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Comment Re:The real issue: U.S. government corruption. (Score 1) 555

I'm pretty sure truecrypt will let you have as many hidden partitions as you want, so your megahidden partition idea is perfectly doable.

It can also have them inside files that are visible in the main partition (although I don't think you could make it so that the file is also seems like a valid Excel file, although that would be a nice touch if the devs are reading this...)

Comment Re:The real issue: U.S. government corruption. (Score 1) 555

If you want to play games, couldn't you just have a decoy hidden partition for which you hand over the keys immediately when asked, and an additional one you say nothing about?

Anyway that's just hypothetical - in real life I agree with you that when you put yourself in a situation such that someone else can do whatever they want to you, your best bet is trying as hard as you can not to annoy those people regardless of who is right. My solution (which has been working so far but I don't know if it's feasible to keep it up forever) is simply not to travel to such countries. Certainly if I were travelling there for pleasure I wouldn't bring any kind of laptop (and would consider buying a not-so-smart phone for the trip - one that does nothing but calls and texts which means less content to worry about).

The problem is, let's say I'm sent there for work, which sometimes requires me to travel overseas. And carry a laptop. And for that laptop to be encrypted with TrueCrypt (no hidden partitions, just plain old visible encrypted partitions). And by handing over the keys to anyone without a court order or warrant I would be breaching my employer's data security policy (grounds for instant dismissal, with potential for follow up legal action ... I would also be exposing them to legal action from their clients so I've doubt they would have much sympathy). What advice would you have for me (in hypothetical land) then?

Comment Re:Video? Yep (Score 1) 130

It looks like it's just water from the air conditioner...


5. Dont worry about a pool of water forming under your car after using the A/C

If you see a puddle of water on the ground, usually under the passenger area dont be alarmed. This is a normal feature of the system as it is only water dripping from the air conditioning evaporator. The evaporator has a drain tube fitted to allow the condensation from the evaporator to drain away from the vehicle.


Submission + - Google bows to China's censorship demands (smh.com.au)

bonhomme_de_neige writes: China renewed Google's internet licence after it pledged to obey censorship laws and stop automatically switching mainland users to its unfiltered Hong Kong site, an official said.

Google promised to "obey Chinese law" and avoid linking to material deemed a threat to national security or social stability, said Zhang Feng, director of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology's Telecoms Development Department, at a news conference.

Comment Re:But now (Score 1) 349

BBZZZTTT, WRONG! Australians also have to pay income tax to the Aaustralian tax office even though the don't live there or use any of the services that income tax provides.

Not always. If you are doing a long term overseas stint you would not be a "resident for tax purposes" and do not have to pay income tax on your salary (dividends and capital gains on Australian investments still attract some tax). This page sums it up nicely...

Apparently the government made it a bit tougher for short term overseas postings (where you would still be considered a resident for tax purposes) though. But you can get a living away from home allowance which probably soothes the pain a little bit.

Comment Re:Reply (Score 1) 462

Please, how a VM does provide you security, if it runs on top of an infected host? (That's potentially VM aware?)

It doesn't, but the normal use case would probably be to do nothing (or as little as possible) directly in the host OS, but have separate images for different activities (e.g. one for online banking, one for everything else) - an infection inside one VM can't get out to the host, or to any of the other images.

Comment Re:What's a Paypal? (Score 1) 253

Then you are in trouble and have to explain that to the seller.

"I tried to pay through PayPal but it didn't work, here's the error message I got. Not that it inconvenienced you in any way, Mr. Seller, because you wouldn't send an item without receiving payment first." Doesn't sound all that troubling.

I've never heard of these limits, but it sounds like the kind of dirty trick PayPal would do. Not that opening an unverified account to buy things costs you anything, as long as all you ever link to it is a credit card and not a transaction account.

Comment Re:Optimistic diagram (Score 1) 1027

It was a genuine question for the parent of my post - if Ubisoft have a measurement of how well Prince of Persia sold compared to other titles with DRM (and if they can say it's "pirated ... more so than any of the previous Prince of Persia games", that implies that they do), I'd like to know what the real chart looks like.

Because really, showing that chart (well, a slightly more complex version with the cost side of DRM taken into account) would pretty much end the debate about whether DRM works or not, one way or another.

you know the amount of piracy and the amount of customers - but you never know how much you might have sold if you did things different.

Of course you can't know for sure, but statistics says you can have a pretty good idea based on other titles. At some point you have to make a decision, but that doesn't mean you shut your eyes and plunge in - you still have to look at the results and analyse what happened so you can make a more informed decision next time. It's the same problem as setting the release price of a game (or any other product) - you only get to launch it once, and how do you know how many units you would have sold had you priced it differently? At the end of the day, you have to pick a number and run with it. But that doesn't mean you don't bother to look at how your $60 launch of this title compared to the $80 launch of another title last year.

So, just like management at Ubisoft must be looking at sales from varying price points where they can, they should also be looking at the chart I posted (but the version with real numbers). The thing that doesn't make sense for me is, if the real numbers show conclusively that DRM works, why not just show it once to the
press? Then BAM, debate over. If they show it doesn't work, why waste any more money on it?

I'm amazed the shareholders have let them get away with not showing it for so long, when they are making such big investments for it.

For kicks, I looked at the 2009 annual report and there is not a mention of DRM there. Nowhere in notes to the financial statements do they say "we've adjusted Goodwill by this much due to vehement DRM backlash from PC gamers". (Actually, they have written down their 100m euros of goodwill by 95k - they don't say why but one would assume to represent all the Slashdotters boycotting Assassin's Creed 2). Piracy gets a mention in one paragraph in an appendix, under disclosure of the risks inherent to making video games.

It looks like they spent 258m euros on R&D, and another 63m on IT and admin expenses. Their gross profit off a (roughly) 400m expenditure was 111m. So, if not doing any DRM would shace just 10m euros off the IT and R&D costs (it's feasible - running enough servers to support a scheme like this for the volume of games they sold isn't free), they could increase their ROI by 2.5 percentage points (that's very significant).

So, who is making the decision to invest what is probably millions in servers to support this DRM program, and based on what data? Inquiring minds want to know.

Comment Re:Sweet spot (Score 1) 1027

You can get music now for 99 cents, which was the major gripe of many people (albums were too expensive).
Except that an album now is about as expensive as an album was back then.

I think the major gripe was that with CD albums, someone else decides the way in which songs are packaged together. So you are paying the cost of a full album for potentially only one or two songs that you like, and a dozen you probably won't listen to. But because many songs were only released on the album CD you had no (legal) choice.

In the new world, this has been addressed - just buy the songs you like for 99c. In the rare case that you actually want every single song on an album, yes it's the same price, but then again, if you like every single song, that's actually not such bad value for money.

Comment Re:Sweet spot (Score 1) 1027

And if you reverse the charge on your card? Your account is suspended and you lose ALL your games.

I've never used Steam, but what is the advantage to having everything in one account, compared to starting up a new account per game?

I assume you can't link large numbers of accounts to one credit card number - but I just read they accept PayPal so starting up a few of those is certainly a non-issue...

Comment Re:PC gamers think they should get games for free (Score 4, Insightful) 1027

By the way, after the reactions to Spore and Bioshock (and a other heavily DRM-ed titles) we tried shipping the recent Prince of Persia without any DRM. Guess what? It was pirated heavily.. more so than any of the previous Prince of Persia games.

How much did the number of legit customers reduce, as opposed to the number of pirates increasing? Or is it more like this?

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Where are the calculations that go with a calculated risk?