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Elite: Dangerous Dumps Offline Single-Player

Jesus_666 Re:Apparently "backers" don't understand the term (473 comments)

And the solution is to do a chargeback for item not delivered. Suddenly kickstarter will feel the pain of the chargebacks and stop trying to foist the responsibility onto it's customers.

What's keeping Kickstarter from recouping the lost money from the creator? I haven't read the fine print of the deal between Kickstarter and a creator but I'd be surprised if it didn't contain a clause that allowed them to do exactly that.

about two weeks ago
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Elite: Dangerous Dumps Offline Single-Player

Jesus_666 Re:Even Donations Come with Obligations (473 comments)

Crowdfunding is a bit of a gamble. I've backed a few projects that are massively overdue. On the other hand I also backed Shadowrun Returns and Wasteland 2, both of which are here and immensely enjoyable. And a high-efficiency LED bulb I'd buy again if I needed another one. Aside from Kickstarter I bought myself into the Path of Exile closed beta and PoE became a succesful and very fun game that I spent a lot of time with.

Of course there are some wasted Euros in there. I'm not going to deny that. And I'm still waiting for a few promising-looking games, although at least I get status reports every once in a while. One semi-example for a failed Kickstarter would be Preaching to the Perverted; while the Blu-Ray version works fine and looks great, the promised digital download first turned into an iOS app (I don't own a recent iDevice) and then had to be redone from scratch because Apple wouldn't allow it on their store. If I remember correctly it's still being worked on.

You have to accept that it's always going to be hit-and-miss with crowdfunding. Sometimes you get a polished, fun product that will leave you entirely content with how much money you spent to obtain it. Sometimes you get something disappointing or the project folds due to mismanagement. In my experience the former is more common (even if time overruns are the norm), especially if it's a high-profile project. But it's still a gamble and it's up to you to decide whether you're willing to take it.

about two weeks ago
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Elite: Dangerous Dumps Offline Single-Player

Jesus_666 Re:Real investments come with guidance (473 comments)

The gist of it is that a terrible and untouchable community manager managed to get several backers to a point where they felt that the only effective way to protest a community management issue was to financially hurt the developers. You can find the details online; a search for "mighty number 9 chargebacks" should bring up relevant stories. There's a dash of Gamergate towards the end but it's only tangentially related to the core issue.

about two weeks ago
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Apple Disables Trim Support On 3rd Party SSDs In OS X

Jesus_666 Re:Why? (327 comments)

There's the commercial-restricted approach. Sell your hardware and your software, and only allow a select-few others to sell hardware or software that is compatible with your products. The upside is that the platforms are highly stable, but the downsides are that users will sometimes find they simply can't do something because it's disallowed. It also requires the company to be ever-vigilant about pushing more features and capabilities, as stagnation will mean death. Apple currently leads this community, but SGI, Sun, NeXT, Commodore, and a whole bunch of computer companies throughout the years have tried it and ultimately closed up shop.

NeXT didn't close up shop, they were bought by Apple. Then they replaced several of Apple's top execs (including the CEO) with their own and used NeXTSTEP as the foundation for the new MacOS. In essence, NeXT bought Apple for minus 400 million Dollars.

about two weeks ago
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Buying Goods To Make Nuclear Weapons On eBay, Alibaba, and Other Platforms

Jesus_666 Re:If so damn many people are making nukes (260 comments)

You are painting with broad strokes. By the same measure one could argue that guns have pretty much one use: Accelerating bullets. The kinds of targets the bullets can be accelerated towards are varied, one of which is murder victims. There is considerable societal interest in regulating guns' use in bullet acceleration leading to the production of murder victims.

You conflated all chemical reactions with bomb making, which does not make much sense, just like my conflation of all gun use with murder doesn't.

Also, by your logic, hydrocarbon fuels should be severely restricted because they can be used to make ANFO. Also vegetable oil because you can use that for ANFO, too. Or you leave the ammonium nitrate away and just build a fuel-air bomb. Society has interest in regulating the production of those, too. And let's not forget that electricity can be used to electrolyze water into hydrogen and oxygen, which can also be used as an explosive. Access to electricity should be regulated as well.

Or we agree that just because something can potentially be used for actions that are against the interests of society we can't assume that this is a particularly common use.

about three weeks ago
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Buying Goods To Make Nuclear Weapons On eBay, Alibaba, and Other Platforms

Jesus_666 Re:If so damn many people are making nukes (260 comments)

No, only lawmakers. A chemist would just look at what you're trying to do, say "yup, he's probably not going to kill himself" and move on. Chemists can be unnervingly casual around fairly dangerous chemicals because they can gauge the actual danger involved.

Of course when the chemist does become nervous, so should you.

about three weeks ago
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How Sony, Intel, and Unix Made Apple's Mac a PC Competitor

Jesus_666 Re:It doensn't really matter! (296 comments)

When mainboards came with AC’97 that was good enough to deliver high-qualify 5.1 sound people stopped buying sound cards because the onboard sound was on par with them and came free with the mainboard. Plius, we still had the option to go for a sound card if we disliked the onboard sound or if it broke.

When mainboards came with onboard Fast Ethernet people stopped buying discrete NICs because, again, the onboard sound was on par and free. Plus, we still had the optiom to get a discrete NIC or two.

When mainboards came with onboard modems Well, I have no idea; we only got internet in the ISDN age. But, again, discrete modems continued to be available.

But the same things don’t apply to RAM and mass storage. The new MBPs don’t ship with terabyte SSDs for free so for people who expect to store large amounts of data directly on their computer the default offering is not on par. One could choose the BTO option for more storage but Apple’s prices are way above market average and they don’t even offer the choice of an HDD in a new MBP. So people complain because now they get less capability than before with no reasonable upgrade strategy. There would be no complaining if the baseline MBP had a terabyte SSD onboard or if one could pop it open and mount an HDD in there.

Likewise with the soldered-on RAM. Previously one would buy the MBP with the smallest RAM package available and then upgrade with third-party modules because, again, Apple’s prices are ridiculous. Not only that; it was possible to buy the machine and then later upgrade the RAM. This was useful if one didn’t have the money to purchase the machine and the RAM at the same time. No longer possible; RAM is non-upgradable now and if it breaks you have no option besides sending the entire computer in for repairs.

I’m talking about MBPs because they saw a big change recently but the same applies to other Macs. While treating ones computer as a disposable tool might be fine for the average user it’s not acceptable for those of us who do know their stuff. Not quite coincidentally, those are often the people who need a workhorse computer instead of something that can browse the web and play back fullscreen video.

about a month ago
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How Sony, Intel, and Unix Made Apple's Mac a PC Competitor

Jesus_666 Re:Disposable... (296 comments)

I used to consider MacBook Pros to be no-brainer purchases. They looked good, had user-serviceable innards (at least those parts you’d reasonably expect a notebook to have) and came with OS X, which I like. These days I still like OS X but I don’t like the machines it comes on.

My next Mac will probably be a Thinkpad. Those things tend to make good Hackintoshes and don’t suffer from an anorexic design department.

about a month ago
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'Microsoft Lumia' Will Replace the Nokia Brand

Jesus_666 Re:Recognition (150 comments)

I'm not saying that Windows is going to drop off the market; I just think that it won't be the only choice anymore.

Now if you'll excuse me; Steam just finished downloading Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel on my Mac.

about a month ago
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'Microsoft Lumia' Will Replace the Nokia Brand

Jesus_666 Re:Recognition (150 comments)

To be honest, Windows is no longer the big name in gaming platforms, Steam is. And Valve is pushing for game devs to move away from Windows-exclusive games so they can sell their Linux-based Steam Machines. While Linux support isn’t quite common yet it does pop up every now and then and OS X is actually seeing a fair number of high-profile releases.

Right now Windows might hold its dominance in the video game market but whether it’ll still be the obvious choice in a few years is not settled. (For instance, I have no idea what effect Microsoft’s rumored plans for a free baseline Windows with subscription addons would have - depending on how they'd play it it might make Windows more attractive to gamers or it might scare them off. We’ll see.)

about a month ago
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Systemd Adding Its Own Console To Linux Systems

Jesus_666 Re:Slashdot Response (774 comments)

The only issue I see with this being part of systemd is that this probably means you need to run systemd in order to get virtual terminals (because of internal dependencies). This might be bad for small embedded distros that don't want to run the whole systemd stack. Perhaps things like systemd-shim will work, in which case it might not be too painful, but otherwise the distro might have to lug around relatively heavy components in order to get virtual terminals.

As far as I can tell the systemd devs seem to want to optimize Linux for a number of use cases while declaring all use cases that stand to lose as irrelevant. A lot of people are unhappy about this, thus the hate. Well, and their attitude.

about 1 month ago
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Systemd Adding Its Own Console To Linux Systems

Jesus_666 Re:it solves some unicode issues (774 comments)

The basic idea (replacing the old VT code with something new and better) seems fine; the only problem is that it's yet another component that will be integrated with systemd. If the old VT code is completely deprecated in favor of systemd-consoled that means that yet another part of the Linux world has dependencies on systemd.

While that may be fine if you run the kind of system systemd expects, it's problematic if you want to use, say, an embedded system built around uclibc instead of glibc. To my knowledge, systemd still refuses to incorporate libc compatibility patches and thus won't run unless you use their preferred libc flavor. Trying to make your embeddded Linux distro work without systemd will mean that you either have to write and maintain your own console daemon or live without virtual terminals. Or, of course, you can move to glibc and systemd, even if your distro would be better served by lighter alternatives.

I think that the systemd subprojects would be more popular if they were less dependent on each other... and if the developers had less of a "my way of the highway" attitude.

about 1 month ago
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Why Do Contextual Ads Fail?

Jesus_666 Re:yep, timing and related products (249 comments)

On the other hand, Amazon is the king of "you recently bought a new computer so we figured you'd be interesting in buying more new computers. Have some ads". It's baffling how Amazon will send you mails advertising the exact same kind of thing you just bought after you purchased something. Sure, for things like media it kinda makes sense but for other things it really doesn't.

about 2 months ago
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Intel Drops Gamasutra Sponsorship Over Controversial Editorials

Jesus_666 Re:can relate (724 comments)

Wait, someone actually got angry over Free? My anime-savvy friends just shrugged and said: "Hey, fanservice for women." And that was their entire reaction - it's just the kind of blatant fanservice Japan already produces by the truckload aimed at people who find men attractive. News at eleven.

But I guess people can get angry over everything. (Interestingly, as far as Twilight is concerned, I've heard more complaints about how much of an object the protagonist is than about the slightly less two-dimensional guys she deals with.)

about 2 months ago
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Anand Lal Shimpi Retires From AnandTech

Jesus_666 Re:Slightly pro-Intel reviews (152 comments)

That's true. To be honest, my laptop runs on Intel, too. That's a market semgnet Intel is very good at. Still, budget desktop exists and I hope they will continue to keep AMD afloat because I really don't want to see what happens when Intel has x86/amd64 for itself. (Of course Intel probably doesn't want to see that, either; monopolies have this pesky habit of falling under antitrust regulations...)

about 3 months ago
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Anand Lal Shimpi Retires From AnandTech

Jesus_666 Re:Slightly pro-Intel reviews (152 comments)

It's all about target demographics. The last few times I've built desktop PCs I've been on a budget and that's where AMD becomes really interesting. AMD CPUs are usually good enough (especially in gaming rigs where desktop CPU performace has become essentially irrelevant years ago) and can be faster than Intels at the same price point - not because AMD is better but because Intel is more expensive, especially once you factor in that Intel mainboards also tend to have higher prices.

Sure, Intel CPUs are better. But if you don't do heavily CPU-intensive tasks (ie. if you use your computer for generic consumer-type stuff) AMD's ones are adequate and cheap. Intel is great in workstations but most people don't need a workstation. That's why AMD is still alive. It's pretty much the VHS of x86/amd64.

about 3 months ago
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Microsoft Releases Replacement Patch With Two Known Bugs

Jesus_666 Re:No Patch Info (140 comments)

Well, the IE patches should matter. They might affect the rendering engine, which is used everywhere.

about 2 months ago
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How Patent Trolls Destroy Innovation

Jesus_666 Re:Patent Trolls arent just little companies (97 comments)

You don't automatically deserve for your business to succeed regardless of other commercial factors, and you certainly don't deserve money just for having an idea. Ideas are cheap, it's R&D that costs money.

I never said that I deserve automatic business success. "Reward" and "getting paid" are two different things. I do agree, however, that I expressed myself poorly. Of course the mere idea is not enough to get a patent: At the very least I should supply enough information to make my valve. Still, I shouldn't need to actually produce valves in order to deserve patent protection; after all there are dedicated research entities like CSIRO who do expend significant effort to develop technologies even though they don't develop physical products based on those technologies.

And that is how the patent system is broken, because it directly rewards ideas and not development effort. The positive outcome of the system is just a side-effect of how the system works. The whole system needs refactoring so that it directly achieves the goals above within an ethical framework that acknowledges the value of straightforward hard work over simple ideas. This would mean that a patent troll with nothing more than an idea can't walk all over a company that had the same idea and then spend $10m developing it into a commercial product.

If the non-company actually came up with a working prototype and wrote a patent that explains in detail how to copy it and demonstrably came up with the whole thing first then yes, the non-company deserves the patent. Of course this scenario is utterly unlikely. Still, patents shouldn't be about how much it cost to come up with something; they should be about whether this something advances the state of the art and is described in a precise manner that allows an average worker in the field to reproduce it. If your company spends $10m and mine spends $100k and we independently arrive at the same method of solving a particular problem then your company's claim isn't automatically more valid than mine.

If we could ensure that all granted patents are for things that advance the state of the art in a reproducible manner we'd be much closer to a reasonable system (although there'd still be work left to be done).

about 3 months ago
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How Patent Trolls Destroy Innovation

Jesus_666 Re:Patent Trolls arent just little companies (97 comments)

Patents are not inherently evil. If I get the idea for a new valve design that uses some obscure property of gasoline to make direct injection engines five percent more efficient then I deserve to be rewarded for that. But do I deserve a reward for taking something we already do and adding "via electronic transmission" without even detailing how exactly that transmission would work? Do I deserve a reward for taking the concepts of HTTP redirects and credit card processing and coming up with a redirect to a credit card processing software?

We have a few problems right now that need fundamental changes to how patents work in order to be resolved:

Firstly, there is a flood of patents far too great to allow patent examiners to examine each patent in detail. We can't solve this by adding more examiners; there's no money for that. We can't solve this by allowing an arbitrary backlog; sooner or later we'd get to a point where you'd spend longer for your application to be processed than the patent would last once approved, which would hurt legitimately useful applications. The current solution, just doing less work per patent, just means that more junk patents come through.

Additionally, we don't have enough experts. A patent on "storing a word processor document in a single XML file" (real patent) might not sound obvious to a patent examiner who doesn't have a deep understanding of IT but to an IT professional it's blindingly obvious; after all XML is a universal format and we store all sorts of other documents in XML form already. Still, a patent has been granted for this "innovation", most likely because the patent office can't afford enough IT experts to properly evaluate every IT patent. (Admittedly, the patent is specific enough that one can, with effort, create a non-infringing XML text document format. But it's still obvious.)

Of course it doesn't help that some granted patents are overly generic. Many patents just declare dominion over an idea, sometimes even without providing technical information on how to make the idea actually work. This can be hard to see for the examiner because of the relative dearth of domain experts.

Compounding that is the fact that willful infringement nets harsher punishment. However, if I actually do the research to make sure I don't violate certain patents it becomes reasonable to assume that I know about all relevant patents in the field. If I overlooked some and end up infringing them it becomes difficult to prove that I didn't know about them, costing me more money. Thus, the safest course of action is to never read any patents at all so I can at least claim ignorance. This keeps me open to surprise litigation, of course, and it also perverts the entire point of the patent system: Patents are not there so that someone can control an idea, they are there so that someone provides his idea and technical work to everyone else in exchange for some royalties.


Fixing this mess won't be easy. We need far more experts, more time per patent and fewer patent applications. The former two aren't going to happen because nobody's willing to pay that much money and the latter isn't going to happen as long as obtaining patents is as lucrative as it is today. While I don't think that killing off the entire patent system is the way to go it's easy to see how people come up with the idea.

about 3 months ago
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Plan Would Give Government Virtual Veto Over Internet Governance

Jesus_666 Re:Does it matter? (65 comments)

Well, there are the schenanigans around the .iq domain. While accounts seem to differ it was a bit peculiar that .iq dropped off the root zone right around when the Iraq War happened. (I know that the guy administering the TLD was nasty but he wasn't convicted yet and I'm not sure it's reasonable to shut down a TLD because the Tech-C is being prosecuted.)

"Random people" includes any single government. Jon Postel might have been trustworthy but his government isn't. Not when international politics are involved. No single government or regional bloc truly is. (Neither are all governments combined but at least they'll have a harder time screwing everything up.)

about 3 months ago

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