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Apple Gets the Importance of Packaging; Why Doesn't Google?

XahXhaX Re:Wrap rage...? (639 comments)

There are other good reasons. I personally would not buy an electronic device over a site like Craigslist without some sort of packaging and/or paperwork. Too many encounters with obviously stolen merchandise.

about 2 years ago

Rare Operating Apple 1 Rakes In $374,500 At Sotheby's Auction

XahXhaX Not so impressive. (118 comments)

I know a guy still on his first Xbox 360!

more than 2 years ago

Facebook Tests the Waters With Paid Perks

XahXhaX Re:Freemium at its best (204 comments)

Just imagine how bad it must have been before there was a Facebook, and there was no way to let another person know about such important news and emergencies!

more than 2 years ago

Dell Designing Developer Oriented Laptop

XahXhaX But I thought PCs were dead (399 comments)

So you guys aren't coding on your iPads and Android phones?

more than 2 years ago

How Mailinator Compresses Its Email Stream By 90%

XahXhaX I love Mailinator (75 comments)

If anybody responsible for the site comes this way, thank you for the excellent (and free) service.

more than 2 years ago

4G Phones Are Really Fast — At Draining Batteries

XahXhaX Happened to me (281 comments)

Within a month of buying my iPhone last year, we went camping. I put a lot of effort into preserving the battery so I could test out the compass feature the following morning and take photos all day. I didn't realize that in being unable to find a signal, it would _continuously attempt it_ all night. I had about 90% battery when we went to bed, woke up to about 5%. I was pretty unhappy with this discovery, where I previously figured they were smarter than that.

more than 2 years ago

DARPA Seeks App Developers For War App Store

XahXhaX One star (174 comments)

Did not kill the terrorists. Didn't win the war. Crashed twice on startup.
Fix the crashes and maybe I'll give it five stars.

about 3 years ago

New Sony PSN ToS: Class Action Waiver Included

XahXhaX I could use some advice (378 comments)

I've been a PSN user for several years, on account of owning a PSP. I was using Sony's MediaGo software and created the account to buy some DLC.

When they changed their TOS on April 1st, I declined them. My understanding from reading online was that Sony was supposed to refund whatever remaining money in the account and close it. As far as I can tell this never happened.

After those couple weeks later when they were hacked (multiple times), I received an email that my information had been among the millions of others jeopardized by Sony's lack of security. I emailed them back that I wanted nothing to do with them and to purge my information and close the account.

I played email tag for awhile as they refused to do it. I also called them a couple times (hold times were understandably long, so this required setting aside an hour minimum), and got the usual run around and contradicting excuses depending upon who I spoke to. I tried to elevate it to supervisors and they also refused. I cannot make any changes to the account, as I will not accept any iteration of their TOS. I have informed them of this numerous times. Sony's best offer was to ban the account--as if accessing my own information was ever the problem.

I've been waiting around for any news on the state of the class actions, and to see whether I can join. I have not forgotten this, but I don't know how to proceed. Is waiting on the outcome of a class action my only recourse here, or can I pursue this on my own?

Also note that I did not accept their token offer of free, valueless digital downloads, nor the credit service membership that they partnered with. I told them they can shove it. I would personally turn down a free copy of every game in existence if it meant that they would be held responsible and some new regulations would get passed to put Sony in their place. It's clear now they will do as little as possible for their users unless legally obligated, and are wont to treat our information like a commodity with no real reverence. I don't trust them having any of my information and regret that I ever offered it in the first place. I regret that there are no laws requiring that being able to remove our information should be as easy as submitting it.

I need suggestions on what to do, as I don't feel like letting them get away with this. It is amazing to me that they would come down on each of us for the slightest violation of their TOS, yet all this while they are holding my personal information despite being in breech of this same agreement.

more than 3 years ago

Specific Media To Buy MySpace

XahXhaX Re:Great work if you can get it (52 comments)

That's assuming they did ever turn a profit from Myspace. Somehow I doubt it ever made them enough to recoup.

Either way this is still Newscorp we're talking about. $500 million is not going to bust the company, and I sincerely doubt any one of their executives lost sleep over this loss.

more than 3 years ago

Specific Media To Buy MySpace

XahXhaX Re:Ha ha rupert (52 comments)

That's probably why it became popular. The development of social networking mirrors the rise and development of the internet. Myspace is to social networking what Geocities was to the early web.

Plus, it was 'the thing' to do if you were in a band, so just about everybody from major to indie was on there and that attracted a ton of their users.

more than 3 years ago

Opera 11.50 Released

XahXhaX Re:Wake me up... (129 comments)

That's a trivial non-point. I'm sure it's a devious statement to make on Slashdot, but open software does not necessarily mean _better_ software. See Windows vs Linux, iPhone vs Android, Nintendo DS or PSP vs one of those Chinese handhelds, and of course Opera vs Firefox.

Opening Opera would gain absolutely nothing beyond appealing to OSS zealots, especially now that they've stolen/adopted Firefox's plugins model.

more than 3 years ago

Adobe Rolls Out Privacy Controls In Flash Player 10.3

XahXhaX Yet 90% of my web browsing is with Flash disabled (63 comments)

Over umpteen versions and so many years, and they still haven't added settings to disable audio (banners and embedded video commercials with audio enabled have become worse over time) and it has only grown increasingly bloated over hogging processing and memory. Thankfully Opera makes it simple and accessible to disable the plugin for the majority of browsing, or even on a per-site basis for the worst offenders. But these are things that Adobe should be implementing so users can take control of what plays on their PC.

One of the things I had to consider when I bought my iPhone recently was that it couldn't play Flash--and the more I debated this the more I realized that 99% of Flash on the web is now junk. Despite the occasional Flash game or intentionally viewing an embedded video, I suspect we would all be better off without it on most sites.

more than 3 years ago

Square Enix Facing Big Losses For 2010

XahXhaX So what? They could make that any time they want (210 comments)

They've been sitting on remaking FF7 for years. $150 million would probably be covered by just the initial release if they were to produce an updated version with modern tech.

Not that I care either way--I hated that game and pay less attention to Square with each year. But they _could_ do it any time if they only wanted to.

more than 3 years ago

Europe Plans To Ban Petrol Cars From Cities By 2050

XahXhaX Re:I love the divide between the US and EU (695 comments)

Sure, if that makes you feel better. The toilets also breathe fire up into your arse and the lightbulbs all contain microchips so the government can spy on you.

more than 3 years ago

Europe Plans To Ban Petrol Cars From Cities By 2050

XahXhaX I love the divide between the US and EU (695 comments)

We actually have people protesting because they would have to change some bloody lightbulbs or use a more efficient toilet.

On the plus side, just the suggestion that we might adopt a similar plan could trigger multiple simultaneous aneurysms in even the lowliest peon at Fox News. We could cut emissions and BS at the same time.

more than 3 years ago

Facebook Throws Privacy Advocates a Bone

XahXhaX Jumping on the anti-Facebook bandwagon (126 comments)

I was browsing my Facebook settings just last night. I believed that I had already handled this chore, but this time I paid more attention to the section with application settings obscurely nestled four clicks into the mess they call privacy settings. For some reason you can't actually tell what's going on at a single glance as I previously thought, and need to switch among views like 'authorized' and 'allowed to post' (whatever the difference is, I do not know) to actually see what's going on. That's where I discovered that a couple like Farmville and some quiz app had been "authorized" despite the fact that I have never used them nor ever opted into them.

I suppose I should feel grateful that they even allow us to delete them.

So now I wonder how long my information has been shared with these parties that I don't even use. And that doesn't even explain all the other apps, because I'm sincerely unsure if they're all enabled by default and I have to block them manually. For example, I was on a site called Livestream the other day to find it had accessed my Facebook cookie with my user information splayed about their page. I can't find any recourse to this--my privacy settings claim to have 'select partners instantly personalizing their features with my public information...' disabled. Evidently, some select partners are more privy than others. Meanwhile, clicking the privacy button on Livestream simply routes one to the Facebook privacy policy where they kindly explain that you are fucked.

Unfortunately, Opera has no pertinent settings about ensuring that cookies are only retrieved by the original domain so if Facebook won't take measures against this then perhaps the browser devs will and I am going to post the feature request later. Clearly we are going to have to take these measures ourselves because this story proves that Facebook staff aren't even listening.

more than 4 years ago

I last bought 3.5" floppy disks ...

XahXhaX Re:More than 10 years ago? (505 comments)

Most people here may just be better at reading comprehension than you. It says "last _bought_", afterall.

more than 4 years ago

When PC Ports of Console Games Go Wrong

XahXhaX Possibly 'all of the above' (398 comments)

But just a few of the most common gripes:

Lionhead did a commendable job porting Fable, but in translating the controls to keyboard+mouse, they completely neglected joypads or any alternative input devices. The first thing we saw were customers downloading Joy2key just to adapt, which produces twitchy results and demonstrates that the devs clearly failed to test it against a real group of gamers because anybody could have pointed out that people would want to plug in a controller. (It's either this or the far scarier scenario where Lionhead apparently didn't realize you can even use peripherals on a PC.)

Sadly that's not the only game, while others have it the other way and fail to adapt decent keyboard+mouse controls. Still others like one of the Spiderman games wouldn't even accept my non Xbox controller as an input device, even though Windows and everything else registers it fine.

I see a lot of ports that fail to take advantage of the basic hardware superiority of a PC, right down to increased screen resolution, or even wide screen displays. Sadly some native PC games are even guilty of this (I think Doom 3 and/or Quake 4 were in this group)

Many more fail to appreciate the fact that while one-size-fits-all may be the creed of the console companies and their audience, PC gamers are accustomed to settings and expect the freedom to tweak for performance. We're not simpletons that need tech support to plug A/V cables into a TV, and would-be port developers need to recognize this by adding the full list of options for shadow detail, texture resolution, etc. if for no other reason than because that's what the other PC games offer and your product will look half-assed and inferior by comparison. And may your gods help you if you don't fully support keyboard configuration, and I get stuck using some WASD, RDFG, or whatever scheme with no recourse to change it.

The top complaint should be the steep system requirements, which often make the clearest indication that studios and their developers aren't even _trying_ to produce a decent port. We understand that you can't directly convert the specs of an Xbox 360 to PC as if they were sporting the same architecture and there is no overhead from the OS and other running tasks. But when a game runs fine on the limited hardware of a console, yet states ten times the system memory, GPU memory, etc as the minimal PC requirements and you still get framerate issues it makes one wonder if they bothered to optimize any of it.

Another issue is support, because I see too many games released, followed by the predictable fan response on official forums about bugs and errors, and months later no patch has ever surfaced. Some games are known for having to rely on third party unofficial patches, or even developers personally releasing their own fixes independent of the company. If you want the respect (and positive reviews and money) of the PC community, then you need to expect to stand behind your product. Which isn't to say every kid who can't understand how to update his video drivers needs to be placated, but you can expect to alienate your own fan base by outright ignoring+abandoning them once you have their money.

The last complaint I'll add involves DRM. I think it's lovely that you--whether you're a developer or publisher--believe that the Nintendo Wii or whatever is 100% secure and are fully committed to the myth that piracy only affects the PC.

The problem is when you try to introduce the same false sense of security into your spiffy PC product in the form of DRM, because too often that has arrived in the form of rootkits/Starforce/et al. PC Gamers are often fanatical about things like system maintenance, and we've learned to notice the details like inconspicuously placed services and entries to the Run keys in our registries. Frankly, it's a violation because the lone act of _us_ paying _you_ money by buying your product does not give you the right to take over our system and do what you will. And until you can come up with a better justification for these draconian measures than your bottom line, we're going to continue resenting you for it. I see legitimate customers driven to downloading the game illegitimately every day over these things. It would behoove you to pull your heads out of the sand and pay attention to this.

Even the basic requirement of a disc to launch the executable is patently offensive to our intelligence. There is no technical reason why any game today would require me to fish out a DVD every time I want to play it on my PC. We all know it, and more importantly you know it too, because all game data is installed and doing otherwise would present the type of severe bottleneck seen in--well, console game loading times. Yet instead of taking advantage of this benefit on our behalf, you've clung to the tradition of 'please insert disc 1...even though you've already committed six gigabytes of hard drive space to storing all the movies and data'

I'm done. In closing, please tell Square to start making Final Fantasy ports on the PC again because I bought Seven and Eight but not a single one since because they haven't made any others and I can't be arsed to go buy some Playstation just for that.

more than 4 years ago

Automation May Make Toll Roads More Common

XahXhaX Unconstitutional? (585 comments)

The first thing that struck me about this article is that I seem to recall an inferred right in Constitutional law for a citizen to travel freely within the country. I managed to find something summarizing+confirming the fact, aptly named 'right to travel': http://supreme.justia.com/constitution/amendment-14/96-right-to-travel.html

It would seem to me that a toll in order to make use of public roads would be tantamount to the poll tax explicitly barred in the twenty fourth amendment. This is apart from the obvious point that charging tolls on tax payer funded roads seems redundant.

more than 5 years ago


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