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Comment Windows drove me there (Score 2) 136

Being a kid with no money I was constantly pirating Windows versions for gaming and for keeping my computer hermit life going. At 15 I found this thing "SuSe Linux 6.0" in a bookstore that came with a huge manual and on several CDs. I paid a bunch of my pocket money for it, took it home and gave up immediately because whatever it was wouldn't recognize my sound card. I didn't have internet access back then, especially not on that machine with this "Linux" thing on it. Nobody I talked to knew what Linux was and I ran out of ideas on where to find help. That I wouldn't be able to use my computer the way I expected anyway wasn't clear to me until years later. I went back to my pirated Windows 98 or whatever it was and dove back into gaming/warez.

Several years later, 2006 to be exact. I again found myself struggling with some Windows XP activation issues, poor performance and a near constant effort of maintenance to keep the POS (last word is not "Sale") running. My gaming days where over, I'd gotten into more outdoorsy, drug-typie, other sex-experiences and decided that I'd give it another shot. So I got another hard drive (this time eager to at least keep a working OS around while I tinkered). I Installed Ubuntu 6.06 and dove into the rabbit hole. I had no clue at first and it took about two years until I somewhat knew what to do and how to fix stuff but boy was it worth it.

Now, almost ten years later my main machine still runs Ubuntu, I use Fedora and various other varieties at work. I Work for a company that develops Linux centric software. It's been a fun ride, I've been provided a Mac by my employer and run Win10 in a VM for various things but nothing compares to what Linux has given me - freedom. Nothing beats that feeling the first time I realized that it had been four years since I had switched to Linux at home and missed nothing.

Comment Re:OS alternative? (Score 5, Informative) 426

This is not yet an alternative at least not for all users. I'm using Lubuntu and Chromium on a netbook and a very old PC and on both systems the playback with the HTML5 player is choppy and the sound recently stutters and lags. Up until about two weeks ago any version of Chrome and Chromium would simply crash all the video tab renderers on loading the YT HTML5 player. Also other sites like won't even begin to display content in HTML5. There is some serious work to be done across platforms to make this a viable alternative. I've been begging for flash to die for years but if this is the near future I have to consider getting a windows install just to watch internet videos or (semi-legally) download even more video source files which is inconvenient.

Comment Re:US is the problem (Score 5, Interesting) 314

What I don't really understand about this is that apparently the US companies who make their money off these immaterial rights tend to oppose the new lucrative markets and obstruct availability in fear off losses whereas that is what causes the losses. I am a big fan of a few select American TV Shows. I have absolutely no legal means within reason to access these programs. I would happily pay a monthly subscription to my favorite shows (Community, Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, Mythbusters, Justified, Breaking Bad, Grimm, Adventure Time, Justified, Game of Thrones and a few more) all platforms that I know of (Hulu, Netflix) are not available in my home country of Germany. iTunes is out of the question (probably geo-restrictions apply to this as well). So I would gladly pay a good deal of money to get quality access to these shows but the "copyright" prevents me from giving these people my money. I could spend money on the DVD box sets if they are eventually released but usually I will watch the episodes once and that's it so I'm not really in the market for plastic discs. I am the threat these people always refer to but I am precisely part of the solution only they refuse to cater to the markets available.

Comment Anyone else think they just want in on the design? (Score 1) 198

To me that kinda sounds like they're just pushing for a new SIM form factor so they can have a say in designing the internals of the new card. The first thing I thought was "hey brilliant now we can store user location data on an encrypted part of the SIM card that no user has access to". I'd also think they would probably introduce some kind of proprietary technology or design dogma that no other manufacturer can live up to or integrate without actually asking Apple for permission or license (think ultra-flat SIM holder). Creating in turn an Apple specific type of SIM-card to further lock down market segments. Maybe I'm just paranoid but then again that is why I don't own any of their products.

Comment Re:Err, hello America, rest of the world here (Score 1) 190

I can't imagine Americans tolerating Euro prices or vice versa. This way, everything's priced in points and we're happy.

I'd very much tolerate USD prices since it's usually cheaper. I buy all my physical video games from the UK because the conversion rate saves me about 20-30% for new games (Portal 2 Xbox360 - German Amazon 55€ - UK Amazon 42€) even after the German VAT is added. Also I don't have to deal with the terrible dubbed versions. If the points were any cheaper to set off the differences I'd be ok but that's not the case. 2000 MSP cost about 25USD (17€) as far as I know. In Germany 2000MSP cost 24€ (34USD). Basically I pay 30% more for the same games on XBL and it's the same files transferred through the same pipes. If you really want to have an international "virtual" currency you'd have to adjust it across borders to make it fair. Granted there are some taxes incurred but those are not even close to justifying this discrepancy.

Comment Why is this even legal? (Score 1) 190

I am in the process of selling my Wii and thus had to format the memory, back up my savegames and also remove my WiiWare shop account. I realized while doing this that I still "own" 400 points. The least expensive purchases in the Wiiware store are 500 points so I couldn't use those points no matter what without forking over some more cash. Is there a real life equivalent where a company can take my money, convert it into some fantasy credits system and refuse to pay out the excess once I close the account? I know there are some store-credit policies for returns in place with some retailers but I don't see the legal basis for holding a customers money hostage even if it's just a couple of dollars. Especially in a non-physical scenario. I can understand that a retailer doesn't want to hand out cash for failed purchases but in the online world all I'm doing is to convert virtual legal tender into some makebelief play money with which to buy goods. How am I not allowed to revert this transaction? If I have a bank account with an amount non-withdrawable from an ATM (in Germany we don't have single notes) I can always walk into the bank and demand the change upon closing the account. Why is it that video game companies are allowed to keep money that I paid them for services they never intend to fulfill? If I have store credit with a company I can always ask them to give me back my money if I paid for it with my real money. Is this a loop hole or are we just to stupid/convenient to call them out on their bullshit?

Comment Ask the ScummVM guys (Score 3, Interesting) 148

They re-released several abandonware adventure games after corresponding with the original programmers. They even got source code and permission to use all the assets for freeware release. I agree with most other posts here that you should try contacting the original developers first (might take some digging, try to get a hold of the original production manager). If they refuse you can still salvage most content and rename the characters to stay out of trouble. Most other projects don't make that effort of asking and are then shot down right at the finish line (look at basically every fan remake out there). Maybe you can also ask the people that did Zak McKracken 2 ( they probably got some advice on how to handle someone else's IP w/o getting screwed.

Comment Sharp as a knife (Score 1) 63

Wow you're getting more and more sympathetic with every sentence. You got anything less important to do than splitting hairs on Slashdot? Just asking.

Don't you have students to teach or something?

Btw. it's totally fine to mention Nazis in Germany. Just don't be one.

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"'Tis true, 'tis pity, and pity 'tis 'tis true." -- Poloniouius, in Willie the Shake's _Hamlet, Prince of Darkness_