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Comment Kickstarters Aren't Venture Capitalists (Score 1) 100

"Shouldn't we be glad to have Venture Capitalists cut out of the loop so that companies actually listen to us?"

I like the concept of Kickstarter, and have donated to one of the projects over there myself, but nobody should go into it thinking it makes them anything more than what they already were to the company: a customer with a potentially open wallet. One could argue that you don't even have influence on the company, because they've already decided what they're going to try to bring to market; your only role is in deciding whether it's something you want.

In a word, I would argue no. Primarily because you are a customer with Kickstarter, but you are an investor with venture capitalism. In a way, "investors" in Kickstarter projects are getting a raw deal, because they receive only the product (which you could buy eventually anyway, if it does come to market), but with venture capitalism you receive an ongoing share of the profits of the company in exchange for the risk of giving them money. The scale of the investing is also a key point in this.

I can see how Kickstarter is motivating the comparisons, because there hasn't really been anything exactly like it before, but the two roles are not the same.

Comment No Enforcement, No Restriction (Score 4, Interesting) 371

A restriction is only as binding as its enforcement mechanism. If the developers behind DOSBox aren't going to hold other developers accountable who are trading on their name, and nobody else is willing to take them to court over it (and obviously nobody will over $3.99), then the restrictions are meaningless.

Another incident which comes to mind is that of DD-WRT - there are several articles on this, but I'll just link to the first on Google's listings - where they derived their product from open source code (OpenWRT), then closed source key parts and refuse to release the code in workable form.

It seems to me that this is the fundamental problem with GPL, and some other, open source licenses; it all depends on the honor system. Sure, they are technically legally binding, but if nobody holds anybody's feet to the fire, that means nothing.

As it pertains to you if you really care that much about it, I suppose you have three choices: (1) Swallow it, and pay the price they are demanding; (2) Go without, and refuse to give developers like this your money; (3) Buy a license of the source code, and then release it publicly out of principle. Since this stemmed from wanting to play games from your childhood, the pragmatist in me says to choose option two and move on.

Comment Steam Still Locked to One Concurrent User (Score 5, Insightful) 298

Until this is resolved, I'm wary of locking myself into Valve any more than I already am. The thought of a locked down environment worries me, too; that seems antithetical to what has made PC gaming and enthusiasm what it is.

Still, it's Valve, so I'll give them the benefit of the doubt, but being trapped in one more walled garden not only with software but hardware is not the direction I like the industry to move.

Comment Slashvertising? (Score 4, Insightful) 430

Is this supposed to be a news story, or an excuse to get an Amazon advertisement on Slashdot? That summary only needed a © Amazon PR Department notice at the end.

But I'll bite anyway and offer this perspective: people generally know you can find better deals online; that's not a marvel concept. B&M stores simply can't compete with low overhead online warehouses dollar to dollar. But lower prices are not why people shop local. They shop local because of in-person browsing, personalized services, and loyalty to their community, probably in that order.

Comment In USA or in Germany? (Score 1) 409

The article doesn't make this clear, so does Ravensburger own the trademark in the USA or just in Germany? If it's the latter, then it would seem to me their complaint would only hold validity within Germany, and they could be told what to do with themselves everywhere else.

IANAL, but my understanding of trademark law in the US is that you can only trademark common words if they are unique to your business. For example, Apple, Inc. could trademark "Apple" in the computer business, because the word is unique in that business, but Kroger could not trademark the word "apple" in selling produce.

It seems to me that this would be a rather clear case of the latter, and Ravensburger would have no grounds for their complaint in the US, assuming they hold a trademark here.

Comment Security Essentials = Windows 8 Defender (Score 4, Interesting) 299

Since Windows 8 repurposed Microsoft Security Essentials as its new Windows Defender, which is built-in to the operating system, would these statistics hold true for Security Essentials on all systems, or are they unique to Windows 8?

Or is BitDefender just trying to stir up some business?

Comment I Hate Zynga, But... (Score 0) 197

I'm not really seeing what Zynga has done here that is illegal or violating copyright. You can't own copyright on an idea, only on an implementation of that idea; Tolkien's writing of the Lord of the Rings does not prevent anyone else from writing fantasy with orcs and goblins themselves.

I'd enjoy seeing these two companies bloody each other up in a grudge match, but the more pragmatic side of me doesn't want to see a precedent set where an entity implementing an idea suddenly grants them complete control over anything like it which might follow. If that happens, it will be the rest of society which ends up paying the price.

Comment All Bark and No Bite (Score 5, Insightful) 186

What in the world kind of justice is this? "We're going to tell you to do something, and then, if you don't, we're going to tell you tell us why!"

I'm sure the TSA are just quaking in their boots.

Why don't the courts and judges grow some balls, and start issuing warrants for arrests, for contempt of court, if nothing else? At this point, the system is so laughably broken I don't know why anybody even bothers using it in the first place. Vigilante justice is more justice than this farce.

Comment Just More Gizmodo Apple Worship (Score 0) 427

Did anyone else read the actual article? It's nothing more than continued blind Apple adoration on the part of Gizmodo, and they're even willing to grasp at straws to do it.

Not only does their entire argument hinge on some vague defense of Apple "looking forward" on this issue, whatever that means, but they even make statements such as the following: "And while we don't know much about its specs for now, it wouldn't be unimaginable for it to enable faster data transfer rates."

That's right, folks. We support this because of some vague, unsubstantiated belief in possible greater technical capabilities from this move!

Give me a break. If Apple really cared about new abilities, or smaller size, there are already a myriad of non-proprietary standards they could have gone with. Let's just quit with the apologism and accept that they saw an easy opportunity to once again squeeze money from a new proprietary standard, and are taking it.

Comment PCs Aren't Going Anywhere (Score 2) 552

*sigh* Another "IS THE PC DEAD?!?!?!" headline, another dollar. People who try to view tablets as "desktop replacements" are consistently missing the fact that tablets are not PCs, are not intended to be PCs, and aren't going to replace PCs.

For many people, they may even totally replace the need to have a typical computer at home. If anything, it is only for this group of people that the PC will be "dead".

But for anyone wishing to do serious work, so long as the PC remains exponentially more powerful, expandable and capable than tablets, it won't be going anywhere. Go try using Photoshop Express on the iPad, then use CS6 on the desktop. Use any of the multitude of word processors for tablets, then go use Word. Use a mobile browser, then use Firefox or Chrome. Play the popular games on a tablet, then play the popular games on a PC. Do you see where I'm going with this?

Tablets have created, and filled, an entirely new niche in computing, and done so very well, but they aren't PCs.

Comment The NVIDIA Transition? (Score 4, Insightful) 213

As someone who is generally an AMD fan - their processors and video cards generally provide much better performance for much cheaper - their driver support, or lack thereof, is frustrating. NVIDIA consistently has far better driver support, and features, than their AMD counterparts, even if their cards don't provide as much bang for the buck.

If AMD falls even further behind in that game, I may just bite the bullet and switch to NVIDIA just to stop having to worry about driver-related frustrations altogether.

Comment Don't let the door hit you on the way out... (Score 1) 716

I must be one of the only ones here agreeing with this move, and I find all the fearmongers and FUD-spreaders comparing this to Communist Russia more than a bit amusing.

Saverin was able to amass his wealth specifically because of the overall environment which existed in America. If Facebook was started in Singapore, there's now way that it would be where it is today. As such, he has an obligation to pay back into the system that fostered his wealth in the first place. If he wants to renounce his citizenship in a bid to avoid that obligation, don't let the door hit him on the way back.

A person who renounces citizenship - something which thousands of people dream about achieving someday - so readily simply to avoid taxes should be barred for life from reentering the country. If they don't want to pay back into the system, they have no right to enjoy the benefits it provides.

In my opinion, it's worth the loss in whatever taxes he owes just to get leeches like Saverin out of the country for good.

Comment SOOL (Score 1) 345

ISPs typically hide behind "speeds up to..." garbage to ensure you can't hold them accountable for this. My own horror story went along a path of seeing maybe 50%, at best, of the speeds I was promised, and that was when it was working. Endless tech support calls being forced to talk to moronic agents, if they called me back at all, only compounded the frustration.

At one point, I actually had one of the main guys at the company tell me point blank, on tape (I was recording the calls by this point), that they knew I wasn't getting the speeds I was paying for, that they knew it was their fault, that there was nothing I could do about it, and that if I tried to cancel they would hit me with a $400 early termination fee as well as the costs of service for the remaining months on my contract. By the way, never sign a contract if you at all can avoid it. I could have probably beaten them in court, with recorded evidence I had, but at that point I was so worn out I just cancelled and switched providers as soon as possible.

Long story short: suck it up while keeping your eyes open for other options. I don't know how close you are to another area that does have more options, or what your level of technical expertise is, but if you're within a mile or two, and you know someone living there, you may consider going in on a connection at their place together and beaming it up to your house using some nice roof antennas over long distance WiFi. The Ubiquiti Nanostation M5 is suited for this purpose, and is actually what my own wireless ISP uses on each home (for speeds up to 50mbps).

If even that is not an option, you may just have to deal with the consequences of living in a rural area, and being stuck with a provider who knows the leverage they have over their customer base because of it.

Comment Re:WTF (Score 3, Interesting) 119

I've seen it rumored in more than a few places that Tom's Hardware is very Intel and Nvidia, shall we say, "friendly". Obviously colloquial evidence is nothing to base a hard opinion on, but the thought does come into my head whenever I see review discrepancies like this pop up.

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