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Comment How did BeOS do it? (Score 1) 402

Hey All,

Does anyone remember BeOS? I remember installing and playing with it myself back in the day...One of the great things about it was that you could spwn a ton of heavy process like movies and sound, etc. and everything would still be responsive...dis they do that in a similar way or was they underlying architecture just so radically different?

- Munky

Comment Re:So ... the War's Back on Then? (Score 3, Interesting) 336

I think you miss the point entirely. Considering a market were piracy goes unpunished, etc as you indicate is, IMO, sheer lunacy. Either that or I missed the part of the conversation where Sony trying to lock out the jailbreak was being done because the jailbreakers are advocating such a market place.

From what I have seen, (I am part of the PSP jailbreak/homebrew community), most people want to do this becauseof one of the following:

  • The hardware doesn't do exactly what they want/need it to do (i.e. they want it to be easier to play games without having to get up off the couch and flip discs, they want better performance out of game loading)
  • They want to try and push the hardware to see what it is capable of
  • They have an idea for a game/utility/whatever, but do not have the capital to pay Sony's licensing costs

Basically, to me, it seems to get down to most people wanting to do this to be able to have control over a physical item they bought. I am not sure why corporations want to be in such control over the pieces that people have physically purchased. If they modify the product they purchased in a way you don't like, then don't let them connect to your content distribution network (PSN in this case). If they want to modify a game they purchased in some way you don't like, don't let them connect to your multiplayer server, otherwise, their mod is none-of your-business and non-impactive to you (however, you should still be interested in it, because if it becomes popular, it may give you ideas of what you consumers want, and allow you an new channel for revenue). If they illegally distribute the copyrighted material that you so diligently worked on, and is a stream of profit for you, then use DRM like steam uses (Steam's is DRM done right IMO...It allows the flexibility I want, doesn't get in the way of me enjoying a game, and still prevents me from distributing it illegally...(but one might argue, that since it is generally priced decently, and doesn't hinder my enjoyment, I am less inclined to pirate anyways...but I digress).

In theory both communism and capitalism lets learn from the failure of communism and stick to the conditions of the theory in practice. That is, start listening to your consumers, stop manipulating the system (both sides) to make it more advantageous to one side (i.e. the consumer gets 100% free reign, or the producer gets to control everything and charge exorbanent amounts)

I may be dreaming, but dreams cost nothing

Comment Re:Uhm, disk space also a factor. (Score 1) 232

Even if you assumed I had upgraded to a 500 gig disk, at about ~10 to upwards of ~40gigs per game, usually 10, my drive starts to fill up. Fast.

Been there done that...I upgraded to a 500Gb disk about a month after I got my 120GB PS3...While I haven't filled up the disk yet (mostly because I watch usage it like a hawk, and expressly set-up a dedicated server downstairs to alleviate the issue), the major reasons I bought a PS3 were:

  1. Gaming
  2. It's multimedia abilities (this was almost as heavily weighted as gaming ability)
  3. It's internet connectivity

With the first two, disk space is at a premium, especially since I have an HD 7.1 set-up that I spent a pretty penny on and damn it I want to use it!

And I still need to store saves, music, video and everything else.

Screw that.

Just give me discs.

I would be plum out of disc space if I didn't have physical disks, or the media server (go mediatomb!!) downstairs. This way I can use the disk space as per my interests at the time. Not to mention, me being a fan of games like Rock Band and Guitar Hero, I have a tonne of music download that weigh in at 4-5 times the size of a regular MP3 with all the album art and lyrics stored inside it.

The big media MAFIAA needs to wake up and smell the coffee...If you want to sell the digital versions content at the same price as the physical copies, you need to give consumers similar value to what physical media offers...Sure digital media offers quick access and (at least in the PS3's case so far) automatic backup (I was able to re-download all of my purchased content when I upgraded the HDD). But what about all those other advantages that unencumbered digital copies offer, and also that physical media offers....(Many others in this topic have written about them already so I shan't go into it) . Yes unencumbered digital media has risks to it, but so does encumbered media. From what I have seen in my own social circle, me and my friends will regularly download games from Steam when it has those awesome sales, but no other time (it is too expensive, if physical media is available), plus we all have oodles of space to burn up on our PCs. Most of us limit our downloads on the consoles to add-on DLC that is not available on disc. Movies and music are digital copies of the content we have physical media for, or we can get through other means that are cheaper than what you want to charge us, and are NOT stored on the console. So, until you start charging less for "owned" content obtained digitally, then me and my friends will not be providing money into your fat wallets, and if enough people do it, you run the risk of bankrupcy, just like you perceive with unencumbered media.

It's not that I am totally against encumbered media, but be reasonable. So far I am relatively happy with the PS3's encumbered downloads that I have purchased, but I haven't yet tried to change my hardware out, and I have always been able to re-download that which I purchased. I think there is a happy medium to be had here. This is one of the reasons I went with the PS3 instead of the other major console...

Comment Re:I'm always bewildered... government contracts (Score 2, Insightful) 92

They wanted all kinds of bells and whistles so they could go to their bosses and show them what an awesome web site they had. It was designed far more to please government insiders than to be useful to taxpayers.

Here, here!! I work as an IT architect for a provincial crown-affiliated corporation here in the great white north (Canada...and no, I don't drive a polar bear to work), and although we are not "fully" government, I see the same damn thing day in and day out from our business people. It is a shame...and when I remind them of taxpayer money going to support this and the fact that simple is better (we cater to non-techy crowds that live predominately in rural areas, so we need to keep things light enough for slower than broadband connections anyways) there is usually acceptance. The problem, it seems is the abundance of middle-management and IT people uneducated in web-technoolgies that the business people usually talk to. The developers and operations guys that no better are very rarely given the chance to talk to the business people making the decisions anyways.

they didn't know what they wanted or needed

Sounds familiar, but that is why we go to outside vendors for help.

and it certainly wasn't our job to figure it out.

Seriously? And is this company you worked for still in existence? If so, do you still work as a consultant, or are you now internal IT somewhere? I don't mean to be attacking, but most of the time we go to market simply because we lack the experience in-house to help the business figure out what they need. The consultants that we bring in that cannot help us usually don't get invited back (no internal staff that just do what they are told, we seem to hang on to and let the people who can actually help the business figure things out, we let go (of their own accord or not)...weird to me..but I digress). Granted we do have the occasional contract where we are just looking for warm bodies to do what they are told, but those are rare. Being a good consultant includes helping your client figure out what they want/need.

Comment Re:Forrest Mims (Score 1) 301

'Duinos rock, especially if you have some computer background!!

The other place that might be of interest is this course from MIT's open's also available through the iTunes U if that floats your boat! It is likely a little more theory than you are after at the moment, but it might be helpful/useful after getting your feet wet.

I personally have dove in and am only slightly ahead of you by picking up things online (case modding taught me a bit), and now that I consider myself a maker, there have been numerous times I have had a problem I wished to solve electronically and a few well placed google searches later I had enough of an answer to get something working.

Oh yeah, with the arduino's there are a tonne of resources available out there...I have gotten started with info from Lady Ada and this book

Comment Re:You can still program, if you're an engineer (Score 1) 623

At my present job they really don't care what language I do things in as long as the job gets done

Hrm...maybe I am reading into things from your post a bit here, but there is a lot to be said for standardization when everyone is doing things differently...lack of standardization is only sustainable in small teams or small quantities.

Just take a look at what Henry Ford did...most people think his big contribution was the ubiquitness automobile...I disagree, the ubiquitness of the car today was only a result of Ford's contributions. By standardization was he able to achieve this ubiquitness. He standardized the parts different vehicles were made out of, this made them cheap, reliable and easily maintainable. He standardized worker relations (8 hour work day, switching people to do different jobs to prevent boredom, etc), to make people more productive.

To quote Men in Black, "a person is smart, people are dumb panicky animals", well guess what? Corporations are made up of people, not a single person...if you want to make it in a capitalist society, you better learn to deal with it.

The 'pasting not quite compatible libraries together' approach is a Java/COBOL thing of minimizing the damage incompetent consultants can do

I am hearing that you think that corporations that are hiring these jobs out are specifically asking people to do this so that the impact of mediocrity isn't so painful. I respectfully disagree. In the company I work for, we have hired out many jobs to contractors (both on and off-shore), and the results are pretty much the same. I honestly don't think that my bosses go out and ask them to write crappy fact I was in a meeting with consultants that my bosses crashed, stating efectively, the order of priorities are On time, Maintainable and on budget.

Nay, to me the problem we are facing is one of the ugly sides of a capitalist society: greed. The consultants want to make more money. My company wants to spend less money so they can keep it for themselves or to acquire more stuff to make more money. It seems that the "trinity" of a decent capitalist society, greed/quality/freedom, has taken an unbalancing shift towards the first item: greed. As a result, product quality suffers. As a further result, the greed drives a desire of the corporations providing good and services to restrict consumers freedoms. Somehow we need to get the balance back in order. I am just not sure how to do that, beyond a revolt (which I am sure won't happen because most people are both producers and consumers. Because of that, logically, I would think that the system should right it self...but then I remember the system consists of people, not a person.

Comment Re:How about something new? (Score 1) 922

Lets get some NEW stuff - the enjoyment from the show should come from the plot/characters/message rather than the latest special effects or rehashes of To Serve Man.

Avatar anyone? Even though the special effects were good, I didn't find them "mind-blowing" enough to not want an original story...I found them seemless enough that I failed to notice them (which IMO is why the special effects are so great in this movie), which made the rehashed "Dances-with-wolves" meets "Fern Gully", good vs. evil, corporate vs. private citizens, settlers vs. natives type story a little too "ho-hum"... That being said, the movie was still enjoyable enough to not feel I had wasted 3 hours of my time.

Comment Re:Why Firefly? (Score 1) 922

I remember hearing from somewhere (may have been an extra on the special edition DVD) that the Serenity movie was made to try and tie up loose ends and give the series some closure, as Whedon felt that the fans did not deserve the cancellation. I agree with the parent that the deaths were justified if you keep this point in mind. I have little doubt that if Firefly was to run the course of "normal" series, we would have seen the same character development that we saw in the movie, and probably more. It is just in two hours that there is a limit to what you can do...if the series were allowed to progress and the cast stuck around, I doubt that Wash and Book would have been killed off so quickly, if at all. One thing that I have always found disappointing (yet not really...because it was part of the mystique and allure of the character/show), was being able to figure out more about Book. From his odd credentials (how he was able to get immediate attention in an Alliance Hospital in "Safe" and helped get the crew out a few jams in some unexpected ways ["War Stories"]) and knowledge that most "pious" figures would not have or at least not be willing to exercise.

Comment Re:Selection bias (Score 1) 415

I'm on it, it's basically a contact page, I answer some event invites and that's pretty much it. send me another lame game invite and I'll gladly ignore it. My real life is far, far away from Facebook.

I am the same way...I tried to get rid of my account once, but that didn't work out well, because my friends and family find Facebook way easier to communicate with everyone (that still baffles me, at least in regard to private messages...though I do understand that the event stuff is definitely easier to use with groups of than the typical applications that come with people's home desktops). I have tried to repeatedly tell them why they need to be careful and why I really don't want to use it. What I find is that as soon as I bring it up, people listen and I can definitely make them understand, but they seem to have this fear of changing anything until they get bit by it (Case In point: when I finally showed a family member that I could see all of the photos they had posted when I was logged into a fake account just created with [a well known FB defect from a while back..IRC you didn't even need to be logged in], he finally decided to remove some of the more private of those photos...even though I had told them many times before that there was an issue, he did nothing until I showed them that it affected their account too).

While the user bears some responsibility in ensuring their information is secure within their own comfort level, does not mean that companies that provide services have no responsibilities. Because technology far often outpaces the general public's ability to understand it and it's implications, reasonable defaults are in order, not based on "norms", but rather based on what people's expectations actually are. After all, are not seatbelt laws in place because of society's expectations that traffic fatalities be reduced, rather than the "norms" at the time, which in my world at least, was to not wear a seatbelt?

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