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Comment Comcast Arrogance (Score 5, Insightful) 109

When we moved from many, many ISPs to just a few Cable Providers in the 1990's we mistakenly made only a few large telco and cable companies responsible for the internet. This is by definition monopoly power. It disgusts me that we trust an organization with this level of evil with ensuring free and fair communication. Why do we put up with this?

Comment Web is Dying (Score 4, Interesting) 356

I'm amazed at each passing year how bad advertising gets on the internet. I doubt I click on more than 3 ads a year with content or a service that actually interests me. With the array of annoyances advertisers put into their arsenal over the last few years it's no wonder users are rejecting this experience. People on the internet come here for information and the exchange of ideas. We're accustomed to rapid fire, text based experiences. Content that produces annoying animations, loud sounds, or obfuscates content with a forced click to close something is not just annoying, it reduces the usability of the internet. I can remember when a website with a banner was considered to be a sellout. Just off the top of my head I can think of the vast array of websites I visit that are no longer usable without adblock: cnn.com (background), potterybarn.com (annoying hover ads), pier1.com (also annoying hover ads), youtube.com (every other video is now a 2 minute ad) ..... Is it any wonder with experiences like these we want to use this?

Comment So 50s (Score 1) 106

I tire of the entertainment industry trying to force 1950's content ideas on an interconnected world. If you pay for a service you get to use the content. It really is that simple. If I buy a DVD in the US and watch it in Canada it will work fine. Even blue-ray and DVD manufacturers started to advertise region free players. Why should video streaming be any different?

Comment Internet is Dying (Score 1) 296

I find that just about every website I visit these days has some sort of incredibly invasive advertising on it. I really don't mind a few clickable links off to the side or a small banner, but what I do mind is the whole new level that advertising has stooped to on the internet. I remember in the mid-2000's how pervasive pop-up advertising became and it reduced the experience of the internet of a crawl. Now the overlay ad has become the new popup. Everywhere I go I find that I sometimes have to click off three or four ads just to get to the useful content I want. I also find that the density of the content I am accustomed to is falling and is also becoming ever more obnoxious too. Advertisers did this to themselves, they got more in-your-face and the internet reacted in a hostile way with ad blocking software. What were they expecting? I never thought the day would come where I actually wanted to use Lynx or another text-only web browser, but I legitimately think the model of the internet being dependent on advertising has crushed the experience to the point where it is no longer usable. At least with advertising driven television you got free signal over the air. Now you pay for the connection and also have to endure an awful experience to have a basic level of information exchange.

Comment Sony Hypocritical conduct at its finest. (Score 1, Insightful) 203

Wow. The kings of closed-source hardware that have done everything possible to attack home-brew development and hacking efforts have the audacity to attack another closed platform for closed platform behavior. This is the same company that has the nerve to consider a 250GB hard drive system a premium product. The same company that used Nintendo R&D to come up with a 32bit platform and weaseled the development away from Nintendo with legal maneuvers leaving Nintendo without an up-to-date console for nearly 5 years. (S)ome (O)ld (N)intendo s(Y)stem. This company's conduct makes me want to puke.

Submission + - Researchers Create Rain By Firing Lasers at Sky (inhabitat.com)

formaggio writes: Last year a team of researchers at Switzerland’s University of Geneva had come up with an interesting way of making it rain– by shooting lasers high up into the sky. At the time it seemed like science fiction, but now it is science fact after the team successfully finished tests around Lake Geneva.

Submission + - Abandonware Age Limit

hinesbrad writes: "Hi Slashodot. I realize this topic is a bit taboo given the number of developers within our community. My questions all relate to abandonware. I'd like to get an idea what the general consensus is on practice and see what the 'street rules' for old software are. Many people, myself included, willfully copy old games and applications based on an arbitrary rating system and self imposed discipline despite copyright law. For instance, the Sim City Series:

Sim City Classic — released in 1989, I wouldn't think twice about copying.
Rationale: The game fit on a floppy disk, it has 4 newer versions, it was made for DOS/Mac6, I can't buy a copy anywhere, and the only reasonable way to obtain it is probably to download it illegally. The company that made it, Maxis was swallowed up by Evil A$$holes. EA doesn't even support two newer versions than the original. I would probably forced to run the title in a DOS emulator just to get it to function.

Sim City 2000 — Same story as the original. Released in 1994, impossible to find, company no longer exists. Copy it.

Sim City 3000 — I suppose you might be able to find a copy in a bargain bin at Staples or Office Max. At a $3 price point why bother driving to the store to get it? Download and be done with it. This was released in 1999.

Sim City 4 — This is a purist version and has current expansion packs coming out with it. Although the title is dated, it's still being sold, probably at a $20 price point. Released in 2003 I'd be OK with shelling out cash for this.

Sim City Societies (5?) — This is a current release. I'd buy it without question.

Here are my questions:
- Which versions (1/2/3/4/'5') would you copy freely, and why?
- Do you think game manufacturers should adopt a 'recursive' model with older titles? For instance, if I register 5 on a cloud service like steam, if I paid $X dollars extra on the cloud I could pull 1,2,3 and 4 to play as well? How much should $X be?
- With software registrations, I think CD-ROM and related media are absolutely obsolete. Do you think if you register a valid S/N# and email address with a company they should be obligated to make the title permanently available for download? (For instance, my house caught on fire and I lost Office 2003. Shouldn't I be able to download and install it forever with impunity? I paid for it.... )
- Do the rules differ for different types of software? Would you feel different about copying, say, Oracle 6 than an abandoned game or an old school (Mac OS7, 3.11WFW) operating system?
- Would you send a small amount of $$$ to a developer if they made a 'come clean' abandon ware site?

Thanks for your input and advice."

Comment Value Added Advice (Score 3, Insightful) 331

Sales comes from a genuine need. Your perspective clearly indicates you think this is product pushing - and value added sales isn't product pushing. If your customer needs an external hard drive RAID array for backups of mission critical data, would benefit from a hosted solution, or would obtain other value from a software upgrade, SELL IT. Your salary doesn't fall from the sky. It takes a team of people bringing customers in and generating revenue to pay you. You should share in the challenge of keeping the enterprise afloat if you expect to be compensated for what you do.

Comment Re:Slavery (Score 1) 403

I think the reason America is falling apart at the seams is that those whom have access to capital aren't willing to spend it in the USA hiring American workers when they can go to China and use the power of the state to enslave hundreds of millions of people on the cheap. It's eroding our tax base at a time that the genuine need for those services is at an all time high. This is the irony of today: Libertarian ideas of exploitation only work in China because of the massive power of the state. Further, hard work means nothing to the people at the top. Otherwise they'd actually give the workers in China a vested interest in seeing the enterprises succeed. But why bother when you can hire people at 50 cents a day, murder anyone that asks for better working conditions and use the power of the state to mask your corruption?

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Honesty is for the most part less profitable than dishonesty. -- Plato