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Comment Re:I liked the game and like it more with the patc (Score 1) 76

It had one cool feature, and that was hopping in your space ship and leaving the planet you were on, to go to another one. Apart from that, the game was ridiculously repetitive, and even worse, was missing a lot of features that were being claimed in order to advertise the game.

Comment Re:Weird twitter message (Score 1) 112

All the pre-launch publicity can be viewed as a massive exercise in building hype without actually committing to much at all. The language used irks me a lot as well, as it's bordering schizophrenia, but that's probably the point of it; they don't want to commit to anything, but make people think that's what they're getting. A case in point was the commonly asked question of whether you will see some other player... The answer was always that the universe is so large that statistically speaking it would be almost zero, but never gave the answer of 'no' because that wasn't implemented in the game.

Unfortunately no man's sky is a game which had a reasonably good concept, but it was then taken to a completely absurd level of marketing and spin. I just wonder how much of these problems are due to the forced hand of publishers who want their ROI, and how much was just incompetence from Hello Games?

Comment Re:Dumb title (Score 1) 186

I have one problem with the term 'fake news' and that it's a new expression for what really is an old problem, albeit with a new take on it. The problem is yellow journalism, it has been around for a long time, and is exactly what we're seeing now. I think by putting a new name to it, they're trying to disassociate themselves with what has been known about for a long time.

I suspect the distinction is being made because I have seen some push from academia to define 'fake news' and it's generally stuff which they are in political disagreement with. If they were dealing with 'yellow journalism', then academia hasn't really got anywhere to work, since it's not exactly a nouveau area of study. Either that, or they're just so ignorant that they haven't got a clue what has happened historically.

Comment Re:Rest-of-the-World: FU (Score 5, Insightful) 117

They certainly can leave, but I also think it's time that web based companies no longer hide behind being a 'tech company' when they clearly earn their money from regular mainstream non-tech services, such as advertising.

These companies use 'tech' to compete against established companies in existing markets. They don't create 'tech' to sell, in most instances, their 'tech' is not for sale. For instance, you can't go to uber and license their software to set up your own uber platform, similarly, does facebook have anything to sell other than advertising (and possibly data)?

For this reason, I think facebook is a publishing/broadcasting/media company. They should be bound by those standards in the respective jurisdiction that they operate, and not get a free pass because their approach is different to traditional companies in that market. I don't agree with censorship, but Germany doesn't have a full equivalent of the 1st ammendment, they specifically censor many areas; most of europe does, and the history of censorship is centuries long. The USA is an anomaly when it comes to free speech.

Comment Re:Developers, developers, developers (Score 1) 245

Probably the best summary of what happened to WP that I've read anywhere. Pity I don't have mod points!

However, I think that you have one error in there that WP7 apps weren't compatible on WP8 phones. WP8 was backwards compatible with WP7, it's just that none were forwards compatible. I think these reboots, as you've pointed out, caused more damage than a lot of the industry or even MS themselves would like to think. It seems to me that each time they were expecting the platform to go huge, and were prepared to throw their existing users under a bus in the hope that the new customers would more than make up for it.

There was a period where I didn't hear too much about the app gap on WP8, but that changed when W10M was announced, and especially this year, it's like as if the wheels fell off the platform. So many apps have been removed. I've lost so many apps that I liked to use that it's depressing, it reached the point where MS used to publish when an app was last updated. I suppose when you see so many apps have been abandoned, not receiving an update in years, it doesn't really instill confidence!

Comment This is more than just unreliable. (Score 1) 425

What some people may also miss is that not only is the potential unreliability a problem, there's also a liability in having a firearm logged as only usable by you. It's no different to owning a computer that has been hijacked and used for malicious purposes.

While the physical nature of a firearm makes it less likely be hacked and used in a situation where the owner is framed (for instance), with DMCA making it illegal to investigate a security measure, in a circumstance such as that, it could be completely illegal to try to investigate the device and attempt to prove your innocence.

At the end of the day, this won't go anywhere. It's something which will be pushed by the anti-firearm community, but at the same time, even groups like police and military won't have any of it. If it's not good enough for them, then why should us plebs use them?

There's a reason why so little has changed in firearm technology over the last 50 years, and in some cases, even the last 100 years, and it's because what works has largely been figured out and there haven't been any notable innovations to improve on the situation. Even things like electronic ignition systems have been trialled, and largely not adopted, I can only presume because you can't beat the reliability and availability of a spring powered mechanical system in this sort of application.

Comment Re:We did this to ourselves. (Score 1) 80

I'm pretty sure that children or anyone less than 18 years old is legally considered to be too incompetent to make their own decisions, and for good reasons. That's why they can't vote, why they can't drink, why they can't gamble, or sign into a legally binding contract.

So again, I think valve is abusing their position in trying to attract kids into gambling. I think this is a bad thing and they should be punished for it. When I say it's a predatory practice, I really think it is because they're using their position as a game publisher and retailer, in order to obfuscate that they're also offering a gambling service, in a similar vein to the youtubers who used their 'celebrity' to endorse and promote a third party gambling service which they surreptitiously owned.

Comment Re:We did this to ourselves. (Score 1) 80

At the end of the day, I also believe that government shouldn't be trying to prevent everyone from doing stupid things. But I do think there needs to be some common sense protections against predatory practices. Those protections are already in place around the world. I think valve is purposely maneuvering in such a manner to skirt around the law in order to essentially provide gambling services and profit from people under age.

Comment Re:We did this to ourselves. (Score 1) 80

One difference I can think of is that no one goes into a casino and thinks that they're just in there to play games and have a fun time. They know that it's gambling, they know that it costs money to play. A lot of parents, kids or even adults, don't install steam, or buy CSGO because they want to gamble. They buy it because it's meant to be a first person shooter, or in steams case, an online game store and launcher. So it slips under the radar, and it doesn't get targeted for taxes, or regulation when they integrate gambling features.

Comment Re:What even is this (Score 1) 80

There's two components to it, one of which I think is being purposely glossed over because it's valve/steam.

To begin from the start, valve introduced weapon skins for CSGO which are normally obtained with drops or unlocked from crates/chests which are awarded at random to players. Unlocking a crate/chest requires the use of a key. All keys can only be bought for real money at something like $2.50. I believe they can be traded, but the origin of that key at some point, someone had to pay valve some money to buy it. Additionally, these skins can be traded amongst people, or put in the official market place for sale or obviously people can buy them for real money. Valve takes a cut of the sale when skins are sold for real money.

I play CSGO, but recognise the obvious cash grab with skins for what it is. So I've never spent any money on it at all. The difference is though that when you sell through the official channels, that money is left in your steam wallet, it can't be converted into real money easily at all. But since you can trade these skins, what can happen is that you trade for real money separately. I believe part of the problem is that these gambling sites allow you to log in through valve's API's and formalise, to some extent, the process so that the users don't entirely have to resort to trust.

The third party gambling sites, I have little idea what exactly they do (because I've never used them, never thought about using them, and care so little for it), but some I believe allow participants to put skins into a pool and then provide a chance to win the pool.

Now, it's clear that the owners of this one particular gambling site have been promoting it in a shady way, i.e. not disclosing their involvement and owning the company. That's one thing. I also think that valve has been profiting immensely, not from the third party gambling, but their first party gambling. The keys to unlock chests and a chance to win. It's all attracting gullible teens into the game who don't even play the game, rather spend money in an attempt to unlock skins.

I think this is a real scourge in a lot of electronic gaming now, the outright gouging with horse armour DLC, and in valve's case, chances to win items which realistically is gambling, is something which is exploiting games as a method to hide gambling and DLC platforms. Valve have thoroughly integrated this behaviour into many of their games, and into steam itself, by having 'trading cards' again, purchasable through their first party market place.

In my opinion, this is disgraceful behaviour from a company that has become really unethical now. Shame on valve!

Comment Re:How To Deconstruct Almost Anything (Score 1) 208

Now I think I understand why people keep quoting the most obtuse passages of Das Kapital. It's because it is so meaningless that the person can quite easily read whatever they want in it. At least now I know I'm not the only one around scratching my head when I hear meaningless collections of words.

Really appreciate the link! Thanks.

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