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Comment Re:GPL or public domain? (Score 1) 161

The GPL requires copyright ownership, but work done by the Federal Government can not be copyrighted. I looked at a couple of the modules and they all include GPL v2 license. Shouldn't they be public domain?

Seconded for this question. Are public domain code snapshots subject to the license in the comments or are they truly public domain? Is the code usable by for-profits without necessity for citation or adherence to the original license (like public domain print/music/artworks)? I wonder if RMS senses a disturbance in the force.

Comment Re:A moral win? (Score 1) 421

If a moral stand is desired, which it should be, it should be done by: 1) Promoting the proper solution, patent-free, as an alternative 2) Dodging the problem so you don't drive people away from your cause. ("make the codec separate from the browser") 3) Use H.264 anyway, and accept the patent lawsuits as a proper form of Civil Disobedience, and get patent law changed.

The path Mozilla is taking is to going to cause normal users to say one thing and only one thing: "Hmm. I browse to $cool_new_video_site and it doesn't work. It does work in IE and Chrome. Firefox must be broken, so I'll use IE instead."

How is driving people away a win? The scope here is greater than a video codec.

I really don't understand why people feel Mozilla needs to be on board. Yeah, it wouldn't be terrible if H.264 vendors were guaranteed more major browser coverage, but Theora will get better, too. Mobile hardware will improve software decoding to the point that H.264 no longer has a performance edge, even. It's a promise from Moore's Law, even.

I really don't see your "driving people away" perspective at all, though. Back when IE was the champion of breaking web standards, I would be forced to open a few sites in the other browser - often because the site's owner took especial pride in being "Best Viewed in IE." And what I think everyone remembers from that era is how needlessly frustrating they made, what should have been, very simple things for every web developer in the world seeking to convey a consistent experience.

As a plugin to play H.264 codecs, it's fine. As a special way to sneak proprietary crap into the HTML5 standard, there is really no reason to pretend the market will be more loyal to Mozilla or serve them better if the same thing is available in three other browsers and still isn't standards-compliant with browsers like Opera.

Comment Re:drugs are bad, mmkay? (Score 1) 147

At one one point you're worried about former confederates and their slaves being treated differently (you're right btw, they don't even get to vote. Sucks being dead don't it?) and at another you put civilian in quotes when referring to the president which I assume insinuates the president is actually a military operative? Surely you don't think that George W. Bush, Mr. National-Guard-but-we're-not-sure-I-actually-ever-showed-up-for-service is considered military personnel, let alone Obama?

My comments were in regards to your disingenuous assertion that the form of government representing the US now is the one which was fought for. Not only did you avoid addressing the un-Constitutional operation of these policy decisions, you continued to focus on the specific policy (drug bans) to further claim:

Get more then 50% of the country to agree, and you can get the laws changed. That seems far more productive to me then making vague complaints about the two party system keeping you down with absolutely no suggestion on how your issues would be resolved by some other system.

To which I will point out, again, that this is a rationalization. Un-licensed, un-regulated markets invite crime and violence - to believe a drug ban would be excepted from this based on the moral or ethical grounding of a policy is assuming a lot. To assume in the face of abject failure for over seventy years appears, to me, stepping over the line of objective cognition. Your opinion doesn't even resemble a sane one, much less rational, much less Constitutional.

http://yro.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=1566116&cid=31307464 http://yro.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=1566116&cid=31308696

You have rationalized letting the beast feed itself (using tax dollars) without answering my original question.

Comment Re:drugs are bad, mmkay? (Score 3, Insightful) 147

Exactly what type of fair, democratic system do you propose where 36% of the people supporting an issue is enough to get it passed? I don't see how any sort of system, no matter how many parties there are, could possibly be more democratic by allowing 36% of the nation to pass a measure that 64% don't want. It seems to me the system is not the problem, and if you all feel so passionately about the issue you should be debating it, educating people on your viewpoint and rallying more support for it.

But what do I know, maybe trying to convince people to rewrite our entire system of democracy and governance that countless people have died fighting for would be waaaaay easier then convincing them that legalizing some mary jay would be beneficial for the nation.

If you are saying 'the system is not the problem' while rationalizing no-knock raids, un-Constitutional property seizures, an almost endemic policy of hypocrisy, corruption and profiteering within police forces, a federal money train of military-grade equipment, privatized prison systems and propaganda, the subjugation of due process to the size of a defendant's bank account - well if you can rationalize all those things then it's clear to me that the plan to 'rewrite our entire system of democracy and governance that countless people have died fighting for' has already succeeded to a degree. When fully 1/3 of people do not support a federal policy and it involves all of the political weapons listed above, I think you should check your premises at the door and really nail down why Rush Limbaugh and others get a free pass for being prescription addicts. We are talking about locking up/ruining the lives of, in general, poor people and minorities without affordable health care. They are prosecuted to the full extent of the law for non-violent crimes and locked up at a profit to courts and prison operators.

But what do I know, maybe the IV Amendment was written to protect police and criminally negligent politicians from oversight. Maybe the V Amendment was written to protect our 'civilian' president from war crimes tribunals. Maybe the XIV Amendment was written expressly to define people who were non-slaves and non-Confederates, so that those special persons could be indefinitely imprisoned without due process of law.

My question to you is, how has making mary jay illegal proven to benefit the nation?

First Person Shooters (Games)

Modern Warfare 2 Surpasses $1 Billion Mark; Dedicated Servers What? 258

The Opposable Thumbs blog is running an interesting article contrasting everything Activision did "wrong" in creating and marketing Modern Warfare 2 with the game's unqualified success. Despite price hikes, somewhat shady review practices, exploit frustrations, and the dedicated server fiasco, the game has raked in over a billion dollars in sales. "There was only one way to review Modern Warfare 2: on the Xbox 360, in Santa Barbara, under the watchful eye of Activision. Accepting the paid trip, along with room and board, was the only way you were going to get a review before launch. Joystiq noted that this broke their ethics policy, but they went anyway. Who can say no to a review destined to bring in traffic? Shacknews refused to call their coverage a 'review' because of the ethical issues inherent in the situation, but that stance was unique. The vast majority of news outlets didn't disclose how the review was conducted, or added a disclaimer after the nature of the review was made public. This proved to Activision that if you're big enough, you can dictate the exact terms of any review, and no ethics policy will make news outlets turn you down."

Comment Re:People Still Use DirectX??? (Score 1) 169

- The Linux user is really small, so there's not much point in developing games for them; and worse, we're all tech-savvy, so most Linux gamers have a Windows computer somewhere if there is a game they want to run. So your first point is completely moot. - I don't think game development benefits nearly as much from code reuse as most other software development.

I choose not to boot some machines into Windows, except on VMs or through network connections. This really does not hamper the ability to play games for the majority of good titles. You are probably right about the second point, though. When games get too re-hashed and re-used, they end up in stale and lifeless franchises that merely juggle the rosters and tweak a few stats on the game every year.

Take a look at Unreal 3... It has been released for two years, and they're still working on the Linux version! This speaks volumes about how much they expect to benefit from releasing that game.

I guess my first mistake was buying Unreal 3 before the Linux client was released? Since the UT2k3 Linux support was generally excellent, I figured the sequel would improve on that...and still hope it does. Nonetheless, the long and short of that is that I'm just not playing a title by Epic right now. Maybe you are, but I do already own Unreal 3 and I just haven't read about any killer mods or buzz beyond that Epic has moved into selling console titles and I could be playing now if I had chosen the correct platform.

One last point I would like to address in your post is regarding the difficulty of running a game in wine. I have found that the few times I tried playing a Linux version of a game, that the gaming experience was sufficiently inferior to the one on Windows and the installation troublesome that I ended up booting Windows to play anyways.

The most popular games do generally play without a problem in Wine, but there's a good two or three year lag between release and a really playable form, usually. A lot of more recent releases have components that are intentionally designed not to work with Linux, such as multiplayer or anti-cheat, which is a fair decision on the part of the publishers. Some people will see doing business the proper way as a hassle not worth trifling with and be satisfied with what they get. People like me have no problem with that - by all means spend money to develop more games. I promise not to be bitter.

I will remember which companies have shrugged me (and others) off in the past, though. Good games don't go bad, only the players or admins can make them seem that way - and by my estimate, I enjoy the games I play much more knowing that others like me are able to have the same experience. I won't have to tell them, "It's too bad you don't get to do X anymore. Those were really better times for this game."

Unfortunately for you, the rest of the world is using consoles and Windows and couldn't care less which platforms a game runs on.

I actually see this as a more fortunate turn of events in the long term because it takes focus off DirectX 10/11 and makes OpenGL a viable path for cross-platform development. If someone tells me, "It's too bad you don't get to play X on Linux," I generally think, "Well, maybe not yet." Because in all likelihood it will be ported to Wine if it is at all popular, or it will be playable through an emulator someday if it is console-only. What's the hurry? I don't have time to finish all the games I have as it is now.

My theory is that so long as I continue buying and playing games which can, in fact, be played on a Linux machine, someone will be interested in catering to my niche segment. If there is a console game that is, indeed, the second coming of QuakeWorld, I just might buy it. It is the community that makes a good game something memorable and interesting years after its release. If developers and publishers don't enable a wide platform for their games, via vendor lock-in or simply DRM/EULA terms, they are only hurting themselves in the long run. Which is a roundabout way of saying that I really think Lodragandraoidh is right.

Comment Re:Grrr... (Score 2, Interesting) 853

1. Burn coal? Nope. 2. Burn petroleum. Nope. 3. Nuclear power. Nope. NIMBY 4. Hydro power. Nope, think of the salmon! 5. Wind power. Nope. NIMBY 6. Solar power. NIMBY


They won't be happy until we're back in the days of using whale blubber lanterns to read at night...oh wait....

You aren't representing this very fairly. You're representing it like a snide interlocutor with a vested interest in nuclear power. Interest is high in nuclear power because coal and petroleum prices are high. Not because Luddites demand alternative energy but then say it will harm the environment. You make it read as if nuclear power is comparable to wind or solar - it isn't.

The world of the future also has to deal with future risks we leave them. It's true that hydro-electric power affects salmon populations, as you point out, but the reason it's a concern is because fishing is a huge business that makes a lot of money. So it raises the price of hydro power to compensate in the market, it doesn't invalidate the power source.

Two additional, greater risks that nuclear and hydro power present to the environment is the risk of terrorism. One can theorize that wind and solar power could have harmful effects on their local environments, but it would be on the order of roads or power lines. It would not be on the order of Three Mile Island or Chernobyl. Or that scene we see of the Hoover Dam crumbling in every freakin' movie that comes close to the Hoover Dam, ever.

In the grand scheme, coal and petroleum processing are still preferable to nuclear power from a social planning perspective, especially when it comes to decommissioning. Sinking the money for nuclear infrastructure plans into alternative research, including tide pools and geothermal to introduce even more competitive players will reduce the cost of power and solve the so-called 'Energy Crisis'.

Consumption and waste is not a crisis that can be solved by scientists. As long as we're producing it on Earth and there are practical limits, there is no free energy, so we would do well to think of it that way instead of pretending nuclear power will solve problems. Putting more power in the hands of nuclear providers simply tilts the scales of global power towards instability. Especially if nations that don't have nuclear power are prevented from having it in the future.

Comment Re:Evil. (Score 1) 390

All-in-all, this is probably just fine. It will keep anyone from creating dead knock-offs, but not much more.

So what about parodies? I'm not sure I understand what a design patent on a web page is protecting, other than the trademarked content of the page. It seems a little redundant and otherwise burdensome on the patent system, to me.

Comment Re:The dangers of screening tests (Score 1) 154

It's the same with flying, if you don't want to put with that crap then don't. If a large enough group refuses to fly or work at jobs with mandatory drug testing, things will change back.

Causation does not necessitate that management will perceive the correlation.

I've been boycotting EA Games for a good five years now because they are a pox on the industry of game publishing. When their quarterly results aren't in line with estimates, they blame piracy or the economy and completely ignore their abysmal customer service record.

Comment Re:FAIL (Score 1) 273

I think it really depends on what the application is. Most people have idle cores the majority of the time. I tend to aim for lower clockspeeds and wattage, myself. You're right that it's an advantage to Intel over the long term, excepting that there will be 32nm socket AM3 processors in 24 months or less.

Of course, schedules do slip and blunders do occur as well. Hopefully AMD manages to handle all its debts to continue operations, because the market really does suffer without competition.

Comment Re:Control freak (Score 1) 543

Sell copies of the game? Well, "personal use" includes giving copies away to everyone, so unless you're selling that first copy for a million bucks, you're going to lose your shirt. (Please don't give me that tired fucking bullshit about "well don't release it until people donate the amount you want," it sounds great if you discount that nobody will actually donate in significant numbers.)

This is an interesting theory. Given that the number of desktops running Linux is something around 2% (according to the marketing I've read) of all PCs in the wild, what if, after recouping production costs for the Windows/Mac/proprietary version, an LGPL client was released into the wild *and* the ability to purchase a valid, legal, interoperable license to run the software on Linux by:

  • buying the boxed/published Windows/Mac/proprietary client and run the free LGPL client
  • buying an official 'support license' using digital download of the LGPL client through the production/publisher's official website

There simply are not enough Linux clients to honestly regard piracy of an LGPL client as a threat to sales and yet this would be exactly the reason used to justify not releasing a Linux client or even a legal license of interoperability. Not the dollars/cents of goodwill and possible community interest and publicity it would generate, but the possibility of piracy and, if necessary, also discussing the doomed endgame of LGPL wrangling among the original publishers and forked projects. Isn't it okay that forked projects exist if the game already made money in the process? I mean, if we make the LGPL release contingent on the sales/profitability of other clients, there can be no loss, really. It's acknowledging a small enthusiast market and nurturing it as a wellspring of ideas instead of a threat to revenue streams.

Advertisements in the game to recoup your investment? Well, they have the code, so bye-bye ads and bye-bye revenue.

What's the alternative? I use AdBlock Plus judiciously and if I perceive a site to be 'peddling trash' I exercise my right to ignore their advertisements. Games don't go away, even when the companies and ad-agencies go bankrupt. What's the point? One bad game can ruin a company's reputation forever with a customer. There are too many options to expect a second chance using these methods and foisting (unprofitable, non-opt-in, non-opt-outtable, invasive) advertisements on the game reduces your market to the lowest common denominator of those who will accept them. The people who will not accept them know how to circumvent, avoid or boycott them, if necessary. Why do you care if people opt-out of the ad program they have no intention of validating anyway? They are just trying to enjoy the game and you're removing the acceptable terms of a sale, essentially counting the beans you collect from advertisers instead of placing a cent of value on your customers. Is it a financing problem? Do true fans need to tithe for something they've already purchased? I would still prefer to pay for the choice. How does removing choice benefit the relationship between publisher and customer when there is a precedent of something better?

MMO? All your code's out there, enjoy those free-to-play ad-free private servers killing what little market share you can scrape up.

There's something to be said for an officially sanctioned server as far as revenue models, but I don't think there's a silver bullet here. I don't play any big-name MMOs because I've had too many bad experiences in the past with the companies that run them...from EQ to SWG. If clients can take an active part in testing/tweaking and balancing a time-tested and weathered game experience, publishers would benefit from the ideas and mutual interests of their audience. The way you reference the use of the LGPL it is constraining development and blurring vision when its proper use empowers diversity and strengthens the underlying foundation. I think aside from the One-MMO-To-Rule-Them-All revenue model, MMOs don't work too well because they require a larger investment than the average game and a less guaranteed payoff for the player that they will truly enjoy the experience after grinding through whatever it is they will need to grind through.

I can buy the argument, though I disagree heartily with it, that the GPL is useful for low-level tools--operating systems, userlands, etcetera. "Information freedom" is the fastest way to killing the software industries that many people derive a lot of enjoyment from, though, and it's not like you'll be getting Half-Life 2 out of an open source project any time soon.

I don't pretend to believe using the LGPL is the best way to publish games, but I think at its root the LGPL has a place in the software lifecycle. If you interpret video games as art, when they are treated as nothing more than a thing to be constantly recycled and re-released for profit with expansions of new content that ignore already existing bugs, it really cheapens the experience of the audience. A game which achieves an LGPL-level of appreciation can serve as a monument and a constant check on the quality, honor and respect that exist between developers and clients in a healthy gaming community. It's not something you can point to on the bottom line, but for some odd reason the companies that embrace the philosophy of the LGPL in the right places have been very successful in building additional revenue streams.

That philosophy is pretty clearly missing from the vast majority of games released in the past decade - most publishers treat their customers like filthy criminals and most of the customers prefer to be locked up in a console because it's easier. Bugs are there so you don't get too much of an attachment to the game because the sequel will be even more juiced-up (eye candy only) and possibly more boring, even if it does, in fact, fix the friggin' bugs! Ultimately, developers have been validating investor/management assumptions that the sales cycle which fuels developer salaries is more important than the product which is ultimately developed. It's easy to be an ideologue when you're not trying to earn a paycheck, but where do developers draw the line? It doesn't pay to be dogmatic, but the lack of LGPL releases for some of the 'Best Of' category classic games has reduced the overall quality of what's considered 'releasable' and what 'goes gold' and what gets patched these days. The larger trend is that virtual publishing monopolies have removed healthy competition while enabling anti-consumer corporate polices in a lot of the PC gaming market (as predicted by RMS, incidentally).

Comment Re:You Only Rip Me Off Once (Score 2, Insightful) 554

Right. But i bet you're not done listening to their music. As other posters above have pointed out, using the "I don't like their sales methods/restrictions and until they give me what i want i'm going to infringe their copyrights" is a pretty self-serving argument.

Except that *they* don't actually own all the music anymore. Small and independent labels have a larger share of the pie. You can still see live performances, listen to the radio and experience the music while following a set of personal restrictions specifically designed to deny revenue and profit to the segments of the industry you don't like. You know, "Walk the walk," like you say.

The problem with the record industry, from my perspective, is that even after I've walked the walk for over a decade, they're still not bankrupt and they still haven't corrected or repudiated their methods. They still believe their best customers are criminals, they still believe locking the schlock they shill up in a hermetically-sealed DRM container will protect the profit-value of their investment. Sure they miss the dollars I spend on other things now, but they are so incompetent that they've invented metrics to rationalize my (and other music lover's) absence from their marketplace. It's a sad state of affairs.

Most artists recognize that myspace and twitter can do for free what used to require a record contract and thousands of dollars in contract debt to produce. Frankly, I think most music fans are ready to embrace building the *new* industry after the current hegemony has been Rasputin'd. Right now, the large labels are just holding back the smaller labels that aren't completely out-of-touch with their audience. That's JMHO, though.

Comment Re:Let it die. (Score 1) 554

- anticompetitive business practices (price fixing, etc) that have given potential customers a sour attitude towards music labels There is some truth in that, but come on. People really stopped buying music because of that?

Absolutely. Or rather, I implemented client-side DRM on my music purchases - I manage my own rights over music media I purchase, or I simply do not purchase it.

- destruction of diversity in radio broadcasting (something the music industry ironically pushed for) via the death of media ownership regulations mid-'90s Wrong. Radio hardly has any influence on what music people listen to these days.

I listen to Pandora a fair bit and have found a lot of new music there. If Pandora can grasp, through technology, what customers want to hear and then generate sales, why can't radio? The simple answer is that media ownership chooses not to because they believe it costs less. Promoting goodwill between customers and product is a waste of resources and we have at least ten years of evidence backing up that statement.

And finally, the main reason: - replacement of almost all talented acts that produced good music, with hyperproduced kiddie-shit "artists" whose assets are not musical talent or singing voices, but barely-covered bikini bottoms and tits. Just you wait: in 4 years, tops, "Hannah Montana" will be pulling a Britney-style selfdestruct. And neither of them are capable of producing "music" even remotely worth listening to. I doubt very much that the music industry is replacing musicians who would sell more music with those who would sell less...Your personal problems with the music industry are not necessarily the same ones that are causing its troubles.

Oh but they have. It's a self-effecting prophecy, actually, because the largest acts are no longer pursuing contracts actively and are focusing on self-promotion (myspace/twitter/blog/tour/etc).

Say, if you own a restaurant and your star chef leaves to start a new restaurant or simply because they are frustrated with your management, do you hire another star chef? Maybe if you know one, but in all likelihood, some culinary production is about to take place in your kitchen that is merely 'good' or 'above average'. Your customers will notice the difference, too.

The less goodwill between industry and fans, the less artists will want to be associated with those industry players, despite all the perks. Small labels will get a larger piece of the pie, but the pie will get a lot smaller (at least temporarily) because those small labels don't have access to the same media promotion levers as the entrenched industry players and those industry players are still pulling the levers for the schlock that they need to turn out for the next quarterly statement. It really isn't fair to the artists who are trying to make a living, but it is completely and totally the industry's fault for treating their customers this way for over a decade. Running a crusade to chase after the last 10% of profits while sacrificing the experience of the other 90%? Not a good business model...

Comment Re:AGAIN? (Score 1) 174

If an artist drew a picture to advertise a product he would not receive fair cut in the product sales. Replicated non perishable merchandise is barley worth the ink its printed with.

Also, barley is barely worth the price of the beer it goes into.

What do you get when there's a shortage of barley farmers and a surplus of beer drinkers? PBR

Somehow, the rules that govern beer-making are related to the rules that govern music production. I know, that's as clear as mud.

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