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Comment Of course they send reel-to-reel films... (Score 1) 650

and for exactly the reason stated in the article: "And while Mr. Strachman’s movies were given to soldiers as a form of charity, studios do send military bases reel-to-reel films, which are much harder to copy, and projectors for the troops overseas." They are trading free product for publicity. Do you expect them to trade free product that can later be reused at the cost of a sale or rental or streaming fee?

Comment Re:Great argument for DRM (Score 1) 372

RTFA summary that you are quoting. Mr. Harris and his firm imply very clearly that they have dropped DRM. He presents the arguments that convinced him DRM is not a Good Thing(tm).

If the implication in TFA is not obvious please visit the Positech Games site and read Cliffski's blog on the matter at

Comment Re:Is it just D&D ? (Score 1) 496

I beg to differ. US prisons are geared toward warehousing offenders and the punishment of them, not toward rehabilitation. I submit the following:

1) Rehabilitation is a *personal* decision. The offender has to actively decide to behave differently and has to do so on an on-going, moment-to-moment. The only thing a prison can do here is motivate a prisoner to make, and continue to make, choices that are consonant with good social behavior. Or, conversely, motivate the inmate to be a better criminal.

2) Our sentences are disproportionate to the offense(s) committed in that they are vastly longer than what is necessary to motivate a decision to rehabilitate. US sentences are some of the most vindictive in the world. 16 years for burglary: roughly what, 25% of the world's population were still in a crappy nappy 16 years ago? Contemporary society moves so fast that it takes an extraordinary person to catch up to anywhere near where the world has gone.

3) Most US prisons are *not* run by private contractors, they are run by the federal and state governments. Regardless of the operator, a prison is a business like any other. It has resources (prisoners), employees (guards / staff), infrastructure, etc. and a 'product' (a socially functional individual). Like any other business, it is motivated to continue to exist and to take actions to ensure that it does continue.

4) The entire premise of taking a person who does not know how to behave properly in society and isolating him with other people who also do not know how to behave well, for years at a time, and expecting all (or even a small minority) of them to learn to behave properly is ludicrous on its face. The concept of isolation (severe shunning) works fine if used in moderate doses and is supported by other measures. But 'time out' does not work in a vacuum; it must have other supportive actions around it. Nor does increasing the length of the shunning have a positive effect.

5) Prison is a brutal experience. On both the prisoner and the staff. Interactions between humans are two-way streets: You cannot brutalize another human being without yourself also being brutalized by your actions.

6) If the US truly believed in rehabilitation and the myth that a convicted person is restored to society made better we would see some actual support for felons leaving prison to help them reintegrate. Most long term US prisoners are released with whatever money they acquired in prison, a change of clothes, and a lift to the nearest town. (Think a moment... We have a guy who just finished 16 years for burglary. What resources does he have for shelter? For food? Entertainment? Progress toward a useful life? What is the most likely course of action for this person? Would you chose to starve or do without?)

DISCLAIMER: I AM an expert here. :) After 9 years in prison I managed to be that guy that got out and did okay. I did this *despite* the conditions in prison, not because of them. I am certain I succeeded only because I had enormous support to acquire a useful education after my release; because I was smart enough do that well (143 IQ --> high honors); and because I lied (by omission) about my time in prison whenever I sought employment. (I could not even get a job at McDonald's burning fries because I filled out their application truthfully!)

Comment Re:Great time to stop playing WoW (Score 2, Insightful) 318

Maybe now is the time to stop playing WoW and instead do something with your life.

Oh really? Would it also be time for you to consider the possibility that playing WoW is a something to do with part (or all) of your life? Can you accept the idea that while you find it a waste of time, apparently 12 million other people don't?

I've lost too many friends to the game known as World of Warcraft with too many of them turning down social interactions to instead go raiding with their groups.

It must be painful to you to have someone you know in the 'real world' reject your company in preference to that of people in a 'virtual world'. I trust you understand that you are not meeting some relationship need of theirs? This suggests that you may find happiness by changing your expectations of their behavior OR by changing the moral valuations you place on how other people spend their time.

I've never understood the draw and allure that WoW provides, and why people get addicted to the point that they drop out of schools. Maybe I am one of the few people that is lucky and doesn't require simulation from an online fake environment to further foster my own mind.

Your failure in understanding here is directly attributable to your choice to believe in your own personal superiority over other humans. If you truly desire enlightenment here then you must first stop looking down your nose at people and raise your viewpoint to the horizons. You totally discount the reality that a multi-player game *is* a social interaction. I'm (barely) on the 'right' side of 60 and I game/have gamed with players as young as 5 and as old as 78. As Hilary titled, it takes a village to raise a child. This is part of the new village. We often spend more time discussing our lives while playing than actually playing.

You must honor several facts: We are all unique and *may* have different desires. None of us is truly in charge of another of us. There are many differing basis for value, all but one of which are going to be different from yours. If you truly cannot look outside the "ME" box to think these things (the allure of success, friendship, etc.) through about games then you really need to read some of the forum threads with an open mind.

DISCLAIMER: I am a WoW/EQ player of long standing with multiple characters on multiple servers. I play about 40-50 hours a week because I can. (Medical disability prevents work; no work limits income; limited income limits entertainment options; $15/mo ~ 200 hours of entertainment = dirt cheap)

Comment Re:BSD (Score 4, Insightful) 245

OP said in essence: We have a business requirement of no open software licenses.

What a proprietary (The BSD 3 clause reworded as mentioned above works fine.) developer license lets them do that a plain vanilla open source license does not allow them to do is WIN THE BUSINESS given the constraints of the situation.

Perhaps you are inexperienced in the relationship that a smaller vendor holds to a larger customer who has other options. The general rule is keep the customer satisfied. Ideally without corrupting your soul. ;) Is the customer (here at least) an idiot? Why, yes, they are.... In fact, they are the idiot who is paying us so we are able to feed our babies and buy mommy the new minivan. Does it cost anything to do this special license? Would it cost us the business to not do it?

In the real world you work on moral goals by successive approximation. Sometimes you have to sugar coat the medicine, even if it doesn't taste bad. Failure to understand and honor these realities while flaying someone for a position that appears morally inferior to yours is itself a form of FUD.

Comment Re:getting myself a glass of iced tea (Score 1) 605

IANAL but it is my understanding that I can bring suit in my state against a party in another state unless I have agreed to a previously decided jurisdiction. I live in TX, you live in WA... I do not have to go to WA to sue you. It would seem to follow that the judge in TX would have the ability to issue a "cease-and-desist" type order to parties involved.

OTOH, the order as presented in the media seems excessive and over-reaching. The desired goal of protecting the copyrighted document could have been easily achieved with a very limited, specific order.

Comment Not News... Just A Very Old Story Here.... (Score 1) 347

See this 2005 story from the BBC: or this rehash of the story from 2008: or the Wikipedia article:

Not News, Not Necessarily for Nerds, Nothing We Need.

Move along, nothing to see here.

Comment Can't Ray trace??? (Score 1) 534

I am not a graphics expert and so am probably off base here, but can't one take a still from the video feed and ray trace back to the camera? If so could they not do this repeatedly to determine reasonably close to the camera's actual position?

Why would they even need ray tracing if they have the live feed and multiple competent sets of eyeballs? I am not a pilot either, but I can certainly recognize the general areas of my home region from the traffic congestion video feeds from the rush hour helicopters. (Well I could before they stopped flying thanks to high fuel costs and low crowd source costs for traffic reporting!) Are we to assume they are not capable of this?

Comment Which part of he is the boss eludes you? (Score 1) 1019

The boss wants you to work a certain way. The boss pays you to do this. You don't want to work the way the boss wants, leave! No problem. As another poster pointed out, you are a commodity element in the computational environment. Act like one; if the boss (or other aspect of work) should fash you then vote with your feet.

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