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Comment Playing single-player _because_ you're offline (Score 2) 594

I think something that has been missed by posters so far on the DRM issue is the fact that, if/when my internet connection fails, often the first thing I do is go looking for single player games I have installed on the computer.

If you can't do that, it rather defeats the point of single player mode, at least to me. If the Internet connection is up I'm generally doing more productive things than playing games nowadays.

Comment Depressing standard of comments. (Score 5, Interesting) 231

The comments on this story really do illustrate how the readership of Slashdot really has changed over the past few years.
This is a real "News for Nerds" story, a story about open source development and how we're still not really past the bad old days of winmodems when it comes to (real, not binary blob) hardware support by manufacturers.

A full half of the comments I can see above seem to be troll posts along the lines of "LOL M8 DOESNT RUN UNREAL TOURNAMENT 27".

Oh dear.

Comment Re:Why are we trying to legitimize piracy? (Score 1) 516

Oh, and something else I forgot to mention:

If you didn't have the ability to download it illegally in the first place and you wanted the movie you would go buy it. Lost sale.

Completely ignoring the field of economics is rather silly, don't you think?
If you offer someone a product for £1000, or another product for £5000, do you think that taking away the £1000 product would result in complete conversion to sales of the £5000 product?

In typical Slashdot style, here's a car analogy (I'm in the UK, public transport is viable here):
I don't own a car because for young drivers, insurance runs at £2000+ per year.
If it were available for free, or for say, £300pa, I would buy a car.
In this case, the 'free or cheap' option (i.e piracy) does not exist. I still "want" to drive. But I don't, because I feel it's a waste of money.

And it's not for lack of means: I could afford the insurance, but it becomes comparable to other activities.
I will never buy a movie again. Ever. You could take away my means with which to pirate movies - I still wouldn't buy movies.
Paying £15 for a DVD is not worth it compared to the alternatives for me. £15 buys me ten books from a charity store. £15 buys me a return train ticket to a city I've never visited before. £15 buys me four meals at McDonalds, or a week's worth of food if I live frugally. Stick on another £5 or so and I can get a night out clubbing.

Paying £15 to sit down and watch moving images for 90 minutes is not worth it. It's one of the most expensive activities, per hour, I can think of outside of motorsports/aviation.

Comment Re:Why are we trying to legitimize piracy? (Score 1) 516

The argument that it is faster and easier than paying for it is false. Between Amazon, apple store, and best buy, etc. I can easily download the movie or buy it as easily as I can pirating it.

The statement you have just made is factually false.
Amazon: register, create account, input address, input credit card details, etc etc
Let's pretend we've already done all of that, as the article writer assumes uTorrent is already installed.

Can Amazon deliver a DVD in less than ten minutes, to my computer screen, in the correct format?
Even if the DVD theoretically appeared at my doorstep instantly, I'd have to get up, take the DVD, rip open the packaging, take it out of the box, put it into the computer, wait through a few minutes of piracy warnings...

Or I could pirate it, and make a cup of tea while waiting. Jolly good.

Whether or not it is then fair to pirate movies is a completely seperate issue.
Pirating movies _IS_ easier and faster than actually buying them. Factually. Even ignoring DRM concerns.

Comment Re:I cannot obtain coffee for free. (Score 1) 523


I am slowly winning the war on gifts. This year, I bought low value items that I thought were well suited to the people that received them.
I feel that the object of such holidays is to show your love and appreciation for the people in your life that brought you to where you are today. No man is an island, to be sure.

I appreciate the £5 pack of underwear I receive far more than trinkets which will soon be thrown into the back of a cupboard. (That is, until enough time has passed that I can safely chuck the thing on eBay). :P

Comment "Going in the hole" (Score 1) 523

Why get a car or a bike when you can walk?

I do not currently own a car because the benefits do not outweigh the costs for me. I take the train or pay friends fuel + hourly rate to transport me around when required. As a relatively young male in the UK, insurance costs run at £3000 per year. That pays for a very large amount of taxi journeys.

I would very much enjoy driving a car, and technically I could make the payments and not have to loan money. But then, that takes me further away from financial freedom. It reduces the interest I accrue in my savings account. It reduces the amount of time I could survive comfortably if my income dried up tomorrow.

Why buy and wear underwear when you can go commando?
Why buy a shaver when you can just grow a beard?
Why buy food when you can live in the wilderness off the land?

For the first two questions.. underwear runs at probably sub £20 per year. It's also not obtainable for free, as coffee isn't. Shavers are even cheaper - disposable razors run at probably £2 for a year.

Living in the wilderness has an opportunity cost of not taking part in society. To be sure, if I discovered food + rent + other essential bills actually cost me more than any job I could find was providing, I would certainly give it a shot.

There's a price to being civilized, and a price for convenience, and a price for fun.

It appears that you're cramming virtually all money into being civilized, and a hint of convenience.

Now I don't know where you live or how much you make... but I don't make all that particularly much and live in an apartment, but I can still buy clothes, food, occasionally splurge on eating out, and guess what... still have money to play Skyrim and also browse the internet. And still be saving up enough money for a trip to my brother's destination wedding next year.

It's called balance. One CAN actually do all these things without going in the hole if you're smart about it. If I wanted to spend absolutely nothing except on the essentials, I'd buy a gun, a hunting knife, a pile of ammo, and go live in the forest for the rest of my life.

I do not budget to avoid "going into the hole", if by that you mean into debt. I am debt free, at least in the sense that my assets are greater than my liabilities (I do have student loan debt, but it is hedged.)

But what about future obligations? If I fell out of university now, I'd be able to keep myself going for about a few months until I had to borrow additional money.
Every £10 I spend now is another night of accommodation.

At the end of the day, all expenditures warrant a cost-benefit analysis, if we speak rationally. Internet access provides more to me in terms of future earnings potential than does playing Skyrim. In addition, if I wish to play Skyrim, I can very easily and without threat of punishment obtain the game for free. It would be difficult to do the same for Internet access.

Comment Tragedy of the commons (Score 1) 523

I do not claim to have the answer to your question.
In a time gone by, I would have been more ideological about such matters and perhaps given you a rebuttal, but lately cynicism has taken hold.

I don't really feel that it's meaningful to discuss such questions. In an alternate world, in which copyright infringement was much more difficult or policing was much easier, then it may be.

The situation is tantamount to tax avoidance (note, not evasion). If you ask a person to choose between paying 30% tax or 35% tax, most individuals would choose 30%. They'd be perfectly justified in doing so, and if you continued the choice decreasing by 5% each time, noone would pay any taxes and our theoretical nation would fall apart.

The only thing stopping this from happening in most countries is law. If it were easy to get away with not paying income tax, a one shot thing unlikely to bite you in the future (as piracy currently is), a lot more people would do it. But we don't discuss the potential implications of such a world, because it's not one we live in.

Comment Hypocrisy (Score 2) 523

"You sir, ARE the problem."

You are sitting on your computer here right now, just as I am. Neither of us are out feeding starving kids in Africa.
Whether we are wrong in doing so is a judgement that an individual makes.

I obey the law in as much as it serves me. I obey the law because I do not want to be imprisoned, or get a criminal record, reducing my chances of gainful employment and a happy, free life.

I certainly do not obey the law simply because it's there. If my mother was struggling in a hospital bed, I would ignore UK euthanasia law. If I saw a person being assaulted in the street, and felt I was in a position to fight off the attacker, I would consider my actions justified, regardless of what the law may say.

I simply choose to make the personal judgement that piracy is not a crime which significantly affects other people. No-one is entitled to be paid for their work. And even if they were, Western software developers, authors and artists are very low on my list of priorities for "people in need of money".

Don't get me wrong, I am incredibly grateful that authors of the work I use put the effort in. But in the current position I'm in, I simply cannot justify spending money on anything that can be trivially obtained for free.

Comment Re:I cannot obtain coffee for free. (Score 1) 523

All books are free. It takes a ten second Google search to find 95% of books online.
I have already outlined my view with regards to multiplayer gaming.

Without meaning to insult, you're looking at this from a different point of view to me.

If I found £5 in the street, I wouldn't worry too much about the person who lost it. I don't spend too much time worrying about workers in the Far East and the terrible conditions they work in to provide me with this laptop. Life's too short.

I simply do not care about 'pirating' software. Why should I?

Comment I cannot obtain coffee for free. (Score 4, Interesting) 523

You know, I used to think that if media had a decent price, that I would actually purchase more games.
More and more lately I'm coming to realise that I wouldn't buy most things at any price.

Why would I spend £10 on a DVD, when I can save that £10 towards a new car or a mortgage deposit?
Why would I spend £10 on a book or £1 on a newspaper, when £90 (9 books) buys me an e-reader which will give me free books until the thing breaks?
Why would I spend £anything on games, when I can simply play older ones?

When I was a schoolchild, money existed to be frittered away on the next shiny.
Now I'm (only a few years) older, I can see that in order to live any semblance of a decent life, I'm going to have to save, and save HARD.

Why should I feel sorry for artists? Are they in a worse position than me? In the vast majority of cases I would doubt it.

With regards to expensive coffee - I don't buy it, but I do buy coffee when I'm out, occasionally. Why? Because it is more convenient than making coffee at home, and I can get it instantly as opposed to waiting. Buying 'apps' generally works in reverse.

Comment Vast misrepresentation of pricing. (Score 1) 361

[quote]A family of four can go to McDonald's and eat dinner for $15. They're consuming 2,000 empty calories in a single sitting. A 2-liter of Coke is $1.29. A gallon of orange juice is $6. See the problem?[/quote]

Is this actually reality in the US? I get the feeling you're intentionally misrepresenting prices. I am far from rich by any means, but I manage to save by relentlessly cutting the costs of food (my biggest expense after rent, easily.)

I can buy four chicken breasts for £4 UK, ($6.20). Those are fresh, not frozen chicken breasts, so you can do cheaper.
To cook them you throw them in the oven and watch TV for 25 minutes.
Buy some random vegetables for £1-2 max. The vegetables you drop into a pan and go and watch TV for 15 minutes.

There is your meal for 4 for £6, I'm not even trying, and those prices are without even making an effort to find cheaper.

On juice:

Coca-Cola £2/2L
Orange Juice £1.24/2L

The OJ works out at $3.66 per US gallon. I would be very surprised if the US has more expensive groceries than the UK.

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