderators YouTube, Twitter, or Facebook would need to hire just to keep up with the flood of content!) Meanwhile, it also allows for illegal comments to be removed - something that any site worth its salt wants to ensure anyway if only to keep the spam out.

Comment Re:Only remove it for California (Score 4, Insightful) 218

Publishing basic facts like: "Mark Hamill was born 25 September 1951 in Oakland, California, USA" shouldn't fall under anti-discrimination laws. In fact, while looking up Mark's birthday for this comment, I noticed that IMDB doesn't actually post the actor's age. Sure, you can subtract 1951 from 2016 to get his age, but IMDB only gives you his date of birth. This is a fact, not a judgement call.

Now, if IMDB was regularly posting incorrect birth dates, there might be some issue, but posting the date that celebrities were born isn't discrimination.

Comment Re:Not for me (Score 1) 47

For me and my wife, I'm sure that Autism plays something of a role. My son was diagnosed as autistic a few years back (Asperger's Syndrome) and while reading up on the subject everything clicked. I've always known I was different from "normal people," but never knew why. Growing up and loving Star Trek, I always associated with Data - always trying to figure out social situations and feeling utterly baffled by things that most people got so easily. Over the years, I've gotten pretty good. I can have actual conversations and deal with most social situations that I encounter.

Still, nonverbal cues are lost on me. My wife is neurotypical and it always amazes me when we go into meetings with people. I'll come out thinking the meeting went well, but she'll point out that this person was rolling their eyes and that person was doing that, etc. She'll have an entirely different view of the meeting because she catches all these nonverbal cues that I miss. It's one reason I love online conversations. The closest you come to nonverbal cues is emoticons or emoji and those are simple to understand.

Comment Re:Computerized Glasses (Score 1) 47

Never that bad, but recently someone I've known for years bought my book and wanted me to sign it for them. My mind picked that exact moment to misplace their name. I asked if she wanted it personalized (thinking maybe I could get away with just signing my name) and she said "Of course, after all, we're friends." I was trapped. My mind offered up "Susan" so I asked if I should make it out to Sue or Susan. Needless to say, that wasn't even close to her name.

On the bright side, with all my embarrassment over the situation, I don't think I'll ever forget that person's name again.

Comment Re:Not for me (Score 1) 47

Ironically, seeing people as objects can be a great help in crowds. My wife hates crowds. I don't love them, but don't mind venturing into them as much. My theory is that she sees all these people, interprets attitudes about us based on what they do or say near us, and sees their actions and judges how rude these people are being. I, on the other hand, view the crowds of people as a series of mobile objects. I'm not so rude as to just barrel through them, knocking them over, but I also don't care if one of the "objects" thinks I'm rude because I've led my boys ahead of them when they're walking slowly.

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