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Comment Vaporware (Score 3, Insightful) 46

The iCarte reeks of vaporware. Show me a video of it in action, show me a datasheet not riddled with buzzwords. Hell, show a tentative price or release date. How would you program it? How would you take the pay and go info off of a debit/credit card? Also, if it is so easy to take that info off of a card, how worried should consumers be about their security?

Comment Buyer's choice (Score 1) 1027

I'm not completely against DRM maneuvers when they are spelled out BEFORE I spend my money on it. If the buyer knows what they are getting and can make an informed decision on whether or not to purchase, then I think the publisher can do whatever they want. If however [insert wildly anticipated game] comes out with little to no warning that I will have to be online to play when a user should be able to reasonably expect to play it offline, then I think the publisher has erred. Under the system requirements put in "Internet connection required", or have a logo indicating network access is a must. So many of these hassles are why I switched and stayed with console gaming. My games come with an expectation of DRM by the fact they MUST be played in a console. However, I don't have to upgrade every year to play the new games and each game (at least for the 360) has a handy set of logos/descriptions on the back as for multiplayer abilities, etc. My major gripe would be if the publisher required payment for in-game features advertised as part of the game (Looking at you EA) or, more dastardly, changed the nature of some form of the game after purchase.

Comment Flat tax = harder to buy officials (Score 1) 339

Another reason you will never see the flat tax in the US is due to lobbyists. They pour in millions and in exchange get more and more convoluted tax rules that exempt certain companies/business sectors without specifically naming them. This makes everyone in the circle happy. Don't get me wrong, I'm not a leftist corporation hater- in fact I'm the opposite. I do however despise the amount of power that money and lobbyists bring to the governance table. It is much harder to conceal specific tax loopholes for people, companies, and sectors when we have implemented a tax code less than a million pages.

Comment Re:Wait... (Score 2, Interesting) 386

You're right in this isn't a cut and dried DRM is teh evulz case. It does however highlight that everyone following the rules, forking over their cash, and generally being socially acceptable, still got screwed over by a DRM system. I'm assuming the movie theater(s) in question paid all the money they were supposed to to all the people involved. All of the movie goers paid over all their money to legally see it in such a way that the movie studios would allow, if only barely (the customers did leave the box office with their souls presumably). All of them were screwed when somewhere along the DRM chain someone dropped the ball.
This goes along with the DRMed mp3s that no longer work when a company kills its servers. Office 2003 not opening files because of a bad cert, etc. The pirates remove all these 'security features' and the products work so much smoother. I have used pirated copies of software that I legally paid for due to activation/reactivation rules, and I'll probably do it again.

Comment Interpol? (Score 5, Interesting) 155

Isn't that pretty much what the International Criminal Police Organization is supposed to do? It's the second largest intergovernmental conglomeration behind the UN, and has almost 200 member countries. Given that cyber crime is crime nonetheless, I'd hope that they were gearing up to be able to handle more and more of it. I feel like more than anything, the laws need to catch up to the criminals in these cases- or they aren't really criminals at all.

Comment I hope it starts a trend... (Score 3, Insightful) 233

First, I've got a Jesus Phone and love it- so I won't be making any radical switches to the Google Phone. However, I hope it's popular as hell. I hope it makes handset makers realize that they don't HAVE to sell locked phones to consumers in the U.S. If people weren't so stupid (the world would be better off...) they would realize that most 99 year contracts you have to enter into are a way worse deal than the $500 up front for a phone- I guess it goes to many American's credit isn't real money mentality that has lead us to the financial mess we're in, but I digress. By seeing the true cost of phones (if selling unlocked becomes somewhat more popular in the US) makers will then have to compete on actual prices of phones and the prices will go down. America's biggest hurdle is that half (only counting the big four wireless companies) are GSM [T-Mobile/ATT] and half are CDMA [Verizon/Sprint]. I don't know how much extra it costs, or how hard it is to support all the variations in just the US alone, but I imagine it would raise the price of a phone that was truly carrier agnostic in the US- making a $500 investment a little more palatable. If I was shopping for a phone that would be a huge selling point. That and Fieldrunners.

Comment Re:who streams music? (Score 1) 165

I have hundreds of gigs of MP3s, most of which is meticulously organized. I don't think I've listened to an MP3 in months. I listen to Pandora all the time, and even in the car (jesus phone) when I'm around town because all the bridges/overpasses/trees can make Sirius skip/break up momentarily. I've been a member of Pandora for at least 5 or 6 years and it still manages to find me new music I haven't heard of and I end up loving the music it recommends. The only thing that irks me is the (somewhat) new 40 hr/month limit.

Comment Is it worth the cost? (Score 4, Interesting) 87

I wonder if the cost of digging into the side of the hill and carving out all these facilities is recouped through energy savings very quickly. I guess it all depends on the number of machines they would be running and the cost of electricity in their area- but if it takes 20 years, or even 10 to recoup the cost is it worth it?

Comment Re:It looks like crap (Score 2, Insightful) 138

This will never sell. It doesn't fit into the entertainment center paradigm. It looks like a puzzle box and a toy.

I don't think it looks like crap, but it definitely doesn't look like it belongs in my A/V cabinet. Just make it look like a DVD player or something close and I think it would have a better chance of taking off. But, then again, the only people who will be buying this to begin with already know what Boxee is, which means this thing was never going to sell well anyways.

Comment Re:Can't see why this would matter. (Score 1) 736

I agree somewhat. If your organization sells widgets and software isn't the product, a programmer would/should probably be IT. Conversely, if you work for an org that sells software and you are working on the product, I'd say a programmer would fall elsewhere (engineering, product dev, whatever). If however you are writing code to support the development of the product or company's infrastructure, maybe you should fall under IT still. If like me, you do both, they call you a senior consultant, make you client facing and put you in Professional Services.

Comment Re:My first question would be... (Score 1) 320

I completely agree. Open sourcing .NET, or bits of .NET is like a loss leader in marketing. Get them in the door for a $17.00 microwave and sell them a warranty, snow blower, and bottle of soda on their way out.
You give the language a go in your corporation, maybe even like it, then realize that it can do [insert whiz bang marketing feature here] if you have it hooked up/into [insert Microsoft product here] and they've probably just sold you more than one product for more than one seat. If you do it a small percentage of the time, I'd think you could at least break even, and that's completely ignoring the fact that they have a stranglehold on most of the daily, or 'critical' apps for an overwhelming majority of corporations (at least in the US).

Comment Re:RUN AWAY FROM VERIZON WIRELESS! (Score 1, Interesting) 520

I had T-Mobile for years and switched to Verizon for a few years as well. Now currently on AT&T with the jesus phone, and for while (when I was w/ VZW) was lugging around an AT&T BlackBerry for work. I can tell you that in my experience Verizon has beaten AT&T with call quality, 3G speed, dropped calls, and coverage. If cell coverage could be had in Oregon, I was able to get it with Verizon- definitely not so with AT&T.
However, if you ever have a problem and need to get a hold of customer service for any reason, don't count on it being quick. Once you get someone on the line, service isn't so awful. Also, the ability to just go into the store, hand them my busted BlackBerry and walk out with a new one (4 different times) after getting through a queue (which can take a while) is a plus my Fiance has never been able to get with T-Mobile.
All in all: as soon as a phone compelling enough to get me to switch back comes along I will. I have nothing good to say about AT&T, other than they were smart enough to get my business by being the only ones in the US to offer me a phone that provides me the most utility and has forever brought entertainment/infinite reading material to the pooping stall.

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