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Comment The reason this is dumb (Score 1) 414

Bandwidth isn't like gas. Nobody's mining extra bandwidth or depleting our nation's bandwidth reserves. The cost of data transfer, for a provider, doesn't scale linearly with customer use like a commodity might; up to a certain capacity, it should cost them more or less (not exactly, but close to) the same to operate a network at peak capacity or one at lower than peak capacity. So if I'm transferring 1 MB/hr or 1000 MB/hour, as long as the network isn't being overtaxed and slowed down by my usage it shouldn't matter how much I'm transferring. This is why a flat rate (or bandwidth tier) makes sense for ISPs, and is a fair arrangement with the consumer.

Pay as you go makes it easier to bilk customers and introduce ridiculous fees out of proportion with the cost of the service. Consider the massive disparity in how much you pay in terms of the actual bandwidth used for text messages, as opposed to voice or data.

Now, I'm not an expert in this. It may be that there's some aspect of this I'm not seeing. But as near as I can tell, pay as you go is strictly bullshit that will lead to consumers paying more for the same service and is a gateway to greater price hikes and obfuscation of actual costs.

Comment These aren't really competing devices... (Score 1) 403

... except in the sense that they both work through the TV. Apple's device is more of a media gateway for stuff you've already got through iTunes, as I understand it. Without significant internal storage, it doesn't seem like it can really stand as a platform on its own, with app support and development efforts. Even coupled with the TV rentals, it's mostly a quick and dirty way of making iTunes content useful through the TV.

On the other hand, Google TV seems like it's designed to be a real extension of the Android platform, with a full app community and a lot of functions that seem designed to augment TV. They want people to view the TV as something that you can do more than just consume stuff off of. Apple TV has some functionality in this direction, but just the lack of internal storage means there's only so far they can go.

In other words, Google is making a grab for the TV as a new development and consumer platform. Apple is trying to enhance its existing market share through giving people another reason to buy more contents. How are these especially similar, again?

Comment Incredibly misleading headline (Score 5, Insightful) 323

This headline and summary blow and are almost exactly contrary to the facts. The FCC's position, as outlined here is that the FCC is identifying *only* the transmission component of broadband as a telecom service. In practical terms, this means precisely that they will *not* pursue net neutrality-based oversight at this time, and will ignore content-related matters in favor of simple access and transmission oversight.

In other words, the "web" itself is exactly the thing they are not trying to take greater control of.

Comment Re:Half-Life 3? (Score 2, Insightful) 135

I remember saying almost this exact same thing while Half-Life 2 kept getting pushed further and further back: they'd waited too long, any hopes of a franchise were dashed, nobody cared, etc. etc. Remember, it was a delay of almost six years between HL and HL2. And imagine how foolish I felt when I actually played HL2, it sold extremely well, and I ultimately had to eat those words. The franchise is gonna be fine, even if it takes them another year to release it. People will still buy it. The fact that people are so pissed about the delay just goes to demonstrate that.

Valve has become more open in the past two years, but they're still a pretty mysterious company that is often reticent to publicize ongoing development efforts. So we've got no way of knowing what they're currently working on or how close to release it may be.

Comment Re:Dead Eye (Score 1) 148

Yes, the review does seem to want a historical simulator and not a spaghetti western game. But I think that's poor expectations, not poor advertising or design. I don't see how anyone could get the idea that historical accuracy is a big part of the game from seeing ads or watching any videos or visiting the website, or whatever. And, as you say, I'd rather have High Plains Drifter than the Donner Party: The Game.

Also, it's interesting that you mention race, because I was pleasantly surprised to find there actually ARE quite a few black cowboys in the game, although so far none of the major characters (a few sidequest chars, though). But the background NPCs you encounter are much more diverse than you're likely to find in most cinematic westerns before the last ten or twenty years.

Comment Dead Eye (Score 5, Informative) 148

I like how the review complains about Dead Eye, and notes that being able to shoot a bunch of people really quickly with a pistol is an "odd ability for a historical shooter." Have you ever even SEEN a Western? The lone man fanning the hammer on his pistol and dropping four people in moments is pretty standard fare in any of the spaghetti/Eastwood westerns.

Comment Why the Infinity Ward comparisons? (Score 2, Informative) 85

Every time I see this story, there's some ridiculous note about how Activision is screwing Infinity Ward or how Bungie worked to break off from Microsoft, so why would they go back to Activision?

This is a PUBLISHING AGREEMENT. Microsoft owned Bungie, just like Activision *owns* Infinity Ward. A publisher has a degree of control over a developer, yes, but comparing that to an ownership situation like Bungie/MS or IW/Activision is patently absurd. It's not even apples to oranges; it's apples to rocks.

Comment Re:As someone totally ignorant in this stuff (Score 4, Informative) 368

Well, in addition to the simple chatting thing and the gee-whiz hobbyist angle, it can be an extremely valuable resource in emergency response scenarios. Many areas have volunteer emergency networks comprised of ham radio operators that could relay information and coordinate response efforts if the official response groups are overwhelmed or disorganized.

Comment Re:For an Interesting Exercise in Head Asplosion (Score 3, Informative) 158

Not really a meaningful distinction, as contract law is very much an aspect of the law. We can bicker about whether terms of service are enforceable and to what extent, but the reality is that this guy has better things to do than wage a complex and almost certainly protracted legal battle against a corporation.

Comment same old (Score 3, Funny) 270

Hey, look, an interesting statistical effect. How to explain it? Rigorous analysis? Nah, let's just blame it on new technology, 'cuz that wasn't around before and now things are different - obviously, there's a meaningful correlation!

Reminds me of the piracy/global warming graph:

Comment Re:Start with the journalists who were laid off... (Score 4, Insightful) 95

I think it's great in theory, but in practice I'm always worried that this is another way for corporations to profit off the work of little guys while paying them less and giving them fewer benefits, backing, and security. Freelancing (and that's what this is) is like contracting, with all the ups and downsides that go along with it, except it's a damn sight harder for a freelancer to make a living comparable to a full-time employee than it is for a contractor to do the same.

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