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Comment Reliability (Score 2, Insightful) 511

I've never had my desk crash, losing all pieces of paper on it. Contrast that to Windows.

When push comes to shove, I can always get a paper form to the person that needs it. Contrast that to relying on an Exchange server.

When a form needs authorization, having the right person sign it with a pen always works. Contrast that to trying to get digital signatures to work.

Comment Re:A false choice, of course... (Score 1) 2044

A car is a car (except when one is mandated via regulation to have a full set of air bags and not throw the engine block trough the passenger seats in a crash and the other car ... is not).

Government regulations setup the baseline of quality control expectations, so that the customers don't have to check every line of fine print and might actually have some confidence in the safety of their choice.

Comment Re:What has gone wrong with the world? (Score 5, Insightful) 294

Is it just me or is the entire world going into a period of reduced freedom and increased state control? Every developed nation appears to be banning violent games, porn and free speech in general and they're doing it for no logical reasons. Modern Warfare 2 sold 6.4million copies in the first week in the US and UK alone and yet there weren't 6.4million new mass murders on the streets. This is more than sufficient evidence to prove that violent games don't turn people into killers and yet are moronic, moralist rulers still press on with their attacks on our freedom.

I've been wondering for several years now how long this must go on before the average person realizes that it's a concerted effort. Two or three sovereign nations adopting similar restrictions in similar timeframes is a coincidence. Most of the Western world doing so within the same timespan of a few years indicates a common agenda. It has to be at least significant enough to overcome nationalistic pride, "not invented here", and other factors that would tend to make any given nation not want to follow the lead of all the others.

Only the public education system could produce such large numbers of people who fail to realize or fail to appreciate that a frighteningly small number of people strongly influence, control, and own the major governments and multinational corporations of the world. Historically, small aristocratic elites have never cared about what was in the interests of the average person. Why does anyone suppose they would start caring about that now with video games and the freedom to play the ones of your choice?

What has already happened among the various states of the US is now happening with nations. US states once had significant differences in terms of social norms and state laws. If one state's restrictions really bothered you, you could move to another state that had different laws. Now they all have the same drinking age, the same smoking age, similar speed limits, the same list of prohibited substances, etc. The same thing is happening to nations.

The tendency now is to gradually erode the diversity that exists among nations and turn them into uniform carbon copies of each other so you cannot "vote with your feet" for greater freedoms. This is necessary for two reasons. One, a highly visible counterexample might cause people to decide they won't accept arbitrary restrictions ("country X didn't ban Y, and they haven't had problems with it, so why do we ban Y?"). Two, a few nations that remain free countries would have significant economic (and other) advantages when competing with the ones that jump on the state-control bandwagon. This is in fact one reason why the USA became a superpower in the first place.

Both of those points would serve to undermine the notion that central management of daily life is a necessary function of modern states. That's why so many nations are doing this at once. It's quite obvious to me that it's more than coincidence.

Comment Re:I don't want to be tracked (Score 1) 244

So then just don't use Steam. There's a difference between being tracked involuntarily a la Google Analytics and tracking your game stats and achievements on a gaming platform that contains such community features, which you signed up for.

Unfortunately there are a growing number of games that now REQUIRE Steam, despite being available as a retail purchase. Given the size of Steam and the attraction PC gamers and developers have to it, it wouldn't surprise me if 90%+ of all major titles require mandatory Steam installation and registration in the future.

So sure, he can avoid using Steam. He'll just be left with a dwindling supply of non-Steam games, at least on the PC. It shouldn't have to be that way.

Comment Re: total trust or nothing (Score 1) 1224

There's no situation where a teenager needs to drive over 80, probably; that only occurs on the highway, and most parents probably aren't going to let their teenagers drive on the interstate.

While I didn't drive on the interstate for my first few months of driving, by the time I got my license, I would drive on the interstate rather regularly: somewhere on the order of 90% of my trips.

The interstate is a great deal faster than the side roads, with less chance of getting lost, as well as being noticeably safer in several ways. You have two basic options for types of roads in many places: The first is about ten to twenty miles per hour faster than the other, and the second has lots of intersections, many of which are unregulated, and is rather twisty at times, as well as being small, and perhaps not as well lit or maintained. Would you take the interstate or the side streets? Which would you want your kids to take?

While the interstates are certainly faster, and while I would never put a brand new driver on them, I would tend to believe that they are otherwise safer for less experienced drivers under many circumstances than an alternate route composed of side streets.

Microsoft

Supreme Court Sides With Microsoft Over AT&T 122

The Supreme Court today sided with Microsoft in another important patent case filed by AT&T. The case centered around whether selling Windows overseas infringed on AT&T's patents that are in Windows. Microsoft argued [PDF] that the copies being sold in Asia were "...not technically supplied from the United States because overseas manufacturers of its computers made copies of the software from a master disk and installed those copies into the operating system. Microsoft said it could not be considered a supplier since the copies, not the original software, were in the computers built abroad." Now, while I support the weakening of software patents in general, by this logic, would that mean that MS's patents don't apply to those that use pirated copies of Windows?
Microsoft

Submission + - Microsoft Didn't Issue FairUse4WM Takedown Notices

terrencefw writes: "Having been the top ranked download site for the FairUse4WM Windows DRM remover utility, I've not yet had my takedown notice. What's more, I don't think Microsoft ever sent any. The origins of the takedowm notices that other sites have received just doesn't fit with a Microsoft-orchestrated operation. There's been no comment from Microsoft on the subject other than vague reassurances to vendors that they'll fix their crummy DRM and the lawsuit against the author, Viodentia, but they've dropped the case against him too."

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