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Comment Re:Why? (Score 2, Insightful) 109

Well, close. I wouldn't technically call it a dictatorship because the power is spread out around various people and groups, including the Standing Committee, former members of the Standing Committee and the military. But you're on the right track. 1) China is communist only in name. 2) Even if they were fully communist, that's an economic system, not a political one per se. The word that you and the grandparent poster is looking for is 'authoritarian.' BTW I lived in China for three and a half years and IMO they are getting the government they deserve. Freedom, truth, and Classical Liberal ideals are not high on their list of values.

Comment Re:Nothing, but NOTHING, says FUTURE (Score 1) 322

screw flying cars, why don't we have plastic books?

We do, my friend. They're called tablets and e-readers. But while I certainly am no luddite, I have to admit that reading words on a glowing screen is no substitute for the experience of reading from printed book. There's something about reading a book on a tablet I find unsatisfying.

Comment Re:Open and Clear despotism (Score 1) 181

"The Chinese are notoriously obvious liars when it comes to their government statements." It's not just the government, friend.

It's not racist to point out that a culture has flaws. What I think a lot of Westerners don't understand about China is that it's not just like this government was created in a vacuum; the corruption, lying, cheating and general lack of ethical and moral scruples are facets of modern Chinese culture that also happen to manifest themselves in their government.

Comment Re:Hall of Fame (Score 1) 136

Maybe it's because in a computer game no one ever gets into character and brings pathos to the role. Sure, the mechanics and special effects of computers are great, but nobody really gets emotionally attached to their character (beyond how much time they spend levelling up) and...the storytelling just isn't there.

Roleplay-enforced MUDs might be right up your alley.

Comment Re:Science (Score 4, Informative) 330

For a fairly entertaining examination of this idea, someone might want to check out out Neal Stephenson's Baroque Cycle books. I've only gotten through the first (Quicksilver) but it takes place during Newton's lifetime and Newton himself is one of the more major characters, along with Leibnitz and other less famous "natural philosophers."

Comment Re:Bobby Kotick again (Score 0, Offtopic) 344

Yes, Mr. Kotick is one of the most hated people in the industry for good reason. Check out this extremely detailed and disturbing post on Teamliquid.net about how little he cares for his developers and the games produced by the studios under Activision.

Personally, I blame him for the deluge of bad decisions coming out of Blizzard regarding Starcraft II, including:
-No LAN play
-No cross-regional play
-Fees for tournaments and a more centralized, locked-down system in Battle.net 2.0

Most or all of these features were available in the Starcraft, which was released in 1998! I expect some or all of the features that the community is clamoring for will be introduced eventually--for a subscription fee. Because that's all Kotick sees in the Starcraft community: a bunch of passive cows who are just begging to be milked of all their worth.

And the worst part is, I pre-ordered Starcraft II anyway. Sigh.

Comment Re:As compared to what? (Score 4, Informative) 302

MAYBE, but in your country you walk a block to the local DVD store and choose from a selection of thousands of pirated DVDs, each selling for the equivalent of 1.25 USD per disc? That's what it's like living in any city in China. It's probably impossible to buy a NON-pirated DVD in China (I for one have never seen one!). Technically these shops are breaking the law, but the relevant laws are not enforced.

Another example of the higher level of piracy is Baidu's music search. Baidu is the Chinese equivalent of Google, and using mp3.baidu.com you can find pirated mp3s of pretty much every song you'd want to hear. They block some of the files if you are accessing it from a foreign IP address, though. Check this search I just did (from inside China). Can you imagine if Google had a site like this? It would be sued into oblivion (although blogsearch.google.com can get pretty close!)

Even on TV, pirating is rampant. Talk shows and reality shows often take their background music the soundtracks of popular films like the Lord of the Rings or Star Wars, and something tells me they aren't coughing up royalty checks for that.

Comment Re:Still a Firefox user (Score 1) 570

But look at this from the other angle: the browser is not cutting edge, it is mature and stable.

On my aging Mac, I started out with Safari, then switched to Firefox when Safari started getting buggy as hell for no apparent reason. A couple months back I switched to Chrome just for kicks, but after a while started noticing it wasn't as stable or bug-free as Firefox (specifically, Flash would die and my Youtube vids would have to be restarted, also when I have lots of tabs open some pages appear to be blank even though they have loaded and are supposed to display content on them). So I switched back to good ol' Firefox. Sure, maybe it's not the fastest, the sleekest, or the most advanced browser on the planet, but it's damned reliable and eminently useable!

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