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Comment Re:[citation needed] (Score 2) 218

Sorry, I was referring to the grandparent article. However, the original statistic was cited from this report which sorts software by piracy. That's where Armenia is listed as the highest country at 93% and the US is the lowest at 20%. The same list gives a weighted international piracy average of 59.9%, which is high, but is much lower than the 90% that is making the rounds in the press and the number that you gave in your discussion of matchmaking, etc (citation, btw?).

The point of my comments was not to doubt that piracy exists, as it obviously does. But the difference between a country with 93% and a country with 20% must be assumed to be the sum of all the social norms combined (consider that a large chunk of this is most likely made up of businesses and government workers knowingly using pirated or bootlegged software). It may also show just how prosperous the US is, when 80% of software acquired is fully paid for despite 60% of the world's population at large not paying for it.

So again, I think it helps to have a qualified discussion when we're talking about piracy, because every game does not have the same piracy numbers and every country does not have the same social norms around acquiring software. It's not helpful to treat everyone in the US as if they are piratical college students, nor is it helpful to treat the pirates as if they are customers.

Comment Re:People will just find some other justification. (Score 1) 218

I'm not sure if you mean Armenia when you say "the laws here," but in the US the piracy rate is 20% and is the lowest in the world. Similar western nations also have relatively low rates of piracy. If 20% of a people are observed not doing a given thing, I'd say that's not really the norm at all.

Unfortunately, because of the ubiquity of the internet Ubi and similar publishers believe they cannot make a distinction between US customers who may be willing to pay and Armenian pirates who never even consider payment an option. So, both countries, and everyone in between, get treated as if they are a culture with a 93% piracy rate.

The obviously big problem with treating all countries like that is that the piracy is still 95% in those countries, so the measures to prevent it are quite a bit short of effective.

Comment Re:People will just find some other justification. (Score 4, Insightful) 218

The people who are pirating will probably keep pirating, but it's not because of some other justification. It's because the vast majority of them are in a country or culture where it's the norm.

To countries like Armenia, they don't even consider that there is DRM in a game at retail because they usually are acquiring it via bootleg salesmen or pirated downloads. It's as if the DRMed game never existed.

And that's why the one, two, and sometimes three or more layers of DRM doesn't do anything but hurt the customers in the culture where paying is the social norm.

Comment That 93% Number is Real, but Not What You Expect (Score 1) 464

I did some very brief research in the past about software piracy back when the Dead Trigger story came out. 93% is the software piracy rate of the highest piracy countries in the world.

As I mention in that post, if you read the original interview, Yves was talking in the context of those specific countries when he gave the 93% figure. So free to play gives them no different results in those countries where they have no social stigma about pirating.

Contrast the 93% number of Armenia to the 20% piracy rate of the lowest country on that list (that would be the United States), and it makes a lot more sense why the immediate reaction of western countries is to not believe the figure.

Still, free to play seems like a dumb solution and their attempt at a DRM bandaid is even more idiotic.

Comment Re:Its a chicken-or-the-egg problem... (Score 1) 635

I had never logged into Steam on any of my Macs until last week. When I did, I was surprised to find that 119 of my 336 games were already available on Mac (35%). And they were decent games, too. That somewhat changed my perspective about a Mac as a gaming machine.

Linux is even more valuable, because there is no impetus to get all-new hardware as there is with a Mac.

Comment Time Heals All Mods (Score 1) 553

Timing is a big issue with enforcement. I started an article documenting the history of the OSP mods a few years ago and I remained the primary contributor for a couple of months. I then received notice about it being flagged for deletion for various reasons, one of which was notability.

I used to remove the flags quickly and posted some discussion topics on how to resolve the issues. I remember a flag for notability at some point, but can't find it, now. For the last few years, I've just left the flags on there, as the article seems to be left alone by the mods and the community has taken it upon itself to contribute more frequently.

I'm now pretty sure that all of the articles on WP need some flags at the top to ward off the deletion mods from axing the page entirely. If there's a flag there, leave the page alone.

Comment Re:Nothing is Ahead of its Time (Score 1) 143

Products that are ahead of their time do not fail because they lack convincing enough marketing, but because they lack some innovative element, either your own, or someone else's.

Right. You might be considering this to be picking nits with our idioms (I did when I first read it), but he's basically saying that ideas that are missing even just one proper element are really not well fleshed out. Relatedly, we've all talked to people who are confident that they had the idea for something that is now popular while insisting they would be rich had they materialized it. To me, this is the same out that "ahead of its time" gives to folks.

You should be able to read the relevant section of the book on Google Book Search, though I don't know how much since it has the DRM included. I really can't do it justice in a few comments, but it's worth the read.

Comment Re:Nothing is Ahead of its Time (Score 1) 143

The bit about the netbook was from me, not the book, FWIW.

The viability of the netbook in the mid-90s is academic, and it's hard to make a comparison to the sub-notebooks, because they are such different things: their target audience is wholly different as well as the product. The /. article summary asserts the netbook craze started in 1996, which would seem to be just false. While the subnotebook was "received" perhaps in the same sense that the New Coke formula was, more traditional options seemed to reign for the next decade without so much as a second thought from consumers.

Forgetting the price, which we all know is impossible to make work adequately outside of building the netbook in the very near past, the product of a current-gen netbook would be hardly successful in the mid-90s. The specs might be technically superior, but what consumer programs would come close to taxing it? (IIRC we were just crossing into P100 procs at that time, and 32 MB of RAM was a lot) It may have wi-fi, but nobody else does. How many even had USB 1.1 back then? Where are the serial and parallel ports and modem?

Even if you could surf the internet, there isn't much to do after maybe viewing some spartan web pages. It's a far cry from the rich multimedia experience that we've come to expect, with Javascript web apps and Flash videos, we can move our computing selves into the internet and use the lightweight netbook to access all of it. And when I say "we," I mean the general consumers that are increasingly buying netbooks recently.

And that's all from a relatively recent time period. Take it back further and it gets more ridiculous.

All of these issues could be solved, but with much more work on the developing company's part than current netbook makers have to do. The culture is vastly different and its acceptance levels are just ripe for netbooks and smartphones without much, if any, priming needed. Consider how much usability training you've received in the course of the last 12 years perhaps without even taking a single course on computers.

But the real message of the book to me is that the value of innovation goes down as public acceptance goes up. This is for the very same reason as why it's so easy for a company to create those products. The tide affects all of the ships, including those the companies competitors. The relative value of your innovation is dependent upon your ability to increase the perception of value of your idea to your audience. Take now as an example: for better or worse, much of the tech economy is based on "free" in all senses of the word. Innovation today has to keep that in mind and work that into their perceived value marketing.

Comment Nothing is Ahead of its Time (Score 4, Interesting) 143

Aside from that not being true, it was underpowered so that it didn't have the appeal of later devices, it was marketed poorly in a world that wasn't ready (it would have needed to be marketed better).

Right. In the book "Myths of Innovation," the author (Scott Berkun) discusses how there is no such thing as a product being ahead of its time (which is what it seems this /. article summary is basically touting). You can't have a great idea in isolation and expect the market to come to you. Part of the invention process is how will your audience accept the product? Aside from patent trolling, the marketplace doesn't allow for financial success in a walled garden.

Berkun also cites many examples and non-examples of famous inventors like Edison not actually being the first to invent something (such as the light bulb), but really being the best one to bring it to the audience. He also demonstrates how you wouldn't be able to bring a modern invention such as the netbook and take it back in time to be as successful as it has been for us. The infrastructure wouldn't be there and the public mindset would have no reference point or paradigm to go from.

Comment Re:Retarded (Score 1) 874

Not sure which company you did that with, but the only things negotiable at the company I work for are price and riders. Usually an independent agent can find a provider that can fit your situation, but he doesn't modify the base policy. The policy is rarely ever modified, and when it is, it's done across the board.

Not to say there aren't custom insurers out there, because I know there are, but I would imagine that if you were able to customize your policy with a large company, there was probably a rider that changed the language to accomplish what you wanted.

BTW, because you can't negotiate a contract of adhesion that means the courts interpret any remotely ambiguous language in favor of the policy holder, not the company.

Comment Re:Retarded (Score 1) 874

If it's one-sided, "take it or leave it", then it is simply not a contract and has no legal strength.

Interesting. The insurance industry basically started in the UK (referring to Lloyds of London, although, not with contacts of adhesion). But, how do insurance companies do business in the UK if there is no such thing?

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