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Comment How will pay-to-play MMOs fit in here? (Score 1) 384

How would an MMO like the Secret World or Guild Wars 2 fall into a potential ruling, where you pay upfront to access to the MMO, but don't have to pay a subscription?

Most gamers will acknowledge there's a difference to buying an MMO like Guild Wars 2 and a primarily single player game like Torchlight that just happens to have a multiplayer component, since you are not really buying the client, but access to their persistent world servers, but someone with a non-gamer perspective might not view it that way. What would the ramifications be if you could effectively be legally allowed to resell Guild Wars 2 accounts? If the court deems that those type of games deserve an exemption, what would the legal rationale be? If the legal rational gives publishers a loophole, could we be seeing a shift into how future games are designed if the exemption is too broad?

I don't know where I really stand on this. The side effects of a ruling for the plaintiffs could make things really weird if the judges don't consider the way they make their ruling carefully.

Comment This is kind of weird, but... (Score 1) 218

I suppose this is going to be the new normal when it comes to the discovery phases of court cases like this. It's an odd approach, I wonder why he just didn't subpoena the various services themselves for the information. Maybe it would have taken too much time I guess?

That being said, the comparison of the 12-year old being forced by school officials to provide her passwords and the case of this woman is fallacious. In a court of law, in particular with cases involving defamation and harassment, a judge can, and often does, force you to provide things that would otherwise be private if it's deemed relevant to the case (and given the circumstances in this case, it most certainly is).

Comment Re:Mists of Dailyquestia (Score 2) 204

Right, I think it's wrong to say dailies are optional.

But, it should be noted that maxing out on every single conceivable daily every day is definitely optional. You definitely can reach the valor cap quite easily without doing dailies at all, and with the valor cap still being 1000 pts/week, It takes 2-3 weeks to usually to get enough valor for 1 item.

If you did your leveling in the Dread Wastes, you should be close to revered with the Klaxxi already (I think it took maybe 3-4 days of dailies to hit revered). I'll give you that the Golden Lotus grind is ass, but you don't have to do it every single day in order to make sure you're weekly valor gains aren't "wasted".

I still think it's a bad system, regardless, but it's not nearly as bad as people make it out to be.

Comment The problem may not be math itself but math profs (Score 1) 1086

This is mostly anecdotal from my own experience in college but...

I noticed a stark difference when a math course is being taught by someone who's primarily in the math department vs. someone who's in the engineering department (I guess we had a shortage of profs to meet the demand for the higher level courses we were required to take).

Math profs in my experience seemed more interested in just treating the course like an SAT prep class, where they just teach you to a test they're going to give out, while the engineering profs who taught math were more interested in driving home why the concepts they were teaching were important.

So the result was the math profs style lead to a feeling of boredom and pointlessness, whereas I felt engaged the engineering profs classes, and my grades reflected that.

Comment Re:Two ways to look at this (Score 1) 2416

Roberts correctly pointed out that if it fits the description of a tax, it's a tax whether Congress called it that or not.

If we accept that argument, then how can it be argued that it's not a tax for the purposes of the Anti Injunction Act, which holds that a tax's constitutionality has no standing until it has been levied (in this case the issue should have been punted until 2014)?

Comment Re:It's not a mandate (Score 1) 2416

You can get a tax break for having your own insurance, as proof that you won't be costing taxpayers anything when you end up defaulting on $200k of hospital bills after an accident.

It's not designed that way though. In the legislation it has always been framed as a penalty or fine, not a tax break. The democrats went to great lengths to not call the individual mandate a tax. There isn't going to be a check box on your 1044 asking, "Do you claim a deduction for having adequate health insurance".

And while this has been brought up probably about a million times, Obama himself went on national TV to declare the mandate is not a tax.

Constitutional arguments notwithstanding, I have no idea how this will be practically enforceable.

I don't know why the democrats couldn't shape the message that way.

Isn't it obvious? People, in general don't like the word tax in legislation passed by congress. It has very bad connotations.

Comment The taxing power argument doesn't make sense (Score 1) 2416

If the mandate is a valid exercise of congress's taxing power (despite congress going to great lengths to not calling it a tax in the legislation), then why does the Anti Injunction Act not apply?

Essentially from the ruling summary I'm gathering that the mandate is considered a tax for constitutional purposes, but for the AIA's purposes it is .... not a tax? How does this make any sense?

Comment Re:Sad Day (Score 5, Informative) 1051

Then why didn't it solve the problem when it had a chance and before legislation had to be involved?

If the free market can solve all problems why do so many go unsolved for so long?

Because state governments would not let them. Jim Crow Laws were exactly that: Laws passed by state governments.

Separate facilities for whites and non-whites didn't exist because the business owners wanted them necessarily (though I'm sure there were some who did want them). They existed because the various state governments mandated it.

The free market was not allowed to function because of government coercion.

Comment Re:Obama's Fault? (Score 1) 1205

It's long been a liberal stance that policies that increase fossil fuel energy prices are a good thing and that we should pursue policies with that goal and mind (e.g. cap and trade). Steven Chu, the guy obama picked to head the energy department, has made this point very explicitly, and it's hard not to fathom that the administration has been pursuing energy policy with this goal in mind (Even if you agree with blocking the keystone pipeline and the moratoriums on offshore drilling, I think there would be an agreement that these would indeed affect oil prices) .

Now that the prices are rising you'd think the administration and democrats as a whole would be celebrating. The problem is, of course, once the price spikes do hit, the populace tends to get mad (and usually it's the lower class that gets hit the most by it). So now they have to backtrack by blaming somebody else for the price spikes.

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